Thrift Flip Tutorial: DIY Bodycon Dress

Enitan Agbabiaka
by Enitan Agbabiaka
7 Materials
2 Hours

I bought a dress very cheaply in a local market. It was far too big for me, but perfect for the project I had in mind.

Here’s how to thrift flip an oversized dress into a stunning bodycon mini dress in less than 2 hours.

It’s a great project for a beginner as well to learn thrift flipping and basic sewing techniques.

Tools and materials:

  • Oversized stretch dress
  • Ruler
  • Fabric marker
  • Measuring tape
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
Taking measurements

1. Take your measurements

Take four measurements from the top of your shoulders: to under your bust, to your waist, to your hipline at the widest point and the finished dress length.

Take the following five measurements and divide them by 4: around your bust, the circumference under your bust, and around your waist, your hips and your thighs where the dress will finish.

Cutting dress

2. Cut out the dress shape

Lay the dress flat and pin the side seams and lower edge together so it stays flat as you measure and cut it.

Using a ruler, cut straight across the dress immediately under the armholes and put the excess material to one side. 

Pin the top edges together and fold the dress in half lengthways. Match the side seams carefully.

Watch the video from 0:45 to 1:37 to see how I draft the dress shape directly on to the fabric. 

Replace my measurements with your own and note that I place the measuring tape on the top edge at the 4 inch mark when marking the different lengths.

Cutting dress

Cut out the dress.

Shaping top

3. Shape the top

Unfold the dress. Pin the side seams together.

Follow the video from 1:53 to 2:30 to see how I shape the armholes and neckline.

Shaping top

Cut out the top section of the dress.

Sew both side seams. 

If you had to shorten the dress, make a double fold hem at the lower edge and sew it in place.

Adding straps

4. Add the straps

Make a double quarter inch hem around each armhole and sew in place.

Adding straps

For the straps, you can use the neckline trim as I did, or make straps from toning or contrast fabric.

Cut off the contrast neckline trim. Cut it into two equal lengths and straighten the short edges.

Sew along the long edges with the right sides facing and turn the straps right side out.

Adding straps

Pin and sew the short ends of both straps to the right side of the front and back necklines, between the hemmed armholes.

Adding straps

Sew the raw edge of each strap down on the wrong side.

Thrift flipped dress

Thrift flipped dress

Thrift flipped dress

My baggy, oversized and very unflattering dress is now a stunning mini dress that fits me perfectly. Of course you can make the length whatever suits you best.

I really love this one-shouldered style and it’s very easy to do when you follow my instructions.

I’m delighted with how this thrift flip turned out and I hope it’s given you some thrift flip ideas too.

If you have any questions or remarks, please drop a comment below. I love to hear from you.

Suggested materials:
  • Oversized stretch dress
  • Ruler
  • Fabric marker
See all materials

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