Clothing Refashion: 1 Dress to 2 Pieces

Nima Fatima
by Nima Fatima
8 Materials
2 Hours

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. This tutorial will show you how to go about refashioning clothing. I am trying to order less fast fashion and be generally better for the earth and figured the first place to start was in my own closet. To do this, I decided to upcycle an old favorite of mine. It’s a dress I got about a year ago and have absolutely loved ever since. Because I love it, I decided to renew it instead of throwing it away.

Tools and materials:

  • Dress
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Elastic
  • Black dye
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Safety pin
Refashion clothing

How to refashion clothing

Cut off the skirt 

The first step is to cut the dress right in half. Cut it right underneath the seam so that the top will still have the seam. Now, if the skirt is big on you, this is your chance to take it in. Otherwise, flip it inside out and fold the raw edges over to hem it. Sew the hem down, but leave an opening to insert an elastic through. (Make sure when sewing the hem that the elastic will fit through). 

Refashioning clothing

Insert the elastic 

Find the length of your elastic by measuring it around your waist - it should fit comfortably. Once you have your length, cut the elastic and then add a safety pin to the edge. Use the safety pin as a way to guide the elastic through the hem until it comes out the other side. Once it’s out the other end, sew the elastic band together and close the seam you left open. The top of the skirt will look gathered.

Clothing upcycle

Puff the sleeves 

For the top of the dress, cut off the end of the sleeves and make a new hem. This will get rid of the ties and leave the sleeves looking cleaner. Double fold the hem again and insert elastic into the sleeves (this will give you a nice puff sleeve). Same as with the skirt, attach a safety pin, guide the elastic through and then sew the ends together. Remember to close the seam and repeat on the other side. 

How to upcycle clothing

Dye the dress 

Because black is my favorite color, I decided to dye the dress black. I mixed the dye and water, added some salt and a splash of green to help preserve the color, and then dropped the pieces into the dye. Let them slosh around for about 45 minutes to get good color. 

This piece is great! By getting rid of small details, separating the dress into two, and dying it all dark, I was able to take an old favorite and make it a new style. Not only is the two-piece a great set, but these pieces can be worn separately as individuals. This clothing upcycle was a success! 

Suggested materials:
  • Dress
  • Pins
  • Scissors
See all materials

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