How to Upgrade Your Wardrobe: 2 Cute Thrift Flip Ideas

Jess Dang
by Jess Dang
7 Materials
2 Hours

Hi everyone. In this tutorial, learn how to upgrade your wardrobe and re-style clothing you no longer wear into something brand new! Let's get started.

Tools and materials:

  • Dresses
  • Scissors
  • Fabric marker
  • Tape measure
  • Seam ripper
  • Sewing machine
  • Sewing pins
Thrift Flip 1

Thrift Flip 1: Cute version — 2-piece matching set 

This dress is quite formal, which is not me, so I’m going to turn it into a cute 2-piece matching set. 

Cutting dress

1. Draw and cut a horizontal line to divide the dress into two pieces

Draw a horizontal line from the shoulder to the upper belly button. This will divide the dress into two parts. Cut along the line.

Where to sew

2. Sew the front flap until the top fits

After cutting, check the width of the top to see if it fits your waist size. 

Cut dress

If it doesn’t, re-sew the front flap of the shirt until it meets ½ waist size + ½ inch.

Cutting fabric

3. Cut out a rectangle

Cut a rectangle with 3-inch width from the bottom half of the dress.

Removing the inner fabric

4. Remove the inner fabric

Use a seam ripper to remove the inner fabric of the rectangle.

Measuring rectangle

5. Measure and cut the rectangle

Measure the width of the rectangle to fit the waist size. This should be ¼ waist size + ¾ inch.

Mark your measurement on both sides of the button area.

Cutting fabric

Cut along the line.

Where to sew

6. Pin and sew along the line

Pin and sew the two layers together. 

Pinning waistband

7. Pin and sew the waistband to the top

Connect the waistband to the top by connecting the middle button area first and then pinning along the rest.



Folding the waistband

8. Seam the waistband

Fold the waistband inside two times.

Where to sew


Adding button

9. Add new button

Make the new buttonhole and install the button at the end of the top.

Cutting rectangles

10. Cut two rectangles from the bottom

Moving on to the skirt. Cut two long rectangles with 3-inch width.

Removing the middle band

11. Remove the middle band

Cut out the middle band of both rectangles.

Forming a circle

12. Form a circle with the rectangles

Pin and sew the inner edges of both rectangles together to create a circle.

Folding edge

13. Hem the circle

Fold the edge inside twice and sew.

Creating ruffle

14. Create the ruffle

Make a loose seam on the other side of the fabric to create a ruffle and pull. 


The width of the ruffle has to be the same as the skirt.

Connecting the ruffles

15. Connect the ruffles to the skirt

Pin the ruffles to the end of the skirt to create the ruffle hem and sew.

Adding second seam

16. Add a second seam

Add a seam next to the first so the ruffle won’t move when you wear the skirt.

Where to sew

17. Sew darts to shape the skirt to your size

Make a dart on each side of the skirt to make the skirt 1 inch smaller.

Trying on skirt

Put the skirt on to mark the width of the darts in the back so it fits your body perfectly. Sew.

Where to sew

18. Seam the edge of the skirt

Fold the inside of the skirt twice and sew.

Adding buttons

19. Add buttons

Make the buttonholes and add the buttons for the skirt.

New outfit: matching skirt and top set

Here’s the final result of the matching set! It’s super cute and perfect for my girly side.

Thrift Flip 2

Thrift Flip 2: Sexy version — Front twisted dress

This dress isn’t too bad and it fits me well, but it’s also a little boring. 

Unsewing hem

1. Unsew the hem of the neck and arms

Use a seam ripper to unsew the hem at the neck and armholes of the dress. 

Drawing line guides

2. Draw the line guides

Draw a horizontal line the length from the shoulder to under the breast.

Drawing line guides

Mark the middle of the line and draw a straight line to the neck.

Drawing line guides

Draw another horizontal line that is the length from the shoulder to the upper breast.

Drawing line guides

Draw lines to connect the neck to the middle point of the second horizontal line.

Drawing line guides

Mark 4 inches down from that middle point and connect it to the two ends of the first horizontal line.

Drawing line guides

Here’s what all the lines should look like.

Cutting along the lines

3. Cut along the lines

Cut along all of the lines except for the topmost horizontal line.

Pinned edges

4. Pin and sew the inside edges

Fold the inside edges two times to finish the ends. Sew.

Twisting front of dress

5. Twist the front of the dress

To create the twisting, turn one side of the dress upside down.

Repeat on the other side but in the opposite way. Pin together and sew.

Unsewing bottom of dress

6. Unsew the bottom of the dress

Use a seam ripper to unsew the rest of the dress.

Sewing an elastic band tunnel

7. Sew an elastic band tunnel

Create a tunnel wide enough to fit a ½ inch elastic band. Pin and sew. 

Where to sew

8. Cut and sew the elastic band

Cut the elastic band so it’s ½ waist size - ¾ inch. Insert it into the fabric tunnel and sew the two ends.


9. Pin and sew the dress pieces together

Pin the sides of the top to the back of the dress.


Pin the elastic band over the top of the dress.


Pin the skirt of the dress to the back.

Where to sew


Cutting off the end

10. Cut off the end of the dress

The two sides should be equal.


11. Hem the bottom of the dress

Mark a line 1.5 inches above the edge. Fold and pin the edge to that line. Sew.

New outfit: Sexy twist dress

How to upgrade your wardrobe

Here’s the finished dress! It’s sexy enough for me.

I hope these tutorials inspired you and taught you how to update your wardrobe on a budget. Let me know which one is your favorite below!

Suggested materials:
  • Dresses
  • Scissors
  • Fabric marker
See all materials

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