DIY Thrift Flip: Turning a Boring Blouse Into a 30’s Glam Piece

Evelyn Wood
by Evelyn Wood
8 Materials
3 Hours

Do you love going thrift shopping and finding some awesome treasures? Sure, not all thrift clothes fit, but making the necessary adjustments is the fun part! Today, I’m going to show you an incredible DIY thrift flip, taking a mundane-looking blouse and transforming it into a ‘30s style blouse. It’s such an easy DIY thrift flip, too; anyone can take this on! Let’s start this vintage DIY thrift flip and have some fun!

Tools and materials:

  • Lace
  • Thrift store blouse
  • Sewing machine
  • Mannequin
  • Pins
  • Thread
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape
Easy DIY thrift flip
Basic DIY thrift flip

Make the darts

I felt this blouse needed some shape and style, so I started with pinning in some darts to both sides of the front and back part. I started off pinning the darts on my mannequin, but I landed up taking it off and measuring the darts, making sure nothing is out of place.

How to DIY thrift flip

Shorten the blouse

After pinning the darts in place, I needed to shorten the blouse length. I basically measured my desired length to trim off and cut a straight line throughout the bottom part.


Remember to leave enough fabric for a hem allowance.

DIY thrift store flip

Sew the darts and hem

For the hem, I used a ¼ double turnover throughout. I also sewed up the darts on both the front and back.

Vintage DIY thrift flip

Add the lace

My blouse had beautiful pleats running down both sides. I wanted to add a touch of splendor by adding some lace down each pleat. I inserted the lace under the pleats so that the pleats would cover the lace and thus, give a lovely dimension overall.

I went ahead and stitched the lace on the three pleats on either side. It looks so classic, and I loved the outcome.

Modify the sleeves

The sleeves needed a major revamp, So I seam ripped them and basically detached them from the bodice. I also cut the longer side to open up the sleeve completely, as shown. I cut a little bit off the edge of the sleeve to shorten it a little ( Don’t throw these away, You’ll need them again).

I wanted to make the sleeve larger, so I attached panel pieces on either side. I used the remaining fabric that I cut off from the hem to achieve this step. I also wanted the panel pieces to be as big and as bold as ever.

Once the panel pieces are cut to size, I stitched them on either end of the sleeve, right sides together.

I then stitched the sleeve back together by folding the sleeve in half and stitching the edges of the new panel pieces.

I made a gathering stitch along the curved part of the sleeve, otherwise known as the ‘head’. A gathering stitch is a long stitch steering on the sewing machine. I then pulled the thread to create cute little gathers.

On the bottom of the sleeve, I made a neat pleat to add more boldness to the puffy sleeve. I stitched this all around and also did an overlock. 

I then sewed lace around the whole circumference of the bottom sleeve.

Then, I folded it over and pinned the small fabric pieces that I cut out from the bottom of the sleeve. I pinned this all around the circumference, making sure just the edge of the lace sticks out.

Finally, I reattached the sleeves to the bodice, making sure I matched up the side seams. Are you ready for the big reveal?

Talk about vintage glam! It looks stunning! I am so chuffed that I managed to spruce up this boring blouse into something unique and intricate. The lace just takes it up a notch and gives it a sophisticated vibe. Next time you go thrift shopping, keep this basic DIY thrift flip tutorial in mind so that you have the inspiration to turn something boring into a new work of art!

Suggested materials:
  • Lace
  • Thrifted blouse
  • Sewing machine
See all materials

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