How to Upcycle a Shapeless Muumuu Into a Stylish Boho Top

Looking to make a boho top on the cheap? In this thrift flip, I'll show you how to upcycle a thrift store muumuu into a cute DIY bohemian-style top using an existing shirt as a sewing pattern.

I love bold, tribal prints, so when I found this $4 muumuu at the thrift store, I immediately snatched it up. I considered wearing it as a beach cover-up on future vacations, but two things held me back. First, this muumuu had an unflattering fit. It's a large rectangle folded in half with a hole at the top. The drawstring belt did little to define my waist, and the large side flaps drowned me in fabric. Plus, there was a huge tear at the bottom of the skirt I missed at the thrift store.

But I could still see the potential in this piece. I liked the neckline and drawstring belt, and the skirt had enough fabric to salvage into new sleeves.

Step 1: Chop the muumuu

I gave the muumuu a good chop and cut off most of the skirt.

Step 2: Remove the belt and remove part of the inside belt casing

I removed the belt and partially picked apart the seams of belt casing so I wouldn't accidentally cut them off when I cut the new bodice.

Step 3: Cut a new bodice and sew the shoulder seams

I grabbed one of my favorite shirts to use as a pattern. Fold back the sleeves, place it over the muumuu, and cut around it with a 1" seam allowance. Sew new shoulder side seams with a 3/8" seam allowance.

Step 4: Cut new sleeves

Fold the skirt in half and place the top of the sleeve along the fold. Cut out the bottom of the sleeve with a 1" seam allowance.

Step 5: Sew the shoulder cap seams

Open the bodice lengthwise, pin the sleeve cap to the armhole, and sew with 3/8" seam allowance.

Step 6: Sew the side seams on the bodice and sleeves

Fold the shirt lengthwise and sew the side seams on the bodice and the sleeves.

Step 7: Add the gray border

I couldn't let the beautiful gray border go to waste, so I made it into a band and added it to the bottom of the boho top.

For more upcycling ideas, check out my blog Pivot Point Patterns.

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Pivot Point Patterns
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Join the conversation
  • Vickie Vickie on May 11, 2023

    i love my muumuus...i wear them every day...i have several all different colors....also some that are seasonal that celebrate certain it

  • Charlene Charlene on Jun 15, 2023

    It reminds me of Alaska an the beautiful work of hand made clothes. I wish that I had a Mumu 🥰!! Excellent Job!!