Thrift stores are amazing emporiums filled with tons of wonderful DIY possibilities. A good thrift store trip takes some time and quality sifting. When exploring, always think about how something could morph into an item you love — maybe all it needs is a new coat of paint, a new set of buttons, or a shorter hem. For this post, we decided to turn a boring, shapeless dress into a two-piece set, bringing a little bit of our favorite decade (the ’90s, duh) to present-day attire.
– thrift store dress
– sewing machine
– measuring tape
– fabric scissors
1. Put on that dress! See how it falls on your body and mark where you would like to cut it into a two piece. We cut the dress in half about 12 inches from the neckline.
2. If your dress has a zipper, you’ll need to cut it out and create a new seam. From there, fold the bottom of the new top, pin, and sew to form a new hem.
3. On to the skirt! First, cut out the zipper and turn the skirt into a long rectangular panel. Take your hip measurement, add two inches and trim the panel to size.
4. Fold the top of the skirt, pin and hem. This will be your new waistband. Do the same for the sides of the skirt where the zipper will go. No need to hem all the way down, just about eight inches or the length of your zipper.
5. Pin the zipper in place and sew. Turn the skirt outside in, pin the rest of the skirt together and sew the back side seam.
6. Slide your skirt on and pin to your waist. Create diagonal stitches to form pleats in your skirt.
Welcome to the bad side of the 1990’s. Shapeless shift maxi dress, you might have been cool once, but it is time for an upgrade.
Step one is to try it on. See how the dress falls on your body. Measure where you want to cut the dress in half to turn it into a two-piece masterpiece.
We decided to cut it 12 inches from the neckline. Chalk is a great tool for marking garments because it comes off very easily. Snip away!
Our dress had a zipper in the back that we cut through when chopping the dress in half. Remove the zipper, pin and stitch your new top back together. This is also a great time to take in your garment. If it is too baggy, we suggest taking it in from the side seams.
Fold up the bottom and create a new hem. If your dress has a lining, you might want to iron the fold in place so the two fabrics don’t shift when you’re pinning and sewing.
On to the skirt! Remove the rest of the zipper and cut the skirt into one large rectangular panel.
Fold the top of the skirt over, pin and sew to create your new waistband. If your dress has a lining, this step will help hold the two pieces together while you create the rest of the skirt.
Time to mark some more measurements. Measure your beautiful lady hips and trim your panel to size.
Fold the side of the skirt over, pin and stitch a hem about eight inches, or the length of your zipper. Pin your zipper in place and sew on top of your existing hem.
Turn your skirt so the outside of the fabric faces in, pin and sew the rest of the seam.
Time to slide that skirt back onto your body. For those of us with hips, the skirt should be bigger in the waist. Pinch and pin two equal sections on either side of the zipper. Starting from where you pinned the skirt on the waistband, sew a diagonal line, about three inches, down the skirt. Make sure you sew the diagonal in the right direction — it should form a right-angled triangle on the edge of your skirt. This will create pleats in your skirt and make it fit your curves.
Two pieces mean one outfit together and two outfits apart. That makes a total of three outfits! We are loving the matching sets, though we’re pretty sure we don’t love them as much as Hillary Clinton :)
Have you ever update a thrift store find? Share your creations with us on Instagram using the hashtag #iamcreative. As always, leave your questions and comments below!