A little Upcycling

Fashion Upcycling

Fashion Upcycling

Fashion Upcycling

Dress; Old Dress Upcycled, Skirt: Urban Outfitters (Similar), Shoes: Dr Martens 

I have been planning a few clothing up cycles for a while now. Whether that be for the Oxfam Fashion blog, the CLIC Sargent blog, Fix Up Look Sharp, or my little ol’ blog. My last posts for both Oxfam and CLIC Sargent were in February and my last fashion DIY for this blog was in December – how has it been 5 months already?!

I have had my sewing machine out a lot but it has been for costume purposes only. A few Sundays ago I had a day free so I set about completing a little fashion DIY. Origionally this top was an old dress which has been sitting at the back of my wardrobe for a longer time than acceptable. I decided to do something about it so I got cutting, pressing and stitching. 

To complete this fashion DIY the dress needs to be slightly bigger. If the top of the dress is fitted then it may be hard to get into the top once the zip has been shortened. 

Ingredients for this DIY

– An old unloved dress

– Thread

– Elastic 

– Scissors 

– Pins 

– Sewing Machine 

Fashion Upcycling 1

I began unpicking the skirt from the top at the waist. There was a zip in the side seam to I cut the zip to slightly shorter than my new top length and secured the end of the zip with a few stitches. I then stitched a small distance from the bottom of the zip to the new hem. I hemmed the bottom if the top.

Fashion Upcycling 2

I then unpicked the sleeves and hemmed them. 

I measured the length of where I wanted my frill to sit across the chest of the dress. As well as measuring the back and front I also added extra to account for the frill going around the arms. I then multiplied this measurement by 1.5 – this is to account for the gathering on the frill. Using the fabric from the skirt I cut a strip of fabric for the frill making sure I was happy with the depth of the frill. 

Since I used the bottom of my skirt for my strip of fabric, one width was already hemmed. If it hadn’t been, now would have been the time to hem one width of the strip of fabric. 

I then did a long machine stitch (with no back stitch at the beginning and end) along the top of the strip (with the raw edge) and pulled the loose ends to gather my strip to the measurement I found after measuring where I wanted the frill to sit (with the excess for the arms). 

Fashion Upcycling 3

I then pinned the strip with the right sides of the fabric together. I pinned along the raw edge of the frill (with the wrong side of the fabric facing up). I left enough either side of the top for the arms. I then stitched along where pinned, folding the frill over the stitch line so the right side of the frill was now shown and the stitch line was  hidden underneath the frill. 

I tried the top on at this point.  If you are happy with the way the fabric of the frill around the arms falls then you can leave it at this point. I wanted the frill to be fitted around my arms so I zig-zagged stitched a piece of elastic which was a few centimetres shorter than the width around my arms, from the front of the top to the back of the top. The zig-zag stitch was okay to use on my top as my fabric was patterned so the stitches aren’t too visible through the top. However, if your fabric is plain you could use a herringbone stitch on the inside of the top, just catching a tiny bit through the top so it’s not visible on the right side. 

And that’s it. It was the time to take the top out for a spin! 

Fashion Upcycling

Fashion Upcycling

Fashion Upcycling

Fashion Upcycling


  1. May 8, 2016 / 2:29 pm

    this is such a great DIY! I'm definitely going to have to try it soon – the shirt is so cute!

    Lee – leethrifts.com

  2. May 8, 2016 / 7:17 pm

    I love it! It's ace!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *