Goodwill Industries of Kansas, Inc.

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Spring Dress Upcycle

Posted on: March 18th, 2016

Every single time I shop at Goodwill – I always find something. Either a great wardrobe piece that works perfectly as is, or a piece that is just begging for an upcycle – and this month, I found the latter. A beautiful bright red dress in excellent condition with its only fault being outdated style. So, for $5.99, I accepted the challenge and took the dress home to work on. First, I got rid of the lace collar. I was originally planning on taking the collar off altogether, but after I removed just the lace part, I liked what was left over of the collar and decided to reuse it. Next, I removed the shoulder pads and shortened the hemline. I wanted to keep some sleeve on the dress, so I altered the long sleeves into cap sleeves.

I needed to size the dress down a bit – and if you’ve never tried this, it is super easy. Turn your dress inside out, and find the seams on the side of the garment that hold together the back and the front pieces. Then, slip the garment on (inside out) and just pinch the sides together at the seams until the garment fits you about right. Pin it where you pinched it, then just sew yourself a long new side seam on each side that hits right where you have your pins. Flip your garment right side out, and you should have something that fits a little better. There is a little learning curve to this trick, but I have been able to shop in lots of different sizes because of it.

The last step for upcycling this dress was to give it a little styling with contrast stitching. I used a thicker gold thread to top stitch some vintage-y lines across the collar, sleeves and hemline.

That was all it took! An hour or so of quick stiches, and I have a fun, retro-redo for spring. If you like to sew – even a little bit- stop at Goodwill and look for some inspiration. There’s not much you can mess up for just $5.99!

Watch the video tutorial below and check out more of Michelle's great tips on her video blog, Chic on the Cheap.