How to Make an Old Dress into A New Dress!

Old Dress Into New Dress

(This is the same dress that I have on in the above picture.  The pic on the left was taken when I got up in the morning with no makeup, hair not combed and way too much light in the room.  The second pic is the after dress.  You guessed it…I combed my hair, made up my face and took this pic at night with a flash.  Everyone looks good at night and with the right lighting.) LOL.

Okay. Everybody needs a black dress! So, if you don’t have one and can’t afford to spend a lot of money on one, then do like I did.  I went to the Thrift Store and bought this not-so-cute black dress for $3.98.  Now, all I need to do is to turn it into a cute black dress.  This is going to take a little work, but not outrageous.  It took me 4 hours to turn this dress into a classy, chic dress.  So, let’s get started.


First, lay dress on flat surface.  Cut off sleeves.  We definitely need short sleeves for this to be a cute dress.  Pin sleeve area. (This will be the toughest area to work with since I’m free-handing this and I don’t have a seam to follow.)


Remove that belt loop.  We have no need for a belt.  I want to keep the mid-section free from anything that will add to the waist-area.


I’ve got to find a way to get rid of those pleats. Ugh! So, the best I can do will be to top-stitch the pleats so that this area will lay as flat as possible.  First, I will press down the pleats.  Then, top-stitch. Much better!


Baste down the under arm area before working on the sleeve opening area.


Now, top-stitch the sleeve opening. (Did I mention that I won first place in the District and State competition in 11th grade for the top-stitch? I know.  So long ago.)


Baste down the side seam after fitting it to your body.  I want a snug fit so I’m basting about an inch or more all the way down.  Then, sew down on the sewing machine, making sure to follow along right beside the basting. (Basting is your friend when taking in clothes.  It’s a quick stitch with a needle and thread and can be easily removed after sewing with machine.)

I am not going to hem this dress, yet.  I am just going to pin it into a shorter dress.  I haven’t decided if I want it to stay short or maybe keep it long.


Press down the entire dress.  You’re done!




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  1. Love it! If feels great when you can take something old and turn it into something fresh and new. Like a shopping trip that is FREE! I did this recently with an old shirt of mine and turned in into a dress for my daughter. Check it out:

  2. Beautiful job. The dress looks so much fresher now. It takes a real good eye for fashion to do that, I am impressed.
    Wanda Mcphee recently posted…Angels Surround Us – Guest PostMy Profile

  3. It looks fab! I’d take it up to just above knee. It’s a summer look and needs a lift with the sleeves gone. Great job!

  4. Great update! You have a great eye to see the potential!
    Yvonne @ Dress This Nest recently posted…Mother’s Day Care Package and FREE homemade gift printableMy Profile

  5. Sharon! You are so creative. I really liked this post. I am sharing this with my daughter, she is a fashion blogger. I am sure she will love to read this.
    Keiunta recently posted…#SuperiorSource Vitamins Tour-vitamins and supplementsMy Profile

  6. Cute! Thanks for linking up to the Upcycled Linky Party at
    Tricia recently posted…Wordless Wednesday Featuring a Flaming Hot, Upcycled MailboxMy Profile

  7. Great job!! Just in time for the warm weather!
    Love for you to share your new dress at my new blog party
    if you have time.

    have a wonderful evening!

  8. Great refashion. I love the new look. We have a link party called Wednesdays Adorned From Above Blog Hop and would love to have you share this and any other posts with everyone. It runs from Tuesday night through midnight Sunday. Here is the link to the party.
    We hope to see you there.
    Debi and Charly @ Adorned From Above
    Debi and Charly @ Adorned From Above recently posted…Cinco de Mayo RecipesMy Profile

  9. Sharon, you are amazing! This dress looks like you bought it brand new from a really classy store. Wow!

    Thanks so much for adding your links to my Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop. Hope you will stop by again next week. 🙂
    Sinea Pies recently posted…Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop #19My Profile

  10. Hi Sharon. I just love the way you recreated an outfit to a stunning night out on the town outfit. You’re motivating me to shop at a thrift store. Keep the short cuts in life by generating new ideas.

  11. You look fantastic even without makeup in the ‘before’ pic! Love what you did to the dress!
    veronica lee recently posted…Totally Wordless WednesdayMy Profile

  12. Love the dress! The thrift store is such a great place to look for finds and your dress make over is great 🙂
    Foodie in WV recently posted…Crayola’s Big Colorful Birthday AdventureMy Profile

  13. Strike a pose, woman! You look fabulous and the “new” dress is fantastic!

  14. You did an awesome job on that dress. I would rock that!
    Stacie recently posted…Uplift Those Girls! – Platex truSupport ReviewMy Profile

  15. I love the dress. It looks amazing. Wow $3.98 for a dress. It is amazing what you can do with something if you take a little time and make the changes. I love a simple black dress. You look amazing in it.
    Cynthia recently posted…You Have One Life to LiveMy Profile

  16. You can definitely work that dress! It looks great!!! Thank you so much for sharing this @ The Show Off Blog Party 🙂

    The Wondering Brain
    Jessica recently posted…Precious Little MomentsMy Profile

  17. Looks great!
    Akaleistar recently posted…Crazy Cat Lady Spring Shopping GuideMy Profile

  18. Wow! You are so talented and you look awesome.

    Thanks for joining our Show Off Your Blog Party. I’m one of the co-host.

    A Dose of Jules
    Jules recently posted…[poem] RevelationMy Profile

  19. You make it look hot either way:)!! Thanks for stopping by my site earlier today. Following back:). Alice @ The Owl’s Skull
    Alice in EW{The Owl’s Skull} recently posted…Saturday Sneak PeeksMy Profile

  20. This is so cool! I need that dress!

  21. Wow! The dress is fab and looks great on you 🙂
    Anne K. recently posted…Fun Friday Blog Hop #16My Profile

  22. Fantastic idea. Thanks for sharing this. I pinned this. New follower. I found you via Meet and Greet blog hop

    Handmade at Warratahstree

  23. Sharon you done a great job, and you never know that it was not bought like that, now you have me wanting to go to the thrift store. I have not been in while. I have a tote full of clothes in the back seat of my car waiting to be dropped off, and I am gonna look for something to make over.
    Living F.A.B.ulously on Purpose
    Margaret recently posted…Food Safety TipsMy Profile

  24. Wow, this looks great (and it looks fantastic on you)! And what a steal! Now you have a customized LBD that is stylish and classic. I envy your skills!
    Angela @ recently posted…Why Thrift Store Items, Like, Totally Rock… Plus My Secondhand Finds and ReincarnationsMy Profile

    • Thanks Angela! I will definitely be stopping over at Creative Blossoming often to see if you put up any more Thrift Store finds. I love the idea of recycling….

  25. Great job! It turned out so cute 🙂
    Shauna {The Best Blog Recipes} recently posted…Link Party: The Weekend re-Treat! #13My Profile

  26. FABulous!!! And what a classic look now, throw a blazer over it and it makes for a great office dress as well.

    BTW – you look gorgeous in all of your pics – regardless of primping!
    Melanie recently posted…The importance of networking as a blogger, and how do I do it?My Profile

  27. You are so talented – I think you could make a fortune buying thrift store dresses and remaking them for others (like me!!).
    Kim recently posted…Perspective & GratitudeMy Profile

  28. I wish I could be as creative as you. I am starting with easy origami and maybe one day I can get to dress making. You look fab by the way.
    Bintu @ Recipes From A Pantry recently posted…Berries and White Chocolate CookiesMy Profile

  29. It looked good before, it looks GREAT after!

  30. Seriously? That after dress looks completely gorgeous. And for $3.98? I’m in awe of your craftiness and creativity. I am pretty much awful at all things sewing related. I once tried to cut up a t-shirt to make it cuter, and my mom laughed so hard when I tried it on. It looked ridiculous. Makes me think though, that I should probably try something again with an item in my giveaway pile. You’ve inspired me! recently posted…5 Warning Signs That You Might Be Financially IlliterateMy Profile

  31. Girl You look like a super model! Fantastic job! Thanks for sharing!
    Lizy @ recently posted…Lemon Meringue Pie MilkshakeMy Profile


  1. […] How to Make an Old Dress into A New Dress!-Sharon shows you how to update an old frumpy dress into a sleek and pretty dress for free. Ummm… yes please. Now, where is my sewing kit?! […]

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