Vintage 70s and 80's dresses can easily be found in any thrift store and come in a wonderful variety of patterns and fabric. Much of the time, these dresses have a kindergarten teacher vibe with a mid calf hemline, undefined waist and overly exaggerated shoulders. Some daring gals will find this silhouette wearable but I prefer a more flirty, modern shape. I will admit, I am not an expert seamstress and I have little patience for time consuming alterations. You can upcycle a vintage dress the easy way by adjusting a few of the major seams.
The first thing I do when upcycling clothing is drape it on my body in a mirror. Once I try the garment on I can manipulate the fabric. You can change the shape your vintage dress by tucking fabric or adding quick darts. For this dress, I seriously needed to take some of the volume out the shoulders. The pictures here were taken after I removed the giant linebacker shoulder pads. The waistband section was a bit low, and there was too much fabric under my chest...not a good look.
You can remove the excess fabric at the chest by simply turning the dress inside out and pulling down the fabric over the top of the waistband and pinning it down tight. Then stitch the fabric down. This will move the waistband up to the smallest part of your waist and also tighten up the bust.
Next, tackle the shoulders. I noticed while playing with the sleeves, that if I pulled the top of the armhole back over to the neckline, it created a cool draped effect. So you can literally pin the fabric where it looks good and then sew it together by hand or machine.
Finally, I chose a trendy uneven hemline. It's such an easy way to update a dress! For an uneven hem, add 5 inches to your front length measurement. This will be the length of the longest point in the back of the dress. Then draw the slope of the hem from the front to the back with a fabric marker. For detailed instructions on hemming a dress click here.
The final result is a wearable upcycled vintage dress that cost $4. Fashion doesn't get much more green or thrifty!
Tell me what you think...Ask a question...Give me a shout below!
Here is a super easy clothing upcycling idea for updating a vintage pencil skirt. Vintage and thrift store pencil skirts are marvelous because they are usually high-waisted and of enduring fabric. Make sure you try the skirt on because very often, vintage clothing cannot be returned. If you are purchasing online, take good measurements of your own natural waist and compare the numbers to the seller's description. Due to vintage sizing, you may have to go up a size and take in the sides to allow for a small waistband.
Ok, now its time to freshen up that once loved skirt! Create a peplum effect with a strip of wide lace in a matching color, or you can even add a pop of color by adding a funky shade.
Upcycling clothing can be easy and quick! Please comment below or post your upcycling ideas and projects!
The sister to mom jeans, mom pants are high waisted, wide at the hips, usually pleated and taper slightly at the leg. Thrift stores are full of them because even grandmaw has figured out that wearing them is a recipe for celibacy. One woman's trash can be your hot new party look. So, find some mom pants in a cool color and quality fabric and upcycle them! Upcycling clothing can be so easy, keep reading...
Hello all! Last year, I was asked to design promotional dance costumes for an event. This was a small budget project so I had to be resourceful, which meant upcycling! Creating these outfits can be a snap. Grab a vintage pencil skirt, shorten it if needed and add some tulle from another vintage dress. The volume that the tulle creates will be super cute! For the tops, I altered some thrift store men's dress shirts and added tulle bows on the back to make a feminine upcycled play on a tuxedo top. Last, create a lace wrist cuff by securing a 4-5 inch piece of lace around the wrist with some snaps, ribbon or velcro. This would be a unique idea for an upcycled halloween costume too!
Jennifer lives in south Louisiana and believes that almost anything can be done yourself.