Second hand to Second life

(Up cycle No.1)


I’ve been having a bit of shopping frustration recently. I’ve been dying to go and have a mooch about in the shops in town to get myself something new for my holiday but I know I don’t need to! Especially when the next holiday will be to Ibiza! It’s not the cheapest island and seeing as we’ve just come back from Mykonos it’s not like I’m lacking any holiday clothes. So to cure my holiday shopping urges I decided to go buy some second hand garments and give them a revamp! ¬†This first up cycle needs a little bit more sewing time than the second but both of them didn’t take too long because half of the style and design had already been done! Excellent! I would recommend using a sewing machine for these projects because had sewing would just take ages and defeats the object of a quick and easy upcycle. I hope you can follow my tutorials easily enough but if I’m rambling feel free to message me personally. ūüôā

Step 1

Wash your items of clothing. My dresses had that old musty smell ingrained into them so a good wash in the machine did them the world of good! Then remove any unwanted attachments such as shoulder pads or under dresses.

Step 2

Because this dress is going to be an off the shoulder style you’ll need to either measure from your waist up to where you want the top of the dress to be or use a dress you already have to gage how much material you need to leave above the elastic waist band. Once you know how much needs to be left then cut the top off!


Step 3

You may already have some arm holes as a result of snipping of the top of the dress but if you don’t – cut some like this photo or approx 5cm across the top and 6cm for the depth of the arm hole gap. . Don’t worry about it not looking neat because this part of the dress won’t be on show when completed.

Step 4

Preparing the frill band for the top of the dress. This is like a mini project in itself so I’ll bullet point the steps.

¬∑¬†¬†¬†¬† You’ll need extra fabric for this¬† so measure out 144cm x 20cm


¬∑¬†¬†¬†¬† Double fold over once side and press with an iron then sew a hem. This will be the bottom of the frill so needs to look neat. You can double fold the other side if you like but this won’t be visible. I folded over¬†once (about 3 cm)to save time. Do not sew the second side yet!


·     Take the whole length of this strip of fabric and fold in half with the right side facing inwards. Sew together at the end about 2 cm from the edge.


·     Turn your dress inside out. Tuck the fabric in between the top of the dress making sure the seam is in the middle at back and the double folded hem is at the bottom. Fold the top of the fabric over the top of the dress and pin into place.

Step 5

Sew all the way around (apart from a little gap of a couple of inches) making sure there’s enough space to fit some elastic¬†to enable the top to¬†ruffle up.


Step 6

Once sewn attach a safety pin to the end of some elastic. The length of elastic will vary person to person so first thread the elastic through the 2 inch gap all the way round until it comes out the other side of the gap. Then try on the dress and tie the elastic up whilst you have the dress on.

Step 7

Once elastic is secure then sew up the two inch gap and turn the dress back the right way round! Done!



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