The How-To Gal: The Red Dress

The How-To Gal: The Red Dress.

This tutorial is a MUST SEE: visit

This week we are featuring “The How To Gal”

She loves creating something fantastic out of something forgotten or misused in the past. Having beautiful things doesn’t mean you have to pay a fortune for them. Through creative means and a little elbow grease, she believe’s anything can be beautified.

Please check out her totally inspirational sewing project!!!

How To Turn A Thrift Store Dress Into A Dress From An Indie Boutique.

The Red Dress

>> friday, march 19, 2010 –  

“You’re crazy!” Was what my mother said to me when we passed this red dress at a St. Vincent’s on my vacay in Wyoming. Yes, I even thrift store shop on vacation…

“Just wait mom, this baby has major potential,” I replied simply and promptly paid $2.75 for it. And I was right. Jump to the end of the post for the grand reveal or follow how I did it with these twelve easy steps:

How to turn a 70s shirt dress into a retro-chic piece any fashionista would want.

Let’s Get Started:
Measure down the length of the arm to determine where to cut. I actually put the dress on and pinned where I wanted the cuff to hit. If you want to keep the long sleeves, skip to step 10.
Try to flatten your sleeve out as much as possible to get an even cut. 

Make your cut 

I cut about an inch and a half below my pin to allow for creating a cuff
Made a 5/8 inch cuff by folding over once 

And folding over again and pinning
Finished the edge using a quarter inch presser foot and aligning the left folded edge with the inside left side of the presser foot
Created a pleat in my sleeves by folding the center in a 1/2 inch and sewing over that area again

Then to make the cuff look professionally finished, I sewed a piece of the belt that was around the original dress’ waist. I think the added fabric makes the sleeves.

Cut the fabric left from your sleeves into one and a half inch strips and sew all together into one long strip
Created a ruffle by folding the long strip up onto itself and sewing down the middle. Once you have a long string of ruffles, fire seal the edges like we did in the baby headband tutorial.
Now I don’t have a picture for this, but I cut off the dress shirt collar, folded it under and sewed all around the top to keep it down. Then I pinned and sewed the ruffle around the collar. To keep the functionality of the buttons, I simply tacked the ruffle in between each button with a couple of stitches by hand.
Voila! I love it. Add a belt and a jacket and I’m in heaven! What do you think?

5 thoughts on “The How-To Gal: The Red Dress

  1. I actually went to the thrift store and tried to find a dress. I wasn’t able to find it BUT….. I did find a long sleeved shirt that I am transforming at the moment! So excited to finish it! I’ll let you know 😉

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