15 DIY Dress Refashion and Upcycle Tutorials

heather handmade sewing

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Use one of these dress refashion and upcycle tutorials to make a new dress from something old. Start with a dress or end with a dress!

Dress refashions can be hard because each dress you find is unique. You might not be able to find a tutorial that works with what you have. Luckily, I found some dress refashion tutorials that are pretty basic so you can use them for any dress you have.

I have a list of dress refashions for women and for girls.

DIY Dress Refashion and Upcycle Tutorials

What is refashioning?

Refashioning is to fashion clothing again or differently. I usually use this to describe when I’m sewing clothing to fit different or to look different, but the majority of the item stays the same.

What is upcycling?

Upcycling is to reuse material to create something better than the original. I usually use this to describe when I’m sewing adult clothing into clothing for children or I’m sewing clothing into an accessory or house item.

lace top refashion

Do you love to refashion? Check out these other lists!

DIY Dress Refashion and Upcycle Tutorials

How to Add Sleeves to a Strapless Dress

How to Add Sleeves to a Strapless Dress

Learn how to add sleeves to a strapless dress by sewing on thick straps and flutter sleeves. This is a quick alteration to make a dress more wearable!

How to Make a Dress Longer // heatherhandmade.com

How to Make a Dress Longer

Make your dress that is too short fit better with one of these two great sewing tutorials. Learn how to make a dress longer with lace or with fabric.

how to lengthen a dress with a ruffle

How to Lengthen a Dress with a Ruffle

If you have a dress that's just a little too short then you can lengthen a dress with a ruffle! It's an easy and quick fix, and you can use pretty fabric.

shirt to dress tutorial

Button Up Shirt to Dress Refashion Tutorial

With this shirt to dress refashion you can turn a women’s or men’s button up shirt into a fun and easy dress. This refashion is simple and doesn’t require any fitting!

add sleeves to a dress

How to Add Sleeves to a Dress

Learn how to add sleeves to a dress. This sewing tutorial works well with any sleeveless dress or a dress with straps.

fix neckline of dress

How to Raise a Neckline

Learn how to raise a neckline of a dress with this simple sewing tutorial. Fix a low cut neckline of a prom dress or any formal dress.

diy men shirt dress tutorial

DIY Men’s Shirt to Dress Refashion Tutorial

With this men's shirt to dress refashion remake three men's button up shirts into one women's dress. Use either matching or coordinating shirts for a fun look.

How to Add Back Darts to a Dress // heatherhandmade.com

How to Add Back Darts to a Dress

Learn how to sew back darts to get the best fit on your top or dress. It's a simple way to pull in a waist for a flattering fit.

lace top refashion

Lace Dress Refashion

Learn the steps for a lace dress refashion. Turn a lace dress into a stunning top with this DIY sewing tutorial!

Fringe Dress Refashion Tutorial // heatherhandmade.com

How to Sew Fringe on a Dress

Learn how to sew fringe on a dress with this easy fringe dress refashion tutorial. It’s the perfect easy dress for holiday parties!

men's shirt to dress refashion

Men’s Shirt to a Dress Refashion Tutorial

Use this sewing tutorial to refashion a men’s shirt to a dress. Most of the details are already done making this the easiest dress to sew!

dress to skirt refashion

How to Refashion a Dress into a Skirt

If that dress doesn’t work then turn it into a skirt!

diy upcycle dress skirt baby

How to Upcycle a Skirt into Toddler Dress

Learn how to upcycle an adult women’s skirt into a toddler dress using a free sewing pattern. It’s such a fun sewing project!

wear christmas tree skirt refashion

Refashion: Wearing a Christmas Tree Skirt

Learn how to refashion so that a child can wear a Christmas tree skirt. This Christmas sewing project is great for all the holiday parties!

baby shorts sewing pattern free

Dress to Baby Shorts Refashion Tutorial

Reuse the hem of a dress to make little baby shorts and bloomers!

If you make something using this sewing project, I’d love to see! Please share it on social media with the hashtag #heatherhandmade and tag me!

dress refashion tutorials
heather sewing

I believe small sewing moments can create great joy. Find your own “right” way to sew. -Heather

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Just came across your site and love how you like to repurpose clothing. I was most interested in the green print dress that you cut off the top part of the bodice and added the lace in its place. I have a tube dress in a stretch fabric that I would like to recut so I have shoulders and armholes. It will mean the dress will become a top, but that is okay as it will get more use. Your post on that dress has inspired me and I am assuming I can just overlay a bodice pattern to cut the neck, shoulders and armholes to do the top. If you have any suggestions for me, it would be great appreciated. Thank you and I look forward to reading through your other “renovation” projects.

If you don’t have any clothes that need a new look, go out and dig around for some thrift shop challenges to makeover and update! It’s an inexpensive way to practice your sewing skills and exercise creativity. 

Thank you for including my dress! Glad I found your blog. 🙂

Thanks so much for including my dress, Heather.