How To Turn A Thrift Store Dress Into A Two-Piece Set

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I am obsessed with transforming worn-out thrift store items into trendy and adorable new pieces. This 90’s dress to cute new two-piece set is one of my favorite makeovers.

A friend and I did this project last summer while we were both visiting home at the same time. Needless to say, we didn’t exactly have tons of craft supplies (or sewing machines, for that matter), but we made do with what we had.

Supplies:

  • An old thrift store dress (it’s okay if it’s too big or too long–that can all be fixed!)
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Fabric chalk or a pencil
  • Liquid stitch or sewing machine (or old-fashioned thread and needle if you’re really ambitious!)

I am no seamstress, not by any means, but I sort of made this project up as I went along and I love how it turned out! This is the dress I started with.

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To be fair, it’s not the worst dress I’ve ever seen at the thrift store. It wasn’t flattering on my body shape, though, and it had a large stain around the middle area (which meant it was perfect for chopping in half!).

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There’s not too much science behind the project. I marked my dress where I wanted to chop it in half (erring on the side of caution, of course). I then straightened it out and cropped my top piece to the length I wanted it to be. I kept it longer than I wanted in order to have room to hem the bottom.

I simply turned the top inside out, pinned where I wanted my hem to lay, then liquid stitched section by section until I felt confident it would hold up. I originally wanted to do this project with a sewing machine, but didn’t have one handy. I’m thinking once I have a chance, I’ll sew over my hem with a sewing machine for a more durable and lasting finish.

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The skirt was more challenging, as I had to take in the waist to fit better on my own waist. Apparently only taking the bottom section of a maxi dress will do that to a person.

The skirt on this dress was sewn together in panels. I was able to remove an entire panel, which meant I didn’t have to worry about things lining up correctly or looking unnatural. I was really fortunate here, as I don’t know if my sewing expertise was quite good enough to add new seams or fix panels on a skirt. I folded in the edges of my skirt and pinned!

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Again with the liquid stitch! I did have to add new buttons holes to my skirt, since I cut out the original ones. Other than that one minor alteration, this project was extremely easy!

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Ignore my messy hem–I’m learning! I wasn’t too worried about it, though, since you can’t see my sloppy edges when I’m wearing the set.

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Well, there it is! Very simple and I love the finished project!

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