Please welcome Naomi, from Fifty Two Create, an international contestant from London and our SYTYC Week 2, upcycling challenge winner. Naomi took an old thrift shop shift and transformed into into a gorgeous party frock for her upcycle project. Today, she’s going to show you how to replicate this amazing project.
Thrift Store Top to Party Frock
I am so thrilled, excited and overwhelmed to win last week’s challenge. The competition was so tight! Thank you so much for your votes – you made my
day, week month! Heck, my year!
So lets go ahead with the tutorial. I’ll talk you through the steps…
There were 5 main steps to altering the shift top:
1. Before you alter any project I suggest staring at it for a period of time to give yourself some ideas of different possibilities. Be Brave!
2. I started by removing the sleeves as they really did give it a British 1990’s style feel to it. Not so cute for the 2010’s. If your fabric frays I suggest overstitching it straightaway to save you a lot of hassle and loose thread later on!
3. Once I had measured out the waist line I took a very deep breath and cut the shift top in half. I had to adjust the sizing on the sides so that it didn’t look baggy or oversized.
I initially tried chalking around one of my tops for sizing but this did not work as it didn’t leave any ‘boob room’ as the fabric wasn’t stretchy (and led to a LOT of unpicking).
So instead, this whole project involved me crawling into a half cut, half hemmed, half pinned top/dress to chalk out measurements on myself many times before squeezing back out, to work out what on earth those wiggly chalk lines actually meant. I think I need to invest in a dressmakers’ dummy (pins hurt and scratch!).
4. Once I had my two separate pieces of fabric I made bust darts. I used a basting stitch initially because I had never made darts before and I was too scared to commit straightaway. I also lined up the skirt half of the dress and tried out many different pleat patterns until I was happy with the look.
5. I added an invisible zip as I realised it would be impossible to get the dress on and off with a tight waistline and bodice. The tricky part was dealing with the fraying and delicate fabric especially when having to fit something intricate like a zip.
This was the first dress I have ever made for myself. I really do urge you to give it a go too. There may be moments when you think it will look like a wonky, ill-fitted mess, but stick with it because it really does come together in the end.
I also repurposed the sleeves into a little clutch for the dress. I used fabric cut-offs to make a wrist handle for the bag and added a zip to keep my items safe.
Finally, once everything is properly sewn into place – you must go out wearing your altered piece of clothing feeling proud and satisfied.