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30 Minute Dress Refashion

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Refashioning is so much fun! The thrill of taking something I don’t love and completely transforming it never gets old. Sometimes I see comments on my posts, or on Pinterest about “some day” or “I wish I could sew” or “someone make this for me.” Well, pick up your scissors and start experimenting!


refashion before

I love stripes & french terry, so this dress immediately caught my eye at Goodwill. When I tried it on at home, the length wasn’t my favorite. Awkward to sit on the floor in, too long to be worn with leggings. It needed a new look!

refashion after

30 minutes later, two pleats and a couple seams completely transformed the look! I didn’t have to cut a thing, it is all just folding & sewing. Super simple.

pocket refashion

The pleats create awesome pockets, too! Perfect for stashing snacks to hide from your children your cell phone.

side and back

This is the front and the back – since it’s a french terry it does add a bit of bulk in profile, but I like that it disguises my two-baby-belly.

Any too-long knit dress would work for this refashion, ready to sew for yourself? Be sure to use a ballpoint needle & stretch stitch!

Step 1

step 1

You should try on your dress, and tuck the extra length down as you pull up the original hem, ending at a length you like. I brought my fold up to my belly button, approximately. Mark this with a clip or chalk.

Step 2

step 2

Use a ruler to mark out that new fold evenly all the way around (thanks to my dress’ stripes, this was easy!) and iron both the top and bottom. On the back side of the dress, you’re going to pin the new bottom fold, along the original hem and catching your new inner pocket layer.

Step 3

step 3

Mark the dress’s center back and sew from the center out, until you hit the side seam. Repeat on the other side.

Step 4

step 4

Smooth from bottom to top, pulling the excess fabric out to the side, sew again out to the side seam. Repeat from the center to the other side again.

Step 5

step 5

This is what your top should look like! Now it’s time to experiment with pleating.

Step 6

pleating options

step 6

Using pins, play around with the pleats! Different positions will create different pockets – settle on a style you like and then sew the center space, leaving yourself pockets on each side!

A guide to refashioning your clothes - different ways to sew, paint, and refashion your clothes from drab to fab. Swoodson Says for eBay - #sponsored


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Olivia Morrissette

Wednesday 30th of May 2018

I LOVE this! I'm always buying markdowns from the T.J.Maxx website--such as dresses that are reduced to $10--or even less--and setting them aside to be refashioned. (They have to have something about them that I love, like beautiful fabric, or a terrific detail, that makes them desirable beyond the price.) The way you've drawn up the hem for pinning gave me the idea of sewing the hem down right there to make a strip pocket. Whoa, Nellie! I might have to add some elastic to the top of the new pocket to keep it from bagging, but that's a short bridge to cross.

Thank you!!

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Monday 16th of July 2018

Awesome! Hope it works out just as you're picturing :) Happy sewing!

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