Upcycling Dresses

What to do with those old dresses that no longer fit, or are out of style?


This post has to begin with mentioning

If you haven't seen this blog, then go and take a look as it is AMAZING!  Marisa decided to challenge herself to upcycle a dress a day for a whole year. She had a budget of $1 per day to buy dresses from charity shops. The results are astonishing! 
If you're looking for ideas for dress upcycling - then her site is the place to look! Or  - you can buy her book which as plenty of ideas and sewing tips to refashion and upcycle your own daggy dresses!

So to anyone who hasn't now disappeared off to Marisa's lovely blog - thanks for hanging on here for some more ideas to upcycle dresses!

Transform to other clothing items

One of the simplest things to do with a dress is cutting to create different items, like a skirt or a top....

Emily from Domestic Deadline, took an old dress and turned it into a tunic - a simple upcycle:

Greetings from the Asylum did the opposite - cutting off the bottom of this dress and making a skirt:

Or you could thriftily reuse both parts of the dress as did Cass Can Sew who made this cute top and shorts from a thrift store dress:

One of the most amazing dress refashions I've ever seen was this wedding dress transformation from Threading my Way.


Kids dresses are great to upcycle into bags as you can keep the basic shape and just enclose the bottom of the dress.

I did that with a couple of my girls sundresses that they grew out of:

Karima's Crafts also upcycled a kids dress to a shoulder bag:

Use the fabric for something completely different

You could just use the fabric - as I did on this money box that I made from one of my girl's old Hello Kitty Dresses:

I used other sundresses my girls had grown out of to make this cute fabric origami bag.

I also made a pencil and notebook folder from a pretty kids dress, using the left over parts in the gift wrapping!

I liked that I could use the buttoned up front part for an extra feature and pocket on the folder.

Have you ever upcycled or refashioned a dress?

For even more ideas you can take a look at my 


  1. My faves are the tote bags you made from sundresses.

    1. Thanks Michelle - they're still a very popular tutorial 2 years after I made them!

  2. great ideas!I have dress refashion too ;)
    have a nice day!

    1. Thanks Anastasia! Do come and link up your dress refashion too!

  3. Such a good list of ideas there Jill. The Threading My Way skirt is very stylish, and I also think your bags are beautiful! Any cotton dresses I've had naturally go into quilts in my house too, so there's another idea! :)

    1. Great idea to use dresses for quilts too Michelle! I might use that idea myself! :)

  4. Thanks so much for including my refashion, Jill. There's no end to what can be done with pre-loved dresses. Your imagination is the limit. I've always liked your bags made from the girls' dresses.

    1. Hope I haven't added too many projects!!!

    2. You're so welcome for the feature Pam - and of course you haven't added too many projects - the more the merrier!!


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