I usually do no-sew clothing transformations, but I recently got a sewing machine and this was the perfect first project to try out! Here's how I turned a frumpy oversized robe dress into a flirty bralette and skirt matching set with some simple sewing.
What you'll need:
Large dress (I found mine for $7 at Ross)
Pencil or chalk
Needle and thread
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Step 2: Mark & Cut
While wearing the dress, mark a spot in the front where you'll cut to create the top and bottom. Then take the dress off and cut horizontally across at the point you marked to create the two pieces.
Step 3: Pin Waistband
Flip the skirt material inside out. Place your thicker elastic at the top edge and fold the material over, then pin it all the way around. Be sure to leave enough space for the elastic to be slipped through later on. Cut a slit at one of the sides where the elastic will be inserted.
Step 4: Sew Waistband
Sew along the edge of the fold where you pinned, removing the pins as you go.
Step 5: Add Elastic Band
Measure and cut an elastic strip that's the right size for your waist. Attach a safety pin to the end of the elastic piece and slip the safety pin through the waistband opening. When you get all the way around to the other side of the opening, use your needle and thread to secure the two ends of the elastic together. Flip the skirt to the right side, scrunch and move the material evenly around the elastic and your skirt is complete!
Step 6: Pin Top
Flip the top inside out and place the thinner elastic at the bottom edge. Fold the material over and pin it in place all the way around, leaving space for the elastic later on. Cut a small slit in one side where you'll insert the elastic.
Step 7: Sew Top Band
Sew along the folded edge where you pinned all the way around.
Step 8: Insert Elastic Band
Measure the thinner elastic so it fits around your waist. Attach a safety pin to one of the ends and work it all the way around through the opening. Secure the ends of the elastic with a needle and thread.
At this point, you can stop here if you like the sleeved crop top look! If you'd like to create a bralette top instead, continue on!
Step 9: Pin Folds
While wearing the top, create vertical folds at the center of each breast area and pin them in place.
Step 10: Cut & Pin Bralette Shape
Cut right down the middle of the front to just above the stitching and elastic. You want to make sure you leave that elastic band. Fold the edges inward and pin them in place, creating a v-shape.
Continue to cut the triangular cup shapes (a little bigger than you think you'll need — you can always downsize later if you need to). Fold and pin the edges inward.
Step 11: Cut Straps
Use the excess material to cut two long strap pieces about 3 inches wide.
Step 12: Sew Straps & Top
Sew along all folded edges of each bralette cups, removing the pins as you go. To sew the straps, simply fold the outter edges in toward the center and sew down the middle. Then sew the straps onto the bralette cups, attaching them to the inside. Your bralette top is now complete!
That's it! With few simple stitches, you've now given that frumpy dress a flirty makeover that's perfect for a vacation. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! :)
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