Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Upcycled Nautical Daydream Dress

I'm soooooo excited to be offering the first dress in my line of up-cycled clothing! What is up-cycling? It's reusing vintage and salvaged materials to make something beautiful and new. It's environmentally friendly because it keeps old clothes and scrap materials out of the landfill and no new materials are produced. Yay! In fact, the only new material in this dress is the coral colored ribbon that makes up the back of the belt. Here is a step by step guide to how I made this dress:

I started with a vintage dress which was sort of so-so but had a lot of potential. I also bought some remnant lace at the local fabric store. I wanted to use salvaged materials, so I got lace that was left over. I had to hand cut it all out and pieced some of it together, it took forever but it was worth it to know that I was using material that would have otherwise been thrown away.

After that, I hemmed the skirt to a length that is a few inches above knee length and made the sleeves into cap-sleeves. I also removed the grandma like collar at the neckline. I think this made it a bit more modern and much more flattering!

I then added the lace to the sleeves and hemline of the dress. Lace makes everything more lovely!

To finish the dress off, I created a belt out of vintage buttons, lace, and a coral colored ribbon. This gives the dress more color and the lace ties everything together nicely.

Here is the finished product! It was quite a bit of work but I really like how it turned out. It's up for sale now at Green Violet Vintage. I can't wait to make more upcycled goodies- its a great way to make something old fresh and new again! Hopefully I've inspired ya'll to get creative with your clothes also. If something you own isn't working for you, make it better. Simple fixes like hemming and adding embellishments can really make your clothing stand out in the crowd!


  1. I'm so inspired to try something like this with a dress I recently bought that is masses too big (it was listed as my size - grr!)
    I've already hemmed it, and I'm using the fabric I cut off the bottom to line a bag I'm making!
    Yay for D.I.Y!
    BTW: Love the new photo border - very pretty.

  2. DO it! I've seen your sewing skills and you are definitely up to it. It was so fun to get creative with clothes- i can't wait to do more! Thats a great idea to use the fabric for the bag!

  3. What a great dress and you did a wonderful job! I love polka dots:) Thanks for the comment...your pronunciation of precious sounds spot on for my grandmother.