I listened to your excellent advice and turned a dowdy frock into a summer dress.

The length is now just above the knee, the butterfly sleeves are gone and the crossover surplice is held in place with orange buttons.

I ditched the coordinating stripe trim. Just because I can doesn’t mean I should!

In upcycling mood, I then tackled the next dowdy frock.

Now much better as a shirt.

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26 Responses to Upcycling

  1. Ha so what do I know! Lovely re-vamp, even if you are now thoroughly sick of the dress LOL. The shirt to dress is perfect. What did you do with the fabric from the ditched skirt portion?

    Oh, and would you make the flutter sleeve dress in a drapier fabric do you think?

  2. CherryPix says:

    Great ‘saves’! The blouse is a knock out!

  3. Great make-overs. It must be satisfying to have ‘saved’ these two pieces.

  4. Great ideas! I like the dress! I miss the summer…

  5. carol456 says:

    Such a simple change to turn two potential wadders into two great new garments. I love the little orange buttons; they are a winner

    • SewingElle says:

      I love those buttons too. They were saved from another garment that wore out ages ago. I’m glad my mother taught me to be frugal…. Its nice to enjoy buttons all over again the second time around.

  6. amalitar says:

    What great saves! The blouse is fantastic. I’m taking note of all the bits that made a difference. Being able to find your waist was one I knew, but I thought contrasting bits would always help, not so apparently. Thanks for sharing.

  7. starryfishathome says:

    You have really done good work here. The dress looks lovely, and the buttons are a nice finishing touch. The blouse should become a favourite piece instead of a frankly unsuitable dress!
    Isn’t it strange how we yearn for something only to find it completely wrong on us. I’m thinking of pussy bows on myself which make me turn either into my grandmother or an air hostess.

    • SewingElle says:

      I hope pussy cat bows don’t go the way of the flutter sleeves for me. You’re so right though, knowing what works for your own body and lifestyle can save a lot of disappointment.

  8. Sewbussted says:

    I really like the shorter length on the dress. Those legs are too nice not to show 🙂 and wow, what a difference with the dress to shirt. Great redo.

  9. ooobop! says:

    Love the fabric of the top dress. Well worth the refashion. Though I will quietly admit to quite liking the cape sleeves! And oh how lovely that shirt. What a great shape.

  10. Karen Helm says:

    Very smart – both of these! It’s difficult to believe that blouse was once a dress!

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  12. prttynpnk says:

    I liked your dress before, now I like it even more! The blouse is a great save- so much more flattering now!

  13. Mary in FL says:

    I like your transformations!

  14. Karin says:

    These are two big wins! Both are flattering, and just the sort of crisp, cheery cotton one needs for summer. Both are so much better and more wearable.

  15. Sue K says:

    These are both terrific saves! I bet both will see lots of wear, and get unsolicited compliments.

  16. Janice A. says:


  17. Pingback: Travelling stuff | He Cooks… She Sews!

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