Bringing the 1990’s to 2014 – Dressy Style!

before and after

Hey all! Today, I was not prepared to write an upcycling piece, but I had just finished a product and thought – what the hey! This is a back of the closet dress I have a had for several months. I bought it at Goodwill with the idea to give it a bit of a pick me up.

After finishing graduate school, moving in with my boyfriend, getting my first big girl job, and a cruise to Mexico, I thought it was about time to get started. Here is the before photo.



First Step: 

I removed those exaggerated sleeves and front fringe and tossed them out the window! No, thank you. To keep things easy, I cut the sleeves off of the dress as a built in seam allowance (instead of ripping the seams out) and tacked that down to make a finished edge. Then I sewed it up like so…


Second Step:

The dress was a little too long for me (I’m 5′ 2″!) so I had to fix that awkward length. I removed about 9 inches from the bottom. I took my measuring tape and measured up from the bottom 9 inches, marked, and cut it all off. Then, I marked a 5/8 seam allowance, ironed it down, and stitched along the bottom so that there were no edges that could fray.

Third Step: 

I wanted to open up the back of the dress because it had no definition. The fabric moves around a lot and probably wouldn’t hold up to making it a completely empty back. I decided that by keeping the original neckline intact I could keep the shape of an open back nicely. This was the most difficult part because the lining on the dress was very silky and didn’t hold it’s shape – neither did the white lace fabric. I had to baste the fabric together, pin it, and then mark and cut the back out how I wanted it.


Note: Selfie taking for the back of your dress is HARD.

Fourth Step: 

Next, I flipped the fabric in on each other about 1/4 inch, pinned it down, and stitched it closed to make a finished seam. The back was also missing some extra pizzazz so I added back the fringe from the front to the back neckline. It made the whole thing come together and have a more competed look. Now it’s all ready to wear to work!

Again the Before & After… 

before and after

6 thoughts on “Bringing the 1990’s to 2014 – Dressy Style!

  1. Me, too. Plus, it looks like you got the fit just right. Well done. That’s often a bitch to pull off. (Ask me about my adventures in pants.)(sigh)
    I love the way you framed your ink so femininely. Now, you are truly a work of art!


  2. Pingback: 5 Reasons to Start Gardening Now | Thrifting & Bitching

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