With the days getting longer and the warmer months just around the corner, let’s make a flowy maxi dress to prepare for the fun months ahead!
This week’s refashion project includes several dress making ideas you can incorporate into several different projects if you’d like. For today’s slip dress DIY, we’ll use 3 simple techniques to add some extra detail to the neckline, waist, and hemline of a boring slip to make a totally new maxi dress with so much more detail and style.
What’s great about these dress making ideas, is that you can add a waist detail to basic t-shirt to create a more figure-flattering silhouette, add a new hemline to an old skirt for a whole new look, or add lace to a basic camisole for a touch of sex appeal. Basically, today’s DIY can carry on to give some new life to several other pieces in your closet when you are done.
This lace maxi dress started out as a basic slip with a mid-calf hemline and ugly boxy shape. It wasn’t really flattering and I never wore it. Now, it’s one of my favorite pieces and I can’t wait for the weather to warm up so I can wear it more.
When you are looking for pieces to refashion, I like to find quality fabrics in basic shapes. I think it lets you get more creative and experiment just a bit more. If you can find something in a longer length, that’s always a plus since you’ll have some extra fabric depending on what you plan on doing. You can read my thrift shopping guide to score great pieces to get started here.
How To Refashion A Slip With 3 Easy Dress Making Ideas
For this project, let’s begin with the neckline and work our way down to the skirt.
How To Add Lace To A Neckline
Personally, I think a lace neckline adds instant interest to any top and love the wispy detail this lace in particular adds. Below are shoppable Amazon (aff.) links to purchase what I’ll be using for this DIY.
To create the rough, wispy detail on the edge, cut your lace as pictured below.
Now pin the lace across the neckline, cutting a slit on the underside at the center “V” so the lace lays flat.
Continue around the back straps and pin into place.
Now, sew the lace into place using any standard sewing machine. I used a standard stitch but a slightly longer stitch length. Trim any excess from the underside of the strap so any raw edges are never visible.
Ta da! Now your neckline should look something like this:
Note: I love how the lace detail along the straps makes it easier to hide bra-lines on your shoulders. This summer, I plan on even wearing it with my black DIY lace bralette (tutorial HERE) and letting it show in areas. The lace from the dress will help camouflage any bra and make it all look like it’s a single piece.
How To Define The Waist With A Wrap:
To add a wrap at the wait is a super-simple process that helps create a comfortable yet hourglass silhouette to whatever you like. We’ll be adding two 6″ x 24″ fabric strips to either side of the waist to do this. In addition to black stretch fabric, you will also need some tailors chalk, sewing pins, some scissors, and a ruler.
- Jersey ITY Knit Fabric
- Tailors Chalk
- Dressmaker Pins
- Dressmaker Shears – These are my favorite!
- Seam Ripper
Find the waist of your dress my putting it on and marking the side seam with a pin. Take the dress off and flip it inside out. Use a Seam Ripper to remove the threads on the side to create a 6″ opening for your black fabric strips to slide into.
Sew your black fabric strips into place so when you flip your dress inside out again, it looks like this:
Now when you try it on, you should have a comfortable tie that wraps around your waist.
How To Lengthen The Bottom With Lace
This slip refashion started out as an odd, midi length. To lengthen the hemline and add some extra glamour, we can use the leftovers from the 1/4 yard of lace we have on hand to wrap around the bottom.
Start out by cutting the bottom 5″ off the bottom of your skirt.
Your leftover lace should have one scalloped edge (from where we cut the neckline) and one straight edge. Align the straight edge to the bottom 5″ of the skirt and sew into place. Next, slide the top half of your dress into place underneath the lace. This way, the lace will always be visible and lay over the fabric of your dress as it comes up to your knees.
Pin the lace into place over your dress slip fabric and sew into place. Once the basic hemline in in place, go back over it with your sewing pins and pin the top portion of the scalloped edge into place. By doing it in his order, it will be a lot easier to keep your fabrics flat.
Sew your lace into place along the top of the lace panel.
The bottom of your slip should look something like this now:
With the top like this:
I love how with a few little dress making tweaks we can take a bring, loose-fitting slip and make into a more beautiful, summery dress. I really hope you guys liked this tutorial! As always, if you ever have any questions, please let me know in the comments below and I’d love to help answer any questions.
Other Refashion Ideas You May Like: