An Overdyed Floral Halter Dress DIY Refashion 1
Dress Refashions

An Overdyed Floral Halter Dress DIY Refashion

How to Make a No-Sew Face Mask
Thrift Store Style: It's All About Unique Pieces!

Yep. That title has a lot going on, doesn’t it? Don’t worry! It’ll all make sense very soon!

When I scored this dress for $1 at the thrift store, I originally thought I’d probably leave it as-is.

That was, until I tried it on.

refashionista before image
Just busy stress eating a block of cheese like it’s an apple. How have you been lately?

I’m actually fairly narrow-shouldered, but somehow this dress was uncomfortably snug in the sleeves (Must be all the glasses of wine I’ve been lifting as of late).

Also, upon closer investigation, I saw it was really faded as well.

faded floral fabric from dress
It has seen better days

However, the fabric was really comfy, and I had an idea of how to fix those sleeves!

But first, a dye bath!

I checked the label of my new dress, and saw it was a cotton/poly blend.

fabric content label
I love looking at old label designs, btw

The cotton will dye nicely. The polyester will not. This is totally fine by me, as all I’m trying to do is give it enough of a color refresh to hide that fading.

I chose some fuchsia dye. My thought process was, Yellow + Fuchsia = Some kind of Orange.

rit fuchsia dye
I choose you!

I prepped my dye bath.

fuchsia dye bath
Not too much!

Once again, I’m not going for a suuuuper saturated color here, so I only used about half the bottle (Dye is kind of pricey, so I like to stretch it out!).

I added my dress to its warm bath.

adding dress to dye bath for floral overdue
In you go!

I let it sit in its bath, stirring it periodically for thirty minutes.

dress in dye bath
Looking good already!

Then I tossed it in my washing machine to rinse and dried it.

Time to refashion this dress into a halter dress!

I put my dress on and pinned it at my armpit where I wanted my halter dress arm hole to be (allowing for a small seam allowance).

Marking new arm hole for refashion
Gaze into my armpit!

Then, I chopped off a sleeve!

chopping of sleeve for refashion
You are no longer needed!

Then, I layered the cut-off sleeve on the other side for a template and cut it off as well! this ensures both sides will be even Steven.

cutting off sleeve using other sleeve as a template
See?

I folded the arm holes under once and pinned them down.

pinning armhole for sleeveless dress
This fabric doesn’t fray, so just once is enough.

And under the needle they went!

sewing sleeveless dress arm hole
This didn’t take long at all!

You can see I kept the same green thread in my machine from my last refashion because I was feeling lazy thought it complemented the green in the flowers nicely.

After a quick press, I was all done!

An Overdyed Floral Halter Dress DIY Refashion After
Staying at home with my gnome!

Can we talk about how fantastic that color turned out for a second? I absolutely love dyeing over floral fabrics as they always look so much more interesting afterwards.

An Overdyed Floral Halter Dress DIY Refashion After Close Up
Seriously. So cute.

My arms and I love the new halter top too!

halter dress refashion close up
Halt(er) who goes there?
overdye dress refashion close up
It even matches the flowers!

Do you have any dresses in your closet you think might enjoy a similar refashion? Why not give it a try?

Cheers!

floral halter dress refashion before and after
An Overdyed Floral Halter Dress DIY Refashion

69 Comments

  • Amy Erickson

    Do you ever do anything with the pieces you chop off? Or the full garments that totally failed?S I throw them out, sometimes they become cleaning rags, many years ago I made a patchwork quilt. But mostly I keep them in an ever-growing stash because maybe I will use them some day.

  • redbam

    Love your bold and adventurous spirit with the dyes. Would never have thought using fuchsia on that yellow dress would end up as a delightful color. Perfect for spring. Well done.

  • Kay

    I am definitely going to try the dye option. (Maybe not a good thing to say in these times.) The new color is so sophisticated and interesting! Love how you did the sleeves, and that gives me an idea for a t-shirt I love that has a scratchy neck band. Any tips on sewing knits like special needles, stitches, walking foot, or other advice? I don’t have a serger, just a regular machine.
    This refash is an amazing transformation. Always inspired to read a new post here. Thanks so much for cheering up my day!

  • Beth M Negrey

    Well, this is just crazy. I can find everything else, all the sections of the blog, searching through archives, but no search bar. Am I missing something, somehow?

  • TEMA

    I love it when I first saw it… great little sleeves, beautiful colour, great skirt… but it was tight on you in the shoulders and I thought you really did not have much choice but to do something about that. I love the dye job… it turned out great… and I love the new sleeveless look too. Honestly, I didn’t think you could improve on this one but you did and in fine style too! Bravo!

    • ReFashionista

      Yep. I’ve noticed a lot of things in my wardrobe were starting to fit tighter in the shoulders from the time I had been spending at the gym. I’m sure they’ll atrophy back to their previous scrawniness now. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Beth M Negrey

    I love how this turned out — and the color is fabulous! One of the (very few…) ways I’m like my mom is not liking high necklines. They just feel constricting to me, I guess. I couldn’t see a sleeve seam on this dress so, if I were so lucky to have it in my closet, maybe the shoulder “strap” could’ve been a bit wider? Then I would “get” to deal with the neckline. Is there a way to re-cut that into just a bit of a scoop, do you think? I am just getting back into sewing after being away for about 40 years (my, how time does fly LOL) and it’s much more fun than I ever would’ve thought. And you so add to the fun!

    • ReFashionista

      Of course! You can easily make just about anything into a V-neck too! If you use the search bar on this blog and search “V-neck” you can find some refashion tutorials where I do that. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Kristen McBee

    All of your refashions are inspiring, but this one may be my favorite! I have an affinity for color, pattern, and sundresses, so it makes sense. Now if only I could go out and wear dresses like these! One day…

  • Thea

    You are seriously adorable! Thank you, as always, for sharing your light and breezy humor and just for putting yourself out there. Your “just try it!” spirit simultaneously inspires and entertains us, your readers. (I also appreciate reading other readers’ comments, like the one that said “Iโ€™m well on my way to gaining the COVID-19 pounds”! Ha! Ain’t that the truth?) I *swear* I am going to pull out my 5-years-old-but-never-been-used dress form and put it to good use, just as soon as I make some masks for some family members. Thank you again!

    • ReFashionista

      Thank you for your kind words! Keeping busy with creative projects has been really helpful for me. I saw the CDC is now asking people to wear masks when they have to go in public places, so I’ll probably be sharing a tutorial (no sew and a sewing version) this coming week. Never thought that’d be something I’d have to do. ๐Ÿ™ I hope you and your family stay safe and healthy.

  • Susan

    Adorable! I’ve gotten rid of a dress or two in the past for treating my armpits unkindly. What an easy fix it would have been. Now I know!

  • Sharon GD

    wow, this is my new fav! i love the dye over the flowers. i think it actually pulls them together so you see the fabric as a whole rather than yellow plus flowers. The cut in shoulders is a wow. last but not least, the sandals!!! i have never worn sandals with a thong between the toes. yours look perfect, i think i will put my toes in the water!! ..uh, in the sandals. thank you. this cheered me up today,

    • ReFashionista

      Thank you so much Sharon! I’ve found thong sandals take a little getting used to, but once that little area between your toes is broken in, you’re good!

  • Krystal

    I love this, love this, love this!!! I will be trying it during my time at home. I am a teacher and will be on spring break next week. I have lots of projects planned for next week.

    • ReFashionista

      Thank you! Oh man…this probably wasn’t the Spring Break you were hoping for, but I’m happy to hear you have some fun projects in mind!!!

    • ReFashionista

      Agh! I didn’t get a pic of the back (I’ll have to add it later). Sorry! It’s not a tie back. The dress already had a single button closure, so that’s how I left it. From what I could tell, “Halter” applies to that style of strapless neckline more than just having a tie back. But if you have any additional information on that, let me know (I hemmed and hawed over what to refer to it as)!

  • Patricia

    I really look forward to your thrifty fix emails (especially now – it is a welcome distraction from the world’s problems) and I have never sewn anything in my life – nor do I intend to. I’m all thumbs. I really love the dye job on this one, a great color and love the refash!

  • Elissa Barber

    I am a fan but don’t always feel the dye is needed. This time it really made a difference. The thrift shop I volunteered at was closed for redevelopment into apartments. Viewing your projects gives me my thrifty fix.

  • Lorna Moxley McGlynn

    I always look forward to your posts, more so in these crazy days.Today in particular you brought me belly laughs! At home with the gnome- omg! I must point out it really isn’t a halter dress which would require making ties in the back, but who cares? It’s so cute!

  • Elaine Sarchet

    Just love the makeover – I hope you’ve got a huge stash of thrifty buys to keep us all going over the however many months!

  • Elise

    You are a hoot!!! I busted a gut laughing at your block of cheese comment. I’m well on my way to gaining the COVID – 19 pounds since I’ve been stuck at home.

  • Kathleen

    Love your refashions! I’ve been following your blog for several months now, and for me the burning question is how you manage to see the potential in the clothing. I look at the before picture and have no idea what you will do with the garment. Any hints?

  • Loretta M Mitson

    You are a bright spot in our day! Love the dress. Yeah, the cheese…solves all stress! I totally relate! Stay well!

  • Nikki

    “Staying at home with my gnome…” ๐Ÿ™‚ You crack me up. Love the dress in the new colour. I think it looks so much better with the sleeve chop done.

  • Karla

    I have been I long time reader and subscriber and I just love what you do. But I have never commented before (I dont think anyway) Thanks for keeping it up during this hard time. You are a bright light One if these days I’ll be brave enough to try dye.

  • Jody Mckinley

    Great idea , great job ! I wish I could see the back . Thanks so much for entertaining us through the yuck . Sincerely Jody

  • pamela

    You are just too cute! I look forward to your email showing up each day. They brighten my day so much. I ran out of block cheese yesterday, but I still have 2 apples LOL!!!!!

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