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DIY Tiered Dress Refashion (Without a Pattern!)

Refashioning a Collared Thrift Store Dress
How to Dye & Refashion a Lace Dress

I’ve been seeing a lot of tiered dresses lately online and have been wanting one of my own for a little while now.

That’s why I’m so excited to share my latest, a DIY Tiered Dress Refashion that I didn’t even need a pattern for!

I began with this dress I’d had in my stash for a while.

Refashionista DIY Tiered Dress Refashion before

I originally thought I’d just end up turning it into a puffy sleeved top.

That is until I saw this inspiration piece from Zara.

Zara inspiration for refashion
My inspiration!

That’s right! It’s copycat time!

Before we begin, let me set some reasonable expectations.

My starter dress doesn’t even come close to having enough fabric to get a dress quite as voluminous as my inspo piece. BUT, I think I can end up with something evocative of it.

First, I put my dress on my dress form and marked approximately where I’d want the top to end.

The top is going to end up being shorter than this, since I’ll be taking it in, AND I need to keep a seam allowance in mind.

That’s why I kept it a little longer than I thought it would need to be.

Marking bottom of new top with a pin
You can always chop off more later!

Then, I chopped off the top!

chopping off top of dress

I put the top part of my dress back on my dress form and got to fitting.

Pining top of dress on dress form
Pin it to win it!

I used my tape measure to make sure the sides were even.

I’m not making the top super-fitted for a couple of reasons.

One, the top of my inspiration piece isn’t super fitted.

Two, in order to get into this dress when I’m done, I’ll need a little room!

I tried to keep as much blousy-ness as I could in the sleeves.

tapering sleeves to keep them puffy
Just taper it down.

I ran each side through my machine.

taking in sides of tiered dress

After I cut off the excess fabric, I tried it on and decided to cut a little more off the bottom.

taking more fabric off the bottom
Just a baby chop!

Time to deal with that skirt! First off, I measured the usable part of the skirt.

Measuring bottom part of refashion
About 20″!

According to my rough calculations, this meant I could make the first two tiers of my skirt 6.5″ and the bottom tier 7″.

So, I measured those measurements for the tiers out with some tailor’s chalk!

Marking tiers with tailor's chalk
Measure & Mark!

Then, I cut them out!

cutting out tiers for refashion
Here they are!

Time to graduate those tiers!

I left the bottom tier as-is, as I wanted my dress to have as much volume as possible.

I cut the top tier, leaving it a little larger than the bottom of my top.

cutting top tier for tiered dress
Looks about right.

Then, I cut the middle tier, leaving it somewhere in between the size of the top and bottom tiers.

cutting graduated tiers for dress refashion
No math involved!

I’m not a fan of math, so I didn’t measure this. I just eyeballed it.

I stitched the vertical open edges of the top two tiers together, and was then ready for my next step!

Gathering those tiers!

Creating gathers for tiers is super easy, friends!

I set my machine’s stitch length for a basting stitch (5), and ramped up the tension to 9. This makes the machine create gathers for you!

adjusting sewing machine tension
It’s getting tense in here…

When creating gathers, make sure you don’t backstitch to close it off AND make sure to leave a lot of extra extra thread on each end so you can adjust the gathers when you’re done!

creating gathers on sewing machine
It’s like magic!

Adjust your gathers and pin it together!

I started pinning the top tier to the top of my dress, right sides facing each other.

pinning on first tier to dress
It’s all coming together!

Stitch it down!

I ran this under my machine with regular tension and stitch size.

adding tier to dress
Keep to the left of the gathered stitch!

Repeat for the bottom two tiers and you’re done!

That’s it! Now I have a cute tiered dress I DIYed all by myself!

diy tiered dress refashion after
Eat your heart out, Zara!
diy tiered dress refashion after view from the side
View from the side!

This refashion is also super comfy and perfect for a day spent celebrating Mr. Refashionista’s birthday!

Mr. Refashionista and Refashionista
Happy Birthday, Handsome!
Birthday Zoom Happy Hour
Birthday Zoom Happy Hour with Friends!
patio garden selfie
Patio Garden Selfie!

While my tiered dress isn’t exactly a clone of my inspiration dress, I think I might like my version even better!

tiered dress refashion after
I’ll be holding on to this one for a while, friends!


Refashionista DIY Tiered Dress Refashion Before and After

Refashioning a Collared Thrift Store Dress
How to Dye & Refashion a Lace Dress