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Easy DIY Halter Dress Refashion (No Pattern Needed!)

Thrift Store Style: My Casual Secondhand Summer
Yacht Rock Nautical Dress to Top Refashion

We could all use a little luck right about now, couldn’t we?

That’s why I opted for this $1 thrifted dress for today’s refashion, rather than holding off until St. Patrick’s Day as I had originally planned.

Refashionista DIY Halter Dress Refashion Before
Surely these clovers will bring good fortune, right?

This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something through these links, you won’t pay a penny more, but I’ll get a small commission, which will very likely go to my cocktail budget. Thanks!

Upon closer inspection, I discovered the clovers on the top of this dress were only of the 3-leafer variety. :/

close up of clover fabric

You win again, 2020. You. Win. Again.

I still loved that clover print and the contrast between it and the navy skirt.

I was less fond of the neck tie thingies and the fit.

And just like that, my idea for a DIY Halter Dress Refashion was born!

First, I snipped off those neck tie thingies and put them aside.

Cutting off neck tie detail

These will be put to good use in just a bit!

discarded neck ties
Be patient, little guys!

I put my dress on my dress form and pinned where I thought the new top of my dress should begin.

marking new top of dress with safety pin
Seems about right!

I had to make sure I had the length I wanted for the top part, while still allowing the dress to fit around me. If I came up short, the dress would be really unflattering!

I took my dress off the form and made a chop!

cutting off top of dress

Then, I put it back on my dress form, and began taking it in from the back.

pinning dress from the back
Just one seam will do the job!

I thought taking the dress in from the back would help me preserve those pockets without having to remove and re-attach them.

SPOILER ALERT: That didn’t work out. :/

I sewed my single seam down.

sewing back seam of dress
Yes, I should have pinned the opposite side, but it’s okay.

Then, I trimmed off the excess fabric with my pinking shears.

cutting off excess fabric
Just a quick trim!

I folded over the top part of my dress and pinned it in place.

pinning top hem of dress
Pin it!

As I said before, getting enough length for the top of this dress was crucial. It needed to fall at my waist just right! That’s why I didn’t fold this top part under twice. Don’t worry! The fabric is polyester and it won’t fray!

I sewed the top part down.

sewing top part of dress

Then, I pinned those two neck tie thingies to the front!

pinning neck ties to front of dress
We’re coming into the final stretch!

I stitched each one to the front.

sewing down neck tie
Just a mini whirrrrr!

Time to remove the pockets.

I know. What I’m about to do is highly controversial.

I like pockets. I love pockets. But my original plan to keep these pockets didn’t work.

I can explain! I ended up needing to take in the back more than I’d originally planned, which moved the pockets almost completely behind me.

Just imagine how awkward putting your hands in pockets that are completely situated on your keister would look, because that’s exactly how it looked.

So I did what needed to be done.

I pinned each pocket down.

pinning pocket
I’m sorry. I’m so so sorry.

Then, I closed them off forever.

sewing pocket closed

With a tear in my eye, I cut them off…cursing to the wind at my fate.

But enough sadness! Let’s look at the finished Refashion, eh?

DIY Halter Dress After
Mr. Refashionista says it’s one of his favorites.

I think it turned out REALLY cute! I’m glad I kept the length as-is as I love that darling front bottom pleat!

Just look at the back!

DIY Halter Dress refashion from the back
So cute!

I wore my new dress to work remotely with a solo socially-distanced beverage.

cocktail and laptop on table
It’s called a Game Changer, and it’s amazing.
Close up of halter dress
The top isn’t crooked, I’m just angling my shoulders weird.

Perhaps my new frock will bring me a bit of luck! Fingers crossed!

Did you happen to catch my article from Buzzfeed? If you like it, please share & spread the Refashion love!


Refashionista DIY Halter Dress Refashion before and after
Thrift Store Style: My Casual Secondhand Summer
Yacht Rock Nautical Dress to Top Refashion

20 thoughts on “Easy DIY Halter Dress Refashion (No Pattern Needed!)”

  1. Given the nature of 2020, I might be tempted to add the fourth leaf to those clovers in hopes that things will get better! Super cute refashion!

  2. I love that you kept the ties long enough to tie behind the neck – so cute. Great job, and congratulations on the Buzzfeed article!

  3. Loved the refashion halter dress – yeah intake of breath when I saw them pockets go tho!
    I have a couple of party dresses worn at works xmas do’s obviously can’t wear the same dress again – if I could just work out what to refashion them into – it would be great to get more than 1/365 wear out of it.
    I’ll take a photo of both and see if inspiration happens ; )

  4. Nice Buzzfeed article and another super cute refashion! I really do hope you start refashioning for other body types, although we might have to wait until we get that Covid-19 vaccine. I’ve been doing sporadic refashions on hand-me-downs and thrift clothing for decades. I thought I might be the only one doing that until I saw your blog! You’ve given me renewed inspiration! Thank you!

    With weight gain and eczema on my shoulders, I can’t go sleeveless, and would love to see ideas on compensating for tops and dresses that are too big at the shoulders while still keeping the sleeves. Solutions that sometimes work for me: taking the fabric in at the back, stitching elastic along the inside shoulder seam, stitching over gathers on the front of the shoulder with multi-colored threads, inserting pleats at the back and/or the front. Sometimes, with forgiving design and fabric, I can simply take it in where the sleeve meets the armhole, but that can be tricky.

  5. I do love the dress, super cute, but the game changer had me even more curious. I looked up the recipe and have decided I seriously need one of them in my hot little hand. Sounds delish!

  6. One of your cutest yet. And so flattering on you. The garden gnome in the background appears to be checking you out and smiling in approval. Great BF article. If I hadn’t read every single one of your posts from the get-go, that article and the photos would make me want to!

  7. Adorable work-from-home outfit !! I am having a real Mercury Retrograde(MR) effect: after a long day of miss-ups, my last task was to mend and item on my sewing machine. 4″ in and the needle broke off! Oooof. Maybe MR affected your pocket scheme? Not only do we have pandemic, we’ve got MR! Havoc is being wreaked!

  8. Super cute! Though if the top half of the original dress had been a stand alone blouse, I totally would’ve worn it as is.

  9. Love the dress! I loved the Buzzfeed article! I especially loved seeing that you want to start working on other body styles! I’d love to see refashions for plus sized ladies! I volunteer for practice! I’m really interested in your workshop idea. As someone who can’t even thread her machine properly (the bobbin defeats me every time), is volunteer to test your workshops and make sure they are idiot-proof!

  10. Great BuzzFeed article! Your mention of refashioning for different body types is a wonderful idea. Plus size refashion would perhaps bring a whole new group of followers.

  11. Gorgeous! My favorite refashion, too! Would you recommend getting a dress form? How easy is it to get the form to your size?

  12. I love how this refashion turned out. You are so darn clever. I would have passed that one over. Well done.

  13. Cute..very “ Gertie” pinup style. Va va va voom “Gertie is a pattern designer in case you are wondering.


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