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Flip It! Upside-Down Dress Refashion

Vintage Hawaiian Muumuu Refashion
Refashioning a Collared Thrift Store Dress

When I grabbed this dress out of my rapidly-dwindling refashion stash, I winced a little.

refashionista upside down dress refashion before
Remember theeeeese?

Babies of the ’80s & ’90s will no doubt remember these fake two-piecer dresses that were an oh-so-common staple of the average woman’s wardrobe back in the day.

This $1 thrift store dress consists of an upper and lower layer that are connected by an inner lining.

fake two piece dress

Even that necklace thing is fake!

fake necklace sewn on to dress
What treachery is this?

Such lies! Such deceit! And in unprecedented times such as these when we’re all in it together as a family more than ever…!

WAIT. That’s just copy from every advertisement that’s out right now.

i.e. “We’re here for you. We care about you. So come to us for your next oil change.”

*eye roll*

Anywho…let’s Refashion this thing.

To get started, I first made a big cut!

cutting top from bottom of dress

Now, some of you might think I’m getting ready to turn this into a strapless dress.


I flipped the bottom of the dress upside-down. Since it has slits on the sides, those are going to become my new arm holes!

I put the dress on me upside-down and marked how big the neck hole needed to be. Then I pinned along what would end up being the new shoulders of my new dress.

Note: I’m doing all of this with the bottom part turned inside-out.

pinning shoulders of new dress
future shoulders

Then, I stitched ’em down!

sewing down new shoulders of dress refashion
Stitch it!

Now for those side slits/my new armholes!

These were a little too gapey to work as-is, so I took them in a couple of inches by pinning, then stitching down the sides.

closing up side slits to make armholes
No more gape-age!

Let’s tackle that bottom hem!

You can see where I left part of the lining from the top of the dress intact. This was necessary give my dress the length it needed to be a dress, rather that a shirt.

I pinned it under.

pinning dress refashion hem
So satiny!

Then, stitched it down!

stitching hem for refashion
A satiny whirrrr!

So now my dress was complete, other than one small detail.

A quick sash!

I trimmed off some of the fabric from the bottom of the original top and used that to cinch my waist!

cutting off bottom of top to make sash
Refash a sash!

Check out my upside-down Dress Refashion now!

Upside-Down Dress Refashion After
Coordinating wine glass sold separately.

I really like the new vintage-y look of the neckline and shoulders. It has a sort of ’60s vibe now, doesn’t it?

And if you’re feeling a bit of Déjà vu right now, it’s because I’ve done similar upside-down refashions in the past. There’s this one from an old skirt-turned-dress and this one from the bottom scrap of a previous refashion.

But wait…what’s that on my shoulder???

shoulder detail added to refashion
Neat lil detail, huh?

That’s right! I just knew you guys would ask me what I planned on doing with that fake necklace thing, so I cut it off and stitched it to the shoulder.

I think it gives a nice bit of visual interest to what would otherwise be a kind of plain dress.

My new dress enjoyed a trip to Five Points to pick up a dinner to-go order for me and the Mr. from one of our favorite restaurants.


Upside Down Dress Refashion After with Handbag
Complete with Nana Bag!
Refashionista Flip It! An Upside-Down Dress Refashion Before and After
Vintage Hawaiian Muumuu Refashion
Refashioning a Collared Thrift Store Dress

55 thoughts on “Flip It! Upside-Down Dress Refashion”

  1. I’m still trying to find the ‘new’ in the old, but I’ll keep trying. Thank you for continuing to share with us because you are an inspiration. I do love what you did with this dress.

  2. oooh, pretty pretty! One of my favourites! That bit of satin is genius!

    Also, may I mention that your hair looks absolutely on point? I have no idea how you manage it; my coupe can currently only be described as the illegitimate offspring of a very passionate love affair between a beaver and a neanderthal..

  3. I saved your May posts for my Mother’s Day reading – with the obligatory wine, of course! I just sent my daughter a link to your blog because she loves fashion and has shown some interest in sewing; I think you’ll be quite the inspiration for her.
    I love your writing and refashioning, both are simply lovely and entertaining. You’ve encouraged us to shop from our local thrift stores for the most part. Though *now* that isn’t really possible, fingers crossed this last stay at home order was the last strict one, and maybe things will begin to ease up soon. We miss our beloved UpThrift store!
    Thank you for being brave enough to share your life with us!

  4. You have definitely inspired me and probably many others to look at old things in a new way and for me, nothing is more exciting than to use my favorite things “just a little bit longer”. I’m glad you’re posting again and love getting notified of new stuff you’re getting into.

    Congrats on the marriage!

    BTW, you look gorgeous the way you’re styled, like Don Draper’s second wife Meagan from “Mad Men”. Stunning!

  5. Keee-Ute! So cute! I really like what you did with the armholes, dressing them up a bit so they echo the bottom of the dress.

  6. A knockout, as they said in the 60’s. Love the color zing, textures, nod to the brooch placement, everything! Your posts are pure gold. Keep up the refash magic, humor, and inspiration!

  7. I cannot tell you how many times I went back to the thrift stalking post the whole time you were gone. Finally gave up and was so sad. Then last week I saw that you came back in Jan so if course I binge read all of it and caught myself up. You’ve been missed dearly. I’ve been a reader since nearly the beginning. I’m always fascinated to see what you do. I’m soon to be 46 and nearly never wear dresses. Still I’m a huge fan. The shiny satin on the bottom is a win for me. I graduated in the 90s. No way did I see that coming! Ha!

  8. Every time you refashion I’m reminded of how much you were missed on hiatus and how grateful you’re back posting.
    The refashion is genius – defo going to emulate this- and the colour suits you beautifully.

  9. I’m really not sure about this one! I think the silky material on the bottom looks odd. But, hey, that’s just me. Your creativity makes me look forward to each new project you share. Keep it up please!

  10. You have inspired me to try refashions. I got a massive wedding gown this weekend. I refashioned it into a pair if dress slacks and a heavily beaded blouse! I live how it turned out and still have enough material left that I can make a few other outfits. Thank you so much for the inspirations!

  11. Okay… besides loving your refashes (is that a word?!) and your writing to boot, how is it—when I look at your linked archives—that you look exactly the same?! Love your posts!

  12. I love that you turned it upside down and so cleverly used the lining as a contrast in the skirt. The new look is amazing! Your ability to see possibilities in seemingly hopeless garments is inspiring!

  13. I love the shape and color of this dress! I *wish* the skirt had been long for the refashion without including the lining, but it still looks cute.

    “These ____ times” might just have more emotional appeals in advertising than post-9/11 America did. It’s exhausting.

  14. I’ve gotta agree with everyone that this is just extra amazing. LOVE the ‘boat neck’ at the top and your special treatment of the former necklace. But what you did with the waist lining-turned-dress-bottom is just brilliant. Bravo! Oh, and the color is superb on you!!

  15. revised!!! I didn’t turn them upsidedown….I just made arm holes and wore them on top of me instead of on the lower half.

  16. You are amazing and so creative!! I would never of thought to do something like this. I usually copy ideas and then make them my own. I’ve been here for awhile. So glad you came back! Keep going chica!!!!!!

  17. OMG!!! You’ve done it again!! I have several bias linen knee length skirts I made years ago….at 80, my legs are not so good to show off any more…….I have turned several into tops by turning them upsidedown.

  18. Love it. The vintage shape and shoulder accent are reminiscent of Mad Men. If you didn’t have a shoulder accent a brooch would be fun. You need to thrift some martini glasses to go with the vintage looks!

  19. What a great feeling to have a stash of something and see it dwindling down. There is always something positive in a negative situation (guarantine). I love your new refashioned outfit great color on you.

  20. I love your blog and wish all blogs were as fascinating as Refashionista. I began following you a looonnnggg time ago and back then I read through all of your old posts and was sad when I finished. I love your humor and creativity but the bottom line is…you are a great writer! Keep them coming, please!!!!

  21. Love the refash…but REALLY love your comment about all the fake “we’re here for you” BS we’re getting these days. I’ve had email and even snail mail from everyone from my bank to – yes – my garage assuring me how much they care for me. Sheesh.

  22. Love this dress and the color. Very inventive to use the lining like that ! I would like to see you rework an old purse to become a Nana Bag. So, do you think it’s possible ?

  23. I can’t sew at ALL but I love to see what you come up with! Your ideas are amazing! Maybe someday I’ll learn until then I’ll keep watching what you come up with.

  24. This is a stunning transformation: from dippy to zippy! And the turquoise color is so flattering to you. I don’t wear dresses myself but really enjoy your refashions so very much!

  25. I love this one!! If you completely run out of refashion stash, maybe you could take donations from your readers? I have a few I would love to see refashioned! ❤️

  26. you mentioned your refashion stash is dwindling….did you know thredup does “rescue boxes”? super cheap and they send you a box full of stuff that was hard to sell. sounds like a perfect project/partnership. as your reader, i’d happily chip in to some kind of crowdfunding to buy you some rescue boxes! i’ve loved watching all of your quarantine refashions!

  27. I can never turn away from your posts! I have to see what the end result for the dresses that everyone else passes over will be. You have never fail to surprise me! Also I’m glad to know that I’m not the only person rolling eyes and these commercials

  28. Yesssssss! Adorable! That colour suits you so well.

    Lovely to see you supporting local restaurants by buying dinners to-go. We have bought pizzas and noodle dishes at our local italian. Here in Bavaria, Germany, lockdown is slowly being loosened, bit by bit. As of 18th of May, people will be able to eat in the outside area of restaurants, in Biergartens etc. A hint of normality…yay!

  29. WOW! Just when I think you can’t astound me any further, you do this! It looks fantastic and like it was meant to be – gorgeous colour too. I love it! Congratulations, another winner….again!!


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