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Keeping it Classy: A Cut Out Dress Refashion

An '80s Jumper to '50s-Inspired Dress Refashion
How to Refashion a Floofy Denim Jumper Dress

It’s always interesting to me to see what other people have passed over when I’m flicking through the $1 racks at the thrift store. After a while, you start to see commonalities.

The items I see most are either really worn out, dated, really short/bodycon styles, or dresses with cut outs like this one.

Cut Out Dress Refashion Before

You guys….this is just so not me. While I have no significant hangups about the top of my breastal region, I really don’t want it to be quite so on display. I always feel like I look like a little kid playing dress up when I attempt to wear “sexy” styles like this.

This dress is also ill-fitting on me and has mondo shoulder pads, neither of which is doing me any favors. :/

But there’s a lot to love too! That beadwork is gorgeous, the fabric is of a really nice quality, and it’s well-made. I can definitely make something out of this.

My first step was to rip out those huge shoulder pads!

shoulder pads ripped out
Douglas looks on questioningly.

Before I worked on any further alterations, I had to do something about the color, which as you can see, is totally absent.

rit dark green dye
You’ll do nicely, methinks!

I thought a pretty green hue would really compliment that beadwork.

I made a nice, hot dye bath…

dye bath
Adding the dye!

I went with a powdered dye for the simple reason that it’s cheaper than bottled dye. I really prefer bottled dye though, as it’s less messy. I used about half of the packet for this refashion (because I’m cheap and like to stretch my dye as much as possible!).

A few folks have asked me if I use the stockpot I dye stuff in for cooking as well, but don’t worry! This stockpot is for dye only! Dye is toxic when consumed, and you don’t want that getting into your body.

I added my dress to the dye bath.

dress in dye bath
Looking great already!

After about forty minutes of stirring it periodically, I rinsed the dress in my washing machine and dried it.

Time for the tailoring!

refashioned green dress on dress form
Making a few tweaks!

I ended up taking this in from the sides, but could have taken it apart and taken it from the top as well. The only reason I didn’t was that I was running out of time, as this refashion was planned for our Ireland honeymoon that didn’t quite happen. :/

I ran each side through my machine, then cut off the excess fabric.

refashion sewing machine

Then, I hacked off a bit from the bottom.

refashionista cutting hem
Just a smidge!

I hemmed the raw edge by folding it under once and stitching it down.

Keeping it Classy: A Cut Out Dress Refashion 2
The final whirrrr (also showing off my marital bling)!

We’re not done here, folks. Something still needs to be done about those cut outs!

Covering those cut outs was ridiculously easy, and didn’t even require any sewing.

I pulled out a scrap of fabric from this refashion and traced the outline of the cutouts over it.

tracing cutouts for refashion
See where I’m going with this?

Then I cut the scraps, leaving extra fabric along the traced part.

After rubbing off the pencil marks, I grabbed my super strong fabric glue.

fabric glue to cover cutouts
Get ready to fuse!

Now, I don’t have a picture of this, as I had to work really quickly before the glue dried and needed both hands, but I glued the outline of the cutouts on the dress (not the scrap) and laid it over the scrap.

fabric gluing panel
Use a paper plate so the glue doesn’t seep through!

When I was done, I left them to dry.

fabric glue drying
Looking good!

I could have stitched the scraps down, but I really didn’t want any additional stitches showing, and getting around that beadwork would have been a chore.

The fabric glue will hold up just fine, as I’ll only be washing this dress in cold water using the hand wash cycle.

I’ve gotta say, I’m pretty stoked about how this worked out.

refashionista covering cut outs

That’s it! My cut out dress refashion was complete!

refashionista cut out dress refashion after
Oooh la la!

I styled my new dress with a pair of thrifted vintage Spanish leather flats.

I think this one turned out really nicely. The color and added print panels really make this refashion special and unique.

cut out dress refashion close up
Up close & personal!
back zipper
Even the back zipper looks nice!

While this dress only got to enjoy some takeaway from a local restaurant, instead of a Michelin Star dinner in Ireland as originally planned, I suppose one must make the best of things.

refashionista cut out dress after
What can you do?

What I really like about this refashion is how simple it is. Now when you see an otherwise awesome dress that has cut outs you don’t care for, you can fix it in less than ten minutes with a couple of scraps and some fabric glue!


Refashionista Cut Out Dress Before and After
An '80s Jumper to '50s-Inspired Dress Refashion
How to Refashion a Floofy Denim Jumper Dress