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Yacht Rock Nautical Dress to Top Refashion

Easy DIY Halter Dress Refashion (No Pattern Needed!)
Mad About Madras: A Preppy '80s Dress Refashion

When Mr. Refashionista and I made plans to celebrate Father’s Day at his parents’ lake house, I knew exactly what I wanted to wear!

Refashionista Yacht Rock Dress to Top Refashion Before
Saaaaaaailing…takes me awaaaaay…

But before we get to the Refashion, let’s set the mood with this Yacht Rock Playlist (which is literally what I’m listening to right now as I write this).

Now…time for a Yacht Rock-inspired Nautical Dress to Top Refashion!

Some of you may remember this dress Refashion I did for a Yacht Rock party (*sigh* Remember parties?) a while back. Some may even remember this very frustrating Nautical Dress Refashion as well.

But this time, I decided I wanted a top rather than a dress.

I picked out those shoulder pads.

picking out shoulder pad
removed shoulder pads
Still Life with Shoulder Pads

A few of you have asked if I make masks from these, and the answer is no. For some reason shoulder pads gross me out.

I don’t completely know why, but the idea of putting something on my face that once sat atop a stranger’s shoulder makes me cringe. Yes, I wash everything I refashion thoroughly, but still…*shudders*

Now that those pads were removed, I got to work removing the sleeves with my seam ripper.

seam ripping off sleeve
Coming apart at the seams!

Next, I pinned each armhole under and stitched them down.

pinned arm hole
stitching armhole
…and stitched!

I knew I’d be getting rid of those lapels by tucking them in (you’ll see what I mean in just a bit), but I was worried that braiding would be uncomfortable against my skin.

So…I used my pinking shears to cut the braiding off.

cutting off lapel braiding

Time for a big chop!

As I said before, I knew I wanted a top, rather than a dress for the day, so I went ahead and made my chop.

This makes taking it in a lot easier since I knew I didn’t need to worry about the skirt part, and I was confident in the length I chose.

cutting new hem for top
Yay! no more crawling around on the floor!

I put my top on my dress form and got to pinning!

Pinning sides on dress form
Just taking it in a smidge.

Then, I stitched each side down.

sewing new sides of top

Now for that collar!

I tucked it inside my top and pinned it into place, like so:

Yacht Rock Nautical Dress to Top Refashion 3

Then, I sewed my new neckline into place!

sewing down new neckline
Much better, I think!

Now it’s time to deal with that bottom raw edge.

First, I pinned it under.

pinning bottom hem
Use a sewing gauge to measure!

Then, I sewed it down!

sewing bottom hem
Last step!

I pressed everything with my iron, and was DONE!

Check out my new top!

Refashionista Yacht Rock Dress to Top Refashion After
I look like the Activities Director for a cruise ship.

I styled my new top with shorts and matching navy Sperry boat shoes.

Refashionista Yacht Rock Dress to Top Refashion Close Up
“Shuffleboard on the upper deck at Noon!”

I completely failed to take pics of a really fun & relaxing day with Mr. Refashionista’s parents (who I love to bits). :/ When I say we had a delightful time, you’ll just have to take my word for it.

My one pic from the day:

plate of crab legs
Brian made crab legs!


Refashionista Yacht Rock Dress to Top Refashion Before and After
Easy DIY Halter Dress Refashion (No Pattern Needed!)
Mad About Madras: A Preppy '80s Dress Refashion

16 thoughts on “Yacht Rock Nautical Dress to Top Refashion”

  1. I have a question on your technique…I sew a lot from scratch with patterns and all; I learned to press things at each step like when folding under a hem…it appears you fold under once or twice and pin…that seems so reckless LOL and not so precise. I wonder if you can explain your choice and why it works well for you…you don’t find the hems or armholes to be kind of hit-or-miss results without pressing first? This is something I have wondered since the beginning of your blogs…which I thoroughly enjoy!

  2. This top is so cute. ou first cut things off, I gasp. Then I realize you are so tiny. At almost 5’8″, I forget there are tiny people in the world

  3. Cute top, but I wish you would have kept the colorful braid. Please save it and use it in another refash.
    Thank you for your blog and the refashions. Nice distraction for us. Please keep it up as often as possible when we are back in the workplace. I will really miss it. I learn so much from your efforts.

    Also, I wrote in probably two years ago with my idea for old shoulder pads. I made sleep masks from them. Very easy, did it in hand-sew-tv-time. They are soft on my eyes and don’t need to be fancy—rather “throw together”. I even use the worn out elastic that I replaced because I like it very light and loose on my head. Perfect and better sleep.

  4. Conquer your fears and think rationally! You can make masks out of the shoulder pads. It’s shoulder pads, not armpits pads! Make some masks and give them away, girl!

  5. I had to grin when I saw that you also own a blue pair of sunnies. You have them in every colour of the rainbow, right 🙂
    Cute top. Sounds like a fab day!!

  6. NOW……….wish someone could come up with an idea to use all of those shoulder pads we ripped out and saved…

  7. I continue to be thrilled with your refashions and your happiness with the Mr. And in-laws you adore are a definite bonus! The crab legs aren’t bad either.


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