Fall Upcycle Sewing Thrifty Shift


I love thrift store finds to upcycle! Several months ago I found a long sleeveless shift perfect for a upcycle project I had in mind. Unfortunately I didn’t take a photo of the dress before I cut it up. Grrrrr! I’m sorry,it’s one of those details I’m notorious for forgetting. Ever have those moments? But it’s the same style as the photo at the bottom of page. (next on my upcycle list)

I started today by cutting the bottom off the dress just an inch above the wavy gray design on the floral border . I knew I wanted this to be half of the tunic. I was lucky to have plenty to work with. As this dress was several sizes too big for me. I’ll get plenty of wear out of this new addition to my wardrobe this fall. Layers, love layers.

The neck and armholes had binding attached. I was a little careful in removing it so I could rework it later. I took apart the cut off top to remake it in a more fitted bodice. (roughly pencil sketch on the paper) I copied the bust, arm, and waist dimensions on another tunic bodice I knew fit me comfortably. With including a couple of bust darts it works well. Then it was just a matter of attaching the floral border to the bodice. I put two pleats in the front (see top photo)and eased the back with a few tiny pleats to even it out. It worked out rather nicely.  Now on to sewing the shoulder and side seams. (pssst…french seams are our friends)


I used french seams on the sides and Hong Kong seam on the shoulders. I do love my finished seams. I like the look and feel. Plus this dress was 100% rayon. And you know how that fabric loves to unravel.


Now here’s where I couldn’t make up my mind how I wanted to finish the armholes and neck. I thought about doing another scallop edge finish like this previous upcycle. But I opted for a more classic detail on the outside. I reworked the carefully removed bias trim by ironing it open and used it like hem tape sewing it on the right-side first then turning over to the wrong-side and stitching down. It makes the neck and armhole lie smooth and flat. I’m glad I chose this instead.

Here’s the middle of the dress. I’ve plenty of fabric leftover. Hmm, perhaps a scarf? Another tunic? Any ideas? Share!


Cheers to another upcycle sewing project complete!






About Chic Mona

Upcycle Diva! Creating affordable handmade fashion accessories, delicious décor and unique gifts in the USA .
This entry was posted in Sewing Creations, Upcycled Ideas and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Fall Upcycle Sewing Thrifty Shift

  1. STH says:

    Nice! I bet the pleats add a nice little swing to the peplum. I also love French seams–so quick and easy to do, and such a nice result.

    • Chic Mona says:

      Thank you so much. Not much swing,but does give a bit extra room for when I sit down. Doesn’t tug or pull. Great to hear another finds french seams a friend. 😀 cheers

  2. Naomi says:

    I’m also terrible at taking the before photos! I’d love to see an action shot of you wearing it too.

  3. So pretty, I love those pleats. And your finishes! I have a top of rather shifty voile to finish up and I’m considering French or Hong Kong seams. Are they very difficult?

    • Chic Mona says:

      You’re very kind Jennifer, Thank you. So glad to hear. No, the finished seams I find are easier than hemming or overlock. It just takes a few more steps, but worth it. French seams would be great for the voile. Try a scrap piece first. ~cheers

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