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Saturday, May 15, 2010

Plain Dress Dress-Up

In my next few blog entries, I will be taking some rather plain,  everyday kind of clothing items, and adding some inexpensive *bling* to bring them into 2010.   I will go through the supplies and steps below.  This upcycle cost nothing, because the dress was here, and not being worn because of it's "too plain" look, and the fabric flowers were made from cotton t-shirts my son had outgrown.  As fast as he has grown the past few years, we seem to have lots of those!

So, grab your we go!

  • First- all you need is a shirt, dress, or top lying around that could use a little help.  Most everyone has more than one thing they bought, but just can't get excited about wearing.  There are some items, like this dress, that when I bought it I thought "great, I can accessorize this", and yet, somehow.......accessories just don't work right.  
  • Second- go through your drawers, or your significant others, or even your neighbors drawers and harvest a few lost and forgotten T-shirts.  Pick shirts of similar weight.
  • Third- find some items to trace around to make your circles patterns.  I used measuring cups, and made my patterns from stabilizer backing I use for machine embroidery.  My 3 circles sizes ended up approx.  2 1/2"- 2 1/8" and 1 5/8" diameter.  
  • Fourth- start cutting lots of circles!  I decided on alternating my background colors, so some flowers would be gray (largest), black (medium) and some black (largest), gray (medium), but my centers were always white.  I needed 9 of each combination, so 18 groups of 3 circles. Now that all of the circles are cut comes the fun part- assembling the flowers!!  Just stack 3 circles on top of each other, pinch from the bottom in the center, and sew a few tack stitches, until you get the amount of ruffling and shape you desire.   I love the bling, so I added pearl beads to the center of each of my flowers, just for fun.  You could add buttons, bells, anything that you like- or leave them blank in the middle.  There is certainly no right or wrong to any of this.  You may want to do more or less flowers per garment, depending on what type of garment you are adding the flowers to.  Again, personal taste is your guide.  Here is a picture of my flower groups in process:      

I pinned the flowers on the dress to arrange them (and figure out how many I needed to make), and also so it would be easier to sew them correctly into place.  Then, I just sat down and stitched them by hand to the yoke of the dress. 

And here is the final result!  From Drab to Fab!  For no money out of pocket, and in one afternoon.  I hope you have as much fun with your project as I did  :)   


  1. that is a cute look!

    love your logo~

  2. Fabulous idea! I really like how easy the flowers are. I'm making those ASAP!

  3. Fabulous idea! I love the flowers! I am making these ASAP!

  4. I love this. I'm starting to play around with re-purposing my clothes ( not really much of a seamstress) and I think I can tackle something like this. fave colors!

  5. I love it. It makes that plain dress really pop. Great job.


  6. Thank you! Look for more to come!! :)

  7. This idea is great! I LOVE the dress after you fancied it up! I want one just like it now :)


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