Chasing down a good buy at a thrift store isn’t all about the price. When it comes to fashion, it’s also about finding the perfect piece. Savvy thrifters know how to rummage through the racks with laser focus until they spot a gem. Jeans won’t be jeans and sweaters won’t be frumpy.
More than savvy, April is the talent behind Coolirpa’s YouTube fashion vlog Thrifted Transformations. Her popular videos showcase her needle-and-thread makeovers of thrift shop clothes. Her DIY skills will have you doing a quick review of your own closet or nearest secondhand store.
For this project, April disassembles a $7 denim muumuu and turns it into a new dress! We all know that muumuus are typically one-size-fits-all, and they drape straight down. There’s no ruching, no darts, or other fine details. But one of things that April really likes about the existing dress is its embroidered detail on the front – it stays for this makeover.
Any of you that sew know that one of your most important tools is a seam ripper. April gets to work by taking the seams apart on the front of the dress, but only up to the waist. She then separates the bottom from the top, keeping the seam intact on the upper part of the dress. Watch as she shapes her halter top on the dress form.
April places darts on the front of her top, which will provide a contoured shape at the bustline. Notice how she’s not even using a pattern for this! Darts can be a challenge when sewing because you don’t want to end up with puckering in your finished garment. After knocking this out for both sides of the top, April stitches it and moves on to hemming the edges. Done!
Next up: the skirt. Those two pieces ripped apart at the seams earlier become one long piece to form a miniskirt. The lovely embroidery gets lined up for the border on the skirt’s hem. Cute! As April folds in some box pleats, you can see that doing so will give the skirt an added touch of style. Can you tell how this is starting to shape up?
After stitching the top and bottom together, April places a zipper in the skirt. With the remaining scraps of fabric, straps are created for the halter part of the dress for the finishing touch. Keep watching to see the unveiling of the revamped frock!
April makes it look so easy and fun to make a one-of-a-kind piece. If you don’t feel like going on a shopping spree at your nearest secondhand shop or garage sale, purge your own closet to see what you can upcycle!
Grab an old sweater, t-shirt, or muumuu and work your own repurposing magic. To see more of April’s projects, you can check her out on Instagram or Facebook.
How many of you are thinking of raiding your local thrift stores to do your own stylish makeover? Do you have sewing skills too or are you inspired to learn?