Dress upcycle project. Upcycle a thrift dress into a baby doll style dress.

dress upcycle

Clothes upcycling project.

In this quick, step-by-step upcycling tutorial, I transformed a daggy dress I bought when thrifting for $5 into a cute baby doll-style dress. Recently, a friend’s daughter asked me to make a baby doll-style dress for her. She’s into anime culture and didn’t want to buy something new (she loves second-hand shopping too). Next time I was thrifting I found this (quite ugly) check dress and knew it would be perfect for this upcycling project. While it was too big and a bit ugly, I thought the pattern would be perfect. The fabric would be easy to sew. I made a few changes during this thrift refashion and sewing project but was so happy with the result.

Watch the dress upcycling tutorial video


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See you next time,

clothes upcycling

Why clothes upcycling is important.

Clothes upcycling promotes a more sustainable, creative, and responsible approach to fashion, all of which contributes to a healthier planet and a more sustainable future.

Environmental Impact

Clothes upcycling helps reduce waste by repurposing old or unwanted garments, often diverting them from landfill.

With the fashion industry being one of the planets largest polluters, upcycling and repurposing clothing reduces the need for new materials and decreases carbon emissions associated with the product and disposal of clothing.


Traditional clothing manufacturing consumes significant amounts of water, energy, and raw materials.

Upcycling clothing not only extends the life of existing textiles, conserving these valuable resources, but promotes more sustainable consumption patterns.


Creative Expression

Upcycling clothes and other materials encourages creative freedom by transforming old clothes into unique, personalised garments.

Upcycling and sewing fosters innovation and encourages people to experiment with designs, creating one-of-a-kind items that reflect personal style and creativity.

Cost Effective

Upcycling clothing can be very cost-effective by reducing money spent purchasing new clothes but can also assist charities when clothes are purchased second hand from charities.

Quality and Longevity

Repairing and mending clothing enhances the longevity of existing garments, giving them longevity in your wardrobe and limiting the need to purchase new clothes.  This contrasts with fast fashion items, which are frequently designed for short-term use.