Make a wrap dress. An easy DIY clothes upcycling and sewing projects.

make a wrap dress

Refashion a dress into a wrap dress.

In this DIY sewing and clothes upcycling tutorial, I’ll explain how I refashioned a dress into a wrap dress. I recently bought this pretty sundress from a local thrift store for $5.00.

The reason I chose this dress to make a wrap dress :

  • Because I liked the pretty cotton fabric with a delicate flower design. It was well made, fully lined and I loved the sleeve design.
  • Importantly, it had a button down front which made it perfect to upcycle into a wrap dress – my favourite way to quickly refashion a dress. This dress even had ties in place at the sides which I was able to repurpose to create the wrap ties. It couldn’t have been more perfect for this project.

Watch the wrap dress sewing video tutorial

I love wrap dresses because, in theory, they’re one size fits all. Due to their design, they can be tied tighter or looser depending upon what’s comfortable on the day.

When thrift shopping, I’m always on the lookout for dresses that have buttons all the way down – I’ve actually got a few sitting in my sewing pile ready to transform.

Step 1 – Add ties to “wrap” the dress.

The first step in the transformation of this dress into a wrap dress was to cut off the ties at the side.

These were then attached either side of the front opening at waist level forming the ties for the wrap design.

Step 2 – Cut a hole in the side seam.

Next, I cut a hole in the side seam for the opposing waist tie to pass through. This then ties at the back or side, depending on your preference, with the other waist tie. I zig zag stitched around the hole to prevent fraying.

Step 3 – Remove and keep the buttons.

Then I removed the buttons from the former front of the dress. Save these as you may need them later.

Step 4 – Create new neckline, if necessary.

I adjusted the neckline so it worked with the new cross over design at the front of the dress. You may or may not have to do this depending upon the design of your dress.

I chose to cut off the original collar and create a new, asymmetrical neckline with a simple, folded over, double hem.

And finally for modesty, I took advantage of the original buttonholes that had been on the front of the dress and sewed new buttons to secure the top bodice in place.

And it’s finished. Like all wrap dresses, it’s really comfortable. It’s perfect for work and play so gets a lot of a use making it exceptional value for money. Best of all, it’s got a second life in my wardrobe for many years to come.

Thanks for watching, BEX.

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.