DIY Vintage Dress to Fashionable Tunic | Thriftanista in the City


DIY Vintage Dress to Fashionable Tunic

I bought a vintage dress off of a sale rack. I liked the bright colors, bell sleeves, and sweetheart neckline. It had a small barely noticeable stain. I sprayed it with stain remover. Washed it. No change. I colored over tiny stain with a sharpie thinking it would blend in with the large motif. Nah. Nope. Bad idea. I washed it and ended up with TWO stains on my $5 vintage dress.

dress to tunic

It also had some loose stitching on a back dart and it was a little tight. I was able to move in it but given the other issues I decided to proceed with fashion surgery and turn it into a tunic.

dress to tunic refashion

I pretty much altered the dress the same way I did the too small one from last year. In addition to adding slits, I cut some length to chop off the stain too.

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DIY Dress to Tunic

Supplies Needed:
old dress
matching thread
seam ripper
sewing machine or liquid stitch


refashion dress into a tunic top
Measure and mark where you want the tunic length to fall. Leave an inch or two more for a hem.

dress refashion
Cut off the excess by making a snip at the side seam and then cutting around following your markings.

dress to tunic diy
Open the side seams with the seam ripper to desired length. I tried the top on and carefully picked the stitching on one side until it was where I wanted then used that length for the other side.

altering a too small dress
Fold the hem allowance over and sew in place. Topstitch the side slits if you're feeling extra fancy.

alter a too small dress
All done and then I decided to remove the back darts for extra comfort. I picked them open with my seam ripper then ironed out the creases. Opening darts are great when you need a little extra space!

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I do not like cutting up true vintage. I like the "as-is" look of it. I wouldn't have worn it otherwise though and I'm glad I made the choice to cut. All of the great details are on top anyway.

Do you alter vintage?

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The Details
vintage earrings - thrift store
earrings - gift
ring - Henri Bendel
vintage tunic - diy
Eddie Bower jeans (to shorts) - thrift store
Seychelles wedge sandals - Amazon

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