DIY Upcycled Dress by Candice Ayala

Happy Tuesday Lovelies!

It’s Week #2 Season 16 for Project Run and Play and I just want to say THANK YOU for voting for my Circus inspired look from Week #1. I was 1st place for Community Public Votes but in total I ranked 2nd Place all in all, as I lost points from the judges in the wearability category, which was no surprise, as I did fear the outfit would be seen as more a costume than an actual outfit. However, your votes were worth 33% of my tally and they helped greatly in seeing me over to Week #2 so THANK YOU SO VERY VERY MUCH! If you missed my first project you can find it HERE.

This week’s theme is: SEW YOUR STASH, and our blurb reads:

Your consciousness of your surroundings will shine this week as you think of your ecosystem- both in nature and in your stash! See your fabric pile in a new light as you create a fabulous look for the present – with cloth from the past.

I know I sometimes interpret things very literally, but everything about that phrase made me see “UPCYCLE UPCYCLE UPCYCLE” flashing in red lights! lol. Being “conscious of my surroundings and ecosystem both in nature and stash” made me think of the fact that by upcycling I’m making a conscious effort to reduce my carbon footprint. And the “cloth from the past” definitely made me think of vintage garments I’ve acquired sitting in my ever growing stash meant for upcycling. Or it could just be because I’m on an Upcycling kick at the moment, it’s all I can see…lol. So needless to say, this project is also an upcycle. (Seriously, I feel like I just can’t help myself lol)

DIY Upcycled Dress by Candice Ayala

So now we have a garment from the 90’s refashioned into something simple and trendy!

DIY Upcycled Dress by Candice Ayala

Okay, now let me walk you though my process:
Picking something from my stash to use wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be, once I decided to use some key words from the blurb, I decided on a dress I found at Goodwill a year ago. I remember thinking just how gorgeous the border print was, and picked it up even if I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it then.

Keywords from the blurb:

Ecosystem – pick something thats bio degradable;  It’s a soft cotton rayon so its biodegradable – check!

Nature – pick something that depicts nature; It has a beautiful floral border print that depicts nature – check!

Cloth from the Past – pick something that has a style from a different fashion era; its a dress style from the 90’s so cloth from the past – check!

DIY Upcycled Dress by Candice Ayala DIY Upcycled Dress by Candice Ayala

I wanted to make something appropriate for the weather for our trip home to Belize (we are probably still in the air as you are reading this)  and because I did the most on my first project, I wanted to keep this one simple and sweet. Abigail was wearing this knit dress from Target while I was explaining to her the fabric choice and my ideas.


Half way through my brainstorming she interrupted me and said, “just make it like this one mom, its really soft and comfy”. I was about to explain to her that the fabrics are two totally different kinds, but then I realized THERE LIES MY CHALLENGE! And so I went with it!

Here’s what I did: 

  • I traced the front and back bodice of the original dress
  • Added 3/8 seam allowance all around the bodice pieces and lined the dress because I absolutely obsess about clean finishes.

DIY Upcycled Dress by Candice Ayala

  • I cut the back bodice in half and added a 1/2 Inch allowance down the middle of both pieces to allocate for an invisible zipper. (Which is my most preferred type of closure. You can find my tutorial on how to do that in a lined bodice HERE.)

 DIY Upcycled Dress by Candice Ayala

  • I used the side ties for the straps and to add a very small difference to the look of the original dress, I fed the straps into the side seam of the back piece verses through the top of the back bodice.

DIY Upcycled Dress by Candice Ayala DIY Upcycled Dress by Candice Ayala

  • The hem of the original dress was beautifully finished with a blind hem, and because I also wanted to show off the border print, I did a gathered skirt instead of a handkerchief hem.

DIY Upcycled Dress by Candice Ayala

  • Used some left over fabric to add to her hat. 

DIY Upcycled Dress by Candice Ayala

I debated on using the roses, but it bothered me that the bright red color didn’t really match the reds in the dress, so I left them out. 

And thats it for my look for this week, thank you so much for stopping by! Oh and remember, this is a voting competition, so please be sure to visit Project Run & Play’s post HERE to find the voting widget at the bottom of their post. The other contestants are mega talented as you’ve seen from Week #1 so be sure to just simply vote by picking your favorite stash buster outfit!   GO VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE HERE!!! (remember to scroll down to the bottom of the post to find the voting widget, all it requires is one click!)

Talk to you soon!


DIY Upcycled Dress by Candice Ayala

12 thoughts on “DIY Upcycled Adult Dress to Child’s Dress

  1. I like how you copied a simple design to make a dress that you knew your daughter would enjoy. Of course, I up-cycle fabric and I am interested to see how other individuals that like up-cycling create new garments. Great use of the border print…you’ve got my vote. Deborah

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *