Refashion - From Duvet into 2 Dresses

10:35 AM
I love a good refashion project, and this was my most ambitious try.

I purchased a beautiful twin size duvet from GoodWill for $5.99.  I LOVED the colors and thought they'd make a great dress.

Cheapo duvet from the charity shop

Pretty colors!

I used one of a favorite dresses as a pattern.  First I cut the top.

Cut pattern from an old dress

Cut 2 - from and back

Then I cut the skirt.

Cut 3 skirt panels.  Use 4 for a super full skirt

Turns out the top was a little too snug so I make a shirred panel for the back.

I added a shirred panel to make the dress top bigger.

The original dress had a shirred panel in the back and I failed to consider that when cutting the dress.  No matter, making a shirred panel was quick and easy!  We'll cover shirring later in this post.

I put all of the pieces together to complete the dress.  I did a LOT of fixing and editing along the way.  I ended up cutting the arm holes bigger and i changed the neckline from square to sweetheart.  The original dress was WAY too short, so I cut a long panel to lengthen the dress.  All in all i'm pleased with the result.

Sweetheart neckline

I decided to make the second dress sleeveless assuming that it would be quicker and easier.  It wasn't any faster or easier, but I enjoyed it nevertheless.

Dress #2

For the second dress I cut a strip of fabric big enough to fit around my chest.  I added a few inches because shirring makes things smaller.


Shirred Top Dress

For this project I used 100% cotton fabric, elastic thread, cotton thread and a sewing machine.

Elastic thread ($2.49 at the fabric store)

Hand roll the elastic thread onto a bobbin.

Hand wind your bobbin

Now thread the bobbin into the sewing machine.

Load as usual

Hem the top of the panel to be shirred (with regular thread).  Using the elastic thread bobbin, begin sewing shirred lines.

Be patient and keep sewing

For the first couple of lines it doesn't look like much.  Just keep going.

It takes a few rows before it looks right

A few lines in it begins to look ok.  Keep sewing.

Fully shirred panel

Before you know it you have an entire shirred panel!  But wait -  you're not done yet!!!

You'll need to wet the panel so that it can contract.

Wet the shirred panel

I wet the panel in the sink and allowed it to drip dry.  (Use could also toss it in the dryer).  While the panel dried, I made and hemmed simple skirt.  I also added a few bright pink embellishments to the skirt.

I added a bit of color to an otherwise plain skirt

One the top dried, I sewed it to the skirt.

All done!

Easy Breezy!

For more ReFashion projects, click HERE!

Photo credits to my very grumpy 10 year old was is thoroughly unimpressed with my desire to use him as a photographer.

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  1. You did a great job. Both dresses look amazing

  2. Great instructions for shirring. Your photographer is amazing :)

  3. Shirring! Why didn't I think of that? I can imagine shirring on an oversize top. Glad to have this technique in my tool box.

  4. Do you stretch the elastic thread when threading the bobbin?

    1. No. Wrap the elastic thread as you would any other kind of thread. Be careful NOT to stretch it when winding it onto the bobbin.

      Good luck and happy shirring!

  5. I am one of the voters on Beth's refashion runway challenge and let me just say, FINALLY! You will get my vote, not just because you are very talented but because you are making clothes for a woman the size of me! I love Beth's refashions and the other ladies as well but they take a medium mens shirt and make a dress...........that wouldn't cover my foot! Also -I have the exact same duvet as you only mine is in turquoise and pink and was very pricey back in the early 2000's. now I know what to do with it! Yay!! Great job.

    1. OMGosh!! Thanks so much! I too was havung a terrible time finding refashions for plus size women. So I starting making my own. It's definately still a work in progress. I appreciate your kind words more than you'll ever know!