Upcycle a tea dress to a party frock with this cute cutout idea by designer Amanda McKittrick. Simply snip a shape from the back of a dress you want to rework and secure the raw edges with bias binding. For more thrifty stitching ideas take a look at Amanda's book Recycled Chic, £9.99 by Murdoch Books.
- Dress you want to upcycle
- Tracing paper
- Bias binding
- Matching thread
Rework your party dress
Have a friend mark the points at the waistline and the neckline where you’d like the shape to sit. Lay the dress out flat, then pin a piece of tissue or tracing paper over the top of it to draft your pattern. From the points you’ve marked on the dress, draw two lines on the paper running parallel across the top and bottom, adding a 5mm seam allowance. Draw a line down the centre. Between these lines and from the centre, draw a curve on one side. Remove the paper, fold it in half on the centre line, and cut along the curve. You will now have a symmetrical template.
Position the template in place on the back of the dress, and pin it in place. Trace it, then cut out the shape. Cut a piece of bias binding to go around the curved edge, plus an extra 2.5cm for overlap. Open out one folded edge of the binding and fold under about 1cm at one end.
Starting on a straight part, pin the bias binding all the way around the curved edge of the shape, with the right sides facing, and making sure the two edges match up. Cut another piece to go along the straight edge, plus 2.5cm for overlap. Pin it in the same way as you did for the curved edge.
Stitch along the fold of the bias binding. Clip the curves and corners, and trim off any excess binding at the ends of the pieces. Turn the dress inside out. Flip the bias binding over to the wrong side of the dress and press. Stitch along the edge either by machine or by hand to secure it in place. Press again on the wrong side.