Are you ready for summer? Take those long-sleeved winter dresses or tunics out of your closet and get ready to refashion them! Sew them into short-sleeved summer dresses that ties at your waist with this easy dress refashion tutorial.

Easy Dress Refashion Tutorial //

I got this idea after looking at some tee shirts on Anthropologie. There were some cute tees with ties, and I realized I could easy replicate it with a long sleeve dress. Since this is a dress the ties can be tied in the front or the back depending on the look you want.Easy Dress Refashion Tutorial //

A lot of people love a-line tunics in a gorgeous fluid fabric, and I definitely think they have their place. Sometimes you just want a little bit of waist definition without wearing something overly fitted which makes this refashion tutorial perfect. It’s loose for the summer heat, but still gives you a flattering waist definition.Easy Dress Refashion Tutorial //

The best part about this easy dress refashion tutorial is that it gives new life to your winter dresses and tunics. Maybe you didn’t wear it as much as you thought you would, maybe you didn’t wear it at all, or maybe you love it so much you want to wear it in the summer.Easy Dress Refashion Tutorial //


  • Swing dress or tunic, a-line dress or tunic, loose dress or tunic, etc with long sleeves. Basically, any dress that fits loosely with long sleeves
  • Sewing supplies
  • Tips for sewing knit fabric


  1. With scissors or a rotary cutter and mat, cut both of the long sleeves off of the dress. I cut my sleeves six inches from the shoulder seam.
  2. Save the sleeves nearby.Easy Dress Refashion Tutorial //
  3. Put the dress on and mark where the side seams hit your waist or wherever you want your ties to start.
  4. With a seam ripper carefully open two holes in the side seam where you had marked. The holes should be about four inches long so two inches up from the mark and two inches down from the mark. Here’s three ways to seam rip.Easy Dress Refashion Tutorial //
  5. Grab your sleeves that you cut off. Insert the raw cut edge into the side seam hole with the sleeve seam facing down to the hem of the dress. Do the same to the other sleeve.
  6. Pin the raw edges of the sleeve to the open hole of the dress. Easy Dress Refashion Tutorial //
  7. Turn the dress inside out so that you can see the seams.
  8. With a small zigzag stitch, sew the hole in the side seam of the dress closed with the sleeve edge inside. Sew at a 1/4″ seam allowance.¬†Backstitch at the beginning and at the end.
  9. Sew another line of zigzag stitches on the edge of raw edges to neaten the edges. Backstitch at the beginning and at the end.Easy Dress Refashion Tutorial //
  10. Turn the dress right side out. Tie the sleeves in a cute knot in either the front or the back of the dress.
    Easy Dress Refashion Tutorial //

Would you wear a dress with a tied knot?

Easy Dress Refashion Tutorial //

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Author: Heather Handmade

I'm a seamstress and mother. I sew, blog, thrift, upcycle, design fabric, and teach sewing classes. I'm also a self-proclaimed fabric fondler.

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