Paisley power! How to transform an oversized dress into a 1960s-inspired a-line mini dress

As the second series of the Great British Sewing Bee is now firmly underway it seems a good time to share my latest crafty endeavours.

We all know I’m a bit of a sucker for 1960’s mini dresses…. remember the original Twiggy dress from last April?

Well now it’s got a new companion in the wardrobe with this paisley print a-line mini dress which started life like this…

paisley dress before

OBLIGATORY: Attractive ‘before’ shot

and ended up like this…

paisley dress full length edClick here for the easy tutorial to have a go at making your own 60s-style dress.

Sunday really should be renamed Craftday chez vintage as it’s the only day I don’t work at some point during the day and can whack a CD on and commit a few hours to transforming something from the chazza pile.

I got Kelly Doust’s Minxy Vintage How to Customise and Wear Vintage Clothing for Christmas and as I was flicking through it over a cuppa I noticed the Flower Child mini dress.

A huge maternity dress was transformed into a gorgeous a-line mini dress – it was love at first sight and I knew there and then that I needed one of my own.

I’d snaffled a bargainous (if over-sized and unflattering) dress last year for £3 and knew it was the one!

First I lopped off the bottom of the skirt and the unflattering short sleeves and pinned a new hem.

hem lopped off

… Worked some sewing machine and wonderweb magic on the hem and sleeves (having recycled the old sleeves to make new interfacings).


… And ended up with this lovely little number that looks fab on its own or with a gorgeous vintage coat flung over it.

Paisley dress 60s close-up

This impromptu shoot took place next to a railway bridge (classy!) and this fishing pond that was tucked away down a dirt track.

fishing pondIsn’t it pretty?dress lake

Paisley 60s dress coat full length

What do you reckon?

What are your plans for the weekend? I’ve got the Friday feeling as I’m off to a vintage-themed birthday party tonight and Mama Vintage very kindly made some alterations to my new-to-me dress so I will go to the ball in it. Yay!

Hope you have a good ‘un, and please link up to any crafty-type posts – I’d love to read ’em!

17 Responses to Paisley power! How to transform an oversized dress into a 1960s-inspired a-line mini dress

  1. Kerry says:

    What a great refashion, it’s very stylish

  2. Vix says:

    That’s brilliant! The original dress was so hideous in style i don’t think I’d even have picked it up! You’ve totally transformed it into a thing of beauty and check out those legs! xxx

    • manc_vintage says:

      Ooh it was the pattern that got me – it wasn’t much beforehand (check out my hotty face) but I’m really pleased with how it turned out… though didn’t realise just how short it was until I saw the pics! xxx

  3. Amy says:

    You look very glam m’dear. Keep up the good work

  4. What a transformation. I do so adore the thrill of re-fashioning something very unpromising into a much-worn, much-loved ‘new’ garment. Great location and light too. Perfect.

  5. Porcelina says:

    Aren’t you clever?! This is brilliant! You look lovely in it, and I love the coat over it too in the last shot. P x

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  7. SJ says:

    Love it! You’re so brave, chopping things up – I’ve found some gems in charity shops recently but I’m always too scared to take a pair of scissors to them!

  8. Awesome frock revamping! It turned out so well and really, really highlights what mind-blowingly lovely gams you have, dear gal! (Seriously, if my legs looked 1/100th as great as yours, I might actually own a pair of shorts or a mini skirt.)

    ♥ Jessica

    *PS* Thank you very much for your wonderfully nice comment on my 1940s outfit post today. Yes, ma’am, my blog had a thorough design makeover in January. It was something I’d been wanting to do for months and was elated to be able to count it amongst one of my first noteworthy accomplishments for 2014. At long last I finally love how my site looks! :)

  9. Sarah says:

    Awesome transformation!

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