Posted on

How to upcycle your wardrobe- Bird dress step 1


This is my attempt at an actual way to upscale your wardrobe with things you already have in your closet.

This is a dress I have had in my closet for years.
Bird dress front view

It’s cute in the picture. I love Pyramid Collection. I own many of their dresses and jewelry pieces, however, this particular dress, STILL has me scratching my head.

(The first couple pictures are crappy I apologize!)

So the dress looks great from the front, but then when I put it on my dress for you can see where things go wrong from the side:
Dress side view

It’s great if I was pregnant! But sadly, my dressform is not expecting.

Then here is the back:
Bird dress back view

But wait, there is more:
Bird dress butt view

Your booty is literally hanging out of this dress. I don’t understand how something with SO MUCH fabric, can not cover the essentials. There is so much fabric in the dress, I really don’t understand where it all goes!

So then it came time to take everything down, but there apposes another problem. I had no idea where to start! There were pin tucks, pleats, bubble hems, french seams, and much more! It’s like when someone constructed this particular dress, they just threw all the scraps together and made it a “make it work” situation!

What’s going on here?
bird dress construction 4

The construction is just IMPOSSIBLE! For the life of me, I just can’t figure it out!
Bird dress construction 2

More confusing!
Bird dress construction 3

Wait, what is attached to what?
Bird dress construction 1

So I just started hacking away at it, and the more tucks undid, the more fabric just came spilling out!!

bird dress so much fabric 1

See what I mean?

bird dress so much fabric 2

And the weird part is, is that none of it seemed to be symmetrical. As hard as I tried to go along the seams, it was just impossible to keep everything tide. So as carefully as I could, I ended up just taking the entire bottom half off. This one was a doozy. Because once I took everything down, it was just opening a big can of worms.

Here’s the fabric all chopped off. See how it just does lay flat, or make any rhyme or reason?

Bird dress taking fabric off

And here is the dress, or whats left of it. Even with doing nothing to it, it looks MUCH nicer in my opinion. But, we don’t stop at the ordinary!
bird dress left with the bear essentials

I ended up looking through my bins of fabric that I’ve acquired over the years. Every DIY, crafter, seamstress or female has fabric laying around. That’s what I dug into. I ended up finding a pretty neat blue cotton blend that I got on sale at It looks like I got about 3 yards of it and it looked like it would hang well, so I went for it.

bird dress cotton blend

Then I dug through my pattern box to find a nice high waisted skirt pattern. I tend to be more partial to the older patterns. They just seem to fit better on me. I think it’s my child birthing hips.

Bird dress vintage patters


And it’s almost like it was meant to be!

Bird dress perfect fit

Double perfect!

I started to pin the skirt to the top and decided it needed a little extra. The blue and the print where too extreme for my taste.

Bird dress what I have so far

So I decided to make a peplum to the the median between the two. I made it out of the left over fabric from the skirt. Because lets face it, there was plenty.

bird dress i made a peplum

Much Better!

Don’t forget to finish your edges!
bird dress make sure to finish your edges even on the inside!

So now at this point I wanted to try it on.

Bird Dress overall

Overall, there are some things I need to fix, like there is some slight puckering at the center front where the lining meets the center. And the peplum is a little wonky.

Bird dress things I have to fix

I still have some things planned for this dress, but it’s a good start. I ordered some dye and lace to compliment things so we will see how it goes. I’m thinking of taking the lining out all together. But we will see.

Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for part 2!