3 Floral Dress DIYs That Anyone Can Master

We live in dresses all summer long. Repeat that three times. But, despite the abundance of sweet frocks hanging in our closets, we still search and search for something fresh to appear. You know, a new dress that fits effortlessly and doesn't leave us scrambling for rent money. So, we decided to take matters into our own hands and make that dream dress ourselves — yes, make one.
By picking up a seemingly ill-fitting, thrift-shop throwaway and crafting it just so, you can end up with your sartorial soul mate for a fraction of the price you'd pay at your favorite boutique, thanks to our amazing DIY team. To keep it simple, we eliminated the bells and whistles (and jump rings, and fancy clasps) and replaced them with just one necessary tool: your household scissors. The result? Three one-of-a-kind frocks and the bragging rights to say "I made it myself."
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Click through for a trio of super-easy floral dress DIYs and expand your wardrobe 3-fold.
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What you'll need:
A dress you're willing to cut up (or three!)
Scissors
Chalk to mark your lines

Photographed by Guang Xu
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Janelle wears one of the dresses in its original form — not abysmal but could definitely use an upgrade.

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Step 1: While the dress is still on, use your chalk to mark where you want the new hemline to be. We recommend leaving yourself an extra inch or so as the fabric may roll up or your cut may be uneven. This will leave you room to snip and trim as necessary, without making the final product too short.

Note: Don't throw away the extra fabric, you'll be using some of it later!

Photographed by Guang Xu
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Step 2:
Cut along your chalked line to create your hemline. Snip and tweak until even.

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Step 3:
Now you're going to cut off the edges of the sleeves. Measure about one inch or so down from the armpit seam. The lower you go, the lower the racerback on your dress will be. Using the chalk, trace your new arm line.

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Step 4:
Cut along your chalked line, trying to stay even on both sides. It might be helpful to fold the dress in half longways to check.

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Step 5:
Using the extra fabric you cut off initially, cut one to three strips about one inch wide and one foot long.

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Step 6:
Take the strip you've just cut and thread it through the back of your dress with the ends facing towards you.

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Step 7:
Tie the strip into a bow to create a new racerback back line for your dress.

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Step 8:
You can repeat this process as many times as you'd like, playing with the length of the bows, or turning them inside so they are not visible during wear.

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The final product is a perfect-for-summer frock that will stand up to the heat. Janelle styles it with a pair of boots (until the weather really heats up!).

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The back adds an extra twist!

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Seija shows off this outdated look that needs an overhaul, stat!

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Step 1:
Again, begin by measuring your desired length and marking it off with your measuring chalk, leaving an inch or so of extra room (just in case!).

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Step 2:
Cut along your line to create a new hem length.

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Step 3:
Cut off any unwanted extras...

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Step 4:
...like shoulder pads, which are on many vintage dresses. Shoulder pads can change the fit of the dress, so by cutting them off you open more scissor styling opportunities.

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Step 5:
We're going to change the neck line on this dress to a boat neck. It's one of the simpler cuts since it goes straight across the upper chest. Mark off your cut with chalk going from shoulder to shoulder.

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Step 6:
After you've chalked your lines, begin to cut, staying clear of any necessary trimmings, like zippers. Avoid them by beginning your cut where they begin, and move outward.

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You now have a boat neck.

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Step 7:
To make an easily adjustable sleeve, move 1/3 the way up your the long sleeve and mark it with chalk. Then cut along the line.

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Step 8:
Roll the sleeves in as wide or narrow a cuff as you prefer. This leaves no frayed hem and again, allows for wiggle room in case you change your mind or need to adjust.

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Seija's look is easily updated and her floral dress looks good as new!

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Here I am, rounding off the third DIY in a dress nearly as drab as my facial expression.

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Step 1:
While I'm not going to lose any length, I am going to pull an Angelina, and capitalize on the seam, which runs along the length of the back of the dress. I mark the height to indicate where I'd like to extend the slit.

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Step 2:
I then carefully cut upwards along the seam.

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Step 3:
One of my favorite cuts right now is a low back, so, flipping the dress around (with the back seam now cut higher in the front, and the front neckline now serving as the back), I mark a low swoop, extending the neckline down.

Note: It's important not to cut from the very top of the tank top as you will be altering it again. You want to make sure it is still wide enough to hold the dress up.

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Step 4:
I then cut along the chalked "swoop" (my new back line).

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Step 5:
To achieve the look of a high neckline and low back line, I'll need to remove some of the fabric from the sides of the dress to make the effect more dramatic. Again, being careful to leave at least an inch of room on the top of the dress for the strap, I cut off the arm seam, tracing the seam about a half an inch out.

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The result is a sleeker, more modern "night time" dress that I'd definitely wear to a party or event.

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Here's the dress from the back.

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