This girl has a ton of refashion ideas on her blog


I wasn’t kidding when I said that I was really excited about the potential of taking any top and turning it into a dress bodice as I did in this previous tutorial.  When my friend Madison of Madison Larsen Photography talked to me about taking some of my maternity pictures, I was thrilled.  I wanted to take advantage of this opportunity (she’s a killer photographer) by creating something that would be fun to photograph.  I went on a huge search throughout my closet and at various thrift stores until I found this little gold gem at Savers.  It was a size 18w.  I’m not, so I knew right away it would need some work.

When I got the pictures back from Madison, I was stunned.  She did such                        an incredible job that it just felt wrong to squish all her work into a tutorial post.  Because of this, I have broken this project into two segments: the tutorial and the “after shots.”

This is what the top looked like before it was refashioned into the dress bodice.

Top to Dress Bodice Tutorial

(Please note that different tops  will most likely involve different steps.

Before refashioning a top into a dress bodice

1. I removed the huge shoulder pads.

2. I made a huge crop and cut off the bottom of the shirt once I had carefully decided how long I wanted the bodice to be. (measure twice, cut once)

3. In order to resize properly, I had to use a seam ripper to remove the sleeves.

How to refashion a top into a dress bodice

4. I took in extra fabric on both side seams of the new bodice.


5.  Additional alterations were required for a better fit, so I added darts to the front and back.

How to refashion a top into a dress bodice

How to take a top and turn it into a dress bodice

The picture above is a mock up of potential darts for the back.  I ended up taking in the side seams first, then adding darts to the back.  I just forgot to take a picture of it, which is why I included this one.

*Please don’t mind the black bra and scarf the dress form is wearing.  That was my way of stuffing it to match my pregnant body for fittings.

6. Once the bodice fit properly, I reattached the sleeves (that I also took in).  Then I quickly whipped up the skirt using some left over satin I had on hand.  I sewed the skirt to the bodice and created a coordinating sash.  Done!



Maternity photography by Utah Photographer Madison Larsen


Maternity photography by Utah Photographer Madison Larsen

Maternity photography by Utah Photographer Madison Larsen


Maternity photography by Utah Photographer Madison Larsen


  • Because of all the beading, the majority of this sewing was done by hand while watching Last Man Standing with my husband on Netflix
  • I used the original zipper from the top.  I just kept it where it was and when I cropped the top, I made sure not to cut through the zipper. I carefully sewed in the bottom portion of the zipper into the skirt.
  • This dress originally had three layers of tulle.  Three layers of tulle + pregnancy = whale, so I removed them.
  • I owe a lot of gratitude to my newest pair of scissors that made all the cutting a cinch! The are cheap but work better than some really expensive pairs that I have used.

Questions?  Feel free to leave them below.  And don’t forget to check out Madison’s blog!