Have you ever seen the movie Pretty in Pink? It’s a teen love story with some sewing/refashion parts from the 1980s. I’m incredibly happy to be in a time where it has become popular for people to take old formal gowns and bring them new life. I did 3 fashions last winter and I can share 2 with you today. The last one has to wait until after the July wedding. I received this picture and was asked if I could make this happen by adding a tulle skirt to another gown.


This is something I learned in high school. My mom didn’t believe in buying anything new, I had 2 baby sisters and our family didn’t have a clothing budget. I would buy clothing at the thrift store, take it apart and remake it. I have no fear of cutting stuff up. Below is the original dress I was asked to hack.


I took video of the cutting of this dress. I also used this video when I applied for the new reality TV show called, The Handmade Project.

Tulle can be really tricky to work with. You will need lots of patience and time. The tulle skirt we purchased was white and the dress was cream. We solved this problem by adding a layer of cream tulle over the white. The elastic would need to be taken off as it made the dress bunch up and pucker.


















It is almost as easy to make an entire new dress if alterations need to be done and changes are made. This upcycle took a lot of thought, time and care but it was all worth it in the end.

My second upcycle was a prom gown. This one had the most interesting layers and I really like the sleek fitted look the young lady went with.

Here is another youtube video of me cutting up her dress. I have too much fun doing this!

Many objects can be saved from our land fills. If you are a beginner and want to start upcyclying here are a few inexpensive inspirational projects I have done. The possibilities are limitless and learning on free or thrifted items will make you more secure in your adventures and lessen your fear of tearing stuff up. Please remember you may have a few failures before you get to success!

Behind the scenes~

This week I was asked to teach my design The Insta Dress at Cincinnati’s sewing shop, The Silk Road! This was my last available weekend left through September! I am so excited to be fully booked with events and classes!

Thank you for reading!
Dream it, Sew it!

Tracy McElfresh

Tracy McElfresh is the owner of Tracy’s Sewing Studio LLC.
Tracy McElfresh