Joyful Upcycled: Summer Dress

[UPDATE: you can find the tutorial for this dress here]
I love thrift stores, there's always so much potential to upcycle things, sometimes you don't even need to. But I love to change things around 🙂

When I moved from Chile I could not bring all of my clothes, and since I moved when it was winter in California, my summer wardrobe is very small, so to solve it, I went to the thrift store in my small little town and got about 20 pieces of clothes for about $35.00 (I say good deal!!)  And I'm going to share with all of you all of the things I'm going to upcyled, and hopefully someone else will get inspired in the process.

This fist upcycling is a 6XL men's shirt that I will transform into a summer dress, I know sometimes is hard to find big shirts, but I am pretty tall, so I needed the biggest one I could find.

Upcycled Summer Dress

Joy Kelley

Upcycled Summer Dress

Summer Dress

I know some of you might be wondering if this pictures are old because of my hair, the answer is nop! I just got to play around with extensions I bought about 4 years a go for a pageant, I had very short hair then too, so now it comes handy and I can remember what it felt like to have long hair again 🙂


It was fun to take pictures with long hair! Next week I will be sharing this and the Joyful ruffle top tutorial, and remember to enter the Ruffles Handbag giveaway!


About Joy

Joy Kelley is a Chilean Designer & lettering Artist. Mom to 3 little boys. Crafter. Pattern lover. Color obsessed. Lemon pie dependent. And the hand behind the HowJoyful Studio & HowJoyful Shop

16 replies
  1. Sindy
    Sindy says:

    I envy you (in a very nice way) because you can sew the way I would like to…
    Any tips for those learning how to sew by themselves? 😛

    • Joy
      Joy says:

      I actually learn by myself! I think practice was the key, I did a lot of small projects before I was confident enough to try big stuff. Once you are confident with your cutting and sewing, no projects will intimidate you! 🙂

      I will be posting a tutorial on this dress so you can try it!

  2. Andie
    Andie says:

    jeez Joy you are so talented! I know how to sew, but I still don’t feel comfortable just sewing things free-hand like that without any patterns. And I’ve been sewing for 14 years! I wish I could make the types of things you make!

  3. Debbie
    Debbie says:

    That is a lovely summer dress! What size shirt did you start out with, and what size dress is it now?

    • Joy
      Joy says:

      Hi Debbie, as the tutorial mentions, I made it with a 6XL me’s shirt and I am not sure the finish size of the dress, but I wear Medium size clothes. Hope that helps =]

  4. kayte
    kayte says:

    Found you through a facebook link…great site and ideas! If others cannot find a mens shirt in 6XL, they could make this or similar dress from two or three shirts in solid colors or coordinating colors or prints.

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