Little Black Dress Makeover. Full Tutorial Here

Don’t you just love a little black dress? I seem to never have enough of them but this romantic take on a basic fashion staple somehow makes it even better. So, for this week’s fashion DIY, I’m going to give a basic little black dress a total makeover and share each step in detail with you so you can make your own too.

To make this dress you’ll need about 1- 1 1/2 hours of time.  You won’t need any fancy tools besides a basic sewing machine and even though I use my beloved serger during steps, I’ll be sure to give other alternatives that I know you’ll love just as much. So, without further ado, let’s get started!


Little Black Dress Makeover. Gather these supplies

Here’s the specific tools I’ll be using for this tutorial. You can get them on Amazon if you’re missing anything:

Step 1: Cut your chiffon into four 11″ strips

Cut your yard and half of chiffon into 11″ strips lengthwise. These will make up the ruffles of your dress. My dress ended up only needing three tiers but since you’ll have some leftover fabric, it’s best to have an extra strip to work with.

Little Black Dress Makeover. Cut chiffon into four equal stripsLittle Black Dress Makeover. Cut chiffon 11 inches wide

Step 2:

Hem one side of each chiffon strip. I used a serger to create a rolled hem, but you can also create a beautiful narrow hem by following these steps. Do This for all four strips of chiffon.

Little Black Dress Makeover. Finish one side of the chiffon

Step 3: Gather

Now that one side of your chiffon is neat and finished, it’s time to gather the other side to create ruffles on your new dress. Use a hand-sewing needle to make a large running stitch and gather to fit the circumference of your dress skirt.

Little Black Dress Makeover. Thread a sewing needle

Step 4: Measure and Mark

Using tailors chalk, measure 6 inch sections up from the bottom of your skirt and mark. These lines will be the guide of your ruffles. Feel free to get creative here. Would you like them diagonal? Vertical? For the purpose of this tutorial, I’ll be marking horizontal, parallel lines but feel free to get creative!

Little Black Dress Makeover. Mark 6 inch sections up your dressLittle Black Dress Makeover. Use tailors chalk to mark sections

Step 5: Pin Into Place

Once you have measured and decided where you’d like your chiffon ruffles, it’s time to pin them into place. Circle the skirt of your dress and don’t forget to leave enough excess chiffon to sew your strips into a circle around your dress once your done.

Little Black Dress Makeover. Pin chiffon in place on marked lines

tip: For your final tier, pin your chiffon facing the other strips (upside-down) This helps it fall nicely and hides the ugly, raw edge once it’s completed.

Little Black Dress Makeover. Pin the last chiffon tier in the opposite direction

Step 5: Sew

Using a basic zigzag stitch, secure your chiffon ruffles into place. Since this basic dress is slightly stretchy, the zigzag helps it continue to stretch once the chiffon is sewn on.

Little Black Dress Makeover. Sew On the ruffles

Step 6: How To Make a Simple Sleeve

Using the excess chiffon you have, cut two rectangles that measure 6″ x 17″ These will become those draped sleeves. You will be so surprised how easy this is!

Little Black Dress Makeover. Cut 17 inches by 6 inchesLittle Black Dress Makeover. Cut chiffon 7 inches by 6 inches

Step 7: Mark the Armhole

Find the bottom center of each armhole by folding your dress in half and marking it with a sewing pin.

Little Black Dress Makeover. Place a pin at the center of arm the opening

Step 8:

Starting from the marked center pin, secure your chiffon into place along the bottom and sides of each armhole.

Little Black Dress Makeover. Sew on the sleeve

When your fabric is secured, your top should lay flat like this:

Little Black Dress Makeover. Finished Project DIY

Step 9:

Sew the rectangles into place around each armhole and you are all done. You now have a completely re-done little black dress that is ready for any party, date, or wherever else you’d like to wear it.

I hope you liked this little DIY. As always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to let me know in the comments below!

Little Black Dress Makeover. Make this DIY Chiffon LBDLittle Black Dress Makeover. Full Tutorial Here

How I Wear It:

I plan on styling this little black dress over and over again but for today, I loved pairing it with my favorite nude heels, a DIY necklace from an past vacation and my new vegan leather bag

Little Black Dress Makeover. Make this DIY Chiffon Little Black Dress

Little Black Dress Makeover. Make this DIY Chiffon Ruffled Party Dress

Make this DIY Chiffon LBD. Little Black Dress Makeover. Full Tutorial HERE

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