DIY: Dress to flared sleeve top refashion

I’m rather excited to share this refashion with you guys as it was a lot easier than I initially thought it would be.

I first saw the flared sleeve top on Canna of in her Desk to Date Night video – I loved the impact of the sleeves and how she styled it. I then saw different iterations of the blouse on stylegawker (eg. Elements of Ellis, The Hunter Collector, An Unblurred Lady, Through Rosie Coloured Lenses) and knew that I had to give this trend a try.

Thankfully the genius that is Geneva of A Pair and a Spare had a tutorial of her own flared sleeve top, so I used this as the basis of how I did my refashion, with a few changes. Here’s how I did it, using this black $10 thrifted Miss Shop fit and flare dress.

diy-flared-sleeve-top-1Damn those hanger tags that keep popping out.

You’ll need:

  • Pins
  • Measuring tape
  • Tailor’s chalk
  • Fabric scissors
  • Black thread
  • Sewing machine

Step 1.

While wearing the dress, mark where you want the top to end with a pin (I marked mine just at the hip). Take the dress off and use tailor’s chalk to indicate the mark instead of the pin.

With another pin or using tailor’s chalk, mark on the sleeve where you want the flare to begin (I marked to just below the elbow).

Step 2.

With the measuring tape, measure from the hem how far up the chalk mark is. Use this measurement to mark around the skirt part of the dress so that it’s even all around. (I did this because of the flare element of the dress; if the dress was a straight tunic dress, you could probably just cut straight across.)

Step 3.

Cut the skirt part off the dress about an inch away from the chalk marks (this will be allowance for the new hem).

Cut off the part of the sleeve where you marked with the pin or chalk (leave a 1/4 inch allowance). Use the cut off remnant as a guide to cut the other sleeve.


Step 4.

Take the skirt part that you snipped off in Step 3 and cut the whole piece in half lengthways.

Step 5.

Turn the top and the skirt pieces inside out.

Take one sleeve and one skirt piece and orientate the skirt piece so that the existing seam lines up with the outside of the sleeve. Then with tailor’s chalk mark where the seam of the sleeve meets the skirt piece.

Hopefully this picture makes this step a little clearer.

diy-flared-sleeve-top-3The existing seam of the skirt piece lining up with the outside of the sleeve, and the tailor’s chalk mark is lined up with the seam of the sleeve.

Step 6. 

Take the skirt piece and draw a triangular shape from the chalk mark to the old bottom hem of the skirt. The shape will depend on how dramatic you want the flare to be. Cut out the shape, leaving a 1/4 inch allowance (don’t forget to do this, I totally forgot).

Step 7.

Use the shape as a guide to cut out the other half of the skirt piece.


Step 8.

Now it’s time to use the sewing machine.

Sew the new hem for the top.


Sew the long edges of the flares.

diy-flared-sleeve-top-8See what I mean about the seam allowance? I hardly had anything to work with!!

Step 9.

Now sew the flares on to the sleeves.

To do this, make sure the top is turned right side out and the flare inside out. Pin the flare so that the right sides of the sleeve and the flare are facing each other, and that the old seam of the flare (not the one you just sewed) is on the outside of the sleeve (ie not on the seam side of the sleeve).

Iron your new top, especially the newly sewn hems and seams.

Your new top is done!


I paired the top with my DIY raw uneven hem jeans and lace up booties before I put them away for winter. I actually made the back hem of the jeans a little shorter than when I originally cut them because the slightly shorter hem looked better, especially with these booties.


Instagram husband took the photos and affectionately mentioned I was wearing my Morticia Addams blouse.

The top ended being a tad shorter than I expected (the length, not the sleeves), so high-waisted pants/skirts/jeans are a must. Make sure you measure, measure and measure again!

As the dress was a fit-and-flare, cutting off part of the skirt meant the top ended up with a slightly peplum shape, which I quite liked.







Overall I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out, and I’m really looking forward to wearing this in winter!

I hope this inspires you to make your own flare sleeve top! Of course, if DIY isn’t your thing, below are some affordable shoppable options.

If you decide to do this refashion for yourself, I’d love to see it! Drop me a comment below with the link to your project, or tag me on Instagram ( with your creation!


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Linking up with: Style Me Wednesday | On Trend Tuesday | Trend Spin | Forage Fashion | Oh hey girl | Fresh Fashion Forum | Jersey Girl Texan Heart | The Wardrobe Stylist | Style Sessions

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