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Upcycled party dress project

Upcycled party dress project

DYLON Dyes has worked with stylist, fashion entrepreneur and thrifter Kavita Donkersley, to create its first ever ‘Re-Dye Don’t Re-Buy’ capsule collection with a difference. In this project Kavita will show you how to create an upcycled party dress. 

How to upcycle clothing

Smock style dress with buttons

Materials needed

Old smock-style dress in any colour  

DYLON Machine Dye Pod in Intense Black or any colour of your choice


Clear thread


A selection of large buttons of your choice – we used vintage style gold buttons

Upcycling ideas from Dylon


Turn the damp, clean dress inside out and place it in the washing machine.

Open the Intense Black DYLON Machine Dye Pod and pop the unwrapped pod directly on top of the garment. Set the machine to a full cotton 40° C cycle. Once this is complete, leave the item in the machine and  run another cycle with detergent.

The dye is suitable for garments made of cotton, linen and viscose. Mixes with synthetics will dye to lighter shades and pure synthetics will not dye.

Once the dress has been dyed and removed from the machine, run an empty cycle using detergent to clean your machine. Remove the empty pod from the machine.

Once the dress is ready, leave it to dry away from direct sunlight.

Always read Dylon Machine Dyes Pod’s pack for instructions and fabric requirements before use.

Upcycling tips for old clothes

Add the gold buttons down the front using a needle and clear thread. To make the gold buttons stay upright and tight, pull on the thread as you sew.

Ways to upcycle dresses

You can add a lace collar to the dress to add an interesting neckline detail.

How do I upcycle my clothes?

For other upcycling projects please visit our free sewing projects page and click the upcycling tag.