Rally for the Arts!

Japanese Butterfly Garden Top
Jasper Fancies Me!

As I enter Week 3 of not working (1st week was vacation, but it still counts!), I’m starting to get a bit down.  :/ I find myself staying up/sleeping in ridiculously late, and I feel draggy and lethargic all the time.  Right now, I’m in a weird limbo state where I don’t know if I have a job or not.  All will be decided when the SC Legislators get back into session.

I decided to attempt to cure my drab & dreary mood by fixing a drab & dreary dress!  :)

It’s a drab day in South Carolina!

This dress is frumpy and dated as can be, but there were a couple of things to like about it. First off, the light linen-y fabric was comfy as could be — perfect for a hot and humid day!  The top of the dress had this lovely detail as well:

Purty! :)

…but then I was reminded of this:

Does anyone else remember the Kathie Lee Sweatshop scandal of ’96?  Not cool, Kathie.  Not cool.  :(

The first thing I needed to take care of was that blah beige!

Say hello to my little friends!

I mixed some Scarlet dye with a bit ‘o Navy.  Usually when I use Scarlet, I end up with a Coral hue.  Adding some blue will surely prevent this, no?  :)

Mixology at work!

After my dress was dyed & dried, I needed to shape it up a bit!  I took it in from the sides 3″.

Getting it in shape! :)

A quick stitch session followed.


I cut off the extra fabric from the sides, and used one of the scraps to make (what else?) a sash!

Stitch it down, then turn it inside-out and close up the raw end! :)

I’m not done yet!  :)  I liked the length of this dress, but if it was going to stay, I’d need to get my all-natural air-conditioning elsewhere!


I folded that top raw edge under twice, and stitched it down…

Making a casing! :)

This made a casing for me to put a nicely-fitted piece of elastic into!

In ya go!

After a good press, my new dress was ready for a Rally to Save the Arts in South Carolina! :)  That’s right, people from all over South Carolina  organized at the statehouse to show their support of the of the SC Arts Commission and the SC arts movement!

Ready to Rally! :)

When I first showed up, I wasn’t sure what to expect.  Would people really brave the rain to support the arts?

Um…yes! :)

I have to admit, I was genuinely touched by all the support!  Some of my best buds came out to show the arts some love, too!  :)

They just don’t want me to be stuck sofa surfing with them…;)

Lots of Love for The Arts in SC!!! :)

Rain? What rain? :)

I ran into some awesome local artists as well!

It’s Nick Dunn and Natalie Brown! :)

It’s Michael Krajewski (in his own refashed shirt!) :)

Feeling like a Greek Goddess! :)

This rally did my heavy heart a great deal of good.  :)  I hope to have some good news for you guys in the next couple of days as to the future of The SC Arts Commission, and of course, my place in it.  :)



  1. Great looking make over. I am so glad you had such a great turn out of supporters. Here’s to hoping you get your job back quickly- xo Diana

  2. Hey Chica –

    I haven’t had a fulltime job for about 4 weeks now. The best thing I did for myself was create a daily schedule. Bed at 10pm, up at 6am, breakfast, exercise, and then job search til 5 or 6pm. It helped keep me on a regular sleep pattern even when I varied it slightly and kept me focused each day.

    Lotsa love!

  3. I can’t tell you how many of those KL dresses I’ve come across…I feel absolutely inspired right now! And how awesome to see so many people rallied together to support the arts!

  4. Hey Jillian
    I have been following you for a while now, I am inspired and until today was pretty anxious about trying to refashion especially since I have never used a sewing machine! But I have an event over the weekend that requires a costume… so I bought some purple RIT and got to dying. I am really happy with the piece, it is rayon and picked up the purple great (was very light green before). I decided to add in a cotton skirt that is just the perfect fit, but over the years has become a less bright white… it came out with a bit of a tye dye look, which I actually love, but going forward, I am wondering how to avoid this look? I used cold water as that is what the Rit website suggested for the rayon. I also used cold for the cotton. perhaps, I should have used a warmer temp?
    Any help would be appreciated! Thanks so much for your inspiration!!

    Best of luck with your job. your work is of the kind that benefits many in so many different ways and just simply needs to be saved!

  5. Hi Jillian, I heard this afternoon that the SC House overrode the veto of the Arts Commission funding – yes!! On to the Senate tomorrow. I’ll be sending positive thoughts!

  6. Your talent and passion bring me insane amounts of joy and I want nothing more than to see you continuing to work doing what you love! I hope to hear great news!!!

  7. This is my favorite refashion by far! Keep you head up and eyes open, this unemployment may turn into opportunity. You are sure to land on your feet, whether it is back in your old job or starting another adventure.

  8. I think what you’re feeling is very common. Plus you seem like someone who is so used to being busy; maybe look at this as the break you need? After a reasonable amount of down time, look into volunteer opportunities perhaps? Hang in there! =) <3

  9. I really am chomping at the bit to try my hand at refashioning and have several dresses ready to alter, but I can’t get past one giant fear…. Creating an even hem. Any advice on the process of cutting a dress shorter and making the hem straight would be greatly appreciated!!!!

  10. I’ve been away for a spell, but, am now back. Checking out my blogs, I was glad to see you’re still at it. Great job on this refashioning Love the color. Keep up the great work.

  11. I have been a Trift store junkie for some years now, but you have inspired me. I now go thrifting for lining material (to cover a scratchy collar on a superb wool plaid cape), buttons (cheaper to buy the clothing than new buttons made in China), summer pajamas (Just lop off the long ones, and voila!),, zippers, and my latest venture…. making vintage aprons from thrift store dresses. CUUUUTE!!!!! I have 5 in the making from 4 dresses (One sac dress I can use front and back!) I am a 61 year old retired teacher (I taught Spanish, so I was a fun one, not one of those old fuddy duddies!) and you CAN teach old dogs new tricks. Good for you!
    Refashion on!

  12. Your blog is a great inspiration. I just scored 23 outfits for $0.25 each at a thrift store that was going out of business. Also got a sewing cabinet off Craigslist for $30 and can’t wait to get started. Junie

  13. I love your refashion. My question is do you remove the stick pins as you sew?

  14. Hey, I found your blog pinned on Pinterest today and because my finals are over I’ve just been going all the way through it xD It’s really cool! I hadn’t heard about the Kathie Lee line scandal at all, so I googled it and don’t judge her too harshly – she didn’t know about because that’s low-level management stuff, and once she did find out about it she worked to fix it immediately. Just thought you might want to know! Anyway, keep on refashing, and your puppy is adorable. Also, maybe think about doing something a little more streamlined, or curve hugging? I’m an hourglass shape and used to cinching my waist with a belt or sash and having a full skirt still. How about a pencil skirt, or something more curve hugging? P.S. – sorry I’m commenting on something from so long ago xD

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