Festival of Trees Gala Dress

Happy Thanksgiving Jacket
Vista Lights Dress

When a coworker sent an all staff email saying he had a couple of tickets to the Palmetto Health Foundation’s Festival of Trees Gala that were up for grabs, I was very thankful that most of my other coworkers were at a meeting (meaning:  I was the first person to say “Heck Yeah!”).  Tickets for this fancy schmancy black tie affair sell for $75 a pop, and I’m really quite poor.

There was just one little problem– I really didn’t have anything to wear for a formal event, and it was that night.   Eep!  Luckily, I had this shimmery number in my “to be refashioned” bin!  Revente’s Last Call gave it to me for free, as it was too dated to sell, and they knew I could do something to save it!  :)


I know…I know!  I obviously can’t wear this dress as-is to hobnob with the upper crust.   But…I only had an hour to make this work!  Yikes!

I immediately got to chopping!

First…those pads!!!!
Next…those sleeves have gotta go!!!
Finally, the top part of the back and that icky bulky lining!!!

That’s a lot of chopping!  Now it’s time to take this from frumpy to form-fitting and close up all those raw edges!

I pinned my new neckline under…

I’m not entirely certain of what I’m doing here, folks!

…and then stitched it up!  I used a small zigzag stitch.

I realllly hope this works out!

Then, I took the whole thing in 3″ on each side.


I cut off the excess fabric, then got to work on the back of my dress.

Pin it!
Use a zigzag stitch since the fabric is stretchy! :)

I fixed up those arm holes too.

Allllmost done! :)

For my last trick, I pulled out a spool of grosgrain ribbon!

It’s a good thing to keep on hand…you never know when you’ll need it! :)

I stitched two lengths of ribbon to the front of my dress to make it a halter.

Ready to tie!

I took a leftover fabric scrap from one of the side seams that I took in and tied it around my bust, adding my favorite brooch beside the knot.

My dress looked nice, buuuuut, I really wanted something longer for this event.  I didn’t have time to add on to the dress, so instead I just put a pretty gold iridescent skirt under it– problem solved!  :)

Fitted and Fab! :)
The back!

This was such a fun event!  I brought my pal Amy along and we had a blast nibbling tasty treats, drinking delicious cocktails, and checking out some gorgeous trees!  :)

Feelin’ Fancy! :)
Our kind bartender! :)

Seriously…these trees are pretty amazeballs.

…a closer look!
This is probably my favorite! :)
Love the funky color scheme! :)
Totally in the holiday mood! :)
Owl be home for Chirstmas…;)

I placed a bid on a painting I found particularly awesome.  I’ll know if I won it on Sunday (fingers crossed!).

I think these fish will be happy swimming in my living room. :)

I love dressy events, because it’s always fun to check out what everyone else is wearing!  :)

Fancy Party People!

Amy’s dress is pretty fab, too (and it has POCKETS!!!)!

Isn’t she pretty in pink? :)
Happy hobnobbers! :)
Look…Amy found a new friend! ;)
…and so did I! :)

I always think it’s funny when people wonder where I find the time to refashion.  I think I might actually be saving myself time by not having to run to stores every time I need something for an event and having to try on an endless series of frocks.  Instead, I can just grab things that I think have potential from thrift stores without taking much time at all, refashion them, and have something totally original and new to wear that doesn’t cost my wallet or the planet!  It’s a win/win!  :)


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22 thoughts on “Festival of Trees Gala Dress

  1. You have got me hooked! I look for your email first thing! Wish I knew how to sew, can’t even. So on a button! But love your creativity! Keep them coming!

  2. I want I hang out with you- even if just for 24 hours to shop thrift stores and take a sewing lesson. I’m just so nervous to even try this….I keep looking for super ugly pieces at thrift stores hoping I might be inspired to turn in into one of your awesome creations. So glad I found your blog a couple of months back!! ;)

  3. Love that you made this a halter top….. it would have been just as nice without the skirt under it but either way it’s a winner.

  4. Love your stuff, but have to say I would have rather seen this without the gold skirt & with a great pair of tall black boots. You have such a nice little figure, why not flaunt it?!

  5. Oh my goodness. I have several dresses like that in my back closet. Now I know what to do. I also love that you added a shirt. It gave the dress a really dressed up feeling and looks amazing. I can’t wait to start sewing! (hurry up Jan!)

  6. I’ve been following your blog for a few months now, so that’s probably 10-12 new outfits. Is your closet stuffed? Do you every re-fashion something that you have already re-fashioned? That would make it a re-refashion.

  7. great job on the refashion. i think i would have left the skirt at home and gone with a pair of tall boots or even a great pair of heels instead.

  8. Love your blog. You are so creative and funny!
    I can barely sew a button on something so I love seeing what you can do.


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