Wannabe Wednesday: In The Red

Thrift Score Thursday: Parisian or Little Old Lady?
Q&A Monday: Dye! Dye! My Darling!

When a family member gave me this sweater, I was tempted to leave it as-is.  I mean, it was so soft and comfy cozy!

I actually don't think it looks bad.  :)
I actually don’t think it looks bad. :)

But when I saw this dress by BCBG Max Azria, my plans changed!

Original Retail Price:  $378
Original Retail Price: $378

I can’t wait for spring refashions, but with temps still dipping into the 30s at night, I’m afraid they’re just not practical yet.  :/  A sweater dress it would be!

My biggest challenge with this sweater was that it wasn’t long enough to make into a dress without adding fabric to the bottom.  I decided to take a chance that after I took in the sides I’d have enough leftover fabric to harvest for the bottom of the dress.

With my fingers crossed (which made the whole process much more difficult), I got to pinning!

Taking in as much as possible!
Taking in as much as possible!

I did this for each side, then I chopped off a bit of the sleeves to get the 3/4 look of my inspiration piece.

Bye sleeve!
Bye sleeve!

I ran each side through my machine.  Once with a straight stitch, then with a zigzag to try to prevent unraveling/fraying.


When I was done, I started the finicky business of trimming my scraps to save as much of the fabric as possible while still having enough to make my dress a decent length.

Saving all I can!
Saving all I can!

You can see the original serged side seam in the above pic.  My plan is to use that to sort of mimic the layered look of Max’s dress (It’s a reach…I know!).  I pinned the trimmed scraps to the bottom of my dress…stretching them slightly so they’d make it all the way across each side.

See where I'm going with this?
See where I’m going with this?

Next, I sewed them to the bottom of the original sweater using a zigzag stitch riiiiight on the very edge (once again…to keep it from unraveling).


After I stitched the panel to each side, I sewed the sides together.  All that was left to do was give the raw edges a little tug so they’d do this:

Curl!  :)
Curl! :)

I have several sweaters with edges like this that somehow manage to not fray, so I’m not too worried about using the same look myself.  :)

Well…what do you think?

So warm and cozy!
So warm and cozy!

I had a red sash that matched my dress already, so I didn’t end up having to harvest the material from the sleeves (which would have totally worked).  I’m really happy with this refashion because there’s so little waste involved!

Yep.  It looks like a squid is eating my head!
Yep. It looks like a squid is eating my head!

I wore my sweet frock to The Kraken where I enjoyed sampling their enormous selection of tasty brews!

Julian Cider for Jillian!  :)
Julian Cider for Jillian! :)
Photo evidence of my rudeness.  :/
Photo evidence of my rudeness. :/

I spent my evening hanging out with these guys:

Hey fellas!  :)
Hey fellas! :)

and this guy:

It's Joe Turkaly, my fave Columbia SC Chef!  :)
It’s Joe Turkaly, my fave Columbia SC Chef! :)

I really enjoy doing these wannabes!  I hope you guys are getting inspired to make your own copycats too!  :)

Original Cost:  $378

Copycat Cost:  Free!

Savings:  $378!


PicMonkey Collage

5 (99.63%) 160 votes

83 thoughts on “Wannabe Wednesday: In The Red

  1. I don’t always leave you a comment but I always check in to see what you are up to. You are amazing, my friend….simply amazing! I LOVE yours better than the original! Wish you could make ME over!;>) Diana

  2. Love it! But I have to admit sweaters scare me:/ so many I would love to alter but the fray thing freaks me out. Thanks for explaining how to avoid it! Love your blog I’m obsessed

  3. Your sweater dress is adorable! I have been reading your blog for several weeks now, and you have inspired me to give refashioning a try. My only experience to date is sewing throw pillows, cushions and duvet covers, so this will be a new adventure. As you recommended, I got the Singer dress form, which I will be assembling today. Wish me luck.

  4. That’s an incredible piece of work! A lot of refashioning I see is little more than cutting off a few inches at the bottom and adding a belt – THIS was remaking artistry! GOOD JOB!!!!!

  5. I completely agree — amazing refashion! I much prefer a refashion that takes it beyond just cutting and fitting. In this refashion you added a design element that made it cuter than the original inspiration piece. By the way, your hairstyle is super cute!

  6. Wow, that turned out great! Do you keep the wannabe pieces or donate those too? Do you own a serger? That would have helped with the fraying issue, you can even do rolled hems on them. I love treading your posts you keep me inspired, keep up the good work!

  7. I follow your blog on a regular basis, but this is the first time I’ve been compelled to comment. This is by far my favorite Refashion to date. Amazing!

  8. You and your dress simply look gorgeous ! Bravo for the refash, this is amazing what you’ve done with this sweater. I have an orange one, soft and cosy that I’ve planned to refashion too, I may be fully inspired by your dress (which is a million times much better than the original)
    And by the way, I love your haircut and the black background.
    Carry on !

  9. I couldn’t believe how wonderful this refashion turned out – AMAZING!!!!! This is definitely my very favorite of all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (I think I’ve used up my quota of exclamation points but I’m totally blown away!)

  10. Amazing! I just started following your blog. I love it and what you do with clothes. I bet you never wear the same thing twice!

  11. You are too too much! Your eye, your skill, your courage! OK, you’re not risking much money, but I’m just so impressed!

  12. Really, really nice. Looks very good on you. I like how you’re showing us where your inspiration for certain details comes from, too. I have NO ideas of my own so it’s nice to learn some ways to find them!

  13. You know, a couple of weeks ago I read through your entire blog. Yes, the entire thing. And in like, a day which doesn’t seem like that big of a deal but it totally was. And I just needed to tell you that you have inspired me so much. I always wanted to refashion. I always went to thrift shops with the intent of getting something to refashion, but it just never worked out. Until I found this blog. Now I feel like I can do just about anything with a good print or awesome fabric. I have already refashioned a TON of things, dresses especially. And I plan to donate all of my old wardrobe that just doesn’t fit my personality any more. You are great, and thanks for giving me the motivation to be great also.

  14. This dress is rocking the house. If someone told me that the dress started out as an oversized sweater, I wouldn’t believe it. I also can’t believe that you had enough material left to make a dress – that’s amazing! Although I like the original dress and would wear it, your dress has a more modern vibe to it.

  15. Girl, you are DA BOMB!!! Okay, I’m on a weight loss journey, and about halfway thru. I’ve been donating all my clothes that are too big- altho I really LOVED some of tghem. THEN a couple of months ago- I discovered your blog….a fellow South Carolina girl too!!(Greenville Area), and now I’m not getting rid of ANYTHING!!! I’m watching with GREAT interest your re-fashions and learning how to apply the things you do to my wardrobe!!! You are my new best friend blogger!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE this refashion particularly!!! <3

  16. Love this!! Thank you for inspiring me (and I’m sure many others!) to really start refashioning. I’ve always enjoyed sewing, but repurposing is so much more fun to me than patterns. Its great to give new life to something! :)

  17. I saw that dress and loved it, too. But I think I like yours even better. I’m still new to sewing and haven’t tried out my skills on knits – something to work towards!!

  18. Hey girrrl. I’ve never commented before, although I’ve been reading for a bit, and I love the majority of the items you refashion, but this one really hit a good spot. You are such an imaginative creature. Looking at the sweater and the copycat I thought it was a reach, like a level on Mario World when I was a kid, thinking “seeeriouslyyy? how the?” and then you do it and you get a sweet rush of satisfaction.
    Keep it real lemon peel. I love your shit!
    Also, I love that you went to see Of Montreal! They are positively passionfruit! One of my fave bands, and on-stage performances :)
    Thanks for being you!

  19. okay, i’ve been scrolling through your blog like a mad woman after someone linked it in the comments of my latest post and this has GOT to be my favorite so far! are you kidding me?! look at you go, bravo!

  20. You amaze me. Between last night and this morning, I’ve spent a couple of hours just reading your posts. But when I saw this one, I HAD to comment. I’m just blown away by what you did to that sweater!!!!! It looks amazing!

Leave a Reply