Wannabe Wednesday: One Swell Copycat

Q&A Monday: Good Form!
Happy St. Pat's Vol. 2!

This week’s Wannabe Wednesday (as in, I wore my refashion on Wednesday evening.  Hey!  It still counts!)’s inspiration piece comes from Modcloth!  While perusing their site, I stumbled upon their “One Swell Swoop” dress.

That'll be $49.

That’ll be $49.

Isn’t it just adorable?  I LOVE that neckline and those polka dots!  And check out the back!

This is where the "swoop" part comes in!

This is where the “swoop” part comes in!

Sadly, the closest thing I have in my bin o’ refashionables is this:

Oh dear.  :/

Oh dear. :/

Yeah…there’s some work to be done here!

First, these guys had to go buh-bye!

This is just my pathetic excuse for showing you a pic of Douglas.

This is just my pathetic excuse to show you a pic of Douglas.

Then, I chopped off the sleeves:

Poor little amputee!

Poor little amputee!

I added notches to my arm holes to make it easier to fold and pin them under when it’s time to hem them!



I put the dress on my dress form inside-out and got it all fitted!



I stitched the sides down, then trimmed off the extra fabric with my pinking shears.



I tried my partially-completed dress on, and pinned the bottom where I wanted the hem to be.  Choppage quickly followed!



Now I just had to hem my raw edges!

No fraying here!

No fraying here!

Okay, so my dress had the same shape as the original, but it still didn’t have that gorgeous neck/back thing going for it.  :/

Until now!  :)

I decided I didn’t want the back of my dress to be quite as swoopy as the original.  I’m fond of wearing proper undergarments, and I’d just end up having to layer a tank top under it if I went full-swoop.  I liked the button-down back of my dress, and decided to only plunge it a wee little bit.

This will do nicely!

This will do nicely!

I stitched this down, but still…I wanted that amazing neck line!

I grabbed the bottom scrap from my dress and marked 4″ from the bottom…marking this with tailor’s chalk.

Do you see where I'm going with this?

Do you see where I’m going with this?

Then, I cut this part away from the rest, leaving me with a long strip.

Strip tease!

Strip tease!

I grabbed my iron, and pressed a fold, like so:

A most "pressing" issue!

A most “pressing” issue!

I tossed my frock back on my dress form (right-side-out this time), and pinned my new collar-ish thing all the way around the neck to the back.

This is gonna be awesome!  :)

I didn’t even notice what I was doing with my hand until I uploaded this pic. How metal!

I probably should have basted this down before putting it through my machine, but I was already running late to meet a friend for drinks!  I decided to just try my best to pin and sew my new collar as close to the neckline as I could and hope for the best!

Fingers crossed!

Fingers crossed!

After it was stitched down, I used my pinking shears to trim that raw edge.  I knew it would be hidden by the collar, but I didn’t want it to fray!  Also, I stitched down the ends of the scrap at the same time as I was attaching it.

I pressed my new dress, and ended up quite happy with the end result!

Perhaps my best lookalike yet?  :)

Perhaps my best lookalike yet? :)

I really should have made the collar wider, but as I was just sort of winging it, I’m pretty happy with the end result.

And the back is just amazeballs!

A baby swoop!  :)

A baby swoop! :)

It’s kind of hard to see much detail in these shots as they were taken in a darkly lit bar, but here’s a closer look!

Just look at the collar...not my creepy expression, k?

Just look at the collar…not my creepy expression, k?

My new dress fit in just fine at New Brookland Tavern, where I checked out the sweet sounds of Sea Wolf Mutiny and Kings of Prussia!

One of the Kings allowing a photo op with a loyal subject.  :)

One of the Kings allowing a photo op with a loyal subject. :)

It's gotten chilly again.  :(

It’s gotten chilly again, so I have to wear a jacket. :(

Remember her apron from Day 337?  :)

Remember her apron from Day 337? :)

Still Life with PBR.

Still Life with PBR.


My view from the sidelines

These guys (Kings of Prussia) are pretty flippin' awesome, FYI.

These guys (Kings of Prussia) are pretty flippin’ awesome, FYI.

Awesome Double-Fisted Piano Playin!

Awesome Double-Fisted Piano Playin!

The boys of Sea Wolf Mutiny put on one helluva show!  :)

The boys of Sea Wolf Mutiny put on one helluva show! :)

Not bad, eh?

Not bad, eh?

Original Cost:  $49

Copycat Cost:  $1

Savings:  $48!


PicMonkey Collage

Q&A Monday: Good Form!
Happy St. Pat's Vol. 2!



  1. I love Modcloth! And this is a “pretty swell” refash! I love the vintage looks of Modcloth and will be using it as inspiration! Any thoughts on what to do with a prom dress to make it look vintagey? (I like to make up words!) :)

  2. Gotta say that I love that you now include the side by side pic at the end!

  3. Sweetheart, Grandma here. You are so confident and beautiful, please stop taking those depreciating photos with the odd faces you make. Stand up straight and look us in the eye giving us the impression of the fabulous, confident, beautiful woman that you are. Also would love to see you in the park or somewhere else besides a bar. You need a better photographer also. Snaps are okay when you are starting out but you are waaay beyond that now. Love ya!

    • Hi! I really just look that way. I’m genuinely just a funny looking gal. :) Thanks for the compliment though! :)

      Oh man…After getting off work from my full time soul sucking government job (Oh hai, coworker…get back to work and stop reading blogs!), I have a 40 minute commute back to my house. Then I tend to my puppy. Then I end up eating some hummus or a hot dog or whatever I can shove into my face in 10 minutes, Then (if I’m not too tired/don’t have plans for the night), I sew. After I sew something, I want to wear it out right away, hence the bar pics. Then I have to hand my camera to whatever kindhearted person is around and willing to snap a few pics and hope for the best (can’t afford to hire a photographer).

      I WISH I could do this blog full time. Then I’d be able to have more posed pictures, a real photographer, and maybe even a car with functioning A/C (gotta dream big). All of your comments are valid and right, but I’m just to poor/busy to make any of that happen yet. :/

      So until then…

      • love ya, Have you looked into how to make the blog and your talents pay more? Ash for that. The force will provide.

  4. I think its so funny how almost everything you get to refash has shoulder pads…jajaaaaa. And about the dress it is awesome. Wish were I live we had thrift stores… :( I can only refashion my own closet or a friends…… Congrats my favorite so far!

  5. You’re my sewing idol! I’m just beginning my journey and I can’t wait to be at your level!

  6. The dress is amazing! I love it. I need to get creative with clothes and you are really inspiring me. I’ve lost quite a bit of weight and have all these spring/summer clothes that I can’t wear. So I thought I’d try my hand at refashioning them. Thanks for the inspirations.

  7. Your grandma is so sweet! I love the blog and all your refashions! Keep up the good work!

  8. This one is my favorite so far! Awesome! I think you are so funny and amazing, and even though my sewing machine is dusty and bobbin-less, I love reading your blog.

    :) Ann-Marie

    Sent from my mobile. Please forgive brevity and spelling. My thumbs are not ninja.

  9. This is quite an amazing transformation. I only wish I could make such lovely items. Bravo!!!

  10. Every time I read your posts, I desperately want to go thrifting. My goodness this dress worked so fantastically!

  11. Soooo pretty! Definitely a favourite. We have lots of thrift stores here in the UK

  12. Oh, now this is lovely! I like it much more than the original; I think that the back is much more classy looking. Wonderful refashion – you are such an inspiration.

  13. Wow, I’ve always wanted to do a modcloth copycat! I love the inspiration of their pieces, but of the few things I’ve bought there, the quality was crap. I literally had to cut myself out of a dress from them once because the dress was so cheaply made that i couldn’t get the buttons undone because the closures didn’t have elastic. There stuff is definitely not worth the price when you can make awesome refashions like this one :) Love it.

  14. I love this! You have totally inspired me to start refashioning. I recently discovered the Goodwill outlet near my house and refashioned a dress last weekend. I am a total newbie on the sewing machine but I made something awful into something awesome. Thanks for the inspiration!

  15. Very VERY nice!
    And how is Douglas’ wardrobe coming along? Or being a boy does he care one way or the other :)

  16. This is my favorite refashion yet! I totally want it! And please, invent more pathetic excuses to show Douglas! He’s so cute he makes my heart squeeze! My 3 yr old little girl was looking over my shoulder at the blog as I was reading and saw Douglas and demanded him immediately. Since we have Great Danes, I think she assumed he is a toy, probably because he’s almost too adorable to be real!

  17. I’ve been lurking on your blog for a long time but never felt moved enough to comment until now – This refashion is by far my favourite. I love the Polka dots and the slightly plungy back. I’m not sure about the collar but then I’m not sure about the collar on the original – personally I’d have probably made a cute lace collar out of some charity shop doilies – they are quite in at the moment in the UK but the beauty of refashioning is that you are free to indulge your own personal style and preferences. You have inspired me to try my own refashions although mostly I am botching T-shirts into other things. I’ve not progressed to ‘proper’ outfits yet. I like my tops long-line so a lot of refashions involve adding layers and bits to too-short tops to make them longer.

  18. Really great refashion! I like your dress better than the Modcloth version because making the back droop a little more modest actually made the dress more flattering for nearly any woman. The material on your refashion dress also looks better than on the Modcloth dress.

    Have you ever thought about selling your refashions? Keep up the good work!

    P.S. – A request – more pics of Douglas! :)

  19. You blow my mind everytime but this one is incredible! I would buy that dress!!! I am so amazed at the finished product you can see in the crazy dress hanging on the thrift store rack!

  20. WOW!! You are amazing and so creative! I have a sewing machine, but seem to be challenged in that department. I spend more time ripping out my stiches than creating! I am in AWE of people like yourself that can just wing-it and sew beautifully!

  21. That is so sweet that your grandma follows your blog! Tears!
    This is definitely one of the best refashions.

      • I may not be your real Grandma, I am sure you miss yours. I miss mine everyday and she has been gone 20 years. I had her until she was 90. So blessed.
        But, I have room in my heart for another grandaughter, hint hint. I have four of them now. What I meant was that I was older and wise. I have a great sense of success as I was in business for years. You have the basics for a great success. e.g. how about publishing a book with your blogs? I know many women who would gladly buy it to get ideas from a book but can’t from the computer. Toddy

  22. The back is so sexy schmexy! The low back on the original is nice but I heart proper underwear too. It would look strange with a cami underneath and you fixed it just perfectly for how you prefer to dress. You look fabulous in it! I’d not be able to give this one away if I were you. It’s a keeper!!

  23. Hi Girl! Another AWESOME copycat! LOVE it! I’m off to buy a polka dot dress! Thanks for the inspiration!!! Keep on going! Oh, and do accept the idea of publishing a book! You have a GIFT, so take advantage of that! I will buy it! Kisses from Portugal!

  24. Wasn’t modcloth sorta copying something from Marc Jacobs? Because if you consider that to be the case, you have saved so much more than 48 bucks! Also, you should definitely adopt Gramma Toddy, but keep making the funny faces. They are entertaining and they give your blog personality.. Maybe add some more “pretty” pics and think about putting your drink down before some of the photos are taken. It’s not like we can judge your alcohol consumption from a few blog posts each week, but when there are drinks in so many posts, some of us feel concerned.

  25. Wow, great job on this one! I love ModCloth, so much of that stuff has that adorable vintage shape. Love your copycat!!

  26. I love this dress that you have refashioned! I love the idea of thrifting and repurposing. You have really transformed the thrifted clothing into cute pieces. I am new to sewing (so with my fingers crossed), I will be refashioning too. I am on the hunt at my local goodwill for a polka dot number that I can transform. Thanks for your fabulous inspiring ideas!

  27. I wish you had one of those fancy tag clouds so I could find certain refashion types…like skirt to shirt.

  28. One of my favourites so far… Love the back, especially! Great to see you in something so smart too :)

    I’m with ‘Grandma’, but I feel your pain. My #1 wish for my blog would be to have better photos but there’s precious little daylight here at the moment and we still have sub-zero temperatures which is really limiting my photo taking opportunities!

  29. Love this refashion. :) Proper underwear is a must in my books so your refashioned back is superb!

  30. I love your funny face pictures, please don’t stop doing them! The “before” pictures kill me, and why would you want to be all serious and posed in a dress that’s too big? I don’t think people understand comedy.

  31. Boundaries fake grandma Toddy, and when you “love” someone you should reach out to them directly instead of making a laundry list of condescending criticisms for the world to see. Anyone who has read Jillian’s blog since day one knows she has an extremely diverse social life and showcases friends and all the local venues in her area. Also, her blog is meant to inspire, not glossed up step by step instructions. (Thank you Jillian because otherwise that would be so boring.) Please keep up your fun and smart sharing and love how real you are.

  32. My mind is totally blown. I was listening to Macklemore’s “Thrift Store” which led to me googling something absurd like “Thrift Store Blog.” Someone came up that was writing about the dishes that they found while thrifting so, I was about to give up until… I clicked on your link. As a home sewer myself, I was totally in awe of your vision! You transform some – frankly – heinous pieces into these darling looks! A bad 90’s-esque-momma-muumuu dress into a fashionable top — who knew?! Because of that, my hat is off to you my dear. Keep up the great work. Can’t wait to see what’s next :)

  33. Hi! I am really impressed with what you are doing. It takes a creative mind AND ability AND time, only one of which I have… I love to watch other people create things and then I collect everything I need to do the same…and alas, no spare time to hit a project. BUT… this summer I have enrolled my sons in two weeks of day camp and I will be totally ALONE!!!! If I don’t do something then well I guess I am just a dreamer. Thanks for the inspiration, keep doing what you’re doing!

    By the way, your caption of your puppy eating the wire, I snorted my coffee.

  34. So, I randomly came across this blog from Pinterest, and needless to say I’m super impressed by your ability to refashion clothes the way you can! And even cooler when I realized that you’re in Columbia… and we were both at the same Sea Wolf Mutiny show! I think I even remember seeing this dress!! We should be friends and you can teach me how to make clothes! :P -Lacey

  35. I’d suggest a slightly lower neckline on this one and it would be fantabulous.

  36. You are absolutely awesome! I love all of your incredible refashions. How totally creative.

  37. Hello, Greetings from Finland! I´m following your blog, its very interesting and funny. Thank you for that. I´m wondering why there is sooooo many pictures about your friends

  38. Hi There!
    I think you are absolutely incredible and thank you so very much for posting these pics and your success with refashioning :) I only recently (and by recently I mean three days ago lol ;p ) found this blog and the biggest fear I had was that you had stopped posting! You really are incredible and have inspired me to start doing this with my own clothes and finds!
    My husband is a photographer and your blog inspired me to start refashioning clothes for our photo shoots by making it seem so much easier and more fun than I ever thought :) Please keep blogging if you can!! :) Love you and blessings!

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