Purple Procrastination Top

Danielle's Reader ReFash!
Q&A Monday: You CAN Sew on a Button!

I’ve been holding on to this dress for a while.  There it’s been…in the background of oh so many before pics!  “When is she going to get to refashioning that one?!?  WHEN!?!!!!!!!”, you’ve screamed to the heavens.

Today, those heartbreaking cries will be answered!

That's a LOT of pattern going on!

That’s a LOT of pattern going on!

This is yet another $1 thrifted dress I scored because I thought the print was…uh…interesting?  I’m actually not so sure now that I’m looking at it again!  ;)

To get started, I KNEW I needed to get rid of those sleeves!  It’s just way too hot for any sort of arm covering.  I grabbed my seam ripper and got to picking!  This took a while.

Pick.  Pick.  Pick.

Pick. Pick. Pick.

Don’t worry!  I was entertained while I worked!

This was my favorite movie as a child.  :)

Real Genius was my favorite movie as a child. :)

Finally, my new dress was liberated from those stifling sleeves!

I'm so sorry...but we're going to have to let you go.  Pack up your desk.

I’m so sorry…but we’re going to have to let you go. Pack up your desk.

Now that the button-up part of the neck was gone, I went ahead and snipped off those buttonholes.



The bottom hem of this dress was cut off as well and put aside for later!

Snippy snip!

Snippy snip!

All this ripping left my new dress with all sorts of gaping raw edges that needed to be stitched down.  First, I pinned:



Then, I stitched!

Ahhh!  Much better already!

Ahhh! Much better already!

Once the armholes and neckline were sewn down,  I put my dress inside-out on my dress form to get it fitted.

Getting it nice & snug (but still able to slip out of)!

Getting it nice & snug (but still able to slip out of)!

Each side went under the needle!


Mimosas are critical in the creative process! ;)

I cut off the extra fabric, but still wasn’t quite happy with this as a dress.  I was tired and ready to head out the door for a casual movie night with friends.  I wanted to wear a top instead!

Does this ever happen to you?

Does this ever happen to you?

I gave my top a new hem…



…and here it is!

I like it MUCH better as a top!  :)

I like it MUCH better as a top! :)

I’ve gotta admit, I think this works waaaaay better as a top than a dress.  That pattern is just so overwhelming!  But, as a top with jeans, it’s just fun.  :)  I even like that neck tie thingy!  And that bottom scrap defines my waist quite nicely.  :)

A closer look!

A closer look!

Mr. Raccoon agrees!  :)

Good Kitty!

Nice Kitty!

We all settled in to watch Eight Diagram Pole Fighter in honor of the recently departed Lau Kar-leung.  There’s a lot of really interesting fight choreography to check out in this film!

Lots of weird wooden wolves in this film!

Lots of weird wooden wolves in this film, too!

Happy Movie Pals!  :)

Happy Movie Pals! :)



Danielle's Reader ReFash!
Q&A Monday: You CAN Sew on a Button!



  1. I’m not so crazy about the placement of the top two flowers (hibiscus?) They look like targets for breast! Otherwise I like the top!

    • It is really cute isn’t it!?
      I have some really gorgeous fabric that I have been working with some really cute fabric too!
      Take a look at my blog I have some new surprises coming up!
      Jillian I am writing a piece about my inspirations, you are one of them! Please have a look jillian! I have also finally made a dress form from duct tape!


      There will be links to your website on mine and to a few other girls sites like Sheri from awesomesauceasshattery and Jen from diaryofamadmama :)
      Please take the time to have a look and let me know what you think!

    • Usually I hate those neck tie things…but I ended up liking this one. AND I don’t know how I’d get into the thing without it (maybe a button closure?)! :)

  2. The top was the best idea for that pattern , looks very nice . Do you wear things you re fashion more than once ?

    • Thank you! Yep! I do! Then, when I’m done with them, I donate them back out into the world….new & improved! :)

  3. Sew sew cute!!! You are a magician or wizard or something! :)

  4. Oooh yay! I like! Def too much pattern and purple for a dress… love it and everything you do! You rock!

  5. Very cute. You are so clever. It would look great with shorts or a skirt too.

  6. I love how the neck turned out – super cute!! It’s great seeing these drab pieces getting new life!
    – Bonnie

  7. Love it. Totally wish that I had your eye for upcycling. I’m trying to learn to sew. You’re a huge inspiration. Havta ask….are your feet purple in the last “after” pic? Or just strange lighting? :)

  8. Oooh yeah — totally works better as a top. First time commenting but I really look forward to your posts. And I am also located in SC – woot!

  9. I was also a little unsure of the print as a dress, but the top is freaking awesome, I love it!

  10. I love your work! And I agree, I want to see that orange/black piece! Or the blue one with the puffy sleeves right beside it! Your so creative!

  11. This turned out amazing! I love it! I have a question though, and maybe it’s one of those well duh questions, but anyway, after you pin stuff on your dressform, how do you get the items off without having to take out all the pins again? I have yet to figure this out on mine. Thanks!

    • I usually just unpin one side, then repin it using the measurements from the pinned side as a guide. It really doesn’t take that long. :)

  12. Love this top – I agree it is much better than the dress! And yes, that DOES happen to me when refashioning – it’s fun to get “chop happy!”

  13. Cute top, but what I really wanted to say is how much I love Real Genius. Completely underrated movie.

    • Nononono! My friend has a few strange taxidermy pieces in his house.

  14. It looks great, love it. I too wish I had your eye for redesigning clothes

  15. LOVE IT!!!! Great job again!!! On a side note: you have amazing shoe collection!!!

  16. Great job. I love this as a top,was definitely too busy for a dress.

  17. Love the top. Especially the neck. The bottom of the dress might make some cute sleep pants?

  18. I love it! Quick question for you: When you have an article of clothing you don’t know what you want to do with, do you wait for inspiration to come first or do you cut off what you know you don’t like and ballpark it from there?

    • Thank you! I do sort of a combination of the two. For instance, I held onto this dress for months because I had no idea where I wanted to go with it. Then, one day the inspiration hit me. :)

  19. Where did you guys get a raccoon? LOL that’s awesome if he’s a pet. how does one domesticate a raccoon? Also you are an inspiration!

  20. Very cute! And I must say, Real Genius is one of my all-time favorites, too. So many quotable lines! (Do you run? Only when chased. . .) :)

  21. I’ve definitely learned from following your blog that even the most horrendously overwhelming pattern can look really fun when it’s slimmed down to a cute top!

  22. Ha!! Whenever I lay fabric out to cut, my dog thinks its her new bed and lays down right on top of it!
    I’ve been thinking some of my too-short dresses would be better as shirts, I’ll have to actually give this a try now :)

  23. Hey ReFashionista! I love following your blog and seeing all of your creations! I HAD to mention you in a blog post… Great job on this project!

    Love, Tipper! (www.lovetipper.wordpress.com)

  24. why yes, a rogue dachshund does often make a home in the middle of my projects. <3

  25. That looks very cute; will have to remember this about patterned materials (less is more).

  26. I’ve followed your blog for.. I don’t know how long! I also live in South Carolina and I love sewing and refashioning! I’d LOVE to talk to you about a few things. If you have the time, could you e-mail me sometime?

  27. Love it….and if we’re voting…I’m still waiting to see what you do with the shiny electric blue on behind you!! :-)

  28. I love your creative ideas. I noticed though that you do a lot of short sleeve or sleeveless tops and dresses. Do you ever do anything more for cold winters? Can you maybe show us ideas for sweaters or long sleeve dresses?

    • It doesn’t get very cold where I live, so I don’t get much of a chance to do cold weather stuff. But as it gets cooler, I’ll just do it anyways! :)

  29. Love it! Yes my dog is ALWAYS all over whatever project I’m doing. Love your dachshund! We have a beagle. Something about those little guys just makes your heart break open with love! Keep up the amazing work on your blog! It’s a go to for inspiration for me every week!

  30. I love your refashions so much! You inspired me to start chopping things in my closet to make my Bellydance costumes instead of spending a fortune on them.
    One question though…how, oh how do you get a straight seam when you are shortening a dress? I cut, and then cut some more and by the time I get it straight it’s a shirt! Help! Lol

  31. omg, I did not think this dress was redeemable in any way, shape or form but you nailed it! Grand! : )

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