An Amazing Technicolor Dream Dress

Darci's Reader ReFash!
A Scrappy Skirt

My mom used to direct all of our church musicals when I was a kid.  I was never sure if she really enjoyed it, or if it was just a chance to put my sister and sometimes myself into every lead role she could (sort of like the nice church lady version of Mama Rose in Gypsy).  Unlike Gypsy Rose Lee, my burlesque career never quite took off (too short, I think), but some of those musicals have left their mark!

Guess the musical!  :)
Guess the musical! :)

Guess the musical!  Can you guess it?  Isn’t it obvious?

Go go go, Joseph!
Go go go, Joseph!
Not entirely dissimilar!
Not entirely dissimilar!

When I first found this kaftan at the $1 a pound Goodwill, it was looking kind of nasty.  A lady digging through the bin next to me actually sidled over and said, “Whoa!  That’s gross!”  It was covered in what I hoped was just rust stains, but I couldn’t put it down.  Nosey lady wrinkled her nose when I tossed the kaftan in my cart.  I just smirked and said nothing.  I’m not sharing pics of what it looked like, as I assume you’ve seen nasty stained things before and this isn’t a laundry blog.  :)

After a long soak in Oxyclean, much stain pre-treatment, extra washing soda, and three washes, my kaftan was clean (and ready to be donned for the “before” pic you see here.

I love the stripes, colors, front pleating, length, and neckline of this dress…but it needs help!  I immediately snipped off the sleeves riiiight at the seams.

Be careful!
Be careful!

Then, I pinned those raw arm holes under.


With my newly sleeveless dress freshly pinned, I put it under the needle!


Okay…so now we’re fully sleeveless!  But my dress was still a shapeless mess on me.  :/  Not to worry!  All it needs is a little reshapery!

Pin those sides allll the way down!
Pin those sides allll the way down!

I’m soooo happy I saw the potential in this once-dingy dress!  :)

I look handsome, I look smart, I am a walking work of art!  ;)
I look handsome, I look smart, I am a walking work of art! ;)

Douglas liked it, too!  My facebook and twitter peeps know he’s been sick lately, but after a lot of tender care (and chicken & rice!) he’s back to his old silly self again!  :)

Hey Dougie Doug!  :)
Hey Dougie Doug! :)
How I love my dress of many colors!
How I love my dress of many colors!

Now that my pup is restored to good health, I’m getting all the last-minute details together for my big fashion show at SHE Greenville this Saturday!  I hope to see you there!  :)



84 thoughts on “An Amazing Technicolor Dream Dress

  1. Glad your pup’s okay. And that dress is absolutely amazing! I actually liked it before, too. (Obviously, that was after your serious stain fighting was finished.) The colors are just so bright and fun. The pleating in the front and the neckline are my favorites though. I really like how (seemingly) easy it transformed into a modern maxi. Again, I’m jealous it isn’t in my closet right now.


  2. Great refashion. :) I love the colors. :P I agree too, losing the sleeves really helped. Now it looks more like a dress and less like a robe. :)

  3. This is one of my faves too! Fabulous remake of a once ugly item and it looks very stylish now. Good job! And thank goodness Douglas is better ;)

  4. I love your posts and am planning on referencing you in my blog later on this week about being frugal and fashionable on a budget. I like how you use your skills to achieve your goals. Stop by sometime and check it ok. -BG

  5. LOVE it! The neckline and midsection are sooo flattering! Great refashion and kudos for taking on such abstained mess and seeing the potential!


  6. OMG, awesome!!! One would never guess it used to be a gnarly old kaftan! Is that just a blue cami underneath? Great job! :)

  7. When we are once again “over” maxi dresses you can re-refashion this into a short dress of equal cuteness!

  8. Glad to read your little pup is well. I bet if that lady saw that dress now she’d slap herself. It turned out fabulous. You gotta have vision for that sort of thing and …well…she didn’t (^_^)

  9. Glad to hear Doug’s doing well. I love this dress.

    It was red and yellow and green and brown and scarlet and black and ocre and peach and ruby and violet and ….

  10. This is my first time to comment on your blog although I’ve been a viewer for a while now. I love, love, love this refashion!!!! You have a great eye for seeing the potential in garments that otherwise would go to the rag bin. Well done!

  11. That is a seriously great refashion and so easy! Love the neckline and the colors. And so glad Douglas is feeling better. Give him a big squish!

  12. This is the first refash since I (very recently) started following your blog, that makes me want to actually post a reply.

    I am CRAZY in LOVE with this dress, and in ALL SERIOUSNESS, if you ever don’t like it anymore, PLEASE contact me for a hand-me-down!!!

    Amazing job here. You look stunning in the new flattering dress! LOVE IT!

  13. The colors are beautiful and the finished product is one of my favorites! I can see why you couldn’t pass it up.

  14. So cute! You sure can see the potential in a cast-off. I’ve been inspired to alter my old clothes rather than donate them. Even made some ‘mom’ jeans into skinny jeans! : )

  15. I’ve read this blog a lot, never commenting. A silent fan. :-) But this dress is AMAZING. I love everything about it. And I love the musical reference.

  16. I saw that garment and thought, there is no way there is any redemption for that outfit….and dang if you didnt prove me DEAD WRONG!! This is one of my fav refashions this year!!!
    LOVE it!!!

  17. Super cool refash. I like how you could see the potential in this (It has great bones around the front/middle) and it turned out looking amazing.

  18. This dress looks awesom! When I saw the first pic I was hoping youwould keep the length. I think this is my favorite so far!

  19. Normally I look at your before picture and think, “Oh my gosh, she’s got her work cut out on this weird/ugly/awkward/frumpy thing” but this time I looked at it and thought “Wow, that’s a pretty nice dress.” I love that you kept it long, it’s a great maxi dress for this year’s trends.

    It looks great sleeveless as well.

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