One Tacky Christmas Sweater Dress to Rule Them All!!!!!!!!!

My First Pecha Kucha!
Don't be Drastic! Add Some Elastic!

When a staffer at our local newspaper, The State contacted me and asked if I’d like to do an Ugly Christmas Sweater refashion for them to feature in their Life & Style section, I of course said yes.

What followed was some 40 or so emails where they wanted me to either make a tacky sweater normal or make a normal sweater tacky (How uninspired!) and me refusing to do that and instead insisting on making a ballgown out of a BUNCH of Christmas sweaters.

I’m very stubborn.  :)

I don’t have a full tutorial of this refashion, but here are some behind-the scenes pics:


Using an old-worn out dress as a pattern for the bodice!
Using an old-worn out dress as a pattern for the bodice!


Bodice done!  But what about the rest?
Bodice done! But what about the rest?


I drafted a pattern for the bottom based a gown I really like.
I drafted a pattern for the bottom based a gown I really like.


And here’s a video from The State where I explain my process (and yes, I know my voice is weird, okay?).  :)


Everything got all nice & stitched together, and now….






Le back!
Le back!


Come cloooooooser!
Come cloooooooser!


Of course, I don’t just make dresses to not be seen!  My fahhhhhbulous new frock enjoyed an Ugly Christmas Sweater Bar Crawl with some of my favorite people!


Love these guys!
Love these guys!


Oh MY!
Oh MY!


Such handsome fellas!
Such handsome fellas!


These ladies are pretty swell too!  :)
These ladies are pretty swell too! :)


And look what I saw first thing this morning!  :)




You can read the full article right here!  :)

Big Mondo Major thanks to The State for letting me play.  :)  This is my absolute favorite project to date.  I’m really proud of it, and I hope you guys like it too.  :)





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146 thoughts on “One Tacky Christmas Sweater Dress to Rule Them All!!!!!!!!!

  1. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. Wonderful job! But it is obscene that you can wear sleeveless in December while the rest of us are freezing to death! Just sayin’ !

  2. Very creative! You really have the strapless bodice thing down. And the sweaters you used were the ultimate in tacky! You inspire me to try sewing sweaters, which I’ve always thought I couldn’t do. Only thing I wondered…is it itchy?

  3. Jill, the Christmas sweater evening gown was genious. It fit great as well. You have inspired me back to my sewing machine. I have had fun this winter sewing in my free time. This is are darkest time of year. It has been amazing picking up my hobby of sewing again.

  4. I absolutely love your blog! Im a Regional Sales Manager and get a lot of emails all day; however I find myself waiting / looking for yours so that I can take a break and see your next project. Anyway, awesome job, love what you do, enjoy reading and seeing the pics, and congrats on the newspaper pic!!! Well deserved.

  5. You’ve taken the tacky to sublime. Well done.Surely the AP will pick up this story. Or you can give it a little push and submit it – it’s too good not to share with the world.

  6. Jill, you are having entirely too much fun! Love your blog & your creativity is inspiring, I can sip wine and create vicariously through you :) If you’re ever up in Roanoke look me up!

    Rockfish Food & Wine

  7. Hey there, lovely Jill! I really, really like your blog. I’ve been following it for quite some time now! Love the fact that you made a video for this post and I hope to see more videos from you soon!

  8. Jillian you are SOOOOO inspiring ! This is what I am wearing for Xmas too ! Although it is MUCH colder in the great white North so I will definitely have some sleeves !!! I am definitely going hunting for ugly Xmas sweaters when I am on vacation on Friday !!! I’ll post my creation on my blog, Sewliltime. Thanks for this post !!!

  9. That is flipping amazing! It would make the Grinch’s heart grow at least three sizes (and he’d probably want to wear it). Congrats on another stunner!

  10. Okay, that is your very best ever! Love the shape of the dress and the placement of the various sweater bits. You RULE in upcycling! Cynthia

  11. Yet another fabulous refashion from our favourite Refashionista. What a fun idea perfectly executed! P.S. Your voice is your voice. Own it, don’t excuse it!

  12. Jillian, you are so artistically talented. From your writing to your creative work. I too am a petite girl with a strong voice, and have dealt with comments from others indicating that it’s weird or unusual. But hey, if we sounded like everyone else or if we fit into their “Normal Box” than would we be so Rockin’?
    Jillian, Thank you for sharing your awesomeness with so many!
    Happy Holidays!

  13. I am sorry, but I don’t think it’s tacky at all. I have a Christmas party that is cocktail attire and I would love something like this. I wish I had your talent and figure to make something like this.

  14. Absolutely hands down the best refash you have EVER done! And you have done some pretty good ones! Good job for sticking to your guns! It is lovely…if that is the right word for a tacky sweater gown!

  15. You are absolutely the most fascinating, most creative, ingenious person I ever came across…. You look absolutely stunning… Beautifully done…

  16. You are, indeed, a genius. And you have such a great voice. I never expected such a voice! Quite a surprise and impressive. Only you could make a Frankengown look so elegantly ugly! Congrats on the newspaper spread, too. All kudos received for you were deserved!!!

  17. This might be your most creative refashion yet. Love the dress and it looks great on you. Your voice is not weird, it just sounds weird to you because usually you hear it inside your head instead of from a recording. I am a big fan of yours, just sayin.

  18. I am absolutely floored by this dress! I’ve never seen anything like it… I may have to break out the old sewing machine! Thanks for inspiring me.

  19. Omg that dress is awesome! Who knew someone could take a pile of ugly sweaters and turn them in to the coolest Christmas dress I’ve ever seen. You are amazing!

  20. This is the most amazing dress ever! If ugly sweater gowns become a thing it will be because of you. Glad you’re stubborn and did your own thing!

  21. Only you would have thought of this Jillian – I love it, & you look stunning in it! And there is not a thing wrong with your lovely voice!

  22. I love love love this refash!!!! This dress is so great it makes the “ugly sweaters” look fabulous. . You look gorgeous in this dress.

  23. Wow and wow again! I really love it. I hope I get to experience a Winter Christmas one day just so I can try this. I’d roast on a hot NZ beach wearing that.

  24. This is so fantastic! I love that you used pattern pieces for it, I would love to see more of that on this blog just for a little change of pace!

  25. Jillian,
    You win the ugly sweater universe! This dress is amazing and I can’t wait until next year to make my own franken-sweater-dress.
    Also, your voice is beautiful, just like you are. Speak love upon yourself sista! :)

  26. Because of your blog, I am purchasing a sewing machine this weekend and I’m going to teach myself to sew. Although this sounds like a broken record, you truly are inspiring! I look forward to each new post and this refash is simply OUTSTANDING! You are one-of-a-kind!

  27. This is great – and I hate Xmas sweaters – its inspired me to think what other hideous monstrosities could be transformed by sewing them together – Rugs maybe?

  28. Hi, I was just wondering after hearing your voice, do you have a good singing voice? It sounds like you would. Thank you for all your great ideas!

  29. I love your dress! It gives so much hope to ugly Christmas sweaters everywhere!
    As a voice-over artist, I can tell you that your voice is lovely, not weird at all.
    It might sound weird to you but that’s just because it sounds different from what you hear when you speak.
    Don’t worry, that’s what it does to everyone. :-)

  30. “Bam!” is exactly right!! This is so cool :) And you could be a model, you know. Just saying. A model who likes to be happy and have fun instead of being all pouty and angry looking :)

  31. What a SWELL dress and what a great press piece!! Now THAT’S what to do with Tacky Christmas Sweaters. Very well done, sleek well-executed, well-fitting design, with your usual touch of humor. Superb! Merry Christmas to you and all of your supporters. I always enjoy this group!

  32. You need to get a fancy backdrop with the lighting for your refashiones in the new year. It makes a world of difference. Fabulous job

  33. WOW! Your recreative vision is awesome, you have an amazing talent! I came across your blog today and totally love what you do and the humour you present it with!! Fan-f***ing-tastic! you rock with this blog, keep it up! .. and your self deprecating humour, I hope it’s not real because you are so fantastic, so believe you are the best, because you are!

  34. Absolutely, Positively in LOVE with this Re-fash!! you did a wonderful job. I wish I was half as tzalented as you!!! (I am still learning to sew but you are an inspiration!!

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