Jessica’s Junk-O-Rama Reader ReFash

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As I sit here at my laptop in sweats, socks, and slippers (the dreaded cold weather trifecta) looking like anything but a fashion blogger, I can’t help but be jealous of this Reader ReFash by Jessica in Round Top, Texas.

It’s been a year since Jessica has gone shopping in a traditional retail store (yay!). Instead, she scours flea markets, thrift stores, and garage sales for new-to-her clothes, shoes, and accessories. This new approach to how she sources her wardrobe has lead to some pretty stellar costumes.

My most recent refash story starts in Round Top, Texas, population 80. Twice a year, Round Top and the surrounding towns host Antiques Weekend: a huge flea market that spans 15 miles, boasts 2,000 vendors, and attracts 100,000+ visitors from all over.

To cap it all off, there is the bi-annual Junk-O-Rama Prom… a very Texan event where shoppers, vendors, and locals mix it up to listen to live music, drink the local brew, and two-step the night away in crazy outfits matched with requisite cowboy boots and hats.

My sister and I (both born-and-bred Texans) have been going to the prom for the past six years, and every year we come up with a different theme for our outfits. Back in 2010, it was 50s housewives:


And in 2012, we did an homage to the Roaring 20s (BTW… the blue dress on the left was refashioned from a fugly 80s formal. Wish I had taken “before” pics!):


This year, we decided to go with the more comfortable era of our childhood by honoring the decade that gave us Star Wars and Atari: the 70s. But rather than go the glam-fab disco route, we opted for the post-hippie-boho-country-chic look also popular during that time. Think Little House on the Prairie meets Urban Cowboy.

For this look, my sister and I found similar “Gunne Sax” dresses from the late 70s.  (Anybody else have one of those when they were a kid?)

I am modeling both of the dresses in the before pictures:

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Fall in Texas is just an extension of summer, so I knew those long sleeves had to come off. I used my seam ripper to remove them, then used bias tape to finish off the arm holes. The hem length was also too long on both dresses. We needed to show off our cowboy boots! For the rust-colored dress, I just cut off the last panel and ruffle, and hemmed the raw edge. For the floor-length pink dress, I removed the lace ruffle and flounce and chopped about 12 inches off the hem. Then I shortened the lacy flounce, finished the edge, and sewed it all back on to the skirt for a girly, flirty finish. Once the dresses were both de-sleeved and shortened, I nipped in a little on the side seams for a more fitted look in the bust. And the end result:



Well done, Jessica! Your costumes are amazing, and I have a sudden longing to visit Round Top! :) I can’t wait to see what you come up with for next year. :)


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36 thoughts on “Jessica’s Junk-O-Rama Reader ReFash

  1. Okay, I actually used to shop the Gunne Sax outlet in San Francisco as a teenager. Those beloved dresses and skirts were our 1976 prom/homecoming staples!!! Great work Jessica…you may find an ivory lace dress floating around out there ;)

  2. At one point those retro Gunne Sax dresses were commanding big bucks in the Japanese market. If I ever found one in my thrifting adventures – I would refash it like those gals!

  3. I had a bunch of Gunne Sax Dresses, in fact I got married in a long ivory one that I paid $19 for on clearance – I loved those dresses!

  4. I wish I could find a Gunne Sax dress that will fit. It seems large ta-tas were not meant for those dresses and I love them! Hopefully one day I’ll score one. Waving from the Texas Gulf Coast. I’ve got to find more out about this event in Round Top. A long weekend trip? Thanks Jillian for having such awesome blog posts and guests.

  5. Love Round Top! Never been to the junk-o-Rama prom but I love all of the outfits y’all wore! I wore Gunne Sax dresses too. Fun post

  6. My Gunne Sax dress was also my first wedding dress. Which I’d completely forgotten about. Thanks for the memory! Round Top is on my bucket list.

  7. I would LOVE to see more by way of plus size refashions. I buy new because buying vintage is impossible, thrifting is a chore at larger sizes, and resizing anything down is not usually an option. Thoughts?

  8. My wedding dress was a hand-me-down Gunne Sax from the 70s!
    It was my great-aunt’s wedding dress, then my mother’s wedding dress, then mine.

  9. Wow these are amazing! And she makes it sound so simple! I also love her sad face while modeling the “before” dresses! Too cute!

  10. I did the Prom back in 2012, and I can vouch that the get-ups are all original! Love that they have themed their outfits every year, and LOVE this refash! Jillian, when you go, be ready to stay the whole week, and be ready to shop till you drop-literally! So much good stuff to be found!

  11. Great guest blog… loved the dresses but especially the last two… really nice re-do on both of them. You’ve given me heart to get back to re-doing my clothes again! :)

  12. Wow, great up-cycling! I had one of those dresses (nice classy one, deep burgundy with just a small amount of cream lace trim, no ruffles, buttoned up the back). I love the short ruffled ones with bodice fronts, such a cute look with boots! I may have to try this. I don’t use a sewing machine but I am handy with a needle and thread…

  13. I’ve lived in Texas for most of my life and have never heard of this amazing event! I’ve got to get myself to the next one!

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