[title of refashion] 1
All,  Refashions

[title of refashion]

The Cat's Meow Dress
Happy Thanksgiving Jacket

Nope…that title isn’t a misprint!  🙂  So, you guys haven’t heard from me since my awesome  Thanksgiving.  I wish I could say wild and fabulous things have been happening, but I’ve just been lazy…letting my gears turn and churn on ideas for cool things I want to bring to you, my dear reader, for 2013.  Rest assured, some changes are coming, and I hope you’ll dig ’em!  🙂

This doesn’t mean I can just stop refashioning though!  Since I gave up everything I made for my 366 day challenge, I realllllly need to beef up my miniscule wardrobe with fab frocks & warm, wonderful things for this winter!  🙂

I needed something nice to wear to review a show at Trustus Theatre, and decided to go with this:

Spock isn't sure what to make of this one...
Spock isn’t sure what to make of this one…

Spock isn’t the only one who has doubts about this refash!  The color is fabulous, but this not-quite-shirt/not-quite-jacket wasn’t working for me.  I loooove that color though, so this $1 purchase came home with me.

To get started, I stitched up that gapey bottom.

Pinning for Modesty
Pinning for Modesty
Stitching up that front so no one sees my naughty bits!
Stitching up that front so no one sees my naughty bits!

Once that was all stitched up, I gleefully hacked away at the bottom!


Then, I put it on my dress form inside-out to get it more fitted.  I didn’t want to go too fitted with this.  I wanted a dolman sleeve look, with a more fitted waist.


I stitched up those sides, then chopped of the extra material, as well as a bit of the sleeve length.


Since this piece is made of a tight-knit polyester, nothing was going to fray.  Since I was running late, I left the edges raw.  🙂

I’m not done yet!  I took the leftover scraps from the bottom of this piece and stitched them end-to-end.

Stitchin' a simple sash!
Stitchin’ a simple sash!

I made a bit of a mistake by chopping off the length before taking it in.  :/  I had wanted it to be a dress, but quickly realized it was going to have to be a tunic instead.

Meh…I think I actually like it better as a top anyways!  I paired it with tights and a sweater tube top that I wore as a skirt!

Madame Critic!

The show I was sent to review was titled [title of show] (once again…not a misprint).


It’s about two nobodies in New York who have only three weeks to write a musical to enter in the inaugural New York Musical Theatre Festival.  Unable to come up with an original work (not a show based on a book or a movie), they decided to write their musical about their experience writing their musical!

They'd rather be 9 people's favorite thing than 100 people's 9th favorite thing. :)
They’d rather be 9 people’s favorite thing than 100 people’s 9th favorite thing. 🙂

You can read what I thought about it in my review for Jasper.

After the show, I met some friends for a drink.


As I leisurely sipped my beer, I thought about the show I just saw.  It really spoke to me.  Putting something new out into the world is scary.  What if it isn’t good enough?  What if I’m not good enough?  What if I’m not talented, clever, pretty, or intelligent enough?  One of the lines from [title of show] that struck a real chord with me is said by Susan, a fiesty & funny would-be actress with lots of talent, but even more self-doubt:

 Why is it that if a stranger came up to me on a subway platform and said these things, I’d think he was a mentally ill asshole… but when the vampire in my head says it, it’s the voice of reason?

Seriously…why?  And that’s another reason why I haven’t been refashioning as much lately.  I’m afraid it just won’t be good enough.  Something that started out as a way for me to be able to afford to wear cute things and help out where I could took on a life of its own– with fans and critics actually bothering to watch what I was doing.   The success of this blog has been at times overwhelming.

I couldn’t have seen this show at a better time in my life.  It’s time to tell that voice in my head, “Die Vampire!  Die”!  and keep moving forward.  🙂

A closer look!
A closer look!

…and that’s what I’m going to do!  🙂  No more making you guys wonder if I’ve fallen off a cliff, been kidnapped, and/or left for dead in the artic tundra!  🙂

Oh yes…I have some pretty sweet plans for this little blog for 2013.  I can’t wait to share ’em with you!  🙂



  • Meg

    Glad to hear that someone was touched by Die Vampire Die! In the same way that I was. If you want another touching song that rocked me in about the same way, Listen to “Golden Palace” from Now. Here. This. (also mostly sung by the genius of Susan Blackwell) I love your blog so much and love all the cool finds and fun advice (especially from a theatre person like me) Keep up the good work!

  • karenwhitney

    I hope you have quieted that voice in your head for good! You are awesome! I too have started reading all of your older posts and just came across this one. I really want to do more refashioning this year. I figured a good place to start would be by observing what you have done. You are an amazing inspiration!

  • Vicki

    Hi, Jillian! I have read all your posts from the beginning to this post. I think you are just so adorable and talented! And the quote you posted really spoke to me. Thanks for all the inspiration and laughs!

  • Mary

    I think we all need reminders to stop listening to the vampire inside us from time to time. Success never happened without taking a few risks and pushing past the self-doubt. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • lialou

    Not good enough? you must be kidding….. I think you are an awesome little package full of creativity and inspiration. You inspire us to open our minds to all sorts of possibilities with clothing and such — I wouldn’t have thought about putting a cat pocket on the “Cat’s meow dress”, but you did, and it was CUTE!! Don’t stop refashioning and creating, you have a serious knack for it and WE ALL WANT TO SEE MORE!!!

  • Stephanie

    Everyone has already said it: Jillian you are fantastic!! Your blog is fantastic!!! And your refashions are fantastic!!! Don’t forget that! So glad you are back, you were missed!

  • Carlee

    Don’t feel that way! You are awesome Jillian and such an inspiration to novice sewers like me! All the refashions you make are crazy awesome and you can tell through your writing that you are such a nice and fun person in real life. Thanks for sharing though!

  • jenny_o

    Your refashions amaze me – and I’ve read them all. And admitting your self-doubts helps me to deal with my own. I’m glad you’ll be continuing here. Looking forward to future posts!

  • Ro

    I just started reading your blog and it’s been an inspiration! Please keep it up!!! I’m so psyched that you made something with longer sleeves, since it’s freezing here in Pennsylvania and sleeveless dresses aren’t going to cut it for the next few of months! I could definitely use more ideas for working with long sleeves! Thanks for all you do- you’re kind of a genius. 🙂

  • tilacata

    Jillian, please ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS remember how awesome you really are. You’re guaranteed to show someone something new everyday. You’ve spawned many new refashionistas, inspired many to dust off their sewing machines, and made a ton of new blogfriends along the way. You. Just. Rock. 🙂

  • Caty

    When you chopped off the length my inner voice said “wait….how many times did she tell us that we shouldn’t cut off length before taking it in?” So my inner voice had a good chuckle when it saw that you forgot your own advice. Good to know you also make mistakes like that 🙂

  • Jeanette

    You do an awesome job. Everyone is not going to like everything you do. My guess is YOU don’t like EVERYTHING you do (I know I don’t like everything I do.) but that isn’t the point. Get up each day and do the best you can. Embrace your successes and own the less successful and move on! Life is too short to stress trying to be perfect. We simply aren’t. Smile sweetie… You are beautiful and do a great service for ladies young and old all over the WORLD!!! Well done, well done indeed…

  • Janet Friel

    I’ve only recently discovered your blog and you’ve inspired me to give myself a challenge for 2013 – I’m decided not to buy any new clothes for a year! I’m so glad you’re continuing with your blog as I will need lots of ideas and inspiration to keep me going!

  • Michelle Swetland

    Please keep doing what your doing! I can’t even sew on a button so I love seeing your creations! And who knows maybe I will start! I really look forward to receiving and reading your blog! It is awesome! And remember even though we are just virtual friends friends accept us for who we are, warts and all! You are so lucky to be able to do what you do and then write about it! And then have it touch people’s lives! You are one lucky Refashioista! Sincerely, Michelle S.

  • Sara

    Putting yourself out there in a creative way IS scary! When I do it, I always think someone is going to jump out from behind a tree (or other hiding place) and yell ‘FRAUD!’

  • Belinda

    What you do is amazing and always inspires my creativity. I’m always checking for the latest refashion and have shown others your blog. That said, you have your own style and you own it! Don’t do it for anyone else, do it because you get something out of it, your best creations will come from that positive place! Looking forward to 2013 🙂

  • Kirsty M

    The other day I went to a creative workshop and had some fabulous ideas with some very worthwhile leads… that night I couldn’t sleep for worrying about the exact same things that you wrote in this post – Can I do this? Am I good enough? Will people judge me? I let my inner critic run wild with all this self doubt. The next morning I woke up to an email from Zen habits and the first point he made was this:

    “Step 1: Believe in yourself. The main reason people don’t try to do work they love, don’t even look for it, is because they don’t think they’re good enough. That’s hogwash. We’ve been bamboozled and hornswoggled into believing we are insufficient, that it’s scary to fail, when neither is remotely true.

    You are not only sufficient, you are perfect. And failure is inevitable, but it’s how you succeed. Failure is how we learn to get better. It’s a step towards success.”

    Wow! I took a huge step back and said “Right ON!!” I hope that this too will give you the confidence to keep tackling your challenges, because as Leo says – you are more than good enough, you are perfect!

    Good luck and Happy 2013!

  • mrsgrievous

    I was so upset because the first post I saw was the Thanksgiving post, so I read the whole blog, and then I missed you. 🙁 I’m glad you’re back

    • queenpushy

      Can’t wait for the news! You’re fantastic to me, I love what you do and am always amazed by your creativity! Looking forward to 2013!!!

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