Tangerine Dream Dress II! 1
Dress Refashions,  Dye Refashions,  Refashions

Tangerine Dream Dress II!

Gimme a(n Asymmetrical) V!
Creativity, Fear, and Fun at the Mini Maker Faire!

Remember that time oh-so-very long ago when I dyed that one white dress to a tangerine hue with these?

Hey Guys! Remember us?
Hey Guys! Remember us?


It was only a few days ago, but I’ll go ahead and refresh your memory.  Here ya go!



If you thought that dress took a dye bath all alone, you’re wrong!


Bathing Buddies!
Bathing Buddy!


This is a $1 thrifted find that I thought would work well for yet another sultry SC day.  It’s made of cotton jersey, and I love that pattern.  Sadly, was a little dingy and faded, which is why it went under the dye!

After its dye bath, I snipped off those straps from the back of the dress (still keeping them in tact on the front).




Then, I threw it on my dress form and pinned it in the back.


One seam is easier than two!


All it needed next was a quick whirrrrr!

The aforementioned Whirrrrrrrrr!
The aforementioned Whirrrrrrrrr!


That’s it!  My summery halter dress was ready for a fun night with friends!

Such a sweet color combo!
Such a sweet color combo!


Le back!
Le back!


First, I met up with Erin and Katie (The Wine Snob) for the launch of River Rat Brewery‘s new Kolsch (one of my favorite beer styles!).



Tangerine Dream Dress II! 2
Such refreshment!

We enjoyed our tasty brews until it was time to head over to Trustus Theatre, where Erin and I caught the opening night of Evil Dead:The Musical!

Tangerine Dream Dress II! 3
Good…Bad…He’s the guy with the gun…er…chainsaw. 🙂


We weren’t scared!


Tangerine Dream Dress II! 4
Just chillin’ with some zombies. It’s no big thing!


Tangerine Dream Dress II! 5
I stand corrected!


The show was actually pretty terrific & hilarious! If you’re a fan of the Evil Dead Trilogy, you should definitely check it out!






  • Lauren

    Absolutely ah-mazing transformation – all with just some dye. And that style dress is gorgeous. Looks great on you. One of my favorites.

  • carol

    I’ve only recently found your blog and have to say I absolutely love it, in today’s throw away world your like a breath of fresh air, so inspiring, I will definitely be trying this myself. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • potien

    OMG you love the Evil Dead!!! That makes me love you & your blog even more. 🙂 Yay! Keep up the fabulous re-designs & re-fashioning! You’ve inspired me to look into buying a sewing machine. Sending you lots of good mojo from Sydney, Australia. xoxo Here’s to more peeps finding out about your blog.

  • Ahlauna

    You amaze me! I love the potential you see in these clothes, it really is an art. Also, did anyone ever tell you how pretty you are? Coupled with your enthusiasm, humor and creativity you’ve made this one of my favorite blogs!

  • lialou

    Hi Jillian, I haven’t posted in a while, but I want to tell you that well, it’s me stealing all the oversized items from the thirft stores. I travel the nation looking for oversized clothing so no other big girl can find clothing. Yes, I confess, it’s me. But it’s all your fault. You see, you’ve inspired me to refashion clothes and as a larger size, I have to steal all the huge sizes to be able to refashion to my size. And while the Troll above is wrong to blame you, she is right in one thing, it is harder to find larger clothing at thrift stores. And it’s all because of me BWA-HA-HA-HA (wringing hands while laughing out loud in witches tone) But anyhoo – next time a Troll posts that you should quit stealing their ugly large sized clothing – blame it on me. ReFashionista Big Girl Style in Texas!!!

  • JoBeth

    Hey. I just found out about your awesomeness from Pinterest about 2 weeks ago. I have now gone through all of your blog. You are simply amazing! You have inspired me to start refashioning my frumpy old clothes I hold on to. You are super talented, quirky, and fun. I am now a huge fan. 🙂 keep up the good work!

  • Jayne Robertson

    I absolutely love this dress! Never would have guessed it would take the dye this way. Please try hard not to let the vitriol get to you. (Although I know it must be hard.) You are just so inspiring, clever, and what you do is so ecologically sound. Keep on truckin, girl!

  • Amanda

    Also..can I just say thank you, for inspiring me to rework some of the items in my wardrobe instead of donating them and having to spend more money that I don’t have. I also shop almost exclusively at thrift shops. I’m a size 20-22 and on disability so thrift stores are my best friend and reading your blog has opened my eyes to the possibilities of some of the less attractive pieces out there. Cheers!

    • ReFashionista

      Thanks Amanda. 🙂 I really don’t understand how I’ve managed to earn the ire of so many angry Tumblr-ers. I think if they actually looked around a bit on my blog, they’d understand what it was all about. But thanks for your kind words. All the vitriol is a bit much.

  • Amanda

    I think this may be my favorite redo yet. The dress is elegant, and the perfect length! And the color you died it….Exquisite with your skin tone. Nice job!

  • oliveseraphim

    STOP STEALING CLOTHES FROM FAT PEOPLE WHO ACTUALLY NEED THEM. If you had any kind of sewing talent you could find clothes around your own size and turn them into hipster monstrosities if you wanted to. Way to steal from fat poor people. Revolting. Shame on you. Maybe you should think about others before stealing one of the few resources poor fat people have? There are almost NO plus size clothes in thrift stores but who cares about us right? clearly not you.

      • kaki (@tehkaki)

        lets not pretend that post didnt get circulated enough to probably encourage other skinny people to do the same thing at their local thrift shops.

        also people raised pretty valid concerns about the whole thing feeding off fatphobia and it doesnt seem like you’re apologetic for that at all….

        • ReFashionista

          Seriously? This is a joke right? You must be joking.

          I have a curious habit of not apologizing when I haven’t done anything wrong.

        • Melinda B

          Again… I’m a big girl and I was never once offended by any of these posts… and I was sick one weekend and literally went through all 200* pages. The idea of this blog is to REFASHION clothes. It’s pretty obvious that when she holds out the sides it’s not to show “oh snap, look how big this is”… it’s to show “holy crap, look how this dress offers no shape to the wearer” or “can you believe someone made something in this fabric?”. It’s also to show the before and after.. and that you can take something that doesn’t fit you originally and you can adjust it to fit your size.
          I’m so over people playing the victim….. if you have an issue finding clothes in your size… then why not come to this site and ask for some tutorials on how to enlarge a shirt that might be too small (undo the side seams and add some cute fabric) or something to that effect instead of instantly jumping to the assumption that it’s a negative jab at girls who have a big butt.
          Good lord.. quit the whole “woe is me” line.. it’s not cute.. it’s not going to make you feel better (unless you like being the victim because that requires no change on your part).

          • janeontheprairie

            We all look at body issues with our own bias. I do not see “look how huge this dress is” but rather “look how ugly this fabric is” or “look how out of date this style is” when i see the “before” photos. Thrift stores are a mish-mash of other people’s cast-offs. She is not walking into a boutique and swooping up all the plus size items just for giggles. She is picking through cast off clothing that no one else wanted and finding items that have interesting details, fabric, or style. Often she does little more than dye and shorten and she certainly doesn’t take the sides in more than a couple of inches in most posts (this one included) so I highly doubt she’s scooping up all the plus-sized dresses at all the thrift stores in the city (let alone the state or the nation). The truth is, sizes 0-4 are just as hard to find as plus sizes because they make the fewest copies for stores for sizes on both ends (which is why she doesn’t need to come up with creative ways to add length or width to items). But even if she were hoarding nothing but plus sizes, who cares? Get your fine self up early and pick over the racks so you get the good stuff before someone else does. That’s how thrift stores and garage sales operate. Side note to Refashionista: refashioning items for plus sized models would be a fantastic blog series one month! 🙂

            • janeontheprairie

              I just wanted to add that I make my comments as the mother of a size 0-2 teen with a pile of thrift store dresses and tops sitting next to my sewing machine needing tweaking to make them wearable since buying off the rack is pretty much a debacle with her size & shape (competitive distance runners have big legs/rears but low body fat so no bust). The fashion industry pretty much sucks for everyone but the super models, sister!

        • amanda

          If you all are so unhappy with yourselves that you feel compelled to hate on another person…for what? Her happiness, her creativity, her ingenuity? You are obviously unhappy with yourself. You have a choice in life. You dont like her blog, dont read it. Then you wont be offended. You are angry about her use of materials because you feel she is taking away from you…well maybe you should do something about it. If you are too big to find nice clothes, then try exercise to find nicer smaller clothes. You have a choice. But I’ll tell you a secret, no matter what size you are, the clothes will never make you happy until you change how you feel inside.

    • Melinda B

      Slow your roll there cowgirl…. most of the stuff she gets has already been offered at thrift stores and has made it to the $1 per pound bins. I’m a big girl.. and I can tell you that there has been like nothing that she’s found that I’ve thought “oh damn, that’s cute… why change it?” She is changing ugly ass dresses from 1995 that aren’t in style anymore OR are already damaged.
      Also.. unless you live in her hometown, I think you’re safe from her stealing the sweet sunflower covered-shoulder padded button up madras dress that’s in your local store.

    • amanda

      Wow! If you are in need of “fat clothes” as you put it, then find some inspiration in her ability to think outside the box and create something for yourself. The befores should not be worn as is by any person, no matter how desperate you are for clothes. For the record, Im not a small woman, and I find nothing offensive about her choices at all. She is only finding materials that she can work with.

    • Amanda

      Can I just say something here. . . The Refashionista wears a size 2 – 4. If you pay attention to her work, she only takes a couple of inches at most, off the sides of her refashions. Soooo, I would guess that the pieces she’s altering range between and 8 and a 12 in size. NOT PLUS SIZE CLOTHES. If this woman actually put on a PLUS size piece, we’d loose her. I am pretty sure she’s not taking anything any plus size woman would fit into. And before you get uppety. I wear a 20-22. and I LOVE reading this blog.

    • Elizaburt

      She didn’t steal anything, she bought clothing from a thrift store. In America you can buy shit and do whatever the hell you want with it. Comments like this make me want to blow my salary in Lane Bryant and burn my haul in my backyard, and guess what? There ain’t nuffin you can do about that, cause this ‘Murica!

    • JoBeth

      Hmmm I think someone has her panties in a twist… I am appalled that you would even make such a horrible accusation. I am a plus sized “poor” woman right now as I finish college. I was never offended or enraged by Jillian saving ugly clothes from certain death. I was, on the contrary, inspired to refashion clothes myself. Just because she used some clothes that were too large for her doesn’t mean any plus sized women were wanting those styles.

  • Ximena

    How do you set the dyes? When I’ve used RIT dye, it comes out great at first, but almost immediately starts to fade in the wash. I follow the instructions on the packet so what am I missing?

    • ReFashionista

      Hmmmmmmnnnn…Let’s see…are you using salt or Vinegar to set the dye?

      Also, I wash EVERYTHING in cold water.

      We must get to the bottom of this!

  • Molly McLaughlin

    Beautiful! I’m not typically a fan of over-dying, because my brain keeps clinging to what it looked like before instead of what it’s become, but this looks like it was meant to be orange!

    Also I blame you for my newly-minted RIT obsession.

  • Melinda B

    I totally agree… I was sick a week or so again and legit went through like all the pages of your blog… I think that this might be my fav ever.. and I’m not a fan of orange.. but it’s so cute!

  • Jill Schwieger

    You liked the pattern/print to begin with, but I just didn’t! BUT, (and there’s always a big but in life!)…….that dye bath….and the loss of some of the big circles…..made that dress a knockout! What a great eye you have for color and style. Excellent!

  • amyb

    I would love to try my hand at dyeing but just a little intimated. I have this gorgous 100% silk dress that has stains and refashioned!!! Would you recommend dyeing this type of fabric?

  • TaraLee

    I’ve been following you for years, but this is my fav refashion yet! I love that halter type top. You have inspired me to pick up my refashion project out of the bin and try again. I hate sewing, more honestly, I hate tailoring, but refashioning is fun (if a bit frustrating sometimes!)

  • amanda

    You always mix dye colors, how do you know what color you will end up with? I recently tried my first dye on an old white tablecloth. Looks beautiful except I notice some color variations with lighter and darker spots. Do you have tips or suggestions on how to master the dye job?

    • ReFashionista

      I used to paint a bit, so that gave me an idea of what colors mix well together. Usually I don’t really care what color I end up with, just as long as it’s something different than the original. 🙂 The lighter and darker spots you’re talking about probably aren’t from the dye, but from small subtle stains that were already there but were augmented by the dye.

      The only advice I have is to just play with it and have fun! 🙂

  • Gwen

    I too look terribly is light or dingy colors. You are getting me closer to taking the “dye plunge”! I love orange and think both of the dresses you recently dyed look great. I never would have thought to dye them orange. Love this dress (but not so much the added belt. For once I think your frock might look best without one being as it already has a contrasting waist). Keep up the good work and entertaining comments. We love ya!

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