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Mod-Inspired Brunch Dress Refashion

No-Sew '70s Housecoat to Dress Refashion
A Happy Thanksgiving Fall Housedress Refashion

I was really excited about this $1 score. Don’t I look thrilled?

Refashionista Mod-Inspired Brunch Dress Refashion Before
My favorite color!

Teal is my absolute FAVORITE color!  I also really liked those fabulous big brass buttons on the front!  

Unfortunately, this frock was too big for me as-is, and I would have to do some pretty dramatic reshaping.

I’ve got this.  🙂

The sides had to be taken in a good bit, but I also had to be thoughtful about what shape I wanted my new dress to take.  

I opted for a 60’s-ish mod styling instead of the more streamlined/fitted look I had also been contemplating.

I pinned my dress on my form, like I do.  🙂

taking in side of dress on dress form
Reshaping in progress!

Each side got stitched down…

sewing side seam of dress

Then, each side got serged!

using serger on side seam of dress

Almost done!  

I just needed to raise that hem and take those sleeves up a lil bit!

cutting off sleeves and bottom of dress
Choppy Chop!
sewing bottom hem of dress
A brand new hem!
sewing sleeve bottom
A brand new sleeve hem!

Look at my new dress now!

refashionista Mod-Inspired Brunch Dress Refashion after
And check out this crazy tentacle while you’re at it!

I LOVE how the shape of this turned out…fitted, flared, and fun!  🙂  It was exactly what I needed for a brunch outing at The Kraken with pals!

Jillian with mimosa
MY Mosa!
A closer look!
A closer look!

Erin thought it was pretty cute too!

Jillian with Erin selfie
Hey Buddy!


refashionista Mod-Inspired Brunch Dress Refashion before and after
No-Sew '70s Housecoat to Dress Refashion
A Happy Thanksgiving Fall Housedress Refashion

81 thoughts on “Mod-Inspired Brunch Dress Refashion”

  1. Stunning retro dress. The buttons are fabulous. That’s how I dressed in high school and college, and I still love the look. You look like a tiny brunette Twiggy.

  2. I Absolutely love your style and way of refashioning! Oh to look as marvelous as you do in them lol do you have any suggestions or suggested sites for women (or men) who are not of the small frame? I love all your frocks and dresses but the bottom of my pear shape is large and far from a 4….or an 8 & 10! Lol thanks and keep sewing!

  3. Yep – you NAILED this one – when you said MOD I thought heck yeah, that’s the perfect thing for this numbah! Nicely done Jillian – and those boots are almost too freaking perfect!

  4. I want to start to refashion but I would have to say… I went to the near Red, White and Blue resale shop and all their dresses were somewhat pricey. Any Ideas on what would be a good place to go to or may be there are some days better than others. I went on the weekend and they had a 50% off sale but the dresses were about $20??
    By the way I just started following your blog and I love it. I went back and saw all your previous posts so creative. 🙂

  5. I love how this dress turned out!

    Question and I really hope I’ll get an answer to this: when you take in a dress, I don’t see that you do anything for taking in the sleeves, how do you manage with the extra fabric under the arm, do you cut it or adjust it in a way, please let me know if you can.


  6. Bonjour du sud de la France. Tout ce que vous faites est beau et original. J’admire votre savoir faire. Cordialement. Cathy

  7. I would love to have a closer look on those wonderful boots!
    the dress is amazing, I think that these days your inspiration is better than ever, congrats!

    • Same here. I don’t see many dresses for under $5 (US) and many of them are selling for $10 or more at some Op-shops that are not even specialised fancy ones. It just means that I can not go over board and have to choose carefully but still much cheaper than buying new. One Op-shop recently had a $1 sale and I was actually disapointed that everything I tried fitted me well and I didn’t have to change anything!

    • A couple of years ago, she was doing a new refashion every day and donating the finished pieces to a women’s shelter fundraising shop after wearing them once. I don’t know if she’s still doing that. Also she’s done a few refasions for friends and I think the reader refasions count towards the 700+ posts as well, but that’s still a lot of outfits!

      Oh, and a couple of posts weren’t clothing, like making catnip mice and sunglasses cases out of shoulder pads saved from previous refashions.

  8. The dress looks fabulous. I can’t get enough of the color teal either. Besides red and turquoise it is one of my favorites. Be well!

  9. Soo prety, I really like this one, and it seems so easy to do. I do have a question though.. Do you separate the sleeves and re-attach them? Or you simple sew under them together with the body of the dress?

    Thank you, you are my inspiration!!

  10. How do you get rid of the huge sleeves without removing them? You just sew up the side and include the sleeves, too. Final results are all good!

  11. A-line shifts were such a big hit in my younger days! This is one of my favorites…the color, the buttons, the shape. What is there not to like! Great job and of course you are adorable wearing it.

  12. Great job, you have such a visionary gift! Your boots and style really takes these outfits to the top.
    Love reading your blog and admire your talent.

  13. I was a little concerned about your hair in the pic of you holding your orange drink . . . on closer inspection I realised it belonged to the lady behind you! lol!
    Fantastic dress by the way x

  14. Teal/tourquiose is a universal color that everyone looks good in. I love the refashion, did you take the sleeve out and set it back in?

  15. Damn girl! It looks fantastic!! That’s my favorite dress style… so so so cute! My goal for 2015 is to learn to sew!! I’m a thrifter (99% of my wardrobe is thrifted) so see things all the time that I LOVE but are too big. Imagine what I could do with mad seamstress skills. Ah-mazing!

    • Same here but learning to sew was my 2014 goal. You must do it, you will love it! I had things sitting in my spare wardrobe for years that I did not wear due to one or two little things that were not quite right and being able to adjust and wear them is AMAZING!

    • I have been wondering too what has happened to some of the offcuts. Your fabric stash must be amazing Jillian! I’d love to see all the dresses you have stored too and how they are stored. My sewing room is such a mess. Do you ever merge two items of clothing or make something totally new from the off cuts?

  16. As a former 60″s chick, I applaud your new creation with tremendous enthusiasm. If you are running out of ideas, mine the vintage styles. I love this dress!!!!!

  17. Love this one! How do you take in under the arms when you are refitting something this large? Do you just sew up a new seam instead of taking the sleeves off?

    • The proper way to do it is to remove the sleeves and resize the shoulders….blahblahblahblahblah. But I don’t have the patience/time for that. 🙂 And I don’t feel like the time spent doing it that way is worth it. I just sew a curved seam under the arm pit. Works just fine as far as I’m concerned, and it takes very little time. 🙂


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