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Day 366: The End? Wedding Dress Refashion

A Few Cool Things!
Day 365: Kitschy Dress

This is the final post of my year-long project (it’s a leap year y’all).   🙂

I don’t form emotional attachments with clothing.  Clothes are fun, but ultimately they’re merely things.  Objects have never held much value for me.  I usually tend to value experiences instead.  

That’s one of the reasons why giving away everything I’ve made this year hasn’t been particularly hard for me.

But then there’s this dress.

wedding dress refashion before
Wipe that smile of your face, girlie. It doesn’t end up happening for you.

You’re looking at what would have been my wedding dress…except that didn’t happen.  

This was what I would have worn on a day that would have changed my life forever…except that didn’t happen.  

This was the dress that would have said, “See…I’m fully capable of maintaining an adult relationship for the long haul.”…except that didn’t happen.  :/

I kept the dress.  I didn’t know what to do with it.  It went from being something I loved to something I hated – relegated to a garbage bag stuffed in the back of my closet.  I kicked it on occasion.

This one garment had the power of making me feel like I had failed…that I would never be in a long-term relationship, that I would most certainly never be married, and that I was going to spend the rest of my life alone.

I had to do something with this dress.  People suggested giving it away, but I couldn’t.  It had permeated into my psyche to such a degree that parting with it was impossible.

As the months after the breakup stretched on, things happened.  I realized I was stronger than I had ever imagined.  I spent more time with my friends…who made it clear that single or no, I most certainly would never be alone.  

I ate healthier.  I made bolder decisions.  I laughed more.  In short, I’m doing just fine.  🙂

That dress, and its power over me had to go…in a different direction.

I filled a plastic tub with hot water.

Plastic tub in bathtub
A tub within a tub!

I added a full bottle of Wine dye, salt, vinegar, and a dress with a past.

wedding dress in dye bath
Wine not? It’s my dress.

I carefully stirred the dress in its dye bath for a bit over an hour.  

I was worried about the bodice, as I could tell that some spot cleaning had been done and that this slight discoloration could end up looking really weird when dyed.  I decided to chance it.

After the dye bath was one, my dress got a good and thorough rinse.  Then, I laid it over my shower rod to dry.

I wasn’t done.

I put it my dress form, and chopped off a few layers.

Day 366: The End? Wedding Dress Refashion 3
This was the scary part.

This meant I also had to cut off some of the lining and give it a new hem.

pinning lining of wedding dress
ombre thread on sewing machine
The perfect thread for the task at hand!
sewing hem

I’ve lost some weight in the past few months, so some taking-in of the bodice was in order as well.

pinning sides of dress
Hot Darting Action!

The original dress already had a few holes that needed to be taken care of, but I decided to wait until I had dyed it so I knew what color of thread to use.

closeup of hole
Holey Moley!
stitching hole
Don’t worry. I’ve got this!  Let the hand-stitching commence!

After a good press…I was done!

refashionista wedding dress refashion after
From walking down the aisle to sauntering onto the dance floor! 🙂

You can see how the bodice did indeed end up looking quite uneven, but I really like it!  🙂 This happy accident is one of my favorite things about my new dress!

wedding dress refashion after
Happy for a year well-lived! 🙂
refashionista wedding dress after
My fave refash to date! 🙂

My new dress was perfect for a party with my closest friends to celebrate making it through this year and my ridiculous self-imposed challenge!  🙂

jillian with friends
Love these ladies! 🙂
Day 366: The End? Wedding Dress Refashion 4
I know some pretty awesome people!
Day 366: The End? Wedding Dress Refashion 5
So lucky to have such amazing people in my life!
Day 366: The End? Wedding Dress Refashion 6
Even my dress form got a cute new dress from the scraps! 🙂

In this year, I haven’t just been refashioning clothing.  I’ve been refashioning my life, and how I think about the world around me.  

A year ago I thought I had to be married by the time I was 30 in order to be a proper grownup and happy.  I’ve since learned that being happy has nothing to do with being a proper grownup (which might, paradoxically, be the most grownup revelation I’ve made this year).  🙂

I want to give my sincerest thanks to the friends, family, and fans who made this year possible (that includes you, dear reader).  There are simply far to many of you to name here!  I could not have done any of this without you.  🙂

Many of you have been asking what my plans are, now that I’m done with the year.

I’m.  Not.  Stopping.  Here.

My work here is far from done folks.  Stay tuned in the next couple of days for news of my plans for Year 3!

Refashionista Wedding Dress Refashion Before and After


A Few Cool Things!
Day 365: Kitschy Dress