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DIY Ath-Flow Coverup: Refashion the Trend

Valentine's Day Reverse Appliqué Heart Sweater
Mother of the Bride Dress Upcycle

The pandemic has made for some really curious fashion trends, eh?

When lockdowns first began, we retreated into our comfiest clothes; sweats, hoodies, and baggy T-shirts. But as weeks have turned into months, and months into a year, a new trend is emerging.

It’s called Ath-Flow, and according to Pinterest, it’s poised to be the fashion trend of 2021.

But what is Ath-Flow?

When athleisure meets elegance – that’s athflow.

2021 Pinterest Trends Report

Ath-Flow encompasses clothing that can be worn on the yoga mat, at work (or a zoom meeting), to dinner and on the sofa when you get home.

And I am here for it.

I was eager to take a stab at this comfy-sounding trend when I bought this dress from the thrift store for $1.

refashionist ath flow coverup refashion before
Wait…this is NOT what you just described, lady.

Wait….what?!?!!! *insert record scratch noise*

Bear with me, here.

This dress appears to be from the ’80s-early ’90s and is more suited for an episode of Designing Women than a Vinyasa flow or watching a Bridgerton marathon on my couch (Yes…I binged that series hard).

designing women tv show promo image
Scooch over, ladies.

Don’t worry! I’m not keeping this dress as a dress (although I considered it)!

Oh no…This is dress is about to become a nice & elegant layering piece for my own Ath-Flow look!

First, I removed the skirt.

cutting off skirt from dress
Off ya go!

Then, I made a cut up the peplum on the front.

cutting up the front of the peplum

Next, I trimmed off the peplum entirely.

cutting off peplum
Don’t worry! you’ll be back!

My resoning for this is that I didn’t want that elastic waist cinching the middle of this piece at all. I’m going for a more flowy silhouette.

This meant I needed to remove the elastic from the detached peplum as well.

cutting elastic off of peplum
So many snips!

Now the top of my future coverup/jacket thing is open, and ready to have its de-elasticized peplum reattached!

But first, I needed to close up the raw edge from where I cut the peplum apart.

I pinned it down.

closing up raw edge of peplum
No raw edges to see here!

Then, I stitched it down as well!

stitching down side of peplum

Because I knew I wanted my peplum to be centered with the top part of the dress, and because measuring is boring, I just folded the peplum part in two and safety-pinned the center.

safety pin at center of peplum
Lookit where I’m pointing!

Then I did the same thing with the top of the dress.

safety pin at the center of top
I could just superimpose an arrow on images like these, but I’m lazy.

I laid the two pieces on top of each other (with right sides facing each other), making sure the safety pins were together.

peplum on top of top of dress

I pinned them together…

pinning top of dress to peplum
Trust me, it was worth the extra work to remove the elastic.

…and stitched them together as well!

sewing peplum to top of dress

At this point, I had planned on not needing to take this refashion in at all, as I wanted it to be loose and comfy.

But when I tried it on, I discovered my coverup/jacket thing was more boxy on me than flowy (should have taken a pic, sorry!), and the sleeves looked weird.

Yes, a pic would be helpful. Yes I’m sorry I didn’t take one. :/

Soooo, I plopped my top on my dress form to take it in.

pinned side of top
Just a bit!

You can see how I kept the front of my top pinned together for this part to make it easier.

top on dress form
Do you like that shrine to myself in the background? lolz

I stitched each side down.

taking in side of dress
Sometimes a refashion needs a couple more steps than you anticipate, and that’s okay!

We’re almost done! All that’s left are the sides of the front. I just need to make them more jacket-y!

I put my coverup/jacket thing back on my dress form and got to work on the front.

Working around the collar was a little finicky, but after a couple of tries, I got everything to fold and drape nicely.

pinning front of top
There we go!

I stitched each side down, and was DONE.

sewing front of top
The final step!

Well…almost done (The Penny Trick)…

When I tried my coverup/jacket thing on it kept flying open, which I didn’t like. Sooooooo…I inserted a penny to weigh it down on each side!

When I showed it to Mr. Refashionista, he said, “That’s neat! You should make sure to share that tip with your readers!”

So, here ya go.

penny inserted in front of jacket
Maybe it’ll bring good luck too!

I ath-flowed to my porch to take a few “after” pics!

Refashionista DIY Ath-Flow Coverup after
Elegant, yet comfy!

I styled my new coverup with black yoga leggings, a fishnet-sleeve sweater, and a pair of sparkly TOMs (a Christmas gift from my MIL…Thanks Nancy!).

Refashionista DIY Ath-Flow Coverup after closer
And I LOVE it with this wig!!!!

Here it is from the back!

Refashionista DIY Ath-Flow Coverup after back view
Much better without teh elastic methinks!

I’m super-digging those ’80s shoulder details now that I’ve smoothed out the overall silhouette of this one.

Refashionista DIY Ath-Flow Coverup after funny pose
Pretty rad, amirite?

Here’s another peplum dress to jacket refashion you might like!
And here’s how to refashion a frumpy dress into a fitted peplum top!

And of course I have a pair of coordinating sunnies for this.

DIY Ath-Flow Coverup: Refashion the Trend 1
This look makes me feel like a badass. 🙂

I feel like I’ve captured the Ath-Flow aesthetic quite well.

While I wouldn’t actually wear my new coverup during a yoga class, I’d totally wear it to a yoga class. And it works well for dressing up workout/athleisure clothes for a zoom call or just relaxing at home with the boys.

Jillian reading on couch
Currently Reading The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

While I was busy embracing the comfiness of my new coverup, Mr. Refashionista started dinner.

Mr. Refashionista making bacon jam
Would you like some bacon jam?
burger on plate
He hand-ground the beef for this. Yes…I am lucky.

You can follow our foodie adventures on his Instagram if you like!

refashionista eating burger

I certainly do miss more exciting times when I got to share fun pics of me and friends out and about (I know…those days will come again!). At least we have this comfy new trend to enjoy!


Refashionista DIY Ath-Flow Coverup Refashion Before and After
Valentine's Day Reverse Appliqué Heart Sweater
Mother of the Bride Dress Upcycle

47 thoughts on “DIY Ath-Flow Coverup: Refashion the Trend”

  1. Jillian,you missed your calling.You could have been a comedian.Really love your take on life.Seems to me you have saved thousands on refashioning.Really hope you’re recovering from cancer.people need more of your special spirit.You have the best figure for what you’re doing.Janet M.T

  2. i saw an awesome boho fringed vest that I would like to recreate from a sweatshirt or tee. Do you have any ideas how to go about this?

  3. I love it. Every single time I think, oh I am not going to like this one, you fool me LOL. I love the penny trick. A two cent fix rather than buying dress weights. Also, that wig suits you so well.

  4. Great work on what must be a mother-of-the-bride dress. If you can transform more “worn-once” prom & bridesmaid dresses, this blog will go absolutely viral! (…in a good way, not the pandemic way)

  5. I too come from a family of 5 daughters but mom only taught 2 of us, how to sew. I think she picked the girls that showed an interest The last thing she sewed for me was my 8th grade graduation dress. She said I sewed better than her, which was the highest compliment she could have given me. My oldest sister learned to sew to make quilts in her 30’s too.

  6. So sassy. So creative. I must tell you something that does not pertain to this refashion but I think you will appreciate the nastiness of it…..My sister bought me a 3 tiered velvet skirt where the elastic was completely stretched out. Part of the waistband had what I thought was bunched up elastic. I pulled it through the casing only to find it was medical tubing. WTH! Was it used? Why was it in there? Naturally I felt compelled to wash my hands with scalding water. I have been refashioning for over 40 yrs, my first refashion was making a tube top dress out of one pants leg when I was a teenager. In all my years of thrifting, garage sales, swap meets, I have never seen or heard anyone finding rubber tubing in a waistband.

  7. You nailed this! This style is exactly what I wear- just didn’t know it had a name! Thank you for this very clever refash! I am inspired to go thrifting.

  8. Looks great, my gran used to use the Penny trick on lightweight curtains (like the 60s to 90s style curtains we had when I was a kid, this was when we still had spare pennys in Aus after our currency changed haha) worked a charm!

  9. Great refashion!! You really do have such wonderful imagination and that piece is lovely. Would look great with a black silk tank, too. Love it… thank you!!!

  10. Genius! Probably the most unlikely garment to end up with such flair. The final look really has that effortless elegance that so many try for, and so few achieve. The cooking man is as inspired as you are!
    Love this refash so much, it’s in my top ten so far.

  11. love it. you always make me giggle when i read what you write. i’m trying my hand at this. the first was a blouse that i refashioned and oh it was not good! loved the fabric and color. it is now being re refashioned as a pot holder. oops. my goal is to not send much fabric to the landfills any more.

  12. Jillian, I have a question about what type of fabric to add to a refashion (of sorts). Is the the correct forum for that?
    Thanks, Kate

  13. Lauren, my mother has 5 daughters. Since she always sewed our clothes growing up (back in the dinosaur age), she taught us all to sew. except for my sister, Cara. She didn’t learn to sew on a button until she was in her 30s. She now makes beautiful quilts.

  14. WOW! Except for the fabric, I’d never have recognized this jacket’s provenance at all. When I saw your before pic, I thought it was a dressing gown. And now it looks amazing! What inspirations you both are!

  15. The Queen (I’m English) has weights sewn into her hems by her dressmaker so her skirts / dresses hang perfectly and don’t blow up when she’s on walkabouts.

  16. You look great. I am currently undergoing treatment for ovarian cancer. I am near Dana Farber so I go there. It’s been quite the battle so I feel for you. Surgery is March 12. Where did you get you cute wig? I got a expensive one but don’t use it because tts kind of long. Thanks for sharing everything about you cancer treatment it’s very helpful. Thanks Stephanie

  17. I couldn’t sew on a button if you paid me $100, but I always read through each step of your refashions and I like to think I am following along! I love your voice and your pictures and your spirit. Well done!!

  18. I always look forward to your creations. This is totally awesome. The 80-90s puff sleeves are back in style. Thanks for sharing with us.

  19. I love everything you create.. I would look at a piece of clothing and think “what can I do with this? Umm” But you take a piece and create something new and beautiful with it! It is so inspiring! Thank you ! I miss Mr. Refash’s blog posts! I made several of his recipes from a while back and we loved them. Please talk him into posting a few more of his kitchen creations! Then we can enjoy the best of both worlds.. Fashion AND food! 🙂

  20. What a perfectly charming completer piece you’ve made from a hideous 80s mother-of-the-bride rehearsal dinner dress. It looks great with the all black and you can wear it with so many other colors. (All white would be pretty!) The shoulder & sleeves are so on trend, as is the peplum. Looking forward to seeing what you do with the skirt.

  21. Love this! So cute and I would definitely appreciate it for all those Zoom calls that seem to fill my days. PS–I loved The Night Circus; I’d be interested in your thoughts about it. When I saw the bacon jam, it immediately made me think of a chef friend of mine that uses on his burgers at his diner (among other things). Thanks for the smile. 🙂


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