When I found this frock, I was immediately drawn to its amazing buttons!
I actually like a few things about this one. It’s made of linen, so it’s nice and breathable. I like the oddly sculpted raglan sleeves too. 🙂
When I first got it home, I threw caution to the wind and tossed it in my washing machine, despite this oddly specific care label:
Next, I tossed it on my dress form and got to fitting!
I didn’t want to make it too fitted. I was thinking more of a 60’s mod look.
First I stitched…
….then I serged off the raw edge.
Next, I removed some of the length.
After a quick hem, I was done!
I dig it!
70 thoughts on “1990s Merp to 1960s Mod Dress Refashion”
I don’t know how I stumbled across this post but love it! I have a linen dress that I got summer before last (2018) at a very high end store which looks JUST LIKE your revamped version (even down to the wood buttons) and I have wished I could find something similar. Well…as a seamstress I am now going on the hunt for some outdated resale dresses that I can do this same restyling! Thanks for sharing.
Do you use elastic thread? I’m pretty new to sewing and am trying to figure out when to and when not to use elastic thread
I have a black dress just like yours, you sure did a good job on that one, is cute when is short.
I love what you did with this questionable piece. I love the length, it’s perfect for you. Yes wood buttons are delicate and wouldn’t stand up to drycleaning. I would watch out putting that on a heavy duty cycle also. Delicate or handwash setting is better.
I like it 🙂
Cover with foil. That’s the first time I’ve ever seen that instruction.
My family are Irish and there are some fantastic knitters. I’m not a fantastic knitter, btw.
Back when I was a child (70s), when knitting aran cardigans and sweaters (jumpers here in England), they used metal buttons covered with knotted leather which had to be cut off the garment and stitched back on again once thoroughly dried.
Modern buttons for aran garments are made of plastic and are moulded to resemble the knotted leather.
Much less faff.
Very cute! Your before photo made me spit my tea!
Totally love this one. Good job !
I don’t have a dress form, I put things inside out on me and pin them, then baste and try it on again to see if I got it right. If this were my dress, I would also cut the neckline so it’s deeper and finish that off with some bias tape all to the inside. There’s some weird bunching in the shoulder and underarm area, isn’t there? I wonder what that’s about. I watched an old Inspector Morse show from the ’80s and there was a woman dressed in a suit with HUGE shoulder pads and I thought of you. As I was laughing.
Ohhh my stars this is so CUTE! You did a great job making the sleeves absolutely perfect! I dig the buttons and the “HEH??” face you’re making in the before photo. Cheers to a great refash!
Love this one! Too cute!
Regarding your earlier post concerning “not posting every day” very practical- good for you!
What a transformation! look great on you. the platforms are super. a few inches longer or a trim at the hem will do wonders.
Love it! Thanks for the post!
That is so cool!
Don’t know what’s up with all the comments about it being too short. I think it looks fabulous and would wear that length if I could!
this one is AWESOME! one of my favorites from your blog for sure
Really like this one a lot but I would really love it a lot if it were a few inches longer.
I love it. Awesome color.
I love this one so much!!!
This is really cute!! What a great find!
Turned out great!
The dress is adorable and I love your shoes. Quick question… Did you customize your dress form for your measurements? It seems to make your refash mich easier with the form. Thanks!!
Thanks! Yep. My dress form is adjustable. 🙂
Could take the buttons off if you send it for dry cleaning! I am inclined to try careful hand washing with most things! Lovely colour and buttons and you look great as usual! Was a sewer but wish I now had a dress form and all the things needed for good sewing! Was easier to sew when I was a skinny teen …. Long time ago!
According to Google, you should cover unusual buttons before sending a garment to the cleaners because professional cleaning is pretty harsh and the tag only tells you about the fabric, not the thread or buttons or patches. I learned that the hard way with a Tommy Hilfiger jacket (White w/bright red trim).
So CUTE!!! Perhaps you could explain how you fit things on the dress form some time? Did you just make a mental note when you first tried it on that you wanted to take this many inches off each side?
Thanks! I pin it while it’s on the form. 🙂
OK, I have just realized that dress forms are not all the same(little) size like store mannequins. Apparently some are adjustable and you are supposed to get one that matches your own body shape and size. Duh! Makes much more sense now, haha 😛
One of my favorites! Looks great! 🙂
Lovely as usual! This week I was in my favorite thrift store and tried to channel your vision for seeing beauty in the ugly duckling. I literally thought…what would Jillian buy?! I came home with a strangely feminine men’s shirt with “painted” flowers on it. So far all I’ve done is to remove the denim breast pocket. I need to shorten it and fit it to me but it looks so much easier when YOU do it. 🙂
I agree with you on the buttons but I couldn’t take it quite as short as you did for myself on the refashion.
Kicking myself that I didn’t buy a dressmaker’s form when I had the chance.
Wah! I had a dress when I was in high school that had the same instructions-to cover the buttons with foil!
Opening pic, hilarious! The giant you’re looking at at must be terrible awesome.
Do you accept contributions/challenges?
Extra buttons? Make them into earrings?
Such a cute dress with terrific wooden buttons!
Why, I do believe I owned that same dress in turquoise!! Haha!! The buttons are wood, yes? Well, I have to say you made it look way better!! I wish I still had it…I’d send it to you!! 🙂
lovely refashion!! I had to read the text under your photo before I realized Phillip was drinking a cocktail! I seriously thought that someone was pointing a kind of water gun at him ( because that’s what usually happens, of course, at any party 😉 )
SCORE! love it, as always.
What do you do with the clothes after refashioned it…do you really keep everything ?
I keep some of it, and donate pieces when I know I probably won’t wear them again. 🙂
You are an artist extraordinaire!
Oh i LOVE this one!
Looks nice. 3 inches longer on the hem and you would have nailed it.
If I had legs like hers I’d cut it short too!
oh j’adore ^_^
Wow, mod love for this one! 😉 Perfectly executed and it looks great on you. Cheers!
I wonder what you will do with the chopped off button….
Love it! What’s nice too is because of the style it works well by itself, but would work equally well as a long tunic with a skirt, pants or leggings. It’s got lots of potential! I’m still trying to figure out the foil instructions though, wth?
Very cute. Like your platforms too.
Love how you throw it on the dress form and just pin it. I am not sure my dress form is that close to my actual measurements I am short waisted, flat butted, fuller busted than the dress form. I will have to try this with something I don’t if I mess it up and see how it goes. If it doesn’t work then I will just use it for scraps for belly dance bra/belt sets 🙂
I am way curvier than my dress form. Set the dress form for the smallest parts and pad to achieve the larger parts. Throw an old slightly too small tshirt over it and pin or tape down.
I LOVE IT! What an amazing transformation.
So cute! ’60’s mod is right! How about a close-up of the buttons? Actually, I’m envisioning a clutch made from the extra fabric and button. Whaddya think?
LOVE THAT TRANSFORMATION!
Well done! You know those scraps look like they would make 1-2 very nice tea towels 🙂
Wow!!! Your refashions amaze me!! I don’t know how to sew all that great but your post’s make me want to go thrift shopping.
Nice! I like the buttons, too! Would it be too matchy matchy to make a clutch to go with it and use that spare button as the “clasp”? Maybe with what you cut off as the lining?
Oops! Cathy, when I wrote my comment (below), your comment was not visible to me. Not trying to steal your idea!
What a great idea! It would be a super cute accessory, to go with that super cute dress
Seriously, foil? Hahaha!
hahaha yep! talking about instructions you’ll never follow…. Maybe think the label should have added: “give it to your grandma, she’ll do it properly” 😉
Back in the day when all our cool clothes had the big jewelly buttons, the cleaners would wrap the buttons in foil and it protected them from the cleaning solution. I went to a particular dry cleaners for that very reason. Otherwise my buttons would come apart, scratch or melt.