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H&M Puff-Sleeved Dress Inspired Refashion

How to Add Pockets to a Dress
Cancer in the Time of COVID

Hi friends! Before I jump into today’s refashion, I want to thank all of you for your kind words from my last post. They truly mean a lot to me, and I’m overwhelmed by your kindness.

As I said before, I won’t have any additional news on the cancer front until next week. While we wait (and wait…and wait…and wait), let’s do an H&M-inspired Refashion!

When I found this muumuu on the $1 rack at one of my favorite thrift stores, I got pretty excited.

refashionista in muumuu
Comfort Level: 10/10

You could even go so far as to say I was quite charmed by it!

muumuu label reads "It's a charm"
So charming!

Billowy comfy dresses are really trendy right now. If you’re stuck at home, why not opt for comfort?

Housedress chic seems to be everywhere. An example is this Puff-Sleeved Dress by H&M.

H&M Puff Sleeved Dress
That’ll be $29.99.
H&M Pink Puff Sleeved Dress
Hi there!

I decided to embrace this poufy/flowy aesthetic and make a copycat version (sort of) of this peice.

First, I needed to take my muumuu in a bit.

I didn’t want to lose the billowy-ness of the original though.

I put the muumuu on my dress form, and pinned where I wanted to take in the armpits.

pinned armpit

Then, I took it off my dress form and pinned the sides. When working with a flowy garment, it’s easier to make sure everything will line up correctly in the end by pinning it this way, rather than on the form.

I took in each side 3″.

taking in sides of muumuu
Just a bit.
Full side view!
Full side view!
taking in side of dress

I cut off the excess fabric, tragically losing that solo side pocket.

cutting off excess fabric

I promise my very next post will show you how to add side pockets to a dress. I almost did that here, but thought it would be better to break this process down on a dress that didn’t require other refashioning steps.

Don’t hate me.

Next, I needed to raise my hem!

If you compare the H&M dress to my original muumuu, you’ll notice the bodice is considerably shorter, as is the overall length.

Rather than just shortening the bottom tier, I decided to take my dress up from the bodice.

Not only does this help my dress look more like the inspiration piece, it also removes a couple of faded parts from the front (visible in the original “before” pic).

I measured where I thought I wanted the top part to end and marked it with blue tailor’s chalk.

marking and measuring 4" on bodice
This seems like enough right?

Then, I made a couple of big cuts!

removing bottom part of muumuu bodice
Double chop!

I left a little of the pink fabric on top of the blue tier because I knew it would be easier to reattach that way, rather than cutting and re-gathering the blue tier.

Yes, it would leave a visible seam, but I didn’t think it would be that noticeable.

Let’s put it all back together!

Putting right sides together, I pinned the top back to the skirt.

pinning skirt to top
See what I mean?

I stitched it down.

sewing top to bottom
It’s all coming together!

I tried my dress on, and realized it was STILL TOO LONG!

Let’s take it back apart!

Cursing under my breath, I got to ripping. :/

seam ripping top from bottom

Once the two parts were separated once more, I cut off another 3″ from the top.

measuring 3"
Take 2!
cutting off bottom of top
It’s going to be okay!

I reattached the bottom to the top, just like I did before, only this time I was happy with the length! Huzzah!

Let’s pouf those sleeves!

My inspiration piece has some seriously swole sleeves, and I wanted to emulate that in my refashion.

To do this, I folded over the top part of each sleeve like so:

folded over elastic on sleeve
This will make the top of each sleeve a bit more poufy!

Then, I pinned it and tacked it down using my sewing machine.

pinned sleeve
I should have used a pin that isn’t the same color as the fabric. Oh well.

But does it look anything like the H&M Inspiration piece? You tell me!

refashionista H&M Puff-Sleeved Dress Inspired Refashion after
I went for an off-the-shoulder look!

Poufy sleeves? Check! Billowy fit? Check! Pink? Kinda!

H&M dress next to refashioned dress
A side-by-side comparison!
refashionista H&M Puff-Sleeved Dress Inspired Refashion after closeup
Hey! I like my multi-colored tiers better anyways!

While this isn’t a spot-on copycat, I really like it! And for $1, it’s fun to try a trend I wouldn’t necessarily want to pay full price for.

refashionista in muumuu refashion
Did I mention it’s comfy?
refashionista closeup
Well hello there.

I wore my new dress for an outdoor socially-distanced beverage with my hubs and our good friend Phillip!

refashionista with husband and friend
Socializing safely!

Weco Biergarten is one of the few places we’ve been visiting lately. Masks are required (unless you are at your distanced table to consume your food/beverage), table sizes are limited, just about everything can be done outside, and distancing/sanitization measures are being taken.

Hi Phillip!
Hi Phillip!

I hope this post encourages you to see those thrift store muumuus in a new light!

refashionista in H&M inspired dress with accessories
I even added on a few accessories for our outing!


refashionista H&M Puff-Sleeved Dress Inspired Refashion before and after
How to Add Pockets to a Dress
Cancer in the Time of COVID

142 thoughts on “H&M Puff-Sleeved Dress Inspired Refashion”

  1. It’s rare to see a muumuu that looks attractive, but you succeeded! You look great in it, too! I really appreciate your attitude at this time. My thoughts are with you.
    Ann in Illinois

  2. Jillian, I am so glad to see you back looking so marvelous while sharing your talent at what you love to do. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers for total healing and peace. I have a dachshund, too! She is my sewing assistant, office assistant, cooking assistant … as you know they are such a comfort and love to be with you all the time.

  3. OMG I had no idea how on Earth you were going to save that “Charm-ing” sack o’ gathers into anything remotely flattering (without completely taking it apart and starting over.) How could ever I doubt you? This refash is adorable, relaxed, and yes, flattering. Especially on you! I’m so glad you finally have your diagnosis–now you know your enemy and you have a plan of attack! With your positive attitude and loving supportive Mr. R and friends (and doxies) by your side, you go and vanquish that beast! This long list of adoring followers’ comments is proof of all the loving support being sent to you from all over the world, including Me!

  4. The H&M one was way too pink, makes me think of candyfloss (urrgh). Your version is gorgeous.

    I have been thinking about you all week whilst on holiday. To see your post upon returning home made my day! That smile…

    As a Kiwi (NZ) living in Germany, seeing a comment on here from another Kiwi also made me smile – for one, because it is always nice to see peeps from home on the net, but mainly because it shows how many people from all around the world you have reached.

    Continued prayers across the miles!

    Sunny greetings from Bavaria xx

  5. Hello from Sweden (the country H&M is born in. I say your refashion is much better than the original fashion. To pinky. Your’s way over better.

  6. You are such an inspiration!! Thank you so much for continuing your blog while you are going through such a hard time in your life. I love seeing what you come up with next. You are very blessed to have such a wonderful husband to help you get through such a difficult time. Hang in there and stay strong. My prayers are with you.

  7. You are so adorable and talented. Sometimes when I go to the thrift store and see a dress that might have potential, I ask myself, “What would Jillian do?”

  8. You look beautiful!

    I love that even though your approach is different to mine, I get to learn from you with hindsight! I love puffy sleeves – I might run something like this up from scratch as it’s coming in to Summer down here.

  9. I’d never touch a muu-muu or even a puffy sleeve anything, but this certainly puts them in a different light! Turned out great and looks fantastic on you. Thanks!

  10. Ok, first of all…I’m obsessed with weenie dogs! I have had 3! I am obsessed with sewing…I am obsessed with thrifting!! I live in South Caroline…we are the same!! HA! You are AWESOME and you are in my thoughts and prayers for good news and care! My twins are seniors this year and wanting them to go to Carolina…probably wont happen though…fingers are crossed! You are such an inspiration and your positive attitude will take you far! Thanks for all you do and all of your inspiration!

  11. Love all your creations. You make it look so easy. I don’t have a sewing machine but I adore your no sew fashion also. Ii also know what its like to wait and wait for a biopsy result. You have loving support and that makes a big difference. My husband was for me. All the best for you in the future. Can’t wait for next post. Love from Nancy in Michigan.

  12. The dress is nice and better than the H&M one, but I can’t get over that GORGEOUS necklace!!!! Was that thrifted as well?! I’m not even a big jewelry person, but man I love it!!

  13. I would never have even attempted this because I don’t really care for the inspiration dress. But yours looks amazing. I love the color blocking style so much more than the original. I appreciate that you show us how to spruce up things that are in thrift stores (or sometimes our own closets). You inspired me to get back into stitching clothes, so thank you. I’m sending prayers your way for you and Mr. Refashionista.

  14. Super cute! Definitely better than the original. Love your refashions. They are very inspiring. Sending you positive thoughts & vibes. ❤

  15. I love your version better — it’s more colorful and is a perfect dress for your socially-distanced outing. I know that you are awaiting further word regarding your status — but I really applaud you for self-diverting attention away from that and keeping us informed and entertained with yet another stellar and fashionable refashion. I have been sewing since “somewhere in the 20th century”, and always learn something new and useful from you. More importantly, many of your comments just crack me up! Take care, Jillian — looking forward to more inspired posts from you for years to come.

  16. As other commenters have said, your version is much better. More edgy, more chic, and more suited for a grownup woman! The H&M piece looks too much like a toddler’s dress supersized. It’s interesting to see how the color modifications and alteration of your dress take it in an entirely different, much more stylish direction. Brava! Sending love and healing thoughts from the Finger Lakes.

  17. Hey amazing girl, I haven’t met you but your personality shines so beautifully out of your posts, I feel like I almost know you. I am heartbroken by what’s happening to you and send you my best wishes and positive thoughts. Your refashion is wonderful. Quite frankly I don’t usually like theses dresses but you make it look fantastic. Your is much better than the H&M one.

  18. I truly appreciate you showing us the whoopsies! That’s my novice self every time I get behind my machine. Great refashion! Love your vision!

  19. Sending love, well wishes, and prayers for your journey to being a cancer warrior. Cancer is stuff YOU have to be tougher. I love the refashion it is lovely and so coloreful. I like yours better than the original. I was diagnosed with lymphoma 14 years ago. I was 48. It was a stage three cancer and I was given two to five years. I was given a new chemo drug and it has extended my life to being a 14 year survivor. Stay strong and always have hope. Keep sewing it’s good therapy. Been sewing masks for schools.

  20. Love this refashion. It is much nicer than the H&M version. The colours make it pop and it just looks sooo comfy.

  21. About ten times better than the other. The color accents, particularly the black, just kick it up. Loved seeing a new post from you, as I’ve been keeping you in my prayers and just know you’ll come through this health crisis even stronger and more beautiful than ever before. I love the steps as you write them, especially the “whirrr!” of the machine, and your comments as you go. That’s the mojo of creative sewing captured perfectly, and so motivating. Sometimes I overthink or stress about how a project too much, and you always bring me back to the right pace and the right attitude.
    Love you guys and your Dachsie boys, too.
    Oh, and be sure to sign me up for the book.)

  22. I had serious doubts that you were going to be able to pull this one off, but you proved me wrong. It’s adorable. It was truly ugly before, but you made it fashionable and sweet. I was hoping to see what kind of a mask you’e made, too! Stay healthy!

  23. Love this! Your new dress is one of my favorite refashions. It looks so pretty and colorful and COMFY.

    I’m all about comfort.

    Still mourning that side pocket, though.

  24. I totally agree with everyone else. Your redo is so much better than the h&m. You got me back to sewing again. I finished a baby quilt, made a cushion set for a child rocker, and have started 2 more baby boy quilts. Now I find out that Hobby Lobby warehouse is not sending them any more quilting cotton fabrics.
    their shelves are half empty. Something to do with NO COTTON TEXTILE MILLS IN USA!! We will ALL be going to Goodwill now.

  25. I can relate to your current journey because I was diagnosed with Stage 3 inflammatory breast cancer two years ago. Scared myself really good reading other people’s stories. I decided to go with a combination of natural and conventional therapies. One of the worst things at first was thinking about cancer ALL THE TIME. So I am very glad you are intending to continue your blog. I found it helpful to hang on tightly to the parts of my life that I really value. That helped me to fight many of the uncomfortable feelings that come with any kind of cancer treatment. Two years down the road I have adjusted to my new lifestyle and things are going well for me. So I will be watching for your posts and thinking about you. Great comfy dress, by the way. I like your version better because it is more colorful.

  26. Your ability to see what a thrift store item could become is amazing! And I think your version of this dress is much better. I think just wearing the dress would make me smile. Keeping you in my prayers.

  27. Love it! And you look absolutely adorable in it.
    I can’t wait for the inserting pockets post. I have so many things I want to add side pockets to and I know you’ll make it easy and understandable.
    Thank you so much for posting this. I would love to add a couple of Muumuus to my wardrobe. Unfortunately, I’m still on lockdown so thrifting is out of the question for now. 🙂

  28. A Refashionista book deal! I borrow lots of sewing books from my local library but your blog is soo much more inspiring and fun. Love your work Jillian – positive thoughts and wishes from Australia xx

  29. Super cute refash! You are such a positive person and have been Eating healthy and exercising for years so those things will no doubt help you in your treatment! Wishing you all the best and I look forward to hearing from you as much as you can write. I love your blog and am grateful you are going to continue it, as i get excited when I see a new post.

  30. So cute! I love your multicolored version more than the solid colored original. Sending out positive vibes for clear lab results!

  31. I love both dresses but prefer yours with the different colored tiers. I would grab your version for $30 and be delighted. It’s just perfect on you. You look CHARMING!

  32. Love your version way more Jillian! Sending healing hugs from Canada. I started following you in March, and your blog has helped me so much with everything that has been going on. You are an inspiration, and you are really good writer, so why not write a book? When you are on the other side of cancer and back to being well, you’ll have an amazing story to tell!

  33. Yours is way cuter! The colors are fun and kind of tropical, and your cut is more flattering than the h&m one.
    The waiting sucks! Keep doing these refashions if they’re helping to keep you distracted

  34. I actually prefer yours to the inspiration piece because of the added colours. Also I find that many times the pieces in thrift stores are better quality material and once they are altered they look like a better garment – they hang better, have a better feel, etc. than the cheaper newer stuff.

    Waiting is very hard. Too much time to think. My husband is currently waiting for a diagnosis and we are just grinding through each day. They seem so long. A person needs something to do while waiting and I’m glad you are still doing your thing with refashions.

  35. This looks nothing like the H&M dress — yours is SO MUCH BETTER!!! May I add…for newcomers of your glorious online posts, they should take a few days to binge on all of your refashions!!! Praying for you in Birmingham AL!

  36. I like yours MUCH better than the original. I think the H&M version is pretty bland and just looks like a billowing pink fluff ball. Yours has extra dimension with the multiple colors. Continuing to keep your in my prayers.

  37. Love it. I also love the way that you just get stuck in and pin and chop and there’s another great refashion. I realise that I fiddle about too much so I must try your technique. Thanks a bunch.

  38. Waiting is awful! Keeping you in my thoughts and hoping for a good plan forward for you.

    Your new dress is super cute!

  39. Love the off-the-shoulder slink. Can’t begin to tell you how inspirational your posts have been, especially during this pandemic. And now this… Positive vibes coming your way!

  40. Glad to see this awesome refashion! Your multi colored version is so much better than the H&M pink one. So cute and comfy! Next time I go thrifting (probably online still) I will check out the muumuus!

  41. I like the “Jillian version” ten times better without those little girl overly puffed sleeves. Yours are more Latin inspired and grown up. Love the color blocks vs. the solid pink and I am a pink girl in my clothes and decor. Hang in there and keep the faith in God for healing. Talk to the Lord every day—- help and love are there for you.

  42. So cute! I like your remake a lot better and I think the brightly colored layers are prettier than the solid pink version. Thank you for sharing this with us!

  43. Cute and comfy looking. BTW, I’m a cancer survivor for 2 yrs. now. EVERYONE says it and it’s true…”One day at a time.” It’s good advice.

  44. I agree with everyone, your refashion is way better than the inspiration. So now, can we talk about “Phillip”? Wish I didn’t live 5 states away.

  45. This dress, and YOU are utterly adorable and great! Keeping y’all in my prayers for good prognosis & treatment ❤️❤️❤️

  46. Super cute, stylish and looks comfy! Hopefully the refashions can give you a distraction and something pleasant to focus on! Sending hugs!!

  47. I absolutely ADORE this one!!! Your version is so much better than the fast fashion variety. You look amazing, by the way. Sending lots of love from southern Arizona ☀️

  48. I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma cancer 4 years ago…been in remission for 3 years now. I can’t imagine having to wait for results from testing….be brave – your a warrior!

  49. As always I enjoy your spirit. I would have left that one on the rack no questions asked but you have the uncanny ability to find a gem every time. Praying for good news for you and hubby.

  50. Love this it looks amazing, def better than the H&M version. All fingers crossed for you, thank you for brightening the day x

  51. Yours is much prettier…made even prettier by the lovely lady wearing it, those!
    Stay strong…all our prayers are with you and your sweet husband!
    ❤ Tonna Chavez-Ott

  52. Rocking the muumuu again! Those are some of my favs of your refashions. Glad to see you back in action! Continued prayers for your health journey.

  53. Hi! Love that you made is not too moomooey, and I like the sleeve fix. I got a dress for $1.50 this summer (did I over pay?) and the top needs to be take in. I looked at it yesterday and decided to chop off the top and make a skirt but now,I will rethink the sleeves and leave it as a cool in the summer!

  54. H&M should be having major hissy fits — yours is SO much cuter! Way more style! And as someone who is always dealing with the fear and trepidation of garments being too long and out of proportion, I was really encouraged to see you not just accept as it was, but get in there with the seam ripper and make it right! (Sounds like Mike Holmes on the DIY channel, LOL). You both continue to be in my prayers!

  55. Seriusly cute! It’s good to see your smilin’ face, doing whatcha do! You are going to beat the bad stuff, I just know it!


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