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Japanese Butterfly Garden Top

How to Crop Jeans
Rally for the Arts: A Sleeveless to Strapless Dress Refashion

Today’s top reminded me of one of my wardrobe staples from when I was in high school.

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I wasn’t always fashionable you see…

I used to love love LOVE funky polyester butterfly-collar shirts.  Like crazy.  I had a closet full of ’em and I wore one pretty much every single flippin’ day.  I would throw one over a tank top, don a pair of Jncos (anybody else remember those???), spike my hair, and head out the door.  Oh yeah.  I was stylin’, y’all.  😉

Anywho…high school was I won’t even tell you how many years ago, and my personal style has changed quite a bit.  🙂  But when I saw this top, I grew wistful and nostalgic.  I loved its funky print that made me think of Japan, and I really missed owning something with a butterfly collar.  🙁  I’ve held on to this thing forever…not really knowing what to do with it.

Until now!  🙂

First things first.  I needed to get my new top nicely fitted before I did anything else!

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After I took in my sides, I cropped off the extra fabric as well as the sleeves.  Then I did a bit more cutting.  It’s just too insanely hot here to have any sort of sleeves at all!

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Going sleeveless!

After cutting my new arm holes, I made several teeny triangle-shaped notches.  These will make it easy to fold them over for their new hems!  🙂

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Notch it! 🙂

Then I folded the notched edges under twice, and stitched them down!

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Almost done! 🙂

Now I have a fun new top for an evening of celebration!   🙂

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Wait a tic…Why am I so very happy? 🙂
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I mean…didn’t I just lose my job?


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Perhaps I’m just in a state of denial?

I have some AWESOME news to share with you, dear reader!  Governor Haley’s vetoes that would have cut all state funding for the SC Arts Commission have been OVERRIDDEN!!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂  I am so incredibly happy to see what strong bipartisan support the Arts and the Arts Commission have in this state!  🙂

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You can’t spell “bipartisan” without “art”! 🙂

This of course means I have my job back!  🙂  Hooray for not having to be a hobo or start my own snuggling business for $60 an hour like this enterprising young lady.  🙂

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Seriously…this was the uniform reaction last time I tried to start a for-profit snuggling ring. :/

A big Thank You to everyone for their words of encouragement/advocacy/awesomeness during the last couple of weeks.  You’re all amazing.  🙂

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How to Crop Jeans
Rally for the Arts: A Sleeveless to Strapless Dress Refashion

44 thoughts on “Japanese Butterfly Garden Top”

  1. I’m from the area and I definitely think you should teach classes. I would pay money to have you help me learn wtf to do with my sewing machine. I need work clothes!

  2. Jillian, where are you? I have enjoyed your blog so much and now you’re gone. I really miss the inspiration. I am really sorry that so many things have happened to you in the past year, but you’ve got friends in all of us.

  3. Congratulations on getting your job back. That’s GREAT news! And, I love the print of that top and what you did with it!

  4. Congrats on getting your new job back! Great news!! And I absolutely love, love, love this refash! BTW, you have inspired me. I have sooo much trouble finding clothes to fit right, so yesterday I convinced my daughter to help me make a dress form, so I can try some of your tricks. Thanks!

  5. Please do some more refashions!! I have read your entire blog and I am totally addicted! I found you on Pinterest, and your blog is totally inspirational. I got stuff at a local resale shop when they had a bag sale, and have turned a bunch of ratty women’s shirts into some baby dresses for my 11 month old. They are awesome, and SO MUCH FUN!! 🙂 All my friends are jealous of her cute outfits, and it’s so fun when I can tell them they are ‘upcycled’. 🙂

  6. LOVE your Blog, so impressive. I have just recently discovered it and have been on the hunt for thrift store outlets – AND YAY! I found one – re-fashions are happening, though it takes a bit to get the hang of it. Your are a Cheery inspiration, Thank you for keeping the posts going! Congratulations on the job!

  7. All the way from Australia, i have been reading your blog for a few months and it has helped get me back into the spirit of sewing again. 🙂 thank you for all your words of wisdom. Keep up the good work!

  8. Happy news that you’ll have your job back! I am a new reader (I saw your blog on pinterest) and I spent last weekend going backwards through ALL o you refashions. It was sort of weird to do it backwards but I have to say your creativity and wittiness was very entertaining.
    I’ll be back for more 😉

  9. I’ve discovered your blog this weekend, I’m absolutely in love with it !! You’re so inspiring, with so many ideas, such an imagination, so stylish, that I just want to be a little bit like that. I just feel like starting to sew and try what I can do… even if it is not so good….Congratulations !! (I’m writing you from Spain)

  10. Congrats on getting your job back! I finally watched the Rachel Ray episode on which you were featured (okay, I only watched your segment) — wonderful to see you on TV! I hope they make you a regular guest!

  11. Holy COW – that’s AMAHZING news! A big congrats to getting your job back – nice to know that the “little people” can sometimes be heard! Cute top too – hooray!

  12. Thanks to your inspiration, I scored 11 pounds of goodies this weekend @ $.59 per pound!! My lonely sewing machine is happy. My wardrobe is getting some fun, funky, and fashionable additions. Thanks for your continued posts. So happy to hear the good news about your job. From a fan old enough to be your mother………. 🙂

      • At the Goodwill Outlet in the eastern part of Pittsburgh. You must buy 50 pounds to get $.59 but people combine their carts if they don’t have enough. It was an interesting (not for the timid) but good trip! $.99 for 25-50lbs, $1.39 for 10-25.

  13. Congratulations Jillian! That’s great news about your job, the fates are smiling on you! Excellent refashion, I love your blog 🙂

  14. I, too, wore polyester butterfly-collar shirts, tank tops, JNCOs and spiked my hair in high school. And last week when I heard the news about the SC Arts Commission, I told everybody about my new favorite blogger and how she has her job back 🙂

  15. Hooray for you!!!!!!!! So very happy that you have your job back and that funding for the arts will continue. AND love the top! I didn’t know about the “notch” trick – will try that on my next refashion!

  16. Yeah maybe this is a sign that there is a tide change coming. Not sure the country can survive the way things are now.


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