Jilly in Philly Dress 1
Dress Refashions,  Dye Refashions,  Refashions

Jilly in Philly Dress

Refashioning & Thrifting in Philadelphia, PA
Gala Dress

The only good thing about awesome friends moving away is that you suddenly have an excuse to visit cool new places you’ve never been to before.  🙂 When my good friends Heather and Evan moved back to their hometown of Philadelphia, I was bummed.

But then I remembered that they’re only a lucky cheap flight away!  🙂

I just needed something comfy to wear for my flight!  When I found this dress for $1 at one of my favorite thrift stores, I thought it would do nicely!

Hmmmnnn...Just a perfectly normal dress, eh?
Hmmmnnn…Just a perfectly normal dress, eh?

But then I took a closer look…

Oh no!
Oh no!

The dye in the dots on this dress had some serious bleeding going on!


I decided to just go with it.  I liked the brown and purple of the dress, so I pulled out a couple of bottles of dye!

This couple, to be precise!
This couple, to be precise!

Now.  If I just try to dye my dress a solid color, those splotches will still show through.  I boiled a kettle of water, added my dress, and then poured in a bit of brown dye…

In ya go!
In ya go!

Then I added some purple!

Double the dye.  Double the fun!
Double the dye. Double the fun!

I let my dress soak for an hour.

Just neglect it for an hour or so!
Just neglect it for an hour or so!

I threw the dress in my washing machine to rinse it, then dried it, then was ready to head up north!  🙂

My new dress is definitely funkier, but I challenge you to spot the original dye bleeding.  Seriously.  Just go ahead and try!  😉


I was super-comfy during my flight, but needed a bit of additional warmth when I arrived in Philly.  Luckily, I brought my fave 10-year-old denim jacket with me.  🙂

This is my "Glamour Shot" pose!
This is my “Glamour Shot” pose!

I had a blast catching up with my wonderful friends.

Meet Heather and Mudcat!  :)
Meet Heather and Mudcat! 🙂
Such a beautiful day!
Such a beautiful day!


Just chillin' in the park!  :)
Just chillin’ in the park! 🙂

Of course, drinks quickly followed!

Mead!  It's all you need!  :)
Mead! It’s all you need! 🙂
Tasty Veggie Noms!  :)
Tasty Veggie Noms! 🙂
Walking amongst the cobblestones!  :)
Walking amongst the cobblestones! 🙂

Stay tuned for more Philly adventures!



Refashioning & Thrifting in Philadelphia, PA
Gala Dress


  • FlagGirl

    Couple o’ things.
    1. I’ve been following you for a bit now (I’m the colour-guard girl, remember? Anywho.) And you’ve totally converted me. I love refashioning. My roommate even GAVE me her old sewing machine for Christmas so could officially get started.
    2. I’m haven’t tried the world of dye just yet. I’ve seen the Rit brand in the stores. Why is it your go-to brand? Ease? Value? I do remember reading about your first few tries at dyes (HA, That rhymed!), but can’t seem to get the courage to start, so I thought I’d ask for some advice.

    • ReFashionista

      Hey! Viva La Colorguard! 🙂

      Hurrah to refashioning!

      The reason I always use RIT dye is because it’s pretty much the only one I ever find. I usually get it at the grocery store when I’m buying other stuff, and there it is! I’m happy with it, so I haven’t actively sought out other dyes yet.

    • ReFashionista

      Hey! Thanks!

      I’ve never tried using Kool Aid…I’d be worried that the color would fade really quickly unless you had some sort of agent to help it set. I’ll have to look into it!

  • Gia

    Totally awsome, now if only could fine $1 dresses…
    Oh and did I mention you have a wonderfull blog, you inspire to refashion.

  • jenny_o

    I like this very much – you are so good with colours (I seem to remember reading there’s a reason for that :)). The colour shows up better in some photos than others, which might be what’s causing some commenters to say they don’t care for the colour. But I like it, and think it’s a clever way to cover up the dye bleed 🙂

  • Boriana

    Amazing! Such a talent!!! I have a quick question: do you do anything to get the color set? I am scared that will stain later…
    Thank you so much!!!!

  • Gina

    Okay…but I would have gone with adding a pretty piece of trim to the bleed marks instead of dying. But if you can’t do…critique…..you always surprise me.

  • Kim Douglas

    Sorry but didn’t care for this idea. The original dress is much prettier even with some fading. The new top is fair to good but the muddy bottom–nah!

  • restyle4life

    I love reading your blog. You’re so creative! I have to say I don’t like the effect of this one though. It looks muddy to me but I guess I just don’t like that look for me. I would’ve stuck to just the purple and pulled it out to check what that one colour alone would’ve achieved.

    • SuzyDQ

      agreed… I’ve never been known to have OCD.. but it’s kicking in here. Wash the dress again, it’s dirty!
      But an interesting concept… I’m wondering how other colors would have turned out. Can we click “undo” and try yellow, green, blue? 🙂

  • Kelly

    Love ur blog Girly!! U do sucha great job I def enjoy reading ur blog. Was wondering did u do an ombré kinda effect? Bottom looks darker than top. Keep up with the fantastic fashion 🙂

  • Carrie

    Not my favorite. I didn’t like how the dress turned out. Wouldn’t a bleach pen and a steady hand have worked better?

  • Anna

    Yeah, seriously. Thrift store dresses for $1? How do you do it?

    Looks like you were in South Philly. Where’d you go for mead???

  • Cindy B

    I love your creativity! One question…what thrift store do you shop at? I live in California and the thrift stores out here are expensive! For a dress like yours I could pay $6.99-$8.99 at the Goodwill.

      • Anita

        Dollar dresses are rare. Goodwill seems to price all dresses the same no matter what they look like and the kidney foundation prices everything sky-high. Volunteers of America and Salvation Army are where I do best, but one has to go on a half-price day to get anywhere close to a one dollar item.

    • krogers

      Try Goodwill Outlet stores! They’re a little bit sketchy, environment wise and require you to hunt through bins of clothes they can’t sell (and some of it is GROSS) but they sell clothes by the pound.($1.49 a pound at mine!). Also try Caritas thrift stores, 50% off on Wed, Thurs, Fri and Sat.

  • Erin

    Simple and cute results, I am fascinated on how you take old things and make them new again, it has sparked me to sew again, what is your opinion on sergers?

  • trudie

    Love seeing all of your dye results!! Very inspiring. I’m going to experiment on some things in my own closet! Would love to see a post about working with dyes in general–color effects, don’t put this color on such and such color fabric, etc.

  • sparkles

    I never comment. I don’t even sew, other than the occasional button. But I do like to follow your blog. (The only one I ever follow because I don’t even like blogs! Hehe!) And I do feel compelled to tell you that out of all the cute things I’ve seen you refashion, THIS is my favorite. I adore the way it turned out, very good job on taking a cute-but-damaged dress and making it fun and funky and super cool (:

  • TaraLee

    I am in love with this dress! I absolutely love love love how it turned out! I don’t suppose you would sell it to a nice Canadian girl who has lost a ton of weight this last year due to medical issues and would love a pick me up dress like that to help life her spirits? Since Spring looks like it might finally be making an appearance? My “donation” could be applied to the arts, or to that amazing refashion store you work with or any number of things. Do you ever sell your products? Seriously, I think this is my favorite refashion so far and it was a relatively simple one! Your talents are limitless!

What do you think?

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