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ModCloth-Inspired New Year’s Eve Dress Refashion

Trish's Reader ReFash!
Merry Christmas to Y'all: A No-Sew Dress Refashion

Happy New Year, friends!  🙂  Are you as excited about it as I am?  

I’m ready.  I’m pumped.  

While last year was very successful in many ways, it was also an emotionally draining one that I’m happy to be closing and putting on the shelf.

I hope you’re as excited as I am!

I was struck by the awesomeness of the Bohemian Elegance dress from ModCloth.

That'll be $72.99.
That’ll be $72.99.

Isn’t this dress just sigh-worthy?  I love it!  I love the brown hue and I love how the bottom is sheer.

I just knew I could make a ModCloth-Inspired New Year’s Eve Dress refashion out of this $1 thrift store find right here:

refashionista ModCloth-Inspired New Year's Eve Dress Refashion before
It takes imagination.

There are several differences between my thrifty find and my inspiration piece…not the least of which being the color.

The label in my new dress had been completely ripped out, but I should have known it was mostly polyester, which doesn’t take to dye very well.  

But I was feeling adventurous!  

So I threw my dress in my washing machine with a whole bottle of brown dye and two cups of salt as per the instructions on the bottle.

bottle of dark brown rit dye
Drown in in brown!
washing machine with dye bath
LOTS of dye!

I should have known there was no way this dress was going to go full-brown.  

BUT my efforts weren’t for naught!  

I at least managed to muddy up that pale blue a bit, and those flowers were quite transformed from their stark white.  See?

comparison of dyed fabric and undyed fabric
See the difference?

Unfortunately, my dye job revealed a nasty secret.  :/

pit stains
Eeeeeew! Pit stains! 🙁

I almost gave up on this dress then and there.  Those newly-revealed stains were just nasty…and I wasn’t sure how to get rid of them.  

Unfortunately, it was already New Year’s Eve and my friends were going to arrive to pick me up for the evening’s festivities shortly.  

I had to make this work!

I snipped off the ties from the shoulders of my new dress…

shoulder bow ties
You are dumb, and you must go.

Then, I ripped off those sleeves.

ripping off sleeves with seam ripper
Pick. Pick. Pick.

This removed some of the grody pitness, but not all of it.

removec sleeves with pit stains
Those stains will haunt my dreams.

I had to do a bit more ripping to remove the lining from the outer stained layer.

removing lining with seam ripper
Pick. Pick. Pick. Again.

While I was picking, I went ahead and made the distance between the shoulders of the dress narrower.

measuring 1.5 inches on each side.
By 1.5 inches on each side.

But Ack!  Those stains!  

Suddenly, I knew exactly what to do!  

The outer layer is blousier than the lining.  It would need to be taken in if it was going to look anything like the original anyway.  So….two birds!  One stone!  

I took it in.

stained armpit up close
Cut. It. Out.
sewing new side seam
Stitch those stains away!

I cut off those stained bits and wished them well on their journey to my trash can.

Almost done!

I closed up my new arm holes, leaving them detached from each other.

sewing new arm holes
First, the outer layer!
sewing arm hole lining
Then, the lining!

For my final trick, I cut off some of the lining so my new dress would mirror the opaque-to-sheer look of my inspiration piece.

dogs looking at dress
The hounds supervised.

Now that pitted-out thrifted dress dress is New Year’s Eve-Ready!

refashionista ModCloth-Inspired New Year's Eve Dress Refashion after
I know…It’s not really brown at all, but I still dig it!

I had a wonderful evening with my friends!

Jillian with friends in fancy bar
Hey Fellas! 🙂
refashionista new years eve close up
Many cocktails were had.
refashionista with friends on new years eve
Hot Instagram Action!
Jillian and Ryan
Just Chillin’ with one of Mumford’s sons.
Jillian and David
David says hello. 🙂

I’m so very grateful for the amazing company I keep.  They make the highest highs transcendent and the lowest lows possible to bear.

Cheers to a brand new year full of possibilities!

refashionista ModCloth-Inspired New Year's Eve Dress Refashion before and after
Trish's Reader ReFash!
Merry Christmas to Y'all: A No-Sew Dress Refashion

70 thoughts on “ModCloth-Inspired New Year’s Eve Dress Refashion”

  1. Wow! I know this is from 2014 and we are now 2021. This is a very nice refashion. I would still have it if I were you. Lol..very elegant.

  2. I really love this one. It might be fun to give it an asymmetrical hem (longer in the back) if you feel like changing it up again!

  3. This is absolutely STUNNING! Looks GREAT on you! I like what you did with the top, very nice. Oh, and I was laughing throughout this (you are so witty!) 🙂

  4. I think your FANbloodyTASTIC so please keep doing what your doing! You’ve inspired me to do loads of sewing not that i’d ever be brave enough to post them for everyone to see… wish we had that dye brand over here too!! Thanks again your a gem.
    Hugs from Ireland !

  5. I love your new goals for 2014! Look forward to seeing some of your new skills in action — sewing is so addictive, you can’t help but keep learning once you start… 🙂 Also love the idea of sharing more about ethics & fashion — I just read the very thought-provoking book “Overdressed” by Elizabeth Cline, which just happened to mention refashioning & the Refashionista — nice surprise!

  6. I àm incredibly curious about the size of your closet. You do such fabulous work, but the sheer volume astounds me. Do you wear items for a one time occasion and then discard them? What happens to the creations when you run out of hangers. Wish I could replicate all your projects but I have no space.

  7. Love the site, wanted to share a tip. For armpit stains (or any biological stain) equal parts BLUE (must be blue) dawn soap and peroxide work wonders. I put it in a small tupperware, mix and apply to garment with an old toothbrush. Let it sit for all of 5-10 minutes, then throw in wash. Work wonders I tell you!

  8. Great job. The belt is not ideal. Perhaps you need to refashion some belts and other accessories. I do have another idea for you. Refashion for someone else besides yourself. It may be a little harder to find frocks to redo for someone larger than you. I know it is a problem for some of us! And what about men’s fashions?

  9. Happy New Year! I wish that my local thrift shops had more in my size. Every time I walk through them, I think of you, and the amazing things that you do. Have a great and happy year.

  10. The inspiration dress is amazing, and although your final dress looks very little like it, it is certainly beautiful on its own! I think you could make a ton of dresses inspired by the first one (and I kind of want to, too)! I’m glad you persevered on the dress even after struggling with those pits and I’m excited to see the extra efforts you have planned for this year!

  11. Have been following for some time now, but don’t often comment. One of my resolutions…to leave comments for the bloggers I love!!! You are one of my first inspirations in my refashion journey and I love how this one came out…great save and thank you for keeping this up and serving to inspire and entertain us readers 🙂

  12. I follow your blog for a long while and I always love how you inspire me. I sorta of stopped altering thrift clothes because I was focusing on my other artistic goals but you always make me want to go back. It’s FUN to sew and to make something beautiful out of an old piece!
    Happy New Year, btw 😀

    -An inspired fan

  13. I love your 2014 plans! Looking forward to it. One thing that I want to do more of in ’14 is sewing.

    I was a bit sad that you were going to dye the lovely blue so I’m kind of happy it didn’t take the dye completely (sorry!) I like that is dyed the white flowers though and it looks so much better in the after photo!

  14. Wow! This was one of your prettiest transformations. It’s inspiring to hear of your plans to update and enhance your blog this year, too. Happy 2014!

  15. Your goals for this year are wonderful! So many “resolutions” are in reality beating ourselves up for what we SHOULD have done sooner and didn’t. Yours are adding to the good things, and are going to make your life even fuller and more exciting! Hooray for YOU!!!

    Oh yeah…..and I love the refashion. The muted blue is very flattering on you, and as always, the finished dress was so cute on you….good job!

    Blessings on your New Year! Jill

  16. The dye you should use for polyester is called idye and you can get it at Joannes or Michaels too probably. Love how you remade the dress. It echoes the Mod Cloth dress very closely I think.

  17. The finished dress looks so amazing!! Your blog is educational and inspirational for me, and your humor is so cute. I always look forward to your posts!

  18. Happy New Year Jillian,
    I’m excited about your 2014 Resolutions. You are such an inspiration. I started my new year by getting a $1 outfit from St. Vincent de Paul. Right now the only thing going for it is the pretty color, but for $1 I can’t go too wrong.

  19. I love it! Awesome resolutions, I will be here cheering you on 🙂

    I think iDye (‎) make a dye that is for unnatural (? don’t know the word for this) fabrics. (as well as one for natural ones too 🙂 I don’t know it it works though I haven’t tried it.

    The other option for changing the colour of fabric with paint, using a textile medium (delta creative makes one) that turns acrylic paint into fabric paint! could be interesting maybe? I also haven’t tried this yet, I bought some to work on with my printing paint, and a huge stash of white material, but have’t tried it yet (i’ll send pics when I do).
    hmm.. last is a link to blitsy. its a friend referral so its specific to me, but if you can just search if you like. They have awesome deals on craft products, some of which are fabric related. The have good deals on dyes atm. and ever so often do fabric dye sales. (I live in Australia, so for me those prices are fab, but I’m not sure how they compare to US ones).


    keep on sewing!

  20. I think the baby blue and brown is a fab combo and your re-deaux is Audrey-esque. Although I don’t refashion clothes, I’ma huge thrifter and love to repurpose using other mediums. Keep up the great work – you inspire me!

  21. It looks you have some exciting ideas for 2014…not only am I excited to see what you do but I will get to see what wannabe Wednesday and the Thursday thingie too.

    Can’t wait!!!!

  22. I believe there is a specific dye available at Joann store for polyester. Just a note though, I used pro ion mx dyes on a white on white print 100% cotton! and the design stayed white while the background accepted the color. I also found out that permanent press fabrics don’t dye well either. Anyway, the dress redo is adorable, just like you. I’m old enough to be your Granny and I enjoy watching your creative side flourish. Keep up the inspiring work.

  23. I’ve been following for a few months and this might be my favorite one yet! The transformation is beautiful and you did well to rid yourself of those pit stains! Happy New Year to you,


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