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Snap Front Duster to Peachy Keen Day Dress Refashion

DIY Halter Top from Button-Up Shirt
Easy No-Sew Halter Top Refashion

That’s right. I’m bringing back some seriously old slang for today’s refashion (that totally makes sense if you look at the lil preview pic of the “after” above). It’s gonna be the bee’s knees ya’ll!

When I found this dress on the $1 rack at the thrift store, I thought its lightweight fabric would be perfect for summer!

refashionista Snap Front Duster to Peachy Keen Day Dress Refashion before
They still make these btw.

This post contains affiliate links which won’t cost you anything extra, but may provide me with a small commission.

This is one of those garments that’s just as comfortable as it is unflattering. And I don’t feel like that pale yellow is doing me any favors whatsoever.

Luckily, I had these two bottles of dye on hand!

tangerine and fuchsia dye
Their powers combined will give me the peachy hue I so desperately seek!

The color mixology for this combo is very simple. Orange + Pink = Peach. I don’t have many peach-hued dresses, so I thought this would be a nice addition to my wardrobe.

To get this refashion started, I made a dye bath (following the instructions on the bottle) and submerged my dress inside.

dress in dye bath
It appears to be taking the dye quite nicely!

After about 40 minutes (stirring occasionally), I rinsed my dress in my washing machine then dried it.

Since my dress was 55% cotton, it took the dye fairly well.

5 more minutes clothing label
This may be my favorite clothing brand name ever.

It’s worth noting that I ignored this label’s instructions for the dyeing part (I used hot water), and I also ironed my hems and seams when I was done (on the polyester setting).

Spoiler alert: It all turned out fine. I know. I’m such a rebel.

Now that my dress was dyed, I got to work removing those sleeves with my seam ripper.

removing sleeves with seam ripper

I planned on wearing this dress to an outdoor after-work event, so I needed all the a/c I could get!

I was not sad to see those sleeves go.

removed sleeves from dress

Of course, this left the armholes of my dress a raw-edged gaping mess, so I clipped them down (pinning them would have worked just fine too)!

clipped armholes of dress
Just fold under & clip!

Then, I sewed them down on my new machine!

sewing armhole of dress
Sew Pretty!

I’ve already announced this on my Instagram, but I was recently chosen to be one of 6 makers for the EverSewn 2021-2022 Maker Team!

Be on the lookout for monthly themed projects from me and the five other fabulous makers who were chosen to be a part of this fun group!

Eversewn Sparrow QE
Ain’t she a beaut?

The machine you see here is the EverSewn Sparrow QE, which I’ve gotta tell ya is a joy to sew with. I plan on writing a comprehensive review in the coming weeks.

Okay…back to the refashion!

After my armholes were secure, I put my dress inside-out on my dress form and pinned the sides.

pinned sides of dress on dress form
It just needs a little tweaking!

Then, I sewed each side down.

sewing side of dress
It even has that “new sewing machine” smell!

Then, I cut off the excess fabric from the sides using my pinking shears.

cutting side off dress
Don’t get mad about the pocket loss, okay?

Okay…I know some of you are freaking out about me lopping off those side pockets, but hear me out! I actually didn’t think they worked for the overall shape of the dress.

Yes, I could have reattached them (Here’s how to add pockets to a dress btw), but I worried they’d make the sides too hippy.

Now all I needed to do was address the length!

I tried my dress on and safety-pinned it where I wanted it to fall (plus seam allowance!). Then I chopped!

Cutting off bottom of dress

Can I just say how cute my new safety pins are? They came in this awesome sewing notions starter kit that the lovely folks at EverSewn kindly gifted me.

heart shaped safety pins
I heart them!

When I tried my dress on to double-check the length, I noticed the bottom of the front placket kept gaping at crotch-level which was…well…not exactly ideal.

I pinned the bottom of the front placket down…

pinned front placket
Like this!

Then, I stitched it down as well. No more gapes!

sewing front placket of dress
My dignity is preserved…but for how long???

I folded my bottom hem under twice and pinned it in place.

pinning bottom hem of dress
A hem is born!

Then, I sewed it down.

sewing hem of dress
Final Whirrrrr!

Look at that once-dreary duster now!

refashionista Snap Front Duster to Peachy Keen Day Dress Refashion after
Just peachy!

I styled my new dress with a vintage headscarf, brooch and belt, along with a pair of Jack Rogers sandals.

Snap Front Duster to Peachy Keen Day Dress Refashion selfie
I still don’t know what to do with my curly hair so…scarves to the rescue!
refashionista Snap Front Duster to Peachy Keen Day Dress Refashion after outside
Plus sunnies and a $3 yard sale straw handbag!

My new frock enjoyed a warm and sunny early evening of outdoor music, food, and drinks with friends!

Jillian and Karen
Hi Karen!
hampton preston mansion grounds
Not the worst venue, I say!
Jillian and Brian
Isn’t my date cute?

I kept cool and comfortable in my bright peach dress! And I really like how the top yoke looked when I was done!

Snap Front Duster to Peachy Keen Day Dress Refashion after 2
Did I overdo it on the accessories? I never know.


refashionista Snap Front Duster to Peachy Keen Day Dress Refashion before and after
DIY Halter Top from Button-Up Shirt
Easy No-Sew Halter Top Refashion

45 thoughts on “Snap Front Duster to Peachy Keen Day Dress Refashion”

  1. Jillian’s beautiful spirit and blog live on forever. I’m still revisiting, still learning from her in this Refashionista Bhagavad Gita she created for us. This post has my favorite photos of her.

  2. I’m celebrating Jillian’s life by revisiting some of her incredible creations. Join me! All that color and talent will always live on.

  3. I am always inspired by your creativity and courage. Each new project is a joy to see and read about. Please share more about how you make clothing choices and the process you go through to decide how you will restyle the clothing you do choose. Best wishes and thank you!

  4. Brilliant transformation! I,too, am interested in how your creative process works, or does it vary with different projects. Love this colorful cutie and the styling. Congratulations on your new partnership and that fabulous sewing machine!

  5. I read this post just after I finished refashioning a peach 1XL broomstick skirt into a peach M skirt, courtesy of the local Good Will store, so I was happy to see that someone else was having a peachy late spring refashioning experience. This has to be one of my favorites, particularly considering how this frock started out in life. You look fantastically healthy — so happy you have put your health issues behind you and are now looking vibrant, refreshed, and, as always — fashionable.

  6. After dealing with curly hair in the South for 54 years, I can tell you that you don’t DO anything with it. It does what it wants to and you let it! . Seriously, though, mousse or gel for curly hair can help prevent the fuzzies. Also, don’t use terrycloth on your hair. Use an old t-shirt. Terrycloth will make it frizz.

  7. I have thin very straight lifeless hair so I say Rock Those Curls. With a good haircut you probably would have to do much. A little gel or mousse and you could be on your way. Enjoy the simplicity.

  8. I love how this turned out and I’ve decided that I need more peach to my wardrobe. The top yoke is perfect with your brooch!! Well done!

  9. WOW! This transformation is a complete 180 from the “before” garment. The new color looks fab on you! And the style of the dress is so adorable… You rock it!

  10. I had reservations about this frock. However it is amazing. I love the color! It is one of my favorite spring and summer colors. It looks so cute on you, curls and all.

  11. Love the refashion AND your choice of accessories! I have curly hair too and couldn’t function without curl gel. I’m cheap so I use Aussie 24 hour hold gel. It works as well as the expensive brands. Best advice for curls…embrace them…don’t fight them and you’ll grow to love them. You can always use a straightener.

    Love your posts! I always get excited to see what you’ve done.

  12. This was a really good transformation. What to do with your curly hair? Enjoy it. It looks adorable. Some women pay a lot of money to make their hair look like that.

  13. This is an amazing transformation! you made a basic nightie turn into a beautiful sundress!! Love the happy color and the the collar came out so nice! Great job!!! Keep them coming you are so creative a true talent!

  14. Super cute and that color suits you and the season perfectly! Congrats on the Maker Team, yes of course you’re on the team, awesome creative stunning person you are!

  15. My mom has some of those, I should ask her for one when I finally see her! I also was intrigued by the cool pictures on your card game from the last post. I bought it for my son, thank you, I never know what to get him! He loves mid-century modern stuff. You are amazing.

  16. Oh, Jillian, I just amazed by this sleek profile sun dress. Vibrant colours suit you and dress is just wonderful. Love it. Looks great!!!!!
    Also, thank you for posting the Ever Sewn url. I need some of those clips that you used.

  17. Love the dress made from my mother’s duster. She used to wear them in the house and yard on her days off from work. She would also wear hers over her nightgown in warmer weather. Now, I am a senior but could never get into it with them. But, no yoking, this one is now so cute and wearable. Love the contrasting belt, but not the dark headband. The pixie look is so cute, no need to cover it.

  18. I think once again you have taken an old ladies house dress and made an adorable one of a kind for yourself. How long does it take for you to figure out what to do to make the design you have visioned? Once I read/see what you do it makes total sense but I personally don’t think I could look at a garment that is too big for me and say…. Yup I can do this to make it look like that. Amazing Till next time

  19. Tres cute!
    You vastly, VASTLY, improved this garment. Turned it from a run-of-the-mill housedress into an adorable chic little summer number.
    Brava, Jillian! Brava!

  20. Honestly, I felt you were speaking directly to me when you talked about the pockets. I am of the mindset that every dress should have pockets! But, I do get what you were saying.

    I LOVE your curls! You mentioned you don’t know what to do with them….try researching the Curly Girl Method. LOTS of great info to care for curly hair!

  21. Everybody’s grandma used to have one of those dusters, and you made it into a summer fresh original! We all want it!

  22. One of your best refashions. Love that yoke! And I love your accessories. It only looks a tiny bit overdone when you add the glasses and purse. The advice that I was given eons ago is this: when doubt, take one away.

    BTW – to how you how many eons ago that was: when I saw your fancy pins, I immediately thought “diaper pins!”

  23. This dress looks great with the belt. It will be fun to use different accessories with it! The color works really well! Yeah for tangerine and fuschia!

  24. I’m an older lady who kind of likes dusters, but I’ve got to say that this refashion is truly charming! The color is like a gorgeous sunset. Good job!

  25. I love this peach concoction! It makes me want to drink a bellini in the sun while wearing a big hat! Great job!!!


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