SPRING!!!!!!!! 1
Dress Refashions,  Dye Refashions,  Refashions


Muumuu to Fitted Dress Refashion
Graduating to New Levels of Better

Huzzah!  It’s SPRING!  Now ends the winter of my discontent!  This winter ended on a lousy note, so I’m happy to say goodbye to the blah, and hello to lots of good & positive things that have come into the works since then.  🙂

Let’s start with a new refashion for the new season, shall we?  I started with this $1 bit of thrift store fashion:


So sea foamy!
So sea foamy!


It also had a lining!




I like sea foam green.  I also really liked that nice waist detail and wanted to bring it out a bit.

But first, I needed to get rid of those sleeves for a nice, super-warm day!




Then, I carefully snipped the rest of the sleeves from the neck part of the dress…




Now…remember how I said I liked the waist of this dress?  I took a gamble and decided to dye the whole thing, in hopes that the thread at the waist was cotton.  Here’s why:  Cotton takes to dye really really well, and polyester doesn’t take to dye much at all.  I was hoping for a nice contrast between the two.


In the Navy...
In the Navy…


I wasn’t disappointed!


Awesome! :)
Awesome! 🙂


I didn’t feel like messing with the lining of this frock, so I snipped it out.  Normally, when taking in the dress, I’d also take in the lining, but I was running late to meet up with friends.  And this is why I have a nude slip to wear under such things.  🙂




I closed up those raw arm holes…




…and then totally forgot to snap any pics of the taking-in of this dress.  Forgive me.  I was in a hurry!

Hurried or no, I think the result is pretty swell!




My brunch companions liked it too!


Yes. My sunglasses make me look like a fly.
Yes. My sunglasses make me look like a fly.


We had a really lovely day.


Saturday wine tasting crew!
Saturday wine tasting crew!


We even picked up a few other folks in our travels around downtown!


Our numbers are growing.
Our numbers are growing.


Sorry for the lack of pics on this one!  I promise to do better next time!





Muumuu to Fitted Dress Refashion
Graduating to New Levels of Better


  • Garnet

    Thanks for the great sea foam fashion fix. Dye questions please … Did the dye “damage” your washer/ dye the plastic parts, etc?
    And, did you use the whole bottle?
    And 🙂 it does look like it changed the dress color a little. Did it?
    And, lastly, will you need to wash it separately going forward.
    Very lastly, I’ll now be visiting your blog more often! Thanks for sharing!
    Eager for A’s to the Q’s…

  • galfromaway

    I saw your “I’m back!” post on FB a couple weeks ago – hope your refashioning projects are keeping you away from your keyboard. 🙂

  • Barb

    I was hoping that maybe, just maybe, with it being Mother’s Day that maybe you would surprise us with a posting today! But……….no 🙁

  • Alissa K

    Hoping all is well. Your talent and smiling face are missed. No pressure to rush back here to entertain this peanut gallery (myself joyfully included) just want you to know you’re missed and valued. Take care.

  • Lauren in CO

    Just realized I haven’t gotten an email update from your smiling face lately and wanted to check your site. Btw – love this refashion – especially the waist detail from the dye and the neckline. Very fetching 🙂

  • Charmaine

    Hi Refashionista. Truly hope you’re OK as we haven’t heard from you for a while now and I’m sending you a hug just in case it’s needed

  • Turnbull

    My dear never-met friend,

    Life is hard, but it’s harder with depression and anxiety. I know. I’m there. It’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I feel like Chance at the end of “Homeward Bound”, trying desperately to climb out of a muddy pit and sliding back in until I give up. But we can’t give up. There are people who need me, and there are people who need you too. Douglas needs you!

    Keep trying. Having depression and anxiety doesn’t make you a bad/weak person. In fact, in many ways you are stronger for living life in “hard mode” (in video gaming terms). I’m glad you’re seeking help. I’ve just started seeing a counselor. It’s not fun. It’s hard work, but it will be worth it.

    Surround yourself with the friends who love you most. Get lots of hugs! Give lots of hugs! Go for walks with Douglas. Replace your negative thoughts with positive ones. It will get better(that’s what they keep telling me). 🙂

    You are awesome. You are beautiful inside and out. You are sophisticated and smart. You are creative and frugal. What you do makes the world more beautiful. I’m so glad I found this blog and met you through your writing and sewing escapades.

    The comic you posted is one of my favorites. I hope you have at least one friend who does that for you. If not, I’m coming down there and we will build a blanket fort to rival all blanket forts. You just bring the margaritas!

    I wish I could give you a hug, but in lieu of a real one, I’m sending a virtual one. <3
    Your friend,

  • galfromaway

    Ditto others – I’m starting to really miss your posts. Hope work isn’t too busy and that life is treating you well. 🙂

  • Karin from Birmingham

    Hey, like so many others I’m just hoping you’re okay. Maybe you’re just relaxing and restoring yourself with some time away, and will come back more creative and more fabulous than ever. We care, Jillian. We care a lot!!

  • Cynthia

    Long time follower, first time posting. I really love your blog and find it inspiring in so many ways, not just in building my sewing skills but also how you fearlessly share you life so generously and with so many. I hope you are doing well.

  • Joy

    Hey I really like this one. I like the new banner on this site, too – looks cool. I meant to say on your last post, I heard your comment about family. But when I look at your pictures I see a tight groups of friends … reminds me of a Friends episode, actually! Wish I had “always-there” friends like that. Anyway I can’t wear dresses for my frumpy figure so am going to play with a-line skirts and also make some kind of collared-vest thing to wear under a knitted jumper (avoiding button bumps etc). Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Leah sipprell

    Looks like somebody is getting their groove back! I love the dress and am so glad you are riding the wave of spring!

  • Carrie

    I love this refash! This is such a cute look and something that I would probably wear A LOT! It is a great color on you. I love that you paired it with navy.

  • Deb C.

    The dress is amazing! And of course, you look great in it! Wine tasting crew eh. I wish I was there. My brother in law is making some blackberry/blueberry wine for us 3. It’ll be good.

  • Brenda

    I Just love seeing all your transformations!!!! They are an inspiration to me. I have several items that need make overs. Thank You so much for sharing your creations with all of us.

  • Jennifer

    Yeah!! Welcome back, I’m glad to see you are doing well. This may sound weird and stalkerish, but I have just consumed your entire blog, all five years. I have a seasonal job and have been stuck inside with the crazy cold weather we had here in Canada this winter. I read every entry and it encouraged me to dust off my sewing machine and get busy!! I’ve completed a few projects, some fashion, some home décor items, and there are more awaiting me in a pile on my sewing table:)
    I wanted to say thank you for your post about how you were dealing with some issues and getting help. I too have struggled with ups and downs, for over 20 years, and you have given me the courage to reach out and ask for help too. Thank you.
    Hopefully now that winter is over, you’ll feel like posting your awesome refashions more often. Keep inspiring, you do it very well.

  • Lisa S

    Real cute makeover…..I think you should shorten the length about 2-3 inches…..this coming from someone who dresses pretty modestly and avoids showing too much skin….lol

  • Courtney

    I love it!!! I think this is one of my favorites! I love the color, the dye on the waistband, and the straps!! So cute!!! You should just live in it this spring and summer!

  • afrugalspinster

    I like that you didn’t shorten this dress. It looks great with the sandals you chose to wear.
    I shy away from all polyester garments but I think I need to be more broad minded, this dress turned out so nice.

  • jess hogue

    OY VEY! I lovelovelove this refash. I think it might be my favorite yet. How clever to dye the whole thing to bring out that fabulous waist of yours! 😉 Love the sleeveless look, love the length, love the bodice, love the color… What a great dress for Spring!

  • Lynn McCoy

    Loved everything about it (and you) except it is too long. It’s spring and you have great legs. Take that dress up above the knees and repost. Trust me it will make all the difference I. The world

  • Hélène


    I am happy to see that your are better.
    Love this refash and I hope this is the first of a lot spring/summer/autumn/winter ones !

    Bisous from France

  • Connie

    Your skills always amaze me,but now your ability to pull yourself out of the depths of despair and make a beautiful dress from nothing AND meet your friends 15 minutes later!! Amazing! You are a champion!!!

  • jadeflower03

    I have been reading your blog practically since its start and am myself a refashion-er (but I am far too shy to ever post photos of my sewing or myself online).

    I wanted to say that I am always in awe of your originality in your refashions and ability to put your whole life on display for us to read; you should be really proud of how strong of a person that makes you.

    I loved this refashion because it was simple, but dramatically changed the look, and the color on you is fabulous.

    Thanks for always motivating me to spend a little time at the sewing machine.

  • Carlyfay185

    Who cares about pics!!!? As long as you’re feeling better!!! I think of it as a flashback to the early blog days where we were lucky to get a before 🙂

  • Alta

    Wow! I never, never would have either seen the potential nor been able to bring it out in that dress. You look amazing! Your ideas are so inspiring. Also, I’m wishing you many good things this spring.

  • Barb

    Your spring is certainly looking warmer than ours here in the U.K. The colour and refashion is perfect for a nice spring day and you look lovely , as always . Enjoy the good weather .

  • Nancy

    Wow, what a cool and clever refashion! Gorgeous! And you don’t look like a fly at all; you look like a CELEBRITY….with her entourage.

  • Christine

    Hi, I too agree with Amy and Connie- I said to myself “I wish she was my friend for real. Ha! I mean I always feel at my best around creative people ones who have a vision and are not afraid “to go for it”. I can only imagine you are that friend.

  • Sue V.

    You are just too cute! Love your expressions. I also love the finished product. How do you think of these renovations? Amazing, and you do them so quickly!

  • Terry

    Love the refashion. I have a question about the dye. Are you saying you put the entire dress in the wash with the dye?

  • Nicole

    This is one of my fav refashions you’ve done! I love the teal and navy combo. It would look awesome as a shorter dress too! Maybe with espadrilles 🙂

  • Alice

    I cannot begin to say just how much I love this refashion…. My absolute favorite ever! Glad to see you feeling happy and hopeful

  • Amy

    Oh Great Fashionista, how we long for thine inspiration to rain down upon us! Thou hast blessed us again. Thou hast redeemed fibers once more. We sing thine praises throughout the countryside! We have prayed for thine schlump to pass and pass it has! Long live thee, Fashionista!!

    So great to see you perkin’ up!

    • Cindy

      Yes, Amy of flowery,loving & kind words & abundant encouragement, we do marvel at our Precious Refashionista & her wealth of creative energies! We too have prayed for a stupendous breakthrough of joyful well-being and an overflowing thankful heart for our Refash’s schlumpy episode, and rejoice as she soars to enjoy life much, much more…You go Refash & Amy, too!

  • Teresa

    Great job on this one. I love the idea of making it spaghetti straps using the existing binding. I am very new to the refashioning idea and I love your work.

  • Connie

    You must be as fun and nice and good a person as you seem because you have some very faithful friends and plenty of them. Congratulations on being wonderful.

  • Betty Daggett

    Loved learning about dying the thread in the waste line without effecting the rest of the dress. Looks fabulous.

  • Loretta

    Hey Happy Spring I hope you are feeling better and life is treating you well. I always love seeing what you have transformed. We appreciate you!

  • Valerie

    That is a great dress! One of your ver best refashions! It looks beautiful on you! You do NOT look like a fly in your sunglasses!

  • Irene Anderson

    You are so funny! You do look like a fly. That movie scared me to death when I was growing up. (THE FLY) Love your projects.

  • Bailey

    I have a dress of similar vintage in that exact color sitting in my refashion pile. 🙂 Mine doesnt have that lovely detail at the waist though.

What do you think?

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