refashionista new years eve 2020 featured image
Dress Refashions,  Dye Refashions,  Refashions

Welcome 2020: An ’80s Dress-to-Cocktail Dress Refashion

One Dress, Three Ways: 90's Babydoll Dress Refashion Edition
Hi There. Let's Catch Up.

Wow, you guys. I’m overwhelmed by all of your kind comments on my last post! I’ll be honest…I was a little worried about bringing this blog back from purgatory.

Is it still relevant?

Do people even really read blogs anymore?

and the most insidious thought that I’m ashamed to admit I volleyed around in my brain for a long time:

I’m too old/not cute enough to be interesting as a fashion blogger anymore.

A while back, Brian and I went to see Beautiful – The Carole King Musical (the refashion is coming you guys, just bear with me for a sec). In it, there’s a scene where Carole’s practicing a song she had written. For those who are unfamiliar, she was a prolific songwriter/composer long before she released her first album. Someone in the studio asked her why she didn’t record any of her own music.

“Who wants to hear music from an average boring person?”, she asked (I’m paraphrasing as I couldn’t find the exact quote…sorry!).

“Other average people.”


In a world *cue movie trailer voice* of fantastically good looking influencers whose contour game rivals that of the great masters, I aspire to just be authentic. Average. Kind of okay-looking. Because fashion and style are not exclusive to the rich, young, and gorgeous. We can all be fabulous, and that’s what this blog is all about.

It was hard, however, to feel fabulous in this 80’s pinktastrophe.

refashionista, 80s dress
What the frock?

The color (I’m not a big pink fan). The sleeves. The terrible length. That awkward fortuny-pleated underlayer. There’s a lot to not like here.

Maybe if I just pose better?

Does anybody else enjoy looking at the brands/labels of older/vintage clothing? Because I do.

Welcome 2020: An '80s Dress-to-Cocktail Dress Refashion 1
I would not make my maid wear this.

I did, however, like these pretty sparkly bits that reminded me of firsworks. Perfect for a New Year’s Eve party, amirite?

So sparkly!

Alright. Time to get to work.

Welcome 2020: An '80s Dress-to-Cocktail Dress Refashion 2
Little baby shoulder pad thingy!

Since I knew I’d be dying this and was nervous about being able to get enough saturation in this 100% poly number (polyester is super duper challenging to dye), I removed everything I knew I didn’t want first.

Such as these sleeves!
And that pleated layer!

I reached for a bottle of dye that I’ve had sitting on shelf for years (not kidding).

Rit Dye Dyemore
But will you really dye more?

This was my first go with synthetic-specific dye, so I had no idea what to expect. Polyester usually doesn’t take much dye at all, so as long as I didn’t end up with a bright pink frock, I would be content. I figured the sparkly bits would probably keep most of their pinkness, but was okay with this.

First, I had to get a big pot of water to 180 degrees, as per the instructions on the bottle.

Let’s get this party started!

Then, I added the dye and the dress.

In we go!

After 30 minutes of constant supervision/stirring, I could see a modest amount of the dye actually took, but that the dress was nowhere near the graphite color proclaimed by the bottle. But like I said before, this was not surprising.

Time for a rinse!

I really liked how low-mess this dye was. Regular dye can take forever to rinse out/clean up, but that wasn’t an issue for this project. While I didn’t get the level of saturation I had hoped for, I was fairly satisfied.

After my dress was rinsed and dried, it was time to get to the actual sewing part of this refashion.

I tried it on, and saw I would need to take it in a smidge.

Pinning each side!
Let’s hear it for the first Whirrrrrr of the 2020!

After I cut off the excess fabric, I got to work closing up those armholes.

Pinned & Prepped!
Almost done!

I didn’t even have to bother with the bottom hem, as after removing that bottom layer, the over-layer’s hem was just fine!

After a LOT of pressing and steaming (the dye process made this dress SUPER wrinkly!), I was ready to head off to a New Year’s Eve party in style!

Happy New Year!
Paired here with my favorite Nana bag!
A closer look at the bling!

Brian and I had a great time ringing in 2020 with some of our favorite people!

Isn’t he handsome?
Remember these guys?

I got lots of compliments from my friends on my new frock, and while some of them are probably quietly dreading hearing the phrase, “Can you take a picture of me for my blog?” over and over again, right now they’re being super supportive. 😉

But for how long?


Welcome 2020: An '80s Dress-to-Cocktail Dress Refashion 3
One Dress, Three Ways: 90's Babydoll Dress Refashion Edition
Hi There. Let's Catch Up.


  • Euni

    When I get back to Columbia I plan to find
    your sources of the great pieces you refashion. The sources here seldom reveal things I would refashion. You are a creative inspiration.

  • Ann Harper

    Love that you are back. YEAH!!!!!! Wonderful refashion so pretty and becoming on you. The original looks like a dress that Dorothy would have worn on the Golden Girls. Very fashionable and becoming on her character funny how fashions change. I like your update version so much. You are very talented and creative. SOOO GLAD you are posting again you brighten my day. Wonderful thoughts of healing sent your way(this is an older post I realize but I just found it).

  • Jill P

    I’m so glad you started blogging again! I started following your blog just a few weeks ago when I noticed that I was Pinning a lot of refash ideas with pics of the same lady making goofy faces. 🙂 I had to check out the blog! And I’m so glad I did! I was doing refashions on my own for years, wondering if I was weird for doing so. I didn’t do anything too extreme because I’m pretty plain Jane when it comes to fashion. But your blog (which I went back to the beginning of and read every word like a fabulous novel!) gave me so much inspiration that I’ve started getting more creative and bolder with some of my choices. Thanks for the inspiration and the honesty and weirdness. I love it all!!

  • Granny G.

    That pukey Pepto-Bismol-Pink was horrendous! But your dye job turned it into something exquisite. The hint of pink that still comes through is elegantly understated and the finished dress is charming. Brilliant makeover!

  • Susan Baughman

    I would love to see you share on dyeing and how to pick the right color dye . My daughter has a bright blue probably synthetic dress she loves but hates the color just too bright.

  • Parker

    First of all, LOVE this transformation. I’ve always wondered about the synthetic dyes. Also, please leave all self-doubt behind…it’s so last decade. ; ) You’re adorable, articulate, smart and fun and that’s an awesome combo at any age. I’ve followed you for ages and it’s great to see your new projects! Happy 2020!

  • La Margot

    You didn’t use a cooking pot, right? I mean, you’re not going to cook anything to eat ever again in that pot you used for the dye, I’m sure. Right?

  • Karen Pascoo

    I am thrilled you are back! I loved your blog back then and was sad when it went away. I think about it often. Welcome back!!

  • Elma

    Such a cute result. I’m kind of inspired to get out the old dye pot. Is the cut off skirt long enough to use as a skirt? Could be a cute pleated drop-waist if so.

  • Mary Lee

    Yay! I was so excited to see your post show up in my email! I volunteer at a thrift store and am always bringing things home to refashion – but I never get it done! Now with you back maybe I’ll be inspired to do something with the 3XL mens flannel shirt with horizontal stripes (think Native American Blanket).

  • Hockey Luna

    I missed you, and your blog! However, I can see that you have accomplished a lot since I read your last blog, and am REALLY HAPPY about your marriage and the happy glow that your are now sporting! I hope that you will have time during the early days of your marital bliss to keep “refashioning”. I have been sewing for longer that I care — or dare — to admit, but really enjoy your “rags to riches” repurposing.

  • Deanne R Carns

    YAY! So happy you’re back! I’ve been checking at least every month to see if you’ve posted anything. Congratulations! On everything! Looking forward to many more posts.

  • Leslie April Tindall

    So glad you are back!
    BTW- We might have to get used to looking less “young-cute”, but I think we get more comfortable in our own skin this way.

  • Rhianna

    Omg! (Gush) it’s like picking up right where I left off with an old friend!! Valid concerns but none of them accurate! So glad you fought through them to bring your amazing refashions back to us!! You rock it girl!!!!

  • Melissa Stanat

    I’m so glad you’re back!!!! I’ve missed your posts so much. Awesome job with a dreadful dress, as always. You made it look amazing.

  • dendy

    Im sooooooo happy you’re back! I love the content, the step-by-step process of everything you do. The funny pics and commentary and the simple format of the blog. It’s perfect, don’t change a thing.

  • Naomi

    Mazel tov on your wedding, the new fur baby, and having the guts to get back to being YOU!! Who’s been majorly missed! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

  • Olivia

    This is so exciting! It’s like seeing an old friend again 🙂 love that you’re posting again and congratulations on your wedding!

  • Elizabeth

    I GASPED when I saw your blog show up again in my Feedly. Congratulations on your marriage and your new pup. Glad you’re back!

  • Janine Brown

    Yay!!! What an absolutely amazing surprise to get an email with a new post! This dress is amazing, as always. Also – Are you friends with Kristin Chirico, from Ladylike?!?

  • Myriam

    I’m really happy to see you post again. This blog was the main reason I started sewing at all. I’m 37 and don’t think I’m too old either. Age is relative anyway. Please keep on the good work!!!

  • Chris

    I am so thrilled that you are back and sharing your sewing adventures with us again. As you can see from other comments, we really missed you!

  • learningnewtricks

    You are totally relevant and appreciated! So happy to read that you and Brian began a new life journey. Love to read about your sewing and life adventures. Your creativity never fails to inspire me!

  • Cheryl Jones

    SO GLAD you’re back! I’ve wondered where you were. And happy to see you’ve found the the one who makes your heart happy.
    Love your NYE frock… and you are still cute as ever!

  • Barbara

    When you told us you were coming back I was happy to see you came back so quickly!!
    I loved your New Year’s refasion. Simple lines with a lot of elegance. Can’t wait for the next one!


  • Kathleen McDermott

    Beautifully done, as always. You look adorable in the chic refashion, and the color (pastel blackberry?) is lovely. I am still reeling with joy at your return to blogging and your fabulous new husband. Will pounce on every post with grateful anticipation. Don’t waste any time thinking you are not relevant or young enough. You are. My favorite blog ever, forever!

  • mrssiscreativelycrazy

    So glad you’re back!! You amaze me with what you see in old, out-of-style clothing! You make it so stylish! All the snip, snip, whirrrrrr’s make such a difference!!! This dress is no exception! Incredible!!! Love your hair too!!

  • Beth Ineson

    BACK WITH A VENGEANCE! You really shouldn’t worry about “not being cute enough” for a fashion blog! Fashion is what you make it, literally. That is what your blog is all about! And you are so very cute……

  • kitblue

    Mauve? Would call it mauve? The colour looks great on you (and so does Brian!). Your refashions are inspiring and I admire your spunk modelling the “before” pictures. I can’t wear polyester so I never wondered if it could be died. It’s good to know there is a special dye for it.

  • Shona

    I love that transformation! I didn’t know it was possible to dye synthetics. This has opened up a new world of possibilities. By the way ….. You are pixie cute and don’t forget it!

  • annybeads

    I somehow haven’t heard from you in forever!!!! And I am so delighted!!!! I am 75 years young (old) and I just love your blog. I don’t have a car so don’t get to thrift stores often, however I am planning to re-use old clothes – mine and second hand stores – more than buying new as a goal for forever!!!! So for now I read and look and soak up ideas!!!! Love you- please don’t quit!!!!

  • Gemma Petracca

    Your dress (frock) turned out to be very fashionable with the mutted grey color with the beads. I really like it. But most of all I am so glad you are back.

  • Vanessa D.

    Oh my gosh you’re back! You have been such an inspiration to me since I found your blog when I was in high school. You’re amazing and this dress is amazing and we love you.

  • Erika

    So glad you are back!! I really love your blog and amazing refashions. Happy New Year and Congratulations on your marriage!

  • Jess

    The color is perfect for your skin! The graphite color on the bottle would perhaps be too stark and not feature the sparkle as well.

    As for your relevancy… a certain 40 yo+ lady in Texas can only aspire to be as chic, youthful, on-trend, creative, and inspirational as you. Keep it up at the pace that makes sense for you you and your life!


  • Sanna Adrienne Teer

    So glad you’re back! Good refashion on this one–wasn’t sure how it was going to work when I first saw the pic. 🙂

  • lizoksbookshelf

    Congratulations on your wedding and winning the essay contest! And your return to blogging! I’ve missed your blog, too, especially as I think about doing more thrifting and adjusting — it’s so hard to find decent, fun clothes that fit but don’t cost a fortune. Welcome back!

  • ahighviewofgod

    YAYYYY!!! Congratulations! I’m glad you’re happy and I’m glad you’re back! I have always been inspired by your blog. I refashion with confidence because of you. I totally understand the need to take breaks from projects to attend to LIFE but I’m grateful that you are choosing to resume these doses of inspiration.

  • Sarah

    I love that your refashions are so (sew?) approachable. Although I’m not at a place where I’ll be doing major stitching anytime soon. You previously reminded me that I’m allowed to alter my finds so they work better for me: things like removing a weird bit from a shirt I otherwise like or dying a dress whose color I’m tired of. I rarely think “that’s too complicated for me” when I read your posts, although I often think “How is she going to fix that monstrosity?” You have an amazing way of seeing through the yick to the possibilities that I am still working on.

  • Terrill Taylor

    I’m SOOOOOOO HAPPY you’re back!! I learned to read my first “blog” when I found yours. The 365 days hooked me, I LOVE you! You look grand!

  • Rebecca - Knoxville TN

    So glad you’re back, I’ve missed you! You are still adorable,crafty, and authentic which is the main thing that draws me to the few blogs that I read – they seem real and I can relate. I can’t wait to see more refashions!!

  • Mary Deeter

    So glad you’re back! I’ve missed you! (and new music from Carole King) Gorgeous frock! I still read blogs although I have for the most part abandoned mine. Seems like all the cool kids are blogging these days, but I don’t know that anyone wants to see that from me! Keep on thrifting and refashioning…you are inspiring!

  • Carmen Rosser

    Just love your blogs! Is the only one I subscribe to. So good to have you back. Because of you I have modified most of my old dresses trying to get more wear out of them. Plus it is just plain fun to create and reuse old items.

  • Amanda Kinsman

    Really enjoy your blog. You have a fan in St. John’s NL Canada! So inspired by your work. And congrats on your wedding!

  • Joey Chen

    Hello! I’m so chuffed that you’re back. I’ve missed your refash posts – I was just wondering the other day why I hadn’t been getting any updates in my inbox and wondering if I’d accidentally unsubscribed. Also, congrats on your marriage! That’s such great news. 🙂

    Btw, since you’re on the topic of dyeing – I have a 65% polyester 35% viscose black skirt that has faded a little. I’m thinking of re-dyeing it black. Would you recommend Rit?

  • Carrie

    I gasped aloud when I saw your face pop up on Facebook feed! YAAAAYYYYY that you’re back! I’m wicked happy for you and your husband, for all the good that’s happening in your life. Great refashion, too. I still sew daily so I’m looking forward to more blog posts throughout the year. Blessings for 2020!

    • Marsha O

      I am so beyond excited to have you back!! I have been searching for a blog similar to yours since you were gone and I wasn’tsure IF you’dever come back. I was very unsuccessful. So i was jumping out of my skin when I got the email yesterday. Thank you for coming back!! You are very relatable and that is not something that can be forced or contoured. 😀 Congratulations on the handsome husband and gorgeous wedding!! And thank you for making my 2020 so much better already!!

      IDEA: refashion clothes for your friends too since they are not as tiny as you are (and neither am I). I would love to see that! That would be awesome!

  • Shari Wells Nixon

    Glad to see your posts again! I always loved the way you could take something and refashion it so well! Can’t wait to see more of your work! Blessings to you in the new year!

  • Doris Carlson

    I started following you when I was forming a non-profit to teach sewing to the under-resourced. Our card reads: faith-based, non-profit, sustainable. I have always enjoyed how fun you make “upcycling”! I really love this one!! I have a fear of “dyeing” so you give me courage!! By the way, our non-profit is called New Creation Trades. Check it out!

  • Melanie Miles

    Well, I think these all answer your question on whether you’re still relevant! I think even more so as people are waking up to how much clothing just gets thrown away.
    As for being average or non-cute – I started following a blogger who, on paper, was cool and beautiful. I quickly unfollowed her – it was all words (about her) and no substance. With your blog, I get so many ideas, and laughs, along with cool and beautiful. What’s not to want to read!
    PS you realise this article is on Pinterest already?

  • Susan

    Welcome back! We’ve missed you! It’s wonderful to see you so happy and I’m glad you found the love of your life. ❤ You did a great job on your latest refashion and I look forward to more!

  • Bree

    Delighted that I had so many comments to scroll through to reach the bottom to leave a message. I read a lot of them. They say what I am thinking!! I missed you a lot,,, a BIG lot… I worried and wondered what was happening in your life and hoping things were doing well and that you were happy. I wondered about Erin… I was sad that your refashioning seemed to have come to an end. I do not see you as ordinary or average. You have a magic way with words, with sewing and with people. I hope you are able to continue with your posts. Yes… Thank you for coming back….

  • Michelle

    This reminded me of a dress Dorothy would wear on the Golden Girls in the before picture! Awesome transformation!

    Welcome back! Congratulations on your marriage! Thank you for coming back and brightening my inbox!

  • MaryJo

    Oh honey, you will ALWAYS be just perfect as a Refashionista! That awful dress you started with turned out darling in your capable hands. Happy New Year!

    • TerryJD

      Authentic! Yes, that describes you very well. I smelled Pepto Bismol when I saw that pink! Beautiful after the dye bath. And, Jillian, here’s to an amazing and authentic 2020!

  • Peggy

    So happy to read this blog post!!!! You’re still such an inspiration and love the dress. Seriously. I have been inspired by you and this blog.
    You’re back and imagine many of us are happy.

  • Allison

    Yes! You go girl! I loved binging through your posts back in 2014 and was thrilled to get an email about a new refashion! I was inspired to do some of my own refashions and may just be again now! Love it, keep it up!

    • debstarrett

      I am glad to see you back in action. You look happy, being married agrees with you. I have a few things in my closet to refasion hopefully they turn out half as good as yours.

      Have a happy, healthy New Year.

  • Terri Adams

    I absolutely love the new refashion! I’m very happy you’re back online with the blog. You’ve been missed terribly. Thank you for coming back. You are an inspiration!

  • Nancy Plank

    I’m really happy to see you are back. I always open your emails first and enjoy seeing how you can make a piece of clothing “new’ again!

  • Michele

    Congratulations! Your wedding looked wonderful. Glad to see you are back. I really like what your refashion of the pink dress. Fabulous!

  • Kathleen McDermott

    Thank you for coming back. There’s nothing like your blog. It’s grand to see you and your darling husband. Hope you enjoy your return to refashioning and blogging as much as I treasure your posts. Congratulations and best wishes to you and Brian. P.S. I’m so thrilled you’re back.


    CANNOT BELIEVE I WAS THINKING ABOUT YOU THIS MORNING! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your blog! By the way, that dress is super cute and looks really nice on you! I have probably
    not seen more than two items that I have not loved since you have been blogging. Welcome back…..keep up the good work!

  • judy ross

    YES! Love the remake, the color, and agree with somebody up the post list that the skirt can actually come in handy for something(obviously not in that pink, though.) Am I the only great-grandma here? Glad somebody else does scrap quilting. (I read every post. Love getting the feedback on your remakes. ) Been teaching sewing on vintage machines at county library, telling my groups about you. With so much paper thin poor fabric coming from Chine, it is great to repurpose good fabric into trendy updo. Thank you for coming back. (I’ve been on FB so much, I keep looking for the like button to put on the posts.)

  • Stephanie Garrett

    I’ll be honest, I don’t really read blogs anymore. But something about your blog tickles my brain. That’s why I was SUPER excited to see that you have returned. Those Insta posts are nice, but I needed descriptive, crafty, quirky, witty Jillian to come back with more fashion flair. Welcome home!

  • trockwell2015

    Wow… Just… Wow… Not even close to the same dress. How you could see that icky pink dress could turn into to something adorable amazes me. I realize now how much I have missed your transformations. Can’t wait to see the next one!

  • Melissa Snell

    Yay! I’m so excited you are back! I have been following you since 2012! You have inspired me to do many refashions for myself and my daughter! Then you went away 🙁 .. and no more inspiration. (Other than an ugly Christmas sweater turned to dress for the little) can’t wait to see what you have next!! Btw you’re still totally adorable and marriage looks amazing on you!

  • sewannabee

    Welcome back! Congratulations on getting married and winning your wedding! So awesome! This dress is super cute and looks great on you. Keep up the good work, have missed your blogs.

  • Anne Styx

    Gooooooooooosh I missed you and your refashions and this blog – you’ve evolved in your life and your sweet funny quirky authentic familiar voice still rings as clear as a bell. This refashion is fantastic! I forgot how you would often incorporate dye. This is going to be all sorts of inspirational again, I can just feel it.

  • Pamela

    Don’t quit the blog, I love seeing your ideas for remaking cloths. I sew. Also you are adorable. Super cute. Congrats on getting married.

  • Ronnie

    Great refashion. Certainly didn’t like the pink “thingy”. You made it into a fun fun holiday dress. Anticipating many more from you.

    • Allison Slyby

      Yea!!!! Glad you’re back; challenges me to up my fashion game…even when i don’t feel relevant or cute anymore…so thanks.
      Looking forward to all the refashions to come 🙂

  • Lauren

    SUPER cute!!!!!!!! It’s like a whole new dress. So happy you are back!!!!!! Also for the record you basically are a supermodel with magic sewing powers in my eyes. 🙂

  • Rebecca Turner

    I’m extremely excited you’re back!!! I’ve gotten heavily into sewing since you stopped blogging the last time and I was missing your refashions. I do the YouTube thing because I can’t be bothered to figure out blog formatting, but I do enjoy reading blogs. Yours is a long time favorite. Happy New Year and congratulations on the marriage! Glad you’re doing well

  • Janine

    First-You’re adorable and so is your hubby. Don’t shame yourself; you rock! Loved the refashion: thanks for sharing all your ideas and inspiration. Keep ’em coming!
    Happy 2020!

  • SJ

    So glad to “see” you back- I so enjoy your posts. I still read many blogs, though admittedly via Feedly now vs unique site visits (though I usually follow truncated entries). Belated congratulations on your marriage too!

  • robinlgiustina

    I missed your blog so much! I think your concept of reworking older clothing is even more relevant and I don’t think you are ordinary, I think you are real. Many thanks for inspiring me to rework and remake clothes that would ordinarily be thrown away. The possibilities are endless and you are Making a better and more creative world. Thank you for coming back.

  • Michelle Robertson

    Love how that turned out, so glad it made the beading stand out more, you can really see the pattern of them now.
    Love having your blog back

    • Rosemary

      Love blogs, love yours. We’re never to old or normal to teach others. You’re in a new phase so use that! I’m starting a new phase of sewing and would love to know some basics on how to refashion this ever changing, hard to fit figure of mine. Best wishes!

  • Summer

    I’m so excited you are back! I found your blog via pinterest pins & became obsessed with reading/pinning over the last 2 years or so. I wish I had found it sooner! You have the gift of gab that makes it such a fun read as well as a phenomenal gift to make all things beautiful. Super excited to see what you have in store for us this year. You are definitely inspirational ❤

  • Abby

    So good to have you back! I love seeing all of you amazing refashion ideas and have not found another blog, site, or pin that compares. Love this dress! Didn’t realize how much I’ve missed your quirky commentary, either. Yay!

  • Danielle

    I have a similar sentiment about being an older person in any bar that isn’t a pub. I feel frumpy and underdressed or like a cougar and completely overdressed. It’s like a math problem I can’t solve. But time and time again, I’ve proven that I’m a better dancer, and that’s 90% true because no one else is dancing. So there is that. No one else is teaching me to sew, and I’ve learned a lot of my dance moves from you.

    Loved this one. I know the whole dye/complete refit is more work, but damnit if it isn’t great to see. Welcome back!

  • Sandra Ruiz

    I bought a sewing machine at the end of the year because I really want to learn how to re-purpose clothes this year. I randomly thought what happened to the Refashionista blog that I loved and then I kid you not, like 2 days later there you were again in my inbox. I am so glad you are back. I really do love your work and am inspired to start my projects. Happy New Year!

  • Joanna

    Wow! As always a fabulous transformation. I was not seeing what you could possibly do with that dress, but as usual you made it beautiful. So glad you are back!

  • Amy

    Welcome back!!! For me (and many of your fans, I suspect) blogs are not a beauty contest. Personally, I’m inspired by your creativity and ability to see and make new from old. Keep on truck in’!!

  • Karen Sameiro

    Love how the dress turned out,I have never thought of you as average :),you are so talented and creative and real,and super cute,so don’t sell yourself short 🙂

  • Tammy

    I’m so glad you’re back!!!! I think you are funny saying that you were worried about being too old, not cute enough…Wow, you’re perfect. Hoping to see more of you!! Have a wonderful new year!!

  • Val Jensen

    SO glad to see the new refashion! I have missed your blog for a long time now. Keep fixing up those “strange” clothes, okay? And yes, he IS handsome!

  • Darcy McDowell

    SO HAPPY you’re back!!!
    Did you have any trouble sewing over the sequins/beading/fireworks?? I’m extremely hesitant to sew on any garment with sequins or beading- I’m afraid I’ll break the needle!!

  • pamela

    It’s amazing what you do! I’m an older (okay, old!) woman who loves to thrift shop and restyle but I don’t have your creative eye! Love your posts. Also, I would love to see you do more with sleeves. I no longer can do sleeveless – – – too much ugly flab. LOL.

  • Gwen Moore

    Love your refashions. They can be accomplished! I especially love how you style them–real shoes and accessories that don’t require a truck bed full of money or tissue for the nose bleed from 5-inch “shoes.” Yes, we are real, and we love that you are too! Glad to see you back!!

  • TEMA

    Wow! I love this post… Congratulations on your marriage – He looks like a great guy! Now… the dress… Good grief, Girl, you really blew me away with this restyle! From iffy pink to a soft neutral, no sleeves… and the gaudy lines of what looks like some kind of glitter turned into the fashion statement of this dress. I’d wear something like this in a heartbeat! Love your hair and your home… So nice to see you back! Blessings for 2020… not that you need it. You’ve always had 2020 vision… 🙂

    • joannewardle

      In these days of zero waste you are an icon. So glad you are back: I was really excited to see your posts pop up in my email.
      And that dress has a bit of a 20s vibe. Perfect for the new decade.
      Keep refashioning and inspiring.

      • Diane

        Yes!!! You’re back with the wit, the humor, the creativity and especially the honesty of a woman with a beautiful heart! Love the garment and your guts to take on the crowd.

  • caffeter

    Welcome back! I’ve been so inspired by all of your work and a big part of that is because you put forth a real and authentic feel. Congratulations on getting married and finding the confidence to put your regular self out there! You’re regular just like all of us in that (y)our passions drive growth and skill and we become more than regular in our own special ways. Thank you for sharing your fashion journey with us!

  • Heidi

    I really like the simplicity of this refashion. It is something I can wear to work or at church or a party. It’s versatile. I like the way the color resulted.

    I would LOVE to see you do a refashion fitting for the lady with the glasses that is in front of your Brian in the last group pic and to your left in the first group pic.

  • Daggett Betty

    Very cute. I’m curious about that pleaty skirt though. Do you save things like that for another project? I was kind of partial to that thing and would have had trouble throwing it away!

  • Cathy L

    I highly recommend reading Big Magic if you want a reboot or nudge on your creativity confidence. It’s by Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love) in fact I think I’ll re-read it! Glad you are back!

  • PattyDMA

    1) Yes, your Brian is very handsome and you two make a beautiful couple
    2) I’m so glad you’re back, you wonderfully creative, average, boring person you…and
    3) Happy New Year!

  • Mary

    It’s been so long I forgot how much I missed you when you stopped blogging. Welcome back. You are a breath of fresh air. BTW – The Jayhawks recorded a song called Boston Maid. I wonder if it had anything to do with the dress label.

  • Jenny

    I was so pleasantly surprised when your blog popped up yesterday after such a long hiatus. Love the sparkles! I would have been afraid those little buggers would have been irritating turned in at the armholes, but that’s just me. So fabulous! Congratulations on your marriage, and so glad Douglas is ok now!

  • Kristin Havens

    I am so happy to hear about your wonderful year! Congratulations! Yes, we normal, average people do enjoy blogs from other normal people! I truly enjoy your clothing makeovers. I love to sew, learned from my mom, who was a very talented seamstress. She made my wedding dress! (30 years ago, phew!) Glad to have you back, I look forward to your blogs. Back when you were doing the recipes, I showed my son how to make gnocchi from your recipe. Turned out great.

  • Ms. Helper

    You’ve still got that refashioning magic!!
    I don’t read your blog because you are young and cute, but because you are creative, interesting, a great writer, and willing to share. You can never be too old for this gig. I’m so glad you’re back.
    Best wishes on your new marriage!!

  • Rhonda

    Ahhhhh I’m so glad you’re back! I don’t even sew but I refashion all the time. Also—you look the same, if not cuter. And CONGRATS on getting married! You look so happy!

  • Kathy M Barlean

    So glad you’re back! Looking forward to more inspiration! And BTW, you haven’t changed a bit and are as cute as ever!

  • Tonna Chavez Ott

    Yay!!! I am sooo happy to see you again…and congratulations on your marriage!
    You are the reason I went looking for and found a sewing machine at an estate sale…my wonderful husband found vintage dress form for me as well. (We were just married this past summer, we’re both a bit vintage ourselves!)
    Happy New Year to you and your precious husband…and welcome back!!!
    Tonna Chavez Ott

    • Beth

      Wow—what an absolutely amazing transformation! Looks like you ended up with a pewter colour. Which looks fabulous on you ❣️ I just need to figure out how to see the possibilities in a less-than-flattering thrifted garment

  • Corey

    Hooray for your triumphant return! Your imagination inspires me! And YES! I love checking out vintage clothes and their labels! Can’t wait to see what you’ve got up your sleeve next!

  • Jennifer Ferguson

    Yay!! First, congratulations on your marriage! I’m so happy for you. Second, I was so surprised when your blog popped up again. I’ve missed seeing your refashions. Love the new dress! Looking forward to new refashions in the future.

  • Nicole

    Hey, welcome back. I love reading your blog. Quirky, fun 🙂 Congrats on the wedding, always a fun day. Love the colour the dress turned into, the pink.. not so good. Do you find the rhinestones are hard to sew with (breaking needles etc) or do you scoot around them a bit? I’d probably use a binding from the dress so they didn’t scratch my arms (cause extra work is always fun ) 🙂

  • Pat

    I love the redo. The color actually is quite nice and can be paired with different colors (navy and black!). Love the sleeveless. Glad you are back.

  • Emma B

    Gosh you haven’t aged one bit! Really missed your refashioning style and congratulations on your wedded bliss, I too am married to a big bearded man and they are the very best!!! Looking forward to seeing more of your adventures in life and sewing, you give me courage to venture out of my comfort zone and try to refashion things myself.

  • Stephanie Hollenbeck

    Congratulations! So happy to hear about your marriage and so, so excited to find you back in my email. Happy New Year!

  • Jacqui

    Welcome back, I am delighted you are willing to return and share your creativity with us! I have enjoyed your adventures. Congratulations on your wedding, wishing you and hubby a wonderful life!

  • marlena

    I am so happy for you and your family. Thank you for giving us your blog. Because of you, i have also refashion most of my clothes and some for my 2 toddlers and my stepdaughter. Such an inspiration. Happy New Year and looking forward to more refashions 🙂

  • Amber Scott

    This turned out awesome!! Congrats on your marriage And so excited you are back, you are one of my fav blogs. Yes people still read them,,,

  • Elizabeth Hofeldt

    I follow a lot of blogs, but to be honest I delete most of the ones I’ve subscribed to over the years without even reading them. But not yours! I’ll always be glad to have you in my inbox! You’re awesome 🙂

  • Jana Michelle

    This is great! I don’t even know if I ever commented on any of your posts back in the day, but I’m happy you are back to it! And a good friend of mine from college was IN the musical Beautiful on Broadway!

  • Joy Buchanan

    WooHoo! You are back! Congrats on the wedding! Loved this refashion and can’t wait to see your next post! And I can’t stop using exclamation points! 😉

  • Nicole

    Ohhh! What a fabulous way to return! Love this re-fashion, loved the accompanying story, and, as always, laughed right out loud at all the captions.
    Can’t wait for more! ♥️

  • Twila Guthrie

    Welcome back! I missed you and your refashions last year. As usual – the result was fantastic. Glad to see the fiber specific dye worked on the pink.

  • Nikki H

    I am sorry to say I didn’t think you could transform that pink thing into such an adorable dress. I don’t know why I doubted you. You’ve yet to let me down. And you’re still en pointe.

  • Connie Turner

    You are a lucky girl to have a wide circle of friends that are so faithful. Have a great 2020! The dress turned out pretty good. Looks like you could still take it in a big on the side seams.

  • Melissa

    Fantastic! I love your eye for things… you see what they can be instead of what they are! I’ve done this with a few beautiful play dresses for my little ones <3 thank you for breaking down and making refashioning look so much less overwhelming! It's so much fun!! Although I have yet to mess with and dyes…

  • Mama Squirrel

    You’ve definitely still got it! Looking forward to seeing more of your this-decade thoughts on what makes a good update.

  • Lynne

    You’re so cute and an inspiration! I’m going to tackle a leopard print coat/jacket that I love but hate the HUGE collar. So glad you’ve returned!

  • Lauren

    LOVE IT! FYI you are the reason I learned how to sew. I’m not quite as prolific as you, but I’m so happy I have the skills for some small refashions of my own. Working on a scrap quilt right now, but perhaps I should explore the world of dye….

  • Ann-Marie Kirshon

    Yaaay! Welcome back! I missed you and your fun refashions. This is the content the internet needs at this trying time! Congrats on your marriage/wedding, was sad I couldn’t find the essay you wrote.

    • Jenna

      So glad you’re back! I kept checking for new posts. Question: when you traded the sleeves for tank- like straps, did you remove the rhinestones? My armpits are getting irritated just looking, and I’ve never had luck getting rhinestones off cleanly.

      Happy 2020, you look gorgeous!

    • Catherine

      Yeah! HNY! Glad to see you back recreating little gems! You’ve helped me see with new eyes when I walk into a thrift, looking forward to what’s next.

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