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Thrifting in Austin, TX (and a Dress Refashion!)

Manmosa Dress
First Plane to Austin: Dress to Top Refashion

After Dan and I arrived in Austin post-plane nap,  we immediately hit up a few thrift shops.  You see…I intentionally packed quite light.

Douglas doesn't want me to go!
Douglas doesn’t want me to go!

The only change of clothes I had was a little black dress.  So, unless I wanted to look like a bedraggled Audrey Hepburn all weekend, I needed to get some not-so-new duds!

I found a couple of terrific frocks at Treasure City Thrift!

Treasure City Thrift Exterior
I wonder what treasures await! 🙂

Then, Dan and I stumbled upon the BIGGEST thrift store I’ve ever seen!

Texas Thrift Store Exterior

Apparently, everything really IS bigger in Texas, as this place is flippin’ HUGE!!!!

I highly recommend giving Texas Thrift Store and its sister stores a visit.

refashionista in front of thrift store window
Never Never Ever Buy New!!!

While I was looking through the endless racks,  Dan ran up to me with this!

jillian with dog purse
It’s a Purseranian! 😉

We made a friendly wager.  If this pic could get 10 likes on facebook, I would invest the $3 for this fine creature.

He won.  :/


We got back to our Airbnb home, where I washed and dried the day’s finds!

two dresses hanging on clothesline outside
Old-fashioned dryer!

I thought that zebra number on the left would be just the thing for a dinner with friends in the 100+degree heat!

refashionista Thrifting in Austin, TX (and a Dress Refashion!) after
It’s seriously 105 degrees out there, y’all!

I couldn’t resist taking a second “before” pic with our hosts’ chickens in the background.  🙂

Thrifting in Austin, TX (and a Dress Refashion!) after with chickens
Aren’t they cute?

I retreated from heat to the comfort of our air-conditioned room and got to work on my new thrifted dress!

First, I pinned that collar down on the inside. I didn’t want to completely get rid of it, as I think I might occasionally like it (just not tonight).  🙂

I brought safety pins!
I brought safety pins!

Then, I made a few chops!

cutting off arms and bottom of dress
It’s just too darn hot for any of that!

I added a hem to the bottom of my new dress.

pinning hem of dress
I brought a mini pin cushion!

I stitched my new hem down…

sewing hem
I brought a mini sewing machine!

…then pinned those cut-off sleeves and sewed ’em up!

Taking up those sleeve holes!
Taking up those sleeve holes! 
sewing arm hole

Now…I always tell you guys to press your hems, but there I was…stuck without an iron!  :/

…Or was I?

jillian holding curling iron
I’m sure my hostess won’t mind!

I pressed my hems with the curling iron, and it worked just fine!  

ironing hem with curling iron
I’m the MacGyver of Refashioning!

I turned that bottom scrap into a sash, and was ready for fun evening in this terrific city!

Thrifting in Austin, TX (and a Dress Refashion!) after
Not bad for an on-the-road refash, eh? 🙂

Of course, Dan talked me into bringing my new accessory with me.  😉

Thrifting in Austin, TX (and a Dress Refashion!) after with purse
She got a refashion of her own! 🙂
Dan with dog purse
We named her Ladybird!
Natalia and Jillian with Dog purse
Natalia <3s Ladybird too!

If you’re ever in Austin, I can’t recommend Takoba enough!  They have delicious cocktails and fabulous food!

Jillian eating at Takoba
Soooo much yum in front of me on that table! *sigh*

Stay tuned for MORE Austin adventures!  🙂


Thrifting in Austin, TX (and a Dress Refashion!) before and after
Manmosa Dress
First Plane to Austin: Dress to Top Refashion

53 thoughts on “Thrifting in Austin, TX (and a Dress Refashion!)”

  1. I was really enjoying your blog (got here via a comment on Offbeat Home), and then I was so surprised to find this post! I just went there to get a large men’s dress shirt to re-make into a lab coat for a mad scientist Halloween costume. haha! You do great work. Thanks for the inspiration.

  2. This is what I get for reading blogs backwards (newest to oldest)…. Up until this post, I thought the Pursenaranian was a REAL dog you were carrying in a handbag, a la Paris Hilton… and I kinda thought, “ewe… I thought she was cooler than that!” But now that I KNOW it’s just a chic fashion accessory, I think you are cooler than EVAH!

  3. You are soooo my new hero! I have repurposed for years, but your creativity inspires me. I am revisiting my closet for freshening up tried and true items that need some help.

  4. Jillian- you are a genius! No idea why, but I just would not have thought of using a hair straightener for the hems. (I rarely iron- only when I sew- so had not really thought of the possibilities.)

    Although, I must say, I’m a little bit struck by your hosts not supplying an iron. I would have thought this was a ‘basic’ item. I know in Australia it’s a pretty standard item in hotel rooms and B&Bs, along with a hair dryer and kettle. Or is it just the places I’ve stayed?

    I’m pinning your ‘places’ to visit, so when I eventually do a trip to the US I can visit some of the less touristy places. I’ve pinned many a market and fair so far; this will be my first thrift shop pins. (I know I won’t be able to take anything home with me, but the adventure will be fun!)

  5. Jealous of those massive thrift stores! Hey, the sewing machine you took with you – I see it is a Janome, but is it full-size or a mini? I have seen the Elna Mini around but wondered if there were other ‘real’ mini sewing machines too.

  6. we DO have some great shops here! Texas Thrift is a good one, but there’s an even better one further south, on SoCo. If I had known you were coming I would have DEFINITELY recommended it, although i’ll admit to jealousy over that zebra print. Since joining roller derby, I can’t get enough animal print! haha!

  7. AWESOME remake. Totally, completely fabulous!! AND I honestly love the purse with it…it is so you! Great post to read. Thanks for this one!!

  8. Next time I’m in Austin I will have to convince my hubby to take me to that thrift store! I went to a different one called buffalo junction or something but it was so overpriced.
    Can’t wait to see where you went next, my personal favLondon is toy joy.

  9. Love the dress–it turned out terrific! I always use a curling iron for ironing ribbon–an old style lightbulb works well too in a pinch. Your little friend is adorable, glad to see Dan has a great (ie. warped) sense of humor too 🙂

  10. I love that all you pack for a trip is a seeing machine! That dog cracks me up by the way! You just got yourself a trip mascot who needs refashions of her own each day – love it!

    Looks like you’re having a great time!


  11. That was a great find = good job! I find it hard to believe you walked out of that huge store with only 2 garments. I believe she’s holding out on us guys.


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