When my hub and I were searching for a house, we tried our best not to get hung up on the aesthetics of the houses we viewed, turning a blind eye to lime green walls and brown shag carpet and red bathrooms in various houses. It was the bones of the house that mattered. Carpet could be replaced and walls could be painted, but a crappy layout was a deal breaker.
I’ve brought that same mentality into my refashioning. While I’m thrifting, I feel the material, eye the patterns and check for wear and tear, essentially ignoring the overall look of the garment. I picture the possibilities rather than the current state.
That explains this find:
Ain’t she a beaut? I’m sure some old lady really enjoyed slipping this on, pairing it with some white pumps and a huge hat and heading to her local church.
Although I’d never, ever ever wear this dress in it’s former state, the material was soft and silky and the print was super fun. And it was $1.50. I couldn’t even buy material for that — plus, it already had pleats and a fitted top , which are two things I don’t know how to do yet!
I was inspired by this cute dress at TJ Maxx. Since it’s 80 degrees as I’m walking to my office at 8:15 in the morning, I wanted a sleeveless dress. I knew I had to get rid of the panels on the front, but wasn’t sure how I’d do it. This dress was one idea (I ultimately went another way.)
Here are the steps I took for this old lady to young lady thrift dress refashion:
- Cut about four inches from the bottom of the thrift dress and hem.
- Cut off the sleeves and turned the material under to make it look finished, then sewed.
- Cut off the collar (Good Riddance!)
- Take off the pocket with fake lace hanky (RIP fake lace hanky) with my seam ripper
- Cut the sleeve material into small strips, about an inch wide and as long as I could make them (these will be the ruffles)
- I used Fray Check on them instead of hemming the sides because this type of material was prone to fraying.
- Ruffled the pieces using the longest stitch and highest tension my machine had. Learn more about ruffles here.
- Folded the front panels under, then pinned the ruffles from the shoulder seam to the waist on both sides. The ruffle on one side overlapped the other, but I took it all the way down to the inside waist seam, pinned and sewed.
- Cut off the excess folded back material from the panel in the inside of the dress.
- The last step was a little tailoring…nip here, tuck there.
I love the way this dress refashion one turned out. This is the perfect summer dress and it just makes me feel so pretty. I’m glad I took a chance on this old lady thrift dress!