Monday, September 27, 2010


You may remember this dress from a previous post.  I turned this:

into this:

Well, I was never really please with it but I knew it still had potential.  Today was a scorcher, as most of you know.  It was around 110 here and I was trying to figure out what I could wear that would allow as much air flow as possible.  I was considering this dress but sleeves really were not an I cut them off.

Much better, right???  I actually like the dress now and I'll probably wear it again since were expecting 90+ weather throughout the week.  Oh California...

I got that little green belt from a thrift store for $0.45!

Friday, September 24, 2010

The house dress

This is one of the dresses I picked up at the thrift store for $0.59 on Tuesday.

This was a BIG dress.  I don't think the picture does it justice.  It was obviously a house dress but I intended to make it an out-of-the-house dress.

First I had to remove the pockets.  They were sewn into the side seam so I had to remove them before taking the dress in at all.

So, I took the dress in about 3 inches on each side and hemmed it 5 1/2 inches.  I tried it on and it still looked a little too house dress-y so I decided to create a v-neck.

Once that was done I put the dress back on and added a belt.  Here's what I came up with.

Not too bad.  It still looks a little more like a house dress than I'd like, but I'm fairly comfortable wearing it outside of the house.  Especially since it's 100 degrees today!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


It was another jackpot day.  I had 45 minutes to kill and I found a thrift store near work that I'd never seen before.  Totally clean and they have great stuff.  Today all $ 0.99 items were $0.59.  I picked up 8 items for $5.13!!!  I can't wait to show you all!

The Swap

Well, today's dress comes courtesy of two separate pieces.  The first I got at a thrift store for $1.50.

On its own, the dress is pretty okay.  I could have taken it in, hemmed it up, added a belt, and it would have been fine.  But I was feeling adventurous.  Plus, a friend of mine gave me a bunch of hand-me-downs and one dress was sticking in my mind.

See, he has to be involved in everything.

I really liked this dress.  Again, it was cute all on it's own but I needed something different.  So I decided what these two dresses really needed was a swap.  I began by separating the bodices from the skirts.

I was pretty nervous about this whole operation.  I've never taken apart two perfectly good clothing items.  Then the idea of putting them back together again???  I really didn't have much of a plan when I started.  I just busted out my seam ripper and went for it.

Next I pinned the new bodice and skirt together to get ready for sewing.

This was a little tricky because I was dealing with an elastic waist band.  But once I sewed them together I was amazed to find it actually worked!

This was a truly exciting moment and really encouraged me to take future risks.  Unfortunately, from the side, due to the pleating, the dress looks a little too much like maternity wear.  I'm going to have to hang it in the closet until I have a legitimate reason for a maternity dress :)

Not pregnant.

In the mean time, stay tuned for the exciting recreation that comes from the other two pieces.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Oops...I did it again

I got this dress last weekend at a thrift store for $2.50.  A little pricey for me but it was totally worth it. Just wait.
This is the original dress.

Notice my adorable dog in the background.

I imagine the original owner wearing it with white heels and a banana clip.  It caught my eye because the colors are really pretty and it has fun, little buttons on the shoulders.  It even came with a belt.  I'm so impressed that the belt stayed with the dress for all these years.

To start, I removed the shoulder pads.  Then I took in the sides a bit.  I also took a little length off the sleeves.  This dress was screaming "mini" so my final touch was taking a foot off the skirt.

My dog finds his way into pictures as much as possible.  See his tail?

I put my new dress on with an old belt, some leggings, and boots, and I was totally pleased with the result!

I'm pretty sure people pay a lot of money for stuff like this at Nordstrom and other such stores.  I paid $2.50 and less than 2 hours of my time.  Yay!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Quick fix

Today I just felt like wearing something new (and by "new" I mean, something old that I've made my own) but I didn't have a lot of time so I grabbed something I knew would be quick and easy.

I got this top at a thrift store for $1.50.  I love the colors and the pattern but this shirt was WAY too big for me.  I had to take it in quite a bit.

However, that was all I needed to do and I had a nice fitting tunic!

I just threw on some leggings and I'm set.  I'm not really going anywhere but I do like my outfit :)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Fabulous in flowers

This just might be my greatest accomplishment so far.  I picked up this dress at a thrift store last week for $2.00.  I didn't have much of a vision for it at the time but I was pretty sure I could do SOMETHING.

Basically, it was too big and too...old.  I had to completely rework this dress.  I removed the sleeves, hemmed the bottom, took in the sides and waist, and created a whole new neckline.  The outcome?

I honestly surprised myself.  I love, love, love this dress.  The bad news: I already ripped it.  That's why my right hand is strategically placed on my waist in this picture.  It's not the kind of rip that is repairable either.  I guess that's what happens when you're wearing 30-year-old cotton clothing.  Oh well.  I still feel great about what I did with it and look forward to my next project.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Hippie chic

The fabulous number is one that I got at last Sunday's garage sale for $.50.  What a beauty!

I really like the colors and the design but the dress itself is completely out of control.  Those crazy sleeves and that ridiculous length had to go.

I thought I was making it long enough to be a dress but once I put it on I realized wearing this as a dress at this length would have been a bit inappropriate.  So I went for a tunic.  I hemmed up the bottom and the sleeves and took it in on the sides.  I also cut 2 strips from the bottom to create a sash.

Cute, right???  Man, I love this.  Best hobby ever!