Frumpy Floral Dress Refashion

One of my biggest summer projects is cleaning out our craft room closet. I’m a bit of a hoarder, especially when it comes to craft supplies, and most of mine has been collecting dust in our spare closet since we moved in last August (side note: how is it possible we’ve been here almost a year already?!). So I’ve given myself an ultimatum for this summer. Either I put all those materials to use, or I get rid of them. One of the first projects I’ve attempted is a refashion of the dress pictured above. I originally purchased it because of the sweet floral print and pleated skirt, thinking it would be easy to shorten the hem and do something about the sick collar and sleeve situation. However, like many of my projects, it got shoved in a box, which was buried in a closet and mostly forgotten until last weekend, when I decided I needed a new dress to wear to a birthday party. So, following this pretty straightforward refashion tutorial on I Make Stuff, I chopped off the hem and made it into a ruffle to be sewn onto the neckline. After removing the collar, I decided to sew the ruffle onto the dress’s back, turning the back into the front so that it would button down the back (because, after all, a row of buttons down the back is nothing if not classy). I also chopped off the sleeves and cuffed them just above the elbow (a length I find flattering on almost anyone), and took the dress in a few inches at the bodice and waist. The dress already had a pleat on each shoulder, and I added another to keep it from falling down.

Frilly Thrift Store Dress, After

I finished it in time to wear to the party and had Dawn take some pictures before we left the house.

While I’d hoped the tights would provide some protection for Louisiana’s monster mosquitoes, I was mistaken.

After hemming the skirt, I had a hard time getting the pleats to look right, but that might be due to my lack of patience when it comes to ironing.

Because the fabric is very sheer, I wore this vintage slip underneath. Also, a skinny brown belt makes just about anything more flattering.

After wearing the dress, I think I might go back and add a couple of darts to the bodice since it was pretty baggy even after I took in the sides, but overall I’m quite happy with how the dress turned out. Someone at the party asked if my dress came from ModCloth, and I certainly took that as a compliment.

Since completing this project, I’ve purchased a few more frumpy dresses from Goodwill (which is, I realize, completely incompatible with my goal of getting rid of things), and I can’t wait to get started on them! Do you have experience refashioning vintage and thrift store clothing? If so, please share your tips in the comments section!

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