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Thift Store Thursday: The Old Maid Frock

Added Jul 8, 2010

by grosgrain

Harrisburg, Penn...






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Ok, I know I won’t be making the ‘featured projects’ for this post. But I think it’s useful for people who overlook some thrift store gems.

I loved last Friday’s post so much that I’ve decided to do a regular series. The perfect part is that I go thrift shopping on Wednesdays. That’s when the Salvation Army and Community Aid have everything half off. So I can post on Thursday what I bought and repurposed the day prior. AND, cool alliteration, huh!

Now let me preface this series with a disclaimer. These are NOT refashions. Or at least I don’t consider them to be. These are simple things that YOU can do to thrift store finds to make them look good.

I found this dress for $1.50 at the Salvation Army (see bottom pic for before). I liked the material and the gathered mission collar but I found it in the Plus section and it looked like something an old maid might wear, not to mention it smelled like something an old maid would wear.

I sprayed some fabreeze and it was fine. The sleeves were HUGE. I thought they might have been salvageable if they didn’t make the dress look dowdy, so I snipped them off and made the dress sleeveless! I hemmed the inside of the sleeve opening and ‘voila’ a new sleeveless frock.
I also turned the dress inside out and put it on my body, pinned it close to my upper bodice and waist, then tapered at the skirt. I then took it off and sewed along the pin line to fit my form and snipped off the extra material.

I used that extra material and made a tiny matching belt tie to go around at the waist and cinch to keep that shirtdress feel.

The dress in the end reminded me of something a housewife might wear while reading a book under the shade of a tree and the comfort of a lawn chair, waiting for her husband to get home from work while the kids are playing in the yard.

Not an old maid anymore.




Garment Type
Casual, Classic, Romantic, Vintage

8 Comments Sign in to add a post

  • Sta70403_large

    Jul 13, 2010, 06.14 PMby queenieslearnin2sew

    I love doing stuff like this. The Good will stores around me do a 50 cent section every Sunday. You can find some great stuff if you take the time to look. Great reconstruction!!!

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    Jul 10, 2010, 07.41 AMby reggiebaby

    Such a great idea, i should start doing this kind of thing more often. What a transformation!

  • Missing

    Jul 9, 2010, 09.59 AMby sallyr

    Brilliant! What a great idea to turn this rather ugly, shapeless, scary monstrosity sleeveless. Perfect summer dress, and of course you wear it so well. Beautiful.

  • Dirty_karma7_large

    Jul 8, 2010, 10.49 PMby kdrodgers

    It looks so fresh and cute!

  • 6e3656aa7036783b3e4bbc29f34d1029385afafe_large

    Jul 8, 2010, 05.33 PMby wzrdreams

    I am so jealous of your wednesdays. :)

  • Pic_large

    Jul 8, 2010, 04.34 PMby laurwyn

    I wish I had that kind of store around! That is crazy how a few stitches here and there can transform a garment! Thanks of course to your ideas!

  • Sept_21_09_2__large

    Jul 8, 2010, 04.30 PMby gtangel

    wow.. so pretty.. :)

  • Sart_large

    Jul 8, 2010, 03.20 PMby tamezdc

    Another beautiful dress from you, of course. I love your work.

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