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Summer of '69 Refashioned Frock

Added Jun 29, 2010

by grosgrain

Harrisburg, Penn...






To see more visit Grosgrain

I wanted to show readers that, if you learn to sew, you really CAN live frugaly. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen something at a thrift store that was either WAY too big or WAY too homely or just plain old WAY too ugly. All it takes is a quick snip, snip and stitch up here and there and VOILA, you have a fantastic new garment for only $1.50!

This theory can also be used for department store sale racks too!

I bought this little (I mean BIG) frock for $2.99. When I first saw it I almost put it back. It was just HUGE! I wasn’t sure if I could salvage it. But it had a summery retro quality that I just couldn’t pass up.

What I did first was take in the sides. Then added a zipper to the right side. This changed the look of the sleeves. Instead of looking like a sleeveless dress, it became more of a capped sleeve which I thought was a good thing. Sometimes, when you’re trying to revamp something you end up with happy accidents like these.

Then I made a yellow belt to match the yellow trim on the collar and sleeves. I added a brown square buckle and I looked totally ready for a summer picnic in 1969.

If you don’t like to shop for used clothing that’s fine too. But me, I’m a confessed dumpster diver. Well, okay maybe I wouldn’t go that far. (Although I did get my daughter’s crib AND my front porch Adirondack chairs on the side of the road, another story) But I LOVE going to thrift stores, especially the salvation army close to my home.

As I’ve mentioned numerous times, I am a shopaholic AND live on a budget. Sometimes, all I need is that shopping ‘fix’. You know? It doesn’t have to be anything big, just something to bring home, take out of a bag and put somewhere to admire. Which is why the thrift store is sooooo perfect for me! I’ve gotten some super cool finds not limited to, but including: a brand new patio table from target, a bubble jet spa, kids clothes GALORE, shoes, an antique birdcage, an Anthropologie-like tray for my jewelry, an armchair that I reupholstered AND a toddler bicycle.

Now, not all thrift stores are created equal. I’ve found that, around here, the Salvation Army is the best. It’s big and has enough clothes to fill a Macys. Although there is a goodwill store in Harrisburg that accepts all the reject furniture from Target. And on the weekends all their inventory is half off! I bought that patio table for only $10. It was brand new, IN THE BOX and still retailing for $200.

And I’d say finding a deal like that is BETTER than buying something new.

And hey, if there’s no one out there who wants a new used dress I think I’d be more than happy to keep this little number for myself! If there are some of you on the fence, to ease your mind the dress has been washed and ironed before sewing.

When I see this dress, I think of the song ‘Half Acre’ by HEM. That might be because it’s been playing the entire time I’ve been writing this post. But I think it’s fitting.

I took these photos with my new AMAZING light boxes, 300 watts a piece. The difference between having them on and having them off is night and day. How did I ever live without these?! I haven’t quite mastered how to position them but I hope to take a studio lighting class next month. So hopefully I won’t be a complete amateur forever.

Oh and the flowers were a happy coincidence. Brian had brought them home after work two days ago. When I went upstairs to take these photos I quickly snatched the vase on the dining room table and used them for the photo. It was all just meant to be.

The size of the dress is small. It has a 26 inch waist line and a 34 inch bust line but the dress was not tight around the waist. So I would say it could fit up to a 27" or 28".

As for the before photo, I know, I know, I really uglied it up. Didn’t wear makeup, didn’t smile, didn’t wear shoes, shot the flash at my face. I thought you might get a kick out of that. I wanted you to see that ANYTHING is salvagable in some way. There are better ones than others but if you’re open minded you can always find a bargain.

But really, look at the difference! It’s like night and day!

There are finds like this everywhere. And best of all, it only took me about an hour to do! If you like the thrift store refashion posts please let me know. I think I like them and hope you do as well!

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Garment Type
Casual, Classic, Mod, Romantic

11 Comments Sign in to add a post

  • 111218_0004_large

    May 23, 2012, 12.30 PMby Fiedlerin

    Boy that thing was full of awful when you first got it. I love how you turned it into something awesome.

    did you add darts at all?

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    Jun 30, 2010, 01.51 PMby happyfeet

    You did a really good job with the dress. The fit and style are superb.

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    Jun 30, 2010, 03.31 AMby olystyrene

    Great job revamping a great print dress in a really awful cut! It looks superb!

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    Jun 30, 2010, 02.35 AMby gillthecat

    i love the dress, but more i love your endless enthusiasm for thrift stores, i am completly thrift store sddict, if i dont find what im looking for eventually it turns up, i have a local store that has lots fabric, eberyweek i buy something amazing, i have the biggest collection of fabrics imaginable,, i even got 7 m silk dupion shocking blue 5 dollars, but my best find was a 6m lenghth of 1963 marimekko meloi fabric, perfect condition,, i buy everything all our clotheds toys, just everything,, i rarely go to normal shops, for me im giving to needy homeless getting a bargan and recycling cutting down manufacturing, and to top it all saving money,, more than that i just love the randomness of it so,, im with you 100%

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    Jun 30, 2010, 12.09 AMby wzrdreams

    Good grief I miss suburban thrift stores.

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    Jun 29, 2010, 06.10 PMby tinybows

    awesome! sometimes its worth buying those crazy big dresses. great job!!!

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    Jun 29, 2010, 05.49 PMby Anna Aasbjerg

    Love your dress and love the whole re-fashion idea. I’m going to a couple of thrift shops tomorrow to see if I can find something to re-fashion.

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    Jun 29, 2010, 05.49 PMby violetsky

    Inspiring, it will make me look closer at things when rumaging around charity shops.

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    Jun 29, 2010, 03.46 PMby leahfranqui

    I love these thrift store refashioned posts! I love knowing how you do these refashions, because I want to do them myself! Please keep posting them!

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    Jun 29, 2010, 03.33 PMby lucaltd

    This looks fabulous! Great re-fashion!

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    Jun 29, 2010, 03.31 PMby tamezdc

    Nice refashioned dress! It looks great on you.

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