Springtime Refashion


I found this fabulous vintage Jaclyn Smith dress while thrifting a month ago. I fell in love with the color and pattern more than anything. The fit wasn’t so great, though.

The sleeves were loose at the upper arm & tight at the wrist. The fabric on the sleeves wobbled like the flabby skin on an old lady’s arm. So annoying. The length of the dress was too long to be a shirt, and too short to be a dress (too short for me, at least). The fit in the bust and waist was shapeless and too large, too. All these things are really easy to fix, so I did it!

Here’s what I did:

  • Shortened the sleeves
  • Took in the bust, waist and sleeves by 3 inches on each side
  • Chopped 6 inches off the bottom & created a curved hem
  • Added a bow to the neckline

All of this was really, really easy. The hemline was the most time consuming (I HATE hemming), but so worth it. I made the curved hem using a fabulous curved hem tutorial on Burdastyle. I really like how accurate and consistent the hem is all the way around the shirt. You should try it out.

I love my new shirt. I love how the black belt really makes the green pattern sing. What do you think? Should I have left it as it was?

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    1. Erin says:

      This is so sassy! Love it!

      Just found your blog, adorable.

    2. The print is fantastic. Nice redo – still looks vintage but updated.

    3. Oh, I love it! The curved hem and the bow neckline are divine. Well done!

    4. jenn king says:

      you are magical!!! start an etsy shop for your upcycled clothing!

    5. Sarah says:

      Love the transformation, esp. the curved hem. Fabulous!

    6. Natalie says:

      wow fabulous! that print is so cute..and i love green..so i loved it instantly..great before and after!

    7. So cute! Great job on the refashion!

    8. You are amazing! Love the shirt.

    9. stacy says:

      my favorite you have done yet! i would buy this at a store in a heartbeat. add re-fashion designer to your long list of ‘things i am amazing at’…

    10. danyelle says:

      if we were friends, i’d borrow that from you in a second. then “forget” to return it.

    11. Erin says:

      You amaze me again! I LOVE this refashion I think it might be one of my favorites that you have done. The green print is fabulous.

    12. Shaela says:

      this looks FABULOUS!! and you are such a cute model for it ;)

    13. nicole says:

      awesome re-do.

    14. emily frame says:

      you’re the cutest blogger. ever.

    15. […] IS•LY | I Still Love you » Blog Archive » Springtime Refashion […]

    16. Nikki says:

      I love it! The transformed shirt (and you) look fabulous!

    17. Tiffany says:

      I absolutely love this idea, pattern, and shirt! Makes me wish I knew how to tailor clothes… one day!

    18. Lisa says:

      I LOVE this shirt. I’ve always wanted to know how to fix an item when it’s sleeves/bust are too wide but have been waaay too intimidated to try. Any chance you’ll post a tutorial??

      • Melissa says:

        I haven’t really perfected my technique, but I am doing a lot of refashions right now, so I’ll work a tutorial in there somewhere. I promise. I’m glad you like the refashion!

    19. erica says:

      Super cute update! Good work!

    20. Amy says:

      Just a darling shirt. Question for you. When you used to live in Menlo Park, where did you go thrifting? I live in the south bay and I can’t seem to find any shops other than GoodWill – many of which are quite overpriced compared to what you seem to be finding. I used to thrift in high school and I’d love to get back into it for refashioning.


      • Melissa says:


        Thrifting in Menlo was so hard. Most the time I’d do my thrifting when I would visit Salt Lake City or Phoenix. However, I did find some okay shops that weren’t ridiculously expensive.

        Goodwill in San Mateo on 5th Ave (just down the street from my favorite Tandy store) had some sweet stuff. Not much by way of furniture, but great kid’s and men’s clothes.
        Goodwill in Japantown (not sure of the address) is H-U-G-E by SF thrifting standards. That’s where I found my favorite vintage 4″ heeled cowgirl boots for $8. Their prices are nice.
        Family Tree on 1589 Laurel Street in San Carlos is fabulous! I think they do a first Friday thing where everything is 50% off. That’s where I found my favorite red leather skinny belt for $1.
        Goodwill in Haight Ashbury is ok, but a tad more expensive, but they have a good selection. You’d be able to find some sweet dresses for about $12-15.
        Wasteland on 1660 Haight Street is a little more curated/hipster, but they have a huge selection of vintage goods. Dresses run about $15-25.
        If you really want to take a day trip, go to Sacramento and hit up the D.I. there. You won’t be disappointed. It’s cheap & HUGE.

        That’s pretty much it for SF bay area places that I visited. Hope this helps! Happy Thrifting!

    21. Carol says:

      I love the new shirt, especially the bow detail.

      I’ve been following your blog for a couple weeks now and I’m loving it! :)

    22. […] by one of my favorite bloggers Melissa from IS-LY, who really knows what it means to breathe new life into the hopelessly unwearable, I had vision when I saw this colorful muumuu at DI. I straight up confess that I considered buying […]

    23. Karen Beth says:

      Love the transformation! That color is amazing!

      The dress is not vintage. It was in the J. Smith line last year at K-Mart.

    24. […] top: thrifted/refashioned$6 […]

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