Before & After: Floral Dress Refashion


I’ve been looking in my closet these days & not finding anything interesting. Well, nothing interesting that I haven’t worn in the last 5 days at least. On Monday, one of my sweet neighbors kindly offered to watch Penelope as I ran some errands; naturally I couldn’t help but pop into a thrift store while out & about. It’s a real treat to go to thrift shopping without Penelope. It means I can actually try on clothes that I find! Look at the gorgeous dress I found for $6:

I’m a huge fan of this print. I’ve been seeing all sorts of bold florals around this season and I fell in love with the shape of the skirt. The skirt has pleats & pockets in the front & buttons going all the way down the back (so Victoria Beckham, but with buttons). I wasn’t a fan of the bulky sleeves & loose top, but that’s never stopped me from buying anything.

As soon as I got home, I snapped the ugliest before photo ever & started fixing up the dress. Here’s what I did:

  • I took in the sides from the waist up by about 1-2 inches on each side
  • I took in the sleeves by about 2 inches on each side
  • I shortened the sleeves & added a cuff
  • I removed the breast pocket (it was making me feel all sorts of lop-sided)

Ah. So much better! The shortened sleeves make the dress feel 20 lbs lighter. I’m a big fan of it now. All I need to do now is find some hot gladiator heels and I’ll be rocking and rolling in NYC at the SocialLuxe party next week!

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    1. This looks beautiful! Boy, do I wish I knew how to sew. Have you thought about making the collar into a boat neck?

      • Melissa says:

        Thanks, Kim! I’m a little afraid to. I was thinking of making it into a slight V neck, but not sure I want to take that risk just days before BlogHer. Maybe afterwards I’ll play around with it!

    2. Elaine says:

      You look awesome!!!

    3. That print is fabulous. Love the pleating on the skirt and who can so no to a dress with pockets?

    4. andrea says:

      you did a great job! it looks amazing

    5. Emily says:


    6. Jennifer says:

      Cute refashion! I love the sleeve length and the cuffs. Have fun in my part of the woods. Your ganna LOVE it!

    7. Ann says:

      You are clever Melissa – you find something really original, tweak it just a bit and turn it into something really special – a brilliant talent!

    8. Becky says:

      It turned out so cute. Someday I want to give refashioning a try.

    9. the thrifty ba says:

      wow-that 1st photo looks like my mother in law…you really know how to fix a dress! it looks great!

    10. Emma says:

      Looks great. It’s a brilliant find and a wonderful rework.

    11. Sara says:

      You are so talented. If I saw that dress on the rack I would never look twice. It’s darling…now I want one.

    12. jen says:

      so cute! i wish i had the skills to do that!

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