May Showers Bring June Flowers: A Refashion


It’s been raining cats & dogs pretty much on and off for the last week. Mostly on, though. I’m ready for spring to come!! Sheesh. I took this rainy opportunity to tailor a trench coat I bought last year. I had plans to alter it back in April of last year, but then mysteriously lost motivation to work on projects. *ahem* Felix *ahem*

I was drawn to the trench for it’s soft, spring color; albeit rather 90s. It takes me back to ninth grade. Like most coats at thrift & vintage stores, it was too large. It fit just fine in the shoulders (besides the heinous shoulder pads) but the arms were very baggy, as was everything else. The length creeped me out a little. Like a purple-people eater.


While the alterations were pretty straight forward, it took me all day to do them. I had to take out the lining, clean up the edges, take in the sleeves & sides & hem the bottom. Taking in the sides took two House episodes as the seam in the sleeve & the seam in the bodice weren’t lined up. The hem took about two House episodes, too. I don’t like hemming & the bottom was rounded, which is more time consuming. That’s okay though.


I’m thrilled with the result. Now I’m headed out to jump in the puddles with Penelope.


Have I mentioned I’m going to be speaking at Sewing Summit in October on Refashioning clothing? I’m SO EXCITED to go! If you’re into sewing, it’s going to be like a giant sewing slumber party here at Salt Lake City’s Little America. Fun, hu? Let me know if you’re coming! I’m trying to think about what to do for business cards for this conference. I’m desperately needing to update mine.

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    1. Shaela says:

      SOOO cute!! Too bad you won’t be in Vegas the first part of June… our ward is having an activity on sewing basics and they need someone to teach a portion on refashioning – I immediately thought of you! :)

    2. Kat Randall says:

      Melissa! I love this trench! So fashionable, great job reworking! And the hood is too cute, have fun jumping puddles! its raining here is AZ too!

    3. Emily says:

      What an adorable trench! I’m impressed with your tailoring!!!

    4. Okay, I’m clearly new here. Girl, maybe you should go for the Juki because you can sew! (and only you will get that comment) VERY cute. Makes me want to go find a big old coat to play with.

    5. Fantastic job on this refashion. Coats are such a great thrift find to remodel, huge moneysaver. You look great in this!

    6. Virginia says:

      wow- thats amazing- great job!

    7. I love the result! The color is gorgeous! This reminds me that I need a raincoat.

    8. Heidi says:

      This is awesome! I have a trench that once belonged to my husband’s grandma, it’s about 8 sizes too big and I’m a little intimidated by all the seams. Maybe I’ll get to it next year…the good thing is, trenches are pretty classic so I guess it’s not a big deal if I don’t get around to it this year!

    9. Lindsay says:

      WOO hooo! Love the finished product! Pretty impressive.

      Delighted Momma

    10. You’re insanely talented. I wish I could sew as well as you…

    11. Diana Smith says:

      Adorable Melissa! I love what you did!

    12. anna says:

      awesome job! I love the modifications you made. and cool that you’re speaking at the summit! :)

    13. Rachel Dell says:

      that looks amazing. i wish you could post a tutorial/come and do it for me. i’m really going to have to start reworking things. it’s like getting a whole new, even better, totally different from the rest of the world, wardrobe. win.

    14. Brianne says:

      wow! what a transformation! it looks great & i love that color. i’m totally jealous of your refashioning/sewing skills.

    15. Laura Noble says:

      ooh, that coat looks fantastic! great job!

    16. Anne says:

      WOW. The end result is so cute! And I wish my trench had a hood – that would come in handy with all the rain we’ve been having here too.

    17. JamiK says:

      You’ve totally inspired me. I found this website about 2 weeks ago and I think it (you) are amazing! You’re restyles are so great! I was so inspried in fact that I found a wonderful old but in perfect condition sewing machine on Craigslist and I’m hoping to figure out how to use it soon and take on a few projects of my own. I adore this coat! I have searched for a trench for the last few months and I ended up settling on one I found at Target on clearance. I never would have thought to do what you did.

    18. Laurel G says:

      wow I love it!

    19. Tamara says:

      That looks so awesome now! Love the color too- such a great pick-me-up for a rainy day!

    20. Very impressive refashion. I have a closet full of tailored thrift store clothes. I used to think I could only buy things that fit me until I realized I could buy anything and make it fit! Its really fun and empowering.

    21. Very%20impressive%20refashion.%20I%20have%20a%20closet%20full%20of%20tailored%20thrift%20store%20clothes.%20I%20used%20to%20think%20I%20could%20only%20buy%20things%20that%20fit%20me%20until%20I%20realized%20I%20could%20buy%20anything%20and%20make%20it%20fit!%20Its%20really%20fun%20and%20empowering.%20%20

    22. jen says:

      I have a vintage Burberry trench that I need to do that to, but I’m scared. It’s that awkward length, and I think I’d wear it alot more if it were shorter. What do you think, do I dare?

    23. angie says:

      whoa, the jacket turned out sooooo cute, melissa.

    24. Katie W says:

      What a gorgeous color and an amazing “after”! I must learn to sew!

    25. Evie says:

      You are very talented! I love it!

    26. Lei-Lani says:

      I am so annoyed I threw out a coat very similar because I lacked your vision. You did an amazing job. I am so impressed… Do you ever alter coats for others? “nudge nudge wink wink”.
      Thank you for posting…..

    27. Madeline says:

      you did such an amazing job!!!!!

    28. […] coat: thrifted & refashioned, […]

    29. Tang says:

      This is definitely one of my faves that you’ve redone. It looks so good now!

    30. Bellesme says:

      Thats so nice!! I love it, the color is so cute =) Btw, those shoes are AWESOME!

    31. Becky says:

      Adorable! I always have such a hard time finding coats that fit! I’m a bit of a novice sewer, so I might not attempt something quite so daring, but this is definitely inspirational!

    32. Claire says:

      You know… this post of yours totally inspired me to take up sewing hahaha. Nice trench!

    33. Anna says:

      That is one scary ‘before’ picture – what a transformation! I never would have thought altering the sleeve width would make such a difference but you can really see it in the pictures. Love the new length too.

    34. I would have been drawn to the coat because of the colour for sure, but never would’ve taken on such big job. It looks so professional! Like it should be hanging in Winners or something :)

    35. CK says:

      Wow! Great job on this one!

    36. Ali says:

      That is amazing! Can I get you to come help me with my closet?! :)

    37. Oh man, it’s my favorite color and absolutely darling-ified. Nice work.

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