It’s amazing how long it can take between wanting to do something and actually doing it. (Or is that just me?) After enjoying the Refashionista blog for about a year, I finally jumped in and tried my own thrift store project.

Since deadlines motivate me best, I decided to start with upcycling a dress for a friend’s wedding. Apparently that wasn’t pressure enough, as I found myself hunched over the sewing machine the night before and afternoon of the special day. (It would have helped to know what I was doing.) But, you know, it all worked out in the end. Dress done by 5pm and wedding ceremony at 6!

I picked up a splashy blue and white tube dress for $9 at a thrift shop in Brandon. It came from Hawaii. Perhaps the original owner lost the holiday mood after only a few wears, as the dress was in excellent condition.

Here’s what I did:

First, I made sure to choose a dress that was too big for me. That way I could chop it down to size and have room to change things up a bit.

Chop, chop. Off went the sides and a chunk off the bottom.

Then I took the extra material from the bottom and created a wide waistband. And out came the zipper on the back.

Ta da! My first refashion.

Meh, it wasn’t perfect — could have been a little more defined at the waist but it was ready in time and comfy as heck. In fact it was so comfy that I wore it riding my bike to and from this fabulous green wedding.

So what’s next? Following the example of Jillian at Refashionista, I’m going to stock up on a number of previously loved dresses, pants, skirts, and such that have potential. Then when the mood (or party deadline) strikes, I’ll be ready to stitch!

Got any tips or DIY refashions of your own to share?