Posted in My Makes

A Refashion in Jade

I had intended to get started on my new sewing project today, but, as usual, something got in the way! I wasn’t feeling very well, and spent most of the day playing Kingdom Hearts instead. Never mind! I thought I’d share an old project to make up for the lack of sewing.

My inspiration was an incredible blog called Refashionista (check her out here. I promise you won’t regret it). This chick buys frumpy, outdated clothes for $1 at her local thrift store (second-hand shop as we call them over here in Blighty) and transforms them into vastly more wearable items – amazing! Even if some of her refashions aren’t to my taste, the concept is one I’d love to adopt more in my own life, not least because it would save me a ton of money, and, being a poor student, money is always needed.

So, with the Refashionista philosophy in mind, I trotted along to one of my local charity shops last summer and fell in love with a jade shirt dress with white vertical stripes, which set me back about £10 (oh how I dream for those $1 stores!). As you can see, however, the dress needed a bit of work:Jade dress beforeIt was too big, too long, and the sleeves were unflattering to say the least. Off to work! First of all, I ripped off the sleeves. It already looked far less like something a dinner lady would wear! Then I raised the waistline so it sat naturally on mine, and the hemline so the skirt fell to just above my knees. I took the whole dress in a couple of inches at each side seam, then added bust darts, adjusting them until I was happy with the fit. Then all that was left to do was finish the armholes, and I even used some of the leftover fabric to make two belt loops for the waist. Sadly, I didn’t take any photos of the process – how was I know I’d be writing a blog post about it almost a year into my future?

Here’s what it looks like now:Jade dress afterI’m happy with the finished result. It’s by no means perfect, and there are a few places where it doesn’t quite sit right, but considering I’m still not very confident with my machine, I’m chuffed with how it turned out. I recently wore it with some beautiful Joe Browns floral heels to a vintage club night in Cambridge, and my friends told me I looked very 50s! And it’s the dress that my little pixel girl is wearing at the top of this page  ^-^

It was definitely a worthwhile project.  A vintage-style dress like this would easily cost upwards of £40-50 if bought new, so I made a sizeable saving by spending a little time instead of money. Besides, it was fun! And the end result is a dress that fits me better than high-street clothing, suits my style better, and that I know with confidence that no-one else will be wearing.



Hello! I'm Hannah and I'm a Classics undergrad at Cambridge. I spend most of the time which I should be spending on my degree crocheting and sewing instead.

7 thoughts on “A Refashion in Jade

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