A Mumu Makeover

 Hawaiian Dress Title After

Seriously, who cares if I get freckles on my legs.

Sometimes you just need to go outside, relax and accept what the sun has to offer.

I know I’ve said it before, but it’s true. How lucky am I?

I love waking up to this each day. A small Eastern Oregon town where I’m graced with panoramic beauty, where deer hang out in my yard, and where summer has finally arrived. It usually takes me a few weeks to realize it. The first stretch of vacation is always filled with organization, cleaning, appointments, and getting caught up with life. And then it happens…..

that one extraordinary day when I wake up and realize the next twenty four hours are totally up to me. I can enjoy whatever comes my way. I can finally breathe and notice my life.

That day was today.

My eyes close, as my favorite stairwell rendition of Halleluia, by Skeye, cascades gently from my laptop. The wannabe musician inside me desperately wants to sing along. But all I can do is catch my breath, and let her beautiful voice go deep to lift me where freckles really don’t matter.

The horse slowly saunters over and stares at me. Maybe it’s Skeye’s hypnotic voice that lured him over or maybe it’s the bright colors of the adirondack chair that Penny made for me. Or maybe, like my friend Karin says, he was connecting with the joy I happen to be feeling at this moment. I look up from the computer and my heart swells yet again. I’m so fortunate to have a job that gives me time to heal in the sunshine each summer, to rejuvenate, and to take time just to notice my life.

Today, while “noticing my life”, I got inspired to make a summer dress to go with my newly acquired leg freckles.  I head into my thrift stash which, thanks to my early summer bursts of energy, now sits neatly stacked and folded with a color coordinated organizational system. I stop, sigh, and gaze for awhile, just to admire the orderly beauty of it all. When I finally snap out of it, my eyes land on this pure silk Hawaiian dress that I scored last fall at the Goodwill for a whopping $2.99.

Hawaiian Dress Refashion Before_edited-1

Hawaiian Dress Refashion Tags

  It’s made for a woman who is my complete opposite- a big busted, small hipped kind of gal. But you know, that blue and green silk was irresistible and ya gotta love those yellow parrots!

Somehow, I need to make the bottom of this dress larger and the top smaller. I’ve done this before with other dresses but this one was different. It had lining and a long zipper down the back. Hmmmm…..can’t just cut out the middle, gather the skirt and sew it back on this time. This dress presented a bit more of a challenge.

By the time it was all said and done, I actually refashioned this dress two ways.

This was the first rendition. My friend Kris said it was very Betty Draper.

Hawaiian Dress Refashion After

I liked the first dress but when Kris said it needed to be more Joan Holloway than Betty Draper, I got right to work and this was the result.

Hawaiian Dress After

What do you think?

If you like the Betty Draper dress, this is the tutorial for you:

Hawaiian Dress RefashionAfter

I started by taking out the zipper with my seam ripper. I actually left the top of the zipper installed because you will reinstall the zipper later.

Hawaiian Dress Refashion1s

I then put it on, looked in the mirror, and using safety pins, marked where I’d like the new waistline to be. I also pulled it up and marked the new length with another pin.

Hawaiian Dress Refashion2

Using a washable fabric marker and adding a half inch for a seam, mark the new waistline.

Hawaiian Dress Refashion3

Using your rotary cutter, cut the new waistline.

Hawaiian Dress Refashion4

Then cut the skirt (off the top) to desired length, leaving the hem intact.

Hawaiian Dress Refashion5

Using the longest stitch on your machine, baste around the top of the skirt.

Hawaiian Dress Refashion6

Hawaiian Dress Refashion7

Right sides together match and pin the side seams and middle of the front and back. Pull gently on the basting stitches to ease in the rest of the skirt to fit the bodice. Pin and sew.

Hawaiian Dress Refashion8

Leave the back seam open so you can reinstall the zipper.

Hawaiian Dress Refashion9

Open up the back skirt seam to fit the zipper. Using the zipper foot, reinstall the zipper.

Hawaiian Dress Refashion10

Hawaiian Dress Refashion17

Hawaiian Dress Refashion18

Now for the neckline. Cut a slit down the middle of the neckline to the depth you like. Fold over and press. Then cut on the pressed lines.

Hawaiian Dress Refashion13

Hawaiian Dress Refashion14

Hawaiian Dress Refashion16

Hawaiian Dress Refashion After

Hawaiian Dress Before and After

But, if you’re more of a Joan Holloway type of girl, then here’s the tutorial for you:

Hawaiian Dress Title After

Do every step the same as the Betty Draper version above, but instead of basting around the top of the skirt, cut out your custom pencil skirt using your custom skirt pattern from here and attach to the bodice and reinsert the zipper. The neckline was also cut deeper so I could drop the neckline over the shoulders a bit.

Hope this will be helpful to you during your summer refashion adventures!!!

Hawaiian Dress Before and After3

You might also enjoy:

Easy DIY Refashion Tutorials

About The Renegade Seamstress

I'm a busy wife, mom, grandma, and teacher who loves to create. I've joined the refashion scene and I 'd like to share and connect with all those talented and creative people out there doing similar things.
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64 Responses to A Mumu Makeover

  1. Jan says:

    Love it! Your are so beautiful! Wish I was sitting out in your back yard with you, or, would that be in your front yard in the inflatable pool?

  2. Reblogged this on Amanda's Words / starfire8me and commented:
    this is a beautiful outfit! Even though it WAS a mumu

  3. Blondie says:

    Both are absolutely beautiful… great job. And…. wish I had summer off to reflect on life.

  4. Joyce Love says:

    They’re both beautiful! Thanks for the tutorials – I’ve been too intimidated to try refashioning anything that would involve dealing with a zipper, but I might be brave enough to tackle one now!

  5. mamacormier says:

    I couldn’t vote. They’re both beautiful and two very different dresses. The first is more casual and probably could be worn more often, while the second dress is very sexy and would be more suited for dinner or a party. The way you feel about where you live is how I feel when I’m at my cottage. Serene and relaxed.

  6. Leonie Jordan says:

    Hello! I love your emails, love seeing all of the creativity, this dress in both options turned out beautifully. I haven’t sewn much for a few years as I have a medical condition that results in fatigue. I tend to do little craft projects, & it drives my husband nuts if I leave my sewing machine & overlocker sitting on the dining table for a week. I have bought polar fleece today to make my oldest 20 year old daughter a onesie, she’s 6ft 1in, you can’t buy them long enough for her & being winter here right now it will be appreciated, might have to make one for the whole family. I loved the friendly competition you had going too. Your messages are always the first I open when I look at my emails. Just wanted to let you know how much enjoyment they bring me. Regards Leonie Jordan Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

    Sent from my iPad

    • Oh Leonie, your message really touched my heart. Thank you for your kind words. It makes me happy to know that what I’m doing brings you joy. Have fun with your onesie project. Sounds cozy and warm!!!

  7. I love the dress after refashion. lovely.

  8. I love the dress but love the song more! That song was sung at my son’s memorial service in March and it always evokes such strong memories. I’ve never heard that rendition and it was stunning Thanks for sharing both the tutorial and the song!

  9. Steph Meadows says:

    I love the second rendition. Very chic and you look wonderful in it! You have been quite an inspiration to me. I have been working on a red tie die huge 2x t-shirt I found at Goodwill and making it into a skirt! I forgot to take a pic of it before I started cutting into it.

  10. Liochka says:

    I love it, simple and beautiful result.

  11. I’m so inspired! I have several of this exact style of dress in my closet right now but I hate them because they are waaay too long, a bit snug in the hips, and really boring. I’m going to perform the Betty-Draper-ectomy ASAP! Thank you!

  12. karen gallagher says:

    I have unsubscribed from this many times because I am using a different email to follow this, but I keep getting it on this one? Help?


    On Thu, Jul 11, 2013 at 7:18 AM, The Renegade Seamstress wrote:

    > ** > The Renegade Seamstress posted: ” Seriously, who cares if I get > freckles on my legs. Sometimes you just need to go outside, relax and > accept what the sun has to offer. I know I’ve said it before, but it’s > true. How lucky am I? I love waking up to this each day. A small Eastern > Orego”

  13. Suzan Curtis says:

    Subscribe to this. They do the most amazing makeovers of all kinds of stuff. Better that refashionista!

    Suzan Curtis Lead Technician Technology Department Murray County Schools 715 W. Chestnut St. Chatsworth, Ga 30705 706-695-7034 Ext 6103

    Sent from my iPad

  14. mamaamani says:

    You are just brilliant in these makeovers! I love it!

  15. What a lovely makeover dress you look terrific in it and thanks for a great tut.

  16. Alyssa says:

    I love both “afters!” And as a redhead I can attest to th beauty of freckles, even on the knees 😉

  17. missmarys says:

    Just love this. all for $2.99, such a deal.

  18. What a great job! The both of them are just beautiful.

  19. Ramona says:

    both look great the off the shoulder looks more like an out to dinner evening even…Be sure to “like” Restyle thrift store on Boise on Facebook …Last Monday they had their first 5 and dime sale where all clothes were 10 cents and all children’s clothes were only 5 cents each……score!!!!!

  20. Jo H. says:

    I like both versions and I love that material! It’s only too bad you couldn’t have both versions to wear 🙂

  21. Love the Joan version! Actually I’m really surprised you got 2 different styles out of that one dress without messing it up!

  22. Yes ma’am! You did that beautifully Beth. You really get me with the inexpensive finds. So glad you are enjoying the great weather and a little down time.

  23. diaryofamadcrafter says:

    Love it! And love the shoes and belt with it! 🙂

  24. What a cool idea! I love them both, but the first dress is probably more my style. You are amazing! 🙂

  25. Cori says:

    Both are beautiful, clever and creative, but as a 40 something teacher, the first dress sings to me. Thank you very much for your willingness to share your ideas… there are a few refashion sites, but most are too modern and hip for my taste. Would it be possible to share a photo of a dress here, seeking advice from you and/or your readers on how to proceed? I love the fabric and the colors, but the tent style doesn’t do a thing for me.

    Bless you and happy refashioing!

  26. Jill says:

    Fabulous, Beth. You look great in it. I prefer the off the shoulder version. It’s sassier!

  27. Gjeometry says:

    Gorgeous remakes!! I just love the Joan one with the off the shoulder effect, so flattering.

  28. kittehluvs says:

    OOO la la! I love both of them but Joan is my favorite! the refashioned dress looks amazing on your and showing a little extra shoulder is so chic!

  29. It looks amazing! The Joan is my favorite too! You are truly inspiring, I’ve been wanting to alter a neckline for awhile, definitely looks like I’ll be trying it soon 🙂

  30. Bea says:

    I’m a total Joanie! I want to try this out!

  31. Linda says:

    The before photo is NOT a muu muu. It is a loose fitting shift dress. Nowadays it seems that no one under age 60 knows what a muumuu looks like.

  32. Thanks for this tutorial! I always learn great tips from you and I love to follow your imagnation!

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