Angelica and I are back for another round of On a Shoestring, a series of posts where we reimagine fashion, food, decor and more all on a shoestring budget. We’re out to prove that it doesn’t take mountains (or even molehills) of money to look fashionable and put together.


This month, we pulled out our sewing machines and refashioned a piece of clothing from our closet into something entirely new. Since the holiday season is upon us, I went for something that I knew I could make good use of at parties.

I grabbed some supplies and got to it!


So, before I show you how I did it…full disclosure. Several months ago I attempted a different refashion of this dress (the same one I frolicked around Paris in). It started off well enough.


But soon spiraled out of my skill set and left me looking for a bottle of wine. I’m cool with never talking about it again if you are.


ANYWAY. Fast forward to last week, and I knew with a much clearer head that this dress was destined to be a skirt.


I’ve sewed many a skirt using Dana’s tutorials and patterns, so it was a no-brainer to use some of the same techniques. I sliced the top of the dress off and sewed on some elastic.


I used pink elastic because I had it and I liked it, and chose white thread to contrast. Nevermind that it also happened to be already threaded in the machine. Yeah, that had nothing to do with it.

A few short minutes later (probably more like 30, but whatever), I had a brand new skirt, ready to party in!


I considered using a vintage hanky as a pocket, but in the end decided I liked it better plain Jane.

Here’s a close up so you can better see the contrasting white thread. Scout’s honor, I really do like contrasting thread colors. It just so happens that it pairs perfectly with my lazy sewing tendencies.


I paired it with pieces I already had:

  • Black blouse from The Limited (definitely bought on sale)
  • Thrifted J.Crew coat ($10)
  • Last-season tights from Target ($3)
  • DSW shoes ($25)
  • Earrings from some tiny shop in Venice Beach ($4)
  • Feathered headband (stolen from sister)
  • Gold clutch (Banana Republic outlet; also possibly stolen from sister)


Angelica used this month’s challenge to take a ruffled dress and flip it into something more streamlined. You have to check out how she accessorized it — so fun!


I love how the On a Shoestring series is challenging me to work with what I already have instead of buying new. It’s especially helpful around the holidays, when I’d rather spend my extra cash on gifts for family and friends rather than on things for myself.


What do you say: are you in for the December round of On a Shoestring? Rumor has it we’ll be cooking next time…but you didn’t hear that from me 😉


What would you try to do On a Shoestring?