Gilding the LILLY

If ever there was a dress that did not need to be remade it was this one; a Lilly Pulitzer sundress, circa 2003.

I bought this cute dress for my older daughter when she was in high school. I’ve always loved it but she left it behind several years ago.

I understand. Twenty-somethings don’t want to wear 10- year old dresses, nor did I at that age.

The dress isn’t my style or size, but I didn’t want to give it away. I decided a remake was in order, so I picked up my seam ripper and watched Diana Rupp’s Sewing Studio skirt tutorial again. Diana emphasized her video instructions were applicable to any skirt pattern, providing me with the encouragement to rip, cut and sew.

Once again, I was amazed at the impressive construction of another Lilly garment as I carefully separated the dress into three pieces. I set the top aside and worked with the bottom skirt and lining.

Since the dress is larger that what I wear, I had a little extra fabric to work with.  I reused the lining and zipper while following every step of the video until I had a new lined skirt.Not only is it a new skirt, but it is a new skirt that fits just the way I want it to!

I doubt I’ll wear it with this white top and am planning to make a top in turquoise or pale pink if I can find the fabric. If not, I suppose I’ll continue scavenging my home until another lonely garment in the back of a closet for begs for new life.

Most certainly a win-win situation these days!


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52 Responses to Gilding the LILLY

  1. Meg @ Mood says:

    Nice remake! I have some aging Lillys in my closet that I don’t want to give up yet don’t want to wear either. But it’s not like they’re too big and I can refashion them….

    • Thank you, Meg! I recently took apart a size 2 Lily dress that I’m not sure what to do with. I had a few ideas, none of which seem to be working, but I haven’t given up :)

  2. Rosemarie Painter says:

    Your ingenious creations have inspired me to stop the madness with RTW and shop my stash. Thanks for all the effort you put into your projects and your blog, I really look forward to finding a new update every few days… you’ve become a fun sewing buddy.

    • Hi Rosemarie – I am really moved by your lovely comment. As a new blogger I didn’t know what to expect and was surprised by the great support I have received! I do have a sense of freedom when I walk into stores now – and even better, I believe my daughters are starting to get it. It’s so easy to get caught up in the RTW spending frenzy :)

  3. Art Attack says:

    This is adorable!! Great job and perfect fit…If you are thinking cotton for the top check out my post on PR in the store reviews section. I just got some Robert Kaufman Kona cotton from them and it comes in every color of the rainbow, I know you’ll find your perfect pink. Narrow down what you want and they will send you some swatches.

    • Thanks, Dorcas! Thanks too for the fabric tip! I’d like to find something similar to a cotton lawn. Would you recommend the RK Kona cotton?

      • Art Attack says:

        If lawn is what I think it is I believe Kona is a little heavier…about the same weight as quilting cotton. Isn’t cotton lawn a little lighter and drapier? The tangerine and curry Kona pictured WAS my package…it is just still folded and in the bag it came in. The cute thank you folder contained a copy of my invoice! Who doesn’t love a great presentation?

      • I must I looked at your post before I was really awake :) Really cute presentation! Yes, cotton lawn is light and now I know exactly what Kona is. Thanks for the clarification and sorry for the confusion!

  4. That is so cool – I have thoroughly enjoyed seeing your remakes.

  5. prttynpnk says:

    That fabric was too cool to only see a closet- nicely doen!

  6. reecie says:

    I enjoy looking at what you do with old clothes. What a gift.

  7. CherryPix says:

    Gorgeous! You can never have too many perfect fitting, bright skirts, in my opinion (I’ve made about 8 from Butterick 5466 and wear them all the time!!). Really impressed with your remaking skills.

  8. Myra says:

    Great job! This skirt is just to cute! I can definitely see this with the turquoise top like you mentioned.

  9. Tia Dia says:

    Great new skirt!

  10. Suzi says:

    Well, Girl….you’re just on a roll!! Great Great Great job on that remake. So cute! Just can’t have enough skirts! I have 3 reversible wrap Lilly skirts that I love traveling with because it gives me 6 looks! YAH!
    I always look forward to checking out your blog to see what else you are up to…you are great motivation!

  11. MareeAlison says:

    Doesn’t that make you feel good. It’s a fabulous fabric and a really lovely looking skirt. Just a thought, but maybe you could pick out the least dominant colour – there’s a little pale green I think or maybe the picture isn’t clear – to use for a top. I think I’ll go check out my cupboards. :)

    • Many thanks for writing and for the suggestion! The fabric has so many colors that I have several possibilities and will probably go with the first fabric I find that works. It’s not often that there are so many options!

  12. Irene says:

    What a wonderful remake! It is such a shame to have things just sitting around in the closet – much better to remake and wear.

  13. Martha says:

    Such a charming upcycle. Perfect with your coloring.

  14. sue says:

    What great fabric and such a great idea to re-model the dress!

  15. Joy says:

    That’s awesome! You are so adorable .. and so tiny! (i wasn’t a 4 when I
    was 12! ;) What a great re-make! I think it’s looks wonderful with the light
    blouse you’re wearing. Don’t be surprised if a look of chagrin passes on
    dear daughter’s face when she sees what her talented Momma did with that
    dress. “Ooh Mom .. I want it back …. waaaaahhh.” LOL. Such a fun blog.
    Keep digging in your closets. I bet there’s a whole bunch of creative
    creations that await your magic touch. And you’ve got a new, fabulous wardrobe
    from your own hands .. how super!


    • Thank you for this sweet comment, Joy! I’ve had great fun sewing my wardrobe for the past nine months and am amazed at the possibilities from old clothes…… and sheets….. and curtains………!! :)

  16. Phil says:

    Thank you for such a lovely sunny post. It is cool, wet and grey here in England. You have cheered me up while eating my breakfast, and I think you have constructed this skirt very professionally. It looks like an excellent fit!

  17. jlundy6116 says:

    Gorgeous! Awesome job, thanks for sharing.

  18. Sally says:


  19. Cissie Wellons says:

    Another fabulous remake! You now have me scouring my closets for candidates. BTW, you’d best hide this skirt from your daughter or she will certainly reclaim it!

    • Thanks you, Cissie! I’m sorry to respond so late but I somehow missed an entire group of comments. I find it interesting that my daughters have taken greater interest in the clothes they own and less interest in buying new ones. It just goes to show what influence parents can have by their own actions.

  20. Coco says:

    Lovely. So nice that a tutorial helped you find an approach to a skirt that really suits you. I like the slightly raised, curved waist on you. You look so trim and slim! (RL Kona is 4.3 oz, slightly heavier than quilting cotton. Very nice, smooth, great color choices – but not light).

  21. Cissie Wellons says:

    Farmhouse Fabrics carries a nice cotton lawn but I’m not sure about the colors — probably pastels. Imperial batiste probably comes in more colors, but it is not 100% cotton.

  22. Lori says:

    You are the queen of transformations, great job on a beauitful skirt.

  23. Peggy says:

    This skirt is fabulous! Great job rescuing it from your daughter’s wardrobe!!

  24. Cheryl says:

    Awww…the Sabrinas! My daughters had a bunch of those – I never thought of making them into skirts! I think they’ve all been ‘redistributed’ now, but that’s such a cute style! Love the fit. Your skirt was a great idea!

  25. Carolyn says:

    I’m loving watching your journey because you are really coming into your creative self as proved by this wonderful refashion. Don’t you feel as if you could tackle anything now and have it work out? And don’t you feel such freedom knowing that you could make whatever you want?!

    • Many thanks, Carolyn and sorry to respond so late, but I just saw your comment this morning. FREEDOM is the perfect choice of words…… I love looking at expensive clothes, admiring expensive clothes, trying on expensive clothes and walking away feeling energized. This year has been so refreshing!

  26. Gail says:

    I’m afraid this could be an act of vandalism. Only recently discovered Lily Pulitzer when reading Amanda Brooks’ book on personal style. Her mother’s bridesmaids wore custom made floral gowns by Lily Pulitzer.

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