Refashioned Linen Dress – A Foot to Spare

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31 May Refashioned Linen Dress – A Foot to Spare

Over the last few months I’ve lost 10 pounds. Β That means several clothes from the past fit once more, and there’s nothing like an easy refashion to make my day πŸ™‚

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It’s true, I wore my dresses this long around the turn of the century – LOL. Above isΒ a dress from the old TalbotsΒ made from Irish Linen – need I say more? I’ve hung onto it all theseΒ years hoping to wear it again one day.

The lines in the dress are spot so I kept the refashion simple.


After removing approximately 12 inches of the length, I retrieved a roll of tiny black tassel trim from my stash, and overlapped four vertical rows to the lower edge.

IMG_5446I attached the trim withΒ Steam-a-Seam on the first row, but concluded it was easier and more efficient to do without, and applied the trim with a small zig-zag stitch guiding it along the way.IMG_5445

That’s all it took to bring the dress into the 21st Century!

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I find the back more flattering in theΒ shorter length.

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The tone on tone effect of the trim/dress is subtle, but a contrast trim would have been all wrong.

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To say I’m happy to be back into my old clothes is an understatement even if most of them are out of style, but here’s to more upcoming refashions…… I doubt any will be this easy!

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Until soon πŸ™‚

  • Fran Giacobbe
    Posted at 06:42h, 31 May Reply

    A great save! I remember wearing your original Talbots style years ago but your update is perfect for today. You look wonderfulπŸ˜€
    Maybe you could do a post on tips to lose those 10 pounds many of us have ‘found’ so we, too, can refashion some staples.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:26h, 01 June Reply

      Thank you, Fran! Hmmm……. I’ll think about a weight loss post. I gave up refined sugar and limited all sugar to 25 grams/day. I’ve never been hungry or had cravings and the weight slowly came off – I hope for good πŸ˜‰

  • Patricia Brown
    Posted at 06:50h, 31 May Reply

    The refashion is very nice at the shorter length. You have a LBD that can be worn to brunch, out to dinner or other occasions. We can never have too many of these dresses. I look forward to your other refashion projects. You look fantastic!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:26h, 01 June Reply

      Thank you, Patricia! More to come πŸ˜‰

  • Janet higgins
    Posted at 06:50h, 31 May Reply

    That looks great and agree with Fran about a post on weight loss!! Did you do anything yet with the twelve inches of good linen that you took from the hem?

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:27h, 01 June Reply

      Thank you, Janet! I’m thinking about the weight loss post. So far I’ve done nothing with the extra linen. πŸ˜‰

  • Cindy Symes
    Posted at 06:55h, 31 May Reply

    Wow! Subtle and elegant. The black on black makes it look more formal, whereas if you chose a colourful trim around the neck (a la tunic dress) I think it would have looked more casual. It’s interesting, to me, to see how conscious decisions can change the look of a garment. But the biggie had to be cutting it off! It really lifts you up! Well done!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:28h, 01 June Reply

      Many thanks, Cindy! I tried a few other colors but black was definitely the best choice on this one πŸ˜‰

  • Becky Bagwell
    Posted at 07:01h, 31 May Reply

    Looking good …the dress and you!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:29h, 01 June Reply

      Thank you, Becky!!

  • Joyce Womick
    Posted at 07:02h, 31 May Reply

    Adding the trim along the hem was a perfect finish! Love it!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:30h, 01 June Reply

      Thank you, Joyce! The hem also gives the dress additional weight and prevents excessive wrinkling πŸ˜‰

  • Barbara
    Posted at 07:06h, 31 May Reply

    Your talent is amazing! Beautiful redo of the dress. I am trying to lose 10 pounds, and you inspired me.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:31h, 01 June Reply

      What a nice comment, Barbara πŸ˜‰ Good luck with the weight loss!

  • Jan
    Posted at 07:48h, 31 May Reply

    I love this remake!! P.S. what is you secret to staying so trim??

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:32h, 01 June Reply

      Thank you, Jan! I have dramatically reduced the sugar I consume and try to hit the gym regularly πŸ˜‰

  • Adecia
    Posted at 07:49h, 31 May Reply

    Wow, that looks great! You have inspired me to do the same as I have a similar style hanging in an extra closet. Did you include slits on both sides or just one?

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:34h, 01 June Reply

      Thank you, Alecia! The dress has a slit on one side.

  • Jan
    Posted at 07:50h, 31 May Reply

    I meant “your” secret!

  • Lone Star Couture
    Posted at 08:11h, 31 May Reply

    Sarah, what a great save! I love the shorter version and the trim was a stroke of genius! I don’t know where you were hiding the 10 lbs but congrats. Super cute!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:35h, 01 June Reply

      LOL ~ the extra pounds were distributed pretty evenly with a few extra in the abs and hips πŸ˜‰ Many thanks for the comment, Dorcas!

  • Cissie Wellons
    Posted at 08:11h, 31 May Reply

    Your “new” dress is perfect for so many occasions. Great job.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:36h, 01 June Reply

      Thank you, Cissie!

  • Diana C
    Posted at 08:43h, 31 May Reply

    Gorgeous! The trim is perfect!!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:36h, 01 June Reply

      Many thanks, Diana! I love this trim too πŸ˜‰

  • Sheri Lewis
    Posted at 09:03h, 31 May Reply

    Excellent job of updating!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:36h, 01 June Reply

      Thank you, Sheri!

  • Tina Spear
    Posted at 09:13h, 31 May Reply

    Stunning! I have a few “oldies, but goodies” of my own to which I need to do the same thing.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:37h, 01 June Reply

      Thank you, Tina! It’s amazing how clothes can take on a new life with a simple alteration πŸ˜‰

  • Lisa C in Dallas
    Posted at 09:30h, 31 May Reply

    The trim just sent the dress over the top. Great idea!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:38h, 01 June Reply

      Many thanks, Lisa πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  • PsychicSewerKathleen
    Posted at 09:34h, 31 May Reply

    Love your refashion too! That linen looks gorgeous and the style is perfect for it. I’ve been experimenting with couching, a little embroidery and trim ideas myself and I really like how you kept the colour consistent on this simple dress.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:42h, 01 June Reply

      Thank you, Kathleen! Trim and embroidery almost always add the RTW touch to a garment for sure πŸ˜‰

  • Joy Campbell
    Posted at 09:46h, 31 May Reply

    Oh I really like the shorter version. I just shorten a white linen dress similar to yours and definitely like the shorter version more. Love the tassels 😊

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:42h, 01 June Reply

      Thank you, Joy! I’d love a white linen dress…………

  • Hearthrose
    Posted at 09:49h, 31 May Reply

    I love this refashion! You’ve brought the proportions entirely in line with your frame and given it a bit of fun. You look terrific!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:45h, 01 June Reply

      Thank you so much, Hearthrose! I look back at photos from years past and do not understand how or why I wore all of those long, long dresses and skirts…………….. You’re right the new length resulted in suitable proportions for my size πŸ™‚

  • Cheralee Stover
    Posted at 09:59h, 31 May Reply

    I love the Talbots of 2000-2008. I have some garments that I loved to death. This is such a classic dress and it turned out great. Well done!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:46h, 01 June Reply

      Thank you, Cheralee! What on earth happened to Talbots?

  • Kathleen-Marie
    Posted at 10:10h, 31 May Reply

    Really nice alteration. Fabulous look.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:46h, 01 June Reply

      Many thanks, Kathleen!

  • Cheryll Emanuel Kaczkowski
    Posted at 10:24h, 31 May Reply

    Your “save” is a good one! I have a rather large collection of Old Talbot that will need a re-fashion in the future. You inspire and remind us all that lurking in the dark recesses of our closet are new clothes, we just need to look for them!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:48h, 01 June Reply

      Thank you for your comment, Cheryll πŸ˜‰ It’s true ~ we need to shop from our closets more often πŸ˜‰

  • Sue Dood
    Posted at 11:30h, 31 May Reply

    Love the dress transformation! So versatile you may wear it to dressy or casual functions.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:48h, 01 June Reply

      Many thanks, Sue! I agree, this dress will go anywhere now πŸ˜‰

  • Dana Tougas
    Posted at 11:45h, 31 May Reply

    It’s interesting that the style lines of the dress still hold true but the hemline updates it. Great addition. I miss the old Talbots and wish I hadn’t discarded so many things in the past. They would be great for a refashioning now.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:49h, 01 June Reply

      It’s hard to hang on to out of style clothes taking up space and I’ve discarded many things too that I wish I had kept πŸ˜‰
      Many thanks for your comment, Dana.

  • Susan Child
    Posted at 11:48h, 31 May Reply

    Absolutely awesome – you and the dress refashion!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:50h, 01 June Reply

      Thank you, Susan!

  • Lori
    Posted at 14:08h, 31 May Reply

    What will you do with the extra black linen fabric? Something fabulous?

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:50h, 01 June Reply

      I don’t have a plan for the extra linen yet. Any suggestions?

      • Lori
        Posted at 11:35h, 01 June Reply

        Maybe trim on a denim jacket or skirt? I love denim and black together. I would wash the linen first so it’s soft and pliable. Let us know what you do with it.

  • T. Jensen
    Posted at 15:43h, 31 May Reply

    Very creative use of the tassel trim. The shorter length is perfect on you – well done! I do miss the “old” Talbots. Sadly, the quality is no longer there…

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:52h, 01 June Reply

      Thank you, T. Jensen πŸ™‚ I agree, the current Talbots clothes are sorely lacking in fit, style and quality……

  • Tomasa
    Posted at 15:45h, 31 May Reply

    Beautiful job refashioning this dress. You look gorgeous!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:52h, 01 June Reply

      Thank you so much, Tomasa!

  • G. Wyatt
    Posted at 19:52h, 31 May Reply

    I’ve been following your blog for a little while but never commented until now. This dress is MUCH better at the shorter length and with the subtle trim you added. You have great legs, so why not show them off with the shorter length. Lovely job and lovely dress.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:55h, 01 June Reply

      Many thanks for your comment G. Wyatt! I too think the dress is much better now. I would have otherwise NEVER worn it again. Not so sure about my legs being so great these days…….. πŸ˜‰

  • Loretta Somerville
    Posted at 21:13h, 31 May Reply

    I have a couple of long sheaths that I made many moons ago that I, too, would need no more than 10 pounds of weight loss to fit into again. I’m glad they are still in my closet, my goal is to be just like you when I grow up, refashion AND work on loosing those lbs! You look great, love your remake!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:56h, 01 June Reply

      Such a sweet comment, Loretta πŸ™‚ Amazing what losing 10 pounds can do – good luck!

  • Pat Leonardi
    Posted at 22:02h, 31 May Reply

    Very nice. You look great.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:56h, 01 June Reply

      Thank you, Pat!

  • Karen Helm
    Posted at 22:10h, 31 May Reply

    Very chic, both the refashion and you!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:57h, 01 June Reply

      So nice to hear from you, Karen! Many thanks for the comment πŸ˜‰

  • Mary Funt
    Posted at 08:23h, 01 June Reply

    Looks wonderful and the black trim totally makes it. Quality clothing made in good fabrics are always worth saving.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 10:01h, 01 June Reply

      Thank you, Mary – I so agree with you πŸ™‚

  • Toni Morse
    Posted at 08:28h, 01 June Reply

    Fantastic! Such a simple change for such stunning results!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 10:02h, 01 June Reply

      Thank you, Toni! If only it was always this easy πŸ˜‰

  • MonicaAD
    Posted at 10:39h, 01 June Reply

    I just adore the trim and the refashioned dress … FIESTA πŸ™‚

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 11:19h, 01 June Reply

      Yes – FIESTA!!!! Thank you πŸ™‚

  • Marcia Nichols
    Posted at 11:30h, 01 June Reply

    I never would have thought about adding the trim, but it’s absolutely perfect! Beautiful remake. I bought your book a few weeks ago & can’t wait to begin my tunic adventure. Thank you.

  • laura towe
    Posted at 12:10h, 01 June Reply

    I love this site. thank you so much . also thank you for telling me about teggy french .

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 12:41h, 01 June Reply

      Thank you, Laura! Isn’t Teggy French the best??????? I want everything she wears!

  • Julia Lemon
    Posted at 02:24h, 02 June Reply

    I am from Northern Ireland and used to working in the Head Office of the company which owned Moygashel Linen….. And your beautiful dress is probably made from that authentic fabric….. Unfortunately when a Talbots and other US companies started to buy their linen more cheaply from China (and hence unable to call it “Irish Linen”) like so many other textile companies in the UK we ended up closing (in 2001)…. Sad day. But you will not be surprised to hear that I STILL have a large stash of Moygashel linen in my cupboards ;). You look great in your refashioned dress!!

  • Julia Lemon
    Posted at 02:48h, 02 June Reply

    PS of course may I add that plenty of UK customers also took their business to the Far East where cheaper labour made fabric buying cheaper….. So no matter how great the authentic product was, once the orders from all these previous customers stopped coming in, sadly Moygashel Irish Linen was no more…… A common tale for so many other manufacturing sectors both in the UK and US…

  • AllisonC
    Posted at 08:16h, 02 June Reply

    Wow what a difference a foot makes! The dress looks great and I love the subtle trim. If you are wondering where those 10lbs may have gone I can help you out, do just let me know if you would like them back anytime!!

  • Sheila Moller
    Posted at 11:55h, 02 June Reply

    Love your remake. The hope of sewing clothes with quality fabric encouraged me to learn how to sew again. Your style and taste are really excellent and very approachable for me even though at 5’8″ I can’t wear some of the styles that look oh so cute on you. BTW congratulations on the improvement in your diet. I lost about 30 effortlessly by simply counting and lowering my carbs…..very little refined carbs and no hunger attacks. It’s a change I enjoy and hope many of your readers will give it a try. You don’t have to go down to 30 carbs…..just lowering the load will show results slowly and encourage continuing effort.

  • CarolinasCallin
    Posted at 02:26h, 08 June Reply

    Love what you’ve done! I had that dress in a beautiful green, but gave it away a couple years ago…rats! We’re in the same ‘predicament’ – able to fit into things from years back. Happy problem…but how to bring them into this ‘century’ is the issue! Thanks for providing a great solution! I’ll have to look over those old dresses with a fresher eye πŸ™‚

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:02h, 08 June Reply

      Hi Cheryl!
      So nice to hear from you πŸ™‚ I’m loving the new dress for sure and bet you can work wonders on some of your oldies but goodies!

  • Margo Bergman
    Posted at 19:31h, 09 June Reply

    Love the shorter length on you!!

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