Day 216. 149 days and $147 left to go.

Oh, this is a goodie today!!  Not sure if I really need to offer an introduction for this one…

Day 216 - Before

Day 216 - Before

I really have no words for this…I will just have to relay my questions to “Jennifer” whose name was found on the label inside, however why she tagged it at one point, I honestly have no idea.  I truly doubt anybody would mistake this dress for their own.

Anyway, not really into being a part of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus tonight and I have no time for clowning around. (Cue clown horn here!)

I’m going to start out by getting rid of this lace nonsense from the sleeves by chopping them in half.

Gotta go time!

Gotta go time!

I wanted a shorter piece, so I ended up cutting a good foot and a half off from the bottom of the dress…

Later length!

Later length!

…and got it looking a little like this.

Oh, we're almost there...

Oh, we're almost there...

You can’t tell, but the entire neckline is drawstringed.  I was thinking about changing this part, but got to thinking that it could actually work well for the piece with regard to tightening it up and not having to sew too much.

Before we get there, the rest of the lace accent needs to go.  (PS, drawstring is on the right!)  Grabbed my scissors and began to snip.

Beginning to chop off the lace neck

Beginning to chop off the lace neck

More snipping ensued and the lace was a goner!  I got out my sewing machine and hemmed the bottom of the dress and gave the sleeves a new seam.

Lace be gone!

Lace be gone!

Just tweaking the last details and wanting to give the dress a little bit of shape, I cut a strip off of the leftover fabric and tied around my waist.

Sash here I come!

Sash here I come!

I took the drawstrings and pulled them in tight and made a little bow.  The dress was ready for my family date night as we headed out to Malibu for a little art action at Madison Gallery.

Day 216 - After

Day 216 - After

Checking out artist Elijah Blue’s collection, we sipped on a little vino and enjoyed some classic people watching that included a gentleman who could have been a serial killer as he wore leather gloves all night (yes, it’s July) and Cher (!!) who was channeling her inner Bret Michaels this evening rocking a Thomas Wylde skull printed bandana in her hair with and a Chanel tweed jacket.

Thanks to my dad, you can see how drapey the back of my dress was through the glass, which I loved!

Rear Window

Rear Window with my mom and KDL

Ooh, and because I don’t give my amazing “before shots” photographer DL, who is also my rad brother, enough props I promised I’d include a close up in tonight’s post 🙂

Photog extraordinaire!

Photog extraordinaire with devilish charm and model looks who also likes walks on the beach...

Post-gallery action, we walked over to the newly opened Cafe Habana (like the one in NY!) for some awesome eats.  I literally can’t stop thinking about the ceviche and the face slapping grilled corn (with cotija, chili powder, and lime) and almost passed out from the cheese and chorizo fondue dip below.

Gooey goodness!

Gooey goodness!

Finishing up my margarita, who rolls in but these guys…

Chicago faves John Cusack & Chris Chelios

Chicago faves John Cusack & Chris Chelios

…John Cusack and Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup winner Chris Chelios both in Starter-esque jackets.  A fun little sighting as we were awaiting dessert.  Chelios didn’t roll in with his Stanley Cup bling, but he was representing the Blackhawks on his jacket.

But wait, there’s more.

Before I could take a bite of the most ridiculous flan I’ve ever tasted, I turned to my left and it’s these guys…

BFF's Sean Penn & Tim Robbins - courtesy of WireImage

BFF's Sean Penn & Tim Robbins - courtesy of WireImage

What?!?  Meeting up with the table of Chicagoans, these fellas didn’t bring their bling either, but had on suit jackets and looked rather similar to the above shot.  Nothing puffy for SP and TR tonight.

But wait, there’s still more.

Before the most A-list star sighting experience I’ve ever had comes to a close, the cherry is placed on top of this ridiculously delicious sundae.  I see him.

What's the most you've ever lost on a coin toss?

What's the most you've ever lost on a coin toss?

Really, Javier Bardem is part of this crew too?  No arm candy (Penelope Cruz) or little gold man for him either, just a night to hang with the dudes.

And yeah, he’s even dreamier in person.

I think the fam enjoyed their little night out – I’m just waiting for their Facebook updates tomorrow…

TGIF!  Happy 4th of July holiday weekend friends :)

78 responses to “Day 216. 149 days and $147 left to go.

  1. this one is absoutely amazing. love how it looks on you.
    the photographer bro is a cutie.
    always look forward to your posts.

  2. Everything looks good on you. U did great on this one. That was like a gigantic dress that could fit four of you. LOL! Just kidding! Good looking family too! 🙂

  3. My god almighty that was a monstrosity! lol! You did a damn good job of it!

    Daisy Dayz Home

  4. This dress is my new favourite. So pretty and feminine and holy moly, from that tent?!

  5. that before shot looks like mr potato head as a pita in ts 3! great dress & great post, i smiled all the way.

  6. bravo! I loves it! Although, honesty, i kinda liked the lace around the collar, I wish i could think of a way to make it work with the dress, maybe just trimmed it down a bit or somehow dyed it to match the dress? Ah well, it’s still gorgeous either way!

  7. Oh, Bardem… There is just something about him, no? Excellent job on today’s specimen. One of my favorites.

  8. Woah! I can’t believe you got something wearable (and actually nice!) out of that monstrosity! I’m in awe of your work.

    Also, crikey, do you usually hang out with the stars? And like REALLY famous ones too?!

  9. The initial dress looked like a train wreck and I couldn’t look away… good thing too– it turned out amazing!!

  10. When I saw the first picture I was thinking “no way in hell she could make something wearable out of that” but hey, you turned it into an awesome summer dress. Way to go!

  11. Do the people that you buy from ever just laugh at your choices? This dress had to be handmade with the label sewn in. I doubt you would have found it anywhere made by a company. Has anyone recognized their clothes on the before pictures? I would be embarrassed if I had actually bought or made one of your outfits. your site always starts my day with laughter.

    • I got this from a local pile sale where a lot of the pieces look pretty ridiculous. I’m sure I get some stares from other shoppers and they think that I’m out of my mind 🙂 Glad to help start your day off with a smile!!

  12. I think that what you did to that dress should be considered a miracle of biblical proportions. Looks awesome now!

  13. All of your transformations are great, but this one is INCREDIBLE! When I saw the “before” picture, I thought, what is she going to do with that monster of a dress? But you made it so cute! You are so talented and I’m learning to look at clothes in a whole new way thanks to your blog. Thanks!

  14. I think “Jennifer” wants her dress back now. This is am amazing transformation. Cute fabric

  15. Wow!!!! I would have never picked up this dress. But the way you transformed it is awesome. This is a great transformation. Super Job!!

  16. Bravo, lady! I laughed out loud when I saw the before pic of this tent, I mean dress. You knocked this one out of the park! I love it!

    So jealous of your multiple star sightings–the most I’ve ever seen at one time is two. Javier Bardem! I think I would have actually passed out–he is so yummy. Did you notice any of them scoping out your hot frock?

  17. One of your most amazing transformations to date.

  18. Love the dress! Any pics of Bardem, he’s freaking hot.

  19. Amazing job, Marisa!!!! And thank you for sharing pics of your family…your mother is as pretty as you…and your brother…what a cute guy…I like walks on the beach too ;-)!!!
    Greetings from the beautiful south of Spain!

  20. Amazing! The dress, your continued ability to astonish me with your transformations, and the celebrity spottings–all absolutely amazing.

    Have a happy Fourth!

  21. haha la sightings, so fun!
    The dress looks so great, and what a fun night!

  22. Your bro is as cute as your dress!

  23. oh, I love what you did with the dress!!

  24. OMG! You are a GENIUS! I saw the before shot and thought “No way this is going to be even in the ballpark of wearable!” But you did it!!!! I love the after! Way to go! Keep up the great work! (it inspired me to look into different sizes at our thriftstore, not just what I can refashion in my own size!) Thanks for that! 🙂 Big hugs!

  25. Your transformations are so fun and inspiring…I have made over many a thing but never clothing quite like this….but why not? I am all inspired to make a bit of my own signature fashion. Great job, I can’t wait to see what you do next!

  26. Wow!!!!

  27. I’ll trade you a whole dress and a postage paid envelope for this leftover fabric. I love that pattern. You did a beautiful upcycle!

  28. LOVE the dress! I’m always completely surprised by EVERYTHING you do! That dress was huge and now it looks like it was made for you! Truly inspiring…

    BTW…tell your brother I’m single 😉 Haha.

  29. Great reafashion! Loved how feminine it turned out and the back is fab. Bro is a cutie [x2].

  30. Amazing! Not only are your refashions fabulous, but you got to see all of those guys!
    Crrrazy…
    Keep on with the refashioning, I love it. I may take a cue from you and try next year…

  31. Wow, I think you have outdone yourself on the “before” photo. Amazing transformation to the “after”. Looking at it you would never guess its sordid past.

  32. This dress could sell your blog to the Oprah show. Good luck with that.

  33. This is one of my favorites! What a transformation!

  34. I think “Jennifer” might have unknowingly given you a lucky dress! Seriously, the transformation is awesome.

    First time commenting, but I love your blog. It makes my 365 project look like a cakewalk. Hat’s off to you!

  35. I have to chime in with everybody else… you worked a miracle with that dress. And your brother is gorgeous.

  36. Marisa, I spit out my wine when I saw the before pic! The outcome was nothing short of amazing. You rock…

  37. Sherala! I owe you a bottle of wine 🙂 Love that you love!

  38. I exclaimed…out loud…in my kitchen…by myself. W O A H! With a capital “wo”! That dress! So between, what you did with this, well, larger than life specimen and John MyLove Cusack, you are the big bomb tonight! I’m so jealous.

  39. I gotta say, I did not know how you could make this dress look decent, but you did! You are a pro – love reading your blog.

  40. ahhhh further proof we are twinsies – i am OBSESSED with cafe habana in nyc. i ate that corn like there was no tomorrow (seriously, had no other food that night!)

    p.s. your brother is a hottie. it had to be said.

    • OK, we both need to figure this visiting nonsense out 🙂 Still working on ACL…

      PS – My brother is loving these comments…he’s totally single too. Just need to find a lady in Cali 🙂

  41. this was brilliant! you are my hero.

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  43. well we’ll be in san fran in october if you can visit there!

  44. Incredible transformation – hideous to adorable! I am so impressed.

  45. Pingback: Q&A: 365 Days, 365 DIY Dresses, $365 - It's Your Money - TIME.com

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  47. Natalia Catlett

    okay, I just have to say this is impressive. A star studded evening all while wearing something that started out atrocious!

  48. Wow best dress yet!!! Id totally wear that. You should concider selling some of these 😉

  49. Go hawks!

  50. First time on the site, INSPIRING! I would be just like you if I knew how to sew. And blog. And take funny pictures. And write funny captions.

    JK, I do however haunt thrift stores, garage sales etc for great finds. I cut, hem, repair, and repurpose. I’ve been thinking about taking a sewing class, you’re just the push I needed. Thanks.

    Also not sure if you know or not but Cher is Elijah Blue’s mom.

  51. You inspire me!!! LOVE what you did. You have a gift in that you can see the pretty potential in these awful, discarded dresses.

  52. Holy crap. I can’t believe you made that dress cute! This is definitely one of the best, most drastic changes I’ve seen yet! I am in awe of your awesomeness!

  53. I have to admit, I was horrified by this one, it was bad on so many levels!
    It was as horrifying as a trapeze act, I was sure you wouldn’t survive the experience. But as usual you worked your magic! I was pretty sure you would nix the polka dots, but you are a very gutsy girl to keep them. the lace cuffs , could maybe be made into a vintage lace purse????

  54. Not going to lie – your brother is gorgeous

  55. So today at work I was bored once again and i thought back to how incredible you are and that i have not finished looking at each outfit. Obviously this one struck me b/c you made a Homer Simpson Mumu into a gorgeous ensemble! Unreal how talented you are!

    P.S. your bro is absolutely gorgeous…I’m 23 with big brown eyes and dimples and about 5 foot and tiny hehehe..walks on the beach are my fav!

  56. ajcrites@midrivers.com

    You are amazing! I’m trying to get inspired to do some remakes, but you’ve got the vision that I’m not sure I have. This dress is SO cute! And to think of what it came from – brrrr! Gives me the chills 🙂 Great job!

  57. I just recently found your blog (thanks to Yahoo) =) and so am only now catching up on your earlier posts…. so far, I have to say I think this might be the most astonishing transformation you have made yet!!! seriously you need a show on HGTV or TLC or something!!! I learned to sew as a girl, but gave it up over the years, you inspire me to take it up again!!!! LOVE your blog!!!! (its the only one I subscribe to)

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