Day 276. 89 days and $90 left to go.

Today was a bold and bright one!  I’m just warning you as this piece is literally fluorescent orange.  No joke. Fluorescent. Orange.  Ooh, and PS…it’s a muumuu too!!

Day 276 - Before

Day 276 - Before

Slightly blinding but exactly the wakeup call…this and my cup of Folgers 🙂

Holy Sleeves!

Holy Sleeves!

I grabbed my seam rippers and started undoing the seams right around the sleeves…

Clip the pits!

Clip the pits!

…until I got them completely off!!

No Mo!!

No Mo!!

I didn’t cut the length of the dress but just grabbed a braided belt, put it around my waist, ungathered it a bunch and had a new dress for my day!!

Day 276 - After

Day 276 - After

Went to grab a little Mexican with some friends and literally enjoyed a carne asada, chicken, and pulled pork trio for $3!!

Taco Tuesday!!

Taco Tuesday!!

Some tacos, margaritas, and fun company equals the best way to spend a pre-holiday weekend Tuesday night.  Now, this gal loves her some Taco Bell, however tonight’s dinner was cheaper than fast food!!

Margie time!!

Margie time!!

I mean, a mid-week margie?  Sign me up…Mexican food is the key to my heart.

72 responses to “Day 276. 89 days and $90 left to go.

  1. yoo hoo first comment!! Just found ur site 2 days ago and have been reading ur previous posts like hell….
    Enjoying ur lively and uplifting moods and dress sense.

  2. I love Taco Tuesdays!!! And, this bright number makes the perfect fiesta outfit!!!! Ole!!!

  3. Perfect dress for an evening of Mexican food and margaritas! I especially love how the neckline turned out after taking off the sleeves.

  4. Wierdly, I like the color. It looks like a sunny-climate piece. The neckline change was a definite improvement. I went and found a couple of pieces to try and alter – one you would love; it has embroidery in a nice way. I’m going to drag out my sewing machine and all my sewing books (especially sewing dummies [though in my case it should be even more dumbed down :)]) and give it a whirl. We don’t get $1 items at our thrift store, but wasn’t much. Once upon a time I started to teach myself to sew from books and actually finished a few pieces for my daughter – she was a baby then, so she didn’t mind a little imperfection in her play clothes. No one would see them anyway! 🙂 (She grew up to be quite the fashionista, so I wouldn’t try that now. lol) So, maybe it won’t be so bad – it should be fun no matter the outcome. Thanks for putting the fun into something that was once a necessity and just another chore.

  5. I ❤ the color! My car is a pumpkin spice color! Rock the orange girl! I can't wait for your fall/winter pieces! 😀

  6. Hey! I do not know if you got my mail, but i have posted about you and your incredible project. Here is the link :
    I hope you like it! I would be more than grateful if you would put my blog link somewhere on your blog page. Thanks, and be creative!

  7. This is cute! You definitely picked the perfect outfit to wear to mexican, and those prices are out of this world! I’m a little jealous, you’d never find a deal like that where I am. Are you planning on dying it later? I don’t mind the color, but I just wonder if it could even be done!

  8. Cute dress! And, it goes perfectly with Mexican food! Love what you did with this one.

  9. I saw you on Yahoo. How creative and fun! Love the after shots.

  10. I have to say, I like the color, the length and the neckline and I’ve been enjoying your posts every morning. It’s part of my morning routine at work. I don’t think the baggy tops on your dresses flatter you at all. I absolutely love it when you take them in and make them fitted. You’re small, like me, and baggy tops are a no-no. Of the most recent, I love Day 272! I also loved the jade green and cream dress and several others that I wanted to steal from you. You’re almost to the end and I love your dedication and motivation! I would love to raid your closet.

  11. Wow that is very bright! I like it though…it’s like its so bright, it works!

    You’ve inspired me to recycle my entire wardrobe. I lost 60lbs and my clothes don’t fit me anymore…until now! I’m having a great time recycling all my old stuff to make it fit properly and jazz it up a bit in the process.

    • Congrats on the weight loss. You must have worked so hard. Good luck transforming your wardrobe!!!

    • Congrats Jenny! I’ve lost 70 myself and I wish I’d thought to recycle a few of my old favorites before donating all of them. (Oh well, hopefully someone who needed them got them!) Best of luck with your wardrobe! 🙂

    • Awesome job, Jenny!! You should be very proud of yourself.

  12. I enjoy your blog…been reading over a month now. I have no sewing/altering abilities but often finding myself wishing you just went one step further! You do an amazing job, not trying to offend if this doesn’t sound so polite in type. I love your alterations of necklines but often feel you leave items a bit too loose still. Wondering if it’s really hard to take items in or if you just prefer more loose fitting clothing. I don’t think these dresses should be skin tight but slightly more figure flattering at times. Any explanation as to why items are left baggy around the middle? Just a curious question from an ignorant but interested follower. 🙂

    • I think if you are trying to do one project every day, and get them done, you have to make some choices. For anything more than ripping, trimming and belting, this work is time consuming, what with measuring, fitting, making darts etc. Speaking as someone who sews, Jenny is a genius for quick and fun makeovers.

  13. my unhealthy obsession with Orange continues….

  14. I love it! Love the colour, love the simplicity of what you’ve done with it. Transformed again!!

  15. Why is it that all your photos have a red eye?

  16. I cannot recall the link that brought me to your blog; but I have spent the past three weeks reading backward to read every post! AMAZING! You are definitely a Muumuu Magician 😉

    Not so much a sewing gal, I have cheered each victory and will be sad when the year of $1 deals is done :-\ I love the idea that this adventure may become a book (sign me UP!) — and have shared the link with several fiber loving friends! Always curious as to what you will do next…

    Thanks for changing the way I look at clothes!
    – p

  17. I don’t usually like orange but I love that. 🙂 I think that could have also gone tunic with jeans. 🙂 Another brilliant maneuver, M!


  18. I love how the neckline turned out, and what a quick and easy transformation. Good job lovely lady!

  19. In my opinion, this is so much nicer than the blue and white piece. It might work as a shirt, too. I see some vision behind this piece that even I could get into. I hope Taco tuesday was a blast, it looks delish.

  20. I love it. But I have one suggestion. Please take up the shoulder seams about an inch. I belive this will eliminate the armhole gapping and make the fit much more flattering.

  21. Tex-Mex food is the key to my heart as well 🙂 Great new dress! Such a fun bright color – and perfect for grabbing Mexican and margies!!

  22. Ok, I love the neckline but not one of my favorite pieces. I am not an orange fan and I think the bottom is a bit too bunchy. The top is the only flattering part. However, I agree that Taco Tues. requires fun and color so I won’t knock it too hard 🙂

  23. What a fun transformation. You’re the best! Love your blog! Love YOU!!!

  24. Loving the colours and the neckline.

  25. It looks good in the small picture, but when you click to make it bigger, I see you did not stich the material where you cut it. That does not look very finished. Do you wear the dress to take a picture and then change, because it looks all jagged and your bra shows.

  26. Love the transformation of this piece, seeing the before picture I wasn’t sure you could do much to improve it!
    However, seeing the pic of the tacos, really made me homesick, there is not much mexican food here in Italy.

  27. Love the color!!! I actually am a fan of orange. No, I dont’ wear it much but I love it. My BFF is always finding things for me in orange. I also love what you did with it. If you don’t mind I would like to share this blog with a weight loss group that I am with, not saying the name due to this isn’t my blog. I like the idea of what the early comment said about altering ones wardrobe when one has lost weight. Do you mind?

  28. The perfect dress for your Mexican outing! The orange really looks flattering on you! I love love LOVE those shoes you wore as well! I just started a blog today because I was so inspired by what you are doing. I don’t expect to be nearly as popular as you, but I hope to learn a few things along the way. I’m doing something similar to your blog, but with accessories. It’s if you or anyone would like to check it out.

  29. I hate to be a negative nelly, cuz I like your idea and you seem really cool….buuuuut….

    I notice that when I zoom in on your “finished” peices, I can see just how UNfinished they really are. Like with this one, all you did was hack off the sleeves…you didn’t even sew the edges under. It’s fraying all over the place, and it’s rather clumsily SAFETY PINNED to your bra!

    Is that why the pics you post on your blog are so small? So people can’t see this stuff?

    I know, it’s tough making something new every single day…but if something is worth doing, it’s worth doing right. Once again, I like your idea, I’m just kinda bummed at the execution. :/

    • Sometimes I’ve got more time than others! I wasn’t able to stitch this piece so I just made it work with the pins 🙂 Not trying to hide anything from anybody!

      • I understand your time constraints. I think very few of us would be able to pull this off, day in and day out. But you have certainly inspired me. I went to several thrift stores on payday and came home with several really great pieces. That was probably my first visit to such an establishment in over 20 years. I put together a great business casual ensemble for under $10, (jacket, shirt and pants) just a minor seam fix and hemming required. Since I’m not trying to create a new outfit every day, I have time to make sure I’ve got everything properly finished. I never would have done this if it weren’t for you. Thank you so much for opening my eyes. It is so much fun to go searching for a diamond in the rough.

    • Um.. If Marisa was trying to hide flaws in her pieces would you be able to enlarge the pictures AND zoom in on them to nitpick?

      Everyone is entitled to their opinion but really? Please think about what you are saying before posting (and, oh yeah, spell check doesn’t hurt either).

      Keep up the great work Marisa!

  30. I love most of the stuff you altered but this one is a little weird. Why dint you took out some of the wide, specially in the chest? It makes a weird form around there, like you have colosals boobs or something hiding in the chest?! XD

  31. Cute, but I wish you had sewn the armholes under. :/


  33. i looooooooove the transformed mumu!!!! good job!!!

  34. OMG seriously love your blog!
    Your so creative;)
    Some dresses I saw, I was like How can that look fashionable?
    And still yet you made it to a wonderfull piece;)


  35. The neckline is fantastic, and the punchy orange is indeed “perfect for taco tuesday” as a previous commenter has said. As always, I’m inspired by your work. Keep it up!

  36. i love your blog. i wanna be an awesome blogger just like you.

  37. What a great idea! A friend referred me to your site the other day, and I’m hooked. I recently wrote an article on developing a sustainable fashion ethic on my blog at, and you’ve got a great one for sure!

  38. I wonder why the negative commenter made a big deal out of your edges being unfinished. You make one of these every day, and don’t necessarily have time to finish everything to perfection. there are probably pieces here that you won’t ever even want to wear again. But it’s a fun idea, and a great blog documenting your efforts. I’ve been reading a few weeks, but this is my first comment.

  39. another well done! keep up the great job!! =)

  40. I gave my sewing machine to my mom years ago because sewing machines hate me. However, I’ve been so inspired by your blog that I asked for it back (my mom was so happy- lol) and today I went shopping for my first pieces to alter. Woohoo! Looking forward to it! Love today’s dress, btw!

  41. Marisa, I’ve been following your blog for a while and look forward every day to what amazing creation you’ll come up with. I do find myself getting a little irritated with all the negative comments. But I suppose that comes with the territory when you’re doing something people are paying attention to. I think you’re fabulous! And am having Mexican food tonight in YOUR honor!! Ole, amiga!!

  42. I luv color so this is a keeper for me! I enjoy reading ur blog everyday….ur awesome!

  43. Pingback: Top Posts —

  44. Christie Anderson

    Amazing! You are starting a whole new movement out there. Pretty soon there will be runway shows with dresses like these. In fact, you should have your own collection of dresses rescued and redone!!

  45. Berna Lee Beaton

    I just thought I would let you know how much I enjoy reading your blog!! I think you are brilliant and have been telling all of my Canadian girlfriends to check it out!!

  46. my best friend introduced me to your blog a few days ago and I’ve read every post so far! this is SO much fun. I’ve been hacking some old pieces I have in my closet and never wore. Now I have two new belts and a new-looking sweater without spending a penny. I love it.

  47. p.s. I made myself tacos for lunch after seeing that picture.

  48. Wow, I love the transformation!

  49. I didn’t like that dress, it looks likes a rush job.

  50. you are a sewing ninja.

  51. Oh My GOSH..I love the whole thing…the dress, the shoes!

  52. Oh My Gosh! I love the whole thing… The dress, the shoes, the smile! first comment ever but I’ve followed daily since I found you 2 weeks ago!

  53. GIIIIRRRL you better work!!! that dress is so fab. I’ve been reading your column since I discovered you via the yahoo!! lol you are just so fabulous! I wish I could do something half that good! If you ever run a contest again I soooo want to win something from your faboo closet!! 🙂 Life’s a runway girl so work it!

    “soap and water can wash out the dirt, but ain’t nothing can wash off the sparkle that God gave you.” – RuPaul

  54. Cute. Negative people can suck it. I think you’re genius.


  55. Marissa, your work is amazing! I have discovered your blog recently (I think a little article was either on yahoo or msn web page), and I absolutely love what you do:) you’re so talented. Lots of love from Russia:)

  56. Hi, I found out about your blog after I read the article in Yahoo. I’ve been following it ever since all the way from Esfahan (Iran). Can’t wait to see what you’ll come up with next!!

  57. Was wondering if you would glow in the dark in that one, lol! And I WANT some of those tacos, they look divine, lol!!
    I was reading an Atlanta Journal Constitution article the other day that said women are returning to sewing as a craft, not because it saves money to sew, because these days it does not. But you found a way to be crafty, thrifty, funny and inspiring! You make my day!!

  58. Love it! The more I read your blog, the more I want to buy a sewing machine!! BUT I could use pointers such as when you cut the length of a dress how do you get the bottom seam to be even?

  59. Marissa–I found your website via the Yahoo article and just ate it up. You truly are FAB-O! I enjoy my trips to our local Salvation Army to get some great deals…wish we had the thrift places that give the deals like you do but nonetheless, the thrill of the hunt and possibilities is always exciting. I was thinking the other night how truly dedicated you are to this. I can’t imagine working every day and still coming out with a creative transformation for us to enjoy and give us inspiration as well. I am sure you must have days where you just want to skip the sewing machine and take a longer nap!

    I had never read the comments to the dresses until today. I’m bed-ridden today and can’t do much so even though I’ve been through all the great transformations, I’m going back through and thought I’d take a look at some comments.

    This is to the commenters: Really, even at 40 I guess I’m naive…because I’m surprised at the amount of negative comments on the “it’s unfinished looking” comments or “do it right if you’re going to do it”. Seriously people? Have you actually given thorough thought to what Marissa is doing daily? Every day (yes, holidays, too). Without fail (headache, bad day, work issues, etc). Transforming and reporting it to the web for the world to see and welcoming your comments–quite graciously might I add. Have you ever committed to doing something every day and then actually followed through with it? Ever hear of a New Years Resolution? How many of us keep those? Let alone, announce and commit to blog said commitments to the world.

    Marissa–you are a truly a gracious hostess…and a great inspiration for me to get off my butt and get those creative thoughts I had in my head into motion! Thanks!

  60. hi i am 11 yrs. old this is so inspiring that u don’t to sell ur clothes to be a good designer and that it is just simple thing u can to to make an ugly dress to a super pretty dress

  61. absolutely inspiring! love it!

  62. I have followed your blog for a few weeks. I think you have a great immagination and your work here has been inspirational. I do feel that finishing up the work is a good idea t keep from discouraging those tetering on the brink of sewing or not sewing. ( Some people think home sewn always looks homemade or unfinished.) I do not like every outfit you have made but what does that matter????????? you are still providing an inspiration and I am sure that there are days you wish this was over. Keep up the good work. I hope my 9 yearold DGD finds inspiration in your blog. She started sewing in March. Her time spent at the machine is limited because I am the only sewer she knows and we are only together a few days a year. I think I will take her thrift store shopping when she is with me in 2 weeks.

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