Last spring, when I was 8 months pregnant, I went through my closet and ruthlessly edited out clothing that I had, cough, outgrown before I became pregnant and that I figured was never going to fit me after my eighth baby was born. Before I took it all off to be donated, I offered it to a couple of people, including my daughter.

She picked a skirt that I had bought at the thrift store for $6–a beautiful a-line linen skirt that was always too small for me but that I had high hopes would fit me at some point in between the births of my other children. It still had the thrift store tag on it.

It was a size too big for her, so she took it in.

Thrift Store Skirt Refashion The Prudent Homemaker

Then she realized what it needed to be even better was to be a knee-length skirt, rather than a mid-calf length skirt. She cut the skirt down and rehemmed it, and it was instantly more flattering.

Thrift Store Skirt to Cloche The Prudent Homemaker

Not long after that, she found a great free vintage cloche pattern that she loved. There was just enough fabric in the part she had cut off to make herself a matching cloche. (This is the same pattern I used to make her a warm cloche for Christmas that you can see here.)

She lined the cloche with some lining I already had, and a grosgrain ribbon I had leftover from another project.

Thrift The Prudent Homemaker

I’ve been losing weight and the skirt is close to fitting me now, but I’ve been told I can’t have it back. And that’s okay. She looks lovely.

Thrift Store Skirt and Cloche The Prudent Homemaker

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  1. Your daughter is absolutely lovely and have been enjoying her refashions. This is a beautiful vintage look. I am always on the hunt for beautiful fabrics to refashion when I go to the Goodwill. My most recent “refashion” was taking apart a women’s jacket that had been done in lovely embroidered velvet and brocade. I made a one of a kind Christams tree skirt with it. I also have taken apart a beautifully embroidered skirt and intend to cover a stool with it. It’s fun recycling fabric.

  2. Your daughter has such a timelessly beautiful face. She’s perfect for all kinds of vintage styles, this looks natural on her, as did her pioneer clothes from the summer!

  3. She is just lovely.
    I wanted to fold the front of her cloche up just a bit in front (I have seen this done with those hats) so I can see her beautiful eyes.
    You are teaching her well.

  4. That is one lovely skirt and looks amazing on Winter! I agree it looks perfect with the knee length. Bonus that she could make a cute matching hat, too. Your daughter is becoming quite the fashionista! I’m really enjoying these posts…thanks for sharing.

  5. Your daughter has a natural glow that hints at beauty — both inside and out. She looks modest, feminine, and classy.

    I love both of her refashions! I need lessons.

  6. it is wonderful to see your daughter making her own clothes and being frugal. She is being a great example to others of her generation. You and your Hubby have taught her well.

    Blessing to you and yours

  7. Very nice job!! I’m very impressed with her seamstress abilities! There’s definitely money to be made doing that! My late Grandmother was quite the seamstress herself and she made extra money hemming pants, fixing shirts/blouses for several teachers at my school! The local seamstress here charges $8/pair to hem pants. When we had her hem my son’s pants, she charged us more than what we actually paid for the pants. 😮

  8. She looks beautiful and I am completely impressed, but if you get to the point that you can wear that after eight babies, she should let you! 🙂

  9. I am very curious to ask if your other daughters show interest in seeing as much as Winter does? If so, what projects are they working on. It is super fun to watch how quickly your babies are growing xx

  10. She has an amazing sense of style and a real talent for making over a piece of clothing. I love the hat. It makes her look so pretty. I wish there were ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures of the skirt. Amazing…..
    She is a beautiful young woman.

  11. Not yet, but I hope they will!

    I know I started sewing more when I was 13, and Winter started at around the same age. Perhaps in a few years, the girls will have lots of sewing going on!

    My eldest son likes to sew, but not clothing. He is working on a quilt. I am not a quilter! He is learning as he goes and I am offering advice where I can. He also enjoys embroidery.

  12. My niece altered a skirt in much the same way not long ago. It does make a difference when they raise that hem a little. I love the hat. It is such a cute hat, and looks great on her.

  13. I would like to know how she did her hair for her skirt remake pictures. It looks so cute and very wearable for today. Beautiful job on the skirt too by the way.

  14. She has so much talent! I love that she has such a sense of style. I also love that your eldest son enjoys sewing and embroidery! I agree with the other commenter that your daughter is a timeless beauty. The pic of her profile reminds me of a cameo. You and your family are such an inspiration to me! -Alyssa

  15. Haha! She’s a tad bit shorter than I am so it will probably be just a little too short for me.

    If she hadn’t taken it in I would be very close to fitting in it now 🙂

    I’ll just have to keep an eye out for another one. I had a bunch of a-line plaid skirts, but they were all heavier weight fabrics, and it was always too hot for them (before I outgrew them!). Then I found this one and not only loved it more, but loved that it was linen and great for summer. Still, there was something not quite right about it (the length!). I think a-line skirts are pretty but sometimes tend to be too narrow for walking when they’re mid-calf length. Plus, they’re not real flattering on my short figure (in my opinion). If I find another one I’ll keep it and shorten it to fit me 🙂

    The trouble soon when garage sale shopping is going to be whether I keep something or give it to her. We both generally like the same style. At this point, though, she has a good closet full of clothing, while I am soon to be in need of a complete new wardrobe! So that should make things easier 😀

  16. Between the ‘$1 Dress’ post and this one, I am left saying “Wow”. Such talent. Seeing her outfits inspire me. The outfits including the cloche hat are so flattering and beautiful.

  17. I was thinking this very thing! She’s a natural! I love her outfit and that she thought to make a smart hat to go with it. I wore smart little outfits in college, but they cost me (or, my parents more accurately) about $150 for the same thing….in the early 1980’s. And sadly, my mom was a gifted seamstress. She could make anything, but she never taught me. When I was growing up, she often made us matching outfits for Easter or other events.

    I look forward to more of Winter’s Fashion Show! Please share!

  18. My daughters began sewing just as they were starting high school and were so ruthless about cutting and reworking clothes that they bought at the thrift store- much braver than me!!! But their reasoning was that if they only paid 50 cents or even a dollar for a piece of clothing that if their idea didn’t work out it wasn’t as big a loss as if they had purchased it in a department store new!

    I was amazed at how good they became at alterations and design changes! Their school friends actually would hire them to do the same things to their clothes and as adults they have always had “side jobs” doing alterations for others!!

    A very profitable skill to have!!

  19. What a beautiful, industrious young woman!
    So, when are you going to write a blog post about losing weight while still maintaining a frugal grocery bill? That’s not always easy to do!

  20. She does look beautiful. My granddaughter was so much fun at that age! I wish we could have slowed down time a little at that point. She is nearly 25 now, and not so interested in spending as much time with Grandma as she was then. So many other things to do. She also has a good eye for style and interior decorating, we’ve learned, so I think she will do fine, although thrift is coming late to her. It IS coming, however.

    Winter has done a great job with her clothes, and you can see that she will love wearing them.

  21. I love the photos! Classic and timeless-especially Winter on the bicycle. It looks like something from Call the Midwife

  22. I am so impressed with Winter’s skill in making herself lovely and feminine in a cost effective way. Both the winter dance dress and accessories, hair make-up and this outfit are absolutely wonderful. She has a flair for fashion already and is proof that modest and lovely do indeed go hand in hand.

  23. Your daughter is beautiful.What a wonderful skill to learn to sew. I taught my daughter, but she has 2 little ones and doesn’t want to now. I have saved so much money sewing for me and my family. I made my own wedding dress, when we were completely broke. I cut a red velveteen robe up into large pieces of fabric. I made a christmas stocking. I will make a throw pillow for my son. I always keep boy or girl burpcloths on hand. I use new or gently used babyblankets or flannel to make burp cloths. I took off buttons of an old sweater. It had 5 large buttons. They are so expensive at the store now. I also took a pair of jeans in at the waist. God bless you and your family.

  24. There is a blog I saw several years ago called NEW DRESS A DAY and she remakes thrift store and attic finds on it. My girls look at it and the youngest said it is still going. Most of the clothes styles would not work for us but they like the innovation. Winter could do a teen version.

    I hope there will be more Winter episodes in production.

    My middle girl that knits a lot has visited thrift stores and rummage sales for yarns and for knitted garments that she either restyled, takes apart for the yarn or felts and then makes items from the felted knit.

  25. Couldn’t have said it better! Modest, feminine, classy. And very very fashionable when fashion wasn’t trendy but skilled artistry.

  26. Beautiful young lady that has so much talent! I love the feminity of her outfit!
    I have a question how do you eat for so cheaply a day and still lose weight? Do you count calories or carbs?
    My family is on a very tight budget right now due to trying to pay off debt. It seems eating from my pantry has caused me to gain an extra 20lbs this year. I would love to be able to lose those 20 plus a few more while eating from our pantry. Can you offer any advice? Thanks so much for such inspiring post!
    Joy (TN)

  27. Sweet! Your daughter is a delight. She reminds me of my granddaughter who makes her own patterns and clothing. Right now she is without a sewing machine but altered a skirt by hand. I love resourceful ladies!

  28. I’m counting calories.

    If you look at what I’m eating this month (see the January Eating from the Pantry post at he beginning of the month) you’ll get a good idea of what I’m having. Lots of soups are on the menu 🙂

    It’s hard to not gain weight while eating from the pantry, if you end up eating lots of carbs. Hopefully you have a number of vegetables, fruits, meats, nuts, and beans in your storage.

  29. Another wonderful post! I love the timeless style and beauty. I agree with everyone else’s comments as well. Thank you both for sharing your beautiful style and talents!

  30. She looks so lovely and what a great job she’s done! I love that she is dressed appropriately and not overly made up. It truly lets her beauty shine.

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