Mining For Gold

January 31, 2016


What goes around comes around.  In this instance, the silk duster and the jeans.


Add an upcycled sweater creation that appeared here in one of the first Dross posts, and then again in Altered Couture magazine here.  What I love is that I never get tired of these pieces.


The silk duster started out as a wrap dress that was too small for me.


I added panels of fabric thrifted from silk dressing gowns in the front and back.


After recently cutting off the sleeves of a long coat I’ve had for years, I was able to add the final layer.


The arm warmers or “armlets” were an afterthought, but they always add a nice touch.


The coffee was pretty good too.

I’ve got a million ideas running through my mind these days.  Where is Dross into Gold headed?  Should I focus on the actual pieces I’ve upcycled and the “how to” aspect?  Or is it the attitude of turning “nothing” (i.e.thrifted gems) into something, and showing styling ideas??  Perhaps all of it.

Input is always welcome!!  I’ve made a few new pieces that I’m excited to show in the next post.  Styling them is a joy, and I plan on sharing a few variations.  Let me know if you want more specific how-to pictures as I upcycle more things in the future.

See you soon!!!  XXOO

Details:  Silk duster, cashmere cowl poncho and armlets-upcycled from thrifted materials.  Boyfriend jeans(H&M) and old coat (Ann Taylor)-altered by me. Belt-thrifted.  Boots-recent splurge in Portland.  T-shirt-on sale at Gap. Copper necklace- hand-me-down from my mom.

Clicking on the pictures once, and then again, will give you all the details you could possibly want…maybe even more.  Haha.



22 Responses to Mining For Gold

  1. Shelley on February 1, 2016 at 10:51 am

    This is a quintessential “Dross into Gold” oufit!! I love seeing what you do with sweaters, etc. and it makes me want to dip my toe into some upcycling but realistically, I know I will continue to appreciate the creativity of people like you who do it, and not do it myself 😉

    • Jean on February 1, 2016 at 4:18 pm

      One reason I upcycle is because I’m a lazy sewer. It’s easier if the garment is already partially constructed, like the duster was. You’ve made me so happy with the phrase “quintessential Dross into Gold outfit”. I always feel like I’m all over the place, but I guess there really might be a “thing” about it. :-) Thank you Shelley!!!

  2. Melanie on February 1, 2016 at 2:57 pm

    Holy moly, that silk duster and all the things you’ve added to this outfit are stunning. I would love to see you walk, I mean stride, I mean glide, in this. You are like bottled energy for me today. THANK YOU! Your transformative powers are uplifting.

    • Jean on February 1, 2016 at 4:20 pm

      Can you see us striding/gliding, talking the whole time? A vision to cherish and to make come true. :-)

  3. Linda Davis on February 1, 2016 at 3:25 pm

    WOW!!! You never cease to amaze me.I have gotten so many ideas from you. My problem with layering is that I am only 5’1.I would love to know how to make the better than infinity scarf Have a marvelous week!!

    • Jean on February 1, 2016 at 4:27 pm

      I’ll do my best to include tutorial shots for the scarf in my next post! Thanks for the suggestion. Yeah, layering can be tricky. I usually think in terms of where I want the eye to go. Since I don’t have a waist I try to skip past that! Also, since I’m thicker through the torso, arm warmers and boots add balance to my extremities. It’s about balance and scale, I think. Isn’t it fascinating? I love it. XXOO

  4. Suzanne on February 1, 2016 at 6:53 pm

    This duster is wonderful! Your creativity knows no bounds.


    • Jean on February 4, 2016 at 9:38 pm

      Awww, thank you! I appreciate the compliment. XO

  5. Rosalind jana on February 3, 2016 at 3:41 am

    SOOOO good to see your lit-up-from-the-inside smile and inimitable styling. For me, I love your “I took this bit of ‘nothing’ and hey, look at the SOMETHING I created and styled” focus. That and your writing – especially your reflections on family/life/experience. There’s a lot of ‘Jean wisdom’ in your writing.

    • Jean on February 4, 2016 at 9:47 pm

      Blogging has been a wonderful way to muse about life as it happens, and writing was new for me. This format enabled me to find a voice and to discover the immense pleasure (and occasionally the immense catharsis) that writing provides. I also appreciate the fact that when life doesn’t spur me to great philosophical depths, the clothes can carry the show. :-) So glad you enjoy stopping by. I’m a huge fan of all you do too. XXOO

  6. pao on February 3, 2016 at 10:58 am

    A goddess flows by us. My oh my, Jean your layers are like mining gold. Each more dazzling then the next. I am a simple one-layer woman (maybe two) before you.

    • Jean on February 4, 2016 at 9:51 pm

      Wow, I’m floating on air! I haven’t been likened to a goddess recently and it feels pretty good. :-) And really, as interesting as your clothes are, you don’t need layers!! The term “gilding the lily” comes to mind. Your lily is already perfect. XXOO

  7. Connie* on February 3, 2016 at 6:21 pm

    That silk duster!!!Oh my. I just fainted a little bit. So beautiful. I love it with jeans.

    • Jean on February 4, 2016 at 10:07 pm

      I love these jeans!!! I can get all dressed (totally overdressed), swap out the skirt for these jeans, and suddenly it’s just right. At least in my mind, for my life. Plus they’re comfortable year round. Putting them with the duster was serendipitous, the first time I tried it. I should’ve known! XXOO

  8. Vix on February 4, 2016 at 11:36 am

    That duster coat is absolutely glorious, my knees are going weak over the print and colours. Thank goodness you were able to rework an ill-fitting dress into something totally you! You are magic. xxx

    • Jean on February 4, 2016 at 10:09 pm

      Oh sweetie, thank you! Good to hear from you. As the Queen of Colorful Clothes, your compliment is much appreciated. :-) I’ll be by to see your pics. i always enjoy hearing about your adventures. XXOO

  9. Curtise on February 7, 2016 at 2:46 pm

    Your inimitable style and reworking skills are showcased beautifully here, Jean. The silk duster coat is a glorious piece. and your trademark layering makes the whole outfit just totally you. And that’s wonderful! xxx

    • Jean on February 9, 2016 at 11:14 am

      A lovely compliment, thank you so much!! Trying to get back in the groove, and it feels good. XXOO

  10. The Style Crone on February 11, 2016 at 10:00 am

    I can see that you’re into the flow!!! So very exciting and thrilling to watch you come alive. Your layers are spectacular and I love the energy that’s displayed in your photos! Brava!

    • Jean on February 11, 2016 at 11:14 am

      Yes, committed to making it happen again. The biggest thing is not letting any little glitches exhaust me. My reserves are replenished somewhat, so I’m excited to move ahead. Thank you for always “being there”. Your energy is contagious. XO

  11. Liz on May 14, 2016 at 1:51 pm

    This is such a great blog!

    I would love to know the “how to” as your silk jacket is amazing. Do you use patterns or do you drape over a dress for and make it all up as you go?

    It’s just so great!

    • Jean on May 18, 2016 at 12:02 pm

      I never use patterns these days, although I’ve been thinking of revisiting that. Typically what I do is take an existing piece that I like for some reason, whether is the fabric, sleeves etc. and try to build on that. In the case of the duster, it was already a wrap-around dress but it was too small, too short, etc. I had collected a number of thrifted silk bathrobes and used those for panels of fabric to compliment the ones in the dress.

      Sometimes I’ll cut off the top of straight stretchy dress, use the bottom portion for a skirt and sew on a different skirt bottom as a flounce. Another simple upcycle is to switch sleeves on jackets and tops. So yes, to answer your question, I pretty much make it up as I go. Sometimes figuring it all out takes the most time. So glad you’re enjoying it all!!

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