inspiration in the unexpected

Hello lovelies!

We hope you had an amazing weekend and are ready to hit the ground running this Monday! I’m ready to dive in myself and need your opinion on something.

So I have this dress…

Don’t all great conundrums start this way?

But seriously. I have this dress. Jcrew Outlet. Circa 2009ish. It’s a great little number in imagination land. It’s perfect with a cardigan and belt, red heels and a cute bracelet, or even rolled up a little at the top with a pair of skinny jeans. It’s a great little dress. I’ve hardly worn it. But I’ve always been a bit of a chicken when it comes to clothes. Jamin says I have fashion angst issues. I know. I’m weird.

This dress is a great dress. I would even model it for you, but I was feeling lazy and figured that might come across as a little self important. I’m all, “check out my dress, yo!” Not to mention, Jamin totally scored a few boxes of girl scout cookies yesterday, and so I just wasn’t in the mood to don said dress.

Give me a month. No judging.


But it would also look fabulous on my… sofa.


Hold up. Wait. Save your angry mob torches.

No dresses were harmed in the making of this photo.

I was just giving it a test drive.


I talk big, but when it comes to taking a pair of scissors to that great fun springy dress, I’m just not sure I can do it. And then I see it on the pillow.

You see, I’m torn.


Am I the only one who sees things this way? A table runner as a valance… A table cloth for bedding (coming to you soon from my overeagerbeaver imagination)… and alas, my dress conundrum. You just never know when inspiration will strike.

A friend of mine walked into Jamin’s office the other day and I told her to freeze. I was taking notes on her epic wearage of yellow stripes and grey and cream and denim. I wanted to turn it into a room.

I actually told a guy friend recently that I really liked his shirt. I then told him I wanted to turn it into a big quilt. It would have made the perfect blanket. He was all, “Thanks… so I’m wearing a quilt?”

“It’s a manly quilt,” I reassured him. At least I didn’t tell him I wanted to turn it into a dress for Emerson. Because that would have been even cuter.

What can I say? My friends are used to it.


For now, you have no idea how tempted I am to leave that dress wrapped around the pillow in the middle of the sofa. And people can come over for dinner and I’ll be all, “Oh, don’t mind this pillow. I just wrapped my dress around it.”

Like the totally normal person that I am.

Fast forward and I’m on Regretsy for my latest human hair American map tassel pillow collection.

That escalated quickly.

What? They totally make those.

So, what say you? Do you eat, breathe and sleep interiors like me? Sometimes I wake up from a happy dream where I’m decorating and I’m bummed because I wanted to see what was going to happen. Other people dream about Justin Bieber sing along concerts and visiting Willy Wonka’s factory or having hair like Barbie. I dream of decorating.


So should I slice that puppy up and give it a ‘better’ life? Or should I give it at least one more season? I could make at least two pillows out of said fabric fabulousness.

And more importantly, have you ever been there, done that, and regretted it?

Have an inspired day, everyone!

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Responses to inspiration in the unexpected

  1. rebecca says:

    That is a super cute dress. I would leave it as a dress and look for some similar fabric. Or try to buy another on ebay. Then you could match your sofa.

  2. Brooke says:

    I think you have to wear it -somewhere- first, decide if you were comfortable enough and loved it enough to be certain you’ll wear it many more times. If not—I say make that sucker into a pillow. I love it on your sofa! No sense in something hanging unused in a closet —I have a few of those, too. Actually, I should make some pillows today.

  3. Candice says:

    I have totally done that. It was even a similar balck and cream stripy/zebraesche/totally cool fabric! I had this dress that made me feel so feminine when I was at my fattest weight. It was light and airy and beauitufl but I lost weight. ALot of weight and it was like a tent on me. I thought about cutting it down but the moment had past. But I loved it so much I held on to it and figured I’d find someway to use the fabric and I did! It bacome the fabric cover on a vision/bulletin/all the things I love barod above my desk in my office/creation room. I love it! I even kept the gathers and tiers when I wrapped it on the board. It’s beautiful! The pictures aren’t very good quality…

  4. Jessica N says:

    That is a BEAUTIFUL dress, and while I think it looks lovely as a pillow on your sofa, I think you need to wear it, girl! Maybe try & find a simliar fabric at your local Hobby Lobby/JoAnn’s/local fabric store?

  5. Renae says:

    I see navy ikat in your future. Leave the dress…you’ll die if you ever have a reason to wear it and instead it’s sitting on your sofa!! :) Alternatively see if you can make it more form fitting and use the excess for the pillow. That could totally work!!

  6. Nicole says:

    Pillow it! It’s lonely in your closet and would much rather be snuggled on by your kiddos…

  7. As much as I love it as a pillow (the pattern is awesome), I love it as a dress too. Unless you have a ton of really cute spring/summer dresses, I would keep it as a dress…or you could just put it in the mail and send it to me. That would work too (I’m just saying! 😉

  8. Janna says:

    Personally I wouldn’t dismember the dress, unless you’re certain you’ll never wear it. I bet you could find a similar fabric–this one is close (although it mixes in a few other colors in the background–not sure how you would feel about that?)

  9. Noo! That dress is sooo beautiful! I know you don’t wear it much but don’t cut it! Maybe a Forever 21 dress but not J Crew! But I totally understand if you do cut it…my vote is just no! :)

  10. Oh, I totally picked up Anthro “Napkins” to turn into pillows. And.. they are resting on pillows right now waiting for their makeover… but, when it comes to clothes… I’m like you. Will I regret it?? I can’t part with items I haven’t worn since 1999 (okay, exaggeration much). I say do it… but then again… hmm… ya go for it!! :)

  11. Jennysue says:

    Could you use what you needed for the pillow and then make a mini version of the dress for Emerson with the leftovers? Or a skirt for yourself? I know everyone is saying to keep the dress, but with Simplicity in mind- if you haven’t worn it and you’ve had it that long- then it is time to let it go.

  12. Ann H. says:

    I am doing this more and more… to reinvent items around the house. I recently turned dust ruffles into pillow cases, we never use them as I loath picking up the mattress every week… and they never do fit quite right.. so ended up being a pile in the bottom of the closet… It was really scary to cut into them… but I haven’t regretted it all… for your dress.. it is very cute.. but when was the last time you wore it? If it has been more than two years time for a snip snip and reinvent it… you might get some extra material out of it to make mini dresses for a doll.. or pieces for your next quilt…

    Happy cuttin!!

  13. Barb Lewis says:

    I really like it as a pillow……and as a dress. Why not look around for a fabric similar to get for the pillow, or is that too easy a suggestion. Good luck with your decision, I’d have the same dilemma.

  14. Wear it one more season! It’s adorable. Then….absolutely on the pillow! Yay!

  15. I say pillow. All the way.

  16. Summer says:

    Go for it girl! You will enjoy it everyday instead of it hanging sad in you closet. And YES, I am totally with you on the deco dreams, daydreams what have you. :)

  17. lindsey says:

    I say…YES make it in to the pillow! YOU LOVE the print of the dress…but dont LOVE the DRESS…so if you made it in to a pillow…then you would LOVE THE PRINT…and LOVE THE PILLOW!!!

  18. Kathy Fletcher says:

    go for it- love the pillow on your couch….i think you could get more than one out of that dress……

  19. Kyla says:

    I think that both options are equally adorable. However, spring is less than three weeks away so I would wait and see if you still feel the same way about it once the weather warms up. I bet you and your fantastic-fabric-finding skills could discover something similar, or you could use spoonflower! :)

  20. Kim atREINVENTED says:

    OMG, I swear, before scrolling down, I said to myself, “self, that fabric would make a gorgeous pillow.” :). Go for it! I washed, cut up, and made a flower from a wool sweater once. Then I sewed it to a pillow.

    This all sounds totally normal to me, but then I dream about interiors too.

  21. Rochelle says:

    I like it as a pillow! The dark contrast gives the eye a place to rest amongst the busy-ness (in a good way) of the photos above.

  22. Jen says:

    if you dont wear the dress a lot, i say go for it. it really does make a fabulous pillow!

  23. It doesn’t matter how cute the dress is, if it doesn’t work with your life now. Not who you used to be or who you might be on the right occasion at some undetermined day in the future.

    I used a bridesmaid dress to cover a chair. Yes, it was that much fabric (think poufy 1980s). Whenever anyone remarked on my beautiful chair, I always said that it used to be a bridesmaid’s dress. Of course, I was never going to wear that dress again.

  24. Megan says:

    Don’t do it!!!! Dresses should live to be worn for a whole long life! I’m sure if you searched hard enough you could find similar fabric at a store to put around your pillow. It’s a great dress and should stay that way!

  25. Susan says:

    I think if you never wear the dress but love it go for making a few pillows. You could always recreate the top portion of the dress into something else to wear (peplum top, or halter under a sweater or denim jacket?) I think the whole idea is great upcycling!!!

  26. Sallie says:

    NO, NO, NO, It is too adorable to cut up- Look for material that is similar ! We know you would look smashing in that dress!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  27. I think you should get a sitter, go on a hot date and rock that dress girl! I bet you could find the same dress online for cheap-ish and make pillows guilt free :)

  28. Ellen says:

    I think while you are young and cute you should wear the dress and look good in it. The sofa will still look good too. You are only young once.

  29. Barbara Karabas says:

    No regrets! (That is, unless we’re talking about cutting a Barbie doll’s hair. That answer is ALWAYS no.) It’s a dress with no sentimental value — so either give it to someone who would adore and wear it on a memorable first date, schedule today a picnic or party with occasion to give the dress one last go, or upcycle into a stylish pillow that you’ll enjoy every day!

  30. Patti Palilla says:

    Keep the dress! It’s adorable and how often do we come across a great find like that? LOVING it! You’ll find comporable fabric somewhere else. :)

  31. Stacy says:

    I love your couch, don’t get me wrong, but the dress is way too pretty & classic to hack into a pillowcase. Own that fabulous dress girl!

  32. Tennille Mykula says:

    Ok, have you lost your mind?! That dress is gorgeous! Although it makes an absolutely lovely pillow you just can’t cut it up. Step away from the scissors!!! Try wearing it with a cropped coral cardigan buttoned and belted with a skinny caramel brown leather belt, maybe woven and a super cute pair of ballet flats in an emerald green or something or on a super fun day, cowboy boots. Surf the web for similar fabric or head to your local thrift store on the hunt for a garment that won’t give you heart palpatations when you attack it with scissors. You can buy a yard of fabric for MUCH less than the price to replace that dress. On a positive note, I’ve told more than one friend that their outfit would make a lovely color scheme for a kids room. I think I even found inspiration in how one lady arranged her fruit platter at bible study last week. It’s all around us. Don’t feel silly, I see decor everywhere too. Now, go put on that dress and prance around like you’re getting paid to wear it.

  33. Heather says:

    Don’t cut the pretty dress! Your an artist, just design something similar on!

  34. Paula says:

    Oh my goodness I’ve totally done the same! I had a green top that never really fit me properly but I bought because the color was so bright and called out to me. I had it wrapped around my pillow for a while until I ended up framing it and using it as a backdrop to display my great grandmother’s handmade doily.
    Also, at Christmas time I had put all white decorations on my tree. But once I did I wondered if I should also add some red on there. So I decided to test it out by putting red things on the tree. Among the items were a red bra and my boyfriend’s deodorant, lol. It really did help to see what red would look like!
    So I’m glad I’m not the only one!

  35. Lindsay says:

    Ok, please, please, please tell me about your sofa! I am in love! Where did you get it? Is it linen?? I need one just like it!

  36. I can totally relate to this. I love it in fact- your room never feels fat. The pillow will always fit. It’s not having self esteem issues. I say go for it if you don’t wear it that often. And then go out and buy another dress 😡

    I even made a mood board for a room with inspiration from an outfit [as a mini-series I hope to pick up again] so no – you aren’t weird! Just creative ;]

    And I can totally picture your man quilt. Love it.

  37. Suzie P. says:

    Wear the dress and lounge ever-so-nonchalantly on the couch a great deal… 😉

  38. Judy H. says:

    I’d leave than pillow wrapped up in the dress. It looks great!! When you want to wear the dress, just unwrap it. I love multi-use products!

  39. Anna says:

    Totally turn it into a pillow! I love cutting apart clothes to make them into house stuff. Let’s be honest with ourselves here, we get more happiness out of a great throw pillow and fabric in our homes than we do out of a great dress. I’m just sayin :)

  40. melissa says:

    I totally dream of decorating. Ya know those moods where you get ridiculously giddy because you want to decorate and you have become inspired and that is all you can think about. That is pretty much a 24/7 feeling for me.

    I actually laughed when I saw you wrapped it around your pillow. Not in a mean way but in a “wow she is creative and that all looks really good together” kind of way.

  41. Sharon says:

    I’ve done it but with clothes/whatever I find at Goodwill! I’ve found so many fantastic fabrics that way and when you only pay $1 or so for them….the sky is the limit! Never had any regrets! Now ….if it was a dress I paid good money for….I might think a few more seconds on it…but if I would USE it more than I would WEAR it….go for it!

  42. I am hitting the point in my life where I am starting to “know” myself. For instance, I never wear jewelry. Well, let me qualify that, besides my wedding rings and my diamond necklace my husband gave me, I never wear jewelry. I never change it up no matter how cute it looks on someone else or what I see on pinterest. I never wear it. So I recently gave away all my jewelry to VERY appreciative friends and reduce my sentimental and family collection from a large jewelry box to a small one.

    Know yourself.

    Cut that dress up and make a pillow. You will love it more. xo

  43. Given that you won’t let us see you in it for a month because you have girl-scout-cookie-induced-body-issues, makes me think you’re not totally comfortable in it to begin with–even as cute as your outfit sounds. If you’re going to love the dress and dream of cute outfits, but never actually wear them all spring and summer, I say go ahead and cut with abandon. Pillows unite! Wait. What? Viva la Pillows!

  44. Rochelle says:

    Gorgeous dress and gorgeous pillow! How often do you wear the dress? If all the time then I’d hold off making pillow, but if you don’t wear that often then go for the pillow. I love the pattern. I dream of organizing. All the time. Love to read blogs, books, magazines. I even snoop around friends and families homes just to see how they organize (or lack of). Too bad my house didn’t reflect my love for organizing as like you, I can get paralyzed at organizing because I want it to be perfect and don’t want to second guess myself.

  45. Krista says:

    LOVE it! I totally eat, breathe, and sleep decorating too. obsessed. I even made pillows out of my husband’s sweater this past winter. You are hilarious. No issues at all, seriously. You’re as normal as normal needs to be, I think! Krista

  46. angie says:

    I totally have a banana republic dress revamped into a pillow cover! I was about to toss it in the donate pile since I wore it maybe once a season when i thought, “Such great fabric. Sigh. I’ll miss it.” That was my lightbulb moment. I now have a lovely pillow on my couch inviting me to sit and take a load off. LOVE. I say, make that dress a pillow!

  47. Rebecca says:

    IF you don’t wear it as a dress, it isn’t really getting any use in your closet. Cut that baby up! At least as pillows it will be getting used! Who knows, maybe you will have enough material to use elsewhere as well!

  48. Sheri DeMate says:

    You know I would have laid that pretty dress on my scanner and printed it on fabric! Yes, I am as obsessed as you! Love your blog.

  49. Michelle says:

    You could cut off the bottom hemming it around low waist length and still wear it. It would look great with a pair of white pants or a white skirt and your red heals. You can have your top and pillow too! But maybe don’t wear it while having company or it could look awkward when you sat on the couch.