183 In Life/ Sewing


Good Tuesday morning!

I’ve had about 3 sips of coffee, slept longer than I wanted too, need to shower and need get the girls to preschool sooner than later which means this will be short.

A few weeks ago I spotted Emerson’s Seersucker & Brass Dress online & loved it… even pinned it on Pinterest. The stripes, the buttons, the pockets… just a wonderful combination. But there was one slight problem… $218 + shipping. Not exactly a budget-friendly dress, not exactly a purchase that I could justify in any way, shape or form.

Then I found this one online… at Walmart.com by my long-standing favorite Walmart designer, Norma Kamali. It was $18 when I bought it {with $.97 shipping} a little more justifiable. I bought it in the color “Mattress Tick” and when it arrived, I loved it. The color of the ticking stripe is very nondescript, kind of grayish black. I’ve spoken highly in the past of Norma Kamali and her clothing {and swimwear} line at Walmart. I have a skirt by her that it is the softest cotton I’ve ever felt… I’d put money on it being pima… and I’d put money on this dress being pima cotton too, if it’s not, it sure feels like it.

Ok, so I loved everything about it… the pockets, the fit, the color, the feel but there was one thing that needed a little switch-er-oo in my opinion. The buttons…


… they left much to be desire and most certainly made it very average… very $18.

So I hopped on the trusty internet and bought some brass buttons {like Emersons} from Benno’s Buttons in Dallas, TX.


I sat outside with my scissors & thread while the kids played and sewed 7 new buttons to my $18 dress and it took me about 5 minutes to realize it was going to be a good thing.


And when I was all finished up…


And then on Friday the kids and I went to the lake for the day with friends. I sprayed sunscreen on my face & hair, came home, looking very sweaty and nasty and decided it would be a good idea to take a picture of myself in my renovated dress, which is why I am simply a headless woman in these photographs. Justin called in the middle of this, asking if I could order some Mexican food for dinner and made the comment that I seemed a little distracted. I didn’t have the heart to explain that I was posing in front of the mirror photographing myself while Eufaby {our beloved dog} looked on in complete confusion. So for the sake of taking a really good bargain and making it look better here are pictures of me in the dress all finished up…



I think I may even like it better than Emerson’s because it is cleavage free and I don’t feel like I need a cardigan to wear it in public. 🙂

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  • Katie
    March 22, 2011 at 8:43 am

    Slowly but surely you are making me a fan of Wally world! That is insane cute and changing the buttons really opens up the possibilities of target and walmart clothing!

  • kat
    March 22, 2011 at 8:46 am

    You’re a girl after my own heart! Way to save the extra cash and make something average into something spectacular (and exactly what you wanted!). It looks super cute:)

  • Kimberly
    March 22, 2011 at 8:52 am

    CUTE!!!!!!! You are so creative. Love it!

  • Lauryn
    March 22, 2011 at 8:53 am

    Oh my goodness. You are TOO cute. I love that dress, and the price tag!!

  • Elizabeth
    March 22, 2011 at 8:53 am

    I actually like yours better than Emersonmade! Cute!

  • Jess
    March 22, 2011 at 8:53 am

    WOW! I LOVE IT! what an amazing find. thanks for sharing your thrifty finds with us 🙂 is the dress true to size? run big/small???

  • Emily Langston
    March 22, 2011 at 8:56 am

    That is just adorable!
    Could even be an Easter dress!

  • Ashley
    March 22, 2011 at 8:57 am

    The button quick-change makes such an impact! The dress is very flattering on you, Darby!

  • cat from CIC
    March 22, 2011 at 8:58 am

    so cute! I can’t believe that came from Walmart! You always find the best stuff there…i’m guessing it’s an “online” thing. 🙂 Great idea about the buttons and it looks great on you.

  • OurSoundHome
    March 22, 2011 at 9:00 am

    Oh my goodness! I just love it, thank you for sharing!

  • SarahKL @ the Ooey Gooey Daily News
    March 22, 2011 at 9:01 am

    This is FABULOUS!!! I am in LOVE! Great job!!!

  • lizziefitz
    March 22, 2011 at 9:02 am

    Ho does the sizing run with this line? LOVE LOVE LOVE the dress with the new buttons!

  • Rebecca
    March 22, 2011 at 9:04 am

    what a great idea…looks fabulous with the brass buttons!

  • Whitney
    March 22, 2011 at 9:06 am

    Great job! And I thought I was thrifty!

  • Melinda
    March 22, 2011 at 9:09 am

    Yours looks much cuter with the collar and the pleats. Great job!! My grandson loves the honeybee tee by the way and so do I!!! Thanks.

  • Ms. Bright
    March 22, 2011 at 9:12 am

    adorable. I like your version better, too!

  • Christine
    March 22, 2011 at 9:14 am

    Love it. It really made the dress 100% better with the new buttons!

  • Theresa
    March 22, 2011 at 9:15 am

    Walmart dress is way cuter than more expensive dress! I love Wally world! I don’t care what anybody says about it.

  • Kari
    March 22, 2011 at 9:16 am

    I love this dress! I also love the renovation that went on with your dress! You are SO cute! I hope that I’m still a cutie-pa-tootie and stylish when I become a mom! 🙂

  • Katie
    March 22, 2011 at 9:20 am

    You’re so creative! I love it! You make me want to learn to sew…yes, that’s right, I’m 29 and I cannot sew on a button! 🙂

  • Jenn
    March 22, 2011 at 9:28 am

    Darby-LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!!!

  • Nelle
    March 22, 2011 at 9:30 am

    You are seriously such a rock star!

  • Beth
    March 22, 2011 at 9:33 am

    it’s great! already sold out in size S at Wal-mart. You are so creative.

  • Kelly
    March 22, 2011 at 9:37 am

    I’m thinking there is about to be a rush on those dresses at WalMart and I better order mine asap! I never would have thought to change out the buttons- what difference that made~ adorable!

  • Jennifer
    March 22, 2011 at 9:39 am

    I have that dress in black and love it! I never thought of changing the buttons but think I might give it a try. Thanks for the great idea!

  • paige
    March 22, 2011 at 9:39 am

    good lord if you’re not the cutest thing ever.i love your loyal passion to walmart. you rock

  • Callie
    March 22, 2011 at 9:41 am

    so cute! the button change makes a big difference!

  • Beth
    March 22, 2011 at 9:42 am

    Darby, this is just another example of what I love about you and your blog! You are resourceful, unpretentious, and so creative. What a great find. Have a fabulous week 🙂 Beth

  • Shera O
    March 22, 2011 at 9:46 am

    That is so funny…I bought the same dress in a lighter gray stripe last year (for maybe $5) and it was my most complemented dress of the summer. The lines of the dress flatter so much. I love what you did with the buttons!

  • Arielle
    March 22, 2011 at 9:47 am

    Looks fantastic!! You are quite the trend setter- I went to click on it online and right as I did it came up as out of stock. Great find!

  • Desiree
    March 22, 2011 at 9:56 am

    SO cute!! I love it! Thanks for the inspiration 🙂

  • Abby Maddox
    March 22, 2011 at 9:58 am

    You and your dress are absolutely fabulous. I want to do it too, but now that you’ve posted it on the world wide web I’m afraid that everyone in Dothan would say, “Oh! You’re wearing Darby’s dress!” But maybe I could pull it off here in Seattle…maybe. I’m going to order it now. Can we be twinsies sometime?

  • Abby Maddox
    March 22, 2011 at 10:01 am

    Already sold out. I’m devastated

  • Amy
    March 22, 2011 at 10:05 am

    That is crazy awesome!!! Thanks for sharing this, and I like the $18 version better too. You go girl!

  • Jill Cribb
    March 22, 2011 at 10:11 am

    I love it! Beautiful! May have to copy that for Easter, but looks like it maybe sold out!

  • A Denihan
    March 22, 2011 at 10:14 am

    Wow! Much better than the Emerson one. The tie waist really makes yours look so classic. Great find! And perfect update with the buttons! Thanks so much for sharing. My favorite piece of last season was my Norma Kamali “sleeping bag” vest. It is the most cozy vest ever while still being stylish. Yeah for Walmart!!

  • Alli
    March 22, 2011 at 10:16 am

    very very cute!! I love the end result– it definitely needed your touch!


  • Abby Maddox
    March 22, 2011 at 10:18 am

    I bought it in black…and the buttons. I hope you consider imitation the highest form of flattery 🙂 They did stick it to you on the shipping for the buttons huh? $5 for a few lil buttons. SEE YOU SOON!!!!

  • Snekcip
    March 22, 2011 at 10:20 am


  • Jill
    March 22, 2011 at 10:24 am

    So lovely! The Emerson one is very pretty but yours looks so classic and sweet. The buttons are a gorgeous addition!

  • Katie Pilcher
    March 22, 2011 at 10:27 am

    love love love!!

  • Beth
    March 22, 2011 at 10:36 am


  • Melise
    March 22, 2011 at 10:43 am

    Crap! Now I HAVE to go buy that adorable dress! 🙂 Great job on the buttons! Thanks for sharing you’re resoursefulness!

  • Megan
    March 22, 2011 at 10:53 am

    Yes, I like that MUCH better than the $218 version! You are awesome.

  • Jenna
    March 22, 2011 at 11:08 am

    WOW!!!! And of course – I want it! Bad! And of course, they don’t have anymore…::sniff, sniff:: I did order it in black. I’m so excited! You rock! Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Kelly
    March 22, 2011 at 11:14 am

    OMG i love it to pieces! You did an amazing job!

  • kelly
    March 22, 2011 at 11:15 am

    i just bought it in black…love it wished the ticking one wasn’t already sold out. I will be checking back at walmart!!

  • Dianne
    March 22, 2011 at 11:23 am

    You look fabulous! Of course, you would look good wearing a burlap sack. Some people are just like that. 🙂

  • Lesley
    March 22, 2011 at 11:25 am

    Yup, I just LOVE it. Makes me want to buy that adorable dress too.

  • Denise
    March 22, 2011 at 11:32 am

    LOVE the dress!!! It looks so good on you!

  • rachel ruelas
    March 22, 2011 at 11:34 am

    I’m SO IMPRESSED!!!!!!!!!

  • cara
    March 22, 2011 at 11:35 am

    what a great idea! i need to start shopping with a more creative eye!

  • Liz @ a happy haven
    March 22, 2011 at 11:51 am

    Adorable!! Love the DIY brass buttons. They are my favorite thing to pick up at antique stores because they can always spruce up an outfit!

  • Shawna
    March 22, 2011 at 11:56 am

    Supa Cute!!!! I would not have thought to change the buttons! What a smart girl you are 😉

    Q: does it fit true to size?…just in case I might like to order one *wink wink*

  • stephanie
    March 22, 2011 at 11:57 am

    I bet $100 Walmart sells out of this dress because of this post:) I CANNOT believe it’s warm enough down there to go to the lake! crazy!

  • Kendall Boggs
    March 22, 2011 at 11:57 am

    Bet Walmart is wondering why the heck they’re selling outta that dress! It looks adorable and lovely on you!

  • Shannon
    March 22, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    That turned out so well! How very thrifty and stylish of you!

  • Annelise
    March 22, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    I am really impressed with this! It really highlights the importance of choosing great notions in addition to fabric and style!

  • Lindsey
    March 22, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    maybe i’ll get it in brown and then you, me and abby can be triplets this weekend:) {if we can find sitters!}. so very creative and resourceful and lovable. and i love that you take pictures of yourself.

  • Kate
    March 22, 2011 at 12:37 pm


  • Meredith
    March 22, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    Love it! So cute!

  • kristin
    March 22, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    adorable and I think with the sleeves & collar your version is more versatile. you could wear this to church or a wedding……not just a picnic!

  • Kim
    March 22, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    Love the dress, especially with the cute button switcheroo….so much so, that I clicked over to the Walmart website immediately to order one for myself. Aaarrrrghhhh….the only sizes left are the S and M – neither of which are my size! Doggone it.

  • kathleen
    March 22, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    Hello Darby. Have you heard of the unclaimed baggage center in Scotsborough AL? check out their website! when in that area check out Catherdral Caverns state park. An incredible spot to visit in your fair state. I had to mention it– the baggage center, because your cute dress reminded be of the fashionable outfits on display, pulled together by the talented staff there.

  • Kristee
    March 22, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    Seriously, I hope you didn’t order take-out and instead when on a hot date in that new snazzy dress. Love it!

  • Sally
    March 22, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    This is ADORABLE. I actually like it better than the original. Well done.

  • Jill
    March 22, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    I love it!! I agree with you in that I think it’s better than the Emerson dress! 🙂

  • Stephanie
    March 22, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    Wow! I ordered the dress a few weeks ago and love it!~ I swear it looks like something from Anthropologie!! I love a bargain!!

  • Beth
    March 22, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    Well done! Very cute!

  • Jessica
    March 22, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    I LOVE it! Seriously never would have thought to switch out the buttons, but it made a HUGE difference…makes your dress look like it could have been the one that was $200+! They’re all out of it in the size small already, of course…. 🙁

  • danielle
    March 22, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    I love it!!! What a great idea!

  • meaghan
    March 22, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    i mean, you just keep getting more adorable 🙂 that’s sick it’s so adorable. AND actually affordable…what a great idea! thanks for even mentioning the bit about modesty too. THANK YOU! xoxo

  • Jenny
    March 22, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    What a great dress! Really pretty, and the buttons totally “make” the dress! Love it!

  • Cait @ Hernando House
    March 22, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    So cute! I need that dress!

  • Kathy
    March 22, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    You are a genius…and totally adorable! Love the buttons.

  • Jenna
    March 22, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    LOLOLOLOL!!! I just got a phone call from the button place to confirm the number I wanted (they had something funky going on with their printer). And the guy (who was super-nice) asked if I was with some kind of organization that was doing something with these buttons because they have had SO many orders come in for them this morning/afternoon! Of course, I explained. He commented that the blog must be really popular. 🙂 Toooo funny! Way to go, Darby!!!!

  • Cait @ Hernando House
    March 22, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    That is too funny, Jenna!

  • emily mancini
    March 22, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    a trip to Walmart may be in my future! Love it. I bought a navy ticking dress similar to yours from Walmart a few years ago and it was on sale for something crazy like 4 bucks! I think it may be the same designer!

  • Jordin
    March 22, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    Wow that is so cute!! I love Emerson Made also but too pricey for me as well. I always forget to look online at Walmart. I will add to my rotation!

  • Katy
    March 22, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    Love this dress, even took a trip to Walmart on my lunch hour to pick one up!

  • erika
    March 22, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    SO CUTE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I LOVE IT!!!!!!

  • Susan
    March 22, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    You are so creative and the dress is darling!

  • Beth
    March 22, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    Ok, whoever bet the money is right! I just tried to buy one and they are out of stock! They need to give you some kind of PR job at Walmart! Too cute- thanks for the inspiration!

  • Melody Peters
    March 22, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    The dress is darling…and I was pleasantly surprised to see your super cute dishmat tutorial featured in the latest newsletter from The Quilt Show that was in my inbox this morning ~ I’ve had your tutorial for it bookmarked to make for some time and saw them profiling a dishmat, and when I clicked on the link, it brought up YOUR tutorial! Fun stuff!!

  • Niki
    March 22, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    Very nice!

  • Lori
    March 22, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    I love this dress! And I love the price even more! And I love what you did with it even more than that! What a difference it makes. I think I’ll have to copy.

  • kayce hughes
    March 22, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    YOu are killing me. I just tried to get it on line and it is sold out and sold out in town!

  • becky
    March 22, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    Wow! So clever! Love your creativity on all types of projects!

  • Jennifer
    March 22, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    Very very cute. Especially with your buttons. It’s no wonder it is sold out in my size!

  • mary katharine
    March 22, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    I saw this dress a couple of weeks ago while I was in the checkout line. I thought of you and wondered if you’d be scooping it up:). I love her things, too, but unless she starts making children’s sizes, I unfortunately won’t be able to purchase her things.
    Hooray for you!!

  • Elizabeth
    March 22, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    SO CUTE! Amazing what a little imagination can do!

  • Sarah's Fab Day
    March 22, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    Ok seriously, you’re adorable. That’s all.

  • Kelly
    March 22, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    LOVE IT!! Wal-Mart is already sold out!!

  • Karen
    March 22, 2011 at 8:21 pm

    I have never EVER posted a comment on any blog but decided it was time! You should know I think your dress is MUCH CUTER and PERFECTLY UNDERSTATED in the best kind way! GREAT WORK 🙂

  • Amanda
    March 22, 2011 at 8:38 pm

    So adorable. i love it- and for such a fantastic price. Walmart needs to thank you. And since they’re already sold out online- probably because of this post- I’m going to rush to my nearest store. Thanks!

  • meredith
    March 22, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    I just totally stalked the Walmart stores and found the sweetest girl who is “hiding” one for me in the Womens Fitting room until my hubby can swing by after work and get it from her. You are AMAZING. I love your effortless style and your unassuming fabulousness! 🙂 You made my day.

  • Jen
    March 22, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    I always look at the clothes in my closet and wonder if some of them would look cuter with different buttons – particularly gold ones…

    You have just inspired me!

  • Amy Brewer
    March 22, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    Lucky for me the local Wal-Mart still had these in stock on the rack and in my size! WOOHOO!!! If anyone is in/around Murfreesboro, TN the Rutherford Blvd. location still had a few.
    Great idea Darby. Super cute dress!

  • Bec Reid
    March 22, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    Lovin this dress!!! Wish we had Walmart in Australia or I wish they would send purchases internationally to us. I love the look with the swapped buttons. Total win.

  • Kelley
    March 22, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    Ridiculously cute. But I’m pretty sure you’d look cute in just about anything.

    You know, I bought a silver lame dress, circa 1960-bell sleeves, a titch too short, really groovy and spacey, the whole bit-, at a thrift store in January for $10, swapped out the boring buttons for some fancy ones, put my hair up on top of my head and put on the eyeliner reeeeaaaal thick and headed out to a black tie affair looking like I’d just stepped out of my mother’s trousseau. It was perfect. The buttons really did the trick!

  • Adventures of A Pastors Wife
    March 22, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    P.S. If someone wants to put their hand up and help a sister out with posting it abroad, give me a yell! 🙂

  • Konie
    March 22, 2011 at 10:37 pm

    Darby!!!! This is toooooooooooooo funny and I LOVE the dress!!! Of course it looks cute on your cute figure!!! It reminds me of a shirt I have……I LOVE WHITE SHIRTS!!!! I took the plain old buttons off a shirt and put PEARL ( fake I’m sure!!!) buttons on. Abby probably didn’t recognize this but it’s the white shirt that hung in her laundry room until she brought it with her to Dothan a few weeks ago:)Darby….I think I’m going to MEET YOU within the week……The Clark family knows….I CAN’T WAIT!!!!:)))))

  • Michelle
    March 22, 2011 at 10:42 pm

    LOVE it and LOVE your blog…just made a trip to Walmart! 🙂

  • Tiffany from HOLIDAY
    March 22, 2011 at 10:53 pm

    that turned out darling! one of my fav tops is from walmart (from miley cyrus’s line – agh – can’t believe I admitted that!).

  • Michele
    March 22, 2011 at 10:55 pm

    Cute! Cute! Cute!

  • Amy Olsaver
    March 22, 2011 at 10:59 pm

    Love it! walmart.com….here I come!

  • Jen @ Rambling Renovators
    March 22, 2011 at 11:04 pm

    Love it Darby! Such a simple and pretty change.

  • Lis
    March 23, 2011 at 1:33 am

    Oh it’s darling – I love the facelift you gave it! If I wasn’t nearly 20 weeks pregnant, I’d go buy one for myself, lol!

  • emily
    March 23, 2011 at 1:35 am

    Such a perfect spring dress. I’m heading to Houston for the weekend and need a little dress … I’ll be heading to Walmart to copy you.

  • Tracey
    March 23, 2011 at 6:39 am

    So cute! What a great idea. Thanks for sharing!

  • Maris
    March 23, 2011 at 6:40 am

    I love the dress, and it is so cute on you. I can see cute sandals with this. I went to Wallmart today and found one shirt by that designer and went on the website but they were sold out in my size and fabric. I’ll keep trying. Changing buttons is a great idea. I have done that before on jackets, and it really changing the entire appearance.
    I will need to make more peppermint patties soon. I have 3 grown children and a son in law and they go straight for the freezer when they come in the door to get a pattie. I have made the recent cookie dough and got a round grill grid at Wallmart to use when I pour the icing. Keep the ideas coming. MM

  • Suzanne
    March 23, 2011 at 7:48 am

    I love your blog and check it everyday. After I read your post, I went straight to Walmart and got the dress (in black). : )

  • Melanie Marsh
    March 23, 2011 at 8:10 am

    I LOVE IT! You created a masterpiece!
    I am always a fan of the dub-ya, as I call it.
    I had a friend whose family owned a Piggly Wiggly grocery store and when Wal-Mart moved the the neighboring town, they lost business and HATED Wal-Mart and would only reluctantly call it The “W”. I thought it was so funny, I have been calling it the dub-ya for YEARS!

  • Caroline @ Between Your Ears
    March 23, 2011 at 8:20 am

    How resourceful! I love the Mod Dress in Black from Emersonmade, but like you, just can’t justify buying a simple black dress for over $200 right now. Emerson’s designs are simple but perfect.

  • Kate from Party Resources
    March 23, 2011 at 8:47 am

    Fabulous! What a difference a simple change can make. Genius!

  • Rachel
    March 23, 2011 at 9:19 am

    What a smart idea – it looks fabulous! I’m bummed to see the dress is now almost sold out online…

  • Amanda @ The Fix-Its
    March 23, 2011 at 9:50 am

    What an adorable quick fix! I’m SO impressed!!!

  • crissy armstrong
    March 23, 2011 at 9:50 am

    oh my gosh! what a great conversion. love it!

    can you tell me about the flag art on your wall? i have looked at a few online and that one is so cool. i’d love to see more of it! thanks!

  • Lindsay
    March 23, 2011 at 10:01 am

    Darby, do everyone a favor and keep posting any tremendous, adorable finds you have. I think you could single-handedly get this economy back on track. (I am almost embarrassed to admit I DID purchase this dress at our local store last night…)

  • Stacey
    March 23, 2011 at 10:10 am

    Yet another reason why I’m such a fan!

  • Cyndi
    March 23, 2011 at 11:21 am

    Darby, I LOVE your blog! After reading your most recent post . . . I ran to Wal-Mart after work and purchased the dress. Thank for sharing and keep up the good work. We all love a bargin!

  • Jane McKay
    March 23, 2011 at 11:29 am

    Hey, Darby; I am a great grandma with 4 children, 14 grandchildren and 1 great grand and another on the way, so could not possibly be categorized as a “peer”, but I can so relate to your blogs. Don’t know how I got connected to them, and you certainly DO NOT need to respond. I just wanted you to know how refreshing it was to read your thoughts, and see your pictures. I, too, am a daughter of God through faith in Jesus Christ, and also love the quotes from those eminent men of God. Thanks for writing, and being transparent. I am a quilter, having sewed all my own clothes since age 14, and those for my two daughters and 7 granddaughters until they got too old for grandma dresses. I stopped that when imported clothing was so much less expensive, and the quality became better than the unionized clothing in the US. I love quilting, and am now, at age 73 passing along to the next generation the same love. (Actually, my students are like grandchildren (-;)

  • jessica define
    March 23, 2011 at 11:43 am

    this is so dang cute with those brass buttons it’s not even funny.

  • Sara Jane
    March 23, 2011 at 11:54 am

    CUTE!!! What a simple, genius idea.

  • Dana
    March 23, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    Ummm…I might replicate this! So awesome!

  • Nancy
    March 23, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    I absolutely LOVE that dress and what you did. After reading your post yesterday morning, I made a stop during my morning errand run with the sole purpose of purchasing that dress. The Walmart I stopped at didn’t carry it, so I came home and figured I’d just buy in online, again, no luck! After another search and a call to a different Walmart I finally found it and ran out the door in our rainy weather; babe in tow, just to snatch up the last one in my size! I wanted it that bad! Thank you so much for all the inspiration you provide!

    Perhaps all the ladies that bought it because of your post should do a write-up about their dresses and include a picture. A Walmart dress round-up!

  • Tyne
    March 23, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    And now they are sold out! Ha! Awesome Darby, Walmart is officially sold out of this dress online.

  • Joy
    March 23, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    Well, headless or not, greased up in sunscreen or not, you look great!!! I love this dress. But I’m sad about the last quote that says it sold out. Boo.

  • samantha
    March 23, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    Darby, you are adorable, thrifty and resourceful as ever. Way to go!

  • dani
    March 23, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    That is ADORABLE! Might have to hunt one down for myself. 🙂

  • rhonda
    March 23, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    As my grandmomma used to say “you could make a potato sack look good!” Super cute- you always have such great taste…

  • Melissa
    March 23, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    What a super cute dress and a great idea to just switch the buttons! Genius!

  • Mary
    March 23, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    Got my dress!! Ordered my buttons!! I called in my button order and they said “wow, she must be a popular lady”.
    So, what shoes did you wear??

  • Allison @ Quaint Oaks
    March 23, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    This is beautiful! I absolutely love this dress!

  • Tiffany
    March 23, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    LOVE the dress. It’s sold out and our local Walmart doesn’t carry the Norma Kamali line. I’ll keep checking the website, it sounds like they carried it last year, too!

  • Kristi Menashe
    March 23, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    You are, quite possibly, the cutest thing ever! I wish I had HALF the amount of creativity and know how that you do!! Love the dress and love your blog! 🙂

  • Carrie
    March 23, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    Love this dress to death — especially with the new buttons. After reading your post I went right to Walmart online to order one as my Easter dress, but they were out of it in my size!!! The website noted there was one at store in a town near me so after dinner I coaxed my hubs to drive me there (in the pouring rain) to get this little diddy. When we got there we learned the store didn’t have it!! I cried and cried.

  • Sarah
    March 23, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    I agree, your version of the dress is better! It’s actually a more feminine shape, sorta has an hourglass thing going on and the buttons made all the difference.

  • Laura Pulis
    March 23, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    Adorable, Darby. You would love Benno’s – it is full of bins and bins of buttons in every size, shape and color.

  • Arlena
    March 23, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    The *only* thing that could have made your pictures more adorable is if you sweet face was in them…you look darling…very flattering dress and the brass buttons make it perfect.

  • Caroline
    March 24, 2011 at 12:30 am

    I like your dress better!

  • Heather
    March 24, 2011 at 4:36 am

    Love, love, love your new buttons! I have seen this dress in my local Wal-Mart and I liked it, but with your addition I officially *love* it! Way to go!

  • Megan
    March 24, 2011 at 9:49 am

    I know some of you are finding this dress to be sold out online and at your local Walmart. As of yesterday, the Walmart in Decatur, AL had a few smalls and extra smalls left. If you don’t live around there maybe you could call them?

  • Tara
    March 24, 2011 at 11:10 am

    And you thought you weren’t fashionable. This is the cutest thing I’ve seen all spring, with the button change of course. I went online and this Norma has the best swimsuit also, the python one piece. LOVE IT! Thanks Darby.

  • Tessa
    March 24, 2011 at 11:29 am

    brilliant! absolutely love it!

  • Joy
    March 24, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    Absolutely COULD NOT be cuter. You, the dress or the buttons.

  • Diane
    March 24, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    I thought of your blog when I was in Hobby Lobby (do you have those there…I’m in Texas). They have fabric that is already smocked about 5 inches with a ruffle above. I don’t sew but my 5th grade daughter is a beginner. I bought her some fabric to make tops for her and her friend. Would be great for dresses and swimsuit coverups.

  • Megan
    March 24, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    Love your blog! Have been looking for button-front summer dresses. Like all the commenters said, it’s sold out online (and all the stores near me), but my mom, who lives 2500 miles away, found it for me at her Walmart.

  • Carol V
    March 24, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    I love the Walmart dress. I went online to order and they are all sold out. Bummer. I also love that you found one that was similar to what you wanted, but for a more reasonable price. Looks super cute on you!

    BTW, I have followed your blog for a while. This is the first time I have posted. Love it!

  • Reb
    March 24, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    I was absolutely fascinated with this entry! What a difference a button can make. I thought it was very ingenious. I would have never thought of doing that… the dress I get, is the dress I wear. Great bargin too.

  • Molly
    March 24, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    WOW…your dress in stinkin’ cute!!! I love it with the new buttons. Seriously, it looks way cuter than the other one you posted, and I can’t get over the price!!!

  • Anna
    March 24, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    OH MY GOSH! I do believe you just caused WalMart to sell out of this dress! They were THERE YESTERDAY!! You’re a force of nature! 🙂

  • Jill Broberg
    March 24, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    This is the cutest dress ever and I love the buttons! Thank you so much for sharing your cleverness. I went and bought this dress today. I love that it’s modest inexpensive. You are awesome.

  • Rachel
    March 24, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    Hi Darby!! I normally don’t comment but today I had to:). I love EmersonMade but it is also not in my budget. I recently bought the Sonoma Poplin shirtdress from Kohls to try and mimic Emerson’s trenchdress. It is very close and super cute. Check it out!! I’ve been reading your blog for a while now and almost start my own with you being my inspiration. Then life with 3 takes over… I have a post daily in my head–maybe I’ll just take the leap.

  • ELK
    March 24, 2011 at 10:33 pm

    I was on the hunt for an Easter dress and you inspired me to check walmart.com. They didn’t have your dress in my size, but it took me to this dress… https://www.walmart.com/ip/Women-s-A-Line-Woven-Dress/15148753
    which has to be much less than anything in a regular store. I bought two sizes since I can’t be sure how it will fit… You’re a shopping inspiration!

  • De Anna
    March 24, 2011 at 10:53 pm

    Walmart? I would have never shopped there. But I’m going now! I love dresses and would love to have this one, it’s so cute! Thank you so much for sharing. I love the botton idea. I really made it look expensive.

  • Mrs. R
    March 25, 2011 at 11:03 am

    I just screamed with delight. That dress is gorgeous!! 10x’s better than the Emerson’s dress and it looks expensive! Now you have me searching the dress at WalMart online! LOL!

  • Stallion
    March 25, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    Oh my Darby! thank you thank you, this is lovely. Now you have to help us XL girls find something similar…Love it.

  • Erica
    March 25, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    Girl, that looks AWESOME! The buttons definitely make it look high-end….plus your figure looks fantastic in it! I just went to Walmart.com to buy one myself and all they have are XS left. Maybe they will be in my local store.

  • Angie
    March 25, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    You have caused quite a frenzy here, Darby! And with good reason. That dress is darling.

    So, I’m late to this party and figured I had no hope of finding the dress (because, yes, I’m a copycat). I checked Walmart online and of course, it’s sold out. and then I did the store search where they check your store, and mine showed NONE. So sad.


    I had to go to Walmart anyway for diapers, and there were like TWENTY of those darling things. So ladies! Do not despair! You might as well check your Walmart, because you never know. And if you live in Lafayette, Colorado, our Walmart is well stocked. Go snatch yours up now! It makes me think you have no readers in my city, Darby. 🙂 Now I can’t wait to change out the buttons. 🙂

  • Heather MK
    March 25, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    Oh, I love this, Darby!! Nice work with the buttons, it was truly worth the thought and effort. 🙂

  • Searcy
    March 25, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    I ordered the brown one immediately after reading this post!

  • Shan
    March 25, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    I must admit… after reading this post a few days ago, I am anxiously awaiting for my own wal-mart dress to come in the mail. In black. 🙂

  • karah barnes pope
    March 25, 2011 at 10:11 pm

    adorable! you’re so crafty and creative. you’re so cute and so is that dress! 🙂

  • Tiffany
    March 26, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    Imitation is a sincere form of flattery, right? My bestie lives in Arkansas and found this at Walmart to put it in the mail – to me in Oregon! She told me she risked her life in the ghetto just to get it. I LOVE her. Thank you for the inspiration. Now to order the buttons 🙂

  • Mary Margaret
    March 27, 2011 at 10:57 am

    Wow!! I found you through a comment on Katy Elliot’s blog. I LOVE (and want to be) Emerson Made. I just RAN to my local WalMart, bought the dress, came home, ordered the buttons (holy shipping charge!) and I’m so pleased with myself! THANK YOU!! I am now going to buy The Red Robin dress and belt with no guilt!

    Love your blog! Thanks again,


  • Brooke V.
    March 27, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    Hey, just a lil fyi for folks in the Birmingham area…the Trussville WalMart had several of these dresses on Friday afternoon…they still had at least 2 in every size. It is too cute!!! Get ’em while they’re hot:-)

  • Stephanie
    March 27, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    I love love the idea of switching the buttons! Makes all the difference!!!

  • Hilary @ My So-Called Home
    March 27, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    What a great dress and such a great idea to switch up the buttons. I did that once on a simple striped button down and I got a lot of compliments. I love finding deals at Walmart, it feels like my little secret that I saved so much in one stop!

  • chelsea
    March 28, 2011 at 8:29 am

    I bought a small and a medium in the black, AND the buttons. The small works for me and I would be delighted to sell the medium to someone who *needs* it. Send them my way.

  • Katie@ Noodle and Boof
    March 28, 2011 at 9:18 am

    so cute! the buttons were definitely a great addition!

  • Sara H
    March 28, 2011 at 10:19 am

    Darby, have you seen this??

    (It looks like her site is down some today, so maybe keep trying if you get an error)

    You totally scooped her on this dress 2 full days before she posted…. and she’s the one getting press coverage! BOO!!

    Not to mention that it looks WAAAY better on you!

  • Holly
    March 28, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    What a silly ninny I am … I ordered a shirtdress from Worth’s spring collection for too much $$$, and your Walmart find is way cuter. (In fact, my 6 yo asked me never to wear my shirtdress in her presence. Nice.) So clever with the button switcheroo!

  • andrea from Raising Peanut
    March 28, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    OM Gosh, super de duper cute! I love it and now I feel like I have to have it. You are so beautiful! Even w/o a head! 🙂 LOL

  • Stacy Norris
    March 28, 2011 at 8:35 pm

    Walmart had it in my size~ hot dog!!! Now for the buttons…Thanks for your wonderful idea and like the others have said -yours is much cuter than the $200 one.

    If anyone reading this lives in Jax,FL the Walmart on San Jose had an XS, M left. I took the last Large 🙂 Wish I were as skinny minny as you Darby! You look great and love the pictures you shared.

  • Katharina
    March 30, 2011 at 6:51 am

    Looks awesome! I just love the way you sometimes talk about expensive stuff and the way you somehow manage to buy/make things even nicer with less money!
    I start catching myself thinking “I should not buy it – it`s not on my budget -what would Darby do ;)” ! Thank you!

  • abby
    March 30, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    Guess what was in the gift bag i opened on this birthday morning of mine?! This dress with those buttons, my mom saw them on your blog and ordered them for me: so cute!!! 🙂
    ps. i find the bow is more flattering if you take it out of the loops and tie it on the hip line where it starts to flare into the skirt. 🙂 It looks fine where its supposed to be on you but wasnt right on me, so idk.

  • Edit by Lauren
    March 30, 2011 at 10:30 pm

    love the dress! i’d kill to be as innovative and creative as you! 🙂

  • Sarah
    March 31, 2011 at 12:38 am

    Ok so I am one of the last to read this and this makes me sad. Why? because this dress is probably sold out on Walmart.com. I am off to check, if they have it, I’ll buy it then I am going to copy you and buy those buttons or some that are similiar. I adore what you’ve done to this dress. You remind me I need to think outside of the box more. a big thank you!

  • Tiffany
    April 10, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    I see that Chelsea has a size medium she wants to sell. I would LOVE it!! I got a small that won’t work for me (which I will gladly sell, too). Anyway, if you know how to get me in touch with Chelsea, please do! I tried finding a contact email on her blog but couldn’t find one.

  • Kayla
    June 14, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    Tiffany, if you still have the size small I would love to buy it! You can contact me at woodruffkayla@gmail.com

  • Jennifer
    June 26, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    I too loved the dress and purchased it. I am fortunate enough to live in the Dallas area and did the quick change with the buttons as well…with the price of gas I paid for shipping and voila! I had them in my mailbox! Thanks for the inspiration…I just had to hem mine as it ran a bit long for my petite frame. Have a great summer!

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    June 2, 2013 at 3:20 am

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