Pattern Magic: Cushion Cover in Portugal

I bought this splendid cushion cover without much of a plan for it, but it clearly wasn’t going to stay as a cushion cover. I love working with home dec fabrics because they are often heavy weight and they have bigger and bolder prints. This circular cushion cover had an embroidered motif on it but it was on ‘faux silk’, ie it was closer to garment weight. Check out that piping too! It’s navy, turquoise and lime green on white polyester.

P1140828

I paid £2.50 for this little beauty in the Red Cross Shop in Lewisham.

P1140830

Continue reading

About these ads

Burberry Suit – Part 1

P1120046

I’ve had this ice blue Burberry wool suit for ages. I pounced on it, magpie-like, in Streatham Oxfam and managed to get it for £17.99. I was so excited about this suit when I bought it that I didn’t really think too hard about what I was going to do with it, just that £17.99 seemed like a bargain, even though it didn’t fit AT ALL. The skirt’s too big. The jacket, well, the jacket is just wrong. Too big, huge shoulders, grubby hem, sleeves far too short. Those buttons though. The buttons are incredible – and there are three on each cuff!

P1120888

Happily I have been able to give the skirt the attention it deserves, while the jacket is still waiting for some TLC. So that will have to come in Part 2 at a later date. The main reason for neglecting the jacket is that I didn’t notice (in the dimly-lit shop) that it has a rather large coffee (I assume) stain on the centre front. I have turned the contrast up on the photo below so you can see it – if you look really carefully at the photo above you can just about see it. So anyway, that’s on ice for a while while I decide what to do with it. Back to the skirt.

P1120890

Continue reading

Kenya safari skirt

P1130071

P1130574

You can’t beat a bargain like this – £2 reduced from £3.95 from the Hospices of Hope shop in Orpington.

I have had this silk skirt in stash for a while now, but it only ever had one destiny: to be part of my safari wardrobe. The khaki green colour, which I’m generously calling ‘olive’, conjures up safari and jungle images for me. It’s a colour I’d otherwise never wear, and you know I am fond of a challenge, so I set to work.

Continue reading

Outfits: Mint green and Zebra stripes

Today I want to tell you about several charity shop pieces which made the cut for my holiday wardrobe without any ‘modifications’.

This mint green 100% silk designer top is by far the most interesting and/or unusual item I think I’ve ever found in a charity shop. It’s from the David Szeto SS ’06 collection and the medium-weight mint green silk has gold abstract prints on it, that have a subtle sheen to them.

The label is marked ‘DAVID SZETO printemps-ete circa 2006′ which confused me a little. Surely they know what year it is when they make the labels?! I had a look at his website and the latest collection is called AW circa 2013, so I guess it’s a ‘thing’. His shop lists some current season silk tops for 4-500 Euros (currently on sale). He has some items on Avenue 32, and here are some of his items on Shopbop as well. He’s apparently a Canadian designer working out of Brussels. So how the heck this ended up in the PDSA shop in Bolton… I guess we’ll never know. I paid £4.49 and ran out of the shop before they realised what it is and tried to charge me more. It’s described as ‘Medium’ but the inside label says 40.

P1140744

P1140755

P1130746

This zebra print skirt was screaming for some attention in the Trinity House Hospice Shop in Streatham.

P1120620

It’s a very lightweight 100% silk, with zebra stripes printed on and shiny dots woven in to give it some texture. This photo doesn’t really do it justice, it’s beautiful.

P1120621

The designer of this skirt is Flora Kung, and the label carries her brand name ‘Flora Kung New York‘. This Taiwanese-born designer does her own textile design as well as fashion design and combines the two for a rather distinctive look. The label was very active in the 1980s, and after an 18-year gap, was resurrected in 2008 (with even Kate Middleton spotted in a Flora Kung design in recent years). I have seen Flora Kung items with an identical label as this one described as ‘vintage 80s’ on Ebay and Etsy, but I am not entirely sure that this skirt is that old. If you can help me shed any light on how old this skirt might be, please get in touch.

I paid £15 for this, which you may think is a little much, but in response I would challenge you to go out and buy a designer silk anything for £15, especially when that £15 is going towards the good work that Trinity House does. The label says there are slight pulls in the fabric, but none are visible.

P1120622

This gold knit rib maxi has sparkly thread throughout so it glitters like… well, glitter. It was £4.99 from the British Heart Foundation Shop in Streatham.

P1130742

P1140741

Continue reading

Outfit: Betty Draper does Kenya

b1

One of my personal favourite projects from last year was this Betty Draper-inspired dress. You can read the original post here.

This was made from a sheet that I bought for £4.99 in Oxfam, and I’m really glad I bought it. I still have the pillowcases left to make something else for next summer!

P1110949

P1110951

The final dress was very like the Betty Draper original, except the skirt wasn’t as full, giving it more of a 60s vibe than 50s.

54610022 Continue reading

Outfit: Magnum PI in Kenya

P1080230

Just a quick post today. This Hawaiian shirt remake formed part of my wardrobe for my trip to the British Virgin Islands a couple of years back, but I have worn it countless times since then. It originally came from the big Goodwill in San Francisco… I think it’s safe to say that this is one of the most travelled items in my wardrobe. Not bad for $10. You can read the original post here.

miamivice

Continue reading

Kenyan Bombshell

This project started with this blue dress. It’s really slinky, with a high lycra content, in other words, perfect for swimwear.

P1130132

I actually bought this a really long time ago in the Children’s society shop in Upminster (£6.99). It was brand new with the tag attached.

P1130593

I always had swimwear in mind for this but it wasn’t until Heather released the Bombshell swimsuit pattern that this dream really became a plausible reality. I know I’m probably the last person in the world to make this pattern, but whatevs. It’s a superb pattern and I can’t recommend it enough.

Continue reading

Outfit: African print

I’m sure you remember this dress in African style fabric that I bought from Thrift Town in San Francisco a couple of years ago. This project was top of the list when packing for my holiday as I really wanted the chance to wear this in Africa (Kenya to be precise). Sadly this little African inspired number didn’t make the cut.

P1090065

P1090567

I doubled my money with this by turning it into a skirt and top.

P1090602


Continue reading

Explorer outfit (Kenya ft. Budapest and Middlesbrough)

Happy New Year, Refashioners!

I’m going to start the year off with an extended series of posts showing the holiday wardrobe I made/acquired for my trip to Kenya last month. Spoiler alert: there are trillions of pictures #sorrynotsorry

First off is an outfit that was invaluable when exploring this beautiful country. I started with this vintage blouse that I picked up on a trip to Budapest last year. It has broderie anglaise style lace around the neck and arms and down the button placket, so pretty. Unfortunately it was a bit too big.

P1130141

P1130753

I bought this in a vintage shop (below), not a charity shop, so prices were a little more than I am used to. I paid 3500 Hungarian Forints for it, and left feeling a little ripped off (I did not haggle; I’m British). On actually checking my mental arithmetic using a calculator, it turned out to be only £9.50 so not really a big deal. The shop was quite cute with lots of unusual vintage gear, including loads of bags and hats. Unfortunately my luggage space was limited!

Budapest1

Turns out that Hungarians love second hand clothes shops and I spotted several of them on my travels. I was a little disappointed to realise that most were full of clothes from the British high street, but still enjoyed having a rummage. I did memorise the Hungarian for ‘second-hand clothes’ before I went over (in case you wondered, it’s ‘használt ruha’) to help me find suitable shops.

Budapest 2

Anyway… I digress. To complete the outfit, I selected this vintage Benetton skirt in the Age UK shop in Middlesbrough (from the sublime to the ridiculous…)

There isn’t a before pic of the skirt (sorry) as I didn’t really alter it much, you get the idea from the pictures below. It’s made from this incredible 100% cotton fabric printed with vintage French maps. Over the maps are palm leaves and tropical flowers. It fit the retro Africa vibe of my holiday wardrobe perfectly.

P1130744

P1130763

P1130762

The overall look I’m aiming for is “Dirty Dancing Baby in slightly more grown-up vintage outfit”.

baby-001

Continue reading