Carrie Bradshaw Month 2: Love Letters of Great Men

OK, so this jacket doesn’t look like it has heaps of potential, but bear with me!

The swing tag is missing, but I paid £4.99 in the British Heart Foundation in Whitby.  It’s Marks and Spencer, size UK 20, so plenty to work with.

For this remake I will also be using…

…one large full-skirted light grey skirt. This one is size 16 and came from the Children’s Society Shop in Upminster. For this I paid £2.49.

So, what could kind of outfit could be drawn out of these two unusual garments? Read on to find out…

Here’s a pic of an unusual safari-inspired outfit from the movie. In this scene she is returning ‘Love Letters of Great Men’ to the library, and on seeing the beautiful painted ceiling, decides that this is the place to get married, since it houses all the great writers.

The safari-style outfit comprises a mustard yellow sleeveless jacket (I can’t seem to apply the word ‘waistcoat’ to this) plus a grey full skirt and brown distressed leather belt.

Mustard isn’t a colour that I think naturally flatters me – I usually avoid it like the plague – but I wanted to pick a more challenging Carrie outfit as well as my absolute favourites. Just to push my boundaries a little bit, I suppose :-)

For the jacket, of course, the first thing to do was cut off the sleeves and resize the body.

The trouble with resizing the body was the darts. The jacket had bust darts which were not really in the right place for me.

I wanted to unpick them, but I couldn’t, because they had been trimmed off on the inside to reduce bulk. So they had to stay.

Resizing the body basically meant cutting off rather a lot of material. I took the plunge with the scissors.

Much better!

I wasn’t originally planning to sew the sleeves back on, but the jacket just looked like it was missing something, so I changed my mind.

Here’s what the sleeves looked like originally. I thought they were just too good to lose.

See that cuff? That’s the part I wanted to keep.

I pinned one on, playing with it until it was in the right place, then marked the seam line with contrasting thread, using this line to cut the new cap sleeves. Being sure to cut both left and right sleeves the same, obviously ;-)

Here’s how it looks with the sleeves on – pretty damn good, considering…

But unfortunately the inside still looked like this:

…oh dear. Luckily it was nothing a bit of hand-stitching couldn’t sort out. I find hand-sewing rather satisfying and theraputic, actually. Which is definitely a good thing because this took ages!

All that was needed to Carrie-fy it was a ‘distressed’ brown leather belt. I got mine from the Richard House Hospice Shop in Upminster, and I paid £1.

And now… for the skirt. All that was needed was to make it fit, but that proved trickier than I thought. The skirt was actually a number of godet-like panels sewn to a yoke, there was no straight side seam where it could easily be taken in. So I had to fudge it a bit.

First I lazily adjusted the length by cutting a bit off the top (instead of the extensive hem) – I pretty much cut the wide waistband in half.

Then I cut a bit off the side as best I could…

…before sewing it shut as a new side seam.

For the new waistband I folded over the top a couple of times, taking care to tuck in the ends of the side zip, and stitched from the right side.

And…

Here’s a rather gratuitous amount of pictures of me modelling this at the New York Public Library.

It really is an impressive building. I highly recommend it if you are in New York as it’s free to enter! It was pouring down when we were there, so it was a great place to shelter too.

I didn’t really believe this outfit was going to work at all, until I put it all on together. Something about the colours just worked really harmoniously. Rather strange but I like it!

 

The other famous scene filmed at the New York Library is of course this one…

…so we had some pictures there too for good measure!

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52 comments

  1. Marie

    I love it! You’re so right that those colours work really well together even though they don’t look like they should. This is such a pretty outfit and once again, your photoshoot is incredible!!!

    • charityshopchic

      Thanks Marie, I was totally unsure about this outfit until I put it on, and some sort of magic must’ve happened because it worked so well I am completely in love with it. It’s like having Pat Field as my personal stylist ;-) Maybe I should give mustard a second chance!
      The New York Library is such an iconic SATC location – it took my breath away when we got there, and I am really glad we went!
      As always, thanks for your support :)

  2. lonichol

    I am speechless – great work! You need to send this to SJP immediately!! Or I will! Serious class, well done!!

  3. bernieandi

    What a transformation! You are a clothing-miracle-worker. You look impossibly chic!
    The colors are so pretty and the outfit really emphasizes how tall and lean you are.

    • charityshopchic

      Hello, thanks for your kind comment. That jacket just needed a bit of TLC, it did have a lot of potential :)
      I think the second to last picture makes me look a lot taller than I am… I am not complaining though!

  4. Kim

    Fantastic work. Once again you have produced an outfit that looks better than the origianl inspiration. Congrats.

  5. Charity

    I love this transformation! It looks wonderful on you… I actually prefer it over the inspiration.
    I find hand-stitching rather therapeutic as well… but I don’t have time to actually do it most days. =)

  6. Ricki

    I love the way you are fearless about cutting into a garment. I’m scared to do it so I take inspiration from you!

    • charityshopchic

      Thanks, Ricki. You don’t have to be scared, I learn a lot from my mistakes. The good part about blogging is that I only show you the projects that work out ;-) Just get the scissors and get going – for mistakes, just chuck them out and move on!

  7. Joyatee

    This is absolutely fantastic! What a great, faithful recreation from thrift store finds. This is my favorite replica thus far. You are truly inspiring.

  8. Helga

    Nicely done! The trick is seeing what a foul garment can become, and also to bravely try something one wouldn’t normally consider-in this case, the mustard colour!

  9. Heather

    Wonderful job on that outfit, particularly the jacket- it’s far more attractive than the inspiration, especially with those cap sleeves. I’m new-ish to your blog, just wanted to let you know that your work is really, really good. You should consider teaching online classes on revamping!

  10. Susan

    Fantastic – you look great! I have to say, I’d love to have the same sewing skills as you do, I’m off to practice, you’ve inspired me, thank-you.

  11. Katja

    Great! Your version is much more beautiful than the original. You’re sooooo pretty! I adore your blog so much. It is really amazing what you are performing out of oldfashioned clothes. Chapeau!
    Greetings from Germany! Katja

    • charityshopchic

      Thank you Katja, I’m blushing :)
      Glad you liked the outfit, I was totally unsure about it until I put it on. I guess that means I should be taking more risks!

  12. diannafrankish

    Wow, absolutely inspirational. I’m a newbee to the whole refashioning scene having only done the odd skirts, tops ect. But you have spurred me on to try more :-)

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