First of all, thanks everyone for all your support on my last post! I’m overwhelmed :-)
Today I’m very happy to be launching a new occasional series in collaboration with my friend, film writer Hannah who blogs over at I Watched This on Purpose. In case you haven’t seen her blog, Hannah is taking us through an analysis of her favourite movies in a bid to discover what makes them great. It’s well worth a read, especially if you’re into obscure and not-so-obscure movies from the 80s and 90s.
This collaborative series is going to be about refashions and fashion transformations in the movies. Hannah will be writing about the role each movie refashion takes in the plot, while I’ll be creating refashioning projects inspired by the same movies. Our first project together is on the classic thrift store fashion and refashioning movie, Pretty in Pink; I’ll be remaking this pink bridesmaid dress into something a lot more wearable.
I bought this white blouse on my recent trip to north Sweden, in the Red Cross shop in Jörn, to be precise. There are very few shops in this small town but amongst them were several second-hand shops (“loppis” – I got some great stuff there too, more of which, later) and a rather fun charity shop run by the Swedish Red Cross (Röda Korset). I had a good browse and bought several pieces there. If you’re in the area, I recommend it. They have free coffee and everything.
I came across this 1980s white blouse in approximately my size. It has ruffles. I mean, a lot of ruffles. There are ruffles at the neck, ruffles at the shoulder, ruffles at the cuffs and even two big ruffles down the front. I love ruffles but this was a little much even for me.
I paid SEK 30:- which is about £2.60.
So anyway, I was looking for something especially Swedish to remake. I was delighted to see that the blouse had originally been sold by Swedish department store Åhléns. Thinking that nothing could be more Swedish I happily carried this home to England to be remade.
On closer inspection…..
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.
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.
I doubled my money with this by turning it into a skirt and top.
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.
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!
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.
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.
The overall look I’m aiming for is “Dirty Dancing Baby in slightly more grown-up vintage outfit”.
I bought this ‘lovely’ coat from the Sense shop in Deptford for £9.95. It was only on getting it home that I started to feel buyers’ remorse. The buttons, the size, the style, all that can be fixed. The only real problem with it is… it’s mint. And by that I mean… it’s green. When I bought this I thought it was blue. How wrong I was. The mint green pastel shade has left it looking even more early noughties than it otherwise would.
On the plus side, it’s a wool/angora/cashmere mix, and is well-made, from the now-defunct label Ronit Zilkha which closed in 2007.
In terms of what to do with it… I decided to go a bit left-field and make a sleeveless coat. Believe it or not, sleeveless coats are in fashion now…. (L-R) Lanvin, Etro, Antonio Berardi, Marni, 3.1 Philip Lim…
…and the queen of the sleeveless coat, Victoria Beckham.
I had slight doubts about the practicality of such garments but the internet convinced me that sleeveless coats are perfectly fine with a thick jumper underneath. At least, they are if you live in Southern California. Sadly, this is London…
This beautiful vintage blouse has shiny gold embroidery all over it. The embroidery is in the form of a rope and tassel motif, which makes me think of the theatre, though they could just as easily be curtain tie-backs I suppose. The label says ‘Opera’ so I suppose it could have been worn to the Opera at some point! The gold thread is actually quite glittery, very eye catching. The colour of the fabric is a strong cream, definitely not white. It’s polyester, but quite heavy so it drapes well.
I bought this in the Scope Shop in Lewisham. They were having a sale when I was there, so I got it for half price, £2.25. That’s less than the price of a takeaway coffee, folks. A definite bargain.
It’s UK size 12 and although it’s loose on me, it’s a perfectly acceptable size. The only thing I did to it was to remove the shoulder pads.
I bought this curtain (singular) in the Salvation Army shop in Deptford and although I the tag is missing, I think I paid £5 for it. I’ve had this in my possession for quite some time, just waiting for the right project. It desperately wanted to be a party dress. It’s cream and white brocade, not too thick, lined with plain cream cotton.
And then this came along.
Introducing…. By Hand London’s Georgia dress!
In preparation for this project I may or may not have watched some or all of the following: The Big Lebowski, Uncle Buck and Grease 2… that’s right, we’re going bowling!
I’ve teamed up with my girls ‘The Spoolettes‘ to complete this sewing challenge of making a bowling shirt.
I started with a white 100% cotton mens shirt from the Cancer Research Shop in Lewisham (£4.00).
Continuing my obsession with this versatile colour, this grey and blue linen skirt came from the British Heart Foundation shop in Scarborough (£4.30).
The flower print is enhanced with gold and blue embroidery and sequins. It’s beautiful.
Unfortunately though, the grosgrain waistband was in really poor condition.