This is not ‘Nam, this is Bowling. There are rules

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).

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Grey matter

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One shade that’s been prevalent in my wardrobe this autumn has been grey (see here and here).

Continuing my obsession with this versatile colour, this grey and blue linen skirt came from the British Heart Foundation shop in Scarborough (£4.30).

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The flower print is enhanced with gold and blue embroidery and sequins. It’s beautiful.

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Unfortunately though, the grosgrain waistband was in really poor condition.

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Heart on my Sleeve

Morning folks, today we’re going to be talking about the now-infamous Burberry heart-print shirt. This is from Burberry Prorsum Fall 2013 and it retails at £495.

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VB has worn this shirt…

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…along with pretty much everyone else in the world.

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You may not be surprised to learn that I made my own Burberry-inspired shirt!

I started with this burgundy men’s shirt from the Hospices of Hope shop in Orpington — £2 reduced from £3.50, bargain! It’s a men’s large.

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Shades of Grey

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Today we are starting with this very thick grey wool skirt from the Mind shop in Whitby. I paid £4.50. The wool is so thick it’s almost coat weight. The skirt is pleated into deep knife pleats which are sewn shut for the first 15cm or so. The whole effect is rather kilt-like.

It may be a stretch of the imagination, but… for inspiration I am using this rather lovely Louis Vuitton Fall 2013 dress as worn by Victoria Beckham on the cover of Australian Vogue (September 2013 issue). I love this because (a) it’s lace and I love lace, and (b) it’s plaid, and I love plaid. It’s clearly part of the slip dress/nightie trend that’s a throwback from the 90s grunge era, but smarter.

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I had the idea to use the grey wool skirt for this look because I wanted to see how the thick wool contrasted with the delicate lace. But it took me a lot of work to realise that vision… Continue reading

Outfit: Trench Coat

I am sure you remember this trench coat. This one was sent to me as a refashioning challenge by Portia – read the full post on her blog here, or I posted it here as well. I know she only paid £1 for this and I had great fun remaking it.

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The final trench, based on a Burberry one Kate Middleton wears, had a large flounce around the hem. When I made this back in June, it was too hot to model it outside, so I’ve decided to try and do it justice with some more realistic pictures.

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Going Goth

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This story starts with a lovely package in the mail from a certain Sew Busy Lizzy in Australia. Thanks Lizzy! This lovely gift contained some fabric, a pattern, some black snaps and a black and white dress. Lizzy tells me that all of these things came from the local ‘Op Shop’ (that’s Australian for Charity Shop!) and that the dress cost just AUD $2 (about £1.15). I think you got a bargain, Lizzy!

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Outfit: Red lace in casual mode

Hello again Refashioners!

I am sure you remember this red skirt from a few weeks ago. This started out as a plain Country Casuals red straight skirt in 100% wool.

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I took it in at the back and added lace trim in a similar colour to jazz it up a bit as part of the lace trend that’s everywhere this season.

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I wanted to report back that I have been wearing this skirt a lot since it debuted here a few weeks back. Today I want to share a more casual look with you.

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Dressed to the Kilt

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Yes, you read that right, Kilts are back!!

Personally I love all things tartan so I was delighted to read/watch this week’s ‘How To Wear It’ column in the Guardian in which fashion editor JCM extolls the virtues of kilts. I will be channeling Alexander McQueen and Cher from Clueless with this one! Tartan is so good for autumn and so you can imagine how delighted I was to come across this splendid example of a genuine kilt in my favourite colour for this season – oxblood. This came from the Trinity House Hospice Shop in Streatham and I parted with £8 for this 100% wool ‘Made in Scotland’ number.

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It’s actually somewhere between oxblood and aubergine with bottle green squares and a slight blue/purple stripe. Much research on the website tartan.gov.uk has led me to believe that this is the tartan for ‘Lindsay’, but please correct me if you know better.

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Seeing Red

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I found this simple dark red skirt in the Trinity House Hospice Shop in Streatham last spring. Dark red (what was ‘burgundy’ is now called ‘oxblood’ but I’ll stick with ‘dark red’ for now) was in fashion last autumn and happily for me, it’s coming back. I believe this is one colour that flatters me, so I’m pleased to see it’s back this season. I was a bit slow off the mark last year but this year (spoiler alert!) I am planning an autumn wardrobe in which dark red features heavily.

This Country Casuals skirt is 100% Pure New Wool and as such I paid £8 for it, perhaps a little steep but the colour is perfect.

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Shibori Sheet

I’ve been wanting to try another dye project since I dip-dyed a white shirt last year and it was a runaway success.

And then I saw this picture a few weeks back of my favourite fashion blogger, Atlantic-Pacific, modelling a Tory Burch dress. It’s on sale for £278 at the time of writing.

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Oh yeah, and Reese Witherspon has the skirt version.

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Now, when I saw that dress, my first thought was: SHIBORI. Shibori is Japanese traditional tie-dye which is traditionally done using indigo dyes. There are many techniques, including folding, binding, twisting, clamping and sewing. There are some great examples on the web if you want to read more about it. Ginger over at Ginger Makes did a Shibori class with some of the NY based sewists which you can read about here. Seeing those pictures really whetted my appetite for what might be possible. Erica over at Recycled Fashion also tried this recently and made a beautiful T-shirt. And for more on dying… Sallie Oh does some incredibly inspirational things with dye – like this one which looks a bit shibori-like. She has a great dye tutorial, with more examples, here as well.

Anyway, back to my dress. I went out looking for something to dye. The dye only affects natural fibres, and I was obviously looking for something white.

Sheets are perfect for dye projects. This double duvet cover came from the Scope shop in Lewisham (£6). It’s actually 50% cotton, 50% polyester, so it will still take the dye, but the colour won’t be as strong as it would have been with 100% cotton.

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