Mint condition


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.

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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…

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…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…

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Outfit: You. Are. GOLD!

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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.

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Gorgeous Georgia


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!


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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


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).


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.

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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.


VB has worn this shirt…


…along with pretty much everyone else in the world.


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.

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.


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


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.


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.


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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