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