Refashion Runway/Red Carpet Copycat: Gwyneth Paltrow in Stella McCartney

This is my entry for the third round of Refashion Runway hosted by The Renegade Seamstress. You can click here to see what the other competitors made on this week’s ‘copycat’ theme – and vote for your favourites (me please!).

Longtime readers will remember my last take on the Stella McCartney bodycon dress, blogged here. This year’s take on it is the ‘Saskia’ dress from the Evening 2012 collection which has been worn by pretty much everyone, from Gwyneth Paltrow to Katharine Jenkins… to Victoria Pendleton to Tess Daly, in its various forms. I have been dying to recreate this dress since I first saw it but couldn’t decide on the right colour combination. The front is matte, but the back is sheeny stretch velvet (velour!) with transparent side panels.

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My version will be made out of…. yes, T-shirts, but also….


…a velour tracksuit! This baby was £7.95 from the Sense shop in Deptford. I’m only using the trousers for this, I’ll have to use the top for something else.


I’m also using a very thick blue t-shirt, £3 from Richard House Hospice shop in Upminster, and this very thin beige t shirt which was £3 from the Octavia Foundation shop in Tooting.




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Outfit: Red and black

I bought this fabulous retro blouse on a charity shopping trip to Bolton last autumn. Unfortunately the swing tag is missing, but if I remember correctly, it came from the Marie Curie shop as part of a 3-for-£10 offer they were running at the time. The label is marked “DI TARDO – FIRENZE”. It’s marked size 12 but the waist is only just big enough for me. The blouse has a fantastic rather retro shaped peplum which I am keen to copy in a future garment! The sleeves are huge, big and blousy. The buttons are big black plastic and they are that type that look like a monkey’s fist knot.


Speaking of buttons, one or two were hanging off; so there was a little sewing required but not enough to call this a refashion.


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Refashion Runway: Denim!

This week’s challenge for Refashion Runway is Denim. You can see the entries from all the competitors, and vote for your favourites (including moi), here.

Going with the Denim theme, I’m starting with this pair of jeans from Scope in Lewisham (£4). They are a nice dark, even colour with a little bit of stretch.



I’m planning on making  a denim skirt. Not your ordinary, run of the mill denim skirt, but something a bit more fancy. A sectioned pencil skirt with mini-peplums at the sides.

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The Refashioners!

This post appeared first on Miss P, as part of Portia’s series, ‘The Refashioners’, in which she challenges participants to remake a garment she selects for us. Why not head over and check out what the other ladies made, here?

It’s amazing what you can get in a charity shop for £1.


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This enormous trench coat had potential, but had clearly seen better days. The size, obviously, was completely wrong for me and made me look like a spy from the 1980s and/or Inspector Gadget.


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Refashion Runway: Stripes!

As some of you may already know, I’m taking part in the ‘Refashion Runway’ competition hosted by The Renegade Seamstress. The competition is essentially a series of Refashioning challenges; this week’s theme is ‘stripes’. You can see the other entries for this week’s challenge, and vote for your favourites, here.

I’m starting with this tiny, tiny skirt from the Cancer Research shop in Lewisham (£4). There’s nothing wrong with it, other than it’s far, far too short. Bottom of the waistband to the hem is just 35cm! On me (5’8″) this is practically indecent.



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Red Carpet Copycat: Anna Wintour (et al) in Dior

Today, I’m taking a closer look at this look from Dior Spring 2013. This ankle-length dress has a black knit top half and a flowery bottom half with an overlay of shiny organza. I love the way the organza catches the light. This look has been modelled by (amongst others) Elizabeth Debicki. Debicki plays Jordan in ‘Gatsby’; she is seen here at the film’s Sydney premiere.


Very similar looks from the same collection have also been worn by Anna Wintour and Natalia Vodianova. My favourite I think here is Wintour’s – I love her necklace – though I must say I prefer Debicki’s black shoes.

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To make my own version of this look I’m using… a pair of curtains (to be accurate, I’m only going to use one, actually). I got these flowery numbers from the Mind shop in Whitby and I paid £4.50.



I will also need a black t-shirt. This basic men’s shirt is size medium and cost £3.50 from the British Red Cross shop in Lewisham.


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Outfit: Knitted by Nanas


This jumper may be lumpy and synthetic but I blinking love it.

In my mind it’s reminiscent of the checkerboard fabrics from Louis Vuitton’s Spring collection, which have been worn by everyone from Kirsten Dunst to Jessica Alba. I think the acidic-bright colours are just as important as the checks and this jumper ticks both boxes nicely.

I liked this so much I paid £6 for it in the Trinity Hospice Shop in Streatham.


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Fashion Maths


Not sure if this equation balances exactly, but I think it’s pretty close.


Kylie is wearing Stella McCartney and looking fabulous! Anne Hathaway has also worn a version of this look, but not as flattering. Kylie’s version has big and small, black and white squares and some see-through sections.

I’m going to be making a Kylie-inspired shirt, not an exact copycat this time. I’m starting with this shirt, which fits well enough but could do with livening up a bit.


I paid £3 for this in the Trinity House Hospice Shop in Streatham (reduced from £4!).

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Outfit: Nautical Yellow

Today’s restyled refashion is the pale yellow men’s shirt I altered a while back. I took it in (a lot), cut off the sleeves, inserted bust darts and added patch pockets with pocket flaps.

Here’s a little refresher for you:

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This has been such a useful piece in my wardrobe! Like the dip dye shirt, it’s great for layering. In fact, I’d say it’s better than the dip dye one because it can be dressed up or down. Today’s outfit pairs it with my new nautical themed top. It’s intended to be a dress I think, but I haven’t worn it that way yet.

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Betty Draper

This project is my entry for Julia Bobbin’s popular Mad Men Challenge. I’m a huge Mad Men fan and love seeing the costumes every week, so entering this popular challenge was a bit of a no-brainer for me.

The dress I chose was Betty’s cream and green shirt dress. I couldn’t find any references to which episode this is from, but I’ve seen it so many times online that I think it must actually be a promo shot for the first series. It’s more late fifties than early sixties and embodies Betty’s conservative housewife look from the first half of that series. If you know which episode this is from, leave me a comment and let me know.



I’m starting with a sheet that I got from Oxfam in Streatham. I paid £4.99 for the single sheet and two matching pillowcases, which have green ruffles all the way around!

It’s made of actual linen, the thin refined sort (none of your thick slubby stuff) and handles beautifully.

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