I can do anything I want… I ain’t lost

Today’s remake came from Scope in Barking and cost £2. I thought £2 was a bargain for a garment featuring such “interesting” fabric. Let’s just say this fabric proved to be “interesting” to work with.

The details: originally a ‘medium’ from Bon Marche, this top is 100% pure polyester and is creased into permanent pleats, each the size of a tiny pin-tuck. The pattern is (again, “interesting”) vaguely floral, as though someone had dripped bleach over the fabric and the bleached areas had somehow manifested themselves into flower shapes.

Possibly the most “interesting” feature of this garment is a metal ring at centre front which has the material gathered around it, not unlike the type last seen on Julia Roberts in the movie “Pretty Woman”.

Here’s a close up:

Not. A. Good. Look.

Brandishing the scissors I cut directly across the top from underarm to underarm, below the offending ring. I then overlocked a straight line up both sides, forming a tube with straight edges. The overlocker adored this fabric. The sewing machine hated it with a passion <insert joke about slippery little suckers>.

Next step was the most difficult. I used the leftover material to make some bias tape (except it was cut on the straight grain) to go around the top and to form the straps. Sewing this all together proved to be a bit of a ‘mare. I had unwisely decided the tape would be fully stretched and the body of the garment would maintain its natural pleats. I ended up making some bigger pleats at centre front because I couldn’t get the ratio of stretched to non-stretched right. I think it looks pretty good anyway!

Here’s a view of the finished remake:

The new top is the perfect colour for watching the Varsity boat race with a G&T.




  1. Dan

    What a great idea for a project Sally! (the whole blog that is) and I specifically like the light blue theme to your last piece – don’t take the loss too personally though; you did everything you could.

    Looking forward to seeing the Greatest Hits Remix – a medley piece of your favourite off-cuts is surely on cards, maybe even with some fan voting to make it more of a challenge?…

  2. Lois

    Can’t believe you didn’t embrace the metal ring look and start exposing the flesh (as artfully depicted by Julia Roberts when she “worked it” and ensnared Richard Gere). Think you may need to find your inner slut! Just too tasteful. Love the blog Sal. Keep up the good work.

    • charityshopchic

      You’re right, it certainly didn’t do Julia Roberts any harm :) I have never been called too tasteful before! Thanks for the lovely comment. Many more projects coming soon xx

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