More Dash than Cash

Ever since they started running it, I’ve been inspired by the ‘More Dash than Cash’ feature in Vogue. In this feature they are supposed to look at good design on the high street, but the stuff is usually still way out of my price range. It usually (though not always) provides some wearable ideas based on the catwalk, but I can’t say I’m too fond of their DIY ideas…

Last month the feature was about denim day dresses, but I didn’t much fancy any of the shapes/cuts featured in the mag, though the light blue denim was lovely.

This page was the main reason I set out looking for denim to be recycled and turned into my own version of a denim day dress.

I didn’t have to look far before coming across the perfect denim item to be cut up. I chose this pair of jeans because (a) they were big ie. plenty of fabric, (2) they were wide, straight leg, again plenty of fabric, and (d) they were light blue and not faded, which is the look I wanted. At £4.99 from Oxfam in Romford they were not cheap – I usually don’t bother with Oxfam as it’s more expensive than the majority of charity shops out there, but I figured it all goes to a good cause anyway. Apparently £4.99 is enough to buy 5 textbooks for a school in Mali.

My idea was to have the bodice of the dress in corset/bustier shaped denim and the skirt made out of contrasting material. For those that are interested, the bodice is based on Burda 02/2011 #113. I cut a 36 for the top graded to a 38 at the waist.

For the lining I had purchased a king-size duvet cover from the Richard House shop in Romford. This is a tiny shop which supports a local Children’s Hospice. The didn’t have a great deal of clothes, but more furniture and curtains/sheets. The duvet cover cost £6, but I know I will be able to use this for several projects as it’s so large. I think I got a bargain! It has thin (1″) stripes in groups of three on one side, and wider (2″) stripes evenly spaced on the other.

Here’s how the bodice looked at the half way stage.

The initial idea was to have the skirt made out of the sheet, ie white with light blue stripes, but I looked a bit too much like I might be selling ice-cream or something. I took out the skirt section (not the skirt lining) and replaced with a piece of dark blue faux-silk from my stash.

The zip also came from stash; it’s meant for a jacket as it opens at both ends, but I think it looks great as a design feature on the back of the dress :)

Here I am modelling my “Styled by Vogue” dress in the sunshine enjoying a caffe latte!

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