Mary Katrantzou for Topshop: The refashioned version

Readers, this is a refashion of a refashion (a ‘re-refashion’?).

Remember this dress? I refashioned this last summer for something to wear on a sailing trip.

It’s got a fabulous blue and white print on it. Too fabulous to be stuck at the back of the wardrobe for long! If you’re a fan of prints, then you’re probably already aware of the designer Mary Katrantzou. She’s famous for her incredible digital prints, and importantly, the combinations of her prints in her garments. She’s also famous for the skirt shape the media calls the ‘lampshade’. There was much excitement in blogland (and in the real world too) when she announced a designer diffusion line for Topshop last month. Unfortunately, the collection sold out in about two and half seconds, most of which then reappeared on ebay for double the ticket price. How upsetting! Anyway, I’m going to show you how I re-refashioned this dress with its lovely print, to get a bit of the Mary Katrantzou ‘look’.

Here’s the key piece of the Mary Katrantzou for Topshop collection. This sold for £350 in shops.

This has also been spotted on a range of C- and D-list celebrities, including, but not limited to (l-r) Chloe Green, Poppy Delevigne, Alesha Dixon and Amber Atherton (?! no, me either).

To get the look, I decided a blouse would be best, as I wanted to focus on the clashing prints rather than the shape of the lampshade skirt. The blue material from the original dress would do nicely, but I needed a red floral print to clash it with.

I had a scrap of this granny skirt left over (this is from an upcoming refashion!) – isn’t it lovely!

For a pattern, after a bit of head scratching, I decided that adapting the Colette Sorbetto would be the quickest route (this is a fantastic free pattern which you can download here). The adaptations I made were as follows.

  • I omitted the pleat at the centre front.
  • I raised the neckline substantially.
  • The neckline raise was so substantial, I had to add a zip at the CB neck to get into the blouse.
  • I traced out the front left and right as one pattern piece, then cut a diagonal line from the right armscye to under the left arm, and added seam allowances to both the new front pieces.

I cut the lower front from the front skirt of the original dress. I cut the back of the new blouse from the back of the old skirt, where happily there was already a seam (at CB). I unpicked the top third or so of this seam to insert a zip (from stash). Then I cut the front top piece from the remnant of the red flowery skirt.

Importantly, I also cut some bias binding from an old off-white sheet which was lying around…. I buy a lot of old sheets to use as muslins, bias binding, sew-in interfacing, interlining, etc etc etc. I used a bias strip of sheet, folded in half lengthways, as a sort of piping between the red and blue material at the front, in the diagonal seam.

I also used the bias binding around the neckline and sleeve holes, though not as stated in the instructions from the Sorbetto. I unfolded one half of the binding and pinned to the armscye seam line, right sides together, and sewed. Then folded the binding to the inside, pressed, and blindstitched it to the body of the blouse. It is supposed to be invisible, but I think you can see the stitches in the pic below. This is an easy way to get around using a facing.

Here are some shots of the finished blouse. I’m pretty happy with it.



  1. Katarina

    This is such a nice idea and a very wearable interpretation of Marys gorgeous clothes. I’ll keep this in mind for upcoming projects.

  2. concretekathy

    Wonderful! I just bought a rayon dress with a similar red print for $3 and was wondering what to do with it!

  3. Claudia

    Really cute ! I also am a fan of mixing (and not necessarily matching) prints. Looking forward to see what you come up with next !

    • charityshopchic

      Yep, selecting the ‘right’ prints that clash in just the right way is the key to this one. For this particular look, I think the colours want to be as different as possible and one wants to be a ‘big’ print and the other a ‘small’ print, but of course you can be the designer and do whatever you want. Have fun!

    • charityshopchic

      You are welcome Agy – all-white outfits are in the fashion pages at the moment but I’ve yet to see anyone wearing this look in real life – not terribly practical!

  4. kate clift

    Love the Blog. My sisters and I have been refashioning charity shop finds for years but the work you are doing is great. Do you use a tailor’s dummy to fit things properly?

    • charityshopchic

      Hi Kate, I do use a tailors’ dummy when draping but I can’t get it to match my measurements exactly so I find it most accurate to fit on the body. Fit is also about how something *feels* when you move and you can’t tell this on the dummy. However, it isn’t easy sometimes pinning things behind my own back!

  5. liz

    wow lampshade skirt is TERRIFYING. but i may have to look up the designer. ive tried to mix patterns desigual-style but with poor results.

    the top you remade [again] is great and it looks very chic with the white suit and quite nice with jeans!

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