Red Carpet Copycat: Cheryl Cole in Victoria Beckham

Red Carpet Copycat is an occasional series in which I use recycled materials to imitate red carpet looks.

Next up is this look. This is Cheryl Cole at the premiere of ‘What to expect when you’re expecting’, in which she apparently has a cameo.

She is wearing Victoria Beckham Spring 2012. Here it is on the catwalk:

It has a flowing full length pleated skirt which starts below the waist, almost at the hip. This was the first picture we’ve seen of Cheryl in a while, so it was everywhere. It even made it onto the front of Grazia.

I’m going to make my own movie-premiere-worthy version of the dress using this:

Now, this light pink pleated skirt cost me £4.75 from the Cancer Research Shop in Whitby. I don’t know how much the Victoria Beckham dress costs, but I think it’s safe to say it’s more than £4.75.

Net a Porter carries this mini-length version for £1875, on sale for £750 at the time of writing. So if I can pull this off, I can save £745.25. [What do you mean, it doesn’t work like that?!]

For the top of the dress, I drafted a quick pattern based on my bodice block plus some notes from the (neon) racer front dress I made here, plus the top 25cm of a fitted skirt pattern I already had (Burda 08/11 #126). I ran into the usual problem; what does the back of the dress look like? Luckily there were so many paps present they got a shot of Cheryl’s back (and Cameron’s inadequately hemmed, and unflattering, jumpsuit).

The thing about this back is, well, I don’t like it, so I’m going to make up my own version instead. Here’s a quick diagram. I won’t draw the skirt because it was entirely the same as the Burda skirt pattern.

Compared to the neon racer front dress, I lifted the armscye 2cm, reduced the bust 4cm overall, moved the strap further down the shoulder by 3cm and lowered the neckline 1.5cm. The neckline is round, but the armscye is pointed. For the back piece I mirrored the pointy armscye of the front and added a bit to the strap at the shoulder to form the overlap (where the buttons go). Note that on the original, the front overlaps the back, but on mine, the back overlaps the front. I can live with that.

Here’s the toile, front (left) and back (right):

Not a bad fit. I made a couple of adjustments at this stage. Firstly, I moved the zip to the centre back, in order to accommodate a Victoria Beckham trademark exposed zip. Secondly, I rotated the front waist dart outwards a bit, so that it would meet the waist at the same point as the skirt dart. It just looks neater that way!

Material-wise, I used an offcut from stash of creamy white fabric that I’d used for making a blouse, lined with bits of recycled white sheet (of course – same sheet also seen here, here, here, here and here). Here are a few in-progress shots…

For the zip, I used the only suitable one I could find. It’s a white plastic zip intended for a coat or something. I think it originally came from Walthamstow market.

To make a neat finish I unpicked about 2cm of the seam holding the lining to the outer, inserted the zip tape into it, and sewed it shut again. Lovely.

For the shoulders, I tried it on and then made some stitches through the front and back straps to keep everything in the right place.

I added a couple of small silver buttons that were lying around.

For safety, I catch-stitched the inside of the two straps together (just visible below – this is inside out).

And now… for the pink skirt! First thing to do, as always, was cut off the elasticated waistband. I overlocked the pleats shut just to hold them in place.

I cut all the way up the back of the pink skirt, unzipped my top half and sewed the two right sides together. There was a bit of excess pink, so I cut it off before sewing a centre back seam. Then I topstitched in pink thread around 1cm from the seam. It looks peachy!

Here’s how it looks on.

I wore this on a night out to celebrate a friend’s birthday recently – Guilty Pleasures at Koko Camden – rather messy! I really enjoyed myself although the photos didn’t come out terribly well ;-)

I think overall I could have done with a few more inches of length on the skirt. I rarely wear maxi length skirts or dresses so wasn’t sure what the correct length should be. If I wear this again, I may cut it off above the knee… or would that ruin it?



  1. Gillian

    the pleats need to be ironed out at the bottom, that would give the dress a more flowy look like the origional

    • charityshopchic

      I don’t think there’s an iron strong enough to flatten these suckers out! The original is pleated all the way to the bottom, just there’s a gust of wind behind it in the original picture.

  2. Gail

    Wow, wow, wow – you are so talented. Love your version moreso than the original. I think if you keep it long or cut it off, it will still look great. Keep blogging, you’re an inspiration to all of us wannabe sewers.

  3. Tea

    So impressed, as always! I think shortening the length of the skirt would look good…although i have no idea how much work that would involve :) Speaking of sewing skills, Cameron really needs a better tailor…and perhaps stylist too. But Cheryl’s look I love! Great choice for a red carpet copycat!

    • charityshopchic

      Glad you like it Tea, I haven’t decided what to do about the length of this yet. You’re right, Cameron needs a tailor, a better stylist, or both! Shocking!

  4. liveseygirl

    Very cool. I think as you say this dress either needs to be very long or very short so I guess cut it if you are feeling daring

  5. Foster

    That dress is awesome. I love your blog and I have given you the “One Lovely Blog Award.” Stop my my blog and grab it!

  6. bristolbelle

    You definitely got that top shape right, it looks great! I think short is the way to go next. Cutting and hemming it wil slightly unpleat it so it will fluff out a bit round the bottom, gorgeous and girly!

  7. Letitia

    Your dress looks nice, great inspiration, and the top is very well made! If you want it to be more of a party dress and if you are in for a refashion of this refashion I think you should dye the dress in one colour ( in the picture it still looks like a two piece, because of the colour difference). A wine red or aubergine would look great on you. And if you chop some off the length it will be wider at the hem. Maybe you can use the excess material to create a beautiful matching purse or bolero?

    • charityshopchic

      Hi Letitia, great idea on the dye job! Since the skirt is polyester and the top is some unknown fibre content… I don’t think they would both end up the same colour anyway. Perhaps too advanced a project for a dye-virgin?

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