Red Carpet Copycat: Gemma Arterton in Stella McCartney

Here’s the look I’m emulating this week:

British Fashion Awards 2012 - Inside Arrivals

This is Gemma Arterton wearing a Stella McCartney ‘Jodie’ jumpsuit and Stella McCartney shoes at the British fashion awards 2012.


This jumpsuit is from the Evening 2012 collection and retails for £2,095.



Obviously £2,095 is a little above budget, but not to worry. I do have this rather ‘special’ gents double breasted suit jacket which I picked up in the Sue Ryder shop in Upminster for £4 (on sale!).



First, let’s take a closer look at the jacket. It’s 40″ chest and has seen better days.


It’s a polyester and wool mix, so there are some natural fibres.  All the buttons are there, thankfully.


To get the look of a halter top, I cut off the sleeves, then removed the whole of the back, cutting slightly below the collar.


Here’s how the front looked. I played around with some pins trying to get it to hang right. To move the neckline a bit further up, I decided to change the roll line of the lapels by adding another buttonhole so the second button could be done up.


This was easy enough to add, but it changed the fall of the front and I had to steam the lapels a bit to get them to stay in the right place.


For the back, I pinned the sides around my dress form to see what kind of shape should be added.


I measured carefully the distance between the two sides in order to make a new back piece, not forgetting to take seam allowances into account.



Once I’d measured, I drew out the shape on paper and pinned it to the dressform, to check the measurements were roughly OK.


I then cut that shape out of the back, placing the hem edge where the original hem would have been (as that had stiffening in it that I wanted to keep along that line). I left the lining attached too.


Here’s how it looks sewn together. It’s taking shape!


I tried the whole thing on myself to see what the fit was like. It needed bust darts, but that was easy enough. I just pinned a couple of triangles out of each side in roughly the same place, being sure to avoid the pocket.



On the inside, rather than sew a dart in the stiffening (because that would be really thick), I removed a triangle around the dart to help it lie flat.


I also cut the stiffening back about 5mm from the edge, to make a small seam allowance for the facing.


After trying it on again, it needed to be more fitted. It was looking a bit too straight-up-and-down and I wanted to give the impression of a hip curve like in the original. So, I added two darts of about an inch at the waist.


For the facings, I cut some bias strips out of what was left of the back.


I ended up with a neat enough edge!


But, the inside still looked like this: (gasp)


Putting it all back together, I pinned what was left of the lining in roughly the right place, then turned it the right way out to check it wasn’t pulling anywhere. It took a few iterations of this to get it right.


I whipstitched the whole of the lining in place by hand. In doing so it became obvious that the lining was in really bad shape, but it was a bit late to replace it. I may do so in future.



Here’s how I finished the back collar edge. (The jacket is inside out in the pic below). I folded the cut edge inside the collar stand, above the line of the collar so it wouldn’t be seen, and whipstitched it closed.





Here’s how it looks on the hanger. I am pretty happy with it, considering the state of the original jacket.


I paired it with black trousers to get the look of the original jumpsuit, plus pointed toe platforms. In case you’re wondering, it’s just about long enough to wear as a dress, but only if I don’t want to sit down, so I won’t wear it that way. I am seeing rather a lot of tuxedo-inspired looks on the red carpet at the moment, so this may not be the last men’s jacket remake you see from me!





Unfortunately there is a slight dearth of red carpet worthy events around here at the moment, so you’ll have to make do with a mock up and a bit of imagination!




  1. keshling

    Wow, you are so, so clever! I am in awe of your talent! Maybe in future posts you might give us an idea of how many hours you put into each project?

  2. Marie

    Wow, what a complicated yet effective make! You’ve got such a good eye for potential and for design…I’m as impressed as ever (and slightly nervous about appearing alongside you in the Rafashioners challenge)!!!

    • charityshopchic

      Hi Marie, yeah it was rather an ambitious project but I’m pretty happy with the result. I do like a challenge! So I’m really looking forward to ‘The Refashioners’ too! Bring it on ;-)

  3. Lyona

    Whooooooaaaa! This looks amazing! Must have been a real big project, but you look wonderful in it! It’s cute, it’s cool and super-elegant in that crisp-but-comfy way. (If such a thing exists, haha…:D)

    • charityshopchic

      Yeah it was relatively time consuming. I’m happy with it though! Really happy that you liked it. Thinking of doing more mens jacket stuff so watch this space!

  4. Kelley

    Wow, amazing! I have just started reading your blog and I am constantly awed by what you are able to do with clothing that you find at such bargain prices. Are you professionally trained, or just an avid sewer?

  5. Lashell

    Very impressive. When people even mention the word alteration to me I break out into a cold sweat. To watch someone take something apart and remake into something new and trendy no less just blows my mind. Love your remake.

    • charityshopchic

      Thanks for the comment Lashell, I think starting with an old garment is sometimes easier because a lot of the features are already in place. Altering is really not so bad, you should try it!

    • charityshopchic

      Thanks Janet, yes definitely raid his wardrobe or failing that get yourself down to the charity shops, men’s jackets are in abundance just waiting to be cut up!

  6. Sheila

    Your version is more flattering to your hips than the original. To save money and look better, who could ask for more>

  7. liz

    as usual an incredible remake, and i love the tunic-length over the original version! not only is it a perfect fit, but the lining? hand stitched? craazy amazing!!

    • charityshopchic

      Yeah there wasn’t really any other way to do it except for hand stitching. It took a while but not as bad as you might think. I think my ‘separates’ are more flattering than the jumpsuit would have been. I don’t ‘do’ jumpsuits!!

  8. photosarah

    wow, that looks amazing! I’m sure it took a lot of time but the end result is so figure flattering. I hope you find a great event to wear it to!

  9. Kim

    Gosh, when you started on this project I was reading along and thinking, “Oh dear, this one is going to be a disaster”. If it were possible to eat your thoughts then I would do. You have done an amazing job and the fit is fantastic. A super huge congratulations on this project.

  10. MJ

    You have to be my favorite refashioner! (And I follow a lot of them.) You are amazing and so pretty modeling your fantastic creations. Please keep sharing with us! Thank you

  11. mariannecaroline

    I have just read through all your entries and what you have been doing is amazing! Great work and so inspirational! I am looking forward to seeing more…you definitely have a new fan now!

  12. lovenicky

    You look stunning! What a transformation! I will look at men’s jackets in a different light from now on!

  13. Brianna

    I’ve just found your blog and I love it! The transformation of the jacket to the awesomeness you are working is incredible and I totally want to do this!

  14. Helena A.

    UAU! The PERFECT Copycat!!!! Awesome! :D
    I LOVE your Blog!!!! Keep on doing MAGIC!!!!
    Kisses from Portugal!
    P.S: I’m stanting my own Blog about refashioning and sewing! Inpires on your Boga, Marissa´s (New dress a day) ans Refashionista! So, thank You very much!!!! (Then I’ll let you know the name of the Blog…) One problem: second hand clothes stores in Portugal are few and expensive… :(

    • charityshopchic

      Hello Helena and thanks for the kind comment! That’s great that you are starting your own blog. I feel your pain, charity shops here in the UK are much more expensive than in the US. Not sure if you have jumble sales/car boot sales over there, but you could start with items from your own wardrobe or your family’s. Good luck!

  15. callie

    I’ve been so impressed and inspired by all of your creations, and finally got out the sewing machine I was given for christmas last night. I’m refashioning a gorgeous print, but horrendously designed granny dress…. and so far so good! Only annoyed that I forgot to take a ‘before’ photo! Can’t wait to see the next design :-)

    • charityshopchic

      Hi Callie, thanks for the comment! That’s great news that you are using your new sewing machine! Be careful though, it’s addictive!! Next step is to start your own blog… or maybe join Refashion Co-op? Good luck with the dress!

  16. Anni

    Wow! What a stunning re-fashion. I do enjoy my little thrift re-fashions, but I would probably never attempt a project like this, respect!

    • charityshopchic

      Thanks so much for the sweet comment, Colette. Really glad you liked this piece. It’s fast becoming a personal favourite, though the opportunities for wearing it are limited!

  17. Pingback: A nip and a tuck – fadanista

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