Fabricado Em Portugal


Just a quick one today folks. I purchased this gloriously colourful skirt on my trip to Lisbon a few months back, at the famous flea market called ‘Feira da Ladra‘ (‘Thieves’ Market’). The market is basically a large car boot sale in one of the squares, with all sorts of junk available. A lot was antiques and old things, but there were quite a few people selling modern second hand goods too. My favourite to look at were the stalls selling antique tiles from the buildings – they were beautiful.


There was one stallholder with piles of old clothes, mostly your standard charity shop fare but some vintage. I had a good rummage for unusual prints and bought two pieces, including this skirt. I confess that I paid 8 Euro for both pieces (4 Euro each), mainly because I don’t speak any Portuguese so wasn’t really up to haggling with the stall holder. I only understood that it was 8 Euro because she was holding up eight fingers. So I do feel like it was a little expensive, but I had good fun rummaging so I was happy. Here is me with my purchases:



Unlike my last international debacle, I was delighted to see that this one was ‘FABRICADO EM PORTUGAL’ (‘Made in Portugal’).

It is marked 100% polyester – basically it’s a nasty acetate lining and some kind of cheap and cheerful polyester mesh with flowers printed on it. I would hesitate to call this fabric, it’s essentially plastic.



Anyway, my favourite feature of it is the button – because it looks like a boiled sweet. So that definitely had to stay.


I tried it on and found that the waist was about right for me, all it needed was a bit of de-grannifying. It’s trendy at the moment for maxis to have a short lining so you can see through the transparent outer layer, so that’s what I did. I cut the lining as short as I dared.

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I actually wore this out once before I realised it still had problems. Perhaps my stride is longer than a Portuguese granny’s; I couldn’t walk at my normal pace because there was no walking vent in the skirt. I hadn’t noticed this when trying it on at home; I guess my indoor steps are smaller. After an afternoon trotting around being late for things I realised something had to be done!

I sewed up the back seam allowance to just above knee level and turned 90 degrees, then across the back seam, then 90 degrees and back down the other side.


Then I removed the stitches from the back seam up to the point where the new line of stitches crossed it. It’s not a super-strong point, but now that there is a slit, it’s not under much pressure.


Despite its cheap materials and construction, the skirt is comfortable to wear when it’s really hot here in London, like it has been over the last few weeks. The colours make me happy!

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  1. Danka

    Despite that polyester overload the skirt looks beautiful with your alterations. Second hand shopping abroad is so much fun, especially when one returns with treasures like this one.

  2. Claire

    Simple but effective. I have enough trouble finding bargains when on holiday in this country (especially dragging along a reluctant OH) so admire your fortitude, well done!

  3. Emily Ribbons

    I’m convinced indoor steps are smaller, the first time I made a woven maxi skirt, I had the same thing and had to add a slit up the back when I got home from a day of tottering! I’ve just booked a trip to Lisbon, I’ll have to check out that market :)

  4. Helena A.

    I just love to see your photos in Portugal! I am Portuguese and live near Lisbon! Second hand clothes in Portugal are not cheap! In fact, they are at the same price as new clothes in Primark! That is why I rarely go to second hand stores to by clothes to refashion… :(
    This skirt is as you say essentialy “plastic” ( :D ), but has lovely colours for summer! Enjoy it!
    Kisses from Portugal!

    • charityshopchic

      Hi Helena! I loved Lisbon and will definitely go back. I was surprised at the cost of second hand clothes in Portugal, but thought it was because I look like a tourist that I was getting a bad deal ;-) Cost is rising a lot over here in the UK charity shops as well, a lot are above Primark prices already. It makes bargains harder to find!

  5. Alexandra

    Hi! I was reading the post and than i see a bag with the letters “CONTINENTE”! and I think “So fun, it’s a plastic bag of a supermarket portuguese in London” :D :D :D You pay 4 euros for each one!! ok, next time you havo to take with have to say ” só tenho uma nota de 5!” (I just have a 5 bank note!) :D :D


    • charityshopchic

      Hahahaha, thank you for the haggling tips Alexandra! My Portuguese is non-existent but I will definitely try harder next time. Glad you are finding my combination of random clothing items from around the world as interesting as I am ;-)

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