Category: Refashions

Tank Top Transformed

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Just a quick one today folks. I’d like to tell you about this rather ugly jumper that I bought from the YMCA shop in Middlesbrough for £2.99.

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The overall shape is very ‘old lady’, and there isn’t a natural fibre in sight, but it has a pretty embroidered section around the neck in shades of blue and green.

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Exploring The Brave New World of Bare Midriffs

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Greetings, Refashioners! I’m back with another monstrosity-turned-masterpiece for your viewing pleasure.

I bought this Cambridge-blue (Tiffany-blue?) polyester/viscose top in the Scope shop in Lewisham, a while back when they were having a sale. It was £2.00 (reduced from £3.95). Score!

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Like the magpie I am, I had totally fallen for the silver-coloured beading on the front yoke. Delightful!

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The top is a little big, and the effect of the overall shape was a bit third-trimester, but it had a lot going for it.

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Fabricado Em Portugal

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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.

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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:

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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.

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Silver Screen Chic: Pretty in Pink

First of all, thanks everyone for all your support on my last post! I’m overwhelmed :-)

Today I’m very happy to be launching a new occasional series in collaboration with my friend, film writer Hannah who blogs over at I Watched This on Purpose. In case you haven’t seen her blog, Hannah is taking us through an analysis of her favourite movies in a bid to discover what makes them great. It’s well worth a read, especially if you’re into obscure and not-so-obscure movies from the 80s and 90s.

This collaborative series is going to be about refashions and fashion transformations in the movies. Hannah will be writing about the role each movie refashion takes in the plot, while I’ll be creating refashioning projects inspired by the same movies. Our first project together is on the classic thrift store fashion and refashioning movie, Pretty in Pink; I’ll be remaking this pink bridesmaid dress into something a lot more wearable.

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Swedish Blouse from England

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Hello Refashioners!

I bought this white blouse on my recent trip to north Sweden, in the Red Cross shop in Jörn, to be precise. There are very few shops in this small town but amongst them were several second-hand shops (“loppis” – I got some great stuff there too, more of which, later) and a rather fun charity shop run by the Swedish Red Cross (Röda Korset). I had a good browse and bought several pieces there. If you’re in the area, I recommend it. They have free coffee and everything.

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I came across this 1980s white blouse in approximately my size. It has ruffles. I mean, a lot of ruffles. There are ruffles at the neck, ruffles at the shoulder, ruffles at the cuffs and even two big ruffles down the front. I love ruffles but this was a little much even for me.

I paid SEK 30:- which is about £2.60.

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So anyway, I was looking for something especially Swedish to remake. I was delighted to see that the blouse had originally been sold by Swedish department store Åhléns. Thinking that nothing could be more Swedish I happily carried this home to England to be remade.

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On closer inspection…..

D’oh!

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Dodgson! We’ve got Dodgson here! See, nobody cares

This is my entry for the Sew Dolly Clackett competition – you can see the other entries here. This challenge is the brainchild of Sarah at Rhinestones and Telephones; the challenge is to sew up a dress in the style of Dolly Clackett – AKA Roisin – to celebrate her upcoming wedding. Roisin has a very clearly defined personal style, which includes a lot of 50s silhouettes, especially fit and flare dresses, bright colours, novelty fabrics and awesome shoes. Check out her blog and you’ll soon get the idea.

After weeks of searching for something suitable (kids bedding anyone?) I actually struck gold at one of my regular haunts, Scope Lewisham. This is actual fabric, people! That almost never happens. I think this is probably only the second time I have ever bought actual fabric from a charity shop in all my years of rummaging. The slightly novelty print is blue and white circles, reminiscent of china plates, and all the circles are the same. I paid £3 – not bad for almost 1.5m. I actually pre-washed this (!) since it was new, and it came out really stretched along the bias. Luckily, being quilting-weight cotton, I was able to press it back into shape with lots of steam and a fair amount of elbow grease.

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Pattern Magic: Cushion Cover in Portugal

I bought this splendid cushion cover without much of a plan for it, but it clearly wasn’t going to stay as a cushion cover. I love working with home dec fabrics because they are often heavy weight and they have bigger and bolder prints. This circular cushion cover had an embroidered motif on it but it was on ‘faux silk’, ie it was closer to garment weight. Check out that piping too! It’s navy, turquoise and lime green on white polyester.

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I paid £2.50 for this little beauty in the Red Cross Shop in Lewisham.

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Burberry Suit – Part 1

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I’ve had this ice blue Burberry wool suit for ages. I pounced on it, magpie-like, in Streatham Oxfam and managed to get it for £17.99. I was so excited about this suit when I bought it that I didn’t really think too hard about what I was going to do with it, just that £17.99 seemed like a bargain, even though it didn’t fit AT ALL. The skirt’s too big. The jacket, well, the jacket is just wrong. Too big, huge shoulders, grubby hem, sleeves far too short. Those buttons though. The buttons are incredible – and there are three on each cuff!

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Happily I have been able to give the skirt the attention it deserves, while the jacket is still waiting for some TLC. So that will have to come in Part 2 at a later date. The main reason for neglecting the jacket is that I didn’t notice (in the dimly-lit shop) that it has a rather large coffee (I assume) stain on the centre front. I have turned the contrast up on the photo below so you can see it – if you look really carefully at the photo above you can just about see it. So anyway, that’s on ice for a while while I decide what to do with it. Back to the skirt.

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Kenya safari skirt

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You can’t beat a bargain like this – £2 reduced from £3.95 from the Hospices of Hope shop in Orpington.

I have had this silk skirt in stash for a while now, but it only ever had one destiny: to be part of my safari wardrobe. The khaki green colour, which I’m generously calling ‘olive’, conjures up safari and jungle images for me. It’s a colour I’d otherwise never wear, and you know I am fond of a challenge, so I set to work.

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