Tagged: Challenge

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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Going Goth


This story starts with a lovely package in the mail from a certain Sew Busy Lizzy in Australia. Thanks Lizzy! This lovely gift contained some fabric, a pattern, some black snaps and a black and white dress. Lizzy tells me that all of these things came from the local ‘Op Shop’ (that’s Australian for Charity Shop!) and that the dress cost just AUD $2 (about £1.15). I think you got a bargain, Lizzy!


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Special Announcement: Retail Royalty Challenge

Firstly, thank you SO MUCH to everyone who voted in the Refashion Runway competition. I was delighted (and a little overwhelmed) to be announced as the overall winner of the challenge!! I had such a great time participating in the competition with the other fabulous ladies and learned a lot in the process. Thanks again to Beth, the organiser of the challenge, to my fellow competitors and to everyone who voted. Beth let it slip already that there will be a Season 2 of Refashion Runway coming soon, so I hope you will consider participating.

Anyway, today I have a rather special announcement for you…

I was invited by MoneySupermarket.com to take part in their Retail Royalty Challenge. They give £30 to bloggers to spend on goods for a charity of our choice. The challenge part is that we are supposed to haggle on behalf of the charity in order to get as much as possible for the £30. You can see what the other bloggers did with their £30 by searching the twitter hashtag #RetailRoyaltyChallenge.

I wanted to find a charity that would accept a gift of something sewing-related, and it took me a little while, but finally I stumbled across Bag Books, via the lovely Rosie over at DIY Couture, who works there. Bag Books makes multi-sensory stories for people with learning disabilities.

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Refashion Runway: Summer Dress

This is the fourth and final part of the ‘Refashion Runway’ series. You can find pictures from the other competitors, and vote for your favourites, here.

This week’s theme is ‘Summer Dress’. Enter one summer dress that needs a bit of TLC…


This came from the British Heart Foundation shop in Streatham and cost £6.99. The fabric has navy, white and mint green stripes with a shiny pattern in the cross weave. It’s lightweight polyester.



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Refashion Runway/Red Carpet Copycat: Gwyneth Paltrow in Stella McCartney

This is my entry for the third round of Refashion Runway hosted by The Renegade Seamstress. You can click here to see what the other competitors made on this week’s ‘copycat’ theme – and vote for your favourites (me please!).

Longtime readers will remember my last take on the Stella McCartney bodycon dress, blogged here. This year’s take on it is the ‘Saskia’ dress from the Evening 2012 collection which has been worn by pretty much everyone, from Gwyneth Paltrow to Katharine Jenkins… to Victoria Pendleton to Tess Daly, in its various forms. I have been dying to recreate this dress since I first saw it but couldn’t decide on the right colour combination. The front is matte, but the back is sheeny stretch velvet (velour!) with transparent side panels.

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My version will be made out of…. yes, T-shirts, but also….


…a velour tracksuit! This baby was £7.95 from the Sense shop in Deptford. I’m only using the trousers for this, I’ll have to use the top for something else.


I’m also using a very thick blue t-shirt, £3 from Richard House Hospice shop in Upminster, and this very thin beige t shirt which was £3 from the Octavia Foundation shop in Tooting.




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Refashion Runway: Denim!

This week’s challenge for Refashion Runway is Denim. You can see the entries from all the competitors, and vote for your favourites (including moi), here.

Going with the Denim theme, I’m starting with this pair of jeans from Scope in Lewisham (£4). They are a nice dark, even colour with a little bit of stretch.



I’m planning on making  a denim skirt. Not your ordinary, run of the mill denim skirt, but something a bit more fancy. A sectioned pencil skirt with mini-peplums at the sides.

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The Refashioners!

This post appeared first on Miss P, as part of Portia’s series, ‘The Refashioners’, in which she challenges participants to remake a garment she selects for us. Why not head over and check out what the other ladies made, here?

It’s amazing what you can get in a charity shop for £1.


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This enormous trench coat had potential, but had clearly seen better days. The size, obviously, was completely wrong for me and made me look like a spy from the 1980s and/or Inspector Gadget.


There was a white paint stain on the back, as though the previous owner had leant on a newly-painted railing. Probably the biggest problem though, was that the belt was missing. A trench coat without a belt? Now that really is a challenge. Continue reading

Refashion Runway: Stripes!

As some of you may already know, I’m taking part in the ‘Refashion Runway’ competition hosted by The Renegade Seamstress. The competition is essentially a series of Refashioning challenges; this week’s theme is ‘stripes’. You can see the other entries for this week’s challenge, and vote for your favourites, here.

I’m starting with this tiny, tiny skirt from the Cancer Research shop in Lewisham (£4). There’s nothing wrong with it, other than it’s far, far too short. Bottom of the waistband to the hem is just 35cm! On me (5’8″) this is practically indecent.



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Betty Draper

This project is my entry for Julia Bobbin’s popular Mad Men Challenge. I’m a huge Mad Men fan and love seeing the costumes every week, so entering this popular challenge was a bit of a no-brainer for me.

The dress I chose was Betty’s cream and green shirt dress. I couldn’t find any references to which episode this is from, but I’ve seen it so many times online that I think it must actually be a promo shot for the first series. It’s more late fifties than early sixties and embodies Betty’s conservative housewife look from the first half of that series. If you know which episode this is from, leave me a comment and let me know.



I’m starting with a sheet that I got from Oxfam in Streatham. I paid £4.99 for the single sheet and two matching pillowcases, which have green ruffles all the way around!

It’s made of actual linen, the thin refined sort (none of your thick slubby stuff) and handles beautifully.

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Put on your red shoes (and dance the blues)

In case you hadn’t guessed, this is going to be about Bowie.

Specifically, it’s about this outfit, from 1973. It’s made of vinyl and was designed by Kansai Yamamoto for the Aladdin Sane tour. I chose this as my starting point for Tempest Devyne’s Bowie Sewalong! Also, it has red shoes (for dancing the blues).

David Bowie:Ziggy Stardust



I’m making my version from… old T-shirts, what else?!

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These T-shirts came from (L-R below) Deptford Salvation Army shop, £2; PDSA Bolton, £3.99; Scope Barking, £2.


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