We were so inspired by the recent BBC2 programme ‘The Great British Sewing Bee’ that we decided to have a go too!
We wanted to see if it is possible to create wearable, lovely, unique clothes from what is already in the wardrobe or from charity shop purchases. This meant a trip around the Newbury charity shops to find things that could be adapted – and what a great selection of things we found!
We picked a Sunday and gathered together at Frankie & Ruby HQ to spend the day designing, adapting, chopping and stitching whilst drinking buckets of tea. What a wonderful way to spend a Sunday afternoon!
Jo had brought some clothes with her that had been in her wardrobe for ages unworn. She was drawn to work on a skirt that had a gathered waistband. She loved the fabric, but didn’t think the shape worked for her. By chopping off and replacing the waistband, Jo made the skirt a more A-line shape. She then set to work making it completely unique by changing the buttons, adding a denim pocket detail, and the finishing touch – adding a red lace trim! Her skirt looked amazing, but more than that, it became wearable and unique. Jo was thrilled.
Becky was drawn to a tea dress we had picked up in a charity shop. The dress was navy blue with a pink heart print, and was already a sweet shape. Becky wanted to make the dress completely unique and different. She changed the buttons for cute little individual buttons, she added a denim waistband to highlight the shape, and she added some lovely embellishments to make it unique. Becky had made something that she loved and would enjoy wearing because it was completely unique, and it suited her shape and colouring.
I decided that I was going to attempt to adapt two tops. I loved the print on the blue tunic top, and thought I could combine it with a plain cream top to make a dress. Half way in and I almost abandoned the project altogether, worried that it would look frumpy, but Jo suggested cutting off the arms, and Becky suggested adding buttons, and suddenly the dress started to look fun again. I added the coral waistband for a flash of colour and mirrored that in the buttons to create a fun 60’s style dress.
At the end of the day, not only had we drunk enough tea to sink a battleship, but we’d all really enjoyed our relaxing afternoon, and felt a sense of accomplishment that we’d managed to create three items of clothing that are not only wearable, but completely unique and individual. There’s only one question we have left – when’s the next one?
If you’re interested in joining us for an ‘adapt your wardrobe’ sewing bee day, just drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.