My initial thoughts were to make this into something totally different – I was going to go for a halter-neck dress. On mulling it over though, on what possible occasion would one wear a sleeveless halter-neck dress made from really thick waterproof fabric? Final decision was that it would have to stay as a coat, but I wanted to make it look as different as possible from the original, with as many feminine features as possible.
Next, the most exciting part – the flounce! In order to draw my pattern, I needed to know how much material I had to play with. I folded the offcuts from the bottom of the coat in half, and drew around it on tissue paper. (above right) I then folded it in half again, so I’m working with a quarter of the finished flounce.
The resulting belt is so short! It just about fits around my waist. Obviously I haven’t got a belt buckle, but I worked out that if I tie it twice it takes on a bow shape, rather unexpectedly adding another feminine feature. I rather like it!
Last thing to do was to make the lining match up. (Above middle) I pinned the sleeve lining to the body lining, incorporating small pleats around the sleeve head to take up the excess fabric. Then I patiently hand-stitched it together. (Above right).
Overall, I really enjoyed this challenge! I was very excited to see what Portia had sent me and delighted when it arrived. It was great to be pushed out of my comfort zone a little by not having full control over the original garment. To be honest, I don’t think I would have chosen this coat if I found it myself – the paint stain and the lack of belt would probably have been deal-breakers – but that said, I am really pleased with how it turned out. Trench coats, after all, never go out of style.
Sally of Charity Shop ChicExcuse me while I pick my jaw up off the floor! Such a dramatic transformation! Even more astounding when you consider that the base garment cost a mere £1 and the genuine article retails for just under £1000!! Now if THAT’s not a good reason to ransack your local charity shop and get refashioning, Well, I don’t know what is!
One of the things I love about Sally’s refashions is how ambitious they are. Her technical skills are pretty awesome. I knew that whatever I sent Sally had to be a challenge otherwise she’d end up all “HA! Is THAT the best you can do?!” Am I right, or am I right Sally?! (For the record, Sally volunteered to send me MY mystery garment as part of this challenge. Let me tell you…I’m pretty sure that’s what she was thinking when she selected it! I seriously had my work cut out there!)
The fabric of this coat was that really velvety gaberdine. So it felt delicious. I knew it would also be really massive on Sally, which would give her lots to work with and some spare fabric to address the belt issue if she so wished. I confess, I missed the stain on the back! Sorry Sally! In any case, Sally was more than equal to this challenge. A stunning transformation from “fugly” to fashion forward. A total triumph!