On Saturday, March 9th, I had the absolute pleasure of attending the wedding of my good friends Laura and Bryan. This wedding was extra special for me as the bride's dress was my very first Revamped Bridal gown!
This dress took two bridal gowns, over sixty cut pattern pieces, and eighty-one hours of sewing (over fifty of those were sewn by hand).
Laura was referred to me after she posted on Facebook "I have my mum's wedding dress and my grandmother's wedding dress, and I need someone to make my wedding dress from them. Anyone know someone who can do that?"
Sounds like a match made in heaven to me!
1950's on the left, 1980's on the right.
Laura's grandmother had kept her beautiful, hand-made gown in perfect condition since the 1950's. The flat lace design was divine and the dress had beautiful frilly petticoats and a night slip to go with it.
Laura's mother's dress was a classic gown from the 1980's. It had a beautiful long train with detailed lace designs and scolloped edges. I knew this dress (and it's beautiful edging) would be ideal to create the train. There were lots of flowers on the bottom with beautiful vines that crept up.
This shot shows the blending of the laces.
The brief for the dress was:
Laura had been collecting inspiration pictures for a couple of months, so when it was time to sit down and design her dream dress we had a lot of fun!
When designing Laura's dress I needed to take into account the materials I had to work with. I actually managed to create Laura's dress and under skirt using about 97% materials from her mother's and grandmother's dresses. The only new things I needed to purchase were the metal boning for the corset, some calico which I used inside the bodice, a ribbon I used as the band for the petticoat, sewing threads, and some hooks and eyes. Everything else was revamped!
A great shot of the petticoat.
The many hours of hand sewing were spent on combining the two laces. Laura's grandmother's dress was ivory and Laura's mother's dress was white, so it was important to seamlessly combine the two. I spent many hours, carefully trimming around the flowers and vines of the white dress and hand stitching them, flat onto the ivory lace. I'm so pleased I took the time to do this because, as you can see in many of the pictures, the white flowers seem to pop-out (in an iridescent way) in certain light.
The final touch of the dress was the petticoat. I created the can-can style skirt with the frill on the inside. The frills added the drama Laura was looking for, in a non-bulky way.
The petticoat is a great piece on it's own and it was created from the beautiful frills and lace I found on the undergarments from Laura's grandmother's dress.
The 'Bridal Jump'!
Laura and Bryan had such a wonderful day and I'm so happy for them! It was wonderful to see Laura looking so comfortable and carefree all day! The dress came up a treat in the 'Bridal Jump' (yes they had a jumping castle at their reception)! No restrictions at all.
Congratulations Laura and Bryan and thank you so very much for this amazing opportunity!
If you would like to have a Revamped Couture Creation for your special day (or if you know someone else who would like one), please don't hesitate to contact me and we can start planning. Bridal, formal, cocktail or other special occasions. I would love to create a special piece just for you!
Now here are some more pictures from that special day. Enjoy!
I was shopping with my good friend ALPHAMAMA on Saturday, in preparation for her gig. It had been a while since her last big show and we wanted to make an impact! I totally fell for these metallic, leopard print leggings. We bought the leopard print leggings, a skirt, I bought myself a pair of leggings, then ALPHAMAMA had this fantastic idea!
"I want to cut a hole in the crotch and wear the leggings as a top."
What a fabulous idea! As you can see from the above picture, it looks hot, Hot, HOT!
To create this look I started out by cutting a neck hole in the crotch. Have a look at a t-shirt and you'll see that the neck hole is cut straighter in the back and have more of a scoop in the front. Use one of your t-shirts as a guide to measure how big to cut the hole.
Once ALPHAMAMA tried the leggings (which are now a top) on, we decided how to customize. ALPHA wanted to show some more skin, so I cut the centre back crotch seam straight down the back, stopping at the elastic (waistband). Voila! That's it. So quick and simple and so effective! So many of the audience commented on how great ALPHAMAMA's performance was and also how great she looked!
How else could you convert your leggings? Plenty of times I've converted stockings into shrugs, and cut up fishnets to wear as sleeves. Head on over to the Revamped Fashion Facebook page and share your ideas of ways to convert leggings.
Done in one hour! The finished product!
At last Tuesday's Revamped Fashion class I was telling my students about a big, cosy, yellow jumper I'd seen at the Supre' warehouse in Marrickville. When I saw the jumper I thought about how nice it would be if it was a cardigan and had a hood. My students were quite excited as I was telling them about my idea, so the very next day I visited the warehouse.
The two original jumpers
As my luck would have it (and I appear to be a very lucky lady these days) there was a 50% off sale! I have mixed emotions going to these factory warehouses. It's like clothing carnage! Seeing the masses of replicated items stirs me up a bit (heavy breathing, hot flushes), but if I can get over the fear, and the thought of the planet pollution, and just accept that this clothing is here and has already been produced, then I can look at the situation like finding buried treasure! There are so many cheap items to cut up and put to use in completely different ways!
As I was looking around the warehouse there were so many jumpers to choose. There was a great variety of colours, textures and details. I knew I wanted to cut the yellow jumper up the centre front and make a baggy cardigan I could wrap around me, but what else was possible?
Attaching the magenta cuff.
I loved the combination of the magenta with the yellow. The magenta jumper had baggy cuffs on it, so I thought they would be a great feature to cut off and add onto the cuffs of the yellow jumper. It was quite easy to do. I cut the magenta cuffs off, making sure I has about 2cm seam allowance above where the ribbing started. Once I cut the cuffs off, I zig zagged around each one to prevent fraying or unravelling. I then pinned the magenta cuff to the yellow one and stitched around them. After this I folded the magenta cuff up and hand stitched it it in four places.
Covering the centre back seam of the hood.
I also used the bottom of the magenta jumper as the edge of the hood. If you're looking at chopping up loose knit items such as jumpers, think about the edges of the garment and how you can use them. You need to work quickly with loose knits as they can fray. You can prevent fraying by either overlocking around the edge, or using a zig zag stitch.
I'm experienced enough to cut out hoods freehand. I don't use a pattern. If you don't have that confidence, use a hood from another jumper as a guide. I found that the centre back seam on the inside of the hood looked pretty ratty, so I cut another strip of magenta knit to cover over it.
*Loose knits are pretty forgiving when it comes to stitching on top of the fabric. I found that I could stitch this strip on with the stitching lines being easily hidden.
**I also found that using a mid-width zig zag stitch was valuable as the fabric has stretch in
Once all of this was done I evenly pinned it to the neckline and stitched the hood in place. I placed the hood on the inside of the cardigan first, then stitched it, then folded the hood up and stitched it again to hide the raw edges. This is a bit hard to explain and for some of you this may be a challenge, for others, this may be simple. Have a play and see how you can join the hood to the neck line whilst hiding the hood's raw edges.
FInally, the last detail I created was on the centre front of the now, cardigan. The magenta jumper had a great ribbed neckline. I chopped it off (leaving some seam allowance) and used it to neatly finish the centre front of the cardigan. It's an extra pop of colour and really looks great! There was only enough ribbing for one side, so on the other side of the cardigan I just double folded it and stitched it so it has a neat finish.
There you have it. You can be in da hood in an hour! One hour was all this took me and I only spent $15. Next time you see some knit jumpers, check out the details and have a think of how you can revamp them.
This week I have a quick and easy D.I.Y for you. Buttons are the ultimate tool to transform a garment from drab to fab!
I thought I'd hit the jackpot when I came across these pants in K Mart. $19 for some groovy, low crotch pants! I loved them but as you can see from the original photo, they were a bit too plain for me.
I found these gorgeous pink buttons at Tessuti Fabrics in Surry Hills and it only cost me less than $10 for five of them. The pants look so much more 'designer' now. I'm so happy with the result and so many people stop me to ask me about my pants and the cool buttons!
When you go shopping, think about which other items you can change the buttons on. Shirts, dresses, coats and blazers can all be glammed up and given your original touch simply by changing the buttons! Give it a go and as always, please post your Revamped projects on our Facebook page. Sharing is caring and you might just inspire someone else to give it a try. Happy Revamping!
I love, Love, LOVE tails! The glitz. The glamor. The razzmatazz! A garment with tails makes me want to grab a top hat and tap dance. Whoo!
I was thrilled when I came across the challenge of transforming a pretty average looking top into a sexy new tails creation! The original top had a great collar and shoulder line, so I wanted to keep those things as a feature. The bottom half of the top just hung...
So what I've done here is I've cropped off the front of the top (I finished the inside nicely with some bias tape), and then I've used the bottom of the bust lines as my guide for the line of the tails.
I found a satin skirt to cut up and use for the lower half of the garment, and the fabric which was formerly the bottom half of the top was used as lining.
Have a go and see what you come up with. It's possible to create 'tails' coats, vests and tops out of long jackets, suit jackets, dresses and probably more! As always, feel free to share your creations and post them on our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/revampedfashion
Do you have a plain blazer that you'd like to add some Zing! to? Today's Revamped D.I.Y will not only help you to create an original blazer which will stand out in the crowd, it will also (at least) triple the value of the blazer!
Years ago I was browsing in my favorite Adidas Originals store when I spotted an AMAZING football jersey dress by Jeremy Scott. It was covered in jewels, all silver and blue and it was absolutely divine! I've kept that dress in my memory for years and finally, I found the inspiration to incorporate the blue and silver jewels into something I can wear every day!
The Adidas dress which inspired this look.
One day I happened to come across a royal blue blazer. I loved the colour but the blazer was so plain! Then I realized... this was it. I could finally use that Jeremy Scott inspiration and create the blingin blazer of my dreams!
What you will need:
Blazer or Jacket
Rivet hammering tool (ask for this when you purchase the rivets)
Hole punch or scissors
Some of the equipment you will need.
The plain blazer was only $50 from Cotton On. A bit of a bargain for a blazer which was a very good fit. I then headed to Birdsall Leather in Botany (they also have a great online store. Check out the link) and bought a couple of packs of rivets and the little rivet punching tool required.
I had to be careful when punching the holes in the collar of the blazer because it's a slightly stretchy material. I used a fine hole punching tool. If you don't have one of those you can gently use the end of your snips or scissors to poke a hole for the rivet to poke through.
*Keep the holes small because if the holes stretch the rivets will fall out and you'll just have a holey collar on your blazer. Eek!
Once I punched the holes, I poked the stem of the gem rivet (they call this the male part) through the hole, then, on the back side of the collar, I placed the back of the rivet (the female part) over the stem until I could hear a little 'click'.
Next, I placed a soft piece of denim (or leather) onto the chopping board to protect the gem from getting scratched or damaged when I hammered the back on.
I faced the gem down onto the denim, and cupped the back of the rivet with the hammering tool. I gave the tool two hard bangs with the hammer and checked that the rivet was in place.
I like to place my rivets in randomly. You might like to create a pattern. I'd love to see your creations! What other things could you decorate with rivets or studs? Please post some pictures of your Revamped D.I.Y projects on our facebook page http://www.facebook.com/revampedfashion
You can also follow us on Instagram @ revampedfashionlovesu
Over Christmas I was spending time visiting my beloved Aunty Carol in hospital. I wanted to keep her company and stay in there for as long as I could. I'm not one for sitting still for too long so I thought it would be best if I took a project in with me. We had a lovely time as I entertained her (while also feeling incredibly productive)!
My inspiration for this design came from an amazing t-shirt by the sensational Australian design duo Sass n Bide. Ok... I'll admit it, the t-shirt I've created here is very similar in design. Making this shirt was great as it got me to explore the technique. Since creating this piece I've been researching other tribal designs and thinking of ways to transform t-shirts with my own flavor (I haven't actually worn this one as I don't like to copy).
What to do:
Almost finished! Just needs some bedazzling!
Firstly, I bought a mens T-shirt from Target. I cut off the sleeves and trimmed down the bind on the neck (the bind is still attached but I've roughed it up a bit with the scissors).
Next I placed the T-shirt over the table in the hospital (or an ironing board will do) and started cutting the masking tape to size, and started taping out my design.
Once I was happy with my design I mixed the paint with the fabric medium (as directed on the bottle) and I started painting the areas not taped.
* Tip: Be careful not to apply the paint too thick. It will stiffen the fabric (which is what happened with this sample I made). I would recommend painting with a slightly damp brush, and avoid painting too many layers (of paint). If there's too much paint it will bleed under the masking tape.
This is a great example of tribal art I saw at MONA in Hobart recently
Once the area you want is painted, remove the masking tape and hang shirt on a clothes hanger to dry.
To create the zig-zag down the middle, once the paint has dried, tape up zig-zag lines down the centre front panels. Apply a second coat of paint and quickly shake glitter over the area before it dries. Once it's dry, remove the masking tape and shake all of the excess glitter off.
* Tip: I shake it over newspaper so I can collect the excess and use it again.
To finish off you will need to heat-set the paint. By heat-setting it you will safely be able to put your T-shirt through the wash, knowing that your design won't wash off.
The fabric medium has instructions for how to heat-set paint. I used a regular iron and placed brown paper over the T-shirt (in between the iron and the shirt). I've been spinning this shirt through the washing machine and it's been coming up like new! Over time the glitter has worn off a bit (as I expected) so it may be worth trying to apply the glitter with a fabric glue rather than paint.
Gosh I'd love to see what designs you come up with! Please post your Revamped Tribal T's on our facebook page. Sharing your designs will inspire other Revampers to give it a try Let's revamp this planet together! :D
Welcome to my first Revamped Fashion D.I.Y. Online session! This is a segment I will be featuring weekly, to help get you in the Revamping groove even if you can't make it to one of my workshops.
This week's example of Revamped Fashion is a simple and effective method I've used to breathe life into a much loved high school formal dress.
Before, in it's original form.
My client brought this dress to me because she loved the colour and hoped I could somehow make it cool again. Now, my client happens to be one super hot babe who gets on stage and sings like an angel and plays guitar like Slash, so it was quite appropriate for me to transform this dress into a hot little number, worthy of being put on public display!
I decided that because the top of this dress was still very current (it has fabulous cut-outs), it would be a crime not to use it, so to modernize this wonder I simply chopped off the skirt! I left enough of the skirt (approximately 3cm) attached to the top, to double fold under to create a neat and tidy edge, and I hand stitched this fold in place into the lining.
Because my client is no longer 16, the back of the top didn't quite meet (I would say a fabulous growth spirt of cleavage would be to blame for that!), so I removed the previously placed buttons and replaced them with some rouleau* loops I had made from the remainder of the skirt.
Now the top has a new lace-up back!
*To create rouleau for the loops and the lace-up cord, cut a 3cm wide strip of fabric on the bias, fold in half and stitch. Because this fabric is stretchy its ideal to use a short stitch which has a very slight zig-zag. Use a rouleau turner to turn the cord in the right way.
I am a freelance designer and stylist who creates avant-garde fashion and costume. I specialize in custom making costumes for musicians, physical theatre, and dance companies. I love what I do and I love to share my passion and teach others :D