A Lucky Find

We have always trawled charity shops for reading material and rarely splash out on new books, although one recent exception was a signed copy of  Patrick Gale’s latest novel, A Town Called Winter, which W bought for me at a festival.  I’m over halfway through and really enjoying it, although I think Notes from an Exhibition will still be my favourite.


Some of our favourite charity shop finds include :

  • A poster from a 1970s Matisse exhibition.
  • A companion for the little ceramic hare by Felicity Lloyd Coombes we bought on the Arundel Gallery Trail.
  • A fancy pure wool boating blazer in immaculate condition for W – he looks particularly dashing in it!  Even better than Doris.

Despite all this, I’ve never really looked at clothing for myself.  All that has changed since the start of The Refashioners 2015!   Although my current focus is men’s shirts, on a recent visit to the British Heart Foundation shop something caught my eye.  The fabric was really striking and the angled pocket appealed to me.  On closer inspection I spotted the Guy Laroche label and decided that at £2.50 (reduced from £4.99) it was definitely worth buying just for the fabric.  It was labelled as a size 12 but it was more like an age 12!  The first time I tried it on was after a curry, some chocolate and a glass or two of wine and even breathing in very deeply was not enough to make the zip close.  The next morning I did manage to squeeze into it but that was before breakfast.

Apart from being too small it was also too long and there was some damage to the fabric where the side split had ripped.  Here’s what I did :

  • Unpicked the waistband.
  • Removed the zip – it was a lapped zip so that released a centimetre or so of fabric – and inserted a concealed zip.  A concealed zip wasn’t really necessary as the zip is completely hidden but I like the practice.
  • Unpicked the side seams and the seam on the longer side of the ‘wraparound’ section.  The seam allowances were very generous.
  • Re-stitched these seams with a ⅜ seam allowance.
  • Extended the waistband with a piece of fabric from the hemline.
  • Sewed the waistband back on.
  • Shortened the skirt.
  • Moved the button securing the end of the wraparound section to take account of the increased waist size.

There are still two small tears near one of the side seams.  I’ve ironed some fusible interfacing behind them to try and stop the fabric fraying any further.  I now need to find some thread which is a good match with the background colour so I can try out the so far unused darning stitch on my sewing machine.

Here’s the final result.  There are a couple of places which don’t bear close inspection (and that hem needs a proper press) but hopefully the bold fabric will distract the eye.


Not bad for £2.50 and the cost of a new zip.  I think this is definitely a holiday skirt.  All I need now is a holiday!

9 thoughts on “A Lucky Find

  1. You are soooooo clever. As well as raiding my fridge for butter some time ago which you were most welcome to do and welcome to do again should the need arise ,you should have a trawl through my sewing box ( next to archair) for cotton in case there are any colours tbere that you fancy. I also have millions of buttons should they be on your wish list.


  2. Such a striking design, no wonder you snapped it up. Clothes with a ‘label’ are always so much better made that they really are worth the effort it takes to adapt them to suit. You did a great job! I can’t believe you found that amazing boating jacket too, it’s totally fabulous.


  3. Lovely print and colour, I love the thrill of saving a piece like this. Today I managed to resist buying a Cacharel floral cotton shirt, it was very nice but £20 seemed too much, the difference between vintage fair and charity shop prices. Hope you wore it in the sunshine today?

    Liked by 1 person

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