Wednesday, October 5, 2016

50 & Fab....Embellishing Clothing for that Designer look #2...Fringed Skirt...

 
I love looking good, but am not enamoured with paying thousands of dollars for the privilege. Alas, I love to travel, and I would rather spend the thousands on that!
 
However, I have found ways of getting the looks I love, for a fraction of the price, and it's not sewing my own. I do that occasionally, but honestly, I don't have the time right at this point in my life.
 
I'm a bit of an expert at embellishing though, and it's amazing what you can achieve with a bit of fringe, a few unique buttons or beads, and a dash of creativity.
 
I first mentioned this idea here, and here, when I shared how I often use Net-a-Porter or Polyvore to get ideas on how to look my best. Sometimes it's just a case of updating a shoe, or a scarf, or the colour of your handbag, to look current. These sites help you achieve that and more. You can learn what prints are 'hot', what accessories will help you look young and on-trend, and for me, what shoes to wear with what. I am a great believer in 'the shoe makes the outfit'. I know. It's a problem isn't it!
 
I also shared how, once I have my inspiration, I hit the sales and my favourite thrift stores, to source similar looks. I'm constantly surprised at how often 'just the right thing' jumps into my lap soon after.
 
The ladies in the photographs above were a recent inspiration. These shots were taken at Paris fashion week (perhaps not this year, but last year...for me it doesn't matter), and they appealed to me as the women concerned all look to be around my age. They look classy, neat, and a bit edgy and different. I like that. These looks also looked relatively easy to replicate.
 
I've chosen the lady in the middle as my first project. I particularly loved her fringed skirt, long lean shirt, tanned limbs and ankle booties. This looked like an outfit that I might wear for an outing to the ballet or theatre, so I've started there.
 
The immediate pressing task was to find the fringe. This is not an inexpensive option at Spotlight (the major haberdashery store here where I live), but a quick look on eBay, and I'd purchased 4 metres, for under $20. I did not need anywhere near this much, but thought at $3.99 a metre (yard), it was worth buying a little more than required. You can buy the fringe from here.
 
It arrived about a fortnight later, tied in a neat little bundle....

 
...it's heavy and is exactly what I wanted.
 
Now I already had this skirt. It's a knee length skirt in a heavy stretch type fabric, sourced at a department store sale for under $30. I liked it at the time, but had never actually worn it as I'm not a huge fan of dresses and skirts. I liked the abstract pattern on this one though, and it's straight, so didn't make me look fatter than I already am...lol!
 
Further research on 'asymmetrical fringed skirts' on Google yielded many different options and methods of using the trim, and eventually I decided to simply add the trim, leave the fabric underneath, and spare the unsuspecting public a view of my thighs. It was the only decent thing to do. There were certainly plenty of designer-ish skirts that employed this method, so all good.
 
 
I laid the fringe in place, as above, ensuring that the top of the trim was even with no ripples, and pinned it into place as seen below...

 
Now, something to be aware of, is that my skirt had a bit of 'give', as did the fringe. So I kept the entire length of fringe in one piece, and as I pinned, I made sure that I allowed for the stretch. I pinned in a downward slope from side seam to side seam at the front, then turned the skirt over, and pinned from side seam to side seam in an upward slope to make the fringe meet at the edges. I left a little overhang as seen below, which I trimmed once I'd stitched. It was just as well, as even though I'd allowed for that 'give' when pinning, I still needed a couple of centimetres (inches) more than I initially thought. 

 
I stitched using a normal needle and black thread. The actual sewing took about three minutes, maximum.
 
 
And here's the finished skirt....
 
 
It looks fabulous on, and who would imagine that the addition of $4 worth of black fringe could make something look so glamorous!
 
A trip to my aforementioned favourite thrift store yesterday, yielded a long lean white sleeveless top to wear with my skirt, but I need to take it in a little to slim it down. It's a bit voluminous at the moment, and whilst I love the flowing look, it's not right for this outfit.
 
The final addition is the shoes, and in the same thrift store visit, I sourced all of these shoes for just $7 a pair. Now I normally have an aversion to buying shoes from the thrift store, but as it happened, every single pair, bar the yellow ones which look brand new anyway, were unworn, still with tags! The yellow ones are Nine West and will go perfectly with my orange and yellow beads, another thrift store purchase...
 
 
 
 
And as for my jacket (seen above) embellishing project as seen in this post here, well that one was completed in one five and a half hour, hand stitching marathon of neon flat backed jewels, and pretty much looks just as I laid it out, seen here below. That one was a great success, and drew many compliments last weekend when I wore it to three different events. If I ever get the hang of the full length selfie, I'll share how it actually looks on!
 
The great thing, and a benefit I hadn't considered, is that the jewels weigh the hem down considerably, giving a very flattering and slimming line. Did you know that Chanel jackets all have chain stitched into the hems for exactly this reason? Or that many designer garments also have weights of one kind or another (even coins!) stitched into dress hems, and the hems of trousers? That's an idea worth copying as it gives such a lovely finish to your garments.
 
 
Those lolly pink ballet flats are going to look great with the jacket, and some white jeans this Summer I think!
 
 
The khaki ones with their fabulous flat black bow, will be a perennial favourite, and the black loafers look very similar to the ones the lady is wearing in the first photo at the top of my post, so I guess you see where I was going with that idea. The strappy, conical heeled, and very comfortable sandals, will be worn with the fringed skirt tomorrow night, when I attend my daughters Ballet Concert, and I hope to provide photos of that outfit then! Although, I must confess, that having secured so many bargains, I felt justified in spending a little on a pair of ankle booties as per my fashionista inspiration in picture number two. They'll arrive tomorrow and I'll make a decision then.
 
So first outfit, inspired by photograph two, successful.
 
Total spend $52, including the shoes, or a little more if I decide to keep the boots.
 
I call that a win.
 
Coming up is my Dolce & Gabbana inspired trimmed shirt....stay tuned....
 
 
 
 
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26 comments:

  1. What wonderful options! Thank you for the tips! -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

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    1. Hi Marci. Gosh I haven't visited you in weeks. Must pop on over! Glad you enjoyed the tips. Love, Mimi xxx

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  2. How creative and fun! Don't you just love Ebay? It is amazing to me that one can find such a savings on things there.

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    1. Hi Chipmunk. Yes eBay opens a world of possibilities if you're clever, doesn't it! Mimi xxx

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  3. You always amaze me Mimi! I love how you embellished you skirt and shirt and what great deal you found on those shoes!

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    1. Thanks Debbie! It was a good op shopping day that day! Mimi xxx

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  4. Dear Mimi, Love these posts ! The skirt looks fab, and so does the jacket, can't wait to see a photo of you in them. And wow, to the shoe buys , unbelievable here. I was having a conversation this week with my inlaws,and the would not go near an opshop,and also said that the people who wokr in them get the best for themselves. I tried to explain that may be the case some of the time but a good eye and heart can find a good item. I know my girlfriend who lives in another city gets wonderful finds .
    We know don;t we :-)
    Love Maria x
    PS Have fun at the ballet !

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    1. Dear Maria, thankyou! Yes it's a bit of a scavenger hunt sometimes, isn't it. I think that's where the research really pays off, because it means you can hone in on certain fabrics, colours, or styles, and be fairly sure that you really are buying something that will be a worthy addition to your wardrobe. I am amazed at what people discard actually. The shoes are a good example! Yes, we know ;-) Mimi xxx

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  5. The skirt is absolutely fabulous ♥

    summerdaisycottage.blogspot.com

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  6. Hi Mimi, I love all of your inspiration and tips on fashion! It's so great that you know how to sew. I was taught to sew by my mom when I was little but I did not like it and my mom always finished all of my work. The skirt came out great. I'm trying to update my wardrobe too with shoes and clothes. I always give all of my clothes I don't want anymore to good will also. Thanks for this post!
    Julie

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    1. Hi Julie. Yes, even basic sewing skills give you the tools to upcycle all kinds of things. I love donating my worn, but still lovely items back to the thrift stores. It kind of repays them for all the lovely bargains I've scored over the years! Mimi xxx

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  7. Hi Mimi,
    Is that you in the top pics? Oh my goodness. You looks so stylish and classy. I love your ideas of emballishing clothing. The fringe is beautiful. You have an amazing fashion sense. Thank you for sharing! Have a Wonderful Weekend, Karen

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    1. *cough* Karen...I wish that were me! No, those ladies are my fashion inspiration! I promise I'll share photos of me as soon as I can pin my daughter down to act as photographer. Have a great week. Mimi xxx

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  8. Love your skirt Mimi and the shoes are a fabulous bargain. I live in a small country town and we don't have the quality of items in our op shops that you seem to find. I'm a woman of a certain age and I just think the ladies look so elegant and classy- to replicate that look would be my wish too. Thankyou for sharing and great instructions for the skirt sewing. Lorraine

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    1. Hi Lorraine. I know what you mean about the small country town. Even here, there are some suburbs (usually the more affluent ones) where the choices at the thrift stores is better and more varied. All I can suggest is that you hit the 'good' thrift stores in the larger towns whenever possible, armed with your wish list of course! Thanks for visiting. Love, Mimi xxx

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  9. I forgot to say Mimi I'm a size 16 and would like a couple of smart looking outfits for summer Also with menopause, I get so hot so need to wear sleeveless tops and skirts or 3/4 pants. Even light weight full length pants are too hot. Any photo ideas please? Best wishes Lorraine.

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    1. Hi again Lorraine. I am a size 16 too, and a shortie to boot at only 163cms tall. I hear you on the 'hot' bit as well...lol! I am learning to live with 'sleeveless'. I have a thing about my arms as I think they're too flabby to show off. Mind you, I hated them when they were thin too, so maybe I just have a thing about arms...lol! Lorraine, I think the key is to find a style that is 'you'. I could say wear this, or wear that, and it might not suit you at all. I love the elegant, classy, bordering-on-artsy sort of look. So I focus on simple pieces, embellishing with trims, embroidery and colourful accessories, and find that suits me fine. I'm learning to love my arms, and use jewellery or scarves around my face to distract the eye from my less lovely features including my little apple shaped tum. I'll try to accommodate your ideas into an upcoming post. I hope that will help. Love, Mimi

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  10. Aren't you the clever one, Mimi! Such a cute skirt and no doubt your outfit will be beautiful! I'm hoping you can get a photo to share.
    And yes, I'm envious of your marvelous find of so many cute shoes!
    Blessings, Leigh

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    1. Thankyou Leigh! It was a good day of thrifting! I promise a photo is coming up soon. Love, Mimi xxx

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  11. Thanks again Mimi for sharing this fun fashion post at Cooking and Crafting with J & J.
    Enjoy the week.
    Julie xo

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    1. Hi Julie.Thanks for having me! Mimi xxx

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  12. Such neat ideas! :)

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

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I love hearing from you! I always respond to comments, so don't be shy! Mimi xxx