My big week off hits day two – and I’ve been ‘refashioning’ today.
Starting small (so small, in fact, this should be called ‘refreshing’ rather than refashioning), so as not to let enormity stand in the way of progress, I:
- hem grey cord jeans and remove staples that have been holding them up for years
- sew loops on four tea towels
- refresh a shirt by changing its buttons to ♥ hearts
- refresh a silk shirt by taking off its pathetic, floppy collar
Both shirts have been given the kiss of life once already – courtesy of Dylon fabric dyes and my sturdy washing machine – but the last effort to lift them both out of ‘gets worn during a wardrobe clearout’-status was merely an upgrade to ‘gets worn once between each wardrobe clearout’-status. Here’s hoping new buttons and perky collar does the trick.
As usual, the radio’s on, and this time, as I sew ♥ buttons on, I learn many things about Lionel Bart, who wrote Oliver, made massive amounts of money but didn’t hold on to it, or his creative success. And he pinched other people’s songs! Boo↓. I’ll think about him, his ‘famed’ parties and fancy-pants South Kensington flat, and retirement from the highlife in Acton whenever I wear my shirt now. And then I go on to think about the Christmas Hubby bought me this shirt from Shanghai Tang. I was so impressed with his seeking out something special. Hopefully the buttons will bring this shirt back to life!
The silk shirt is from my days working in Islington and trawling its fantastic charity shops. It’s by Lorenzini and started out life as a tasteful but boring mocha colour – wore it twice in 5 years. The thing that attracted me in the first place, and stopped me passing up on it for so long, was the beautifully tactile combination of fluttery silk and supple linen of the collar and cuffs.
As I unpick the tiny, tiny stitches holding the collar to the stand, I notice how the dye took to the two different fabrics in different ways: the blue in the green has separated and appears as a surface dusting on the silk that looks like you could brush it off. Underneath some of the tiny, tiny stitches, the original mocha colour still holds.
I WILL wear this more, I know:
And the whole thing is just so beautifully put together – not a rushed or bodged thing about it. The finishing on the cap sleeve is, I suppose, a kind of french seam? Although I can work out how it is done, I don’t know what it’s called. I feel a copying project coming along…