Episode 1: Converted Closet supercycles vintage YSL

21st February, 2019   |   How To...Guides

Episode 1 Converted Closet Victoria's YSL 1970s vintage suit is turned into a cool bomber jacket and trousers

In Episode 1 of Converted Closet, I convert Victoria’s 1970s YSL velvet suit into a cool, sporty new outfit.

Victoria, an ultra cool 1990s fashion designer, inherited her grandmother’s collection of incredible couture clothes. Buried in one of Granny’s suitcases we found a fabulous 1970s Yves Saint Laurent velvet suit with mega conversion potential.

Rather than it never being worn ever again and heading for Destination Landfill eventually, we decided to supercycle it into something Victoria would wear over and over again, in different ways, and get loads of use out of!  The sentimental value was already built-in, we just had to tweak it to cool it up and fit her.

What needed to change

The purple crushed velvet fabric was very on-trend but the style was super dated.  Victoria was never going to wear it.  The top was too long, shapeless and baggy, the lacing – just not her taste (not mine) and the trousers were loose and shapeless;  PERFECT for supercycling.

Converted Closet conversion: The top

I wanted to create a on-trend bomber out of the 1970s lace up top. Here’s what we did:

  • Took in the sides of the top so there was less fabric. This is always my first step when making clothes less bulky and more flattering.
  • Removed the lacing and turned in the edges with the eyelets. 
  • Put in a big, chunky double-ended zip to add a bit of bling to the proceedings.
    Tip: If you want to create the relaxed ‘slung on’ look always go for a double ended zip. It means you can have it fastened whilst allowing it to fall open and show some of your top underneath.
  • Drew in the bottom and the sleeves with elasticated fabric to form cuffs and a waist hugging band.
  • Added a line of stretchy gold lurex thread around the cuffs and waist to tie in with the zip and add a contemporary feel.

Converted Closet conversion: The trousers

I love baggy trousers but they have to fit really well around the waist and hips otherwise they’re generally not flattering. We took in the trousers so they were a snug fit on Victoria’s hips.

When I looked at the hem it turned out that Victoria’s Granny had already done her own conversion job! She’d taken them up and added elastic to gather them in at the bottom. When I unpicked the hem and took out the elastic they fell exactly as Yves Saint Laurent would have intended and they were the perfect length for Victoria. 

I love the fact that we we kept a nod to the suit’s vintage roots by turning in the eyelets rather than cutting them off and that we restored the original hemline of the trousers. I hope Granny and YSL approve of this Converted Closet style update!

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Do you need conversion ideas?

If you’ve got an item of clothing that you love but you’re just not wearing, how about giving it a conversion? You don’t have to be able to sew – all you need is a few ideas and a local seamstress or the tailor at your local dry cleaners.

If you need inspiration, leave me a message below or drop me an email with a photo of your outfit, I’d love to help.

Let’s chat!

Leave me a message below and let me know what you think of Victoria’s supercycled YSL suit. Would you wear it?

To watch more videos about fashion, converting clothes and sustainability follow Converted Closet on YouTube.

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