Episode 4: Converted Closet supercycles second-hand into vintage couture

20th March, 2019   |   How To...Guides

In Episode 4 of Converted Closet I supercycle Rosie’s oversized second-hand dress into vintage couture.

The dress – before

Rosie has a voracious love of vintage clothes. She can’t help herself, she sees fabrics she loves and buys whatever it is, whether it fits her or not! 

We rummaged through her rails and out came this epic 1960s blue metallic dress with enormous faux fur cuffs, fly-away collars and a triangular shaped skirt. Rosie had bought it years ago because she loved the fabric but she’d never worn it. There was so much potential to turn it into wearable vintage couture and make it fit and flatter Rosie perfectly.

The conversion

  • We started by turning the big 60s collar into an elegant mandarin collar.
  • We removed the huge, wide faux fur cuffs and discovered excess fabric underneath.
  • We used the excess fabric to create cuffs on the newly narrowed sleeves. 
  • We took in the bodice to show off Rosie’s waist and give her a perfect fit.
  • We took up the length so she could wear it with boots as a day dress.

The dress – after

By turning the collar into a stand-up mandarin collar it elongates the neck and draws the eye in and down the V, giving a flattering appearance.

Taking in the sleeves, removing the fur cuffs and creating fabric cuffs elongated Rosie’s arms and drew the eye in. Before, the fur cuffs were giving the outfit a more triangular look.

Shortening the hemline made the dress far more wearable and gave it a modern edge by showing off Rosie’s ankle boots and a cheeky bit of leg.

I loved this conversion. The dress was pretty out there and consequently Rosie never wore it. With a little bit of converting, it’s been supercycled into a unique, beautiful dress that flatters Rosie’s figure and is infinitely more wearable.

So you know the moral of the story by now… If there’s something in your wardrobe that you don’t wear, get it out, get creative and convert it – turn it into something you’ll love and wear WHOLE lot more often. And remember, you don’t have to be able to sew – there are tailors in almost every dry cleaner who can help you supercycle your outfit into something fabulously new, unique and bespoke to you. 

What do you think of Rosie’s dress? Do you like the conversion? Leave me a comment below and check out the rest of the episodes on my YouTube channel.

1 reply to “Episode 4: Converted Closet supercycles second-hand into vintage couture”

  1. Kay Wong
    28th August 2019 at 2:55 pm

    Read about you in the telegraph,
    Sewing is such a dying art & it’s great that your enthusiasm & ability to alter vintage clothing has brought this to public attention. Fingers crossed, more people will start sewing . I am a bit of a bodger but find it so therapeutic .
    I have a question, I have a few Laura Ashley dresses which I bought in my 20’s? with age , I can still squeeze into them but they would be more comfortable if I could make the waistline slightly bigger & would like to know if this is possible? Many thanks & Looking forward to your comments.


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