Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Style Wednesday: Crafting a new blazer


Well you can blame my latest antics on Dani.

You remember her very tasteful post on Harris Tweed?

Well I kept thinking about the fabulous tweed blazer I had seen on The Rose web site:


 
 
I had forgotten about "tricking out" an outfit.  You see, your dear old WMM was one of the girls in the late 70s/early 80s who was wearing their dad's shirts over ripped sundresses, bedecked in Police/ The Clash/Elvis Costello/Sex Pistol pins and safety pins strategically placed all over same-said clothing.
 
We were reading Austen and Kerouac and Atwood and drinking too much and writing a lot of bad poetry, and some good, and generally having a grand time, except when we were having the most morose times ever....
 
One of my favourite items of the time, which now I will have to take pains to recreate, was a man's red corduroy smoking jacket with black satin lapels which I wore over a pale blue bonwit teller ballet-style dress.  God - I am having a serious flashback and a moment of pure joy, remembering when we were doing our own thing in thrift shops and not giving a HANG about what was or was not in style.  So even as I am writing this I am thinking: "well old girl, let's get at it again and have some fun" and I think I shall..
 
But I digress.  So I was looking at the blazer above and I was thinking of this wretched Michael Kors blazer I had in my closet that I bought two years ago and then immediately wished I hadn't.  It is not my shade of grey (no pun intended) and I was peer-pressured into buying it by the clerk and then I even tried to consign it and the funky girl at the shop didn't even want it and I was cursing myself for paying $250 for a blazer that I did not care one whit about and had worn all of 3 or 4 times.
 
But then I had a moment of inspiration:
 
GRANOLA WENDY WILL RIDE AGAIN! 
 
I decided to take inspiration from Molly Ringwald in Pretty in Pink and trick up my jacket.  Actually, I think I told my daughter I was going to pimp it up:
 
 
So I got out my sewing box, which is the sewing box that I purchased at the Newbury's store in Calais, Maine in 1976:
 
 
 
Even has the tag I put in inside. 
I had old notions and buttons:
 
 
 
And then I bought a few bits and bobs at the fabric store:
 
 
 
I cannibalized an old Nougat London sweater I had that didn't fit well and which was a bit stained and a few hours of jaunty sewing, accompanied by a glass of wine and good spirits, and voila:
 
 


 
 
 
 
 
The Capricorn patch was on a camel-coloured knit hoodie that I had in grade 5 and which I was very proud of - I couldn't believe it when I found it at the bottom of my sewing kit!  It was the Age of Aquarius man!
 
 
Amazing how grand knit doilies can look when paired with silver linen buttons and new tartan ribbon..
 
 
 My little toile heart feels very Les Miserables to me...Do you see the tiny W?
 
 
The flowers stolen from the other sweater:
 
 
The varied buttons, the triangle of raspberry plaid, the ribbons and tweeds.
 
 
It was all just delightful.  And oh-so-over-top!
 
Honestly, I was in heaven while I was playing with this and when I was all done I had a blazer that I would want to wear!
 
Now I am off to chase old men's Harris tweed blazers at the sally anne and frenchy's and have a tweed version!  Could I have found my next career or ought I stick to writing????
 
Do you bedeck your clothing or are you very tasteful now?
 
In honour of remembrances and craftiness of days gone by, I thought we might end with a little Clash..
 
 

 
 
Oh God - I do love that song!!!!  Dani may be wearing her proper Siegfried homage next year in the British countryside, but I think I will pop over and see her for a day trip but I will be traipsing around the British countryside looking like this:
 
 
God I would like that coat on the right....
 
 Oh they were heady years, till everyone died...

So how about you - do you ever festoon your drab clothing?  Am I the only one who is veering into Martha-Stewart-meets-the-Clash-land????

Have an awesome Wednesday and stay safe out there!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 

42 comments:

  1. my first thought: now this is a look that screams for paint-spattered pants,
    no, seriously, my "blog while travelling" apps aren't working or I'd direct you to the pictures of everyone In town wearing their Trachtkleider (regional dress) at Oktoberfest. Those will have to wait. We are in Paris now, btw, and there's a heat wave. That weather forecaster owes me big time.

    I LOVE using something "bought" as a raw ingredient, to be personalized and made different to suit the wearer, whether you add stuff, remove stuff, change collar, buttons... Brilliant, Wendy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Fred have you worn your lace skirt? Hope so!
      Lucky you being in Europe!

      Delete
    2. HI Fred! Too funny! Could I have been channelling you from a distance???? Can't wait for the pictures and cannot believe there is a heatwave. Surely that is a reason to shop????

      Delete
    3. It's practically a directive to shop! :D

      Delete
  2. How fantastic, Wendy! Love the embellished jacket So much!
    Also love the Clash - we listened to Black Market clash on the way back from our road trip yesterday.
    I've been missing, so sorry for not visiting! Had a bit of a screen break while we were away.
    I'll be catching up over the next few days. Am I right in thinking I missed a sparkly shoe review?!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Ruth! glitter shoes were yesterday and I loves 'em!

      The Clash are so excellent!!

      It is good to have a screen break - I took one on sat and sunday and it is good for the soul!

      Delete
  3. Fabulous! I love what you've done to that jacket! I lived your life, but was rubbish at sewing, I bought my clothes from jumble sales, wore big 1950's sticky out dresses with skintight angora jumpers and had a fab green man's overcoat and monkey boots which were sort of Doc Martins for girls.
    I loved The Clash and The Sex Pistols, still do, if I'm in the car and Anarchy in the UK comes on, it gets tuned up to high volume and the car becomes a snarling punk!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OMG - I am AWFUL at sewing, but I didn't care with this thing! Oh I had skintight 50s sweaters as well - we thought they looked smashing with combat boots! We also wore steel toe work boots!

      Glad I am not the only one who cranks whilst alone. I also now sing at the top of my lungs. I got caught doing it once by a bunch in another car and while I should have been mortified, I found it hysterical. These are signs of the eccentric woman coming out again....

      Delete
    2. Just remember, they CAN see you picking your nose in your car too!

      Delete
  4. The jacket looks brilliant! I love it. I used to do that with my clothes too. I look at the youngsters today and they're all in cheap chain store stuff looking the same as one another. Clothes weren't cheap back then in Australia, so I would go to the thrift store, or steal old jackets from my Dad and do a bit of embellishment. Or, I used to often sew my own dresses (very Molly Ringwald in Pretty in Pink) as I couldn't find what I wanted in the shops. I used to copy things I'd see in Vogue... completely inaccessible in a small city on the other side of the world (aside from the cost of course).
    I like that you've decided to make your clothes fun - enjoy wearing it! xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Heidi! I like that we were less into brands and more into statements. I think teens and young girls in their 20s are expected to be so much more chic now! Your comments has sprouted the seed for tomorrow's post!

      Delete
  5. Bring on your artistic side, you know I love me some eccentric lady in the fall. I'm a bit of a contrarian so I like seeing something different. I've tried quite a few fashion looks when I was younger but my favorite was the Left Bank chic look (without the cigarettes).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love left bank chic! tres jolie!

      Well I am now officially going quite eccentric, but on the other side, am liking the idea of tricking some things out so I do not look like a cookie cutter!

      Delete
  6. This is so brilliant Wendy, I read this entire post with complete happiness! To capture the magic of creating a style completely your own, this just sings!
    And brought back memories for me too. I remember patching up my faded Levi's with different pastel fabrics I'd collect from my Mom's sewing basket. I wore them with cream-coloured boots and a big fisherman sweater. I also had a chambray skirt, very long, that I layered ivory eyelet petticoats under. Yup that was 1985.
    This jacket completely suits you and your creative side!
    Wish I was with you to go through the bins at Frenchy's!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dani - when you come down we will do a Frenchys run! I rarely go now (used to go all the time when the kids were little and we didn't have two nickels to rub together!)

      I can so see you in that look!

      I actually had a good time and now am on the lookout for a men's jacket to do the same with. So much better than throwing the jacket in the giveaway bin, though I do that all the time, too!

      Delete
  7. Good for you. I also got a kick out of this post and your finished jacket. Was hoping to see an outfit with it. If, and only if you are not pleased with some of your actual sewing...take to a seamstress. Everything is in place and she can "finish" it for you. Everything looks well done on the computer screen.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi BB - when I finally got around to posting was in my jammies, but I will put together an outfit in the next day and snap a pic for you! Oh I am quite pleased with my handiwork actually - I did not want it to look perfect at all, and thanks to my sub-par sewing skills, I mastered that look perfectly! ;-)

      Delete
  8. I love that, great job! Yours is cuter than the one you were inspired by. I have never done anything like that, but I have a great sewing box so that must count for something right? London Calling was one of my favorites. I have a Clash button floating around here somewhere.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well it is funny - when I went back to look at the Rose's I liked mine better though I am dying now for a tweed version that of course will use different bits and bobs!!! I just love, love, love the Clash!

      Delete
  9. Ha! Ha! You should send this picture to Michael Kors to show him how you made his blazer wearable! Love it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Anon! That is funny! Wonder if he would be horrified!!!! It really is not my grey at all (I do better in a light grey) and so it really has rehabilitated it for me and I was feeling so sad about the Nougat London sweater, which is past its prime, because it had such lovely embellishments, which are now stolen and on this!

      Delete
  10. Wonderful job! Do us an in vivo shot so we can see how you might wear this. Glitter shoes?? I haven't done much sewing lately, but made lots of stuff to wear in high school and college. Bits of lace across the top of the pocket on those awful pocket T's.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is funny - I had honestly forgotten about doing this kind of thing till I saw that jacket!

      Delete
  11. Love this so much, Wendy.

    And given the tone of some comments today, I think a few people would enjoy this: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00xwjcp

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love the link, thanks Abby.

      Delete
  12. Wendy, I think you've found a new hobby or more! I had as much fun reading your post as the other ladies - great job on the jacket.

    I used to sew and 'tricked' out clothes too (loved the scrap bins at the sewing local store), then J.Crew did it for me for a few years, and now I'm going in the opposite direction and taking off embellishments. If you need more frayed silk chiffon rosettes, let me know and I'll save them for you! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ABC - funny you should say that - on a lot of clothes I avoid those bit and bobs like nobody's business! I think it works here because it is SO excessive! Maybe I will be a writer/embellisher (hey wait - I think those could be the same thing!!!!)

      Delete
  13. I haven't done that sort of thing since junior high when I "upgraded" my jean jacket and embroidered and embellished to my heart's content! I love this post...it is so joyful and true! I would love to see the jacket on you, Wendy! Major crush here on The Clash! Fortunatly, my boys all love them too, and we often bust out the vinyl on Friday evenings before we all go out own ways. Joy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh love that your boys love the Clash, too!!! I will definitely put on the jacket for you all - might be bringing out the converse for these!

      Delete
  14. W, yes! This jacket has been Wendified! I love the idea of creating something to suit your style. I've been sewing more and that enables me to stop thinking "I love this, if only it had/was". I think it is terrific, and your 20s sounds like loads of fun, but 50 is the new 20 so you go girl! I am in love with the doily and could so make a lovely Peter Pan collar out of it!
    And I second te outfit request! Plant pictures please!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am afraid the plant may be looking for royalties! I am looking for a new camera as well so that may avoid some of the plant, which is frankly, getting to big for his (and my britches!)

      Delete
  15. Love your jacket Wendy!
    All of your creativity came out and on it:)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thanks Ina! AT one point someone asked if I was done and I had to admit I was just getting going...

    ReplyDelete
  17. How cuuuute - good on you, that is the coat of many memories, "tricked" out - love that. That coat is also a fabulous spring colour - youll have so much fun wearing it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jody! It is quite spiffy, if I do say so myself!

      Delete
  18. Oh, this is fun! :) I never sewed anything (not even a patch), but I do remember a phase of putting band pins all over our denim jackets. But no Clash or Sex Pistols for us. We had New Kids on the Block. Yeah, we were edgy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. MW - if it makes you feel better, in the 60s, I collected coins with pictures of Davy Jones from the Monkees on them! Oh I still love Davy, god rest his soul...

      Delete
  19. Love this!! Your jacket looks very Anthropologie now!! I like it even better than The Rose jacket.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Great! But where's the photo of you wearing it? I'd be with you on the sewing kick if only I could thread the blinking needle!

    ReplyDelete
  21. You did a fantastic job Wendy, it is really a great jacket.

    ReplyDelete

Kindness is a virtue...