RTW Leather and silk!

Hello everyone! Thank goodness for the extension to this challenge as I’ve just completed my RTW copycat. I must say that I’ve never tried copying an outfit before and I’ve had sooo much fun with this. I don’t really follow fashion at all so goodness knows what I was doing looking at Topshop’s website searching for RTW inspiration. I don’t think that I’ve shopped at Topshop since I was a student over 20 years ago.  However, I found this…

b4860054bc57941e5c9485f304506f02

2679ee87ff42467ef81e416a70632993

The skirt is real leather and the top is silk. For your information if you want to buy this outfit for yourself you will have to part with £394 (£249 for the skirt and £145 for the blouse).

ecc74ee8c72f25680b4cc39c8a0c6f45

Close up!

I particularly liked the eyelet and lace up detail on the front and thought that that would be easily copied. 

b916f14d7cffd9b39284730a8fc1e06b

Back view

On the back I liked the exposed metal zip. That would be something new for me to try!

The blouse is quite over-sized creating a blouson effect when tucked into a waistband. I also liked the mandarin collar, the fact that it doesn’t button all the way down (popover), the dropped shoulders and the cuffs and cuff plackets. All of which I have managed to copy.

6e765619611f2f4e532588e18625f6871

If you look closely you can see that the blouse has cut-outs just below the shoulders (very trendy but think of the tan lines!). I wasn’t so bothered about this so I ignored that feature.

So the challenge was on. Could I make myself a copycat leather skirt and silk blouse for a fraction of the price of the originals? Of course I could! As soon as I decided to make a leather skirt I prepared myself for a long and arduous shopping trip trying to find leather. By pure luck I found this in my local charity shop – the very first shop I looked at!

71633bbc3ef49b0a71fa02d6e994e3bb

A very large, man’s jacket made of plenty of leather! Perfect, and at £10 a bit of a bargain! The silk wasn’t so difficult as I had some in my stash. How handy! I made the leather skirt first as I thought that would take the longest (how right I was!).

The patterns: For the skirt I chose the only eligible pattern I had – the By Hand London Charlotte Skirt. It had to be a simple, straight skirt pattern so this was perfect really. For the blouse I splashed out on a pattern that has been on my wish list for some time now – the Archer shirt by Grainline Studios. I got the popover variation whilst I was at it!

Fabric and notions: Obviously black leather was needed for the skirt but I also had to get a metal zip and some leather cord to tie up at the front. I had the eyelets already left over from a previous project. I also had to buy special leather needles for my sewing machine.

For the blouse I used up some lovely Liberty silk that I had in my stash. I only had a metre and a half of it though but it turned out this was plenty to get the Archer out of it as long as I folded the selvedges to the middle. I’ve even got a bit left over! I also needed some buttons but I miraculously found some perfect ones in my teeny-tiny button stash.

Alterations/design changes: Where do I start? Obviously I had a leather jacket to start with rather than a lovely flat piece of fabric. My first task was to unpick enough seams to get flat fabric. However, because every needle hole is left behind in the leather I wanted to keep the unpicking to a minimum. This meant that there was plenty of seam lines that I had to work around. I tried to make this work to my advantage and I think I’ve done a reasonable job of it. My fabric was not large enough for the pattern so a lot of piecing went on (inevitably) but I made sure that everything was symmetrical and deliberate looking.

f685dfc86166b27df367136badd5ab452

The front skirt was made from the jacket back and the skirt back was made of the jacket sleeves.  I changed the order of construction (in fact, I ignored the instructions completely) and made up the front skirt and then the back (zip included) and then sewed it all together.

54aeaec5f03777903046eb9240b43902

I was going add a facing to the top of the skirt but it didn’t look right so I added a waistband instead and it looks so much better. I cut and pieced the waistband from the collar and lapels.

Anyway, here’s the final skirt…

eb66526808db1a04cbb51fc00bcf942f

The pattern was already adapted to fit my strange body shape. A size 16 around the waist grading down to a size 12 for the hips (thanks for my thick waist kiddywinks!) and I’m really pleased with the fit, although the skirt does need to be wriggled in to!

b0282bfcd11e6e92e2a30d51d2fa3ef0

I could actually bang on about my skirt for ages as I took loads of construction photos and I’m quite excited about it (it was a jacket you know!!!) but I’ll write about it in more detail on my own blog in the very near future.

e74ca49f998d1060a0c9a957992f274d

For the blouse I cut a straight size 10 with no alterations and the fit is just what I wanted! It is certainly oversized but it’s supposed to be. As already mentioned, I sewed up the Popover variation of the Archer. I definitely need more placket practice as I have small puckers on all of them (front and sleeves) but I think I’ll be the only one to notice. One change I did make was to omit the yoke completely because my inspiration piece also had no yoke. I incorporated the yoke pattern with the back pattern, allowing for seam allowances and that back pleat.

2079785ec66148cf7027389784d426c7

Close up of back pleat. Do I get bonus points for making the earrings? They’re made of washers!

I also omitted the collar and just kept the collar stand to make it resemble the inspiration photo!

6c70925eb6e47f1a2fe957bba435d7c0

My final comparison! Ha ha – I’m no model am I? I hope that you can see what I’ve been trying to do though.

Well, all this sewing has left me exhausted. I’m going to put my sewing machine away for a bit a reacquaint myself with my family. Thanks Monthly Stitch – I’ve loved participating in IPM for the very first time.

 

25 thoughts on “RTW Leather and silk!

  1. Pingback: And the RTW Copycat contest winners are…. | The Monthly Stitch

  2. Pingback: Leather jacket refashion | applebymakes

  3. As they say in my country, “no be small work you do”. Very detailed copy and I can’t see any real difference. I certainly wouldn’t shell out that amount for the original either. Great job!

    Liked by 1 person

Join the conversation! :)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s