Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Refashion: The WTF Purple Coat

This purple taffeta evening coat has a life story more exciting than many novels. I bought it on sale - the tag said $127.50 but it turned out to be $217.50. This caused a storm of grump. I was happy to pay the higher price as it was still a great price, but annoyed at the store's attitude to it all.
Anyway, not a great start. I've worn it a lot - to give out prizes at the Plain English Awards in my previous life, to weddings and even to work. However its unique combination of length and short waistedness, and my tendency to go in and out at the waist have meant it wasn't as fab as I thought at first.
 Plain English Awards 2010. The pic on the left I feel shows the biggest issue, which is how the skirt is cut, with the bias at the front and the straight at the back, so it swings forward oddly. But it was fun to wear anyway. Don't I look intelligent in my glasses!
At a family wedding with Mum and DadRon. It was VERY hot and middle aged ladies and synthetics and hot days = grumpy. ;-)

So, when I needed a second costume for a show recently, I hauled it out for a makeover. Attaching some purple boa around the neckline and centre front gave it some OTT kudos:
Except that I still wasn't happy with it. It isn't flattering, for a start, and I look like a barmaid from the Rovers Return circa 1970. Not that I care particularly, but it LOOKS like it ought to be flattering. For some reason this bugs me. And in a photo shoot recently I found out that it is the wrong length to wear with the mermaid skirt.
So, with a long held, quietly simmering passion for peplums to honour, big scissors and a mirror, I lopped most of the skirt off to turn it into a jacket with a peplum.
I cut it off across the front just below the Point of No Return, and tapered it back to just above the original length. The strip around the bottom I cut off, split lengthways, folded lengthways and applied as a hand pleated finish, to help the bottom stick out.

 Hand pleated edging about 2.5cm/1 inch wide, giving the bottom some body.
The inside of the pleated edge, showing black lace enclosing the raw edges of the seam tidily.
Pretty, and a much better shape, but BORING. Then a brainwave. Remove the silly feather trim and reapply to the hem! Because less is more, said no show girl EVER! You can see the feathers in the photo above, already pinned before I thought to take the photo.
Still not exciting enough, so I was over the moon to unearth a bag of bling I dyed from turquoise to purple a while ago (I cannot find the photos of this anywhere!) and these plus some extra purple sequin trim finally tipped the balance.
So here it is:
It still rides up at the waist but it is much more glamorous and silly, which is very important when you are as OTT as Connie!


  1. Looks great to me. Very stage like.

    1. Yes! Not quite for going down th epub or tho the supermarket for sure ;-)

  2. What a great transformation of this evening coat ~ just love the look ... J

    1. Thank you! It is very silly, in a purple way that makes it all OK on my planet !