Riverside Blue! The Final Refashion Runway All Stars Challenge!

The Refashion Runway All Stars Edition started five weeks ago - I can't believe it's now coming to an end... WHAT A SHOW!

There have been some amazing creations along the way (amongst my favourite were the permanent pleats in Carissa's gold skirt... and Jen's Eiffel Tower t-shirt, so whimsical!) - and of-course, I've come away with some new pieces for my wardrobe too, which is a bonus! :)

The final challenge is 'Pantone Colour of The Season: Riverside Blue'; to save you searching for that colour, here it is:

And click here for the blogpost soundtrack for today.... it'll make sense later, I promise!

Of-course, there is the odd state of affairs that is, how colour is seen by different people. In other words, not only how we each see colours differently - but also how they come across when filtered through screens, cameras, and other devices that affect saturation. My mind boggled about that one for a while. Waste of time? Likely! But I was wondering how to be 'true' to this challenge, without veering onto the wrong colour, midway through. SO! I decided to buy the paint. If you read Beth's page, you'll see I was inspired by Alexander McQueen's catwalk show where he sprayed the model with paint... that WAS what I was going to do to myself...

Well, that WAS the plan, but Pantone isn't stocked in many places in the UK - and when you hunt online, there are people who will mix it up for you - but then we're heading back into that dodgy 'interpretation of colour' territory. Also - it turned out it wouldn't arrive in time, through the post. SO that was that.

Plan 2 - go to a hardware store and find lots of samples. Not the little tins - the swatch cards.... I tinkered with the idea of sewing them onto a maxi skirt... like fish scales, lots of little pieces of card overlapping, right to the floor. Last year's 'Me' would've gone for that. This year's 'Me' was more like "What? How will you wash/wear that later, after the pics have been taken..?".   
THEN I spotted some Chinese style crockery in a charity shop, and my imagination was filled with whimsy - intricate designs embroidered on to white fabric... In fact, there's a guy who actually made a dress from broken crockery... don't believe me? Here!

Again - last year's me would've been in the back garden, throwing plates at the garden shed. Not this year!
But there was something about the design that stuck with me - and, after finding a floor-length white cotton skirt, my mind was made up - it was to be the canvas for this week's Riverside Blue challenge!

There's a fabulously stylish woman I work with, who wears a lot of Cos - if you haven't heard of them, they create 'structural' fashion, dresses that stuck away from the body, interesting angles, a lot of asymmetry (that's my take on them anyway) - and she pulls it off with great aplomb. It helps that she's petite, I think... Suffice to say, this skirt has that feel - with massive pockets that make it stand away from the body, almost in a circus performer way... which was NOT flattering on my body. So I knew I'd be taking them in, or chopping them off, either way!

I also came across some nail polish in a chemist that matched my colour guide, and started thinking about buttons. Yes, again. ;)

I applied a couple of coats, and then left them to dry...
Meanwhile, I found a men's Hawaiian shirt in Twickenham's Fara, which instantly made me think of the crockery, same hue of blue! I also used a print out of the colour to hold up against anything I came across... and it was a match! So, that came home with me...

That was a fairly straight-forward fix. I unpicked the front pockets, snipped the sleeves off, before taking in at the side seams and creating bust darts - and long darts through the front panels...

I'm not sure why Rod wanted to take credit for removing the sleeves...

I then used a white single fold bias tape to finish the armhole, sewing right sides together first - before flipping to the inside to finish. I'm really pleased with that, even if I do say so myself, haha!

I did think about shortening it to waist length - but I think it looks OK with jeans at 'hip' length. And with Rod...

"The print's too loud for my eyes, Mum - take it off!"

Back to the skirt... 
I pinned the pockets on both sides to themselves, thereby removing the extra fullness...

I then sewed on the freshly-painted-but-now-dry buttons... and yes, they do clash with my turquoise ring!

I realised that, at the same time as taking the skirt up, I could apply a fancy stitch to the hem... It's my first time using the interesting stitches on my machine, I quite like the detail it gives to the hemline;

So I think that's it... Well, apart from the fact we did NOT have summer-worthy weather yesterday for the pics. But that didn't stop me from wearing shades. Well the skirt is blinding. ;)

And a quick Before and After? OK then!

You've gotta love a skirt with pockets.

I've had a fab time this refashioning season - and wish it, and the summer, wasn't coming to an end. But I take heart in the fact I've made new friends online, who are SEW talented, and whose inspiring journeys I'll be following from now on!

Now, if you feel inclined, click HERE to go to Beth's page - then read through all the fab entries, before clicking next to your favourite, then clicking on 'Vote'.

Have a wonderful week - and I'll be back here soon... with more to share...

Gema x


  1. You so deserve this my love. With all your other commitments you still have time to come up with these fab ideas, don't know how you do it. Another lovely outfit, with or without the Rod-accessory. Once again and for the last time, Well Done (and well done to you my clever grand-dog for all your help). So proud of you

  2. Gema, I love reading your posts and look forward to reading more in the future! You did a great job on the blouse and skirt, and as always, you look gorgeous in them! The color challenges are always the hardest in my opinion, but it really makes us be creative, so that's a good thing! Good luck!!

    1. Thanks so much Susan, I love your posts too - SO informative!! And yes, it is good to be pushed creatively ;) xxx
      You don't need luck - but just so you know, I wish you the best of luck too!!

  3. I'm a big fan of the Hawaiian print. It looks great with the jeans... and Rod :) But I really love the skirt. It has a bubble hem kind of vibe, which I totally dig. And YAH for using decorative stitches! That's so fun. Great job, pal!! I wish there were more challenges this season. I love seeing the different projects you come up with.

    1. Thanks so much Laura! And yes - it does hang a bit like that, I think it might be something to do with the lining (i.e., the bubble hem look wasn't intentional)... and it's SO funny, I was thinking of you when I was doing it - you're the QUEEN of decorative stitches; I've been waiting for an opportunity to try them myself, haha! x


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