• Sewing,  Style

    PSB – Challenge No.2 – Dress Refashion

    Charity Shop Playsuit Refashion - Retro Claude

    Charity Shop Refashion - Retro Claude

    Charity Shop to Playsuit Refashion - Retro Claude

    And so another Sewing Bee challenge is complete! Continuing the WW1 theme, this challenge was again inspired by war time austerity but unlike the previous challenge, challenge No. 2 required us to make something new from something old. Or as I would call it, a refashion!

    I love a refashion. I think it is so inspiring to transform something unwanted or unloved into something new and exciting. For this refashion, I headed to my local charity shops to find a likely looking garment for a makeover. I struck gold with this enormous, boxy maxi-dress which was … 100% linen eek!

  • Uncategorized

    The Petersfield Sewing Bee

    This summer, the town where my parents live is hosting their own ‘The Great British Sewing Bee’ style competition. If you haven’t seen the Sewing Bee, it is basically the Bake Off but for sewing. One of the plus sides to my convalescence in the countryside is my new found abundance of free time. And for me free time means sewing. So I’ve decided to enter.

    If you still have no idea what I’m on about the idea is quite simple; contestants complete 3 different sewing related tasks, each designed to test a different area of dressmaking knowledge. And this premise has formed the basis for my local sewing shop’s competition.

  • Style

    Charity Shop Refashion – Asymmetric Playsuit

    Take a look at my latest project, a playsuit refashion.

    Refashioning is a great way to get more life out of a garment that is maybe past its best. The idea is not a new one, in fact I get a lot of my refashioning ideas from Make Do and Mend, the WW2 advice pamphlet.

    However, it has been a little while since I have taken the time to actually do one. I have a list of possible makeovers a mile long. But recently, thanks to my health being on the blink, I have had lots more free time for this sort of thing.

  • Knitting

    On Staying Sane and Knitting

    Why Knitting is Good for you
    Why Knitting is Good for You – Retro Claude
    Why I Knit
    Why I knit and why you should too – Retro Claude

    I have been umming and ahhing about whether to talk about this on my blog but have come to the decision that it is worth sharing. This post is about knitting, but also about something very personal.

    I have a chronic illness, and although I have lived many years with little to no symptoms at all, all of a sudden I am back to a very bleak place with my health. I am incredibly lucky that I have a very loving family who are looking after me as I take some time out to rest and recover. But I must admit the shock of complete inactivity has taken a heavy toll on my mental health.

  • Environment,  Style

    Fashion Revolution Week

    This week is Fashion Revolution Week, which for those of you who don’t know is an ethical fashion week when we as consumers demand more from clothing brands by asking “who made my clothes?”

    The idea is simple, by finding out where our clothes come from, we can call brands out on damaging and exploitative practices. We as buyers have the money, and money is power. By supporting brands who abide by good, safe and sustainable practice we can start a fashion revolution and promote ethical fashion.

  • Uncategorized

    On Costume and Vintage

    Today on the tube, a man told me he liked my costume. I smiled and said thanks and then he got off the tube. But actually I was a little unsettled by this encounter, not just because anybody talking to you on the tube is a bit weird, but because my first thought was ‘what costume?’

  • Uncategorized

    What’s the difference between a vintage shop and an old clothes shop?

    Last week I was celebrating my birthday. Birthdays for me are always low key affairs, I’m not one to organise parties or wear an enormous badge. To be honest I’m not really that much of a fan of getting presents either. Perhaps that sounds ungrateful but as someone who doesn’t really value ‘things’ I can find it very frustrating when I am landed with an unwanted scented candle just because someone felt compelled to buy me a present. If they knew the first thing about me they would know that a) I’m very afraid of fire b) most heavy perfumes make me sneeze and c) I try and live a minimalist lifestyle and so don’t want things for the sake of things.

  • Style

    Are you ever too old for hand-me-downs?

    As I sit here wondering how to begin my very first post for Retro Claude, my mind struggles to find something to talk about. Believe me, I am not lacking in things to say, far from it. My issue is how to introduce the ideas and concepts behind this little project of mine in a way that sets the tone for things to come, doesn’t give too much away but leaves you all wanting to come back for more.