BEFORE I had even decided to take part in my first The Refashioners challenge I had spotted a vintage Biba floral suit which I just had to recreate and the two projects seemed like a perfect match.

I searched a lot(!) for a floral mens suit to tailor into this.  Unsurprisingly I didn't have much luck finding a unloved or secondhand mans floral suit, but once I was on the scent for a floral refashion I had to stick with it! 

I eventually found this ladies suit, although it is more of the type of suit your grandmother would wear. The plus side was that the label said Made in UK - I feel like theres more karma in repurposing something that was also originally made here. Even if it is 100% polyester.

I'm unsure what is more disturbing the suit, it's smell or my modelling?

AFTER going back to the drawing board as the suit clearly wasn't going to work I took the size 18 polyester 2 piece and created a 3 piece jacket, skirt and vest co-ord to be worn seperately and together.

I really feel like I have got my monies worth and created multiple outfit choices from one unloved pre-owned suit.

For the jacket I took in the side seams and sleeves and created lapels and a collar tailoring it more into a traditional style jacket.

The double layered skirt was drafted from one panel of the original skirt. I really love The Reformation style of this skirt and can envisage it being a key piece in my wardrobe this winter. This is definitely my favourite of the three.

The final part is the vest, created from the final skirt panel, a really simple piece that fits seamlessly with the skirt to create a 'dress' or can be worn with almost anything else - like my flared jeans! 

This challenge has really given me a taste for refashioning. I have spent a lot of time recently thinking about how wasteful sewing can sometime be, in the past sewn items that were not actually my style or fit and I end up never wearing them and giving them away, not to mention the fabric waste/scraps created from sewing.

Refashioning seems like a great median between sewing from scratch and buying RTW.  I certainly plan to hit up more charity shops soon to see what I can dig up. 


PATTERN: Self drafted flares

FABRIC: Indigo Denim with Green Selvedge, The Village Haberdashery 

Here are the denim flares made over last weekend. They were a quick sew and I love working with denim, it's such a hardy fabric to sew with. I was originally going to use the Closet Case Patterns Ginger Jeans with the flares extension but for some reason I decided to take matters into my own hand. The Ginger Jeans flares were not going to cut the mustard and as you will see, I went for quite an exaggerated flare.  


I was inspired by these jeans from The Reformation and their new take on the zipper! So I too forewent the traditional, and saved myself the fly construction, by adding a bold exposed  zipper on the side and combined them with the silhouette of these jeans - how beautiful do they look!



I used the same trouser block as the Joplin Flares  which was drafted from the Aldrich Metric Pattern Cutting for Women's Wear book. I lengthened the waist to sit higher, slimmed the block through the thighs and flared out from the knee to the greatest width my fabric would allow.

Admittedly, I had some fitting issues in the back. After a number of alterations, plenty of unpicking, re-stitching and sewing in my pants the penny dropped when I simply lengthened the darts in the back. 

Finally I convinced myself the raw hem looked good enough to leave. This is probably because a. I hate hemming and b. I just wanted to wear and photograph my jean! But I think I will hem them now I've got that out of my system.


I've become obsessed with the silhouette of flares - I can't get enough of them and am three steps ahead planning the next pair(s)...


PATTERN: Self drafted flares

FABRIC: Corduroy, Merchant & Mills

These flares started as one of many sketches I had made. Then I watched Girlboss on Netflix and could not resist the idea of making these up in a red cord. I also added a lace up 'fly' and, what you cannot see in the pictures, some design lines on the thighs.

I used the Aldrich Metric Pattern Cutting for Women's Wear book to draft the trouser block which I then flared out. I then cut from the mid waist to just above the knee on the back and front. The closure on the front is not as well executed as I would have liked but in theory these are exactly how I imagined! 


PATTERN: Self drafted jumpsuit

FABRIC: Linen (H20), Merchant & Mills

I love how this jumpsuit turned out. It is perfectly practical (for me at least). 

I originally drafted this bodice for a dress and I don't really recall how that digressed into a jumpsuit but I think it was a win. During the Summer and on holiday I wore this jumpsuit a-lot. It was more practical than a dress version for exploring local neighbourhoods in Bali and biking to the coast, Lovina. The fabric is my favourite, everything at Merchant & Mills I adore, but as it is linen it creases like a B*tch.


PATTERN: Colette Moneta Dress

FABRIC: Black Jersey, John Lewis

DETAILS: Hand embroidered


PATTERN: Hacked Sew Over It Doris Dress bodice 

FABRIC: Les Fleurs Rayon by Rifle Paper Co.

Since this fabric arrived I always thought it had a Nineties maxi vibe to it. After lots hunting around for patterns and inspiration I decided to use the bodice from the SOI Doris Dress which I crudely lengthened. My original idea was to have the dress buttoned down the front, but once cut, I preferred the casual style of the wrap front - that and the idea of  avoiding 18 button holes!

BEATRICE | Behind the Scenes

Photography | @OllyfCooper   MUA | @graceoftown   Hair | @attila.keyeres   Model | @janeturchetti

Published | Elegant Magazine November 2016


PATTERN: Self drafted pattern 

FABRIC: White lace, refashioned from beach dress

After falling in love with this Self-Portrait dress, or maybe it was just the dream of being there!, I decided that I had to make myself a copy. Hunting down the perfect fabric proved tricky and in a moment of genius I decided to look at shops for something I could cut up and re-use. Luckily I found a good enough match online - although I'm not best pleased at the 'fast fashion' website I bought it from! The cotton lining fabric in peach/nude was bought from John Lewis. 

I sketched out the pattern and drew up the pattern pieces to my measurements and putting the dress together took no time at all after I made a toile. I even managed to salvage the straps, saving myself from making some bias binding!

Not a bad job in my opinion...although I'll have to make sure I don't get myself some floral tan lines on my stomach! 

Photos by Olly Cooper


PATTERN: Self drafted pattern from bodice block

FABRIC: Black flower embroidered chiffon | John Lewis    Black poly-cotton | Rolls & Rems, Lewisham

The making of this dress had a mind of its own. When I started cutting into the fabric it was destined to look very different.

The result, is an airy relaxed dress that I will end up wearing much more often than the intended dress. 

I didn't have much room for error, or the possibility to make a whole dress in the one fabric. In any case, at £30 a metre I couldn't bring myself to! So I decided upon a separate bodice piece in the flower embroidery and this great black fabric with the perfect drape as the lining/skirt with an elasticated waist. This was initially intended to be made from a black chiffon from John Lewis which frayed like a Bitch and had a cheap un-drapey-ness which I was not happy with. 

Ultimately, I'm thrilled with this result and am glad I took the time and effort to un-pick the chiffon and replace with this lightweight fabric, perfect for the Summer! 


PATTERN: Coco dress Tilly and the Buttons 

FABRIC: Navy & white stripe cotton knit, Stof & Stil Copenhagen

This dress was a quick sew up and was my first time using a Tilly and the Buttons pattern. It is one of only a few patterns where I have not had to make any alterations for fit. Which was a perfect pattern for me to whip up to get me out of a sewing funk. 

The fabric is a quality cotton knit that I picked up in Stof & Stil in Copenhagen (which is very near to the train station and is absolutely worth checking out).

Pictures were taken in the breathtaking Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris. 


PATTERN: Lark Tee Grainline Studios

FABRIC: Red and ivory stripe jersey, Fabric Godmother

 Another quick sew, I made this Lark Tee (my second) with 3/4 length sleeves and a boat neck. I adjusted the pattern to bring the side seams in for a tighter fit. Next time I will also bring the neckline in a little from the shoulders.

I am working my way through all of the Grainline Studios patterns. The wearability and style of each design easily makes them my favourite pattern company, as I am sure is the same for many others!