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  1. custom dress - customer fabric

    This is the second of Diane's dresses - the one that we were originally intending to make before we got sidetracked by vintage sheets! 

    custom dress - customer fabric

    Diane sent over a nice big piece of this distinctive quilting cotton that had been in her stash just waiting for the right opportunity. After a very important discussion about which way up the print should go, it was transformed into a knee-length dress with a belt, perfect for the summer weather that's just arrived.

  2. custom dress - vintage sheet

    About ten years ago (I have no idea how it could have been that long!) I made a tunic for my friend Diane. 

    It was a very different style from this - a mid-thigh length a-line style, with short raglan sleeves. But, it was made from the most excellent vintage bedsheet that I'd found on Ebay - about thirty years old (then), but brand new and still in its original packaging. 

    custom dress - vintage sheet

    Diane has been wearing a couple of my new tunics for a while now, and we'd already been talking about making a dress from her own fabric, when I spotted it. Forty years old now, and very much worn and faded, but very definitely the same design of sheet! 

    And so, a brand new dress was born from a gloriously patterned bedsheet that's nearly as old as me. 

    I used the full width of the double sheet, so that I could get as much of the lovely deep border as possible running around the hem of the dress. The pockets are made from one of the matching pillowcases, so that I could get an extra little bit of that border design in.

    I also made a slight alteration to the sizing. Diane very kindly sent me some photos of her wearing one of the tunics so I could see the fit, and we decided to add just a little bit of width through the body of the dress to give it an extra edge of floatiness throughout the summer. I'd made a simple sash belt to go with Diane's tunic all those years ago, so it only seemed right to make another one to go with her brand new dress. 

    Vintage bedding is very much in demand at the moment, so it's getting more and more difficult to snap up great designs like this at an affordable price. It really was a most excellent find, and I hope Diane thinks that it makes a most excellent dress!

  3. Dot's Upcycled Beano Skirt

    Just to be clear, I have been a bad influence on Dott, she has not been a bad influence on me! 

    Way back in the mists of time, I made a dress and a corset for Dott, from a vintage Dennis the Menace duvet cover. After a more recent conversation about making things from duvet covers (a topic always close to my heart), Dott bought this fantastic red and black one, and made herself a skirt! 

    It's self-drafted, pattern-matched at the side seams, and of course it has nice big pockets! Head on over to Dott's blog, to see more photos and details of how she made it. Isn't it brilliant?

  4. eternal magpie happy customers - Verity

    Verity's new dress arrived today, and I'm pleased to see that she's very happy with it! 

    "My new dress made by Eternal Magpie has arrived! She's cleverly made it from my childhood duvet cover and it's very comforting as well as comfortable to wear  and.... IT HAS POCKETS!!! Every dress should have pockets  Though I've decided the belt doesn't suit me as a belt so now it's a scarf-tie-neck thing 

    I do like Verity's ingenuity with the sash belt - I have to confess that they don't suit my shape either, which is why it's taken me so long to think of adding them as an option! 

    I've got two custom orders in the works at the moment (one from a vintage bedsheet and one from the customer's own fabric), but once they're done I'll go through my smaller pieces of fabric and make some sash belts to add to the website for you.

  5. upcycling illustration - Jackie magazine

    I was chatting to Sophia on Facebook recently, and she said that I'd inspired her to have a go at some clothing upcycling: 

     

    "Having admired the Eternal Magpie website and especially your beautiful dresses, I was inspired to pursue some clothing upcycling ideas which I previously assumed would be beyond my ability.

    I am pleased to say, that today I am finishing my second upcycling project!

    Thank you for inspiring me to have a go ????

     

    Isn't that lovely? 

    I've been having vague thoughts about putting together some easy upcycling tutorials, similar to these fantastic ones that I used to love in Jackie magazine in the 1980s. These pages have a lot to answer for, including my much-loved oversized men's tail shirt with ladybird buttons, painted Doc Martens and baseball boots... not to mention wearing a bowler hat painted with glittery puffy paint circles for no good reason. (Well, it was the 80s, so wearing a hat to hide my permed mullet was probably a good idea.) 

    Anyway, dodgy 1980s styling tips aside... would you like to see some upcycling and mending suggestions? I'm not sure I can illustrate them as fabulously as Jil Shipley did for Jackie, but I hope I can share a few interesting ideas!