Monday, September 27, 2010

Wreaking Havoc

I'm told that growing up in New Zealand during the 1970s was in fact like winding back the clock at least 30 years.
I wouldn't know about that, I was just there and didn't know any different.
I wore the cable-knit cardigans, duffle coats, patent mary-janes and kilt pinafores.
I still have a terrible weakness for those same scratchy, heavy and pinching wardrobe items - I can't explain it.
Normally I won't tolerate any discomfort whatsoever - but I'm prepared to put up with a heavy kilt.
But I won't abide any kilt granny-fication.
So when my favourite kilt - if you know the tartan, please sing out - was recently discovered with several moth holes in it, I gnashed, screeched and sulked before popping it in a plastic bag and into the freezer for a few days.
I read the cold kills eggs and larvae.
Evidence of the little bastards' activities.

It was a sign that it was time to do something about making the kilt more wearable.  
I bought it about three years ago and had never worn it - too long and I felt like a granny in it - just loved the colours.
So after the moth-munch, I umm-ed and aah-ed for about two weeks, spent hours last week hemming and pressing the knife pleats to shorten it, thereby disguising the holes.

Until this morning when I took the scissors to it and walloped six inches off the hem.

It got rid of the moth holes (front and back - the little shits!), resulting in a new skirt that I wore straight away.
I've fallen in love with my "new" kilt.
In a way the moths forced my hand.  I loved the kilt but wouldn't wear it at calf length.
It can take me years to get up the courage to change a vintage garment dramatically.
Normally if I don't think a refashion will work, I sell pieces on eBay.
But in this case, creating a huge hem made the kilt bulky, so a chop, zig-zag and 1cm hem later and I was off out the door in my new pride and joy.
I'm wearing it with my Norma Kamali OMO leather vest, 1930s chemise and Docs.  The little 1960s red, vinyl handbag accompanied me out to scour op-shops today.

Accessories close-up time:
My favourite beaten-up old, leopard-print velvet hat; vintage pearls and ropes; 1930s earrings; thrifted plastic bangles.

Doesn't Jean Harlow make simply everything look beautiful?


  1. O dear GODDESS,you look simply outstanding!!!
    I am SO inspired!!!
    Foxy minx,you!!

  2. I don't know about Jean Harlow but YOU make everything look beautiful. I think you could look good in a bin bag, my dear.
    You've done a tremendous job on that kilt and it's all the betetr for being short, too. xxx

  3. I had a kilt I loved growing up too. Well done on reworking that kilt! It looks great. We are having a moths invasion in London and you've reminded me I need to be vigilant (and that I have a biker gilet like yours that I need to pull out more often). FAB accessories - leopard print velvet, red 60's vinyl structured bag - swoon! And those are some fine look baubles there lady!

  4. That comes to show that sometimes best things come from disaster, he, he. You have done a super job with that kilt; and the whole outfit is a treat.
    I didn´t know about putting things in the freezer to kill the moth( live and learn).
    Un abrazo fuerte.

  5. Kilts for women here in Scotland (maybe elsewhere too?) are assosicated with school uniforms and people who perv over school girls, which is why I've avoided them. Which is a shame really, because your outfit looks great!

  6. What a great outfit! I could never pull it off, but it looks fabulous on you! I do love the layering of the necklaces and mixing clothes styles. You look adorable!

  7. How look fabulous!!!!

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  8. The kilt looks so good now! Love how its teamed with docs <3<3 Docs make everything better! haha (And I don't even own a pair! Oh the shame)
    I really love sewing but I don't have a sewing machine (gonna get a cheap one for Christmas) so I spend about a week sewing stuff, like taking up skirts!
    x x x x

  9. lady, you are rocking! i like your style


  10. Oh, I do love a scratchy, woolen pleated skirt as well, goes back to my Catholic school days!

    I love the way you have rocked that kilt! And it didn't seem you wore a lot of accessories until the shot of them all together. Outstanding job once again!


  11. lovin' the safety pin on the kilt !!

  12. ooooh, all this work has paid off. What an excellent skirt!

  13. I'm so gutted when I find a hole in something.
    I buy huge bags of dried lavender from eBay and make my own lavender bags; apparently lavender is what the tailors in Savile Row swear by to keep the cloth munching critters at bay.
    I also freeze anything woolly, furry or feathery before it gets anywhere near my wardrobe...even if it may appear odd to some peeps that I keep cashmere bagged up for days in the freezer next to the frozen veg, it’s better to be safe than sorry ;)
    You've done a grand job revamping the kilt & you look fabulous wearing it too.

  14. It's so great you've given your kilt skirt a new chance. Now it can be seen and loved instead of munched by nasty moths. Great choice of necklace btw :)

  15. Wow amazing! jaja
    really made something out of nothing! cool!

  16. Great work and the colours on that kilt is lovely. I did the same thing a couple of years ago just to make my kilt more useful.

  17. The colors in that skirt are fabulous!

  18. You look so gorgeous. I have an old tartan skirt, now I am super inspired to change it into something more wearable. :)

    Love from Toronto, Canada

  19. What a prettily colored tartan. Lucky clan, whoever you are! I love the photos of the rainbow wheel of pins and shining threads ready to go to work, and the pearly long stretch of pins holding the knife pleats in shape. Looks like a lot of work, but I'm glad to see how it's done for future reference.

  20. Awesome post, girl! You have the best mix of style...always love it. I feel so behind on my blog-reading...I have been crazy-busy! Working on it. Talk soon!


  21. I awarded you something on my blog!!

  22. Found your blog yesterday and have read and re-read it all - oooohhhh fabby! Love the kilt - am stalking Harris Tweed and mohair tartan rugs and scarves myself - yummy.

  23. You look so great in a kilt! I love tartan i'm sad that it's going to be summer uniform starting next monday- means cotton check dress and no more tartan skirt (even though my school has the unfortunate colours of red and green... together!)



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