Sunday 2 October 2011

Chanel Hopping

Apologies for the year-long Chic Cheat hiatus. Owing to changes in my life and situation - namely starting a new job, decamping eastwards with precious little knowledge of local haberdasheries and working a 45-hour week with the added shock to the system of cooking and cleaning up after myself - blogging duties have had to be temporarily put on hold. Finding time and remaining energy after a full working day has been a particularly tough one, especially coupled with having to get up - or indeed have any recollection of what a clock looks like - at 7AM.

Another issue about settling into Peterborough was the culture shock. The place is under something of a mainstream junta in which you're met with a barrage of aggressive, stupefied disbelief if you tell anyone you don't drink alcohol! Still, even in this turbulent sea of conformity I have managed to create a stylish safehaven in my bedroom, into whose dark, intense look I put hours of work...

It's a detailed style I like to know as "sweet excess" and my dad likes to know as "a million bloody trinkets everywhere!" Still, personal tastes aside, as a twentysometing who still gets IDed everywhere as a rule of thumb, I'm also all to aware of being pigeonholed into the angst-addled, Twilight-obsessed current face of goth culture we know and - some of us - love.

I haven't actually read the Twilight books, and refuse to as a matter of principle - young, vulnerable awkward little darlings really shouldn't be looking to to anything predatory as a  magic answer to their issues and isolation, especially of the exsanguinatory persuasion! Then again, maybe I should relish being tarnished with a teen brush as someone who surely can't be as old as 27, and as a stoic native of a generation so browbeaten into bleak aspirations the word "Standard" has become an expression of ultimate approval! That said, it's when you get past your teens that you're taken seriously,  and that anything you embrace could quite possibly be more than "just a phase." Another measure I take to avoid being labelled in any way, shape or form is by elegantly peppering a sentence with any of the following words and phrases:

"Visual-kei"          "Conceptual"            "Anime"      "Selfsh capitalist"    "Symphonic metal"

"Post-modern"  "But what is post-modern"......... and, lest we forget, "But, what is normal?"

And now for the actual point of this entry...See, in addition to finding my way around, I've had to cope without my sewing machine and managed to come up with this Chic Cheat copy of a dress from Chanel's Spring 2011 collection that doesn't require sewing. It can also be done on grey tweed jackets...


Very Easy

A bit of cut, stick 'n' colour with fabrics and clothes.

You will need

A grey tweed tunic dress or jacket - I used a dress that cost £15 from Primark

Half a metre of black chunky check tweed fabric - I got mine from Classic Textiles on Goldhawk Road

Half a metre of white cotton drill - mine was from the same place as the fabric above

Bondaweb - mine was £4 from John Lewis

All-purpose scissors that cut through fabric and paper

Iron and ironing board

...And to turn them into convincing couture?

Cut out as many 5cm wide strips along the length of your check tweed fabric. This should amout to ten strips - with half a metre of fabric - but you may be lucky as some fabric vendors may be more generous with excess fabric.

Cut strips of bondaweb of the same length, whic are 2.5cm wide and cover half of each of your tweed strips.

Iron the bondaweb along the sides of your tweed strips. Your bondaweb should have one soft, fabric-like side and one covered with paper. Make sure you attach it soft side down so that it sticks to your fabric.

Once all your bondaweb is attached, peel away the paper to expose the other adhesive side.

Iron your tweed strips, bondaweb side down, to your dress along all of the seams, neckline and centre front. Also, cover the dart seams at the front and back, continuing in a straight line along the rest of the garment.

Fray the excess tweed fabric, that is the fabric that isn't attached with the bondaweb.

Cut your white twill into small rough ovals, approximately 5-7cm long and 2-5cm wide. Just eyeball these measurements, I put them as a ball park size figure.

Cut matching ovals of bondaweb that are slightly smaller than each of your twill ovals and iron them on, as before, leaving a tiny amount of your twill uncovered, which then needs to be frayed to give them a raw edge.

When you have done this, peel away the paper, as before and iron the twill to the dress, sprinkling them in a random pattern.

And you should have something that looks rather a lot like this:

Chanel your energy into frayed and collaged chic for a unique look!

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