(all images sourced from ReFashionista, except where stated)
With fabulous style, an accessible approach to her projects and a killer sense of humour, Jillian from ReFashionista is by far one of my, and many other's, favourite refashioning bloggers. I was so delighted when she agreed to be interviewed for Refashion Friday for the twin purposes of getting inside her head a bit (in a non-creepy way, I promise!) and to introduce her and her blog to anyone who might not have chanced upon it yet. If you have even an inkling of interest in sewing of any description, it's bound to become one of your favourites as well!
1) Refashioning, upcycling, remaking, reworking.... How would you describe what you do and/or what term do you use?
I think I might have refashioned myself into a corner when I named my blog "ReFashionista". ;) I'd describe what I do as fashion hacking... finding a way to work around having to buy new clothes while still looking fashionable. Free time is extremely valuable, so I try to make the process as quick and efficient as possible for all of us ladies on the go! (Jillian has even created lots of awesome 'no-sew' refashions, like the dress pictured at the top of this post!)
(an action shot of a refashion mid-process!)
2) You are a damned prolific thifter/refashioner plus you haven't been regular clothes shopping for years, what proportion of your wardrobe is now comprised of refashions?
Haha. That's probably why I'm so tired all the time. ;) I would say at least 90% of my wardrobe is refashioned. I try to hold on to my old clothes for as long as I possibly can, then I eventually refashion them too!
3) What appeals to you about refashioning and can you remember how you begun?
I started refashioning because I was tired of being too poor to be able to afford nice clothes, and because I was bothered by the unethical practices of most fashion manufacturers. When I started refashioning, I really felt like I was getting one over on "The Man" (whoever that is). It felt empowering and wildly subversive. I didn't have to limit myself to just consuming... I could create instead!
(Jillian rocking an ill-fitting 'before' frock, about to work her magic)
4) Where's your favourite hunting ground/s to source your 'raw materials' and what do you look for when selecting a garment to refashion?
I like to go to the sketchier shops that less brave refashioners dare not enter. I also love the Dollar-a-Pound Goodwill Clearance Center (Don't worry! I wear gloves!!!). :) I try to find the ugliest and most outdated pieces I can find -- items that I truly think would be heading straight for the landfill if no one saved them.
5) You clearly have a lot of fun with (and in!) your refashion projects, how do you approached a thrifted garment that's destined for some reworking?
There really isn't any method behind my madness. I look at refashioning time as a sort of dress up/playtime! I don't always know what I'm about to do when I begin, but any step forward is probably in the right direction.
(Jillian celebrating another successful refashion!)
6) Who or what inspires your personal style? Where do you go (physically or virtually) to find inspiration?
I do a lot of boutique window shopping to get ideas. I like to see clothes in person so I can really look at them and see how they're contracted. I get a lot of inspiration from websites like ModCloth, Urban Outfitters, Free People, and Anthropologie too. But at some point, you really have to step away from getting too caught up in whatever is "trendy" and have the balls to cultivate your own personal style, no matter how silly anyone else thinks it is.
7) What would you say are your three favourite refashions you've completed?
I'm pretty stoked with one of my most recent ones, the Gala dress (pictured above). Then there's this clown suit I wore on the Rachael Ray Show. I also love this black dress refashion (pictured below), mostly because it's an easy one that could work with lots of long-sleeved dresses.
8) Can you share with us a couple of your favourite refashions by other people?
Dude. Have you seen Sally over at Charity Shop Chic? (Of course you have, you interviewed her!) Her refashions kick my ass right down the street. She even does math. MATH!!!! I pretty much love everything she's done, but I remember her Stella McCartney tribute dress refashion (pictured below) realllllly impressing me early on. Then there's this one that you just might be familiar with. I love that you did this (used unwanted T-shirts to make undies), because this is SUCH a practical and fun rehash (and I hate shopping for underwear!!!).
(image source: Charity Shop Chic)
9) You are clearly a girl after my own heart in that you appreciate a tasty beverage or two. Seeing as I'm off the booze for a while, I'd like to live vicariously through you for a while. What self-created outfit (either existing or in your head) would you wear if you and I went for a couple of cocktails?
WHAT!?! You're pregnant! Lay off the sauce, Lady!!!! (teasing!) Definitely this Modcloth copycat number right here (pictured below). You have a fun vintage style, and I imagine you'd be wearing some cute collared blouse/skirt combo. We could then hang out and sip martinis and chat all about our adventures in stitchery! :)
10) Describe your dream thift shopping day. Where are you? What do you find?
In my fantasy dream thrift shopping day, I first find a unicorn that I ride around the store. A waiter hands me a blueberry mojito, which I sip luxuriously. Whilst atop my unicorn, I find a perfect combination of gorgeous vintage dresses that require no refashioning and lots of ugly duckling dresses with gorgeous details just waiting to be brought out!
Enormous thanks to Jillian for taking the time to respond to my probing questions! And for writing such an amusing blog, of course.