(Miche's gorgeous cut out heart back dress refashion)
Just when you think you've seen most of what 'refashioning' has to offer, you go and discover a new-to-you talent full of fun, creative ideas bringing a fresh approach to the genre! That's how I felt a few weeks ago when I stumbled upon the 'Buttons and Birdcages' blog written by the super-sweet and talented Miche. With her focus firmly on style, she's busy breathing new life and direction into thrifted finds. Luckily for us she agreed to be interviewed on the subject for Refashion Friday, so let's hear from the girl herself...
Z: What appeals to you about refashioning and can you remember how you begun?
M: For me, it's a creative outlet and it's really fun. As an avid thrifter, I was constantly coming across dresses that didn't fit, or weren't quite in style anymore. I finally decided to do something about it, so I took a chance on a $3.99 dress from Goodwill, and a new passion was born.
Z: What role does refashioning/upcycling/remaking (whichever term you prefer) play in your life? Has that role changed over time?
M: What started as a hobby is starting to become a passion. Finding that next frock to refashion pretty much makes my day. As of now, it is still a hobby, however, a lot of friends have asked me to start selling my recreations, which I'm not quite sure they're good enough for that, but who knows what the future may hold.
(Zooey Deschanel: Miche's modern day style icon)
Z: You clearly love a good thrifting adventure, how often do you visit thrift stores and what are you looking for when you are there?
M: I typically go about once a week. Usually I go straight to the dress section and then work my way through the racks and over to the furniture/random stuff (some seriously awesome gems buried in there if you take the time to look)
Z: Who or what inspires your personal style? Where do you go (physically or virtually) to find inspiration?
M: I consider my style to be pretty eclectic - I draw inspiration of course from classics like Audrey Hepburn, and mix it with some modern day Zooey Deschanel. I love getting lost in personal style blogs like Delightfully-tacky.com/ and browsing through the new arrivals section on Modcloth.com.
(A double dose of 90's garment refashioning!)
Z: What would you say are your three favourite refashions you've completed?
M: This purple dress (pictured at the top of this post) was one of the most challenging (and rewarding) I've completed to date (the heart cut out was a nightmare). Another favorite was actually a really simple re-do of a long skirt and denim dress (pictured above). It was so simple, but it turned out to be so wearable and stylish. And I guess I have to say my absolute favorite was actually the first refashion I ever completed (pictured below).
(Can you believe this was Miche's first ever refashioning project!)
Z: Can you share with us three of your favourite refashions by other people?
M: There are so many! Choosing is tough, but since I have to choose, one of my favorites is the Kitschy Dress project by the Refashionista. She is so inspiring, I never would've thought to dye anything before seeing her do it time and time again on her amazing blog. Another favorite is this velvet dress by Annika from The Pineneedle Collective. It so reminds me of my first refashion, it's simple, and this girl has awesome hair! I am completely obsessed with vintage style - so when I saw this refashion of a Betty Draper style dress by Sally from Charity Shop Chic, I fell completely in love (BTW, you can read my interview with Sally here).
(Former Refashion Friday interviewee, Jillian from Refashionista in her awesome Kitschy Dress refashion)
Z: What’s been your most challenging refashioning project to date?
M: I think the most challenging project I've completed yet has to be my copycat Anthropologie dress. It was for the Refashion Runway contest, and the challenge was to copy something from a magazine or catalog. I was so excited to copy an Anthropologie dress that I didn't stop to think about how much work was going to go into it. Not only was it a ton of work, it also didn't allow me to be very creative, which ended up being pretty tough for me personally.
Z: How much of what you wear, day-to-day, has been made or refashioned by yourself?
M: I'm still building my refashioned wardrobe. Right now, I'd say I've made/refashioned only about 15% of my wardrobe but I'm hoping to increase that number significantly in the coming months
(Copycat Anthropologie style at a fraction of the cost!)
Z: Describe your dream thrifting day... where are you and what do you find?!
M: On my dream thrifting day I'm searching through the racks of a thrift store on the edge of town. I come across one dress, a single, beautiful item with an amazing history that I can only begin to guess. Finding the perfect shoes and earrings to match would really top the day off!
Z: What advice would you / do you give to anyone wanting to try refashioning but aren’t sure where to start?
M: Take a chance. Even if something seems intimidating or you don't know where to start, once you get it off the hanger chances are your creativity will take over. Worst case scenario, you toss it out. Best case, you have an amazing new(ish) piece of clothing :)
Thanks sooo much Miche for taking the time to answer my probing questions! I wish you lots of luck and fun as you up the percentage of self-made/refashions in your wardrobe and I'll be watching closely to the outcomes of that journey.