If you want to make an outfit think Vivienne.

I was going to a ball. My work Marks and Spencer was celebrating 25 years in Bangor. So straight away I knew I wanted to make my own outfit. Now I like something a bit different and I’m going to be influenced by one of many clothing designers like Vivienne Westwood. I love her uniqueness and passion for standing out from the norm.

I didn’t design my own outfit as I knew I didn’t have the time so I bought my patterns and adapted them to my liking. I choose a full, pleated knee-length skirt and a corset.


I bought green and black two-tone taffeta to make it in and gold polyester to line it. I didn’t get real contrasting taffeta made from two different colours, which I would have liked. Again I left it to late to source it. The pattern didn’t call to be lined but I did and it gave it more volume. I also sewed the outer skirt to the lining at the hem so they stay together and gives it a neater finish. The process was me sewing all pieces together, then before putting in any pleats I attached the outer skirt and lining, right sides together, sewing them to each other at the hem using the seam allowance. Then turning right side out I put in the pleats so the outer skirt and lining would sit flush with each other. The rest was then the zip and waist band making sure always it fitted along the way.


The corset was always going to be my reusing the blues. It had to be from denim jeans. I didn’t know if it would work or not but I would give it a go. I choose one pair of jeans that I liked the surface texture and shade and managed to cut out eight of the nine pattern pieces from that one pair. The front single piece I choose another piece of denim but because it was a different shade I used the reverse side to blend in. Also it has a nice crease feature to it.

So I sewed them all together. The back has a nice touch from were the jeans have a worn hole in them.


As extra feature I sandpapered the surface. It helps blend in the new seams. And I also zig zagged my own surface embroidery design.

The corset pattern did require lining and soft boning, which I never done before. I know from wearing the corset I will definitely tape over the edges of the soft boning the next time as they poked into me through the lining were they sewn into.

The fit of the corset was also an issue. I was using the measurements for a  size 16 according to the pattern but unfortunately I don’t have size 16 breast measurements. I’m about a 12. So after I put in the zip I had to alter it at the top front and front side panels. Taking it in two inches at each and repositioning the boning.


So I got there. I styled my outfit with ribbon tied high heels and a chunky necklace that I got from  Claires for four pound. I painted my nails a contrasting red and my lovely daughter Alana Riley @ DKY, done my hair and make-up.




The over all look I was going for was  to be different and to have that rebel vibe. I wanted the Mohican hair style with the no nonense quiff to match my Rebel Without A Cause  denim corset. Finished off with my small black studded wrist strap bag. Everyone looked stunning and a great night was had by all at Clandeboye Estate.


Denim corset washed and dried ready for next event.

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