Smashing my comfort zone again with the Festival of Thrift – Part 1

It’s been a while since I’ve posted – juggling the different balls of raising feral boys, getting involved in village life, doing my bean counting day job and trying to fit in some extra curricular play on my various “trades” – writing about it all took a back seat.

One of the things I’ll be writing more about over the next few weeks is the Festival of Thrift and how I’ll be getting involved in this year’s event. This is the fifth year of the festival devoted to living thriftily and sustainably in style. Having only attended as a visitor up to now, I’ve decided to push my comfort zone in a different way and volunteer to make an outfit (or maybe 2) for the Oxglam Fashion show.

Having jumped in with both feet and signed up, I went over to the Darlington Oxfam branch to find out more. This year the theme is “Growth – with a seasonal aspect”. Sue took me through a slide deck of past years shows and then several Pinterest images for inspiration. As it is a catwalk show – the outfits will need to be quite over the top and costumey to have as much visual impact as possible. This won’t be about a wearable upcycle! Outfits need to be made for a 10/12/14 model (thankfully not me!) and ready not just in time for the Festival itself on Sept 23/24, but 2 weeks before to allow for fitting and rehearsals. After hearing all this, I mentally gulped and agreed to go for it!

Then the fun bit – the mad dash round the shop to pick up some raw materials! As it was the first day of the school holidays, I had feral child 1 & 2 in tow and really did have to do a supermarket sweep style run round grabbing what I could quickly before they killed each other. I didn’t realise it, but Darlington Oxfam is the biggest shop in the country – it has room upon room of clothes, not all on the shop floor for sale, but many up on their ebay selling site. I was only allowed to pick from the sorting room and the shop floor. I managed to fill 2 bin bags with an assortment of pieces. On closer inspection I’m not sure why I took some of them!  I must state here – anything I don’t use will be going back to the shop to be sold on asap.

Want to see the haul?? My first “grab” was a long taffeta detachable train (couldn’t find the dress it must have been attached to) and then a tweed skirt suit. Here I’m thinking of a Spring river, maybe a leaping salmon or two?

Here are my current Pinterest Inspiration pictures:

Then I grabbed some leather, tweed and tartan pieces. Winter steam punk theme here I think, with maybe stark black trees? Not sure if the tartan will stay or go….


I’ve been a bit vague in this first post as I’m still getting sorted in my head what I want to make. I don’t want to start pulling things apart willy nilly with no clear plan. Plus I need to make sure my ideas are in keeping with the overall show theme. But more will follow soon – I need to get cracking as they have to be ready for the 9th of September to be fitted to the models and prepared for the catwalk show!

Let me know what you think!

Lucy x


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