COOL: Making old clothes look wicked

Posted on September 9, 2010 by


Bored of walking into charity shops that call themselves ‘vintage’ stores? Me too. Feel like with every purchase a percentage is put towards an entrance fee? Me too.

Starting to wonder whether you really want to wear second hand pieces of clothing that invariably reek of hemp and rotting bodies, anyway? Me bloody too!  Sustainable fashion is cool though, and these are my reasons for why…

  • Every time you buy a second hand jumper from a good charity shop like All Aboard, that’s one less Topshop purchase and subsequently one less meal for Philip Green’s annual Arcadia Gala Dinner.
  • Even though you’re convinced that the jaundiced rag at the back of your cupboard is dead, you can bet your bottom dollar it’ll be back in fashion one day. Yes, even v necks. Lilly Allen’s kid will probably bring those back into Vogue.
  • There are places you can go to resuscitate life back into your shabby garms, and if you can’t sew or imagine a future for what looks like fashion flotsam then there are lovely artistic people on board to help you.

The Papered Parlour is a bit of a dream come true for those who can’t quite get over chunky paint brushes and want an excuse to use them in their adult life without doing a PGCE.

    Run by two visual artists, the parlour [tucked down an alley in Clapham] is like a home away from home for those who want to be involved in art events, exhibitions and dressmaking workshops. The official name for the class I’m particularly interested in is  ‘Dressmaking: Make Me a Domestic Sewing Goddess!’ which involves a lot of time on a sewing machine and a lesson on how to thread the darn thing so you don’t have to bother the pros every thirty seconds about that loose bobbin. When you’re done, you’ll have learnt from award winning artists how to replace buttons, take up trousers [so useful] and revamp old clothes with simple alterations! Coool.

    I’ve got a bag of old clothes I keep in a dark cupboard. I’m sure they’d be so grateful if I took them to the Papered Parlour instead of a charity shop where they’d probably end up being bought by a vintage hound called ‘Melanoma’.

    Their next dressmaking class is on October 10 with a focus on how to make a skirt. Pencil or micro? Who knows. The class costs £ 72.50 and before you gasp – there’s CAAAKE!

    For more info visit

    Posted in: COOL