Dressing up a dressing gown

Who would have thought it? I’ve actually finished off a makeover only a few weeks after I showed you the original. Namely, this Chinese dressing gown-style multi-tasker.Chinese coat DIYsilkcoat2Chinese jacket dress DIY

Confused? Don’t remember seeing the original? This might jog your memory.


Originally it was a… well, when I bought it from an opshop for $8 I wasn’t sure what its intended purpose was. It kind of looked like nightwear because of the dressing gown detailing but there was a zip all the way down the front which wouldn’t have felt pleasant against the skin. Then again, I can’t imagine anyone wearing it in public as-was unless it was a maternity dress?

Whatever it was meant to be, I decided it would be better as a jacket and therefore the zip had to go, but I also wanted to get rid of it because whoever had made the garment wasn’t great at inserting zips and the fabric either side was all pulled and wonky (yes, that’s the technical term). As I started removing the zip and resewing things I realised what a pain the fabric was to work with because it’s slippery and doesn’t fall evenly, which also kind of explains why it was drooping longer and unevenly at the sides than at the front and back. The main garment was sewn to the lining at the hem but to redo that so that everything fell evenly was too much work so I took up the lining and the main garment separately and left the lining free. All sound like too much hassle? You be the judge…

chinesecoat1I’ve worn it several times so far, as a dress (fastened very professionally up the inside front with safety pins and “belted” with a mud print scarf) to the opening of the NGV’s new Contemporary Jewellery Space (it’s inside the gallery shop and anyone can shop there. Christmas is coming up. You’re smart people, I’m sure you can put two and two together).Chinese African coat dress

And as a light jacket to lunch with some lady friends…

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And again as a jacket to check out Kara Baker‘s spring summer range in her salon (which just happens to look exactly the way I want my house to look when I grow up. You can see a bit more of it here.). In this pic you can see Kara in the background and also you can see how I left the jacket lining hanging loose – and how it just happens to match exactly with my gold boots!


By the way, you may have noticed I didn’t post last week – I was overseas and couldn’t get my internet to work. But now that I’m back and missing travelling, I’ll be posting about my trip soon!