Rude and Ragged

For me, clothes are kind of character; I don’t follow fashion or understand trends.  Meryl Streep

Humility and knowledge in poor clothes excel pride and ignorance in costly attire.  William Penn

“Cultivate a relationship with your clothing, an investment that directly connects the grower with the maker and the wearer. Repair is an extension of that sentiment, and a deepening of the relationship through wear, and repair, and the honoring of all the embedded stories that led to it.” REWARDROBE Eco Fashion Talk by Sass Brown

Photo below:  RUDE Girl revived this 1980s frock in under an hour for no cost.  It’s what I term a house dress, and I love it to bits because it reflects my mission to always mend and make new.


For RUDE Girl there is probably no better feeling that RE-vamping a fast fashion garment.  Why?  Because it is a radical gesture.  Many people would not bother to take the time to fix a rag.  And most fast fashion after it is worn and washed a few times, is only good for the rag-bag.

Yesterday, I revived this 1980s rayon frock in the above photo, which I consider to be fast fashion for its time.  The tag had been removed, and the edges had been over locked stitched.  It was probably a little bit better quality than a current cheap fast fashion dress.  Why?  It is rayon not polyester, and has some bust darts to give the bodice shape.

This maxi frock was discovered in a huge pile of clothes at a community garment swap at a local sustainability festival. It was missing a button and had a split up each side.  Both splits had ripped further up the side seams.  The over locking stitch had come away in parts, and there were three tiny holes in the fabric at the front of the dress.  Most people, I believe, would have considered it a rag.  Even the sorting ladies at the local charity shop would have ditched it!

But the frock spoke to me of opportunities for comfortable days around the house. I liked its A line shift style.  I could wear a vintage petticoat under it and in cooler weather a long-sleeved top.  A perfect old dress that sort of reminded me of a dress style from the 1920s and 1960s.

SAMSUNGPhoto above: The front skirt piece had three small holes which I covered with crocheted circles from old doilies.

SAMSUNGPhoto above:  The bodice required reinforced over locking under the bust line. As were the side and centre back seams

SAMSUNGPhoto above:  The hem was shortened from maxi to knee-length and a cotton lace attached to the over locked hem edge.

Beat The Man and revive a ragged frock to good as new, if not better than new fast fashion!


7 thoughts on “Rude and Ragged

    • I empathise with you jmlol. There is such goodwill in swapping clothes. And these days with charity shops becoming a bit pricey I like to encourage more direct swapping of stuff with neighbours, family and/or friends. This community swap was really well attended. And those who did not bring stuff to swap could buy an item for $1.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Agatha the cotton lace is lovely and was a freebie. Yes, we are moving into winter and I will not wear this dress during the cold months. It’s autumn now so I did wear it shopping the other day. I wore a petticoat and the yellow long-sleeved top underneath. And wore my navy blue granny shoes made in NZ and very comfortable. Made me feel like a flapper. I love the 1920s fashion style.


  1. great job – the crochet trim gives it a fine look – there is a romance to thrift (to paraphrase chesterton) – which once you start remaking, i think you get the bug. perhaps its that your own personality comes out in the creation? i know we have upcycled and repaired pieces about the house and they define us more than the store bought (my personal fave is the speakers in a suitcase). i have always felt that sewing is about creating your own authentic


    • Thank you Vee for your lovely comments. My husband’s family was over yesterday for his 60th birthday celebration. I baked a sponge cake in this frock and felt like I was reliving the early 60s. I am glad I discovered your blog and have been taking a peek today.


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