Belfast-based, style loving mum of 3. Fashion, Lifestyle, Food & Fitness

Sunday, 24 May 2015

For all the clothes I never wear...The Zip Yard!

This seemed like an apt post to follow on from the shoes I never wear post. I am as ruthless with my clothing as I am with my shoes but like all women, I have a few lovely items tucked away in the wardrobe that I love but which don't fit me or my lifestyle, so an approach from local company, The Zip Yard, got me wondering if I could be more creative with these items.


Now for starters, I had no idea that The Zip Yard is a local company - started up here in NI about 10 years ago. Since then it has extended the franchise right across Ireland and the UK with plans to take it further afield in the future. You can see if there's an outlet near you on this link
I've used the company in the past for dry cleaning and minor pieces of work like hems and zips but I genuinely never realised that they have talented seamstresses working in each of their outlets that can perform miracles with pretty much anything in your wardrobe that you don't wear anymore. Time to challenge them with a couple of mine....

Challenge 1 for the Lisburn Road shop was to make a wearable piece out of this dress by Darling, a sale buy a while back that, in truth, is too tight for me across the hips and although I love the print, it wears me...but I adore the yellow!
Challenge 2 was this jumpsuit, another sale purchase, this time by a favourite brand of mine - Maison Scotch. But I've struggled to wear it at all as the buttons are really awkward to open and close - no joke with a jumpsuit!
The guys in the Zip Yard suggested that I turn the dress into a top, shorten the sleeves and vent the sides to give more hip room!
It makes such a difference and this transformation got me thinking about other dresses that I rarely wear and what lovely tops they would make. The cost for shortening the dress while keeping it slightly longer at the back, introducing side vents AND shortening the sleeves was just £20 - which, given I got the dress in a sale for £15, makes this bespoke top a complete bargain.
With the jumpsuit, I'd considered replacing the buttons with a zip but I had reservations about the all over print, so when it was suggested that I split it into a separate top and trouser, there was a bit of a eureka moment - two items of clothing from one sounded good to me...

I just know I'm going to wear these separates so much more than I would have worn the jumpsuit. The cost here was a little more at £30, as the trousers had to have an elasticated waist added and I also wanted the tiny cap sleeve removed from the top half.

Since these photos, and because I was so delighted with the results, I've been back to the Zip Yard with my Only patch jeans....which deteriorated in recent weeks and now expose way too much of my left knee. I'll share the results of this when I pick them up later this week.

And if you want a further taste of what The Zip Yard can do, That Belfast Girl worked on this project too - transforming a vintage blazer into this waistcoat!
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Photo credits - Jude Malone Creative

Disclosure - The Zip Yard covered the cost of the dress and jumpsuit alterations and paid me for the time spent writing this post. However, all the words are my own and I was not obliged to blog if the alterations were not to my liking. Thanks for supporting the local brands that support this blog!
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24 comments

  1. What cool idea - am just loving that yellow top on me. Makes me want to action a yellow print, so sunshiney and happy making

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  2. Great post Avril, I'm looking forward to seeing the end result of your Only jeans. I love the trousers made from the jumpsuit, what a fantastic idea xx

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  3. What a fantastic idea Avril. It's such a shame that we sometimes don't wear our clothes because they're not quite right. And as you say, you end up with something bespoke at the end. I love the yellow top, Liz xxx www.whatlizzyloves.com

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  4. This is such a great idea! Much better than having to get rid of perfectly good clothes. Look forward to seeing the jeans x

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  5. OMG that yellow top is gorgeous! You have to keep it now Avril, it's just gorgeous. The jumpsuit (was) amazing but totally cool now it's separates.

    Making old clothes good (I am bad at not doing this) is like buying new. I really need to sort what clothes I don't like and get them altered.

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  6. So clever (ha ha see what I just did.....so/sew. Well I thought it was funny. Adore the print on the yellow top and I don't think it wears you at all. It looks so much easier to style than the previous tunic x

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  7. Wow what a transformation, the yellow top looks fab on you as does the jumpsuit transformed into a top and trousers. I love the way they came up with the ideas to make each garment workable for you, this is something I find difficult so to have the Zip Yard come up with solutions like this is invaluable. Off to check out if there is one near me!!

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  8. I'm with Frances, the fact that the Zip yard will suggest what to do with your unloved stuff is the best part of this for me. I never would have thought about splitting the jumpsuit into two pieces - genius! I must go and have a root around in my wardrobe...xx

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  9. Thats such a great item. We all have so many items we don't wear that could be repurposed.

    Loving the little top made from your jump suit, it is super cute. x x

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  10. I love this idea! I'm already thinking about a dress that I own, which I've worn maybe once, possibly twice? This could have a whole new lease of life as a top. Oooh, I'm all inspired now :) Definitely going to do this. It appeals to the 'waste not, want not' side of me!! Love the yellow top btw!

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  11. What a brilliant idea!! I have so much that I have given to charity that I could have updated!! Love splitting the jumpsuit into 2 - just genius! xx

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  12. I'm thinking of all my clothes that don't fit - maybe they could sew 2 items together to make 1! Just kidding - I think they've done a great job and the prices sound really reasonable!

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  13. What a brilliant idea Avril. I have a few items I still want to wear and this post has told me that I can.

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  14. What a great idea. I love the yellow top. Joan at www.aviewtothefells.com

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  15. Now that is a nifty service to offer. I particularly love the dress transformation. Some people are so clever. I am rubbish at needlework, of any kind, so this is brilliant. H xx

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  16. Great to hear Avril that The Zip Yard alteration went well for you. Starts to get you think what else is in the wardrobe that could do with a nip, tuck and shorten to breath new life into it!

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  17. What a great idea, I never think of getting things altered...tell them we'd like one in Shropshire please!!
    http://mama-of-boys.blogspot.co.uk/

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  18. What a neat idea, Avril. All I need to do is find a good tailor who isn't going to charge me a fortune. I have a few things in my closet that can be altered and perhaps "refreshed".

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  19. Love these transformations - simply amazing :-) xx

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  20. Really amazing transformations! I love the top! It's stunning & the outfit with the black blazer is lovely! I wish I could sew! x

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  21. OMG I am IN. AWE. I am genuinely tempted to get on a plane and hoof my way there as I have so so so SO much stuff that they could work their magic on. God I WISH we had somewhere like that here. Truly genius concept.

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  22. What a fab idea! Love the yellow top on you - bespoke and so, so pretty! The trousers look great too. Lynne xx

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  23. You little angel - there's one in Milton Keynes which is my nearest local shopping centre! I've been after something like this for ages as I too have some pieces I love but just don't love me. Thanks for sharing. That yellow top looks amazing on you, really does x

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I love reading your comments and will reply as soon as I can if you have a specific question. If for any reason, you are unable to leave a comment, just drop me an email at avril@alifetostyle.com or leave a comment on the A Life to Style Facebook Page! Thank you xx

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