In George Mikesâ€™ book, How to be an Alien â€“ an amusing look at the British â€“ one of the first things he describes is our obsession with the weather. â€œIn England this is an ever-interesting, even thrilling topic, and you must be good at discussing the weather,â€ he writes. He also goes on to mention the aspect of etiquette during said conversations, most notably that you have to agree with whoever youâ€™re talking to when they say things like: â€œlovely day, isnâ€™t it?â€ even if sleet, snow and hurricanes are causing utter devastation across the horizon! Okay, that last point may be a bit dated now, but THE weather-related issue we seem to be notorious for overseas is how we jump at the chance of dressing for summer, stripping down to shorts, t-shirts, vests etc. as soon as the summer months set in and/or we see the first glimmer of sunlight, even if a freak incident of temporary global freezing brings ambient temperatures of minus 50 degrees!
Well, Iâ€™m going to make that exact mistake again for my next entryâ€¦ sort of. For once, it is pretty warm here and has been (touch wood!) for a good few weeks. However, in planet fashion, we are, of course, moving into autumn time, with dark hues and coats heralding the coming gloom of the winter months and already edging their way into shops and magazines as we speak. Iâ€™ve chosen to ignore all that in favour of a look thatâ€™ll help make the summer last and make the most of the warm season. Itâ€™s also got the same perverse rationale, of optimism about the weather and seizing the opportunity to enjoy anything resembling a summer that it throws at us. Itâ€™s also likely to prove useful if youâ€™re wondering what youâ€™re going to do with a white summer tunic leftover from this season.
Fold the bias binding in half.
If you want to make your tunic look authentically like the Marc Jacobs one then cut or unpick slits about 13cm from the bottom on either side. You might also want to cut away or unpick any sleeves and slash a line about 16cm long, from the collar along the centre of the garment. Donâ€™t worry about the raw edge as itâ€™ll be covered up by the bias binding.
Pin the folded bias binding along the armholes, slits and the bottom of the garment, with the fold covering the edge.
Sew the bias binding in place.
Cut out 15-20 flowers in each of the two colours, in the same shapes as the ones in the Marc Jacobs design.
You will notice how the flowers in the original have little white lines all over them. Creating this effect is simple, just scrape a set of straight lines across the flower with the lines closer together towards the outside of the petals.
Glue or sew your flowers onto the tunic.
â€¦And finally for, the most imperative rule of all, without which this process is truly not complete â€“ radiate and sparkle, darling, in your simply ravishing new creation!
Sultry weather calls for sultry, fabulous style, my dear. Whatâ€™s more, it really is that simple to give a washed out old tunic a new lease of life for the last of the summer, before itâ€™s forgotten, abandoned and consigned to cruel cold world of the charity shop storeroom, so far from the loving home it once found. Letâ€™s think about that, and letâ€™s make a difference â€“ you know it makes sense!