Project upcycle shirt

The current winter trend of sparkly edged tops, collars, shoulders and cuffs got me hankering after something new for me. After deciding against splashing out on a new item I challenged myself to come up with a hand made version. Always good practice for future items for my Atelier Boyceau shop, especially as I would like to diversify my collection going forward.

Unfortunately I did not have anything suitable already in my wardrobe to adapt (the Belge would never believe that!) so I found a couple of floaty shirts from “Jennifer” in town in the sale. Bargain! Now onto the interesting part.

After a squiz on the net I found myself in front of two amazing bead shops in Paris that for some reason I had never been to before (surprising really as I have been many times to this area as it is great for vintage and second hand items). GOOD ADDRESS ALERT:
The words “child” and “sweetshop” come to mind, I was overwhelmed with choice and relished looking at everything in the shop mentally memorising what I saw and already imagining future creations.
Settling on silvers for a metallic look, I decided to mix large quantities of plain grey glass beads with accents of larger clear and silver lined beads.

Once home I got to work on hand sewing each bead onto the collar of each shirt. Time consuming? Yes. Boring? No. Here’s the final result. It looks fabulous done right up to the top and worn with black slim trousers and high heel boots.

On my next night out I shall post a photo!

What do we think? Feeling inspired?




Project bridesmaid cover up.

So I am very excited to be a bridesmaid at the end of November for my very good friend back in the North of England. I was very lucky that I was there when she chose the bridesmaids’ dresses, and was very happy with the final choice. Originally the bride was going to order them from the bridal shop but when we saw the choice, cost and quality of the ready to wear dresses in the department store we were blown away. She also had her wedding dress with her that day so trying on dresses and seeing how they went with her dress was key to choosing right (lots of “ahhs” in the changing room that day!).

There are 4 bridesmaids in total and 2 of us are wearing this beautiful navy “lori lee” dress from Coast, while the other 2 will wear the long version in light grey. The bride decided not to have us all in the same so to add variety to the colour palette of the day. Good choice!  The other bridemaid and I are “petite” hence the short version  (thankfully!) and we have decided on pairing it with nude court shoes, and tan tights.


The sheer overlay drapes beautifully and the sparkle detail on the waist ribbon goes perfectly with the sparkle on the bride’s dress. The bride’s dress is very unusual, white long fitted 20’s inspired plunge neck and back with short net drop sleeves and lots of clear rhinestone detail so the bridesmaids need to be simple and elegant. The bride will be wearing a fake fur grey stole on the day, très chic!

Et voilà! Pretty perfect I’d say! (Promise to post a picture of the final day, her dress is a MUST SEE).

So the discussion turned to cover ups as it is sure to be very cold on the day, may even snow! Some suggested pashminas, some suggested nothing (Northern spirited of course) but I am certain we will be happy of a jacket or a cardigan. But what would you put with this dress to compliment, not over power? Something subtle but worthy of the day? And of course something you will wear again. Nothing in the shops, little online. As always I tell myself “If in doubt, make it yourself”.

I had wanted to develop a short boxy knitted jacket for a while, it is a project that I had wanted to add to my Atelier Boyceau range, so this was the perfect opportunity to try it out. Combining 2 separate patterns and adapting to the chosen yarn (Phildar 55% lambswool in Caban navy) I was able to come up with this:

CIMG3299 I was extremely happy with how my pattern worked out (seems I am ok at maths after all) and the measurements were perfect for me. I used my manual knitting machine LK150 to make the 5 main pieces (decreasing along the edges of the front and back panels to create shaping) and hand finished all edges in a thick band of moss/seed stitch.

So now to make it really earn its place at a wedding……

CIMG3305Having been unsuccessful at matching the beads from the waistband exactly I ordered a variety of glass beads from Cultura and away I went…..

I was in 2 minds whether to put the beading around the collar rather than the front but in the end it helped to give rigidity to the front to enable it to hang better.

For the matching bridesmaid I ensured I made the sleeves longer on version 2, wider shoulders, and to flatter her shape I added claps to the front that she can choose to do up or not.

CIMG3317CIMG3295So there we have it, very happy with how they have turned out! Is so satisfying to see the final result! I think the sparkles set off the waist band perfectly and we certainly won’t freeze!

I have improved my skills and now have the confidence to start making similar versions for the shop.

Imagine red wool with gold thread knitted throughout, gold border with mutli coloured bead work all around the collar……COMING SOON!

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Thanks for reading, let me know what you think x Alexandra