Getting Twiggy with it: Oxfam DIY 1960s-inspired dress reconstruction

I’m loving the current fashion obsession with all things 1960s; short hemlines, big hair and more eye make-up than you could shake a stick at.

So with this catwalk inspiration in mind, here’s my latest Oxfam DIY fashion post – a 60s-inspired dress reconstruction.

Click here for the super simple tutorial which will transform the frumpiest of vintage dresses from this….

FRUMPY: Over-sized and too long

FRUMPY: Over-sized and too long

to this!


1960s STYLE: Eat your heart out Jean Shrimpton

I spent a delightful few hours on Sunday listening to The Best of the Troggs while lopping off vast swathes of fabric, adjusting side seams and raising a hemline.


CONCENTRATION: Adjusting the side seam

A little bit of this…

PICTURE SIX cut off excess

SNIPPETY SNIP: Cutting off excess fabric

along with a touch of this…

PICTURE THREE stitching side seam

STITCH UP: Taking in the side seams

and a sprinkling of Wonder Web…

PICTURE SEVEN press wonderweb

WONDER-WEB-FUL: Sewing saviour

resulted in a dress that I think even Twiggy herself would have been proud of.


MINI ME: Reconstructed dress

Just as we went outside to take pictures it started to rain so here I am, the ever consummate professional, dodging April showers with a smile in my face.

Talk about suffering for my art!


THRIFTY: Dress and shoes were sourced from charity shops

This entirely-thrifted outfit sees my trusty Bally heels get another outing, along with my Hong Kongese beaded evening bag.

With Season Six of Mad Men well underway I decided to channel my inner Joan Holloway and have a go at a beehive.

Considering it was my first attempt I was rather pleased with it – any tips on making it more UK weather-proof?


OH, DO BEEHIVE! Back-combing and hairspray a-plenty

All in all, I was rather pleased with how it turned out. What do you think?


Dress: Deanes via YMCA Chorley, £2.99

Shoes: Bally via British Heart Foundation (Wigan) £3.99

Handbag: Hong Kong Made via Wigan & Leigh Hospice, £2

Earrings: Accessorize (sale), £2

33 Responses to Getting Twiggy with it: Oxfam DIY 1960s-inspired dress reconstruction

  1. Charlie H-S says:

    Love it!

    Got an overwhelming urge to buy a sewing machine now….

    Oh and backcombing helps….

  2. Helga says:

    Nice one! There’s nothing I like better than turning drab into FAB! X

  3. Love this, the pattern and colour are beautiful! Love that you have a red sewing machine!

    • manc_vintage says:

      Haha – I didn’t want to have any old sewing machine and I love red, so when I saw it, it had to be done! 😀

  4. Erica says:

    Nice one! What a great fit, you look amazing

  5. Vix says:

    Frumpy into fantastic! Minimum fuss for maximum cool. You look gorgeous, love your hair. xxx

  6. Stephen says:

    Very nice… and the dress is not bad either :)

  7. Janey says:

    Wow! What a great job! I love the color and it looks excellent!


  8. Anthea says:

    Your dress turned out great! Well done!

  9. Wow such a simple fix makes it into something totally different and fantastic!!

  10. SJP says:

    That’s completely changed it! I’m too much of a chicken to cut and hem most of my vintage clothes but I really should, as I’d get much more wear out of them :)

    • manc_vintage says:

      I felt a lot braver knowing it was just a £3 dress that I didn’t have any emotional ties to!

  11. Harlow says:

    Beautiful! You’ve done an amazing job transforming that drab frumpy dress into swinging sixties Mod perfection! The dress looks wonderful on you (colour and cut!) and your updo is just the icing on the cake. Just lovely :3

  12. Zoe says:

    LOVE your refashion! What an awesome dress. It’s got such a lovely little neck details, great to could make the rest of the garment just as cute. I totally agree with the comment you kept on my blog the other day, I always sour the larger sizes in charity shops in the hope of yielding large amount of usable fabric.

    All the best
    Zoe x

    • manc_vintage says:

      It was a fab find – so lucky to see it hanging there for just a couple of quid.

      Glad you like the re-make, I’m kind of new to it, so I just muddle my way through (with advice from my mum!)


  13. I will never tire of the fashions from the 60s. Whenever the industry gets bored and needs a re-boot, it goes back to this decade, which still looks remarkedly fresh 50 years later. Your dress looks so much better cropped very stylish!

  14. Terrific revamping job! You breathed so much fantastic new life into this garment (of which I really, really like the peaceful colour palette – it’s much more subdued than the hues one often finds at work on Mod era garments) and look smashing in it, dear gal.

    ♥ Jessica

    *PS* I sooo want Murdoch to find true love as well (so does my mom, a fellow fan of this great series).

  15. Amie says:

    Such a cute dress! I absolutely love 60’s fashion, most likely because of mad men lol. But who doesn’t love Joan’s wardrobe its to die for!
    Thanks for stopping by my blog :)

    • manc_vintage says:

      Same here – Mad Men has a lot to answer for my recent vintage buys 😀

      Glad to have found your blog – another one on my daily reading list :)

  16. Nikki Armstrong says:

    love it !!!

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