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Fashion & Beauty

This thrifty woman makes designer dupes for a fraction of the price

“Sewing is cool now, you don’t have to be 50.”



By Lydia Patrick via SWNS

A thrifty woman makes designer dupes for a fraction of the price - including a 'Gucci' jumpsuit made out of £50 ($56) Ikea curtains and £30 ($33) 'Birkenstocks.'

Nerrisa Pratt, 32, has always had a passion for fashion and studied fashion marketing at the University for the Creative Arts.

Being 6' 1" with big feet, Nerrisa was sick of walking into stores and not being able to find clothes and shoes that fit her properly.

Scrolling Pinterest and the internet, Nerrisa decided to take inspiration from the haute couture world and started sewing her own custom-made dupes.

She is a self-confessed "fabric magpie" and buys material from designers such as Versace, Marc Jacobs and Liberty London.

Her latest creation is a homemade pair of Birkenstocks she made from silver croc leather, souls and glue - which cost £45 ($50) - saving herself over £100 ($113).

“I have always been obsessed with Vogue magazine, but I always say I am broke with expensive taste," said Nerrisa, an entrepreneur, from Farnborough, England.

“I love finding things I love and making them fit my own body." she said. “I like to find sustainable materials and put my own spin on things that I like but that I can’t necessarily afford.”

Due to the "absolutely ridiculous" price of Birkenstocks, the designer decided to make her own.

She used a pattern from I can make shoes and drew it onto a piece of leather she bought from a fabric store for £20 ($22).

Nerrisa then used a hammer and a punch to put holes into her leather pattern for the buckles.

She stitched them on using leather yarn, which she burned to keep in place.

“It blows my mind every time I make a pair of shoes that most shoes are held together using Klebfest glue," Nerissa said.

After sticking the leather, she cuts out the souls and then they’re good to go.

“It’s an instant dopamine hit when people see me in my handmade garments and think they’re designer," she said.

“There’s a feeling you get when someone says they like your outfit - and you’ve made it.

“Choosing my favorite piece would be like choosing a favorite child, but I think it has to be the mustard version I made of a velvet green Gucci jumpsuit.”

The original jumpsuit would have cost £2,000 ($2,265), but set the fashionista back just £50 ($56).

The creator has also made her own Versace dress out of fabric she bought for £35 ($39) and made a Liberty London shirt out of fabric she paid just £18 ($20) a meter for.

She recommends fabric shopping on Goldhawk Road, London, and Misan West, a fabric shop, where you can sift through fabrics and find designer treasures.

Nerrisa recently found Oliver Bonas fabric for just £5 ($5.66).

For people who are new to sewing, she recommends buying curtains and bed sheets to create clothes with as they’re 100 percent cotton.

When starting out, Nerrisa recommends buying things to alter from charity shops and eBay to make simple adjustments - for example making a maxi into a midi dress.

The next step in the creator’s journey is to start sewing lessons and show others how they can copy clothes to make something new.

“It’s not as hard as it looks and I think everyone should make their own things. We don’t need any more fast fashion," Nerissa said.

“Sewing is cool now, you don’t have to be 50.”

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