fashion diy original design
Sewing Machines and accessories
Looking for a sewing machine but bit of a novice try getting a simple one that includes a zipper foot button hole and a few stitch options you don't need it to do everything but being able to add a zip and easy button holes would be useful, you don't want one that is too lightweight have a check for regular bargains via this amazon link Sewing Machines would personally opt for a Singer, Jernome, Brother or we have a Toyota here now it's best get one you know you can get the spare parts for and needles etc but don't rule others out check the reviews and weigh up whether you will use it enough to spend a £100 + you could get a latest model for a lot more and never get it out.
This one is great value from Brother RRP £199.99 via Amazon on offer £159.99 saving 20% three or four thread and comes with a helpful DVD once you've used it once they are actually really easy to use and so fast for sewing and trimming at the same time, you just have to think through which seams to sew first etc.
BUY NOW Amazon
Be wary of a little mini sewing machine unless it's for a child they look pretty but you're unlikely to get the same quality of stitching and longevity, and for a little bit more you can get a basic one that will last years and bring so much fun - not much goes wrong.
Plus if you buy a sturdy basic one to start with you can always get another at a later date that does the fancy stuff such as an overlocker (as above) which are great fun just take a while to get used to threading, another reason to stick with a well known brand is you will find getting replacement parts easier and also guide books and tips!
BUY NOW on Amazon £2 - £3.00
Just purchased through Amazon a very inexpensive pack of sewing machine and overlocker/ serger needle threaders, it's a thumbs up here, about to go add a review on Amazon but had to test it first, ordered as was taking way too long to thread the overlocker, hard enough to remember the order even when colour coded but when you get down to the two needles it was impossible, one is on an angle as well. The pack we got was from Hemline H140 a 2 piece set they arrived within a couple of days (no instructions) but if you've used a hand needle threader before think you'll get it.
For the standard sewing machine use the straight Needle Threader just push the wire part through the needle from the back towards the front of needle eye then pass the cotton down through the wire and pull the wire back through the machine needle which will bring the cotton through with it Amazing!
The curved Lock Threader is slightly different it has a little hook on the end just slip the cotton in there and it will grip it whilst you push the wire through the needle. Some people prefer using tweezers but I found this much easier you have more stability when trying to get in the eye of the needle with tweezers you still have to rely on getting the cotton through a tiny hole. Would also recommend these;
BUY NOW on Amazon £3 - £4.00
Hemline H141 Long Fine Point Tweezers for Overlockers/ Sergers though they are great for pulling the cotton through the awkward areas once threaded and do come in handy.
At the same time we purchased
White Overlocking Sewing Machine Polyester Thread
BUY NOW on Amazon
by Superstictch / Cometa four cones x 5000 yards great value at just under £7.00 with frees shipping but expect the price will fluctuate we were asked if it was possible to use on a standard machine, well we can tell you it is possible but not recommended in the long run okay if you run out but most cotton for use on standard sewing machines is cotton covered, overlocking thread tends to be more stretchy and a the lint can block your machine or get caught up in the needles, besides having to fiddle with getting it to fit, if you want to try then you can push the cone down securely on to a standard cotton reel and just place on the cotton holder as long as you have an upright cotton holder, otherwise it won't work but maybe you can balance in a cup being the machine and guide the cotton up the back of your machine, if it is not secure then the cone of thread is likely to just wobble off the machine as soon as you stop machining.
Another Tip for Overlocker Threading when you switch colour cut the thread that is in the machine near to the cone, one at a time, then as you swap the cone colours tie the new thread to the old thread you have just cut each time so now you can guide the new colours through down to the needle, where you will have to cut the old colour and the knot out of the way or the thread will not go any further! But it does make it easy especially if you're not using all the time it can be tricky trying to thread an overlocker it's like threading a standard machine four times in one go and we know that's no easy task. Did have a rhyme if can remember it will add here to help you all remember lol.
Upcycle a T shirt
Got a favourite Tee that's past it's sell by date, about to throw it out...wait look at why you bought the t shirt was it the band or logo on the front, if so chances are you could re-use it. Cut around the design leaving a gap of couple of centimeters. Find a plain tee or buy a cheap one, probably look good in another colour then place your design on the front or back of the new one, where does it look best. Now all you have to do is sew it in place you can have a frayed edge which will look cool and be a lot easier than trying to make a hem. You could use a fabric glue and hemming tape if you don't fancy sewing. Now look at your wardrobe differently, do you really need to buy another one you can use this process with lots of items.
Two tone jeans! Got a khaki pair and a black pair that you've worn so many times you fancy something new ...maybe they're an inexpensive brand so you bought two the same just different colours - perfect! Cut the lower leg off at around about the knee on both pairs, make sure they're at the same point as you're going to sew the legs on the other jeans so you now have two tone jeans. Easy way to do this place the pieces you cut off on top of the other pair of jeans so you can cut both the same size, be careful that they are the same way round check by looking at the seams which may be different on the inner side cut at the same angle too. Then turn the jeans inside out and sew the bottom legs back on, if you have a sewing machine great, if not try tacking/running stitch first so the two frayed ends are facing each other then sew over this line with a smaller stitch or backstitch which will be real secure then press flat. Now you have two new pairs of jeans for a little bit of your time.
Upcycle a Shirt/Blouse
Is there a shirt lurking in the wardrobe wanting a little love and attention, why haven't you worn it? Out of style, worn so many times you needed a break, whatever the reason you could restyle it. Possibly cut the sleeves off completely or roll sleeves up and attach a button on a loop of ribbon to hold the sleeves in place. Is it too long or too short, if so chop the bottom off and make a hem you can use webbing tape to sew in place. If it's a bit too short see if you can find a similar weight of fabric, to attach to the bottom possibly another unloved shirt, you could attach with a long coat zip or machine stitch neatly in place.
fashion DIY kit box
You could buy a sewing or tool box here's a few ideas we found on Amazon, great if it's a gift you could buy one already stuffed with the essentials or pad it out with a few bits and pieces, to get them started.
Pretty little sewing basket that you can fill with the basic bits and pieces, it includes a removable tray and has a handle and velcro closing.
Measures 18.5cm x 26cm x 15cm
BUY NOW via Amazon £16.99
Medium Owl Print Sewing Basket
This sewing and craft box has lots of compartments and a three tier fold out tray, good for holding needles, buttons and fasteners, bobbins, you'll need another place to store thread, if you have lots of spools. It's a lightweight box not intended for heavy items but a practical box for keeping a few bits together. Also in white but picture a little easier to see in blue. Measures 36cm X 21cm x 21cm
BUY NOW on Amazon £13.99 free delivery on Prime
Luna Sewing and Craft Box
This one looks neat with the basic equipment would make a great gift for a starter kit. Comes with scissors, seam ripper, tape measure, pin cushion 12 x thread and more.
Measures 16.5cm x 23cm x 7 cm
BUY NOW on Amazon on sale £8.99 plus delivery
JYSK Wooden Sewing Box
But if you're just starting out and not sure how and when you're going to get the box out then why not make a simple one yourself, here's a few ideas.
Some bits and pieces to get together here's some things you could start with after finding a suitable box, you could start of with a shoe box, or a small tool box and personalise it to get you in the mood by covering the shoe box with wrapping paper or use felt squares to make a cool collage by first covering the box with glue and then cut fabric/felt to cover make a few shapes to make a pattern or figure or cut letters and personalise with your 'name' or 'keep out' or 'My DIY' etc You could use diamante stickers or silver spray to decorate a tool box there's a good starting point for your kit then add:-
.Here's our first youtube link to making cool cards, we've made a Christmas fashion diy card a cute snowman and celebration card check link here, sure you can do better lol
Thank you for sharing your cool diy ideas with us!
Fashion DIY ideas & inspiration
Where to get inspiration:
If you want to stand out putting your own look together and making a few diy pieces is the perfect way, after all who is going to have the exact same look if you came up with the idea yourself. If you don't want to look too far out there then try making a few adjustments to current trends. It is possible someone else will have a similar look and if your friends copy you then take it as a compliment and think up something new. If you get really good at it, then consider starting up your own blog and sharing your looks with others. Be adventurous a great source in the past would be old magazines these days you'll readily find photos online on Pinterest and Tumbler!
Fashions go around in circles one style inspires another, a great designer blends different looks themes and occasionally comes up with a total new look but most have some sort of a historical relevance, whether it's a re launch of a sixties style mini skirt or hot pants or a new take on a regency style frock coat. We've got some beautiful period design books and pattern guides that are great when thinking up something new and a nice stash of British Vogue magazines that are always full of inspiration, if you prefer something you can touch then visit vintage stores, they often have departments that upcycle clothes so you can find unique items there too or have a look at what they've been up to and then shop around for pieces to mix up. We've listed a few vintage stores on our Vintage page have a look, and also some great fashion books on the book page (we will search for some of the older books and add the links too) Also don't forget the great resources at museums the Victoria and Albert Museum (The world's leading museum of art and design) Cromwell Road, London SW7 the V & A proudly houses the 'largest and most comprehensive collection of dress in the world' they offer free admission but also have various tours and special shows throughout the year that you can purchase tickets for, definitely a place to check out for all fashion lovers. Check online for others near you.
Revamp your wardrobe, ethical fashion & get the latest looks for less
A few ideas to revamp your wardrobe to get the latest looks for less... if you can't afford the more expensive shops don't feel bad about shopping in Primark, or similar inexpensive clothing shops they may not have the best reputation for ethical sourcing but people are still going to shop there eventually we hope they will pay and source their workers appropriately but you are doing your bit in the ethical fashion area by upcycyling your clothing, many buy designer wear and wear once that's not that ethical really either. Search for a bargain such as a bold jacket, we recently picked up an emerald green blazer for £5.00, to upcycle we've got some black and gold zips that will fit around the cuffs and on top of the pocket and give a more original look, you could do similar add asymmetrical zips across the back of a blazer and buttons are always perfect for upcycling. Here's how we played around with ideas and note to remove the label if you don't have a seam ripper available a good cheat is to use a wooden skewer or toothpick and unpick without cutting into the lining.
With a bit of work you could undo seams on trousers and play around to straighten out the seam and turn into a skirt if you need a little more width add another panel make an A line skirt by adding a couple of triangular panels, where you unpicked the seams, use a contrast colour but think about the fabrics you are blending will you be able to wash easy enough, if you're happy to hand wash then don't worry be as adventurous as you like, we love new styles and experimentation. We've also got a bright orange leather look biker jacket that is screaming for some artwork, thinking paint a dark picture on the back and a spilled paint effect down the front at the moment it's a little too bright but that was also a Primark find for £5.00 couldn't resist.
Decided to add some studs that we poked easily through the seams so as not to rip the leatherette, then squeezed open inside the lining little fiddly but not difficult and left a nice clean look, we then took a David Bowie quote and checked the sizing and space allowance on A4 paper first although it changed slightly as penned to the jacket we knew it would fit and wasn't going for a neat and tidy look more a graffiti style in block capitals love the result spaced this onto the back using a permanent marker with a chisel tip. You could use any quote thought David Bowie's was appropriate. You could do similar on a denim jacket and play around with pen colours too.
Try market stalls or upholstery shops for fringing, photo shown at top of page, and attached to a simple bolero style jacket with an elaborate asian trim sewn across back of shoulders and down whole length of sleeves. We purchased the trim/border from a saree fabric shop they always have elaborate and colouful borders a great place to source!
Panda Hall currently have some massive discounts online if you fancy dabbling with jewellery They offer small starter sets as well as hugely discounted wholesale prices should your little side line take off they've even got little jewellery boxes to put your DIY gift in or mini organza bags you may also find accessories you can add to upcycle a look such as adding beading to a denim jacket fancy glass beads to cuffs on a black blazer etc. They've got sterling silver posts, hooks, jumprings, clasps as well as dazzling beads have fun get that creative DIY mind of yours working. Check out here Panda Hall
Use studs as in the wool jacket photo shown near top of page, which was quilted and studs applied before the jacket was fully lined. You could update a jacket by adding a few studs to the shoulder area or on a jacket push studs through pockets for a quick change and new look. You could push studs into a firm fabric like denim and cover with a lining fabric on the inside, so choose an area you can easily attach a lining, such as the back of the jacket, for small areas use wonderweb to cover the back of the studs and help keep them in place.
Buy some fancy buttons and update an inexpensive jacket to a more original piece, be as adventurous as you like, bold brass buttons, (check old military coats) or some diamante stones ...before you invest in buttons check if you have any other more vintage items in the wardrobe, you could swap buttons around maybe something bold from a winter coat. Look through your old jewelry maybe a brooch or two would add a bit of colour to an otherwise dull jacket. Panda Hall have some great gems and beads as well as making jewellery and accessories think where you can accessorize to upcycle. Here's their massive selection and hugely discounted button page really worth a look Panda Hall Buttons
You can also use search on Amazon we found this storefront with some unusual buttons and findings for your diy needs this link to the collectable buttons they also have a few rare vintage buttons Collectable Vintage Buttons that could make an outfit really special obviously on the more expensive side but have al look it might be the finishing touch you were looking for, also for amazing prices check out Collectable Buttons via Amazon
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Here's how we upcycled an inexpensive coat from a menswear department (in the sale £20) we changed the buttons see the before and after photographs, by adding some brass military buttons it is now an original and much more expensive looking double breasted coat.
What you need:
Beeswax to strengthen the cotton
(you can use a tea candle if you don't have beeswax)
A Seam ripper will be handy to remove old buttons and if you have to open button holes up a little wider.
We used a button gauge to measure button hole and new button size you can get an idea easier to use new buttons that fit although you can open button holes further carefully with a seam ripper and overstitch the edges.
Firstly remove old buttons carefully, tip is to leave a tiny bit of thread so you can make sure you put buttons back in correct place. Seam rippers are really good for unpicking the thread. Thread your needle (you'll need a fairly heavy duty one to go through the coating material) Recommend pull the thread through some beeswax to strengthen it and save getting tangled up. Sew on your new buttons and that's it. Search around markets for buttons as they can be expensive, you might find some on another coat that you can't wear anymore. Same applies to upcycle a jacket and personalise your wardrobe.
Or check buttons on Amazon.
You can see the look of the coat was plain with plain buttons and how much more stylish it looks is after adding brass buttons...
Upcycle your jeans
If you find a pair of bargain jeans with the wrong leg style might be worth a purchase to use as shorts. Cut off excess check for desired length, don't worry about hemming have the frayed look or tack them down and press with an iron, you don't need major sewing skills , you could even buy wonder web and iron the hem in place. Try TK Maxx Jeans you can often find last seasons jeans at great prices and popular brand names too. Or you could always buy the expensive pair first and chop them up next year when you want a fresh fashion look.
Lightened distressed jeans look which doesn't take long and is inexpensive, all you need is a bottle of bleach, a washing up bowl or a bucket, pair of rubber gloves to protect your hands and your chosen jeans to distress diy style.
You could place the bowl/bucket in the bath makes it easy to protect the surroundings and if you decide to lighten further after initially removing, dip back into the bowl/bucket of diluted bleach, for a few more minutes.
Tip the bottle of bleach into the bowl or bucket. Dilute the bleach by half you could use the now empty bleach bottle fill with water and tip that in to the bowl/bucket.
For a cool tie dye diy effect twist or scrunch your jeans in chosen places and use a strong rubber band to hold in place, you could try this on the knees or pinch a small area on the back pockets holding in place with a rubber band.
Dip small areas of the jeans into the bleach for a couple of minutes keep checking to see if the colour is lightening then lift out immediately, be careful not to splash anywhere or you'll damage your clothing or furnishings. Remove the rubber bands and rinse under a cold running tap good place to do this is in the bath as mentioned above.
After rinsing your lightened distressed diy jeans thoroughly, leave them to dry.
There you have lightened distressed jeans at a fraction of the cost...
fashion diy style
More denim ideas fashion diy style links here go to appropriate Amazon pages.
Denim fashion choice! Wear jeans or shorts with a denim jacket, you can again find a cheap pair and diy, crop and have an open hem, or add shoulder pads to update the look, you could take shoulder pads out of another item in the back of the closet, or purchase from a fabric store but be even cheaper to do reusing old ones! Mind you the ones on the Amazon link just mentioned are inexpensive especially if you want to get a few bits together to get started. You could embellish with any sparkly bits or studs, try upholstery areas in the fabric shop you often find more ideas there, look for remnant bins as well for bits of lace or you could cut to shape and add to the back of a denim jacket. If you're buying a metre or two you could also sew a strip to the hemline of shirts or skirts with a simple running stitch. (or machine stitch) For a more awesome manly look how about adding those suede/leather elbow pads you often find them on chunky woollen jumpers/sweaters or elbows of corduroy jackets. That would look cool and different on a denim jacket. Enough denim ...
Cool, Original T-Shirts
Here's a great idea for making your own tees many shops now carry A4 Transfer paper for T-shirt printing all you need:
Plain light coloured cotton or poly cotton mix T-shirt
A4 Transfer Paper
Inkjet Printer (or a great friend with one)
Idea for the graphics/design
We used A4 Transfer paper you can purchase here from £1.99 have also seen in supermarkets and stationary shops.
Read instructions with the paper incase of any variants but the main thing is your idea have you got a photograph you'd love to wear, a selfie you and a best friend, maybe a pet or even your own logo if you're a blogger or starting out in business
Set up your printer and choose an image you have stored you can create one depending on your resources available, you then select transfer paper mode on the printer (if available) or High Resolution, High Quality and use Flip Horizontal. Print in Mirror Image mode
Next print design make sure the paper is in the tray the correct way up the paper is usually marked Print Reverse Side or This Way Up if you're not sure run a plain piece of paper through put a mark on it a big x or something then print a word/test did the writing print on the same side as the x or reverse, remember which way you placed the paper for the correct result and put your transfer paper into the printer. Make sure image is in reverse, especially if there is any writing if you're not sure print onto plain paper first you can always use the picture as a poster or cover a diy ideas folder with it! Once you're happy print your picture.
Our paper brand recommended waiting 30 minutes before going any further to allow print to dry.
Cut around your image leaving a small border about 5mm
Turn your iron on to the maximum heat setting and turn the steam off. Make sure you have a clear area to iron on we found a table works better than the ironing board
as the surface is flatter, place a clean pillowcase or tea towel on the table and the T shirt on top
Make sure the image is wrinkle free and pre iron the t shirt
Place the image onto your tee the image should be facing the t shirt where you want it to be so think about that you might want it in the middle maybe level with the base of the sleeve, or higher up if you are printing a logo it's quite nice to print onto the top side of a tee you can use a smaller logo and print about four on one sheet of transfer paper
just copy the image x4 onto A4 design size before you print.
Now to iron your design make sure iron has reached maximum setting (be careful) Apply firm even pressure it helps if the design is smaller than the surface of the iron plate as you wont miss any areas so be careful iron from the top left to right applying the pressure evenly count about 20-30 seconds then slide over then down and back again you don't want to scorch the t shirt... once you've concentrated on all areas keep pressing with circular motion all over concentrate on the edges too, or they will peel away.
Allow the transfer to cool for a few seconds it will be too hot to handle anyway! then very carefully peel the paper away starting from one corner.
Good Luck great fashion diy present/gift idea too.
Remember not to iron the transfer directly either cover or iron inside out, and also wash inside out for longevity.
Need to update a pair of trousers, making them into Bermuda shorts. I'm not being very technical here because if you can already make clothes/patterns/use sewing machine then chances are you're not looking at this page anyway, so this is the cheats way or the more simple option. This time a sewn hem will look better, in my opinion. Whilst wearing- mark with a few pins the desired length, then you can add on about 7-8cms before cutting, ( leave more if you want a folded up hem) and then press the raw edge under (you have obviously taken them off now! Sorry) as small amount as you can or the hem will be bulky, then fold hem up along marked pin line (desired length), press lightly you can then stick/iron down with wonder web or sew carefully into place, try folding fabric down and use slip stitch technique, where you just hold the folded edges together and catch the fabric by one or two threads, every 6mm or so, this will not show (if you did a good job) when you unfold, a few tiny stitches will look fine and may look just as good as having a sewn hem using a sewing machine.
TIPS: You could use a liquid ravel preventer (Fraycheck) useful if you have fabric which frays easily, or if you needed more fabric to make a hem this would allow you to have less fabric to turn into a hem. It works by simply stiffening fabric a little, like gluing, it becomes a permanent finish that will withstand laundering and dry cleaning. It may darken light colour fabrics very slightly so be cautious when applying. It's a useful item if you do a lot of DIY you can use it to reinforce buttonholes, or corners of fabric that have become exposed.
Panda Hall have fantastic prices on bulk buying see the above Ad you can purchase at wholesale prices, they have gorgeous beads, buttons, links, threads, leather cords, chains, even tools so really recommend having a look on their website see picture link - expect you will find something you could use check back here for more ideas and inspiration.