making my own clothes

upcycling & reworking garments

being the thrift queen i am

i love hunting for unique and quirky garments

things that no one else will have

stuff to cherish and treasure

however i still find the issue of things not fitting right

this took me to d.i.y.ing clothing to fit better or be unique

giving the clothing a more personal meaning to me

and the confidence to rock them

​

below i will go through my process to alter clothing to fit better

& ways in which you can embellish, rework or upcycled garments

 

to take it one step further

one of my favourite parts of charity shopping

is looking at the fabric, curtains, pillow cases, bedsheet

huge chunks of materials for usually only a pound

this gives you a great amount of fabric to make clothes from scratch

for such a reduced rate and saving waste from landfills

it also lets you make items that fit you perfectly

and no one in the world will have one

​

i love this as i can never find anything that fits right

its either perfect round my bum but sags at the waist

or fits everywhere but my hip

dresses that make me look like a balloon

jackets that drown me

the list goes on

​

explore further for my guides, tips & tricks

to reworking clothing

& looking bomb

content

how to thrift

sewing basics & gear

how to hem

resizing jeans

replacing buttons

patches

embroidery

denim patchwork

a three piece

hair scrunchies

scrap bags

tote bags

lino printing

 

check out my youtube channel for videos of each stage

and a more in depth tutorial on how i do it

how to thrift

 

shopping Secondhand is an art

it takes patience, time and a keen eye

over the years i have procured the art

and now have some top tips on how you can become and elite charity shopper

 

 

 Tip one 

go frequently

So many times do I hear 'oh i never find anything in charity shops', yet they proceed to say they hardly go, well that right there is your problem. secondhand items aren't preorderable, you can't find them online and pop in as you please to claim them. they take time and effort to search and uncover. people are constantly drop off item, so the shelves are always changing. going often is the best change you'll have at finding killer pieces.

 

 Tip two 

don't be picky

sometimes the best charity shops are the stingy looking ones. they have the real Gems and for a absolute bargain. by all means have your favourite stores to frequent, but even just on the occasion pop into those you don't and have a peek. you never know what you'll find.

 

 Tip three 

go with an open mind

never expect to find an item. have an idea in mind. a colour scheme, a fabric, a pattern maybe. But don't go in looking for something specific as chances are you won't find it. be open to the possibility of finding some new, something quirky, something you hadn't thought of. and try working that into your wardrobe.

 

 Tip four 

scour every inch

always look around the whole shop, you can find the most random of stuff. things you never knew you needed. from clothings, books, furniture, fabrics, shoes, accessories, jewellery, vinyls, art, etc.. have a good look around to see what jumps out at you.

 

 Tip five 

try everything on

i have jeans in a size 8 all the way to a 16. sizing isn't really a true thing. so i never bother to look. when secondhand shopping you'll find clothes made from all over the place and from all sorts of eras, so the sizings will never add up. plus the volunteers tend to not know a lot about fashion or sizings so sometimes mark it wrong. and who doesn't like a baggier fit or a cropped top.

i also find that sometime an item you fall in love with on a hanger look hideous on a body and you'll wonder who one earth made this monstrosity as it can't look flattering on anyone, and things you thought were ok look da bomb on you and really accentuate your assets. it's better to try on a see how it fits your shape as you never know what quirky item will make you feel like a queen! (or king)

 

 Tip six 

think outside the box

consider how you can rework items to suit you better. hemming trousers, painting vases, cropping sweaters, making jewellery, recovering chairs, sewing clothes out of curtains. theirs so much possibility in a thrift shop. try recreating your dream pinterest items for a fraction of the price from bits and bobs you find, it's better for your wallet and the planet, plus it'll be super personal and make you smile at your nifty hard work every-time you see it.

 

 Tip seven 

curating

having a colour scheme can help when trying to curate a cohesive wardrobe or home. Instead of going back everything with a bunch of random items that don't match and end up as junk in a room, think about the key colours you wear or are featured in a room and keep them in mind whilst shopping, even try pinteresting some ideas so you have a reference to fall back on. this way when you get home you can match them up with things you already own and everything will fall in place.

 

 Tip eight 

only buy it if you love it

this is the most important one. and my final tip. don't just buy thing for the sake of it, because their cheap or you might use them. leave them for someone who will treasure them and save your pennies for something extra special.

Sewing basics

gear

hand stitching techniques

how to hem

if you wanna resize a garment to fit you better length ways

then you'll be wanting to hem it

hemming is when you fold over the edge and sew across it

to make it look neat and tidy

​

first cut the item to the length required

remember to leave 2cm extra for seam allowance

this is so you have 2cm of fabric to fold over and sew closed

​

you can do this on a machine or by hand

what ever you have available or find easiest

​

if you're doing it by hand

you'll want to use a backstitch method

to create a secure and neat seam

​

you can also leave it as a raw hem

common in jeans or cropped sweaters

to give an edgier look

be careful of the material though

as if it's to light it will curve

if it does then hem it to secure it

and an iron to flatten

resizing jeans

elastic & darting

green jean & navy cord jeans

armani jeans

​

don't you have it when you find the perfect pair of jeans in a thrift shop

but they are just too big and you wanna scream

well i have the solution and it's actually not that hard

​

the first way is to add elastic

you'll want to place the elastic on your waist (or wherever the jeans rise to)

from hip to hip, but going behind you

pull the elastic taught to fit comfortably around the waist

mark and cut the end

then lie the jeans face down inside out

so the inside of the back is facing up at you

then place the elastic on top of the jeans

at the waist band

attach it at either ends to the side joins of the jeans

then pull the jeans out and hold down

sew along the top and bottom of the elastic

one done the jeans will have and elastic waistband

this is a great way to make comfy jeans that stretch as you stretch

making them comfy for sitting on the couch and eating lots of snacks

​

the second way is to trim the jeans using a darting method

this will make them fit you exactly

for this you'll want to put your jeans on

pull all the excess to the front and squish into a line

poking out from your belly button

then measure the excess from you to the tip

this shall be what you take off at the back

take the jeans off and lie them down inside out

with the back facing up at you

find the middle point of the pockets on the waistband

then measure out your distance across it

pull the edges together and pin

then pin down in a diagonal line from the waistband into the pocket

to create a clean and straight seam line

make sure to match up the waistband either side of the waistband

once your done try them on to make sure they fit right

the pockets will now sag slightly

in which case you can unstitch them

and reattach them flatter

replacing buttons

to fix & upcycle

grey sequin jacket

blue suede blazer

red suede jacket

patches

attaching patches

earth onto dungarees

embroidery

gear

techniques

eating meat is strange

not your milk

you do you

denim patchwork

making my own patchwork denim jacket

a three piece

thrift curtains

trace old clothes

zips, buttons, poppers

pockets

lining

scrunchies

eco-elastic

scrap material

match three piece

scrap bags

crap material

offcuts

coin purse, toiletries, make up, pencil case

tote bags

template

lino printing

lino printing

jellyfish totes

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