Teaching your old clothes new tricks.

January 15, 2011 § Leave a comment


Originally uploaded by stof enzo

Although I studied clothing design at University level, and have learnt the skills you need to make your own clothing, right from the paper to the finished product – I much prefer to customise existing articles! Maybe I’m just lazy, as customisation certainly involves less skill, but I find it provides just as much scope for creativity. Modifying something you already own – that might just be ‘alright’ – and transforming it into something really unique that you love gives you a pure sense of satisfaction and doesn’t cost the earth. If anything, you are saving money and instead of trailing the high street for a new outfit, a bit of tweaking here and there works a treat! Customising comes in especially handy during the transitional change from Winter to Summer or vice versa. Although remember, once you’ve turned those winter skinny jeans into summer cut offs – there’s no going back!! I think ought to start this topic by introducing what I think is the perfect ‘customisation kit’:

SCISSORS – of the sharp, fabric cutting and dress-making orientated variety. You can find a well priced, good quality pair from HobbyCraft.

WONDERWEB – generally thought of as the generic term for iron on hemming tape, an ingenious invention that allows you to hem shabbily cut garments with ease. It should be available from your local haberdashery and can also be found in John Lewis. A wonderful alternative to a needle & thread!

SAFETY PINS – in all sizes, they are ideal for temporary adjustments. I’ve been on many a night out whereby my outfit has been held together by masses of safety pins – not ideal if you’re travelling by aeroplane and need to get through security!!

ODDS & ENDS BOX – buttons, transfers, broken jewellery, ribbon, scraps of fabric – a treasure trove of goodies!!

If you’re struggling with an outfit or are having an “I’ve got nothing to wear” crisis, get your customisation kit out and get creative!! Once you’ve started customising your clothes, there’ll be no looking back and before you know it you’ll be adding puff sleeves to a plain-tee and pintucks to a well-worn skirt.  If you have any ideas of items that could be added to my current customisation kit, please drop me a line! 

In my next ramblings, I will be transforming an oversized charity shop bought heritage hacking jacket into something more unique and exciting that will be a great addition to your current wardrobe…


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