Crafty fashion: 5 top tips for designing your own clothes

We all want to express ourselves with our individual look but these days this is not as easy as it once seemed. Fast Fashion means that many stores on the High Street sell exactly the same designs, making original style more difficult to achieve. For creative people though, with an eye for fashion, this can mean that the idea of designing and making your own clothing, and, even selling on your designs through eBay and Etsy, is becoming more popular.

If you are thinking of designing and making your own clothing, then there are some items you should invest in. These will help you to create your own pieces, and also to help you to label and market your items so you can sell them on.

1) Colour dyes – Using colour dyes can be a little bit daunting at first as it can be messy if you’re not prepared but it’s a great way to give a new lease of life to your clothing. When dyeing clothes, it is easier to start with an item that is currently one solid colour and one made of natural materials as this most easy to dye. Choosing your dye needs to be based on the types of material you are using and the method used.

Dyeing in a washing machine is much easier when it comes to cleaning up. Make sure you put plastic down to help with the clean up as well. Don’t be afraid of dyeing your clothes with a blend of colour dyes to really give your clothes a unique colour.

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2) Care and Laundry Labels – These are very important if you intend to sell on your items through an online store or market store. You can add wash labels to your item, it will make it look more professional, are useful to the customer, and can also be a marketing tool as you can add the name of your brand to it.

Wash care labels can be brought in bulk, and can also reflect your brand in that they can also be recycled, a good feature if your brand is all about sustainable fashion.

3) Cut out sections – A very trendy look right now is to have gaps made of slits in your trousers and tops. It is a fashion that can be easily achieved by carefully making slits in your trousers on the knees or across the back of a T-shirt. Start off slowly when making cuts and always check that where the gaps appear does not expose parts of your body that you wish to keep covered!

4) Fabric brooches – If you are looking to add a subtle touch of personality to your look then try creating a fabric brooch. To make a brooch you will need fabric, a needle, thread and a brooch back. Brooches can come in all shapes and sizes and these can be completely unique to your own style.

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5) Draw and paint design Ideas – For those of you who love to draw and paint then why not use that skill directly on a garment? Whether you want to add a small logo to the sleeve of a top or you want to create a full top design then using fabric paints and pens are the easiest way to change the look of a piece of clothing instantly. Keep old magazines and interesting prints that you can use as inspiration.

Remember when designing to not always design clothes with just yourself in mind,  as your designs could help you to create your very own business.

Halloween Fashion From New Look

In the car this morning, as I once again tried to avoid sleep walking through the school run, a song came on the radio that immediately made me smile. It was ‘The Monster Mash’ by Bobby-Boris Pickett and the Crypt-Kickers, a classic Halloween song that was a hit in both the 1960s and 1970s and has been played at a million Halloween parties every year since. It reminded me that Halloween is less than two weeks away, and that I had yet to have looked at the Halloween fashion which has sort of been a tradition since I started this blog. So here it is.

This year I decided to have a look at the Halloween range from High Street fave New Look. who I genuinely think have played a blinder this year, with a range that covers everything from casual t-shirts to beautiful dresses and skirts that could be worn for Halloween, and will then be dressy enough to be worn through the festive season that follows.

New Look has created a collection that allows you to add a little bit of Halloween to your wardrobe without a huge expense. There are cute pumpkin earrings that cost just £1.99, a fabulously creepy spider choker for less than a fiver, and a great range of spooky t-shirts that cost less than £10, which I think is a great bargain.

I have highlighted some of my fave pieces below.

Will you be dressing up this Halloween?

New Look Halloween – Key Pieces

Black Halloween Spider Choker £4.99 Click to visit New Look

Black Premium Galaxy Embellished Mesh Dress £39.99 Click to visit New Look

Halloween Black Sequined Bat Mask £5.99 Click to visit New Look

Black Scary Movie and Chill? Metallic Slogan T-Shirt £9.99 Click to visit New Look

Curves Black Skeleton Print T-Shirt £9.99 Click to visit New Look

Halloween Floral Net Head Band £7.99 Click to visit New Look

Cameo Rose Black Frill Hem Trousers
£19.99 Click to visit New Look

Black Spot Mesh Hanky Hem Wrap Front Dress £24.99 Click to visit New Look

Black Trick or Treat Colour Block Purse £4.99 Click to visit New Look

Bright Orange Glitter Pumpkin Earrings £1.99 Click to visit New Look

Red Suedette Stiletto Over The Knee Boots £44.99 Click to visit New Look

Black Leather-Look High Waist Skinny Hallie Jeans £25.99 Click to visit New Look

Black Witch Please Slogan T-Shirt £7.99 Click to visit New Look

Black Skeleton Print T-Shirt Dress £12.99 Click to visit New Look

Black Sheer Midi Skater Skirt £22.99 Click to visit New Look

 

Charity Shop Haul – My Recent Bargains

I love clothes and I love shopping. That’s no secret. But if I was to spend all my time shopping on the High Street or online, I would quite frankly need to remortgage my home.  Which is why so much of my shopping time is spent visiting charity shops in market towns, the sort of places where you can pick up great bargains and unusual pieces when you are on a strict budget.

I love charity shops, the idea that you can find something that has been preloved and give it a new lease of life. Charity shops serve a great cause in raising money that is much needed, and also work well in recycling clothes that could otherwise go to landfill, hence helping the environment too. They can also be the cheapest option when searching for vintage clothing, definitely cheaper than dedicated vintage shops or ebay.

Charity shops can also be hiding designer bargains too. Recently I have found pieces from Louboutin, Vivienne Westwood, Dries Van Noten and Calvin Klein – all for under £25.

Here are some of my most recent charity shop finds, along with a few more tips on what to look for if you are charity shop shopping.

Look for classic shapes and prints

Animal prints, stripes and polka dots or plain, block colours, all these are perennials that never really go out of fashion and are worth picking up. In a similar way, a shift style dress is always a winner, with 1960s shift shapes like the striped M&Co dress below being a great option for dressing up or down.

F&F Dress £4.49 from BHF

M&Co Dress £4.50 Katherine’s House Hospice Shop

Kaleidoscope dress £5.99 Acorns Hospice Shop

Look for Vintage

Vintage is so much cheaper if you can pick it up in a charity shop, and there are some brilliant finds out there. 1970s and 1980s labels are the easiest to find, but you may pick up something earlier, like the 1960s yellow dress that I snapped up for £6.99.

1980s dress £4.99 BHF

1970s print skirt £3 and Hobbs shell top £3.99 Katherine House

Tea Dress 1970s £3 Salvation Army Shop

1960s dress £6.99 Giles Hospice shop

1960s suit £4 Save the Children

1980s jacket Giles Hospice shop

1960s dress £4 Fresh Fields

Look for Designer and Quality Labels

Charity shops are not just about ‘old clothes’ and High Street Labels, you can also find premium High Street labels and Designer labels – you just need to look!

Hobbs Dress £2.50 Severn Hospice

 

Louboutins Pigalle £25 Age Concern

Dries Van Noten dress £8.99 Giles Hospice

 

Have you found any good bargains in charity shops lately?

Shop Online

Oxfam http://www.oxfam.org.uk/shop

BHF https://giftshop.bhf.org.uk/

Sue Ryder on Ebay http://stores.ebay.co.uk/suerydershop/?_trkparms=clkid%3D890980944738164266