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My Style: Incorrect Sizing & Upycling (+ Instagram Stickers!)

By February 6, 2018 My Style

It’s been a while since I’ve shown you what I’m wearing around here so let’s start off February with some rather Valentines-appropriate colours and a little talk about upcycling and what to do when nothing second-hand is your size (at least, not in the way you thought)…


 I also have something exciting to announce! I’m now a verified GIPHY artist which means… you can now use my very own ethical and sustainable GIFs on things like Instagram Stories! Take a look at some examples in this post and on my profile, here.  


Sustainable Outfit Ideas - Upcycling, Embroidery & Second-hand Clothes

Sustainable Outfit Ideas - Upcycling, Embroidery & Second-hand Clothes

Sustainable Outfit Ideas - Upcycling, Embroidery & Second-hand Clothes


WHAT I WORE: Red Blouse (Charity Shop) // Embroidered Denim Dress (Upcycled + Jumble Sale) // Leather Backpack (Upcycled + Charity Shop) // Tights (Old) // Floral Wanderlust Boots (Dr Martens)* // Recycled Denim Choker (Yours Again)*


I’ve been embracing red recently. I’m still not entirely sure if it’s what I should call ‘my colour’ as I’m not entirely used to wearing it yet but there’s always fun in experimenting. I was actually making it my mission to add more of the colour to my wardrobe so it was delightful to find this old Marks & Spencer’s number in a charity shop towards the end of last year.

If you read my post on my ethical and sustainable fashion journey (where I admit it’s taken me three years to get to where I am, currently), you’ll know that I’m also making it my mission to pay attention to what fabrics are in my wardrobe because as much as I wish it wasn’t the case, our clothes don’t just affect the world we live in whilst they’re being made – they can also have negative effects on the world we live whilst we wear and wash them.

Thankfully, whilst I was in the charity shop changing room, I did a quick Google search to understand what fabric this blouse is made of…

Sustainable Outfit Ideas - Upcycling, Embroidery & Second-hand Clothes

Sustainable Outfit Ideas - Upcycling, Embroidery & Second-hand Clothes

Sustainable Outfit Ideas - Upcycling, Embroidery & Second-hand Clothes

To my surprise, it’s made of Cupro which is a biodegradable fabric made of waste cotton fibres. I was satisfied! This blouse isn’t any old Marks & Spencer’s blouse though as it comes from their old St Michael’s range which came to end in 2000 (the year I was born, which means this blouse is at least 18 years old), which has me wondering; do they still use this sustainable fabric? Or have times changed?

It’s also wrongly sized for me, it hangs off of me baggily and the sleeves are long enough for me to pull over my hands but that’s one piece of advice I will always give to people shopping second-hand (or even just newly); sizes aren’t essential to pay attention to unless you want something form fitting or trousers that don’t fall down. 

I have a floral blouse that’s a UK Size 16 and it’s perfect for layering and now I have this red number too, which sits on me loosely and creates a deep-V, which one day I may just be brave enough to wear with an intricate bralette. Try things on and see how you can make it work, regardless of the number on the label.

Sustainable Outfit Ideas - Upcycling, Embroidery & Second-hand Clothes

Sustainable Outfit Ideas - Upcycling, Embroidery & Second-hand Clothes

I’m not here just to talk about that though, I also want to discuss my denim dress. It’s not a new item of clothing to my blog – I actually wore it when I first received these very same Dr Martens – but it looks a little different than before.

Recently, I finally decided to get my sewing machine out and make it more wearable. Before I upcycled it, I couldn’t wear it for long periods of time as the apron-style strap weighed down on my neck so quite honestly, it’s stayed in the back of my wardrobe for the past couple of years. 

It didn’t take much for it to become something I now want to treasure (think about this before you decided to pass on an item of clothing). I used some denim scraps from my embroidered blouse to create two straps that cross-over at the back of the dress and it now sits perfectly on my shoulders; no back pain, at last!

Sustainable Outfit Ideas - Upcycling, Embroidery & Second-hand Clothes

Sustainable Outfit Ideas - Upcycling, Embroidery & Second-hand Clothes


Search “@tollydollyposh” on Instagram Stories GIF selection to use stickers like these wherever you like!


Speaking of embroidery, another reason to treasure this dress is because I’ve decided to embark on a new project – The Embroidery Dress project, in which I plan to completely cover the whole surface of the dress in embroidery as I learn new techniques and improve with my hand stitching.

I can already see where I’m getting more confident and so far I’m pleased with the result even if it doesn’t make much sense to anybody else catching a glimpse of it. If you want to follow the progress, I make sure to update you all with what I add, on my Instagram Story and you are more than welcome to send suggestions.

The numbered shape is a Community-inspired cootie catcher (my favourite show, you should know that by now), the paint droplets are something I plan to do more of once the rest of the dress starts to take shape and the other two pieces are pretty self-explanatory; the boot of Italy and the Many Questions pattern from my ethical t-shirt collection.

I also did a spot of upcycling on my mini backpack which I received for Christmas (because yes, receiving and giving second-hand gifts is perfectly acceptable). The leather bag had a small stain where you will now find a cluster of flowers, which was originally a piece of a broken necklace. Clever, huh?


What have you been wearing recently? What should I add to my embroidery dress, next? Let me know in the comments!

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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What I Learned During #MAKESMTHNG Week

By December 10, 2017 DIY & Lifestyle

#MAKESMTHNG Week has now concluded but that doesn’t we should stop making things here. In fact, I’ve learned a thing or two taking part in this new celebration of crafting and I hope that I can inspire you to take on a project for yourself, whether it’s today or tomorrow or any day of the year…

MAKESMTHNG Week with Greenpeace & Fashion Revolution: DIY Outfit

MAKESMTHNG Week with Greenpeace & Fashion Revolution: DIY Outfit

MAKESMTHNG Week with Greenpeace & Fashion Revolution: DIY Outfit


WHAT I WORE: Embroidered Denim Shirt (DIY) // Pink Cashmere Beret (DIY) // Striped Trousers (Jumble Sale) // Dr Martens (Jumble Sale) // Recycled Rubber Handbag (Paguro Upcycle)*


Making something yourself is extremely satisfying…

I’m going to toot my own horn here and say I’m quite chuffed with my new embroidered shirt and my two rather dashing homemade berets. I may not have sewn together a wedding dress or cut a new pair of jeans from scratch but I’ve updated my wardrobe without technically adding anything new and there’s a special feeling that comes with that.

You’re always going to treasure a piece which you made with your own bare hands because you know how much hard work and time went into it.

That doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily end up wearing it more than you would wear something you’d buy but it means you won’t mindlessly throw it out or let it wear down into a bad condition – why would you? You made it! You should treasure it! It’s completely unique and only you will be able to style it up; patchy stitches, flaws and all.

Also, it’s a lot of fun to have this conversation – “Where did you get that beret?” “Oh, I made it.”

MAKESMTHNG Week with Greenpeace & Fashion Revolution: DIY Outfit

MAKESMTHNG Week with Greenpeace & Fashion Revolution: DIY Outfit

Starting small will build up your confidence…

As with anything, practice makes perfect. You don’t even have to embroider free-hand or buy a sewing machine if you don’t want to. Start from a place you feel comfortable at, even if that means getting out the iron and adding on a patch from one of your favourite artists to an old jacket.

There are some really simple ways to make something new or make something feel new, if you put your mind to it. Knowing I can turn a cashmere jumper into a beret in a couple of hours definitely makes me believe more in my abilities.

MAKESMTHNG Week with Greenpeace & Fashion Revolution: DIY Outfit

You’ll realise how much work goes into how your clothes are made…

The fact that it took me a day to upcycle one piece really put things into perspective in terms of garment workers. Fast-fashion is fast for a reason and the pressures put on manufacturers can lead to workers having to play a role in creating hundreds of garments per day, maybe even up to 900, according to the book, To Die for By by Lucy Siegle, which explains the production of t-shirts and how a group of university students in the UK using the same machines and style of production line, could only manage to produce 95 within the space of 7 hours.

I had the luxury of no time restraints, working from home with food and drink in-between, yet I still felt tired after sitting and concentrating on the sewing machine for half-an-hour and pinning fabric together.

Doing things yourself adds to the level of empathy you can have for those who are battling with our cultural demands and can make you think before you go to buy new next time.

MAKESMTHNG Week with Greenpeace & Fashion Revolution: DIY Outfit

MAKESMTHNG Week with Greenpeace & Fashion Revolution: DIY Outfit

You’ll get addicted…

Okay, maybe not actually addicted but I’ve definitely come away from this week itching to make more! I want to embroider all of the clothes I own and I already want to advance my sewing machine knowledge, in fact, I’ve taken a look at the old clothes I have stored under my bed to re-evaluate the fabric I could use. Speaking of which – does anybody have any ideas for scuba material?


GET INVOLVED WITH #MAKESMNTHNG:
Getting crafty? Tag @makesmthng + @fash_rev in your social media posts with the hashtag #MAKESMNTHNG


What did you make this week? Have my posts inspired you to make something in the future? Let me know in the comments!

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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How to Make a Beret Using Old Clothes | #MAKESMTHNG Week

By December 5, 2017 DIY & Lifestyle

If you haven’t been following along, this week is #MAKESMTHNG Week, created by Greenpeace and supported by Fashion Revolution to inspire us all to put down the shopping bags and make something ourselves to take a break from the cycle of endless consumption. After I scratched my itch for some embroidery, I decided to attempt the rather on-trend beret…

MAKESMTHNG Week with Greenpeace & Fashion Revolution: DIY Beret

MAKESMTHNG Week with Greenpeace & Fashion Revolution: DIY Beret


WHAT I USED: Zebra Top & Pink Cashmere Jumper (Originally Secondhand) // Sewing Machine // Pins // 2 x Different Sized Circles // Measuring Tape // Scissors // Felt Tip


Making something that is currently in trend is not only a great way to treasure it for longer due to all of the hard work you put in, it’s also a great way to truly work out whether you’re going to enjoy wearing something for a long period of time, or not, without having to splash much cash or shop from a non-ethical brand.

The idea of making a beret from scratch was mainly born out of my need for a nice-looking winter hat that kept me that little bit warmer but I’m sure subconsciously the fact that they’re popping up everywhere currently was a selling point too.

Recently, my pink cashmere turtle-neck shrunk in the wash – Don’t! Wash! Your! Clothes! Irresponsibly! Kids! – so, once my grieving period was over, I decided it deserved to live on, no matter how badly I wanted it to shrink back to its original state.

MAKESMTHNG Week with Greenpeace & Fashion Revolution: DIY Beret

I also had an old zebra top folded up in my drawer which 13-year-old Tolly loved almost as much, so I took the two of them to my dining table and got to work!

I started with my zebra top to get a feel for what I was doing just in case I didn’t like the outcome and decided to leave the high-quality cashmere for another day. I can’t take credit for the pattern of this beret; I used a guide I found on Instructables which was really simply laid out.

TLDR for the basic hat itself – cut two relatively large circles with one of them cut like a doughnut before sewing them together on your sewing machine, and turning them inside out.

MAKESMTHNG Week with Greenpeace & Fashion Revolution: DIY Beret

MAKESMTHNG Week with Greenpeace & Fashion Revolution: DIY Beret


Just like I did with my first attempt at embroidery, I’m going to list some tips and tricks I worked out along the way, below:


As berets are usually made out of felt, woollen fabrics work best…

I do love the outcome of my zebra beret (it has a different sort of fit and will work with more monochromatic outfits), however, my cashmere jumper definitely worked better fabric wise. Not only does it look more like a traditional beret, it also has a better shape and sits more roundly on my head.

Of course you can experiment with other materials, but if you have an old jumper or sweater lying around, that might be your best bet.

Use lots of pins!

I found my pink beret so much easier to put through the machine because I used far more pins than I had with my zebra beret which was a big rookie error. I’m still not perfectly confident with a machine and have to use it on a relatively slow setting but I could speed things up when I knew my fabric wasn’t going to move about or bunch up under the machine’s foot.

When using an old item of clothing, use your scraps…

For my zebra beret, I used the tight but stretchy high-neck as my headband. This reduced the number of scraps I had left-over and allowed me to skip over the step of creating a new band (like I did with my pink beret).

Although it did involve a bit of skill (gathering was needed), it’s funny and satisfying to think the band which usually stretched over my head, now sits on top of it perfectly.

You can create a faux beret bobble…

Or… nipple/tassel/whatever you’d like to call it. I took a small cutting of my pink cashmere, folded it over and very carefully squeezed it under my machine and went back and forth once or twice to stitch it together and give it some structure.

I then took a needle and my pink thread and hand-sewed it to the centre of my beret. If you do it neatly and discreetly enough, it will stand loud and proud and look like the real thing!


GET INVOLVED WITH #MAKESMNTHNG:
Getting crafty? Tag @makesmthng + @fash_rev in your social media posts with the hashtag #MAKESMNTHNG during the week of December 2nd – December 10th!


Have you been working on any DIYs this week? Share your crafty stories in the comments below… Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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DIY Embellished Sunglasses

By May 22, 2013 DIY & Lifestyle, Fashion, My Style

A massive trend which was first introduced by designers such as Chanel, is Embellished Sunglasses. Whether you want studs poking out of your brows, or want a few daisies bordering your eyes, there is something for everyone! Some of these sunglasses cost a BOMB, so I’ve decided to show you how I made some for less than £3.00!! Enjoy 🙂

DSC07413Wayfarer Sunglasses – 99p (eBay)//Floral Cabochons – £1.04 (eBay)

The Sunglasses in which I bought are just plain white. I went for this style as it suits me best, but I think any style would do for this DIY, as long as it has room to fit the flowers. You must get ‘Cabochons’ and NOT buttons, as they have flat backs which makes it super easy to stick on. I went for one colour as it was a bit cheaper. You could also use different things, like studs or perhaps little stars, or animals. Mix it up! It is best to use a Hot Glue Gun as it means you can take off any mistakes(?!) as the glue can come off quite easily, but still holds things down for a good amount of time.

DSC07415First of all you want to heat up the Hot Glue Gun and get it so it is dripping out the end on it’s own, because it will be easier to use. Whilst you wait, think about how you will put the Cabochons on. Put a book underneath so they don’t slip off. The best designs are either across the whole brow, or just in the corners, but you could also do the sides or ‘arms’ of the Sunglasses too.

Secondly, when the Glue has melted fully, add one small dot the place you want to stick the Cabochon onto. DO NOT put the Glue on the Cabochon itself as you could burn yourself, and it may spread out and make the Glue visible when pressing it down. When pulling the Hot Glue Gun away from the glasses, pull them away from the lenses to avoid any glue going onto them. You could put a sticky note over the lenses too to make sure this doesn’t happen. Repeat this process until you have finished the design, and leave them to cool.

DSC07428 DSC07430The complete design! Pretty cool, huh? 🙂 Make sure to be careful with them!

In total these cost me £2.03, as I already had the Glue, so at the most it will cost you £5.00! It’s super easy, and you can experiment with different designs. I think these will look great for summer, and will be a great statement to add to any outfit. This is a great thing to try out as some cost £15.00, and for £2.00, I think we all know which is the better deal! I hope you enjoyed this ‘DIY Embellished Sunglasses’ tutorial and do make sure to tweet me if you give it a whirl! Or Instagram a picture using #TDPSunnies

Will you be trying this DIY out or will you buy a more expensive pair? Have you already tried this DIY out? Make sure to leave a comment below!

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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DIY: Bling iPhone Case

By August 13, 2012 DIY & Lifestyle

I am in love with bling iPhone cases! So, I got some stuff off of eBay, and made my own, for just under £6! So, here’s my tutorial, and a list of where you can get the items from!

Where to get the items used from…

  • Clear Drying Fabric Glue – Hobby Craft (I already had).
  • Clear iPhone Case – eBay.
  • Rhinestones – eBay.
  • Heart Shaped Jewels – Poundland.

I have got some other jewels coming which I am going to stick on when they have arrived, they are also from eBay. I will take a picture of the finished product ASAP.

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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DIY: Dainty Wire Bracelets

By July 23, 2012 DIY & Lifestyle

I love finding DIY Vlogs on Youtube, especially when they have really good videos. Take a look at how you can create versions of these Dainty Wire Bracelets….

This video is by SecretLifeOfABioNerd! Love it x

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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