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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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Updating Your Wardrobe with Embroidery | #MAKESMTHNG Week

By December 2, 2017 DIY & Lifestyle

This week marks the inaugural #MAKESMTHNG (Make Something) Week by Greenpeace. The holiday season, especially with sales and promotions such as Black Friday and the Boxing Day sales, is one of the busiest shopping periods of the year and although that may be all well and good – especially for gift-giving and saving money on essentials – it’s a time when we often tend to forget other alternatives like making things…

MAKESMTHNG Week with Greenpeace & Fashion Revolution: DIY Embroidery

MAKESMTHNG Week with Greenpeace & Fashion Revolution: DIY Embroidery


WHAT I USED: Denim Shirt (Originally Johnnie B) // Embroidery Hoops // Embroidery Thread // Embroidery Needles


Instead of shopping, Greenpeace alongside Fashion Revolution, are aiming to inspire us all to make something of our own, whether it be big or small, our first project or one of many, in order to take a break from our culture of over-consumption and take a leaf from someone else’s book to understand the true value of how our clothes are made.

I was asked to take part and I have to say, it’s done the trick. I started off small myself as admittedly, I’m still on a journey when it comes to the actual creation of clothes and accessories.

There’s a lot to it and it can feel awfully daunting if you’ve never put needle-to-fabric or iron-to-iron-on-patch, before! The inspiration behind my first project came mainly from the wonderfully woven artwork I’ve been following along on Instagram lately.

MAKESMTHNG Week with Greenpeace & Fashion Revolution: DIY Embroidery

Embroidery may be a trend which flows in-and-out of the fashion cycle every other season but it’s actually a craft which originates from even as early as 300 AD (according to Stitches in Time). Now you can find examples of embroidery by designers such as Valentino – it’s one of the reasons I admire their haute-couture collections so much.

As I said, I’m still an amateur in certain areas and although I’ve dabbled in cross-stitch work in the past, I’ve never properly attempted embroidery.

Fuelled by #MAKESMTHNG motivation, I picked up an embroidery hoop, some threads in primary colours and a pack of needles and got stitching some #MAKESMTHNG imagery on to a denim shirt-dress I owned double-of.

MAKESMTHNG Week with Greenpeace & Fashion Revolution: DIY Embroidery

MAKESMTHNG Week with Greenpeace & Fashion Revolution: DIY Embroidery

Later on, I also went on to chop down and hem the shirt-dress into a blouse – using a sewing machine – and added a new popper, which was the reason I hadn’t been wearing it in the first place, therefore bringing new life to something that was shoved in a bin-bag.


Here is my advice for helping any fellow embroidery novices:


Having a basic sewing knowledge will help…

Although I definitely had to head to YouTube for some tips on how to achieve different stitches, actually putting them into practice was far easier than I thought because it’s not too far removed from ordinary sewing.

I would recommend having a practice on a scrap piece of fabric (or maybe a t-shirt you could easily unpick on) so that you feel more confident when you start off. Straight stitch is as simple as going in and out of the fabric and back stitch is as simple as going in, well, backwards. Speaking of which…

MAKESMTHNG Week with Greenpeace & Fashion Revolution: DIY Embroidery

Don’t feel like you have to use a strict stitching pattern…

Of course, sticking to the same style of stitch is essential in certain scenarios but don’t feel like you have to only use one style to complete something. I used a mix of straight, back, satin and split stitches to achieve all of the shapes I was working on.

I sort of winged-it in a sense, using what stitch felt best on each area. Satin stitch – stitching as close together as possible – will of course always be easiest for filling in blocks of colour.

MAKESMTHNG Week with Greenpeace & Fashion Revolution: DIY Embroidery


WHAT I WORE: Many Questions T-Shirt £20.00 (Lost Shapes x Tolly Dolly Posh) // Black Trousers (Charity Shop) // Watch (Casio)* 


Be as even as possible…

You can actually see the difference in me implementing this rather obvious piece of advice just by looking at the hand shape versus the eye shape which I embroidered. The white of the eye is a lot less patchy as I took more time to make my satin stitch as smooth as I could.

Satin stitch works best with smaller areas (see my little yellow stars and the pink circle) but you can definitely achieve a similar effect if you put your mind to it. I’m wondering if this was a little trickier as I was working on a denim fabric – if you’re an embroidery expert, please do let me know!

Use interfacing to avoid fraying…

If you’re going to be embroidering on to an item of clothing, use some iron-on interfacing on the backside of your embroidery work. This will help you avoid it coming undone or lessen the chances of it fraying when you wear it. Seeing as it won’t be visible, you don’t have to be too neat with this.


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!


I’ll be back soon with another project but for now, let me know what you’ll be making in the comments…

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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