This week's Revamped D.I.Y ended up being a special treat for myself! I love hand beading and I've been doing it for years. I even do a bit of hand beading work for sensational Aussie designer Rachel Gilbert.
I was updating my Winter wardrobe this week and came across this cool shirt at Zara. It was baggy and silky and had these cool shoulder pads which were exposed on the outside of the shoulders. Well I couldn't leave it just plain now could I, and I happened to have all of the crystals and beads I needed at home! This Revamp didn't cost me a cent!
Something you may know about me is that I love crystals! If my sewing machine is having an off day, I sit my rose quartz crystal on it, have a break and when I get back to work, my machine is sewing like a dream (seriously, this has happened)!
I was very excited to find in my box of beaded treasures, a rose quartz bracelet which was falling apart. What a find! Along with the rose quartz beads, I've included Swarovski crystals, fake pearls, silver seed beads, large sparkly glass beads from a necklace, and some plastic stars and other shapes which I found in a container of gems I got from Spotlight.
I don't mind combining the good quality, expensive beads with some cheaper ones. As long as they're not too 'plasticky' I'll throw some in there. This keeps the cost down (which makes clients happy), and also takes some of the weight out. The expensive beads are often a bit heavier and can really weigh a garment down! I also like using stars. I'm such a sucker for stars! I'll never grow out of them.
I love my new shirt. It's nice to know the healing energy of the crystals are sitting on my shoulders!
I find that when I wear my own creations lots of people smile at me and talk to me about what I'm wearing. It's a wonderful way to make news friends and share with people what I do! If you're inspired to do some hand beading grab a needle and thread and put your favorite movie of TV show on! It's a great way to be still and calm. It's like meditating!
* Just be sure to start and finish your threads off securely, and when you wash your beaded items it's probably best to dry clean or hand wash.
As always, please share your creations with our Revamped community! Post your pics on the Facebook page and inspire others with your ideas :D
The detail of the bodice has been inspired by a fabric construction technique called chenille. More commonly seen in towels and jumpers, you can create your very own, exciting, colourful version of chenille.
I love to play around with this technique, experimenting with layers of various fabrics, colours and textures.
A simple way to make Chenille is by layering fabric (practice with three), stitching diagonal lines across the grain, and then cut in-between the lines.
Have you experimented with creating your own chenille fabrics? I'd love to see your designs. As always, you can upload them onto our Facebook page and inspire the Revamped Fashion community!
This week's Revamped transformation is one of my favorites!
My client is an exciting, young, musical talent who is on the verge of exploding to international stardom and success!
The brief was:
- Design an edgy, glamorous gown for a photo shoot.
- The theme is glamor, with an urban, street feel.
- Inspiration from early 90's Versace Supermodels.
- Create a train which has layers to be detached.
Naomi Campbell in this Gianni Versace masterpiece!
Breathing new life into a simple formal dress is a passion of mine. It fires me up inside! It's like the dress was intended for a great party, and I have the ability to set that dress free so it can experience the BEST party ever!!!
A formal dress can be a excellent canvas, as often these gowns have a great fitting bodice, and lots of fabric and layering in the skirt. This particular dress had fantastic layers of taffeta and organza in the skirt, fantastic fabrics to drape and create drama and volume!
There are three elements to this gown:
- The Bodice
- The Skirt
- The Train
Next week I'm going to look at the bodice and break down a fabric layering technique called chenille.
Check it out! Do you get it? Can you see what I've done here?
I've been teaching in Tasmania this week and have been blown away by that talent and enthusiasm from both students and teachers. Many new resources have been shared with me and I've been filled with inspiration! I'm looking at clothing with fresh eyes and a widened perspective. It's been wonderful to have time to be creative and learn from others.
While I was in class, teaching today I was looking at a t-shirt and had a fabulous bolt of inspiration! "What would happen if I stitched the neck up, put your feet through the sleeves, and put elastic around the hem to wear as a waist band?"
The kids were excited... I was excited... less than an hour later the t-shirt had become a funky pair of dropped crotch shorts. T-shorts!
This Revamp was very simple:
1. Turn the t-shirt inside out and lay flat.
2. Pin from the top side of one sleeve, across the neck and shoulders to the top side of the other sleeve, then stitch.
3. Create a loop of elastic (approximately 2.5cm wide) to fit around your waist.
4. Fold over the hem of the t-shirt (to create a casing for the elastic) and use a zipper foot to stitch in place.
* You can trim away any excess fabric around the former neck and shoulders to remove bulk from the crotch.
I think these shorts are really street and cool and now I'm on the look out for t-shirts which have interesting detail on them to create cool t-shorts!
If you make a pair of t-shorts I'd love to see them! Post them on our Facebook page and keep the Revamped Fashion community inspired :D
This week's project is another one of those ideas that came to me in a dream. Some of my favorite design inspirations have come to me in that yummy half an hour before I properly wake up.
I'd been thinking about getting a new pair of jeans for winter and had been researching boyfriend jeans. I've always really liked light coloured, distressed denim, and the bagginess and comfort of the boyfriend jean is very appealing. They're a cool 'street' sort of jean which can be dressed up or down so I decided it was a sound investment.
During my research, a colourful pair of Ralph Lauren boyfriend jeans caught my eye. They were smeared with coloured paint and reminded me of the 'splishy splashy' trend (as a four year old, I was absolutely obsessed with), of the early 80's!
I went to bed that night happy with my findings, so happy that the next morning I had a dream that I was flicking silver and hot pink paint on a pair of jeans in someone's back yard! Today, I made that dream come true!
You will need:
A pair of jeans
Jo Sonja Textile Medium
Coloured acrylic paint
A paint brush
A plastic container to mix the paint.
An iron and ironing board
An old tea-towel or brown paper
This project is pretty simple and I found it to be lots of fun!
First step is to mix up the paint with the textile medium as per the instructions on the textile medium bottle.
*Textile medium is a product you mix with paint to turn it into a washable paint.
The second step is to find a place where you can flick the paint. A patch of grass is good. If you don't have this luxury put down some newspaper or a tarpaulin and lay the jeans flat on the ground.
The third step is the fun part. Load up your brush with paint and start flicking! I found that the 'more is more' approach works for me. I'd done two layers of flicking (one pink and one silver), and after I had another look at the Ralph Lauren jeans I decided that I was ready to make a statement with my paint! I decided an extra two layers of flicked silver paint was necessary. If I really wanted to go nuts I could probably do more, and maybe I will add more next week!
Step four takes place once the paint is dry. Set up your iron and get ready to heat set the paint. The instructions on the Textile Medium say to iron the paint for two minutes. That doesn't mean to iron the whole garment in two minutes! Take your time with it. Place an ironing cloth or a piece of brown paper in between the paint and the iron (you don't want the paint to melt on to your iron), put on your favorite music or tv show, and relax as you slowly move the iron over each section of the paint.
To the left is another example of how Ralph Lauren Revamp their clothing. Think of different ways you can Revamp a pair of jeans?
I'd love to see your creations! As always, you're welcome to share your ideas and post them on the Facebook page.
Happy paint flicking!
Today's Revamped D.I.Y Project is for those who adore being colourful, fun and free! My TWEEN group at the Ultimo After School Care program LOVED today's project and so did I.
There are two parts to this project: the headpiece and the bolero. I'll start with the headpiece (which only took me about 40 minutes to create).
What you will need:
- straw hat
- craft scissors
- hot glue gun and hot glue
- feathers, zips, ribbons
- 2.5cm wide elastic
I started the project with a hat, some feathers, ribbons and zips, and a few ideas.... "What is this hat's new destiny? What will it become?"
I was thinking of a neck piece, a visor, a necklace pennant... eventually once I started building, the headpiece evolved!
Firstly I cut a 15cm section from the brim of the hat, which I used as the base for the headpiece. I chose to mount the feathers on top of this, if you placed the feathers behind the base the straw would be exposed and you could also use it as a feature. In class today students were gluing chains, pom-poms, foam hearts, letters, and gems onto the straw. I think it could also look great if the edges were frayed or even painted.
I chose to decorate the front of the feathers using strips of ribbon and zips. I used a variety of colours, widths and textures which I think made it look interesting. To make the headband I joined a piece of elastic to form a band around my head, then I hot glued it onto the front of my colourful, feathered creation!
The fabulous pom-pom bolero was inspired by Nicki Ninaj's famous outfit. I love the big shoulders as it feels fun and glamorous to wear, and really helps to create an hourglass shape.
What you will need:
- Craft pom-poms in a variety of colours and sizes.- Hot glue gun and hot glue
- A bolero or cardigan (you can cut the sleeves short).
This garment was very simple to make. Sewing skills are not necessary. Tough hands (as you probably will get burnt by the hot glue) and an artistic flair are essential!
On Saturday, March 9th, I had the absolute pleasure of attending the wedding of my good friends Laura and Bryan. This wedding was extra special for me as the bride's dress was my very first Revamped Bridal gown!
This dress took two bridal gowns, over sixty cut pattern pieces, and eighty-one hours of sewing (over fifty of those were sewn by hand).
Laura was referred to me after she posted on Facebook "I have my mum's wedding dress and my grandmother's wedding dress, and I need someone to make my wedding dress from them. Anyone know someone who can do that?"
Sounds like a match made in heaven to me!
1950's on the left, 1980's on the right.
Laura's grandmother had kept her beautiful, hand-made gown in perfect condition since the 1950's. The flat lace design was divine and the dress had beautiful frilly petticoats and a night slip to go with it.
Laura's mother's dress was a classic gown from the 1980's. It had a beautiful long train with detailed lace designs and scolloped edges. I knew this dress (and it's beautiful edging) would be ideal to create the train. There were lots of flowers on the bottom with beautiful vines that crept up.
This shot shows the blending of the laces.
The brief for the dress was:
Laura had been collecting inspiration pictures for a couple of months, so when it was time to sit down and design her dream dress we had a lot of fun!
When designing Laura's dress I needed to take into account the materials I had to work with. I actually managed to create Laura's dress and under skirt using about 97% materials from her mother's and grandmother's dresses. The only new things I needed to purchase were the metal boning for the corset, some calico which I used inside the bodice, a ribbon I used as the band for the petticoat, sewing threads, and some hooks and eyes. Everything else was revamped!
A great shot of the petticoat.
The many hours of hand sewing were spent on combining the two laces. Laura's grandmother's dress was ivory and Laura's mother's dress was white, so it was important to seamlessly combine the two. I spent many hours, carefully trimming around the flowers and vines of the white dress and hand stitching them, flat onto the ivory lace. I'm so pleased I took the time to do this because, as you can see in many of the pictures, the white flowers seem to pop-out (in an iridescent way) in certain light.
The final touch of the dress was the petticoat. I created the can-can style skirt with the frill on the inside. The frills added the drama Laura was looking for, in a non-bulky way.
The petticoat is a great piece on it's own and it was created from the beautiful frills and lace I found on the undergarments from Laura's grandmother's dress.
The 'Bridal Jump'!
Laura and Bryan had such a wonderful day and I'm so happy for them! It was wonderful to see Laura looking so comfortable and carefree all day! The dress came up a treat in the 'Bridal Jump' (yes they had a jumping castle at their reception)! No restrictions at all.
Congratulations Laura and Bryan and thank you so very much for this amazing opportunity!
If you would like to have a Revamped Couture Creation for your special day (or if you know someone else who would like one), please don't hesitate to contact me and we can start planning. Bridal, formal, cocktail or other special occasions. I would love to create a special piece just for you!
Now here are some more pictures from that special day. Enjoy!
I was shopping with my good friend ALPHAMAMA on Saturday, in preparation for her gig. It had been a while since her last big show and we wanted to make an impact! I totally fell for these metallic, leopard print leggings. We bought the leopard print leggings, a skirt, I bought myself a pair of leggings, then ALPHAMAMA had this fantastic idea!
"I want to cut a hole in the crotch and wear the leggings as a top."
What a fabulous idea! As you can see from the above picture, it looks hot, Hot, HOT!
To create this look I started out by cutting a neck hole in the crotch. Have a look at a t-shirt and you'll see that the neck hole is cut straighter in the back and have more of a scoop in the front. Use one of your t-shirts as a guide to measure how big to cut the hole.
Once ALPHAMAMA tried the leggings (which are now a top) on, we decided how to customize. ALPHA wanted to show some more skin, so I cut the centre back crotch seam straight down the back, stopping at the elastic (waistband). Voila! That's it. So quick and simple and so effective! So many of the audience commented on how great ALPHAMAMA's performance was and also how great she looked!
How else could you convert your leggings? Plenty of times I've converted stockings into shrugs, and cut up fishnets to wear as sleeves. Head on over to the Revamped Fashion Facebook page and share your ideas of ways to convert leggings.
Done in one hour! The finished product!
At last Tuesday's Revamped Fashion class I was telling my students about a big, cosy, yellow jumper I'd seen at the Supre' warehouse in Marrickville. When I saw the jumper I thought about how nice it would be if it was a cardigan and had a hood. My students were quite excited as I was telling them about my idea, so the very next day I visited the warehouse.
The two original jumpers
As my luck would have it (and I appear to be a very lucky lady these days) there was a 50% off sale! I have mixed emotions going to these factory warehouses. It's like clothing carnage! Seeing the masses of replicated items stirs me up a bit (heavy breathing, hot flushes), but if I can get over the fear, and the thought of the planet pollution, and just accept that this clothing is here and has already been produced, then I can look at the situation like finding buried treasure! There are so many cheap items to cut up and put to use in completely different ways!
As I was looking around the warehouse there were so many jumpers to choose. There was a great variety of colours, textures and details. I knew I wanted to cut the yellow jumper up the centre front and make a baggy cardigan I could wrap around me, but what else was possible?
Attaching the magenta cuff.
I loved the combination of the magenta with the yellow. The magenta jumper had baggy cuffs on it, so I thought they would be a great feature to cut off and add onto the cuffs of the yellow jumper. It was quite easy to do. I cut the magenta cuffs off, making sure I has about 2cm seam allowance above where the ribbing started. Once I cut the cuffs off, I zig zagged around each one to prevent fraying or unravelling. I then pinned the magenta cuff to the yellow one and stitched around them. After this I folded the magenta cuff up and hand stitched it it in four places.
Covering the centre back seam of the hood.
I also used the bottom of the magenta jumper as the edge of the hood. If you're looking at chopping up loose knit items such as jumpers, think about the edges of the garment and how you can use them. You need to work quickly with loose knits as they can fray. You can prevent fraying by either overlocking around the edge, or using a zig zag stitch.
I'm experienced enough to cut out hoods freehand. I don't use a pattern. If you don't have that confidence, use a hood from another jumper as a guide. I found that the centre back seam on the inside of the hood looked pretty ratty, so I cut another strip of magenta knit to cover over it.
*Loose knits are pretty forgiving when it comes to stitching on top of the fabric. I found that I could stitch this strip on with the stitching lines being easily hidden.
**I also found that using a mid-width zig zag stitch was valuable as the fabric has stretch in
Once all of this was done I evenly pinned it to the neckline and stitched the hood in place. I placed the hood on the inside of the cardigan first, then stitched it, then folded the hood up and stitched it again to hide the raw edges. This is a bit hard to explain and for some of you this may be a challenge, for others, this may be simple. Have a play and see how you can join the hood to the neck line whilst hiding the hood's raw edges.
FInally, the last detail I created was on the centre front of the now, cardigan. The magenta jumper had a great ribbed neckline. I chopped it off (leaving some seam allowance) and used it to neatly finish the centre front of the cardigan. It's an extra pop of colour and really looks great! There was only enough ribbing for one side, so on the other side of the cardigan I just double folded it and stitched it so it has a neat finish.
There you have it. You can be in da hood in an hour! One hour was all this took me and I only spent $15. Next time you see some knit jumpers, check out the details and have a think of how you can revamp them.
This week I have a quick and easy D.I.Y for you. Buttons are the ultimate tool to transform a garment from drab to fab!
I thought I'd hit the jackpot when I came across these pants in K Mart. $19 for some groovy, low crotch pants! I loved them but as you can see from the original photo, they were a bit too plain for me.
I found these gorgeous pink buttons at Tessuti Fabrics in Surry Hills and it only cost me less than $10 for five of them. The pants look so much more 'designer' now. I'm so happy with the result and so many people stop me to ask me about my pants and the cool buttons!
When you go shopping, think about which other items you can change the buttons on. Shirts, dresses, coats and blazers can all be glammed up and given your original touch simply by changing the buttons! Give it a go and as always, please post your Revamped projects on our Facebook page. Sharing is caring and you might just inspire someone else to give it a try. Happy Revamping!
I am a freelance designer and stylist who creates avant-garde fashion and costume. I specialize in custom making costumes for musicians, physical theatre, and dance companies. I love what I do and I love to share my passion and teach others :D