Tag Archives: clothing

upcoming posts:

I thought I’d let you know what I’m going to be blogging about over the next few days to give you a heads up if you wanted to send me your links etc:



Plastic Bottles

We all use them, they are everywhere, some people don’t bother to even recycle them.  Plastic really has been the scourge of modern-day life; it doesn’t biodegrade, it releases toxins and recycling plastics are very labour intensive due to the different standards.  So upcycling plastic bottles should make things a bit easier on the environment (or trying not to use them in the first place would make things even easier – something I really really must do).

I’m going to therefore blog about my own plastic bottle upcycling as well as featuring the work and tutorials of other plastic bottle upcyclers.




I love fashion – I’m not fashionable in the slightest and I don’t buy fashion mags.  However I see fashion as an art form and am fascinated by people who are walking art pieces.  Unfortunately this dominance of fashion in our lives has created a clothes mountain.  There are piles of poor textiles, that don’t biodegrade, that are made badly and more and more are being made.  We are all aware of the sweat shops that employ people working on a pittance to create these pieces for us to wear once then throw away.

So as you know, the whole premise of this blog is to buy second-hand, and I don’t buy new clothing any more.  There are other people who go one step further and take existing pieces of clothing and create new pieces out of them.  This blog will be about upcycled clothing – people who have the imagination and creativity to see something in something else!

doll parts

doll parts


And finally a blog about what you can create from those sadly rejected dolls.

So there you go – do you have anything you can add to these blogs? If so, get in touch.  If I like what you do I’ll feature it 🙂


1 Comment

Filed under Upcycling

my best thrifty purchase

Prada Kitten Heels.  £9.95 from the British Red Cross charity shop in Lewisham.



I bought these firstly because they were SO comfortable – they fit like a glove.  I spoke to the assistant and said ‘did you realise these were Pradas?’ – apparently they did and that’s why they were in there for the princely sum of £9.95. Then I wasn’t sure if they were real, however they apparently are as my friend who used to work for Jimmy Choo’s has testified.

Definitely my best find so far 🙂


Filed under Billy Bargains

sustainable living with a snob!

It’s increasingly difficult sometimes to have this ‘sustainable’ life when your other half can be such a snob.  On Saturday he bought our sister-in-law’s birthday present – now – obviously buying a ‘new’ gift went against ‘my’ principles – however he refused to purchase something used or handmade – then when he went to look for wrapping paper I said ‘We have newspaper at home – use that’ – he refused.

Does anyone else come up against problems when trying to live ‘second-hand’ with their partners?

I’m not going to force him into my way of thinking – afterall he should want to come to that place in his own way.  I once picked him up a shirt at a jumble sale for 20p – he’s never worn it however much he said that he ‘did’ like it! ha ha.  He has nothing against reading second-hand books, or buying second-hand dvds and cds, however when it comes to textiles (ie: clothes) for some reason he is completely turned off.  I will do it slowly – picking up awesome pieces that he loves then hopefully he will come around!

Deptford Junk Market

Deptford Junk Market

Today I start my internship – can’t wait.  I’m full of cold but who cares?  I’m also obviously looking forward to trawling the bargain charity shops while I’m there – naughty naughty! hee hee.  It’s also right next to the famous Deptford Junk Market which again will be my downfall.  This is a flea market with a difference, you literally are buying fleas! ha ha … of course I’m joking, however it’s a naughty place with naughty things that I end up buying because I think I can turn them into something.  Generally I can’t however it’s a fantastic place to rummage. I’ll try to be good!


Filed under Life

Upcycled fabric jewellery

Like a lot of people who work with fabric I have a lot of bits left over.  And being the woman that I am I obviously don’t throw them away.  Some find their way onto my ever growing ‘crazy patchwork’ bag – other stay sitting in a bag waiting to be turned into something.

Recently when I couldn’t sleep one morning I found a tutorial on making fabric beads – and started playing.  I’m not very good at following tutorials and started kind of making up my own fabric bead design.  The final result was this:

old dressing gown becomes upcycled necklace

old dressing gown becomes upcycled necklace

I’m not entirely satisfied with it – I think it might need a lot more work – however I have a lot of other beads that I’ve made some I’m going to try some different designs.  I also think that I should add some more beads to the top right hand side (where I’ve already started adding beads) as a focus.

In the meantime, here are some wonderfully exciting upcycled/ repurposed/ recycled fabric jewellery pieces that really inspire me to be more creative.

Fabric bracelet by Little Miss Crafty

Fabric bracelet by Little Miss Crafty

This little bracelet seems so simple yet so cute and fluffy. I love the colours (although they’re not the type I’d wear) and it just is SO yummy.  Makes me want to go out and make my own cute little fluffy bracelet.

Read more of Little Miss Crafty’s adventures here:


Hand Made jewellery by Medusa - http://www.labottegadimedusa.com/

Hand Made jewellery by Medusa - http://www.labottegadimedusa.com/

I’m in love with this wonderful piece.  It has its roots in vintage style and is a real focus piece.

Absinthe and Orange

Absinthe and Orange

Absinthe and Orange creates such beauty out of repurposed material and clothing.  Again, like a lot of things I love, the colours aren’t something I ever really wear, however to own a piece like this and have an excuse to build an outfit around them would be something too good to miss! With fabric jewellery like this you KNOW that everyone will keep looking at it and noticing new things that make up this beautiful design.

Sonya's Boutique

Sonya's Boutique

Sonya’s fabric necklaces are real focus pieces that combine strong colour palettes and inspired designs.  Check out her etsy store – I cannot believe how cheaply she sells her work! Honestly – it’s worth more than this! Once I can get properly onto Etsy (it’s playing up for me at the moment) I’m going to purchase one of her pieces before prices sky rocket!

Finally I’m in love with the unusual work of Beehive Girl

I love her combinations of bones and lace – and I love the way in which her pieces aren’t just ‘focus’ pieces – they make you sit up and stare! You can’t stop looking and if you’re me – you can’t stop wanting!

Really – how can you NOT be inspired by these wonderful women’s designs?

Here are some tutorials – often showing you the steps for building up your designs:

How to make a necklace from fabric scraps

What to do with all those scraps

Ruffle necklace

Fabric Flower Necklace

These are just very basic instructions – I figure you can adapt each tutorial to add more and more to make a wonderful statement piece.


Filed under jewellery, tutorials, Upcycling

Recession hits charity shops

Yesterday I went on my usual lunch time wander – and was shocked at how few clothes there are in the charity shops.  The stress of the recession on thrifting – there are so many of us now going to charity shops – many of whom didn’t go before – and less clothing donations – which means less clothes.  Also you have the swappers, the ‘vintage’ clothing stores and car boot sales (where people can earn money from their own discarded clothes) – this means that there are less and less clothes going into these shops.

Saturday I’m taking a bag of clothes to the two shops I regularly plunder – Cancer Research and British Red Cross.  I owe it to them!  I was saving clothes for a swap but I’ve realised what effect I’m having.  Arghhhhhhhh by trying to be ‘green’ I’m having and adverse effect on charity shops – can a woman never win???? ha ha

Here are a few more links about this ‘crisis’ in charity shops:

Third Sector Report

KnowHow, NonProfit

Also – there have been complaints (can you believe this?) about Oxfam’s book shops.  Oxfam have been accused of almost ‘Tesco’ and (for the States) ‘Walmart’ style targeting of areas.  They open up their stores near other second hand bookshops and the owners of these have seen their profits plummet. This is so sad – yes I support the independent booksellers – however I support a charity over personal profit.  There’s always a problem, someone is always going to suffer when someone else (in this case a charity) profits.  However it can be said that Oxfam are behaving like a large corporation – plunging their shops onto high streets and ‘taking business away’ from the smaller shops.

New York Times article – “Oxfam killed my bookshop”

Inprint – plans to open more stores

I think what is sad is that you’re not going to get ‘gems’ in Oxfam stores.  The send them off to sell on the internet – which means browsing the store isn’t going to turn up anything of wonder.  They’re generally clean and tidy stores – unlike the ‘typical’ British second-hand bookstores – which are generally a health and safety issue to enter (and more the interesting for it). I think Oxfam should be thinking about the overall effect they are having.  They are more than capable of going into areas where there is a lack of second hand book stores and they will be successful.

I personally don’t go into the stores – not out of any principle – just that they’re completely over-priced!  I don’t like Oxfam stores – there’s something too ‘clean and tidy’ about them.  When I go thrifting I want to smell the dust, I want to have to take a hit of my asthma inhaler, I want to HUNT for the bargain.  Too many charity shops are becoming sanitised and pretty – I know that this attracts NEW clients but I miss the ramshackle charity shops of my childhood.

So in my second hand life I’m going to support everyone I can.  The smaller shops, the independent traders and as many charities as I can!


Filed under books

upcycled loveliness – skirts – #1

Today was spent in, I’ve come down with a cold 😦  so no trawling around the shops/ car boot sales today.  However, I have spent much of the day trawling around the internet and have been adding links to the tutorial pages as well as marveling at peoples’ ingenuity when it comes to upcycling.

I love skirts, in fact, I wear skirts a lot more than any other item of clothing.  I’m still to make my first skirt, I have some awesome childrens’ curtains that I picked up from a charity shop (with owls and squirrels on them) that are just dying to be turned into a kitschy little number.  So for inspiration I’ve been checking out some of the best upcycled skirts that combine imagination, creativity, resourcefulness and a little hint of craziness (in some cases) – click on the photos to take you to the original item on the internet.

By far my favourite upcyclers are Junky Styling – I first heard about them on Current TV and have been hooked ever since.  Not only are they amazingly stylish items of clothing but they’re also a slightly little bit crazy.  I’m still to buy my first ever piece of Junky Styling clothing, however one day I definitely will:

Junky Styling - Simple Sleeve Skirt

Junky Styling - Simple Sleeve Skirt

Junky Styling Sleeve Wrap Mini-skirt

Junky Styling Sleeve Wrap Mini-skirt

Look at how easy this skirt is! I’m sure it is – BUT – one thing that’s really important to note about Junky Styling clothing is that it’s made to an exceptionally high standard. Their clothes are tailored so well and beautifully crafted. If I’d made this it would probably look like a sleeve wrapped around my arse!

Ok – so expect more Junky Styling clothes in the future!

Another upcycled designer whose skirts I’ve fallen in love with is Pieces of You – she does beautiful ruffle skirts that are just so cute.  Here are a couple:

Pieces of You Ruffle Skirt

Pieces of You Ruffle Skirt

Loving those ruffles – another one I’m going to have to save up for – upcycled clothing I’m allowed 🙂

And finally here are some choice ones from the Flickr group Trashionista:

Such CUTENESS ABOUNDS! – you can see more as I update my gallery on Flickr here.

All so inspiring … now to start on my own projects 🙂

1 Comment

Filed under skirts