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Customise your Clothes

Customise your clothes

Do want to give your wardrobe a fresh look?  Here are a few recession busting tips to help give your customise your clothes and give them a makeover:

Dyeing and painting clothes

Dyeing  & painting 

Market leaders Dylon not only offer a great range of 24 colours of dye, which you can just pop in the washing machine, or even use in the microwave, but they also offer fabric paints for just over  £2 a pot so it’s never been easier to give your drab faded clothes a new lease of life. It’s also a great idea if you want to make a top match your trousers, or to create matching accessories (scarf etc). 

You can find full details of their range plus instructions for use and hints and tips on their website – http://www.dylon.co.uk/.  For the more creative of you get those fabric paints out and start dreaming up your own designs and patterns.

How to customise your clothes

Buttons, Beads and Sequins 

It’s amazing how a few little changes can make an outfit look completely different.  Why not buy some novelty buttons to jazz up a plain old shirt?  Beads or sequins can totally transform a neckline or create a feature.  I recall jazzing up a plain sarong by beading waves along the bottom when I was a teenager. 

Sequins are very popular at the moment, but not everyone has the confidence to pull them off head to toe.  If you have a 2 colour top why not add a strip of sequins between the 2 colours.  Sequins on the shoulder can also make a great feature, particularly on a one shoulder asymmetric top. Fabric glue also makes an easy ‘no sew’ option, just make sure you work out where you are putting things first.  Lay the embellishments out on the item of clothing first, before you start gluing.  

Patches & Transfers 

Quick, cheap and easy – 3 words I love to hear (although not about me of course!).  Quick to apply, some are even iron-on so you don’t even have to get your sewing kit out.  Cheap – you wouldn’t expect to pay much more than a pound for a unique iron on patch on e-bay.  You can even buy iron on transfer paper for your printer and create your own designs at home.  As for Easy, they are easy to find, easy to afford and easy to use!

I used Jennie Maizel’s Clothes plasters to jazz up my son’s trousers and he loved them so much he didn’t want to take them off!

Ribbons and Trims 

Ribbons and trims are easy to apply and can brighten up a top (cuffs, collar or pockets) or pair of trousers in no time.  Your local (or favourite online)  haberdashery should be able to sell you whatever length you require and they are available in a range of colours and styles at a very affordable price.   Many places offer bargain packs of mixed ribbons and trimmings so for a little as £5 you could have enough to transform your whole wardrobe.   

Cutting, pinning & slashing 

For those looking for something a bit braver there’s the punky look of slashing then pinning (safety pins) your top, just make sure you do it strategically so you’re not exposing more than you want to!   Equally distressed jeans are making somewhat of a comeback lately so why not have a look at the great tutorials and articles on http://www.ehow.com/ (search ‘distressed jeans’) for some brilliant tips on how to achieve that ‘distressed look’.

Alternatively, why not shorten that long skirt you never wear and make it into a short skirt for the summer.   Too warm for long sleeve tops? (We can wish!)  Then shorten the sleeves, or cut them off altogether and turn it into a vest top? 

Ideas for embellishing clothes

Additions & Accessories 

Everyone seems to be having a go at making rosettes or felt badges nowadays.  So if you have a plain t-shirt that is a bit demure, add a quirky handmade brooch to brighten it up.   If you’ve got lots of off cuts of material in your stash make them into a rosette.  The beauty of it is as they are not a permanent addition to the outfit you can wear a different one each time, mix it up.  

If you have a strapless dress you don’t wear, try adding straps in a contrasting colour, or add a band of fabric to the bottom of that skirt that is a bit too short.  If you have a skirt that is a bit too tight, add a band of fabric down each side to widen and transform the skirt.  Underwear a bit unforgiving? Then cut the down each side and add ribbons to tie.  T-shirt too tight?  You could add a strip of a different material in the side to make it wider.

The possibilities are endless…hopefully these tips will get you looking at those old clothes in a new light.

Do take a look at my refashioning ideas Pinterest board for more inpsiration and useful tutorials plus we have a guide to 10 different ways to upcycle your clothes.