Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Customising Clothes: Tops

In this bustling, throw-away society, it’s easy for clothes to become tired, boring, or (with fashion’s ever-brief dalliances with retro styles) frumpy.

It can also be pretty easy to bypass clothes because they aren’t quite right--perhaps that skirt has a great print but an ugly style, or that thrift-shop shirt has a stain on the cuff that looks rather permanent.

But there are so many easy ways to customise clothing that these uninspiring, damaged garments can easily be turned into something stylish and wearable, sometimes with only a few minutes work!

This post focuses on customising tops. Next week, I'll post about bottoms (not that kind, cheeky!)

Drab denim jacket into rockin’ waistcoat!

The makeover on this piece was incredibly simple. I hacked off the sleeves and then brought out my ancient BeDazzler and added a bunch of evenly-spaced gold studs from my stash!

Dull two-in-one becomes cute short-sleeved cardi!

This took longer than the jacket did. I ended up with a lot of extra work. This top started off as one of those cardigans with the sewn-in panel that gives the appearance of a twinset. I had to unpick the seams on the sides and shoulders to remove the panel and re-sew them before I could get on with this customisation!
Since the grey was pretty dull on its own, it seemed the best thing to do - without going overboard - was to add small splashes of colour. I raided the button box and found a whole heap of coloured buttons to add as embellishments and replacements for the original buttons.

Plain tee to Look At Me!

The top tee was a gorgeous colour, but so plain! I gave it more of an identity with a heart-balloon motif (drawn freehand with fabric paints) and embellished with a few rhinestones.

The tee in the bottom picture was another rather uninspiring piece. This one was quickly updated with some wooden beads around the neckline. (The beads came from a broken belt!)

Stained shirt finds flowery style!

I absolutely loved this shirt even in its original form. But it had a couple of tiny stains--not that noticeable, but there nonetheless.
To cover the marks and update the look, I used separate flowers cut from a lacy trim and sewed them on.

Tired shirt gets Oriental twist

I got the idea for this from a book called Customising Cool Clothes by Kate Haxell.
The branch was embroidered on using a chain stitch, then the flowers cut from felt and attached with further embroidery.

Well, that’s it for the tops! All of these items were customised by me as part of a ‘Recycle and Remake’ project run by a local charity shop. All garments shown here either couldn’t be sold (due to marks) or had been gathering dust in the shop for weeks!

Got a boring skirt, tired jeans or trousers ripped at the leg? Check back next week for the second part!

1 comment:

  1. Kei, these are gorgeous. You are really talented! Can't wait to see your bottoms. ;)


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