Thursday 8 May 2014

Adding little details

I have not done as much crocheting as usual this past week or so because I have become obsessed with adding embroidery detail to my clothing! It began with an ankle length denim skirt. This skirt has always been one of my favourites but every time I wore it I imagined stitching extra detail around the hem. I looked out my embroidery threads and chose a slightly muted palette to go with the denim and began embroidering. Once I started I realised just how much fabric was in the skirt around the hem and that I had a lot of stitching to do!

detail on my ankle length denim skirt

As soon as this skirt was finished I attacked another denim skirt! This one was knee length and I decided to keep it simple, I free hand embroidered some flowers to one panel. I stuck to a blue fairly close to the colour of the denim in the skirt because I liked the fact that this skirt went with almost any colour of top, making it very versatile, and I wanted to keep it that way.

knee length denim skirt with flowers

detail of skirt

Altering my clothes and adding details like this is something I have done since my late teens. There have been a few disasters along the way, for example the time I decided to embroider massive flowers on a pair of bright blue cords - I used satin stitch but the stitch length was about 5cm, leaving big gaping holes that never really filled and the trousers ended up in the bin (clothes recycling wasn't available then). A few weeks ago, inspired by The Great British Sewing Bee, I bought a lovely yellow three quarter sleeve top in a charity shop. The sleeves were elasticated and actually finished around the elbow which wasn't the most flattering of looks on me. I chopped them off higher up and attached some home made bias binding which I was much happier with. The original buttons were poorly sewn on so I took them off, made co-ordinating covered buttons to match the bias binding which finishes the T-shirt off.

my altered T-shirt

The garment which receives most comments from people is my lambswool sleeveless wrap top. I picked this up for a few pounds in a charity shop, initially to turn into felt because it was so plain and not really "me".However, I decided to add needle felted swirls all down the opening and around the hem. These added spirals of colour have changed the top completely and made it one of my favourites!

my favourite top

As you know I am a big fan of Instagram and I love to see other people's twists on similar projects. Someone I have recently started following is Sue (@sewist53) and I loved a photo she had posted of a denim jacket of hers which she had added bias binding and bright applique patches to. I asked Sue why she enjoyed altering her clothes and she replied:

"I do it because I love to give favourite clothes a new lease of life and also I love the fact that it becomes unique to the wearer - you put some of your personality into it!! And it's fun, of course!!!" 

Another person who inspires me on Instagram is Polly (@jakandgeegee). I love a blog post of hers about how she had changed a pair of jeans into a skirt ( ). I asked Polly why she enjoys this kind of thing, here's what her thoughts were;

"I love to upcycle my old clothes as I hate to see things go to waste, plus it's fun to make something really show off your personality. It's good to be different and personalising your clothes is an easy way to do it!"

I agree with them both; it's fun, it adds personality and it makes your clothes unique. Have you added detail or altered your clothing? I would love it if you could share your experiences, send me a comment or tag me (@mrsdaftspaniel) on Instagram.

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