Posts in diy
Thoughts: On Sustainability

It’s Sunday, and it’s raining here in Berlin. We started the below ramblings back in August 2018, funny what you can forget to publish when life happens. So here we are, tucked up in bed with the laptop re-reading our past thoughts and agreeing that they are still relevant.

Sustainability now seems to be a buzz word. More and more people are talking about it, and hopefully taking action to become more sustainable. Even the big fashion producers are taking steps towards acting more sustainable. However, is it all still about getting the consumer to buy more and not better? 

Our thoughts on sustainable fashion come from tackling the issue of fashion and textile waste and turning what we already have into something new. Educating ourselves and others to see past outdated silhouettes and turning them into timeless pieces that fit into any wardrobe. If you follow our Instagram you will be familiar with our #vicandlilycollection. Our in-house label which turns vintage clothing into tops, shorts and jumpsuits etc. You could say that we too are just using sustainability to push for more sales, but what we really want is to build a community that sees what can be achieved from old, unwanted garments. We all have things that we no longer want, need, fit in to and although donating is a great way to declutter we could always take a step back and think whether we could change the item in question to something else. Now we are not saying that everyone can sew a jumpsuit from a dress, but changing a hemline or removing sleeves are small, simple steps that can instantly change a garment.

As a community we should strive to be more aware of what sustainable fashion means. Let’s educate each other in what can be done before we purchase our next item. Let’s have clothes swaps, join sewing bees and make something together. Let’s make the future awesome.

Happy Sunday


Before & After: The Jumpsuit

We love a wedding and like us you feel the need to wear a new outfit to every wedding you know that it can be not only costly but not exactly sustainable. A wardrobe full of one time wear dresses isn't the best for the environment, wallet or space. SO with sustainability being one of top beliefs here at v & l we decided to make our own outfit.

Where to start you ask? Well, we were sifting through the piles of vintage that were hiding in the studio when we came across this little printed gem of a dress (see below) and although it wasn't quite right for the summer wedding outfit we had envisioned the print was on point. So what a better start for the wedding outfit. Taking it apart wasn't as time consuming as first thought, which can always be a draw back for a project such as this. 

Next step we scoured the internet and Instagram for inspiration until we had an idea of what we wanted. Initially we were looking to make a dress but why make a dress when you can make a jumpsuit! Bold move on our part but we were determined. Looking at the pieces from the dress we knew that it would be a stretch but also very little waste to make this a jumpsuit. Using the sleeves as the front pieces allowed the skirt and body to be used for the pants. Drafting the patterns was made easier using previously bought pants as a template (always a good idea). It became clear that for the wide pants that we were looking for would have to be made from several pieces. (This thankfully turned out OK as the fabric is printed and not noticable, but if  using a solid or less densely patterned fabric we would advise against this.).

Making the pants was surprisingly easier than expected, the top part however was slightly more tricky to get right in terms of fit. Everyone is different, so we made this to fit our body - tailor made shall we say. Not going to lie, it took a few tries to get the gaping down to a minimum - no one wants a flasher at their wedding! 

We used the lining of the original skirt to line the top and to make the bias-cut straps. We even used a section of the original fastening to close the back above the zip. We used pretty much all of the original fabric with the majority of left overs being the lining. We are really pleased with how it turned out, it was great to wear to wedding and will be useful for summer nights out for sure.

Below is a breakdown of the steps of how to get achieve a complete re-design from something you already own. Happy DIY-ing peeps.

  1. Find a garment you love the fabric of, and carefully take it apart at the seams and press pieces flat, it might not be necessary to unpick the fastening at this stage - see point 5.  

  2. Using inspiration create a pattern based on the idea or use garments as a guide.

  3. Sort pieces to find which will work best for the new pattern, for example the sleeves were great for the front of our jumpsuit allowing the skirt and bodice to be used for the wide leg pants and waistband.

  4. If needed sew pieces together to allow for pattern (like we did for the pants).

  5. Try and use as much of the previous fastenings as possible - we cut a piece of the front to form the back waistband and used a button and buttonhole already existing as a closure.

  6. Always try on your piece at various stages to ensure the fit is just right for the intended purpose. When still our jumpsuit was great but with movement (dancing) it was clear the front gaped too much so some delicate hand stitching was needed to keep things modest.

  7. If possible try to use all the fabric from your original, thus creating a zero waste DIY! Our leftover lining will be used in binding for other projects.



All images by me with exception of the group wedding photo - Real Simple Photography

DIY: Festival Pouch
Festival Pouch DIY 1

With festival season underway I thought we should try a DIY that was functional for festivals (FFF, can we make that a thing?). And what could be more practical than a pouch?! Making your festival handsfree. Perfect.

Depending on what kind of gal (or guy) you choices for fabrics can differ. We went for a mixture of fabrics and patterns - this is a great project if you any scraps. You want to make the pouch a size that will fit all your must-have items, so it can be as big or as small as you like. We made ours big enough to fit a phone, coin purse and some bits & bobs of make-up. 

Here's what you'll need:

Festival Pouch DDIY Supplies

Fabric - I would use a heavy weight like canvas, denim, leather etc

1x 9 1/2" x 10 1/2"

1x 9 1/2" x 8"

1x 2 1/2" x 3 1/2"

2x Snap Fasteners

1 1/2" Wide Tape/Ribbon - we used Herringbone - if desired

Sewing Machine...Needle & Thread can be used too.


Here's how we did it:

1/ Taking the smallest piece of fabric (2 1/2" x 3 1/2") press 1/2" on all sides. Stitching down the shortest sides.

2/ Fold the largest piece of fabric so that is 6 1/2" x 9 1/2" wrong sides facing together. Place the smallest fabric in the centre of the this large piece and pin in place. Stitch down the longest sides of what is now the belt loop.

3/ To the top of this large fabric add one side of each of the snap fasteners, on the right side of the fabric. Set round 1" from the edge of the fabric. 
Repeat this step on the remaining piece of fabric.

4/ Press the edges of both fabrics (next to the snap fasteners) 3/8". 

Larger Piece, fold and press 3/8" edges on the each side 3" down, fold 1 1/2" and pin in place then stitch to secure.

Smaller Piece, fold top edge  1 1/2", press and pin in place. Stitch to secure. 

Festival Pouch DIY Step 4

5/ Now place the the two pieces of fabric right sides together. Starting at the bottom and pin in place on three sides. Stitch to secure leaving 1/2" seam allowance. Start at the top of the larger piece, sew as close to the edge as possible.

6/ Turn the pouch inside out and press. 

Festival Pouch DIY Step 7

7/ Now for this step you can either use a belt or like we have done here, cut your desired length of ribbon/tape diagonally at the ends and feed it through the belt loop on the pouch.
And thats it!

Festival Pouch DIY Finished Item

And you are ready to hit the festivals!


Behind the Scenes: Making new from old

As a vintage seller I am always searching for new pieces to add to the shop. As well as finding ready to list styles I often find pieces that have 'potential'. Sometimes there are dresses or skirts or tops that have the cutest print but the shape is not quite right (look more like tents than dresses) which I know that with some redesigning I can use the fabric from the old style to make a whole new one. We have been spending most of our time here at vic&lily HQ going through our 'potential' pile and deciding which new garment we'd like to make it into. It's been fun brainstorming ideas for the new lives we will be giving to each of the fabrics.

Here is a sneak peek at what we have been doing so far:


By the Book: Embroidery Stitches III

Emb3 I've been a bit slack on my learning embroidery stitches, no excuses other than life got in the way I suppose.

For my third instalment, I have attempted the following stitches:

Back Stitch Threaded


This was pretty easy as far they go my only concern was how much of thread to leave for each winding stitch. This definitely could be interpreted in different ways.


Back Stitch Filling - Ringed


This took me three attempts, I blame Gene Kelly and his dancing, was watching An American in Paris at the time. It is still a little wonky but it at least resembles rings. Practice, practice, practice.



Lastly, the Basket Filling Stitch.


I decided to be a little bit more prepared on this one (it felt a little like cheating) by marking out the pattern before sewing. But after my last encounter with embroidery I wanted to at least have a straight example.


Although I have put this off for a month or so, I have to admit I do enjoy it. Need to make a note to work embroidery into some of my upcoming projects.


Happy Stitching.





How to make use of scraps...Kids Cushion.
DIY Kids Cushion

  DIY Kids Cushion

The scrap pile has started to mount and I have been scouring pintrest to help me find an end product for all my odds and ends. I came across some cute images of cushions for kids rooms and thought it was perfect idea. I have opted to go for an animal shaped like this one here. Perfect for a little one and perfect for my scraps.

So here is how:


What you will need:



Embellishments for eyes etc - if desired.

Needle & Thread


I decided to make a bird shaped cushion so I drew out a template of the size and shape I wanted for the body and the wings.


Step 1.

[gallery type="square" ids="957,958"]

Iron out the fabric required for all parts of the cushion. Taking the template for the body and pin it to the corresponding fabric. The fabric should be double layer - one for each side. (note: the fabrics don't have to be the same). With the right sides facing each other.

Once pinned cut the shape out leaving a 3/4"/2cm all the way around the edge.


For the wings pin the template with the two pieces of fabric right sides facing each other then cut the exact shape, no allowance.


Step 2.

For the body use the template as a guide and mark along the edge with chalk or pencil, then remove the template.

Step 3.


Taking the wings, select a position on the body and pin one to each side. Using a blanket stitch attach the wings to each panel. I choose to use this stitch to create more interest in the cushion but a straight running stitch in co-ordinating thread would be fine.

[gallery type="square" ids="962,963"]

At this point, also embellish the cushion as per your intended design. I chose to use buttons for eyes, sewn on as tightly as possible so as not to come off too easy.


Step 4.


Place the body panels right sides together and pin to secure. Tack along the chalk line leaving the a small gap at the bottom open.

Using a sewing machine or by hand sew along the tacked line.


Snip the seam allowance at the curves to allow for a smooth edge when turning out.

Step 5.


Turn the body inside out and stuff as much as or as little as you want. My little bird will be quite plump.

Step 6.


Pin to secure the open edge and then handstitch along the edge to secure - I tried to be as neat as possible.

Step 7.

Voila! Your little cushion is complete!

photo (20)


I think I want to make an owl next...what about you?




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By the Book: Embroidery Stitches II

IMG_5679 So I have been continuing with my embroidery stitches from the Mary Thomas's Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches. There is something slightly therapeutic about embroidery, all thoughts are on the task at hand making it very easy to tune out the chaos around.

The next stitch I attempted was the Algerian Stitch - Plaited which I discovered was like the one before it, practice makes perfect ( I've yet to perfect it).

IMG_3732 copy

IMG_3736 copy

It is a cute stitch and I can see myself using this on some projects, once I get the hang of it.

Feeling rather adventurous I attempted the Arrowhead Stitch.

IMG_3744 copy

IMG_3745 copy

Although this looked fairly simple it was actually quite tough to have perfect little arrowheads - i should have done what the book said and marked out the pattern rather than freestyling - lesson learned.

I strive to be good or at least capable of doing this. Stay tuned for the next installment.

Happy Crafting


By the Book: Embroidery Stitches

IMG_5679 Whilst in Melbourne this past Christmas I picked up a book at a thrift store 'Mary Thomas's Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches'. It has sat on my desk hidden under piles of fabrics and papers and I think it is about time that I gave it some light and opened it up. I've never really embroidered before, not since the days spent round at my Gran's when I was little. And it's not because I haven't wanted to, I suppose life got in the way of craft. So it is only now that I begin my embroidered stitch journey. I shall now read Mary's Dictionary with the hope it can teach me some basics and I will share my efforts on here. Join in if you like.


For this hobby (lets call it) you need a few supplies:



embroidery hoop

embroidery thread


fabric that you wish to embroider - obviously


I thought it best to start at the beginning and after reading the introduction I felt ready to get sewing.


Stitch 1: Algerian Filling Stitch (click on photo for bigger photo)

Putting the  embroidery hoop on the fabric, I start to sew the Algerian filling stitch, roughly 1cm high, 3 in a row which is staggered in the pattern seen in the book. I'm not exactly perfect at first (see below) but the more I do the more regular the stitches start to become. Practice, practice, practice.



I felt that I was getting into a rhythm and it was surprisingly therapeutic.

photo (12)

Confident that with practice I will be as good as the next grandma I am ready to take on the next stitch.

Happy Stitching!




side note: in the book were these two random pieces of that this tells part of the books previous owner.


How to...Make your own bralet

IMG_5523A I came across some beautiful embroidered silk blouses awhile back but unfortunately they were too damaged to wear (sad face). After seeing some customized bralets over on Pinterest I thought that it would be the perfect way to use the fabrics from these blouses ( I hate waste) and make my very own. I am a huge fan of the bralet as they are pretty enough that if they can be seen its not so offensive (unlike the t-shirts bras my mother sends me, love you mum) and they are functional too.

So here is how to make your own bralet:

What you will need:


Template - I am using a store bought one as a template (size small) that I picked up at Urban Outfitters.

Fabric - I used embroidered silk but most lightweight fabrics will do.


1" Elastic - for band

1/4" Elastic for straps

Hoops & Buckles

Hook & Eye


Sewing Machine & Thread - can also be achieved by hand if desired.


Step 1.


[gallery type="square" ids="788,786,787"]

Using the template as a guide cut out two identical (or as close as you can for patterned fabrics) triangles from both the main fabric and the mesh leaving a seam allowance of 1/2" / 1cm around. Mark where the dart will be with some chalk or notches.

*measurements are roughly 6 1/4" on two sides and 7 1/2" on the bottom*

Taking one main fabric and one mesh triangle, fold in half with the right sides facing each other. Tack from top to bottom along the dart line and then sew to secure.

Once sewn fold out and press.

Repeat on the other side.

Step 2.


Folding both sides of one triangle in towards the mesh side 1/4" tack along the edge then stitch to secure, I chose to use the straight stitch here but a zigzag stitch would've worked too.

Repeat on other triangle.

Step 3.

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Taking the wider elastic (1") cut the length long enough to fit around your chest comfortably, for me it is 24"(+2" for hook & eye fastening). Fold in half and lay flat, take a pin and mark the centre.

With right sides facing down place the two triangle on the elastic, one 1/2" either side of the pin, set 1/2" from the bottom edge. Tack the triangles in place, then sew. Using your stitch of choice, again I went for a straight stitch.

Step 4.

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Fold the top of each triangle over 1/4" and stitch to secure.

Taking the thinner elastic (1/4") cut two lengths,  18" long and the other 1 1/2" long. Taking 1 of the plastic buckles feed one end of the long elastic through and fold 1/2". Stitch to secure. Using the plastic hoop feed the elastic through and fold towards you and feed through the buckle. Take this loose end and sew it to the top of the of on of the triangles, ensure that it is attached securely - I tested this with a couple of light pulls.

[gallery type="square" ids="797,798,799"]

Now take the shorter length of elastic, tack to wide elastic band on the same side as the triangle that you have just attached the strap to. Set about 3 1/2" from the edge. Fold the loose end through the same plastic loop and tack again to the wide band leaving 1/4" loop, trimming the excess. Secure the loose end on the wide band. One strap complete.

Repeat on the other side.

Step 5.

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Last step is to attach the fastening. I opted for a single  hook & eye but snap fasteners could work just the same. Folding over the edge of the elastic 1/2" at each end stitch the 'eye' to the left hand side and the 'hook' to the right. Add a row of stitching to the elastic to secure.

And you are done!

vic&lily bralet DIY


I think I want to make more...


How to...Make a fold-over clutch
How to DIY Clutch

Clutch I have been seeing a lot of these style of clutches lately and as I have yet to own one I thought why not try to make one. After rummaging through my fabric box I decided upon a black & white printed fabric - was the leg of a pair of trousers I made into shorts. It is thick enough to endure a day out with me and also can match with pretty much any outfit. So here is how I did it:



Fabric 15" x 24" - depending on the size you want Snap Fastener -18L/roughly 1/2" wide Needle & Thread Sewing Machine

Step 1. Fold your fabric in half, right sides together and lightly press. Pin or tack down each side about 1/2" from the edge then sew each side to secure.

Step 2.

[gallery link="file" type="square" ids="686,687"] You now have a bag, turn the top over 1/2", press and then turn over 1 1/2" and press again.

Step 3.

[gallery link="file" type="square" ids="688,689,690"]

Take the snap fastener and sew one part to the centre of one side of the back, ensuring to only sew through the folded layer. Repeat for other part on other side. Tack to secure this fold ensuring to follow the edge of the fold as neat as possible. Once done, turn the bag out.

Using a straight stitch follow the line of the tacking and secure the fold.

Step 4.

IMG_4953 Trim all ends and press. And you're done!

* if you want to line your bag, make a separate bag out of the lining fabric and slip over (seam to seam) the main fabric before securing the fold at the top. This will cover all the seams of the main fabric. ** also, if you choose a fabric that isn't as stiff as you'd like. Iron on some interlining to give it more structure before sewing.

How to...Embellished Cuffs

cuffhowto If like me you often find yourself chopping off sleeves to update a vintage blouse then you too will have lots of sleeves lying around. I never like to through anything away especially when it could be turned into something else, just like these cuffs. Once removed from the rest of the sleeve they instantly look like a statement cuff even without any customization. This DIY can be as easy or as complex as you like. Here is how I DIY-ed my Embellished Cuff...

What you'll need:

IMG_3929 copy

cuffs - removed carefully from sleeves

needle and thread

embellishment - I chose hot fix studs

new button (if desired)

Step 1.


Measure your wrist and then check if the width of the cuff needs to be tighter/looser. Mark your desired width with chalk then remove button. Using your needle and thread sew the button on at the marked position, changing the button if you desire. I kept the original.

Step 2.


Try different layouts of how you want your design to look on the cuff making sure you know what you want to do before committing - this is especially important if you are using hotfix or stones which need to be glued on. Once the final design is chosen it is time to begin fixing the embellishment to the cuff.

Step 3.


Apply the embellishment, whether it be sewing or pressing in studs. For Hot Fix, it needs an extremely hot iron, pressed firmly. Be careful when applying this to the cuff as it can get very hot.

Step 4.


Once all embellishment is complete, you have your new statement cuff!

I also tried out another method using metal studs...possibilities are endless!


Happy DIY-ing this Wednesday everyone!


How to make use of scraps...Leather - Part 3

LC1 The final part (from these pair of trousers anyways) of what to do with leather scraps is here (finally!) After seeing this really pretty COS collar necklace I was inspired to create a leather version, here is how I did it.

What you'll need:

what you need

Leather scraps

Gross Grain Tape or Ribbon

Beads/Sequins for embellishment

Fabric Scraps for under the collar.

Needle & Thread



Template - paper

Step 1.

collar template

I created a template in paper before cutting the shapes out of leather to ensure it was the right size and shape I wanted. Once I finalized it I pinned it to the leather and cut out the shapes.


Step 2.


Depending on what kind of collar you want yours to be (bling, subtle, rock n' roll) will depend on your design for the embellishment. I decided upon a more subtle look and chose to have matt metal sequins. Depending on which design you are looking for will depend on the design, I was torn between just embellishing the edges or covering the whole collar. I opted to do the second option. I started at the point and worked my way up...this is fairly time consuming, but perfect to do in front of a good movie.

Step 3.


Take the fabric you have chosen as lining and cut out shapes like in Step 1. using the template only cut 1cm/ 3/8" from the edge. Keeping the template pinned to the fabric use an iron to fold the excess fabric over the template this will allow the raw edges to be hidden when attached to the leather. Repeat on other side.

Removing the template place the fabric on the corresponding leather shape and pin in place.


Taking the Gross Grain/Ribbon measure and cut two lengths 15"/38cm. Attach one length to each side of collar with a needle and thread. Cut the loose end at a diagonal to reduce fraying.

With a needle and thread join the two pieces together, I chose a simple running stitch to sew them together.  Repeat on the other side.


Step 4.

Attach the two pieces together at the inner point. Start by creating a few stitches on one side first then connect to the other.


And Viola! You are finished! This is a fairly easy project and can be repeated using different fabrics and designs.

Hope you have fun making your own version!


follow me on Instagram: @vicandlily to see sneak peaks of up and coming projects.

Oh Hello Friend Swap Shop

OHSS Happy New Year Everyone!

Hope you are all enjoyed the festive season.

At the beginning of December I was lucky enough to be part of the Oh Hello Friend Swap Shop, if you have never read this blog you should definitely check it out. The lovely Danni posts about daily goings on at her empire as well as beautiful images/items that she comes across on the internet click here for more

Swap Shop? Like the 70s TV show...kind of. The swap shop was a chance for different shops from around the world to send items to each another.  Each participant was paired with a shop that had similar interests, with instructions to send items from their shop paying special attention to packaging. I was lucky enough to be paired with the lovely Claudia from SeaSand Vintage  The store she has on Etsy is filled with treasures for your home, I am so happy with the items I received, one lucky girl.

Here is what I sent...

IMG_3182 IMG_3186OHSS IMG_3193

And what I received in return...

IMG_3537  IMG_3542 IMG_3541 IMG_3539 IMG_3538IMG_3545

I really love the little Statue of Liberty card...don't you? Such a great experience to take part in this. Thank you Claudia for being a great swap read up on her end of the story click here

What did you guys receive this Christmas?


How to make use of scraps...leather - Pt. 2

A couple of weeks ago I shared a 'How to' for making a clutch with scraps of leather and I promised to share the other ideas I had so here is #2!

I am lucky enough to be aunty to the cutest (ofcourse) little niece ever. So with her in mind I thought I'd make a little pair of moccasins. I would say this was a slightly more time consuming DIY compared to previous projects - having real sized feet would be a great advantage.

So here is what you will need:

Leather (or fabric) Scraps

Shoe soles - if you plan to wear outside

Large needle and thick thread - I used embroidery thread

Hole Punch



(pins to hold things in place too)

Step 1.

By using a template (draw round a shoe or foot) cut out and pin to the underside of the leather. Next cut around the template around 1cm/ 3/8" from the edge.

Step 2.

Using the same template pin to the shoe soles and cut around the edge. Next pin the shoe sole to the corresponding leather sole, making sure the right side of the shoe sole faces out. Taking a needle and thread (I used grey) stitch the two pieces together leaving 0.5cm/ 3/16" around the edge.

Repeat for other sole.

Note: this step can be skipped if you are not planning on using these outdoors or walking.

Step 3.

Once both soles are finished, using a template as a guide cut out the leather for the upper part of the moccasin.

*This was the trickiest part as I didn't have a shoe or little foot as a guide I had to guess how much to use. In the end I didn't use as much as I expected. It all depends on how high you want the moccasins to come up the ankle/leg also. Patience is key here*

With the rounded part at the centre begin to stitch it to the sole. Position the upper so it is face down with the edge on top of the sole, pin to secure if needed.

Using the thread and needle ( I changed to pink to make it more girlie) use large stitches and begin to sew around the sole gather the top so it fits along the shape. Once the whole sole is attached, sew up the back seam. Now the front should look a little strange, this is OK. What I did was made a slit down the centre about 6cm from the base - this may change for different size shoes, I suggest to cut a little then increase if needed - then made a fold with the edge going to the outer edge of the shoe. Secure at sole with extra stitches if needed. Trim round the top of the shoe if you feel it is too high.

Repeat for other shoe.

Step 4.

Next cut two strips of leather 3.5cm/ 1.5" wide. The length should be enough to go around the top of the moccasin. Taking one strip, snip 2.5cm/1" into the strip roughly 1cm/ 3/4" apart to make the fringing. Pin around the edge of the moccasin and stitch with thread.

Repeat for the other side.

Step 5.

Using a hole punch make 6 holes in each shoe - 3 on the top layer and 3 on the under, equally spaced apart. (I decided to use pink ribbon for laces but you could use cord or traditional laces). Using the needle thread the ribbon through the holes and tie a bow at the top.

Repeat on the other shoe.

And you're done!

A unique gift or if you have large scraps a great gift for yourself!

Happy Wednesday Everyone...will you give it a go?


How to make use of Scraps...Leather

As you have probably guessed I don't really like to throw much away especially when it comes to bits of fabric. Call me a hoarder if you like but I try and re-use/upcycle as many scraps into something also helps the environment and saves a few pennies too!

So, the other day I picked up these vintage leather trousers and made them into shorts. I was able to do so without any sewing - yay! However, I was left with two 'legs' of leather. Too much to toss out so I got to thinking...what can I make out of this?

I have come up with not 1 but 3 things I can do with said scraps (rather impressed with myself). The first of these ideas is a leather clutch, super simple and easy to do (hopefully). The other two ideas will be shared over the coming weeks, promise.

So here is today's 'How To'...leather clutch from scraps...

What you will need:

Scrap of leather or fabric.

Sharp scissors

Tape measure


Hole punch (I used an ice pick)

Needle n' thread

Stud with screw attachment

Metal edges - if desired

Step 1.

Take one leg or scrap of leather/fabric and open up and lay flat, face side down.

I decided I wanted to make an envelope style clutch so I made a rough template as a guide:

I pinned it to the fabric and cut around the edges.

Step 2.

Using the template as a guide fold the side edges in first and press the leather with a hot iron - be sure to be careful when using the iron.

Repeat with remaining folds. One complete up pin the template and remove.

Step 3.

Pin the bottom flap (one with straight edge) to the side flaps. Taking a needle and thread sew along the edge for about 3" / 8cm. Do this on both sides.

You could use fabric glue for this if you are not confident with sewing or the leather is too tough.

Step 4.

Taking the metal corner edges slide one on each bottom corner. Using a small scrap place over the corner (to protect the metal) and press firmly with pliers. Repeat on other side.

This step can be skipped if you don't want/have metal corners.

Step 5.

Using the template or your eye as a guide mark and punch a hole through the top and bottom flap. Also punch a hole through a small square scrap. The scrap will help to secure the screw stud from ripping through the leather.

Taking the screw part of the stud pop it through the scrap then the bottom of the clutch then screw the stud on until its tight.

Step 6.

If like me your hole punched a hole a little small for your stud, snip the leather in a cross and the stud should go through easier.

And viola! All what to put in it?!

Happy Wednesday Everyone!


How to: DIY Camera Strap

A few weeks ago I came across this beautiful camera strap from Bloom Theory via Ruby Press. I have wanted a new camera strap for a while now, the standard ones that come with your camera are so boring(or at least mine was). So, with this new inspiration I decided to make my very own DIY sparkle camera strap. As ever, here is how I did it. (Don't be alarmed by the many steps, I broke it down to make it easier to follow...I hope)

What you will need:

Step 1.

Using the original camera strap as a guide, cut the strapping to the required length.

Step 2.

Do the same for the gross grain tape.

Step 3.

To add some extra detail I used some lace trim that was just a little wider than the strapping. Measure out the length using the original strap as a guide.

Step 4.

Living in HK I am fortunate enough to be close to a fabric market where they have swatch cards available. I gathered a few cards of sequin fabrics to use for the centre of my strap. You can also just use scraps or actual fabric. These swatches are around 2" wide.

Line up the pieces/fabric to the length of the strap.

Step 5.

As the sequin swatches needed to be joined I faced the right side of the fabric together and pinned in place.

Then using a sewing machine (or hand-stitching if you don't have a machine) I sewed the pieces together.

*this step can be missed if you are using one length of fabric
Step 6.
Next fold in each side of the sequins towards each other so that you are left with around 1".
Then, pin the sequin fabric to the centre of the lace. This can be quite tricky, or at least it was for me as the fabric didn't want to stay folded...patience is a virtue.
Step 7.
After the sequins are pinned to the lace, I then pinned that to the strapping. If you would prefer to sew the sequins and lace together first, you can. Once pinned I sewed all three together, sewing along both ends also.
Step 8.
Now its time to attach the gross grain to the ends of the strap. I set the gross grain 3/4" from the edge of the strap.
As this is a strap for something rather precious I double stitched this bit. Don't want it falling apart...tears may happen.
Repeat for other side.
Step 9.
Almost there! Now taking the piece of thick fabric or in my case mock leather, trace round the outline of the original shape that covers the ends of the strap. You will need to do this 4 times, 2 for each side - front and back.
Cut the pieces out.
Now, place one piece face down. Next place the strap on top and cover with the second piece. Pin in place.
Again I used the sewing machine, but this could be done by hand. I used the original as a guide for the stitching I used. The box stitch will help to secure the strap and make it stronger.
Repeat on the other side.
Step 10.
Finally, add the buckles to each strap. To finish off the ends of the gross grain use a lighter to seal the edges, max. 4-5 seconds each side.
*Please be careful when doing this, flames can be dangerous. Also best to do this in a ventilated area to be safe of nasty smells that might occur from the tape.*
Attach to your camera and you are done!
Photo taking has never looked so stylish!
I also tried this out with other bits and pieces I had lying around.
Happy DIYing!
How to: Make use of Scrap Fabric - Clutch
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When I saw these strips of fabric I knew that I would be able to make something, I don't really like waste and this fabric was quite fun. I decided that the bold colours and patterns would make a great little clutch. So here is what I did...

Step 1.

I divided the strips into two piles, one for each side of the clutch. Each strip was about an 1 1/2" wide and 6" long. I laid them flat and overlapped the edges. Pinning them in place.

There is around 16 strips for one side.

Step 2.

As I wanted this to be quite a rustic look in keeping with the fabric I chose to use a zigzag stitch on the sewing machine in a contrast red thread.

If you don't have a machine this could easily be done by hand using any stitch that will secure the strips together.

Repeat Steps 1&2 for other side.

Step 3.

For a fastening for the clutch I chose a zip. To attach the zip, I placed the zip right side down facing the right side of the clutch panel. Pin in place then stitch to secure. Repeat for the other side.

Step 4.

Now with the panels attached to the zip, face the right sides together and pin along the edges.

Ensure that the zip is open so that you can turn it the right way when sewn.

Step 5.

Tidy up the loose thread and it's finished! Then all that is left to do is decide what to use it for...

note: you can choose to line this if you are looking for a more finished piece. Just cut your chosen lining to the size of the finished panels and sew together along 3 edges. Turn out and attach to finished bag along opening under zip.

What will you use yours for?


Vintage: Quick Fix

If like me you are unfortunate enough to discover that a cute vintage dress has actually got stains on its sleeves then fret not! It is easily fixed guessed it, removing them. The dress in question was this spotty little number:

It actually has raglan sleeves which made this transformation slightly trickier than a usual set in sleeve. What I decided to do was remove the sleeve up to the smocked yoke. This allows for some of the shoulder to be covered - ideal for hiding bra straps!

I left 1/4" around the armhole, then turned it inside and used the sewing machine to secure. This could also be done by hand sewing too.

Now it looks really cute, don't you think?

*Getting rid of sleeves is also an instant update to any piece whether it be a dress or blouse. Try it out.


How to: Making use of Scrap Fabric - Backpack

Remember the blog post (read it here) of turning the dress to a cropped top? Well there was a lot of fabric (a whole skirt in fact) left over. And not one to throw anything away I did some brainstorming of what I could use if for. The print is really cute and with a trend arising for backpacks I thought, why not! So here is my Scrap to Backpack How to:

I decided to use all of one side of the skirt for this project, but you could use whatever size you like depending on how big a bag you would like. You will also need 1" wide Herringbone tape and 3/8" wide cord/rope, both in colours that compliment the fabric.

Step 1.

Firstly, I folded the fabric in half, right side of fabric together. Pinning the along the edges to hold in place.

Step 2.

You could do this step by hand if you do not have a sewing machine. Starting with short side first, sew 1/2" from the edge all the way up to the hem* of the original skirt.

*If you are using just a square of fabric and do not have an original hem to utilize. Single turn a 1/4" press then turn 3/4" press then sew. This should be done before sewing around the edges.

Step 3.

Turn bag the right way round and decide on what length the backpack needs to be (if you have not already done so). For this I folded the excess over, to act as flap.

Step 4.

Measure out the length of the straps on the herringbone tape. For me, I cut two lengths, 27" long.

Step 5.

Then pin straps to back of back, folding each end of strap 1/2" to secure raw edges.

Straps are set 7" apart. Stitch the straps to the back of the bag to secure.

Step 6.

Next, measure out the length of cord that is needed for around the top of your bag.

Ensure that one side is double knotted and the other is taped to stop if unwinding and making it easier to feed through the tunnel.

Feed the cord through the tunnel, knot the other end and remove tape.

And ta da!

Perfect lightweight backpack for yoga, beach and groceries!

What do you think? Will you try turning your scrap fabric into a new backpack?


How to: DIY a Spike Bracelet

I love wearing bracelets, who doesn't?! It's even better when you make them yourself. After trying out this fab little DIY from the gals over at HonestlyWTF..find it here ... I was hooked. They sure know how to DIY some great bracelets!

I am always on the look out for new ways to adapt something I've learnt and when I  visited the bead market the other day I came across little spike beads and I decided that these were the perfect update for the original DIY.

Here is what I did:

You will need some fine cord (fine enough to go through the holes of your beads), beads - can be any shape, I just love these spikes they measure about 0.7mm high. And to finish it off a button. If you have a measuring tape to hand this will also come in useful.

Step 1.

Measure out 14" of cord and cut it to length, place to one side. Measure another 21" of cord and it cut it to length. Now you should have two length of cord of different lengths.

Fold the longer of the two lengths in half. Taking the other length hold it to the bottom of the folded piece and fold it over at the top.

Step 2.

Taking the folded ends of the cord tie a knot with a loop at the end roughly 1/2" long. Cut the small end from the knot, leaving you with three equal lengths.

Step 3.

Using a piece of tape to secure the loop to a surface, begin braiding the bracelet roughly 1" long.

Step 4.

Once you have braided an inch, start with the left hand side cord and thread a bead onto it. Then braid as before, taking the right hand side cord and thread a bead onto it. Repeat these steps until you have braided around 3".

Step 5.

After 3" braiding with beads, braid normally like at the beginning for 1". Then tie a knot.

Step 6.

Thread two pieces of cord through one hole of the button and tie to the single piece of cord on the underside. Double the knot to secure. Trim excess cord and your done!


Quite a quick and easy way to have a unique piece of jewellery don't you think?