Wednesday 29 May 2013

The Trends on Wednesday: Keep 'em Sweet

My next stop on the top trend trail is in pastel camp, not merely because it's set to continue as a directional statement into the winter (on the authority of at least) but because the pastel palette remains among the most timeless of classics, always giving clothing an ethereal, feminine quality when it comes back into vogue. The autumn/ winter 2013 shows offered a plethora of interpretations, including fifties silver screen chic at Louis Vuitton and sumptuous textured fur at Jonathan Saunders. Certainly classic cinematic-inspired couture has had its day in the cultural limelight recently, with Miuccia Prada working her magic touch on  the costumes for The Great Gatsby, and with that in turn, inspiring a roaringly good twenties fashion revival. What lies ahead in fashion looks to the past with a confection of classic colours and retro pastiche to choose from. Let the good times roll!

Sunday 19 May 2013

Boxy Clever - How to DIY a Givenchy Geometric Paisley Blouse

Giving it some Givenchy with an old shirt, vintage scarf and fabric offcuts.

Here's a DIY-scapade I thought I'd share with you, both to whet your creative appetites and show you that if you keep hold of old scarves, fabrics and clothes (and find yourself coveting a £1200 Givenchy blouse worn by Rihanna and Fergie) you never know what creatively motivated rewards you may reap. Both the aforementioned stars stepped out in the Givenchy boxy paisley printed check blouse (okay, RiRi's was the bomber jacket version but picky picky!) and I wanted in - to be in a geometric vintage silky piece de resistance, that is!



In principle, the method's straightforward but it does have some fiddly bits and requires a lot of patience (as well as mild hoarder tendencies like I have!)


20+ hours

Sadly, this one's a long'un requiring a lot of neat hand stitching, namely the slip stitch.

You will need...

A black blouse and...

Optional extras:

Tailor's chalk or gel pen

Ruler, patternmaster or graded setsquare

Blue fabric paint (make sure it's intended for dark fabrics)

Iron all your Bondaweb onto the wrong side of your scarf (where applicable) and satin fabric.

Pin your pattern paper to the back of your shirt and trace the outline.

Unpin your shirt and, referring to the original, trace out some similar geometric designs or whichever shapes you wish to use for your DIY version. You may want to use a ruler, patternmaster or graded setsquare, which will also come in useful for giving your pieces a 1cm seam allowance. Otherwise, you can use a fine pen of tailor’s chalk pencil to trace out your pieces and cut closely around them.

Make sure you’re clear as to which pieces are meant for your satin and which are meant for you scarf (label them if necessary).

Cut your pieces out, fold the seam allowance back on itself and iron it in place. If your seam allowance is 1cm then eyeball it, like I did, otherwise, fold along the lines you traced.

Hint: Bondaweb glue can get quite messy when ironed, so try to press with the edge of your iron and keep to the edge of the fabric, away from the adhesive.

Iron your pieces in place and slip stitch the edges down. You might want to use your pins to get your placing exact.

…And there you have it:

Optional extra:

You can use some blue or navy fabric paint for dark backgrounds to get the same subtle navy patterns that the original has, if you want some extra real McCoy authenticity.

Monday 6 May 2013

Of Gems and Geometry: How to DIY a 3D geometric necklace

Still inspired by the geometric 3D jewellery trend? Got an hour to kill? Need inspiration? Chic Cheat can help...

You will need...

Gold picture hanging wire (about £1.50 from Wilkinson)

About 5 black drinking straws (free at all participating restaurants)


The string of an old necklace or pendant

Long nosed pliers


For the method I used...

Polymer clay

Fimo gold powder (about £3 if you shop around)


Pretty easy

A little fiddly in places and picture hanging wire splits really easily, which can be a headache when you're trying to join pieces together.


I'm going to say an hour each but, thanks to nearby distractions, I think I made heavier weather of it than I needed to. Also, I'd recommend a quicker, simpler method than the one I did (and learnt from) as I'll explain later on.

Wire it up...

I constructed each pyramid by making 3 flat wire triangles, joining the ends together by bending them back on themselves, hooking them together and locking them in place with a twist of the pliers; I inserted them into pieces of straw as I went along (not pictured).  Each side was 3cm long.

Here's a picture showing how I constructed the pyramids by adding extra sides, only I also inserted them into pieces of straw (again, not pictured).I also threaded the wire through a jump ring at the top.

After I made each pyramid, I threaded the cord through the jump rings at the top and alternated them with a 3cm straw "stoppers" so that they stayed spread out.