Sunday 22 September 2013

A Tribe Called Equestrian: How to DIY a Pixie Market Lace Horse Top

Just horsing around with the up -and-coming lace and applique trends!

You will need..

...and a sewing machine.



Well, I presumptuously say easy. It does involve sewing and requires a reasonably steady hand but if you've got those skills down, this one's a straightforward evening's-worth of a DIY.


A few hours - I slacked off big time and was very distracted so I'd say 2-3 hours, tops.

Haute to trot...

Print out the horse template to A4 size, cut out the edges and cut the shape out twice in lace.
Craft mount the lace shapes to your sweatshirt.

Top-stitch satin binding along the edge and attach two 'manes' of fringing.

Sunday 8 September 2013

Floral and Arty - How to DIY Valentino Floral Combat Boots

This year's famous floral trend has a winter garden aesthetic to boot!

You will need...

NB: For a scraper tool, I used a narrow wood carving knife but it doesn't have to be that specialised - a blunt scalpel will do.


Quite easy

It was fiddly in places but, while there was more to the process than first expected, I don't remember struggling with any of it. However, it does help to have a pretty steady hand!


About 6-7 hours (I say that - a fair bit of mine was trial and error so it may not be as long as that).

Total cost

I used half a skin of leather I already had lying around so that would have been £10. The boots were £24.99 from H&M. I was actually lazy with sourcing - you can get combat boots for as little as £10 on eBay, or be even luckier with charity shops. Incidentally, I'd also recommend charity shops as a good place to get real leather; you can get good deals on bags and clothes, which you can then dissect. Either way, I digress - basically, I spent one respectable heck of a lot less than £995, which the original would set you back!

Just add flowers!

Cut out four of each of the following pieces in a similar size - the most relevant ones being 4 flowers measuring 8cm in diameter and 16 flowers which are 5cm wide. These are our bases, while the ones near the top will give different 3D textures.

If you're lucky enough to own a working printer, you might want to print out the above image as a template, which I think is about A3 size - apologies for my laughably poor maths if it isn't (God only knows how I got that A* at GCSE!).
Once you've cut all your pieces out, match the corresponding layers from the template and staple them together to make flowers. Then, get slightly overexcited when you see what your new masterpiece is starting to grow into with the 3D leather flowers perfected.

If you want to distress your flowers like those on the original, experiment by boiling them in water (yes, really) and tapping them with your hammer to smooth and soften the edges - not too hard, though. or you'll rip through them. You can also use your scraping tool to get some subtle textured finishes. If either of these parts scare you, you'll be pleased to know they're optional. You can also do as much or as little as you want so if you'd only like to do a few flowers, that's up to you.

Use your scalpel to pierce holes in your flowers and boots and secure them in place with split pins. You might also want to use the scalpel to prise out the remaining staples. Don't use staples to attach your flowers - I did, initially, and it didn't work! You may notice that I tinted the split pins black with some nail polish in the middle,for the sake of consistency.

Sunday 1 September 2013

Cream of the Crop Tops - A strappy DIY

A strapping, young DIY inspired by the season's cut out crop top craze.

You will need...


Quite easy

To say this DIY is a total breeze might be tempting fate but I didn't find it especially hard.


4-5 hours.

Total cost

Mine came to about £6 because I struck it lucky with the top!

Crop it like it's haute...

Turn your crop top inside-out. Fold it in half, across the front and pin all the seams and edges together, as much and as accurately as possible. Sketch out your design using something contrasting and opaque which doesn't rub off easily - I find metallic pens do the trick. Pin all the corners of your designs together - as shown in the picture - and use them as coordinates for tracing a perfectly symmetrical design on the opposite side. Repeat this process with the back.
Use your patternmaster, or graded setsquare, to trace out an outline 1cm outside each line, much like you would with a seam allowance - only here, there are no seams involved, or hemming, for that matter!
Cut out all your outlines and cut diagonally into the corners. I don't especially want to give the ending away but, basically, this makes folding easier.

Fold back all your edges, along the original outlines of your design, and iron them in place with Wonderweb. You can secure them even better by sewing inside the edges but this is optional.