Monday 25 November 2013

Bible belle - How to DIY an Alexander McQueen floral bible book clutchbag

DIY-ing by the book?
ALEXANDER MCQUEEN Black Gold Floral Bible Book Clutch

It's (nearly) that time again - T-minus one month to Christmas/ Winterval/ Saturnalia/Festival of Feverish Consumerism (delete as appropriate - put your fingers over the words or something). A combination of shambolic organisational skills and a jaundiced view of advanced capitalism ensure that I'm always woefully late with my festive preparations. However, when it comes to getting all things sartorial in place for the party season, the show must go on. With that in mind, I thought I'd indulge you with a DIY idea that combines luxe and gold sparkle to make the perfect accessory.

You will need

+ Craft mount.


Quite easy

While working with gold leaf can be a fiddly business, of which I've got plenty of bitter experience, this one wasn't too much of a struggle. However, I will say knowing what you're letting yourself in for with the gold leaf and its temperamental nature helps.

Time and total cost

A few hours, excluding glue drying time. This was a relative splurge with time and money, setting me back about £20-25. Finance never was my forté. Still, it's not like it set me back £1215 like the original - that much I did notice!

Clutch a load of this...

Looking at the original you may notice that it's covered with leather, so we're going to follow suit with the real McCoy or if you're vegetarian/ not lucky with charity shops faux leather will absolutely do. If your glue isn't strong enough, craft mount should do the trick.
Cut two pieces of lace big enough to cover each side. Cut away as much of the netting as possible on both pieces, so that you're left with a floral outline.

Cover your fabric with glue and - taking care not to get any onto your fingers - pat your gold leaf over it, piece by piece. I recommend you do the glue in stages, too. Gold leaf is very delicate and has a nasty habit of sticking to your fingers with an annoying amount more gusto than the intended surface so clean any glue off your fingers before applying each piece. You may want to press against some of the tissue paper packaging between the layers if you use the Fimo gold leaf like I did, or you can use tweezers. Also, don't hammer your gold leaf too hard or it'll crack and peel.

Once you have covered both bits of fabric, leave them to dry overnight. After they've dried, use your scalpel to scrape away the excess gold leaf and the back of your fabric as a guide for cutting, where necessary.

A cool optional finishing touch, if you've got some pearlescent ivory nail polish lying around is to paint some of the petals for a subtle 3D effect. Use your fabric glue to stick your gold lace to the clutch.

Sunday 10 November 2013

Tuesday 5 November 2013

Re-line my fur - a snuggly way to recycle a summer-weight jacket

For those of you who've been wondering where I've been, fear not, for you have not been abandoned. I did, however, enjoy a short family weekend break and used the cold yet beautifully atmospheric bonfire night weather to inspire my latest creation: a skimpy summer-weight jacket (courtesy of my local charity shop - recycling for the win!) winter-proofed by some left-over multicolour faux fur.