DIY Christmas Present

This year I had planned to make most of my Christmas pressies. Unfortunately with the demands of trying to run a business, look after 2 children and be the domestic goddess that I definitely am not, I kind of ran out of time for making all of my presents. Here is one of the presents that I did manage to make. You might recognise the fabric it was from the vintage dress that I shortened that I wore in this outfit for another an Ethical Fashion Bloggers outfit challenge. I got the chain from the local vintage shop.

I also featured this DIY project in my most recent post for Oxfam Fashion, How I am reclaiming Christmas. This post is also part of the Ethical Fashion Bloggers Christmas DIY Roundup, if you are interested in taking part in our round ups and outfit challenges, you can find out more about how to join here.

I hope that you are all ready for Christmas and also finding time to relax and enjoy yourself.

With warmest wishes

Ceri X

DIY/ Refashioned Skull T Shirt

Yesterday I decided to have another go at a DIY/ refashioning project using a plain old black t shirt for this weeks IFB project on DIY. I have bleached quite a few clothes in the past but this time decided to try using bleach for a stencil effect. I chose a skull design.

For this project, you will need

An old t shirt in a dark colour
Some household bleach
rubber gloves
a plastic bag
a doiley
some greaseproof paper
a plastic tub
a sponge

I would also recommend protecting your clothes with an apron as any splashes of bleach will ruin them.

First draw the stencil design onto greaseproof paper and cut it out. It needs to be a fairly simple shape.

Then put the plastic bag inside the t shirt flat so it stops the bleach leaking through onto the back. Lay the stencil onto the t shirt. Tip some bleach into the plastic pot and (wear rubber gloves for this bit) use the sponge to gently dab it over the stencil. I then removed the stencil and used the doiley to stencil a lace effect around the rest of the front of the t shirt in random patches.

You will then need to wait until the bleach starts to work. Don’t leave it on too long. Once the design is clearly visible, you should rinse until all of the bleach is gone. It took me about 5 rinses.

And here is  the finished result. As always you could adapt this DIY to make something different. Another interesting ideas would be to cut the doiley into a collar shape and use it to make a lace collar design with the bleach, you could also just bleach all over the t shirt (or any other piece of dark clothing) using the doilies or another type of stencil.

So what do you think? would you give this DIY a try?

With warmest wishes

Ceri X

FBFF – Refashioning – DIY Tromp L Oeil Top

I love to refashion old clothes or items from a charity shop to bring them up to date or give them a new lease of life. I was really pleased that the Fashion and Beauty Friends Friday topic for today was about refashioning. Not only do I get loads more inspiration and ideas from the other posts but I also I get to post my first DIY/ refashion post on the new Style Eyes Ethical Fashion Blog.

My refashion / DIY project was something that I have been thinking about doing for ages. In the end I only managed to kick myself into action yesterday evening, which just shows how quick this DIY was. It took me about an hour. It is inspired by Tromp L’oeil art or ‘trick of the eye’ or when something isn’t what it seems and involves embellishing a top with ribbon to make it look like it  has a collar.

For this DIY you will need:
An old or second hand t shirt – preferably with a round and quite high neck.
Some thin ribbon in a contrasting colour – about 1 metre should be enough
A ruler
Scissors
Needle, thread and pins

charity shop t shirt DIY

I got this simple black Marks and Spencers t shirt from the local British Red Cross charity shop for £1.50.

refashioning charity shop t shirt

You  need to lay out your ribbon on your top and work out roughly how you would like your collar to look.

DIY refashioning project

Once you have rough idea of how you want it to look you can begin to pin the ribbon onto the t shirt. Finish the ends of the ribbon by tucking under. Use a ruler to measure the main points including the collar tips and distance of top of collar along the shoulder seam and ensure that it is all symmetrical. At the collar tips fold the ribbon back on its self to create the right angle.

DIY tromp loeil top

Once your collar is laid out and pinned exactly how you want, you can sew it. You can sew along the middle of the ribbon using a sewing machine. I decided to hand stitch it along the edge of the ribbon for that handcrafted look ( and because I couldn’t be bothered to get my sewing machine out).

DIY post on fashion blog

You then need to pin and sew another line of ribbon along the actual neckline of the t shirt again tucking the ends under to finish. Finally press with iron on quite a low heat (otherwise the heat might damage the ribbon).

Tromp loeil top

Top- DIY’d
Skirt- Dorothy Perkins (really old)
Brooch – local vintage shop
Shoes – Urban Outfitters


Here is the finished Tromp L’Oeil Top worn with a vintage bow brooch at the neck. You could also make a little fabric bow to sew or pin to the collar.

Other possibilities for DIY Tromp L’oeil projects are endless. You could also add a vertical line of ribbon down the top to look like an opening and add pocket shape and even a line of real buttons. This project would also work really well with a plain shift dress or tunic. Black and white looks really striking but you could try all sorts of different colour combinations or even a patterned ribbon.

How about sewing lapels onto a simple cardigan with ribbon? Strings of sequins could be used instead of ribbon for an evening top or party dress. You could also make  a more rounded Peter Pan collar or make the collar shape using individual beads or pearls.

What do you think? would you give this DIY a try? You can also check out the other refashion/ DIY posts over on Adventures in Refashioning.

With warmest wishes

Ceri X