So Sunday was the Betty and Bee Designer Workshop for Love your Clothes and I am proud to say, it has given me up cycling fever! It was a brilliant way to spend a weekend afternoon in Beyond the Finish Line having a creative brainstorm and – lets face it – a right good gossip with a bunch of friends old and new! I was determined to leave the event at least one full outfit altered in some way, it was ready, steady, STITCH!
The arriving outfit (sans suitcase)
So the premise of the event was to bring along some thing(s) in your wardrobe which have felt a little neglected lately for a bit of TLC, guided by some of the country’s most fabulous designers Nikki McWilliams, Chouchou, Danni McWilliams and Jenni Loof . Everything was there from wool to fabric (donated by A1 Textiles), studs, lace, wool and not even mentioning the equipment and sewing machines just begging to be used on your old favourites! I wanted to make sure
I took full advantage of the help and expertise available on the day and ended up bringing a suitcase – a full suitcase at that – to makeover. Anything’s possible eh? Lets start with Silvia Pellegrino AKA Chouchou‘s denim corner. Silvia loves to play with embellishments and has always loved to work with denim since she first started designing. She was the perfect person to chat to for all distressing, ripping and studding tricks of the trade. Her great eye really helped you create the right look for whatever you were working on. I was lucky enough that she used the jeans I came in (above) as a demo pair. I have not worn these jeans in like two years and she has made them perfect, exactly what I was eyeing up in the shops! While Silvia was working on my jeans, I seemed to set up camp at Jennie Loof‘s sewing station. Her enviable wardrobe is made even more sickening due to the fact that most of it was made (or upcycled) by her very own hands. I spotted this amazing Dalmatian print which was just screaming to be used on EVERYTHING! I decided to give a VERY old denim jacket (around 10 years to take an estimate) a Rockabilly meets Isolated Heroes inspired rework. Jennie showed me quick and simple ways to add little touches to plain pieces, let me say if I knew replacing a collar was that simple, I would have been doing this for YEARS! Once I was finished with one collar I couldn’t help but want to do another, it was hard to get me to stop! I had an amazing Seventies shirt with a bit of wear and tear from the weight in the collar so I covered it in some scrap denim to give it some howdown realness! I think the Dalmatian print was the clear favourite though, there was definitely a running theme with the girls who left Jennie’s corner! Just check out Anne from Frock Trade‘s Zara vest turned printed peplum top and DIY Nails muse Betty’s Boudoir outfit made entirely from scrap fabric! Zero waste people, zero waste… I couldn’t help but purr (yes purr, its what I seem to do when I really like clothes) at Danni McWilliams’s patched denim jacket which she brought along to the workshop. I knew there was still something left to do on my freshly collared number so went for a little chat for advice on placement. We ended up deciding to give the Dalmatian print the widest panel possible so cut and stitched it right onto the back. It was perfect. Danni was incredible throughout the day, turns out, she can do EVERYTHING! She made great use of the A1 Textiles by designing – and teaching – how to make this amazing Tweed on Lace bandeaux top! We also had an amazing up cycling trooper who transformed an old leather jacket to an amazing slouchy bag, with lining…IN FIVE HOURS! Last but by no means least was my Queen of textiles Nikki McWilliams. Her cheery charm and love for biscuits really knows how to brighten up a room and let me tell you, for a pishing wet day in Glasgow, Beyond the Finish line was a wee ray of sunshine. I was absolutely gutted to have been too late after me getting lost in ‘Collar Gate’ and got lost track of time to print my white Tshirt which I arrived in. I was super jealous as well after seeing what kind of things some of the ladies were getting up to – here’s looking at you Honey Pop and Miss West End Girl! I was really lucky that Nikki left me some supplies so I can try printing at home, I’ll be sure to let you know of the results! So at the end of my five hours surrounded by some wonderful, creative woman I learned how to: set up a sewing machine (ish), sew in a straight line, understand the reason for a zig zag stitch and a line stitch, get the perfect slashed jeans but most of all when it comes to up cycling, if you can think it, you can do it. I am absolutely thrilled by my end of day outfit and definitely left the event with a smile (a suitcase) and a strut. I’ll take my dalmatian double-denim- ranch-inspired look to the BANK…oh wait, it was all free! Hopefully this wont be Betty and Bee’s last DIY event, I sure know it wont be my last time up cycling! How much will it take for you to love your clothes?(Thank you to Love your Clothes for the images)