Get your rocks off or stick some on in the name of style? You decide.
The second instalment of our festival-flavoured morsels of DIY ideas is more than a little bit rock’n’ roll with (faux) leather, studs, chains, eyelets and an obligatory sprinkling of glitter. As a woman of words I endeavour to avoid slinging in the jarring, overused ‘rock chick’ cliché so instead I’ve thrown retro rainbows and folksy fringing into the melting pot for a touch of ‘I’m-with-the-band chic – that effortlessly cool, bohemian, devil-may-care elegance that can be thrown on yet look immaculately styled. Sure, glitter, rivets and chains have always lent themselves to DIY fashion but with the festival season on the horizon and eyelet fastenings bang on trend, their time is now.
My third foray into home decor tutorials with the express purpose of repurposing saw me return to my trusty fairy lights, with a vial or three. Or twenty.
You will need…
In order for this to work, the bottles have to be tiny with wide enough necks for fairy lights to fit through, so I don’t recommend that you use nail polish bottles. I got my bottles here.
NB: Make absolutely sure the fairy lights you use don’t give off any heat (which is true of some LED lights), otherwise – not wanting to panic you or anything – the whole project could catch alight. And possibly your front room.
…Not to mention very straightforward. You need to be reasonably dexterous with pliers and jewellery wire and that’s about it!
About an hour, depending on how many lights you have to cover.
Strike a light!
Repeat this process with the rest of the lights and bottles.
Kicking things off with Coachella – and the inevitable fanfare of fashion coverage that goes with it – the festival season is officially upon us. Whether you’ve joined the Coachella crowds already or are still hanging on for the summer for your fill of live music levity, ’tis the season for anticipation, appreciation and agonising over what to wear to look effortlessly fabulous while braving the mud. For the latter, let us offer you some quick-yet-effective DIY fashion ideas to peruse for inspiration. Today we’re in a-little-bit-country country with fringing, check shirt customisation and bohemian detailing for making your own unique statement.
I’ve even thrown in a printable template to get you started and spare you some of the hard work. You’re welcome!
How to make your picture
Print or trace an image like this on as large a scale as you can – ideally over two sets of A3 paper. Join them down the middle and stick them to some bondaweb.
Now to cut the design out in bondaweb.
Cut along the lines to make the various different shapes in the picture; place the shapes on the fabrics you want to use (NB: make sure you place them on the ‘wrong’ side of the fabric) and iron them in place.
After that, cut the shapes out in fabric and peel away the paper.
Iron the fabric onto the black sheet to make the image. Then, staple the black sheet to the frame.
You will need…* Make sure you use clear sticky tape.
** Make absolutely sure – as in cross your heart and hope to die (or not) – that you use LCD lights that don’t give off any heat; if they do, you run the risk of your project setting alight! I don’t want to scare you, so just as a heads-up, you can find safe lights here.
It helps to not be messy with sticky tape but in terms of challenge and technique required, that’s about it!
Continuing with the faux fur trend aka the DIY inspiration that keeps on giving, I decided to give the street style-friendly Roschterra cat face jacket a try. With its animal motif it namechecks not one but two fun fashion trends and it’s super easy to make. I know, as a furry piece it is quintessentially wintery in its general theme, and yes, the clocks might have gone forward but in real terms, when it comes to braving the sort of elements you’re likely to find at 50-or-more-degree latitudes, it simply means coming out from underneath the parka and jumpers and going lightweight on the outerwear – and in so doing, allowing for more creativity in the way of statement pieces.
It’s cutting and sticking without even needing to colour in.
About an hour.
Tip: Using a printer would make the project quicker.
Get your fur on
Print out the following template over an A4 page and cut along the lines with a scalpel.
Alternatively, put your artistic skills to the test and draw the design – or whatever design you want to collage onto your jacket – onto a sheet of A4 paper.
Place the template on the wrong side of each differently coloured piece of faux fur fabric and, using the gold paint pen, trace each shape twice – remember to turn the paper over between each one so that the shapes in each pair mirror each other.
Cut each piece out.
Place the template on the jacket and trace the outline as best you can. Trim the fur as far down as you possibly can. Turn the paper over and repeat the process on the other side.
In my first outfit’s worth of my mid-week quick-fire DIY series, I took on the fringing trend in summer-ready sandal form (it’s still March, and yes it’s still cold but we can still dream – and plan), the huge mesh bag trend, animal motifs and ’30s-style pussy bow shirts with a streak of rebel chic in leather skirt form and a colour-popping Burberry homage. Which way would you wear yours?
As a practitioner of DIY fashion, the novelty statement clutch trend proved too tempting not to try. For my take I plumped for a perspex box upcycle inspired by a vintage Chanel clutch. I say vintage – I believe 2010 was the year!
While it does help to have a steady hand and to be a dab hand with a scalpel
About an hour.
Crafting out of the box
To make a template for some ‘reels,’ draw four circles with the compass – one inside the other, in descending order of size. Using a fat black felt tip pen, outline the two outer circles and draw some lines between them. Colour in between the next two circles and draw some tiny lines on the inside. Cut the shape out, then trace the outline and cut that out. It might help to use a fine-tipped clutch pencil for precision. Peel away the backs of the adhesive paper and stick the ‘reels’ down. Glue the plastic rectangular pieces in place, making sure they’re concentric and line up with each other. I added lettering and a chain (okay, the box I bought came with one, hurr hurr!) and while it’s up to you to add whichever knick-knacks you see fit, that’s about it really. Ans with that, you’re ready to hit the street for a statement style shoot – as I’m sure you do!
I’m giving it some grunge this week with a crocheted homage to Moschino’s cropped knit mesh jumper from their Cheap and Chic line. They had me at that brilliant mustard hue (which I just happened to have in wool form in one of my ever-filling drawers) and an opportunity to crochet. Crocheting is one of the most enjoyable ways to DIY a coveted garment; it’s repetitive enough to breeze through by feel whilst delighting at some of the most horrific uses of the television or film medium on the planet without the pedantic mathematical precision of knitting, Crocheting is knitting for self-confessed slackers like myself – an oasis of vegetative calm in which I can turn my brain off yet still make respectable headway on a project. It’s the sort of craft where you can simply count stitches instead of having to look down at your work. And so, until the day they (or perchance I) come up with a type of craft you can do through some sort of perverse telekinesis whilst playing computer games, crocheting will retain a place in my minuscule heart.
There have been visual mumblings of netting and crochet as a trend, the most recent of which was at Zadig & Voltaire during Paris Fashion Week, hence why I thought there to be no time like the present for netting yourself your own mesh wardrobe staple.
Don’t be put off by the pattern, it’s really not as hard as it looks. You just need to know how to do a triple crochet stitch and a single crochet stitch, but don’t worry if you don’t, as I’ll be hyperlinking some useful video tutorials.
A few days or a few weeks’ worth of leisurely evenings when you just want to drift away in front of the television and a crochet hook – naturally!
Hooked on crochet…
Start your front panel by doing 50 single crochet stitches.
Then, do the first triple crochet stitch:
You might notice that in the video, the presenter does the second triple stitch on the next chain link along; just to be difficult, we’re not going to do that – you need to put your hook into the third link along and do the triple stitch as normal. After that, you need to do two basic chain stitches and then put your hook pack into the base of the previous triple stitch, and do another triple stitch into there. Got it? Here’s an explanation, just in case.
That’s how you get the basic sequence going for the main pattern.
Front and back panel pattern
To make the front panel – a process you need to repeat to make the back panel – you need to do a chain of 50 single stitches along the bottom (as stated previously), then start on a row of diagonal triple crochet stitches.
You need to do 23 rows of diagonal crochet stitches in total.
Tip: If you’re struggling to read the pattern, click on the image and zoom in.
Once you have made a front and back panel, you need to attach them along the sides (15 rows up , if that makes sense – like you see in on the pattern) and at the shoulders (7 triple stitches in on each side – again, like in the pattern). Finish off the armholes with an extra row of chain stitches along the edges.
To make the sleeves
Repeat the process with diagonal stitches, following this pattern:
Tip: If you’re struggling to read the pattern, click on the image and zoom in.
Start by doing a chain of 44 stitches to make the cuffs.
Crochet 25 rows of diagonal triple stitches to make the sleeves. Do 7 more rows of diagonal triple stitches that are narrower by one stitch each side (like in the pattern) so that they form a trapezium shape.
Join the straight sides – but not the sloped ones – by crocheting them together.
Repeat this process to make another sleeve.
When you have made both sleeves, attach them to the armholes along the top.
The final destination at the big four fashion capitals didn’t disappoint on the inspiration front!
Concluding my fashion week-themed DIY round-up, I picked out a few key trends and inspirations for quick, easy projects from Paris Fashion Week. From the tales of the intricate and ornate at Dries Van Noten to the resurrection of Derek Zoolander at Valentino, the Paris shows refused to do things by halves. Thankfully, however, some of the stand-out looks wouldn’t be such a tour de force to replicate, including the multicoloured fur patterns and ’80s-style patchwork. Check out my guide and see where the inspiration takes you.