ReCrafting with ButtonBag and Oxfam!

Sara Suchars presenting the ReCraft ButtonBag book in Oxfam Camden

Recraft book Buttonbag september 2012 launch

Sara Duchars at Buttonbag Recraft book launch bunting smiling DIY dress

Sara Duchars in her home-made dress, created from a coat! With Sarah Marks, she is one half of British craft brand Buttonbag!

Buttons in a suitcase box colourful vibrant fun craft sewing kit

Sipsmith sloe gin bottle  at event for Buttonbag

cutting out pieces to make soft toy penguin Buttonbag pattern felt

Lucy sewing at Buttonbag Recraft book launch event yellow Cos jumper glasses blogger

cute kitten cat wool craft make yourself

Making myself a new little friend

I love a good bit of craft, especially when joined by like-minded ladies, cocktails and cake! Lucky then, that this was what I was treated to at the launch of Buttonbag’s new book called ReCraft – a guide of simple recipes for turning old clothes or charity shop finds into perfect items to gift or display in your home!

Buttonbag girls Sara and Sarah, who have grown their British business from hand-cutting kits in their kitchens to sell at Greenwhich market to becoming one of the countries leading craft companies, ensured there were lots of fun activities on hand inside the super sweet and retro Oxfam DIY shop in Camden. We were treated to choices of different crafts to complete around the room including making a pouch from the end of a tie, which I was pleasantly surprised to discover looked really good! I chose the option to make a cute cuddly critter as sold in a DIY kit you can pick up online and in store. I was eager to make myself a Penguin seeing as I’d just been spending a week at Liberty stocking the Christmas shop with dozens of boxes of these kits myself!

I happily sunk into a happy squiffy state of sewing bliss, chatting to many interesting girls including photographer blogger Siobhan and her friend (in the last photo) and nibbling button fairycakes and yummy sipsmith cocktails. I was very chuffed to see Percy come to life and decided to make him a bit more ‘me’ by making him a bit disabled in the sight department!

making a penguin soft toy cuddly children

Buttonbag penguins family together! craft made by hand

Penguin made from black jumper wearing glasses made at book launch cocktails

craft table at Buttonbag recraft launch book bits and bobs sewing ribbon buttons

Blogger redhead ginger hair cute with DIY craft tie

You can pick up ReCraft, the book here for £12.99. It features cute illustrations, prettily styled photographs plus friendly and easy sewing projects like the penguin (you can also try a whale or a frog out of old jumpers!) perfect for a dash of inspiration! Thank you so much to Sara and Sarah for your adorable book and very useful sewing tin!


DIY – Shoe Upgrade!

DIY shoes

Shoes DIY

cutting up shoes

cut up shoes

mixing paint

painting shoes DIY acrylic paint

Give a Friend a Shoe!

I have a really good friend. She’s so great and she’s called Fiona and she has just moved to Demark to pursue an amazingly fun life, but I am rubbish and never get in touch because I’m terrible like that. At least I know that she knows I love her so it’s fine. She is such a good friend in fact, that when she moved out of her house in East London the other month, she passed on to me beloved items of clothing that she didn’t need. She somehow just knew I would love to get my mits on them! One such item was a pair of suede cagey shoes from River Island in a colour I’m rarely seen not wearing. (Similar ones I like here!) I knew I could have a little fun with these and give them a whole new lease of life, just like Fiona when she moved away! So Fi, here’s a DIY to you!

When I was looking into tweaking these shoes, I came across these incredibly juicy looking shoes on Pinterest. The amazing lady who created them is Maegan and I urge you to take a look at her amazing shoe and other DIYs – jeez I wish mine looked as slick as hers!

mini round silver studs and pliers

pliers DIY craft studding

DIY stud heels

Ta – da!

pink heeled suede cage shoes river island

putting on heels

new shoes! pink toenails turquoise studded shoes

yellow soled pink heels shoes

I hope you like my transformation into a more Shiny Thoughts style! I’m pretty chuffed myself and hope I’ll get lots of wear out of them – Thanks Fi! Why not take a look at Fionas blog here where she’ll show you all the fun she’s having in Denmark.

P.s I’m currently selling some adorable small size 40 Bunny print Peter Jensen flats that I bought new but they’re too small for me! Please help me give them a home! Thank you girls!


How To: Firework up your Hair!


All summer I’ve been dreaming about making a trip to the hairdressers and for the first time in my life have my hair coloured by a professional. But then I went back to my usual way of thinking which was ‘naaah, have fun and do it yourself!’ I know it’s a silly attitude, particularly as I have dry, damaged hair but I have aaalways coloured my own hair, usually with some wildly unatural shades in. For the last year it’s been very boring, very boring indeed until I was motivated to have a little spruce up! Aussie Hair challenged me to creating my party hair look with.. fireworks for their Aussiversary! And you can too, it’s veh simple! All you need is:
Wetted but not clean hair, Hair Colour, Aussie Shampoo and Conditioner, Aussie Colour Mate Heat Protect and Serum, Stargazer Colours to add afterwards if you want!

Voila to the party! My “firework” hair aka the Jerry Hall look minus the supermodel body and face. Sadly my hair didn’t come out as ginger as I’d like it but for that it would have to be lightened in a salon first – isn’t it annoying when your hair is too dark to have the colour you want?! If you have any party hair stories, feel free to share!

Take One Banana Republic T…


Tshirt customising DIY!

To make a peek-a-boo back, pointy collared Tshirt… Take a lovely long Banana Republic T-shirt and some little bits to accessorise your T with. Start by taking a thick ribbon and sew it along the top of the neckline.

Un-pick the pocket carefully and cut up the sides all the way to the sleeve

Twist the whole back panel round and re-pin together at the sides. You will need to pin some of the bottom edge of the back panel to the side too so that the shape fits the body. Next, take a fabric – I LOVE this patent leather-look fabric – and cut out some fun shapes!

Sew the shapes to make a collar at the neck, little sleeve tips and highlights on the hips – wherever you want!
The Finished T!

I customised this T-shirt as part of a competition for the opening of St Martins Courtyard in Covent Garden (read all about it here!) Me and a bunch of lovely Blogger friends all took on the challenge of making a T-shirt our own. Annoyingly, I only had 1 hour before the event to bosh this creation out so the sewing was probably pretty shoddy! But amazingly, I ended up being one of 3 ‘finalists!’ the other designs were a apainstakingly laddered T-shirt back by Kirsty and amazing draped crochet detailed T by knitwear graduate Kristabel. My model was so so lovely and paraded my top wonderfully! Well done to Kirsty who won and thanks Banana Republic for the T!
p.s Thanks Jazz for the pictures of the catwalk!

DIY – Cute Colourful Collars!

>Take one or two old shirt collars…
Either cut off the collar of a mans shirt, or if you’re lucky like me, wait to be given two predetached collars that were about to be thrown out…
Prepare an area to dye the collars if you don’t like their current colour. I chose to dye some other old bits to make the process worthwhile! I would recommend allowing a whole day for this as it takes so long! I chose Dylon hand dyes which you dissolve in hot water along with salt, stir in the natural fabric and rinse. Next, dry your collars flat and iron them…
Now the chance to use my adorable transfers from adorable Brighton-based brand Sukie! Take Sukies transfer book and cut out the designs you want to iron onto your collar. Carefully iron each patch on, I used a tea-towel to prevent ironing over the previous design. Peel off and watch your design come into fruition!..
I next chose to spruce the collars up a little by adding beads from my stupidly vast collection of immaculately sorted beads and sequins (I pretty much never use any, just look at them). I created some grassy tufts on the green ‘nature’ collar and lined the corners of the ‘floral’ collar in iridescent beads. Annoyingly I didn’t have a beading needle to hand so the lines are a little too wonky for my tastes. Finally choose a button to sew on and …
Voila! Two customised collars using transfers and beads! I popped my initials on the back of one collar and a wee birdie on the other but you can really create anything you like.
Hope you find them pretty and maybe you will have a go yourself!