Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Watch out!

This week I wandered to a press day promoting Cornish makers organised by Minky Publicity. I met Aimee Craddock there, whose work I immediately liked. After talking to her I realised the reason - she's a bit of an upcycler! (As well as artist, jeweller and silversmith.) Here's how you can tell...

"These key pendants are from my degree show entitled The Secret Garden. They were all inspired by the famous children's novel of the same name by author Frances Hodgson Burnett. Constructed mainly of sterling silver, materials used include brass, tourmaline, aquamarines, peridot and antique watch glasses that I found on one of my many rummaging expeditions!"

Monday, 21 March 2011

Smalls talk

I've been thinking about it, and I don't think we're really covered pants enough on this blog. Pants are great. Pants are (kind of) essential. Pants can be fun.

Just ask the ladies of Flo-Jo, who offer for your buying and wearing pleasure smalls that have been upcycled from fine silk scarves. The fun does not stop there however. Also available for sale are make-your-own-knickers kits, for those who realise there's more to life than boring old briefs...

Friday, 18 March 2011

Jean ee us

I don't know how it happened, but I seem to have made a subconscious resolution to only ever wear denim on my bottom half. I am a jeans junkie.

So, checkit, here's a very good floor covering for addicts like me. Denim is super durable (just ask Mr Levi Strauss, who initially used it to make camping tents for cowboys). Even after it has served its purpose as clothing, it's still got plenty of life left to give.

Woven Ground offers two versions of upcycled denim rugs. "Shaggy" is made by artisans on a loom using 100% recycled denim; no dying or chemicals are used in production so it's a truly eco choice. "Flat" is also produced on a loom, and it's made out of 100% recycled denim and cotton. Thanks to the flat weave, it can be used on both sides.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Sew and sew

For every three items of clothing I buy, approximately two things go either to the bottom of my wardrobe or to the charity shop without being worn more than twice. It's not that I am wasteful by nature; it's that I'm not very good at shopping and stuff that looks good in a fitting room can look terrible in real life. Furthermore, everything I buy has to be shortened because the mannequin used in the ateliers of Topshop, Zara and Esprit is about eight inches taller than me.

The dress I'm wearing today is a case in point. I bought it knowing it would need to be shortened; I took it to a tailor and had it cut off and hemmed; then I decided it was too short and let the hem out; then I realised it just didn't look that great. AND THEN... I decided to wear it back-to-front. The result is depicted here. I'm glad I persevered because finally - after a delay of only about, um, 18 months - I have a brand-new dress.

This success story is a bit of a one-off however; mostly my shopping errors have no such happy ending. So I've been interested to learn about a service that revives clothes imprisoned in your wardrobe and mends old favourite pieces so they can accompany you out and about in the world again.

Designer Alterations has launched The DA Seamstress Squad, a handy new service that comes to your home and takes the hassle and time out of alterations and mending. The ‘Squad’ will come over armed with their sewing machines, tape measures and sewing kits to carry out on-the-spot alterations and repairs. They can even overhaul vintage, down to the last bead or sequin.

The Designer Alterations client base includes fashion editors, celebrities and designer retail boutiques like Gucci, Pucci and Burberry, so there's good reason to believe they really know what they're doing. The Squad’s service is £70 an hour; to avert wardrobe malfunctions ring 020 7498 4360 or visit