Ikea Fabric Fashion

Monday, April 29, 2013

Ikea, I have a bone to pick with you. I'm afraid your fabric is far too tempting to a thrifty stitcher.  You are cheap, you are easy to obtain, and your designs are too good.

I do admit to shopping at your store on occasion Ikea, and sorry to say, I'm a sucker for your mushroom crepe, plus your free tea and coffee offered during the week, in your oh-so-invitingly cheap cafe.

Also, don't get me started on your picture frames, I own 7 of them now.

You see, the problem is, I can't bring myself to buy new material, I just can't. There is such an abundant of fabric that can be sourced second-hand, I can't justify it.

Although recently, I've been drooling over some of your material, thinking of ways to recreate it into a fashion piece. It appears I'm not alone, Ikea, I've found many others, all over the world, that think the same way about your way-too-inviting material.

In the United States Carly made a beautiful dress using Ikea fabric and Vogue pattern V106:

DIY: Ikea Fabric Dress

:: As seen on Chic Steals ::

In Hobart, Tasmania, a cute pinafore created with Ikea fabric and sold on Etsy by designer 3 Red Buttons:

:: As seen on Pinterest ::

In Slovenia, Tejka made a stunning 20's inspired dress using Ikea's nautical themed fabric:

:: As seen on BurdaStyle ::

 In Holland, Sacha's little girl's dress combines a t-shirt with Ikea fabric 

:: As seen on maarnietvangrijs ::

In Singapore, 'The Tropical Sewist' made a fur collared Ikea fabric dress using a vintage pattern.


:: As seen on BurdaStyle ::

Do you see what is happening here Ikea?  Did you know?  You are creating a global dress sewing phenomenon, with worldwide stitchers incorporating your very own fabric design into their work.  Congratulations Ikea, you're onto something good here.

Although, I don't know if you are going to like this Ikea, but did you know that some of your fabric is sold second-hand online?  It may not be as cheap your fabric in store, but, there are pre-owned Ikea material options available ...

I've got my eye on this Skyscraper fabric, although it is not quite large enough for a dress:

 :: As seen here ::

Readers, do you shop at Ikea? What do you think of Ikea fabric?


Recycled Fashion Finds #66

Friday, April 26, 2013

Readers, have you been on a thrifty fashion escapade recently, made or repurposed an existing garment? Perhaps you've made something brand new from old?

Link up your recent thrift store finds or creations in this week's Recycled Fashion Finds, and check out the last RFF link up right here for inspiration. A shout out to Adin's link to her incredible collection of little girls dresses that she made herself using scraps, vintage fabric and unwanted dresses:

 photo 559904_10151540269370699_785581351_n_zps84da0a48.jpg
 Adin's handmade dress collection seen here

If you do link up, don't forget to grab yourself a Recycled Fashion Finds blog badge for your blog post or side bar, or link Recycled Fashion Finds in your blog post.

Recycled Fashion
Link up your thrifted finds or upcycled creations, into the inlinkz link below.  Feel free to share more than one project or thrifty find, it's always great to see what you've been up to.


T-shirt Grocery Bag

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Re-purposing an unwanted t-shirt into a grocery bag is nothing new nor original, but it is a very easy, resourceful and practical project to do.  T-shirt jersey is stretchy, and stretchy is good when it comes to holding your fruit and veg produce from the market!

One of the hardest tasks when it comes to making a t-shirt grocery bag, is perhaps choosing the appropriate t-shirt to begin with.  It seems silly to cut into an otherwise wearable t-shirt, so always good to choose one that is slightly past its best, or one that no longer fits.

The bag shown here, has been made using an op-shopped men's sleeveless tee.  I know I may be contradicting myself here, because the shirt is not necessarily unwearable, however, I figure if it has been donated, then its someone's unwanted shirt, right?

I liked the shirt's Hawaiian feel, plus, I had an idea to use the bottom 1/4 brown jersey strip (more on that at a later date).

Cutting your t-shirt to create your bag shape can be done in three simple snips, along each side (my t-shirt is sleeveless, you might find you have a t-shirt with sleeves to be removed), and cutting away the neckline.  I also chose to cut a line along the bottom, only because, as mentioned above, I have a plan with the 1/4 bottom cut away strip.  To make a deeper bag, no need to cut along the bottom:

Next task is to sew three straight lines, what I forget to omit in my photograph here, is that sewing should be done inside out:

And that, my friends, is it.  Nothing fancy, and not difficult, but makes for an attractive grocery bag without the need to reach for the plastic.  I might also add that t-shirt grocery bags are pretty sturdy too, here it holds 7 avocado's! (because avocados are my latest obsession):

For plain t-shirts, you could also try these:

Tutorial found on delia creates

This project shared with And Sew We Craft

A Message to The Red Boots

Monday, April 22, 2013


Dear Red Boots, 

$19.99 in Salvos, that's not too bad 
But your red heeled loveliness, you make me sad! 

Why do you still entice me, three sizes to big? 
I can't wear you, you'd make my leg look like a twig 

There you are, on the shelf at the op shop 
I go home, and think of you, I can't stop 

Stop tempting me with your red leather love 
You'd never fit me, like a glove. 

Please find another shopper to rescue 
Before I buy and never wear you 



Pink and Denim

Sunday, April 21, 2013

I've dusted off the sewing machine today, to make something just for it! - a well overdue, sewing machine cover.  For the past 2+ years, I've used its standard white plastic machine hood, the one that came with the device on purchase. There's nothing particularly wrong with the white plastic hood, other than it is not particularly attractive.

Utilising two pieces of my thrifted fabric stash; light denim off-cuts and bright pink floral material, I've made a much prettier cover for my machine, using the previous white plastic hood as a template.

Seeing the colour and texture combination on my new sewing machine cover, it has has become apparent these two pieces of fabric work well together.

The combination of pink with denim appears to work well in many fashion outfits, as seen here, here, here, here here and even a men's outfit here.

I think of a couple of my own outfits wearing pink with denim, such as a pair of second hand bright pink cowboy boots (purchased from Spitalfields Market in London) that I often wear with a pair of my favourite jeans:

Here are some more ideas for DIY, second hand and recycled fashion outfits / accessories that could be put together, incorporating the colour pink with blue denim:

Denim Shorts with Pink Studs 

Two Tone Jeans
Baby Powder

Denim Headband with Pink
Bubble gum pink and denim headband, perfect for back to school students and kiddos

Crochet Mary Jane Booties in Pink and Denim

Recycled Denim Zipper Pouch with Pink Zipper
by Zembil

Heart Shaped Recycled Denim Earrings
Earrings - Heart Shaped Recycled Levi's Denim - Hand Beaded Pink and Orange Upcycled Denim

Floral Pink Pocket Denim Cut-offs
Size 3/4 Low 38" Waisted Cutoffs -  Pink Floral Pockets, Dark Denim Wash

Fabric Denim Flower Brooch
Fabric Flower Brooch - DENIM DREAMS in Pink and Blue

 Abstract 1980's Pink Denim Men's Shirt

 Pink Zipper Jean Jacket

Pink with denim blue, does it work for you? 


Fashions on the festival field - Boogie!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The following brilliant post is submitted by contributing writer Katie Bowman, she has recently returned from the fantabulous Boogie Festival.  Now before you go further, if you'd like a theme tune to go with this article, might I suggest 'Intergalactic' by The Beastie Boys!

It's Easter, and in my house that can only mean one thing: it's time to dust off the old 1950s Singer, raid the local op shops, and start making my costume for Boogie Festival!

If you haven't heard of Boogie, it's an annual three day camping and music festival held on a picturesque country property in Tallarook, Victoria. A boutique style, eco-friendly event, Boogie is all about the handmade costumes, music, food, making new friends, and most importantly, respecting the environment. It's also a child friendly event, with plenty of activities to keep the little ones entertained whilst the grown-ups shake it loose for a few days.

What I love about Boogie – more than the music and the experience of getting amongst it in the great outdoors – is the amount of enthusiasm, planning and detail that everyone puts into their costumes. This year's theme, 'Space Odyssey', saw fembots, robots, rockets, space super heroes, and all sorts of intergalactic goodness. Almost all of the costumes I photographed were created from recycled items and materials lying around people's houses. It just goes to show how far one's imagination can go with a bit of cardboard, tinfoil, and a can of silver spray paint!

 A rocket made from foam and old cut up t-shirts.

An intergalactic member of Kiss. 
I thought this was brilliant – an entire outfit made from unwanted car windscreen shades.

 Space jetpacks for dance floor hydration. 
Learn how to make your own on this craft blog

Boogie kids getting into the space action.

 There were all types of Boogie Robots. Again, so simple to make at home and they looked fantastic! The robot on the far right even had an iPad attached to his space helmet. Such a clever way to keep your hands free and record all the action.

These gorgeous Boogie Fembots were a festival highlight. Handmade shift dresses, matching tights on their arms and legs, silver sprayed op shop boots, and $5 wigs from the local discount shop.

On the Sunday, it's time for the kids to get creative and make their own costumes in the Trashy Fashion workshop. What some might know as Up-Cycling, the concept is all about using trash as a fashion statement and giving new life to discarded materials in the form of fashion and craft. Materials are donated and recycled from the wonderful team at Reverse Art Truck, with Boogie's performers and costume designers on hand to help cut, glue, stitch and sew the creations.

After the two hour workshop, Trashy Fashion takes to the stage where the kids get to parade their costumes and talk about the inspiration behind their ideas. Très cute!


Each year the festival features a new dress-up theme. If you'd like to find out more or get in on the action, visit http://www.boogie.net.au/.


Sponsored Video: Dove Real Life Sketches

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Readers, yesterday I found Dove's new campaign video Real Beauty Sketches for the first time, which has been doing the rounds on social media. It has certainly struck a chord with me, and I think it might for you too.

If you were asked to describe your appearance, your own beauty, to someone you'd never met, how would you do so? It appears that most women would struggle, and according to this particular campaign "only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful." 

In Dove's video, we see an FBI Trained Forensic Artist sketching impressions of various women, based only on a description of the perception of their own appearance, and a second sketch of the same women, their appearance described by that of a stranger. The difference is quite remarkable, moving one woman to tears. (1:54 into the video) "The second one looks more open, friendly and happy" - she speaks of the artists impression of a stranger's description of herself, vs her own.

Do take a few minutes to watch this video:

It is true that we are our own worst critic, we are so quick to pick at our flaws, and not think of our features in a positive way.   We can't always blame ourselves for this, when we see so many commercials and advertisements portraying an unnatural airbrushed beauty.  Yes this particular video is a promotion for a brand, but, I do think it addresses the way women think so negatively about their appearance, and hopefully will get us to think a little differently about what real beauty actually is.


This post is sponsored by Dove

Lanni Lantto, Fashion (re) Designer

Monday, April 15, 2013

Lanni Lantto, an eco-designer living in Chicago, IL, has a philosophy which she believes differentiates her between other fashion designers, this philosophy is the concept of her label name, “(re)”; reuse, reduce, redesign, rethink, reinvent, recycle.  The materials she uses for her collections are obtained from thrift stores, where no material is off limit.

Made from 9 layers of lace and a stunning back accent of an heirloom table runner.

"I breathe new life into fashion otherwise destined for the landfill. After all, the most eco-friendly fabrics are those that already exist. I am committed to creating a shift of consciousness by sourcing all 2nd hand materials locally, using reclaimed sewing materials (even mannequins), & displaying my pieces with recycled tags and on salvaged clothing racks. I’m proud to be a designer who supports my local economy through a business that essentially creates no new waste." Lanni  Lantto.

A redesigned vintage blue blazer

art deco1

 From the ( re ) 2011 Collection at the 2nd Annual “ReFashion Fashion Show” in Marquette.  Art Deco Inspired Party Dress playing with shapes from various deconstructed blouses.

The 'before'

mens look

This red and black men’s formal suit coat was created from a frumpy women’s blouse and a tailored children’s tuxedo blazer

"inspiration can come from anything … creating truly extra-ordinary clothing" Lanni Lantto

Lanni's work, I hope, will inspire many.  You can follow her work on facebook, etsy, and her website: lannilantto.com.
Disclaimer; the review and opinion provided in this blog post is unbiased and unpaid