Style Counsel

Revamping your wardrobe

With the credit crunch it has become more important to make a full use of your wardrobe. Revamping and recycling your clothes is fast, easy, economical, and fun. You can create unique and original pieces without breaking the bank. You may have a couple of items that are a few seasons old and you are willing to get rid of them. Think of the possibilities you have to transform them onto fabulous new pieces — all you need is a couple of tools, your imagination, and my guidelines.

Get started

It is time to become your own designer and pick up on your sewing skills. If sewing is not your forte, ask your mother or a relative to show you the basics. You can go online or to the library to find manuals and advice on how to sew — try For the sewing shy, relax, you will not require sewing skills for most of the changes you will make.

To get started, you will need the following: a pack of pins, thread, needles, safety pins, chalk, seam ripper, measuring tape, sharp scissors, and Wunderweb (for those with no sewing skills ). You can get cheap ribbons, buttons, beads, feathers, trims, jewellery, brooches, corsages, etc, in a sewing shop or charity shop.

Make new from old

Here is how to shorten a skirt without sewing it. Decide on the length. Add two inches on the measurement and mark it with a piece of chalk. With a scissors, cut the excess fabric. Turn the iron on. Fold the hem of the skirt in two and pin it, then iron the hem to form a crest. Once ironed, place the Wunderweb in between the hem and press it with the heated iron for a moment. Do this all the way around the skirt. This is a great technique to shorten anything including trousers, dress, and sleeves.

To add length to a garment, a dress for example, choose a fabric (design and colour of your choice ). Place the dress perfectly ironed flat on a table. Decide on a length desired. Make sure that you have enough fabric to go all the way around the dress. With a piece of chalk mark where there is an excess of fabric and cut it with a sharp scissors. Pin the dress and the extra fabric together. Use the Wunderweb to bond the dress and the extra fabric together (follow the same technique as above ). You can also use a needle and thread to stitch the two pieces together. I usually do a stitch every half inch, then I iron the hem.

To give a new lease of life to old jeans, turn it onto a skirt, or you could try to cut off the legs of your pants to make shorts.

Are you tired of your cardigan? Transform it onto a waistcoat by removing the sleeves and add a belt at the waist, replace the buttons with new ones, or add a trim (fabric and design of your choice ) at the hem, on the collar, or cuff. For this all you need is a needle and some thread.

A corsage will also instantly lift and revamp the dress. Make your own corsage: pick a piece of fabric, perfectly ironed. Fold it backwards and forwards as if you were making a fan. Then fold it in two and stitch in the middle. Place beads or a piece of jewellery in the centre.

If you have a stain on your top that will not come out, rescue it by putting a brooch on the trim. You could also stitch a trim on the top.

Dying some items will instantly rejuvenate them. But make sure to follow the instructions.

Some items have many functions, therefore are great to help you changing looks. For example, use a scarf as a belt, headband, or a bag accessory, or your boyfriend's tie can be a great substitute to a belt.

If you have an old necklace and want to let it go, break it up, keep the beads, and use them on the collar or cuff of your jacket.

If you do decide to get rid of some clothes try to save anything such as buttons, trims, or others details. If the item is in relatively good condition you can try to sell it online at a site such as eBay, or sell it in a swapping shop. Charity shops are another place where your clothes will find a good home.

Delila is a qualified stylist and image consultant. She has helped her clients to achieve success in their career and in life. For more information on revamping and recycling your clothes or if you would like to book a wardrobe makeover or a shopping buddy, contact Delila on (087 ) 6391956.


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