Customising with Use It Up Wear It Out

Breath new life into my old clothes you say? Play with all kinds of sparkly colourful embellishments? Spend a whole evening happily sewing away? Well that sounds like my absolute dream!

This was my reaction when I spotted Use It Up Wear It Out were running a workshop at Southbank Centre in the pop-up charity shop. The idea is beautifully simple and perfect for dreary january: bring old items of clothing (or buy from the charity shop which was a mecca of bargainous fashon finds because of its central London location) and breath life and love back into them with some clever embellishments, customising or a complete upcycle! The Use It Up ladies provided all materials, idea sheets and lots of fashion knowledge as needed but really it was a lovely chance to gave a bit of a play around with how you can update a look.

I played it pretty safe – bringing a plain dark blue cardigan and embellishing with sparkly gem stones in a regular pattern around the collar.  But on my table one girl added pompoms down the sides of a baggy fit jersey top, whilst another covered a plain black top in layers of hanging chain – both looked awesome!

What I really enjoyed seeing was the range of people that came along – friends in their 20s, friends in their 40s, mums and daughters and a few individuals, all interested in applying some handmade individuality to their wardrobes.  Attending more craft/design workshops is always always on my to-do list but I really struggle with finding the time (and sometimes money – sewing workshops can be really expensive) but when I do go I gain so much in inspiration, ideas, skill and confidence.  I’ve been thinking about running a ‘customise a tote bag’ Crafternoon for a while and this may have been the nudge I needed.

I forgot my good camera (bad blogger!) And the lighting was quite tricky in the venue for my little phone to cope with so I’ve only got a couple of snaps from the night and one of my finished cardigan. I’m really pleased with the result and because the gems are sewn on I’m hoping my embellishments will last and last!

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