Sunday, 29 April 2012

DIY: Shoulder pads

I brought a Kahki army jacket from Urban Outfitter: Renewal, a month ago. The jacket is plain and a perfect blank canvas to get some customise things going. This project is quite time consuming depending on your sewing skill. It took me a good four hours or so. If you have spare time on the weekends or have it as an ongoing project. There are so much more you can go with this project. For example: add fringing on the sides, work on the pockets etc. You can use any type and sizes of beads you fancy and if sewing is not your thing you can always use flat-back beads and use fabric glue or glue gun instead. Epullettes also look good on knitted jumper and dresses so go crazy!

Shopping list:
  1. Army jacket
  2. Needle and thread
  3. Embroidery scissors
  4. Glue
  5. Some pearls
  6. Some studs and spikes
  7. Gems
  8. 1m of gold and silver chains each

Step 1. Plan where you want your gems and studs, secure them onto the jacket with glue. Wait for the glue to dry and screw in the studs. I use different sizes as it adds more depth.

Step 2: Pick a place to start your pearls. Thread string of pearls using different sizes at random. Leave about 5cm of thread before you knot the end. This will give you space to manipulate the pearl string where u desired. use a new thread to secure each beads

Step 3: Manipulate the chain to where u want and secure it with thread like you would with the pearls. I use a silver chain to go around the edges to neaten up the work. Now you're half way done...

Step 4: Repeat all the steps again on the other side. And there you have it!

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Attention! This Is Not A Drill

Don't underestimate the power of an olive military jacket! The colour and cut of an army jacket is very masculine but a versatile go-to coverup for spring. You can pair it with a bold colour like a read scarf or red lipstick, a white dress for a feminine touch or simply a casual tee and jeans for an effortless cool. The soldier uniform have been reappearing on the runway and high-street stores every season and has been a source of inspiration for designers like Balmain, Marc Jacob, and Burburry to name a few.

Alexander McQueen 2012

Epaulette is a French word meaning "little shoulder" it is a type of ornamental shoulder piece or decoration used to indicate rank by armed forces and other organizations. It is fasten on the shoulder of a jacket parallel to the shoulder seam. Epaulettes first appeared on British uniforms in the second half of the 18th century. A Captain with at least three years seniority had two plain epaulettes, while a Junior Captain wore one on the right shoulder, and a Commander one of the left.

Now they have become a piece of Avant-Garde jewellery not only limited to military jackets but can we worn with any outfit separately. They accentuate the curves of the shoulders giving attitude and tough finish to your look. Designer Binkaminka is the experts on Decorative Epaulette. Her work is a piece of art, mastering beautiful bead work.

Annie Get Your Gun

From seeing what's happening with Kate Bosworth in Coachella got me thinking. Its time I give west coast fashion the attention it deserves. Much influenced by western wear, a unique style from the clothes worn in the 19th-century American West. There are many take on western wear raging from cowboys, vaquero, singing cow boys and pioneers. Basic ensemble for western wear is Denim, cow boy hat, boots and belt. But I've always been a fan of the Western shirt, characterized by a stylized yoke in front and in back. It is usually long sleeve made from denim or tartan. Sometime seen with piping, bandana patches and fringe.

I love denim fabric as it can be bleach, darken, stretch, ripped, washed and being a tough durable fabric, this is a closet staple. Keeping in the cowboy spirit I've looked into patchwork on denim. Now I don't mean 'The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants' kind of patch work. We will stay away from the iron this time...


Stolen Girlfriends Club
HUMOR-Maali 8711027 Denim Jacket

Friday, 27 April 2012

DIY: Pattern Yoke Jacket

This project was the most challenging one so far. As I'm not a dress maker and have never went to fashion school...I do what I do best..make it up as I go along. Though I am sure there are tutorials on YouTube for this. I think this is a nice way to use scrap material or even an old scarf. Also you can use other fabric like lace, coloured denim, leather but I find 100% cotton easiest to work with because it's cheap and doesn't stretch much. You will need no more than a meter square fabric, I only used half a meter. If you can drape it to cover your shoulders then it enough material.

First I marked, on the wrong side of the fabric with with a trickmarker, where I want the pattern on the yoke. You will have two pieces for the front and a long strip on the back. Trace around the original stitches of your shirt. Then cut around the shape drawn on your fabric with 2" seam allowance. Then fold and crease the edges down with an iron. Now you have your patches ready to pin on to your shirt. Before that I did a quick tacking stitch on all three pieces to keep the edges in place. When you pin make sure you are as accurate as you can be for a neater result. It is tricky to pin on the shoulders so be patient.

Then with a sewing machine I stitched all around ,as nearest to the edge as the foot of the machine will let you. Then with needle and thread I go around the edges again with a slip stitch to make sure the edges don't rise up and also it looks more tidy. And there you have it. One of a kind shirt! You can do this all by hand stitching if you want in case you want to remove the pattern in the future, this way there's less damage to the garment. This is a good summer trans-seasonal piece.

Coachella Trend

The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Coachella went down the last couple of weekends, April 13th-15th and April 20-22nd, so double your sunscreen! Headliners for the double weekend festival were Black Keys (Friday), Radiohead (Saturday), and Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg (Sunday). Even more exciting was Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg unveiling a shocking surprise, when the pair reincarnated Tupac onstage in a hologram-like image that rapped and danced along with the two very alive heavyweights. This LA festival kick starts the summer with some stylish Californian festival gear. Some Coachella style classics are vintage dresses, ray-bans, fringing cross-body bags, denim shorts, flower garlands and boho chic, a la Vanessa Hudgens etc. This year saw traditional festival ware infused with a real freshness seen in white dresses, bright matching prints, western inspiration, military jackets, open shirts; Along with the obligatory disheveled hair and bottles of what we can only assume is water. For us in London town we can only dream of the sun for now, but I am hopeful for the ☀☼ English summer to come ☼☀

All images from google search

~Happy camping you lucky Californians! And my friend Fiona and her friends~

Thursday, 26 April 2012

DIY: Dip Dye

This is easy and fun to do, so guys before you go and buy tie dye or dip dye stuff, please have a look in your closet for any old clothes you can use to make your own. There are really useful tutorials online here and here. Before you start, make sure you wash the fabric beforehand. I prefer to dye when its damp as the colour blends better, but that is up to you. If you want a more dramatic effect dye the article of clothing when it's dry. Also, always make sure you use gloves to protect your hands from the dye. I find clipping the top of your clothes to a hanger or a stick will help you control the dip and you can peg it on to the sides of the container while soaking the dye.

Purple and blue ombre dress

Ombre the top purple and bleach the bottom

Fushia and Lavender Denim Jacket

This one was a little more time consuming as I had to dye, re-dye and bleach the jacket a few times to get the right shade...but I'm pleased with the result. 

Bleached Knot Dress

It's Ombre Day

Dip dye is nothing new and we keeping seeing it here and there on hair, jeans, shirts and pillow cases again and again. Thanks to the hippies and their tie dye mania, we had enough, this time it's back with a 90's twist. Growing up in the 90's I remember the dip dye hair well and I'm happy to here of its come back but I'm not itching to cut out picture of Kate Bosworth's hair and run to the salon anytime soon. But it does give a good reason to use house hold bleach for something other than cleaning the bath tub.

jakandjil blog

Ombré is a French word meaning "to shade" and is used to describe a dip-dye effect given to fabric in which the shades of color graduate from light to dark. I experimented with different fabric dye to turn light fabric into darker shade and also using bleach to turn the dark fabric lighter, this is reverse ombre. The result usually varies depending on the type of material you are using. Cotton, linen and viscose are ideal for fabric dye and Wool, Silk, Polyester and mixed fabrics will dye to a lighter shade and may need to leave in for longer or repeat a few times. Note that its not suitable pure polyester, acrylic, nylon & fabric with special finishes.

Phillip Lim from
BZRshop at
Ombre blazer ASOS
Dries Van Noten Spring 2011 Ready to Wear

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

DIY: Making Some Splash

So paint splatters is in right now. From James Long's 2012 Nikki Manaj for Roman Reloaded deluxe edition art. Seen in a kaleidoscope of colours used across a wide range of materials from knitwear to leather, we just can't get enough.


Nicki Minaj, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded
Rodeo Magazine
Dolce&Gabbana Spring 2008 Ready-to-Wear

I brought a rain coat from Topshop as I'm getting sick of carrying around my umbrella which either ends up in TFL lost and found or being really useless in the London windy rain. Being a coat from Topshop I'm bound to find someone from across the street sporting an identical one... and most likely with better shoes.. So this is going to get messy. Make sure you cover the surface of your work area. As I did mine in my kitchen, cling film seems fitting. Depends on what fabric you are working with you may have to use different type of paint. I use Dylon fabric paint.

Using masking tape and cling film to cover up areas i don't want to get paint on. I spray the bottom part of the coat with Pearlescent green spray paint and leave to dry. Dip your paint brush in paint, channeling Jackson Pollock and flick your brush aiming at desired area. Repeat same method with as many colours as you want and leave it to dry in a well ventilated room.

When paint is dry flip over the coat and repeat the whole process for the back......and...☂Happy time in the rain!☂

DIY: Get Your Iron On

Bored of your denim jacket? Not anymore! I brought some iron on patches from ebay, this brings me back to my childhood with iron on name tags…oh boarding school…



Instead of using iron to apply the patches I sewed them on instead as it will wear better as fabric folds and stretches plus this way it is less permanent. Then I added some embellishments, lace, peals and found pendants.