Style is a state of mind – Born to Thread x Kezia Gill  


Style is a state of mind – Born to Thread x Kezia Gill  


When it comes to clothing you want that feel-good factor and I believe style comes from the heart and your mind and when you tap into that and on what you wear then that is where the magic happens. 

Letting your personality shine through 

I have just started working in partnership with Kezia Gill a fierce singer-songwriter based in the Midlands who is known for her individual and incomparable style. Kezia has been singing for 15 years and performs all over the UK and also worldwide her eclectic sound brings a wave of energy when she performs that flows down into her unique style. 

With new material in the pipeline, I’m incredibly excited to work with Kezia to create a bold badass leather jacket through my custom service that represents her personality and her music. 

We align so well together through a love for music, style and to be able to create something that screams her personality using my knowledge of design and sewing is just the most empowering collab  

Born to Thread x Kezia Gill
So why music and style? 

Music and style go hand in hand and that’s not to say that you should dress a certain way just because of what you listen to it’s about feeling the energy and expressing yourself. There’s already so much pressure for people to fit in and look a certain way, that shouldn’t define you. 

It’s about reigniting that passion for who you are and kicking ass with style I know this from personal experience.

When I struggled with grief and low self-esteem I disliked everything about myself, It’s taken for me to reignite my passion and work on my mindset to feel 100% confident in my rad style again.

Music has been a big help throughout all of my life. I am and always will be a big fan of the 80s and love the power dressing that comes along with it. It brings a sense of edge when it comes to styling. I love certain icons like Madonna, Cher, Dolly Parton and the queen Stevie Nicks they’re all iconic people with empowering style who aren’t afraid to be who they are not to mention some killer leathers in their wardrobe.  

Embrace anything, your style is your style and if you want to wear that pink shirt with leopard print trousers and listen to Celine Dion, then why the hell not!

Kezia’s styling is a huge part of her stage presence this is what she had to say:  It’s so important that I feel good on stage and if I feel fierce in a great outfit it takes my confidence up a notch. I also love the way clothes can move on stage. Tassels that swing and sequins that shine as you move all add special little details to a performance. The music and fashion all come together!

kezia gill

I have always preferred classic and vintage fashion as opposed to throw-away fashion. If I’m lucky enough to get my hands on a ‘piece’ that I love, I’ll wear it time and time again. Like my green tassel boots! I bought them in Australia whilst on tour and they’ve become as much a part of my image as my red hair and tattoos! I’m a big believer in a sustainable fashion. People don’t expect you to sing a different song every time you perform so why the need to wear a different outfit? Have a wardrobe collection that you love and you will always feel good on stage.

With Kezia’s love for vintage and timeless pieces and my love for creating one of a kind slow garments this is going to be a very unique badass leather that will last a lifetime, so come follow us on our socials to see the magic unfold between us.

Oh and to celebrate this collab we will have a goodie bag up for grabs filled with BTT x Kezia Gill treats – so that’s another reason to come follow us both

5 steps to feel confident in your clothing.

5 steps to feel confident in your clothing.

I know that feeling pretty well you’re looking through your wardrobe and that feeling of guilt and shame comes across you like a wave every single day, that there is nothing in there that you like or want to wear or it doesn’t even represent who you are anymore.

I have been there myself and I think now is a perfect time more than ever to really tap into who you want to be and how you want to dress and I’m not talking about how you want to dress so other people think you look good.

It’s not about that at all, you’ve got to feel happy within yourself first before you can put that outer layer on to make you feel even more badass.

I know you’re probably sat there thinking well yeah it’s easier said than done but it really is.

I’m on a mission with Born to Thread to spread this message even more so grab a cuppa and read my 5 steps to feel confident in clothing below.

Step 1.

Start with your mindset really tap into how you want to feel and say that to yourself multiple times a day, even write it down. Man, even wright it in red lipstick on the mirror so you see it every morning when you get up. You need to be saying nice things to yourself every day if you want to start loving yourself.

I’m not kidding, the more you do this the more you can open up and really embrace who you want to be and feel more confident in your clothing. 

Step 2.

Start journaling your feelings down the more you get this out of the head and down onto paper the more it frees up space. Start sketching ideas of outfits or a capsule wardrobe really home into a style you love.

Or if your not into sketching Pinterest ( if you’re not already on it ) can be amazing for this because it helps give you some inspiration and you can pin to boards to get a real sense of style through them.

From this you can then create a vision board the more creative you can be and see it visually every day the more you are going to feel empowered to be that confident version of your self.

Step 3.

De-clutter! Yep get rid of those outfits that are no longer serving you, get some organisation in your life. Go Marie Kondo on yo ass! Head to Netflix if you’ve not watched her yet! Apparently, charity shops had a surge of people donating in 2019 after watching the series.

I am so guilty for hoarding and holding onto outfits that maybe I’ll wear again or maybe I’ll fit into again but do we really ever?

Nop that my friends is what’s called a lack mindset and is what’s holding you back from being your true self and moving forwards.

Now go declutter!

Step 4.

Now that we have done all the steps above and by no means I know its not an overnight change but if you really want it – you will make it happen.

I know this because it has taken me a hella time to become really comfortable in my own skin and really feel confident in my clothing. Yes even me who can make clothes.

It’s still an ongoing change because we constantly evolve as humans and you’ve got to not be scared to do so.

Reprogram those old beliefs, step out of your comfort zone.

Step 5.

The killer outfit

Do you know why this is called the killer outfit because you have done all the groundwork to make it a killer outfit, you are oozing confidence so, therefore, it shines out of the clothing that you are wearing.

Felling good in clothing is a big thing, I don’t care what anyone says it’s part of our identity. You’ve got to embrace your style.

I think there is so much pressure for people to fit in and look a certain way.

‘You should be wearing this’ or you should be wearing that. Oh, you’re into that music so therefore you should dress like this! I say: No not at all don’t conform.

I want you to be your boldest biggest badass self.

So thanks for stopping by my amazing Ted Talk… I want you to start actioning step 1 and really see how you start to feel after being so nice to yourself every day for a week.

I’m guessing a hella lot better.

I’d love to know how you get on, drop me an email at holla@borntothread.co.uk

5 myths about handmade clothing

5 myths about handmade clothing

Im here to talk about myths around handmade clothing and what is not so true. My aim in my business is to bring you quality handmade clothing that last a lifetime and in this blog post I’m going to discuss with you just why

Would you rather buy a piece of fast fashion over and over again or a very well made item that will last a lifetime? I know which one I would choose.

Buying a piece of tailored clothing is a daunting thought especially when you hear such things like:

  • its not well made — poor quality
  • Oh it will just fall apart
  • Its old fashioned
  • Its too expensive

So let’s dive into it.

5 myths about handmade clothing

1. Handmade garments are unfashionable

Wrong! I know it can seem like handmade clothing is just for grandmas who use the kitchen curtains to make a dress or mums who make up the duvet into costume for a school Christmas play… we’ve all been there yeah? I remember having a sheet wrapped around me for an angel in the nativity but enough about that.

Within my designs they are no way unfashionable, I research the latest trends, keep up to date with the latest colours and fabrics. In fact being sustainable and thrifty is the new trend so getting something handmade — you are bang on trend!

 

5 myths about handmade clothing

2. Handmade clothing is too expensive

Yes, it may seem that when first enquiring but if you sit and think abut how much you spend on fast fashion that doesn’t last then in the long run it actually works out a lot less in money.

When it comes to bespoke clothing its an investment piece that is made to fit you so it will not only make you feel incredible, it will also last a lifetime.

When you look at it from a mindset point of view you will probably look after it and enjoy wearing it more than what you would spending on something that you just buy for the sake of buying.

 

5 myths about handmade clothing

3. Hand made clothing is poor quality.

This is one for the mindset again because when you think of handmade you automatically think its going to fall apart because its not bought from a proper shop or it doesn’t have the label on it.

When in actual fact it’s made so much better. Everything in my studio is made from scratch not mass produced so from the cutting out to the sewing up its all checked over by me in which I make sure its made to the highest quality.

When In mass produced factories its passed through several fast production lines which mean a certain amount of garments have to be made in a certain time — where’s the love in that?

 

5 myths about handmade clothing

4. But you can’t send handmade clothing back

My business is based on made to order, personalised and bespoke clothing.

By law my made to order items I do accept returns for faulty reasons and simply if you change your mind.

My exception on bespoke and personalised I can accept returns on the bases on faulty or not as described. However If you do have a problem I always try to find a solution for you especially when it comes to the fit of the garment.

 

5 myths about handmade clothing

5. Handmade clothing is just for special occasions.

Bridal wear and evening wear are special occasions and people feel like these are the only times you should get something handmade.

But I disagree with this I think everyday is a special occasion, if you want to feel confident in what you wear and something that lets your personality shine through then having a piece of handmade clothing is the way to go.

Imagine opening up you wardrobe and seeing something that represents you and you feel excited to wear it — then I don’t have to say anymore.

I definitely think handmade clothing is coming back in a big way, especially when the fashion industry is the biggest threat to climate change. Making a change and buying less choosing well is the way forward.

If you are interested in having coming made by Born to Thread then check out my bespoke clothing service.

 

5 myths about handmade clothing

Handmade clothing edition – Style me up

Handmade clothing edition – Style me up

This year I’m on a quest to revamp my wardrobe with handmade items I’ve made for myself within my business I pride myself on making one of a kind clothing with a feminine edge and I thought if I’m not practicing what I preach then what am I even doing *insert dramatic pose! 

I want to create a style that reflects my personality and that also makes me feel badass whilst wearing them. Confidence is something I have struggled with over the years especially in my 20s and my shyness can be so overwhelming at times but since entering my 30s my mindset has change a lot and my body hang ups are going but it something Ive had to work on and pushing myself out of my comfort zone has been the main thing and I’ve come to realise that it is GOOD for you. 

I find it funny how clothing and hair has always been a fun way of expressing myself and I never had a problem with this, it was like a way of bigging up my confidence which lacked in other ways so now I’m now I’m taking note and creating a fun wardrobe that works for me and make me feel as badass as what my business is. 

If you can find big confidence in yourself then everything else will follow. 

I’m forever inspired by Gucci and I long for the day I can afford one of their kick ass suits so when designing my capsule collection a powered suit was defiantly on the table. Im also very inspired by vintage fashion especially the tailoring, it’s incredible how they had the fit on the clothes. 

You can see my Pinterest board for my handmade inspo here 

My main piece that I wanted to make was a denim jumpsuit as I’m a big fan of a jumpsuit, think 70’s disco with big flares … Hell yeah 

The best thing about designing a collection is thinking how you are going to style it at the end, letting your imagination run wild is fun. 

I had a little rummage through my fabric and found a piece of denim that I wasn’t using and I just managed to fit the pattern on it. 

So whilst making up orders I managed to get my first jumpsuit made up just in time for the summer time. The denim is a bit too heavy but it was a great way to sample up and see how it was looking, Im going to look into a softer drape denim so that the casual look of the jumpsuit sits a lot softer in the body. 

It’s so comfortable to wear and I loved styling it up my velvet chunky heels and my grandma’s crochet hat which is actually from the 1970s  I also finished it off with my long lace coat dress which is available to order over on my shop page.

Im already thinking what other fabrics I can make it up in, I mean wouldn’t it look good in print say like leopard print.

How have you found your body confidence has changed over the years? 

Bridie x 

Style me up – Handmade skirt edition

Style me up – Handmade skirt edition

Style me up Sunday

I have been thinking recently on ways to be more stainable so this year I have decided to spend less on clothing and use my skill to make outfits that I want to wear. 

This made more sense to me because I will actually get a wardrobe that I love and I will have outfits that match instead of buying random things which don’t go with anything I own! 

So I did a little poll on my Instagram to see if people would be interested in following my journey in to the items that I make and how I make them. The response was surprising and gave me the kick to actually do it. 

So first up I made a leather skirt.

There is a big trend in mini skirts (very 1960s vibe) at the mo and I love the variety that is out there. I went for a more straighter line rather than A-line as I find that suits my figure more and gives a bit of length to my short legs!  

If you’re not sure what style suits you the best thing to do is to go find skirts that you like and try them on and you will instantly see which style will flatter you. 

With all my clothing I make the patterns from scratch this way you are guaranteed a perfect fit and  its easier to make any amendments if needed. 

From this I needed three easy measurements — waist, hip and finished length of the skirt. 

I then took these measurements and applied them to guide in my pattern book. 

The pattern books I use are Winifred Aldrich Pattern Cutting. This is an old book but updated versions are available, stick with your own measurements though as standard body guides have vastly changed since this book was published. 

The basic tools to use whilst pattern cutting are:
  • Dot and cross pattern paper — great guide for straight lines. 
  • Set Square or pattern master — rulers with guides and curves 
  • 2H pencil
  • Tracing wheel — to help trace the pattern out for the block that you created.
  • Tape measure 
  • paper scissors 
  • Small paper weights 

Using the instructions in the book I drew out the front and back skirt design using my measurements also remembering to add hem length on to the bottom, the skirt is usually blocked out as a half, so half of the front and half of the back — all of your measurements will be either half or quartered but the book has good guides on how to do this. 

 

When I finished my skirt pattern it looked like this

This is where you handy tracing wheel comes in, I cut out a new piece of dot and cross paper and placed it under the block that I created (front and back) I then used the wheel to trace around the front and the back so that they are two separate pieces. 

With the set square I then went over the tracing to create the outline of skirt again. This is where I added 1 cm seam allowance all the way around the skirt apart from the hem which had 2 cm on. 

I also wanted a waistband on the skirt but not a massive one so I went for a 4 cm waistband which was doubled over so finished it would be 8 cm them 1 cm seam allowance all the way around apart from the centre back and front. 

I then used this pattern to cut out in my fabric which I used a leather look fabric. I drew all around the pattern pieces with tailors chalk making sure to mark the darts ( darts help give shape to the garment and to stop it from bagging around the waist) I could then cut this out and prepare it to sew it together. 

Sewing Time 

When you come to sew leather look fabric or even real leather, the fabric doesn’t like pins and they have a bit of marking which you don’t want! 

A handy trick to use with these fabrics are small bulldog clips as they help keep the fabric together whilst you sew also another handy tool is a roller or teflon sewing foot for your machine. 

This helps it glide across stubborn fabrics. 

I decided I wanted a seam down the front and a seam down the back of the skirt for a bit for a design feature. I started by sewing in the darts on the front then on the back.

When using a leather look fabric its not advisable to iron it as it could melt but if you put your iron on low and place a pressing cloth over the top it helps just get that dart and seam a bit flatter —  not for long though 

From this I then stitched up the front pieces, then the back pieces together followed by the side seams. I could then add topstitching to the front and side seams to add more feature to skirt. 

I love a good topstitch and think it adds a bit more of a finishing touch to the garment. 

Once this was all done I added the waistband which is just a straight stitch all across the top.

Zipppppp 

I have an array of zips ranging from old and new. Some have been taken out of clothes no longer in use and some of them are vintage ones that have the original packaging. I absolutely love vintage sewing packaging. 

I used pink metal zip and made it exposed so it shows the teeth to give the skirt another feature and a little pop of colour to the back. I could then finish off the back of the skirt and add the topstitching down the bottom half just under the zip. I did the same effect to match the front. 

Home stretch….

The skirt is nearly finished. The waistband was folded over to the finish 4 cm, I then folded it in on the inside of the skirt 1 cm and stitched all the way around to give a finished neat effect on the inside.

I then topstitched around the bottom and the top of the waistband to add more detailing it also tied in well with skirt. 

The finishing touch goes to the hem, turned up 2 cm and stitched all the way round. 

Wallah one skirt already to wear. 

The styling bit.

I mean whats not good about choosing what to wear when you’ve made something. A mini skirt is such a easy thing to wear you can either keep it casual for day wear think comfy tee, over sized jumper and splash of colour for the tight or you can dress it up for going out out think a cute shirt tucked in, suit jacket or any jacket would go well and a pair of cute ankle boots to finish off the look. 

For me I went for the comfy day wear to show you how easy it is. I kept it clean and stylish, I popped on a white tee which was a small mans t-shirt I found but I loved the graphics on it. Im not keen on high necklines as they don’t seem to suit me so I chopped off the neck and it made it wider. I also cut up the sleeve and just caught the bottom back together so it created a slit effect in the sleeve. 

You don’t have to keep t-shirts the same you can alter them to any way you want. 

 

I’m a big fan of Calzedonia which is an Italian company and their tights are so good. When I was in Portugal I found this awesome pair that had a shiny line down the back of them. They went really well with the skirt keeping it quite monochrome.

Talking of monochrome I love a bit of dogtooth print yes it might seem a bit grandma-ish but get it in the right item and your winning, It also looks really cool on. 

A few years back I made myself a winter coat using Linton Tweed in a dogtooth check print. It has been an absolute fav of mine ever since I made it and it’s a timeless classic so it goes with anything and will last a lifetime.

You can read how I made it here 

I though this was very fitting to go with this outfit on blustery day, I felt stylish but comfy. 

I strapped on a pair of leopard Vans (the perfect choice) and I was ready to go. 

Real leather bag was also made by me and is available to buy from my shop. 

Have you made your self or thinking about making clothes? I’d love to hear your comments. 

 

Starting a business whilst grieving

Starting a business whilst grieving

Starting a business whilst grieving and even running one is no easy ride, you have good days and you have some really bad days, where it is just a struggle to even focus.

I wanted to share my story not for sympathy or anything like that, in-fact its taken me a hell of a lot to write this and I’m still second guessing if I should press the publish button. 

I wanted to write this because I don’t think it is spoken about enough, people tend to sweep grief under the carpet or don’t express their feelings enough. Grieving is important and what’s helps us heal, you have to go through the emotions to come out the other side.

I’m not saying it will go away and it doesn’t get easier but what I can strongly say is you do learn to cope and you do find a way to be happy again so in that sense the coping does get easier. 

Born to Thread started as an idea back in 2012, I was at a bit a loss with what I wanted to do. I had just got back form travelling and struggled to get a job in within fashion so I decided to set up a business.

At this point my sister was half way through chemo so everything was all bit of a whirlwind and a blur, I was just making and selling products at craft fairs just to take my mind off it. 

Looking back now I wasn’t in the best frame of mind to start a business, I was also helping my mum look after my sister, taking her back and forth to hospital appointments, sitting with her during chemo sessions anything to keep her feeling positive and smiling.

I know they say there is never a right time but you defiantly have to have heart and a bit of a plan together on what you want to achieve. I guess I can say now that my business was just a hobby then as I didn’t really know what I was doing. 

Unfortunately my sister passed in 2013, at this point I could have called it a day on BTT but I didn’t I grew strength somehow and kept it going. I needed that creative outsource to help soften the pain and making things was the only way I knew how to.

It was a crazy time I had all these emotions, I suffered horrendous anxiety attacks at night before and after, it was like I had a fear of the future and did I actually want to run a business.

I’ve struggled so much with my identity of my business over the years and which direction to take it and I wanted to give up so many times because when your in such a low place things just get through to you and it so easy just to say I’m not doing this anymore but every time I felt like this something deep down always stopped me.

I also felt like the grieving stripped my identity away a bit which I think is why I struggled to connect with my work, I wasn’t enjoying what I was putting out there and I was to shy to ask for help.

I’m so glad I didn’t give up on my dream, I have taken so many frustrating paths to get to where I am.

I’m also very grateful to come from a strong loving family where we talk and laugh about our problems which I feel is big thing with anything, especially when running a business. If you don’t talk and let it out then things just get a hell of a lot worse. 

It wasn’t until 2 years ago when I decided to fully work on my self development when the ideas started to flow for BTT and which direction I wanted to take it.I also knew I wanted this grieving to stop dictating to how I was feeling and stopping me from living my life and only I could make it happen. 

I’ve worked hard, pushed my self out of my comfort zone and it’s all paying off. My business is growing stronger, Ive got clearer and I know what I want. I still have days where I think its going to overpower me again, but now I know the signs and I do something to make me feel good.

There is no time scale, no right or wrong way to deal with grief, every body deals with it differently. You just take it one day at a time and do what is right for you. People won’t understand, people get annoyed but isn’t that just life anyway.

If you are going through something similar all I say is just take it one day at a time and focus on what you want your future self to feel. 

Bridie x