Why buy quality over quantity when it comes to clothing and the mindset around it.

Why buy quality over quantity when it comes to clothing and the mindset around it.

Its a no brainer how much fast fashion is out there now, on the high street and even online.

We are bombarded with sales and who has the best deals going and quite frankly I am bored of seeing it, shopping is just not so fun anymore. 

When I was younger I used to love going shopping,  a trip to Harrogate or York was a real treat because it was fun to see what we could find but now every single shop has the same and its like a blummin jumble sale. 

I saw this recently when I went shopping to Leeds, I spent time walking through different designer shops to walking through a few high street shops and I just had to get out of the high street shops I couldn’t stand being in there, which is such a shame. I could instantly see the difference between the both and made me realised why people do go for quality over quantity. 

The shopping experience, service and layout of the shop was so much of a better atmosphere. 

I’m totally over this fast fashion era! It has no personality to it or thought. I feel it’s just how much sales they can get to drive more faster products.

 Its got me thinking what can we do to spend more on quality items rather than just on impulse because its cheap or looks cool. 

It’s all about conscious consuming and I think this is the way forward to get back to a shopping experience we enjoy wether it be buying something handmade or shopping elsewhere. 

So what’s the best way to become  better at consuming quality clothing.

  • Don’t impulse buy

We tend to buy clothes because it looks cool or there is an offer/sale on it and out conscious somehow thinks that it’s the better deal but in reality do we really need it and is it actually going to last long? 

I think clothing in your wardrobe should really mean something to you. They are chosen with thought and really say something about you, align with your personality. 

  • take your time

Working on your new wardrobe doesn’t have to be scary it can be exciting. Pinterest is a great source to start looking at new ways to put a look together, make a vision board of what YOU want to look like, most of all have fun with it.

Explore new shops! Stray away from the norm you’ll be surprised what you will find and don’t be scared to go vintage and charity you will be surprised what you can find in there.

If your looking for real investment pieces then handmade is such an amazing option. Getting something made to your measurements is something so unique and nobody else will have it which is always a winner. 

Check out my bespoke service here if this something you are interested in. 

It’s a slow process but just think of the end outcome and kick ass wardrobe you will have. 

  • Know your quality

The more you start to look else where, the more you will find different quality clothing. Don’t be afraid to go into designer shops either.

Even if you can’t afford it just to feel the quality and see how something is made is just a treat, hey why not even try it on just to get that feel of quality and you deserve it. I do it all the time! 

Look for detailing get to know the garment, is there top stitching? Is there any beading or embroidery? How have the cuffs and hems been finished off differently? What is the lining like?

All these things play a big part into the finishing off of a garment and a clear point to high fashion rather than cheap fashion.  

A lot of this is to do with mindset and what we’ve been programmed to think what we should or shouldn’t buy 

You’ve just gotta push yourself out of your comfort zone and try something new. 

 Im in no way to preach how you shouldn’t or should buy and everyone’s budget is completely different but if you are wanting to make a conscious change to your shopping habits then maybe think about saving those pennies to buy quality over getting the better bargain. 

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this in the comments. Is spending more on clothing and buying less is the way forward? Or do you feel that buying cheaper clothing more often works better for you? 

Featured image by: Stockphoto

 

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. 

 

Let’s talk sustainability

Let’s talk sustainability

Let’s talk sustainability…

I’ve been speaking recently over on my social media about what sustainability means to me and why I’m so passionate about why I do what I do in my business.

It’s important to me to get the message across that Born to Thread is all about sustainable clothing.

I want people to start to invest in good clothing as fast fashion is having a huge impact on our environment and people’s physical lives, it’s shocking.

This isn’t just a recent thing it has been happening for years, recently I’ve reading a few articles about what’s happening and have also watched the very powerful documentary on the BBC by Stacey Dooley – Fashions dirty secret (a must if you want to learn more)

I have always been aware of this as we learnt about a few things at university, but this documentary definitely opened my eyes to how disgusting, wasteful and the harmful effect it is causing.

This is why I am so proud of my business been built on sustainable clothing. I try my hardest not to waste and everything you see on my website is made by my fair hands and only me, well maybe a little hand from my mum when things get busy! But you won’t find any major big factories here.

Born to Thread is all about slow fashion and creating a brand that people invest in rather than throw away.

When you shop well and support independent brands it makes the experience so much more memorable and when you think about it you are actually buying a piece of art that somebody has created just for you.

So please have a little think today, have a read of the articles and start to make a change.

It will be so worth it in the end.

Embrace your style

Embrace your style

There is something so therapeutic about sitting at a sewing machine and creating a garment, it’s always been in me to make people feel amazing especially in the clothing that they wear.

It’s a big thing, right? In what you choose to wear, you should be feeling fabulous everyday so that’s where Born to Thread steps in and helps you.

This is what I pride my business on the fact that all my products are handmade from my off the peg items (which can be found in my shop page) to my bespoke made to measure items. I make them for you! I help you create confidence in the outfits you wear.

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! Bollocks I say.

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, the why the hell not!

So now I’ve got me preach out of the way here few little photos of a jacket I’ve been working on this week.

The bride is going for a black sleeveless jacket with an epic backpatch which I have spent the weekend drawing out. It’s been a tricky one as the surname was quite long, but I got there in the end and looking forward to the finish product.

I love the fact that my jackets are so diverse from wearing them at weddings, festivals and even everyday wear. Also, did you know that I ship worldwide, yes that’s right. So, no matter where you are you can still order one!

Personal style – rad to the bone skirt

Personal style – rad to the bone skirt

The best thing about been able to sew is that I can make myself clothing and I really enjoy this when I get a chance to, so I thought I would start doing a series of posts on the handmade clothing that I make myself and how I personally style them.

So first up is my rad to the bone skirt, this has to be one of my favorite items of clothing that I have made for myself. I’m pretty obsessed with Alexander Henry fabric and the prints that they create, if your and avid sewer and have not heard of this fabric brand do check it out you won’t be disappointed, Its available form most online fabric shops.  As soon as I saw this fabric I knew I had to use it for something.

I decided on a calf length skirt with a curved waistband which sits perfect and snug on the waists and curves out to fall over the hips, I love this style of band as it gives you a little bit of definition and makes the skirt hang beautifully down.  The colours are great too because it can be worn with absolutely anything and still look smart casual.

I love to style this skirt up with a Bardot neckline top which is a personal favorite for me as I find this style flatters me more than a v or basic round neck. When wearing something like this it’s great to just experiment with what top suits you and it won’t take long, you’ll be rocking your style in no time.

If I’m going to a fancy do and want to wear this skirt I also team it up with a blouse which gives it more of a dressed-up feel.

Just so happens that when I made this skirt I found a lovely pair of velvet heels from TK Maxx which was a colour match perfection to the skirt. Now I have this great outfit that I can dress up or down for whatever event.

If you’re looking for a skirt similar to this, please do contact me as I do offer a Bespoke clothing service.

Creations from the studio – The biker jacket

Creations from the studio – The biker jacket

This month I’ve have been working on making my very first real leather jacket. A client came to me with very specific detail of how they would like the jacket to look. Taking the basic template, I have already I set to work creating the different panels for the jacket to and made sure that they all lined up right.

When I was happy with this I made up a toile of the jacket and fitted it to the client to make sure they were happy with the panels and how they fitted with the shape.

You want to make sure everything is spot on when it comes to leather as it can be a nightmare to correct. After all my double checks, I could finally cut out in the fabric. This was exciting and terrifying at the same time as I had never worked with real leather before so it was kind of like been lead in blindfolded, also praise to You Tube for the handy video and tips and techniques on how to handle it.

Once I had all my panels cut out I could then see how the line of the jacket was going to look. I was pretty happy with how it was looking so I could set about making it up.

The sewing parts!

If you have never sewn leather before I would highly recommend reading up about it first, there are lots of tips online on how to. You will need a Teflon foot (usually white) and leather needles for your sewing machine. These are a definite investment as they will make sewing a 100% easier and you won’t be tearing your hair out!

Before I can actually sew it altogether I had a couple of panels which needed the top stitching detail on first, so I had a back panel, 2 panels at the front and the top of the sleeves which needed the diamond pattern and the sleeves just straight lines across.

When doing these patterns, you need to make sure all measurements are spot on! i.e. the spacing in between each line and stitch length, although there is no right or wrong way to it just take your ruler and create but for this jacket I needed all the measurement to be exact.

You can see from my photos the pattern starting to take shape.

Once all these panels are in place I could then go ahead and sew it altogether, I usually start with the back panel and work towards the front. One thing I learnt whilst reading up about leather is to roll the seams flat, obviously you can’t iron them or you’ll end up with a melted jacket… I mean if that’s the look you’re going for crack on!

I had a handy little roller from a lino printing set, so I just used that and it did the job fine. You could probably pick on up off eBay. It just helps to get flat clean seam and also sets you up for when you do the topstitching.

Now I don’t have a leather machine but I have a heavy duty industrial machine called Betty and she did the job just fine when it came to topstitching, don’t be afraid you’ve got to handle the leather, don’t let it handle you!

So, I bossed all of the seams and topstitching on the jacket and was pretty straight forward as I was used to doing it on my leatherette jackets. I could then move on to creating the jetted pockets (the ones you see on all biker jacket) I’m not going lie these pockets scare me a little as they always look so complicated and I haven’t done one since I was at uni which was like 10 years ago…

Anyway, many You Tube videos and samples later – so I made sure I nailed it first go because once you stitch the leather it marks it and you can’t really correct it so you’ve got to be super spot on when doing them.

First of all, you’ve got to prepare all the pockets by stitching the facings onto the zip then the pocket bag (what you put your hands in!) onto the zip as well. Make sure you measure your zip first (the opening bit of the zip) and make sure that measurement matches the opening you make on your jacket where the pocket is going to sit.

See photo for what it should look like, accuracy is key!

Once this is all done you can stitch your zip in to the opening you made, make sure you practice your topstitching as the layers of leather can be a bit thick when it comes to this bit.

I had 3 pockets in total to do and each one I did I got better and I was really happy with the result of them.

The next mission was to take the same process as above and repeat it on the sleeve hem (see picture) so you get the opening to make the sleeves wider at the bottom. This was exactly the same just you have the open section at one end. Make sure you get the zips the right way up too! Nothing worse than stitching it in and realising it is the wrong way…

Once they were in place I could then attach my sleeves to the main body, this is where it all starts to come together and start looking like a biker jacket.

I could then attach the collar making sure to roller all those seams so it looks clean.

After this process, the actual jacket is all ready for its lining to be sewn in. We went for a black and white satin polka dot fabric which complemented the leather so well and really made it look finished off.

After all the lining is in place the final topstitching can be done around the edge of the lapels, it’s one of my favorite details on a biker jacket as you can be experimental as you like or just keep it simple.

One final check that everything is in place and looking fine diddly dine, I added my guitar Born to Thread guitar plectrum to give it a seal of approval that its finished.

I do take order for real leather jackets, please contact me hello@borntothread.co.uk for a quote.

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