The Easy Army Surplace Shirt - Jacket.


 Jacket - Army Surplace custom altered, Jeans - East London Style, Shoes - Miista, T-shirt - Whistles.

Jacket - Army Surplace custom altered, Jeans - East London Style, Shoes - Miista, T-shirt - Whistles.

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I am a huge fan of Army surplus clothing. It is practical (obviously), made to last, easy to clean and like denim is made from strong fabrics that allow huge scope for dying, recycling, bleaching and easy to sew. 

I also love high waisted jeans, I make them super snug and high waisted for myself. It is easy to show the waist with a crop top but I'm afraid my confidence isn't quite at the exposed crop top stage so I found a military shirt in Brooklyn New York recently that been shortened and I think its such a great idea! It can worn over a body, t-shirt as a cropped shirt or as a loose jacket. 

Shortening a shirt can be done by hand or by sewing machine and as always can be alternated at home or a local tailors or even dry cleaners. I love the idea of using the shortened shirt and wearing it as a 50's style drop jacket - even rolling the sleeves up or cutting them into a 3/4 length. 


Sunday Shopping - Research Resources.


 Trench - Charity Shop, Jeans - East London Style (Home-made), Trainers - Adidas.

Trench - Charity Shop, Jeans - East London Style (Home-made), Trainers - Adidas.

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When I am looking for information on an item of clothing or piece of textiles there are as we all know loads of information of the internet but I cant help but be a hopeless romantic and love a good book. I find flicking the pages, scanning them for images or words that resinate with what I'm after, often finding things up out at me that I'm not directly looking for but are pleasing to the brain. 

Obviously if we bought every book we wanted or thought we needed it would be incredibly expensive and storage would and could be an issue - however there are a couple of options that make using books less expensive and fun. 

The local library - I love our local Dalston library. It's a great space to find books, music, etc but also to work, there are reading clubs and writing groups and even a comic club - so cool! 

The local charity shops - as you can see below I found some great books on unday from our local Oxfam. Two books on textiles, an old fashion magazine and a book on silent screen actors. All of which provided me with a great source of inspiration and knowledge -costing the grand total of £1.96 which is less than a coffee in some places... 

When these books are finished with there a couple of options, give them back to the charity shop and let someone else use them, give them to a friend, sell them on... or keep them. 

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The Polka Dot.


 1970 Dress - From Personal, Vintage Archive, Jeans - East London Style (Home-made).

1970 Dress - From Personal, Vintage Archive, Jeans - East London Style (Home-made).

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I'm currently in the process of moving my entire extended wardrobe (60 feet of hanging space) back into our home... no small job. 

Which is why I'm currently living in trainers and with the slightly warm weather I thought I'd try the dress and jeans combination. Rather typically of myself, I went for patterns... 

Which leads me on the a snip-pit of info about the polka dot.

Polka dots” are obviously “dots” (from the Old English “dott,” meaning “speck”), so the question is what “polka” has to do with the pattern. The “polka” is a dance, simple and lively as dances go, which took Europe and America by storm soon after its introduction in 1835. The name “polka” is itself a bit of a mystery. 

I love a touch of fashion info! 


Distressed Half And Half Jacket.


 Denim jacket - East London Style (Home-made), Joggers - MM6, Trainers - Onitsuka.

Denim jacket - East London Style (Home-made), Joggers - MM6, Trainers - Onitsuka.

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I have been cutting jackets in half down the centre back and re sewing them together in different ways for a while. Its a cool and easy thing to do. Many other designers are also looking to do a very similar thing, for example SJYP have made this fantastic jacket...

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I love the contrast of the blue and white denim - white denim being actually very hard to get second hand or in a vintage form. So a little light bulb 💡went off in my head - why not try bleaching... Design Project to follow shortly but for now I couldn't help showing it off! 


How To Age A Wrangler Denim Jacket.


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I recently bought this Wrangler Denim Jacket from a charity shop for £10. I was drawn to it because the denim was worn in it, but yet still full of life. The fabric is soft to touch but are no sign of holes or frayed fabric AND lets be honest if you shopping charity shops then you'll maybe have noticed good second hand denim jackets are becoming hard to get your hands.

I am always intrigued when I buy something second hand as to where it came from. Hand made clothing is obviously more unique and harder to pinpoint its history. Anything with a label gives us clues to find out more information. 

With the internet as a resource it is fairly easy to search and investigate the age of origin of a garment. A great resource is The Vintage Fashion Guild website. They have a resource called Label Resource - It is amazing! In fact for label information this is my 'go to'.

Distinguishing features such as labels are an immediate point of reference but you can also find vital clues by looking at design details - these can be found in the cut of the clothing, the type of stitches used in the construction and surface decoration of the garment, the buttons, pocket details, even the style of the collar. 

On the web there are some great resources that I use regularly such as - 

However a sneaky (not really) and great way to find information is look on websights that sell vintage clothing. The likely hood is that there is going to be a similar or same garment being sold somewhere in the world that matches what your looking for. 

 The overall jacket shape can throw up clues. Slanted pockets and a dagger collar

The overall jacket shape can throw up clues. Slanted pockets and a dagger collar

 Look at the labels - these are a great way of identifying the age of a garment, as companies change these details through the course of their life span,

Look at the labels - these are a great way of identifying the age of a garment, as companies change these details through the course of their life span,

 Pocket shape and design can also give clues as the design can be trademarked.

Pocket shape and design can also give clues as the design can be trademarked.

 Distinguishing buttons. Buttons are similar to labels. The branding of these can change to ring changes through decades or time periods. 

Distinguishing buttons. Buttons are similar to labels. The branding of these can change to ring changes through decades or time periods. 

I was able to idetlyify that this denim jacket was most probably made in the late 1970's. My reasons for saying this go as follows - 

✭ A dagger collar is a classic 1970 design feature. ✭ The slanted pocket design is found in many late 1970's and early 1980's designs. ✭ The shade of denim is brighter than an early 1970's wash but not quite in the fashion of the 1980's. ✭ Resources from the Vintage Fashion Guild would indicate 1970's.

I would there fore be very happy to 'age' this jacket as a late 1970's / very early 1980's 


Tuesday, Shoes-day, Snow-day.


 Ex-Military Coat & Arran Cardigan - Charity Shop, Jeans - East London Style (Home-made), Snow Boots - Moschino.

Ex-Military Coat & Arran Cardigan - Charity Shop, Jeans - East London Style (Home-made), Snow Boots - Moschino.

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So finally we have snow in London. Pretty much, a miracle.

Like most cities, London is it's own micro world - tall buildings, heaps of heat generated and lots of cars moving around. Snow even when it settles doesn't have much a chance apart from today. 

Which is why, I am glad that I am such a fan of recycling and reusing ex-Military wear.

Ex-Militarywear is perfect in this weather. The coat is soooo huge , that it almost covers all of me! I made the jeans by splitting an old pair of jeans and an old pair of combat trousers, they are warm and resist the cold and dare I say it -I like them!

Footwear was a challenge, but I remembered these old beauties and gave in to practicality and comfort over complete style.

Happy Snow-day!


Versace Vibe.


 Jacket - Paris Flea Market, Trousers - RSPCA Hackney Charity Shop, Shoes - Isabel Marant.

Jacket - Paris Flea Market, Trousers - RSPCA Hackney Charity Shop, Shoes - Isabel Marant.

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I recently picked up these ski pants from a local charity shop for £6, I loved the print and I had high hopes that I could still carry off a ski pant... Gucci has bought them back in fashion and they looked stunning (on the model!). 

Reality check - either the design of the ski pant was wrong or it was me. They have recently sat on the 'sewing pile' but with the high light in the press of The Assassination of Gianni Versace - American Crime Story. (Which is finally in the UK available to watch on BBC2 tomorrow 28th February at 9pm). It inspired me to have a rethink about how I could make them wearable. 

Which it turns out, was really easy and required no sewing!

Simply all I did was cut the elastic off, leaving the rest of the trouser hem intact. From the front this gives the illusion of the ski pant without the uncomfortable pulling from the elastic under the foot.

Versace-esq without the price! 


PreLoved Kilo Sale Comes To Hackney.


 Jacket & Gillet - Pre Loved Kilo Sale.

Jacket & Gillet - Pre Loved Kilo Sale.

If you love vintage clothing and you love a bargain that there is no better event to attend than the Pre Loved Kilo Sale.

Advertised as 6 tonnes of preloved, vintage and retro clothing by weight. Only £15 per kilo. two cities every weekend! These can be found on their Facebook page. 

Every time the Pre Loved Kilo Sale comes to the Hackney Round Chapel, I make the effort to go - and it always pays off.

Yesterday I popped into the sale knowing that I didn't really need anything. I've been mulling over a project reusing denim jackets...  There were rails of dresses, blouses, jackets, you name it, but knowing I have enough clothes I stayed clear and just hit the denim jackets rails - I thought I might as well see if there's anything I could reuse.

Jackpot! 

On entry you pay £1.50 and your given a large, clear plastic bag - simply select what you want to buy, pop it (minus the hanger) into your bag and when you've finished - go to the weigh and pay area - and pay.

I managed to control myself and came away with 5 jackets, which price-wise works out as follows -

1 Kilo = £15 

5 Denim jackets weighed in at 3 Kilos = £45 = £9 A jacket - not bad!