Bleach & Tie-dye Denim Jeans

 Easy tie-dye jeans.

Easy tie-dye jeans.

It is easy to tie-dye denim once you have removed the initial denim colour, unless you have white denim.

I simply zig zag (like pleating) folded up the length of the legs separately. I then used elastic bands to hold my pleated fabric together. I used several elastic bands along the width of the folded fabric.

I them put the jeans in a bucket and poured house hold bleach over them. I like to leave denim in bleach for 45 to 60 mins. Then remove the jeans and place in a washing machine on 40 degree wash - use gloves!

Then all you have to do is removed elastic band s and pop back into the washing machine with a washing machine dye! Again I use a 40 degree wash.


The 'Super' Super Hero T-shirt


I just about to take a couple of bags to the charity shop when i thought id have a last look inside them - I find throwing things out so hard. Firstly they them immediately seem to come back into fashion or suddenly you decide you cant live with out them. Yesterday I was brutal with myself - in or out and when they were an out they went straight into a bag for charity - no looking back.

I struggles with throwing t-shirts out because I reuse them so much but these two t-shirts were too small and even i hear in the ;fashion news’ small , cropped t-shirts are on there way back… I’m 44 and not sure if I’m up for that look now.

But it suddenly occurred to me that two t-shirts could easily make one. All I had to do was cut them into two and sew them together. Obviously being small I didn’t want to cut them in half - see below for how cut them them.


taking the two larger sides I them turned them inside out and sewed them together.

And that was literally all I did. I have an over locker machine so used this but as t-shirt material doesn’t tend to fray, a simple sewing machine would also work.


Easy Recycle Project To Upgrade A Denim Jacket

 Denim Jacket - East London Style (home made), T-shirt - Coke Cola

Denim Jacket - East London Style (home made), T-shirt - Coke Cola

I love working on all sorts of projects, some are long and lengthy and there is a real enjoyment in seeing something grow. However sometimes I want a quick fix. Generally when I feel like this - I chop the leg hems off a pair of jeans and wash them, giving them an instant new finish.

The same can be applied to denim jackets…


With this jacket I simply cut the arms off and folded back the fabric about an inch and a half and sewed in place. The only thing to do than is wash, this will roughen up the edge and create a great finish.

Note also with this jacket I added pockets. Now, when I am looking at recycling jeans there are certain areas that can’t be patched - the crotch - and when this has happened I use the denim as a piece of fabric. I will take off any features that can be used else where - pockets are great to reuse!

With this jacket I just added them, the only thing that stopped me adding more was the weight of the jacket. I simply placed the pocket on the jacket and sewed around the sides and bottom of the pocket thus allowing the pocket to still be of use 😊.


T-shirt & Dress Up-cycled


I have made t-shirt dresses before using a skirt and t-shirt and this is very similar. The only difference is that The skirt fabric is taken from a dress.

I used a very pretty silk FrostFrench dress which was great but the straps bugged me and I felt too dainty in it - just a general ‘off’ feeling but actually nothing wrong with the dress.

All you have to do is chop the t-shirt a couple of inches below the bottom of your bust.

Cut the straps off the dress and I used the neckline of the dress to attach to the cut hem of the t-shirt. I knew that by doing this the hem line of the finished dress would be wonky but i liked the idea of it not being perfect - wonky hems can be called asymmetric - See Preens amazing collections.

And - that is it! Made yesterday, worn today ❤️.


Mis-Matched Easy Sew Denim Jacket


This jacket is super easy to make and is a great example of how you can change and re-style its of clothing time after time. 

Initially I bleached half a denim jacket using the technique 'How To Bleach A Jacket', then when I had got bored of wearing it this way I decided to chop the bottom off the original jacket and add the bottom of another jacket to it. 

The easy to thing to do is find the centre back of each jacket and place these together and pin. When you sew them together it is best to start from this centre point and work outwards towards the front. I.e sewing half at a time. 

I decided to over lap and simply placed the jacket top on top of the bottom jacket and ran a siege line of running stitch along it to keep in place. 

To achieve the ragged and worn finish I simply put the finished jacket in the washing machine with some fabric conditioner for a quick wash and then left to air dry. 

I love the way that the top and bottom aren't matching sizes! 


Up-cycled T-shirt Dress


This dress is so easy to wear and so easy to make. It is aldo great because it can be made with items of clothing that we have hanging around in our wardrobes that probably we no longer wear. I used an old t-shirt that has a few holes and rips, these can be mended or left to add to character.


Firstly I then took a cotton skirt and cut the waist band off. 

Then I took the t-shirt and cut it below the armpits across the whole of the t-shirt so it was left resembling a cropped top.

Turning the t-shirt top and the skirt inside out, I placed the edges together. Simply running it through the sewing machine using a running stitch I sewed them together. I stretched the skirt to match the same length as the circumference of the t-shirt an pined them together before sewing them. 

You can 'zig zag' finish the raw edges of leave them raw.

All that is left to do it turn the dress the right way round and enjoy...


Never Be Afraid Of Change


I love heavily embroidered dresses but one thing i have noticed is that they are heavy, literally heavy to lift and heavy there fore to wear. For while I didn't now what to do but then I decided to take the plunge and remove some of the weight. 


The sleeves of this dress are amazing but heavy and long, in fact because of this I have never worn the dress. I decide to literally chop the sleeves off and use then on another idea (tomorrows post). There was nothing special about what I did, taking a pair of scissors I cut the sleeves off leaving enough for me to double turn the raw edge over and sew to create a simple and neat hem. 

And that is it. I know have a great dress that is easy to wear and amazing trim to create another great project. 

Patchwork Jeans

 Jacket - Bad Denim, T-shirt - New York Souvenir Shop, Jeans - East London Style (Home-made).

Jacket - Bad Denim, T-shirt - New York Souvenir Shop, Jeans - East London Style (Home-made).

My simple trick to being ale to embellish jeans - is to buy a mens pair of jeans larger by 6cm than i need to fit me I then split open each leg down the middle - either the centre back or the centre front of the leg. This allows me to sew onto the fabric whilst it is flat, making life sooooooo much easier (no pun intended 😊).

With this pair of jeans, I wanted see how they would look when the seam went down the middle of the jeans leg interrupting the embellishment. 

I simply sewed squares of fabric onto of the denim in random places. 

Then turn the jeans inside out and resew the centre  from seam of each leg. I overlock the seams, hover if you don't have access to an over locker then simply use a zigzag stitch on the edge of the fabric or 'pinking shears' which are scissors with give a 'zig zag' finish. 

I know I make it sound easy and once you have a go - it is I promise ❤️ but if you ever need any help or advice - please feel free to contact me 📮.


Denim Jacket Bleached Sleeves

 Denim Jacket - Hand-made (East London Style).

Denim Jacket - Hand-made (East London Style).


This is a super simple update for your denim jacket. Any denim jacket will do, new, old, stretch, any. 

Simply take you jacket and using parcel tape, place a cross the sleeve to create a line to which the bleach won't pass. Do this to both sleeves equally and then place the sleeves into a bucket, sink (anything that you are happy to put bleach into). 

Pour the bleach onto the sleeves up to the of the tape. 

Leave for a good hour, up to two hours as you don't want the fabric to break down. 

Remove the tape and wash. If possible air dry outside ☀️.


Girls World - Fashion Designer


When I was growing up these were all the rage. I never had one, I'm not sure why - perhaps it just wasn't my thing - I never felt a sense of missing out. Then recently on eBay I saw this one. Something inside me wanted it, I bid, I won - I then felt guilty. I'm 44 years old, I can draw and have had accomplished success in 'fashion' goals in my life, so why now have a got a 'Girls World' being delivered to my house I thought... 

With a terrible sense of guilt I unwrapped the box (slightly battered) and tired to ease my guilt with thoughts like - all my kids friends can borrow it... and they can if they can get me off it! 

I love it! Quick fix for mindful doodling - this is it! 


Festival Butterfly Sequin Denim Jacket - Easy Recycle Job


A denim jacket is one of the easier items of clothing to recycle - there are so may things to do dying, bleaching, patching...

The reason why it is so easy is that it is easy to lie the item flat. The jacket I am using is one that I made by taking two jackets splitting them down the centre back and then reattaching the opposite pieces. You can use any type of jacket, fancy, fun or classic. 

I then took a sequin top that had seen better days and unattached the side and shoulder seams. 


I simply placed the segue top on to the back of the denim jacket attacking it along the arm hole and shoulders and across the centre back of the jacket, letting the rest of the sequin top to hang freely. 

Festival ready ☀️!


Don't be Afraid To Grab The Scissors


Never, have a fear of changing something. 

I look at everything with the the thought of how can I make a change.. obviously not everything I purchase, find or have needs changing or t be up cycled but often I see things  love but they don't fit. 

For example, I loved this shirt and found it in Traid for £10. Sadly it was enormous on me, everything about it swamped me. I thought about shortening the sleeves but again it was going to be massive. So it occurred to me that if I lost the sleeves, then although the body of the shirt would be big but I wouldn't be swamped. 

So I decided to upcyle - Upcycling is the opposite of downcycling, which is the other half of the recycling process. Downcycling involves converting materials and products into new materials of lesser quality. Most recycling involves converting or extracting useful materials from a product and creating a different product or material. Turning at item that I can't or wouldn't use into something I'm going to love to wear!

Literally, I cut the sleeves out. I cut them out of the arm hole, leaving the leather fringing to hang over the arm. Sometimes all you need are scissors ✂️.


Super Easy Bleach & Over Dyed Denim Jacket


This is a super easy way to update any denim jacket and add some colour in to your spring and summer (when it arrives ☀️) wardrobe.

Just take a denim jacket and place it in a sink or bucket that you don't mind having bleach in. I would recommend wearing latex or rubber gloves, as a protective barrier.

Simply place the jacket in the bucket or sink and add bleach - any bleach will do. I used a large quantity and aimed to cover most of the jacket. I rubbed the bleach in gently wearing my gloves ✋ but didn't worry too much about totally covering the whole jacket. 

Keep an eye on the jacket, you can see the colour being removed fairly quickly. I suggest leaving it for 1-2 hours maximum.


Then wearing your gloves, take the jacket out of the bleach and place in the washing machine.

I like to add washing powder and wash on a 40 degree wash - our washing machine does this on a 45 minute wash and generally the bleach smell is removed. As we are over dying afterwards, the jacket actually gets a second wash so this will remove the bleach smell.


Having washed the jacket, allow if to dry.

Then I used Dylon Peony Pink machine dye. These dyes are great as they contain the fixative - salt and there fore you do not need to add anything else. Place the jacket and the dye powder into the washing machine. Again I use the 40 degree wash. When the wash has finished simply hang out to dry 💕.


Applique Denim Shorts

I found these shorts in my local Traid charity shop, I love them but they were too big. This simple trick shows that if a pair of denim shorts or jeans are too big OR too small it doesn't mean that you can't change this. 


Simply cut the shorts through the centre back of each leg through to the waist band.

At the point you can either take out the unwanted fabric or add an insert in.

I measured the waist band against my own waist measurement and deducted the excess fabric to make it my size BUT wait... I did add 2 inches seam allowance  - I like to have half an inch seam allowance on piece of fabric to allow for change and over locking.

Then I simply sewed back up the centre of the legs returning the shorts back to normal (apart from a center back seam).  At this point if you have access to an over-locker you can over lock the raw edges or simply use a zig zag stitch on the raw edges to stop fraying. 

Voila x

Crinoline Lady Denim Gillet


Recently I was at the Friday Street car boot sale in Suffolk. It is one of my pleasures in life, I love being in Suffolk, I love being able to mooch and explore around the car boot in fresh air (as much as I love London - car boots here come with a tad more pollution). On my last visit I came across a bundle of embroideries. 

Our home is full of interesting and amazing objects and images that love and truth be known there isn't that much space for adding to it - sometimes I change a few things around  or swap them. So, I needed some ideas on how to use the embroideries outside of just having them on the wall - and I did come up with some ideas - this one being the most simple and straight forward to do. 

This gillet or jacket project can be sewn by sewing machine (your own or take to a dry cleaner / tailor) or with a little bit more effort sewn by hand. 


I simply took a denim jacket. The one I decided to use had no sleeves and is perfect for the coming Spring weather. I took the embroidery from its frame (frame to be up-cycled in a later project) and simply placed it on the back of the jacket (the edges of the fabric having already been folded under). I then pinned it in to place and with my sewing machine sewed around the embroidery close to the edge. I chose a blue thread as I wanted the thread to be seen and echo the colour of the denim jacket. 

And that apart from removing pins - is it! 


Jeans Pocket Update


I only just came across this photograph reference ctreasury from Instagram. I believe it is photograph taken from New York fashion week 2018. 

What I do know is that it is genius. I love it! I'm not advocating you chop up all your widely expansive handbags but what about the ones we see in charity shops thats are fake? Or what about a scarf that you no longer wish to use? 

Before we discard items of clothing, it is worth thinking about re-purposing, chopping them up, changing the use...

I know next on my 'sewing list' is making a pair of these jeans - I just need to find 'the thing' that needs re-purposing and its a job done!

How To - Bleach A Jacket


Evidently denim jackets are set to be big - in style, shape and fashion this coming spring. I have already been working on a few ideas over the last few months, mainly involving sewing and reworking old denim jackets that people have discarded for various reasons - holes, missing buttons, rips. 

But I had a quick idea last week with involves no sewing and is a quick and easy way to get the current trend of re-working denim - simply fake it - with bleach. 

💙All that is needed is a denim jacket, house hold bleach (I always use cheap and cheerful) and some masking tape. 💙

 Simply place the masking tape down the back of the jacket so that the edge of the tape is the in the centre.

Place over a sink as below and add bleach. Leave for up to an hour.

Take the tape off and then put into the washing machine with detergent on a 40 degree wash. 


Bleach & Over-Dye Jeans


Coloured denim is set to be a huge trend this summer. Inspired by the sunny yellow of the daffodils, plus the fact I found some yellow Dylon dye in the back of the washing cupboard - waste not want not, and all that ...


I simply choice a pair of jeans for myself and a pair for Lyric. Both pairs are going to be 'made to measure' or 'bespoke' i.e I am going to tailor them to fit us, so it didn't really matter on the size. What mattered most, was the level of  blue dye in the jeans. The jeans needed to be a medium blue so that we could strip the colour with bleach without destroying the fabric. 

Quick note - I like to leave clothes or fabric in bleach for up to an 1 hour maximum. 

I left the tops of the jeans out of the sink and away from the bleach. This enabled me to see how much dye was stripped away - and plus I liked the effect of leaving the waistband untouched. 

I put the jeans in our utility sink (you can use a bucket too) and poured cheap non branded bleach on to the denim. Leaving it on the denim for 45 minutes. 

Then I washed the jeans on a 40 degree wash with washing powder.

They were then left to dry.


All that was left to do was to put the jeans back into the washing machine when dry. Add the Dylon washing machine powder (I use the pods which contain everything needed to dye and fix the dye). I put them back onto a 40 degree wash and then hung them over a radiator to dry.


As you can see my jeans came out brighter and Lyrics came out darker and slightly patchy - which when we did a family  - we all preferred! 

The beauty of bleaching and over dying is the outcome can be slightly unpredictable but this can also be fun.


Quick Children's Denim Jacket Update

 Denim Jacket - East London Style (Home-made), Onsie - H&M.

Denim Jacket - East London Style (Home-made), Onsie - H&M.

When Lyric was really little he was drawn to badges, also I might add people liked giving him badges. For a while I wasn't really sure what to do with them, I would attach to his t-shirt and then forget about them. Some would survive the washing machine, others wouldn't...

But then one day when Lyric and I were in Paris, foraging around the flea market. I had an idea. 

Why not attach them to something, 'a something' which would put them all together in one place. At the same time, patches were massively popular. It occurred to me that both patches and badges would be best placed on denim. Lyric and I found a child old denim jacket. Simply we washed it and from then on any badges we were given or found we put onto the denim jacket. 


Such a simple thing and when he finally grows out of it, I have every intention of framing it. The jacket brings me immense pleasure and fond memories - all in one place. 

Please note, it doesn't have to be a denim jacket. Any item of clothing would work but a jacket works well as the pins aren't in direct contact with the skin.