inspiration: Sewing

DIY BOMBER JACKET

As the season starts to cool down, there’s nothing better than dreaming up cooler weather projects – jackets, jeans and embellished beanies. One project that’s been on the list to do for so long is to create a bomber jacket – initially it was all about creating one from scratch (still on the cards all you sewing lovers out there!) but then I realised it would be incredibly simple to make one using a heavy sweatshirt. And so we did! The best thing about this project is that you can get creative with embellishments – fabrics, sequins, patches or rhinestones. Go crazy!

Make yourself a bomber jacket out of a sweatshirt www.apairandasparediy.com

Wearing: DIY bomber jacket, Club Monaco skirt and silk top, Asos boots, J Crew Bag, Nick Campbell Sunglasses, Daniel Wellington Watch

Make yourself a bomber jacket out of a sweatshirtMake yourself a bomber jacket out of a sweatshirt

You need:

  • A Simple round necked sweatshirt
  • Rhinestones
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Needle and Thread

Make a bomber jacket from a sweatshirt www.apairandasparediy.com

How to:

1. Fold the sweatshirt in half as shown below.

Make a bomber jacket from a sweatshirt www.apairandasparediy.com

2. Mark the centre of the sweatshirt with a chalk pencil and the cut down the middle of the sweatshirt

Make a bomber jacket from a sweatshirt www.apairandasparediy.com

3. Now you have turned your sweatshirt into a bomber jacket!

Make a bomber jacket from a sweatshirt www.apairandasparediy.com

4. Pin the cut edges under and either hand sew or machine sew the edge.

Make a bomber jacket from a sweatshirt www.apairandasparediy.com

5. This is what the finished product should look like. No go to town embellishing your sweatshirt, you can use anything you want from patches, to fabric to jewels. We decided to go for a jewelled look using rhinestones.

Make a bomber jacket from a sweatshirt www.apairandasparediy.com

6. If you want to embellish your bombers in a checked rhinestone pattern, firstly draw on the grid pattern.

Make a bomber jacket from a sweatshirt www.apairandasparediy.com

7. Lay out the design.

Make a bomber jacket from a sweatshirt www.apairandasparediy.com

9. Using a skewer, apply some glue to the back of a rhinestone

Make a bomber jacket from a sweatshirt www.apairandasparediy.com

10. Start glueing down your rhinestone pattern.

Make a bomber jacket from a sweatshirt www.apairandasparediy.com

11. Allow it to dry overnight.

Make a bomber jacket from a sweatshirt www.apairandasparediy.com

12. Repeat the same pattern on the other side.

Make a bomber jacket from a sweatshirt www.apairandasparediy.com

13. Create the pattern on the arms, making sure to line it up with the shoulder seam.

Make a bomber jacket from a sweatshirt www.apairandasparediy.com

Voila!

Make a bomber jacket from a sweatshirt www.apairandasparediy.com

This jeweled checked pattern was pretty laborious to create but it was so worth it! What would you put on yours? Or would you go naked?

Make yourself a bomber jacket out of a sweatshirt Make yourself a bomber jacket out of a sweatshirt

Photos by Marion Tessier

DIY EASY THROW CUSHIONS

As you can probably imagine, when I’m travelling I can’t help but buy fabrics wherever I go. Usually it’s a case of having to put a limit on myself lest I end up in one of those awkward, and costly, excess baggage situations. Sadly often the small scraps of fabric I buy are too small for a skirt or a pair of shorts, but too dear to my heart to throw away so end up sitting in a box. While in the process of finishing off my favourite nook in the studio I got a craving for throw cushions, and rather than buying them myself I realised it would be a great opportunity to use some of those colourful fabric scraps. My one main issue with sewing cushions though was that putting a zip in can take aggges (I wanted to make seven cushions), but the last thing you want is a cover you can’t wash. After a bit of pondering I worked out a way to create a cushion with a folding flap so you don’t need a zip. What’s even better is that if you have time you can totally make these by hand! Read on the see how.

No zip (but washable) DIY cushions www.apairandasparediy.com

You need:

  • A piece of colourful fabric for the front
  • Some canvas or linen for the back
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • A sewing machine or needle and thread.
  • Cushion stuffing or inner.

Simple throw cushions with minimal sewing and no zip www.apairandasparediy.com

How to:

1. First cut your fabric pieces. I used the shape of my fabric scraps to determine the size of my cushions, this colourful piece is roughly 45cm x 30cm (17 in x 12 in). Cut a piece of cotton or linen 1.5  to 2 times the length (longways) of your statement piece of fabric. If your fabric is square just pick a side to use as the longways. The longer you cut the backing piece the bigger the overlap of the flap at the be will be so I made mine closer to 2 x because I was using cushion stuffing and I didn’t want it to come out.

Simple throw cushions with minimal sewing and no zip www.apairandasparediy.com

2. Cut the piece of backing fabric in half width ways.

Simple throw cushions with minimal sewing and no zip www.apairandasparediy.com

3. Lay the fabric together, first one side of the backing fabric, then the other and then the statement fabric right side down. Note that the backing piece that is second from the bottom will be the outer flap, which is why I oriented the clean selvedged edge here. In the event you don’t have a clear selvedged edge on this piece, the best thing to do is to hem this along the short edge so when you turn it inside out it has a nice finished edge.

Simple throw cushions with minimal sewing and no zip www.apairandasparediy.com

4. Pin together.

Simple throw cushions with minimal sewing and no zip www.apairandasparediy.com

5. Sew all the way around the cushion about 2.5 cm (1 in) from the edge.

Simple throw cushions with minimal sewing and no zip www.apairandasparediy.com

6. After sewing the fabric should look like this.

Create simple cushions without a zip www.apairandasparediy.com

7. Turn the fabric inside out by pulling it through the flaps in the backing and then iron down well, making sure to turn the points of the cushion out, you can use a pencil or chop stick to do this.

Create simple cushions without a zip www.apairandasparediy.com

8. The back of your cushion should look like this – you can see that my back piece overlaps a lot to keep the stuffing inside but yours may be more centred.

Simple cushions

9. Stuff your cushion or if you’re using an insert put that in.

Create simple cushions without a zip www.apairandasparediy.com

Voila! I can’t wait to show you all the different ones I made with fabrics from all over the world. Nothing better than hanging in the studio sitting on cushions that remind me of places I’ve been!

Make simple cushions with no zipSimple throw cushions with minimal sewing and no zip www.apairandasparediy.com

DIY OFF THE SHOULDER BEACH DRESS

Being on holidays inspires in my all sorts of fun and summery DIYs. As you may have noticed, I’m currently loving all things off the shoulder, and what’s more relaxed and beach to bar-ish than a piece that works both as a cover up and a dress? Ok so to be honest, without any lining this piece best functions over bikinis, which works a treat here in Thailand where I’m currently travelling, but probably not so much at home during after work drinks. However, using a less sheer fabric or by adding a slip or lining, this style of dress could have a million different lives, and it’s surprisingly easy to make!

Make a simple off the shoulder beach dress www.apairandasparediy.com

Wearing DIY dress, J Crew bag and shoes, H&M hat (I love this), Daniel Wellington Watch

Easy off the shoulder dress Easy off the shoulder dress

You need:

  • 2 m (2.4 yards) of heavy (perhaps sheer) fabric, lace style would work well
  • Scissors
  • 2.5cm (1 in) elastic
  • A sewing machine

Simple off the shoulder dress www.apairandasparediy.com

How to:

So, this dress is really easy because it’s pretty much 2 big squares and 2 big rectangles, that’s all you need. I used fabric which didn’t require hemming which made the process even easier! Refer to the pattern below to understand how that works.

If you’re referring to this off the shoulder top I made recently, note there is a major difference in construction – the top was created  using three gathered tubes each with separate elastic, however this dress is a body and arms attached with one piece of elastic gathering it at the top – making it a little more simple.

Easy off the shoulder dress www.apairandasparediy.com

1. Cut your fabric pieces out.

Simple off the shoulder dress www.apairandasparediy.com

2. Now sew your body section by sewing seams up the sides of the large pieces of fabric, stopping 10cm (4 inches) from the top. This is where you will attach arms on each side. Essentially what you will have is a tube with open top seams.

Easy off the shoulder dress www.apairandasparediy.com

3. Fold and sew the seams of your arms, once again leaving around 10cm (4 in) open at the end, this is where you are going to jigsaw your arms and body together. Can you see how this is coming along?

Easy off the shoulder dress www.apairandasparediy.com

4. Sew the arms to the body, making sure you sew the seams on the same side (inside out) as the side seams, otherwise you’ll have to unpick and start again!

Easy off the shoulder dress www.apairandasparediy.com

5. It will look lil this once the arms have been sewn on.

Easy off the shoulder dress www.apairandasparediy.com

6. If your fabric has holes such as mine did all you have to do is thread the elastic through the whole way around the fabric (making sure to leave an inch at the top for ruffling) and then tie it off once the elastic meets. If your fabric doesn’t have holes, I suggest you sew a hem and seam for the elastic as you would for a gathered skirt and insert the elastic that way.

Easy off the shoulder dress www.apairandasparediy.com

Voila! Will definitely be adding some skin coloured lining to this when I get back to Hong Kong!

Easy off the shoulder dressEasy off the shoulder dress

Looking for fabrics or materials for your next project or collection? Wander & Hunt is now sourcing in bulk everything you need to get serious about your craft. Read about that here.