We went to the Grafton Academy of Fashion Design to find out how to spruce up your wardrobe for less.
This week, we bring you some tips on how to spruce up your wardrobe without spending a lot of money.
If you have old plain t-shirts lying around, now’s your time to add a slogan or design to them. And the key is a very cheap product: iron-on bonding tape.
The tape doesn’t feel sticky, but if you place it between two parts of material, you can get them to stick together using an iron.
You can also use this tape (which Atkinson said you can get in €2 stores, haberdasheries and even supermarkets, and costs around €1-2) to hem an item of clothing.
“Any fabric would do,” said Atkinson. “But lining fabric doesn’t take the heat as well as wool, linen or cotton.”
“What often happens with jeans is that the inside legs would rub together and you’ll get a hole there. So there’s a way you can get another whole load of wears, by patching that,” said Atkinson.
“Patching is very easy to do. Especially with cheaper clothes, the fabrics may not be as good, or with general day-to-day wear the inside leg is a place that goes.”
“If you don’t have a machine, get a needle and thread and darn it up and downways and also crossways. That means you are reinforcing the hole and also making it stronger,” said Atkinson. “It’s virtually unnoticeable.”
Sewing on a button is “a job you can do yourself in less than five minutes”, says Atkinson – so if you have clothes you can’t wear because of a missing button, here’s how to fix that.
Using double thread, place the button in front of where it was, and place a matchstick between the button and material. Why the latter step?
“This button doesn’t have a shank on it, it’s a very flat button, so if you put the match here, between it, it gives just a little area to breathe so it will be able to go into the buttonhole.”
“You can see that there’s a gap – the button is loose,” says Atkinson. Wind the thread round the gap that the matchstick has created. Sew through this ‘shank’ a few times to secure it.
Go to the back of the button, sew through a few of the stitches to tighten up the button.
You don’t have to use the button that you’re given – why not hunt in charity or vintage shops to pick up some unusual buttons?