a little bird told me

Monday, 12 March 2012

DIY For Divas - Lace Collar

When it comes to DIY, I'm a bit of a diva - I'd rather pay someone to do the hard work than pick up the pinking shears myself. My personal combination of impatience and perfectionism means I reach for my debit card more often than my needle and thread. Why bother doing it yourself if you can get it down Topshop for a small (okay, moderate) fee?

I wasn't always so A List about crafting - in 2005, I set up a jewellery business called pinkplectrum. Throughout my time at university (I did a media degree... go figure), I made vintage-style jewels and sold them through MySpace. It was a pretty booming business and for a while, I shared the market with the ladies behind ElsieBelle and Eclectic Eccentricity. But then life got in the way, I swapped my sewing machine for a MacBook and packed away my craft box. It was only when I spotted Oxfam's DIY guides that I decided to go back to my roots and give the Visa a rest...

guide to making a lace collar

DIY lace collar how to

These cute cards are available to pick up in Oxfam stores and feature a range of craft projects, each with an official button rating for difficulty (love that!). The lace collar has a difficulty of one button, so I thought that'd be a good place to start. First, the ingredients...

uk fashion DIY blog

uk fashion blog

DIY vintage lace collar

The men's shirt was £2.99 from a charity shop - the idea with these cards is you can buy all you need within the charity shop you picked it up in. The lace was snipped from a vintage nightie, also picked up in said charity shop. I dug the needle and thread out of my neglected craft box and found the pearls there too - a little extra embellishment is always good in my book.

how to make a vintage collar

First, I chopped the collar off the shirt and neatened the edges with sharp scissors. Very easy.

how to make a lace collar

Next I had to actually do something properly crafty - sewing. The hardest part of this bit was threading the damn needle - seriously, why is the eye of a needle so impossibly small? Is that really necessary?

With needle (eventually) threaded, I sewed the lace along the collar. I wanted it to 'hang' over the bottom of the collar so positioned it close to the edge and used the stripes to keep a straight line. Handy! Because I used lace trim from a nightie rather than a proper length of lace, I had two small pieces rather than one long length I could cut to size. I sewed the pieces to each side of the collar and joined them at the back where no one would see. Sneaky!

vintage lace collar DIY

IMG_8356
No need for neat stitches if your thread is the same colour as the lace!

DIY embellished collar

With the lace in place and my guide card offering no more instruction, I went it alone and decided to sew a cluster of pearls on the tip of my collar. Woah, steady on Jen! Clearly I was channelling Jazz Domino Holly.  It was ridiculously easy to add the pearls though - just one stitch through the pearl and a knot at the back and they were in place.

DIY lace collar

And that's it! It took around half an hour to make this collar - quicker (and cheaper) than a trip to Topshop. Okay, so I cut my finger a couple of times, spent an inordinate amount of time trying to thread a needle and covered my bedroom in bits of lace, but hey - isn't it purdy? I'm so proud.

My crafting comeback wasn't quite as dramatic as a(nother) Madonna reinvention, and I actually really enjoyed creating something with my own two hands rather than letting Topshop do all the work. I'm not quite ready to swear off mass-produced commodities and make my own dresses from hemp, but I'll definitely give crafting another go and might even make DIY for Divas a regular feature.

What do you think - are you the crafty type or is it fast fashion all the way? Impressed with my collar or think you can do better? Let me know!

39 comments:

  1. This is so cute :)
    Definitely going to try this myself!
    x

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  2. Love the idea of these cards. I often walk through charity shops wishing I was creative enough to have a go at crafting a pair of dodgy old cords into tailored shorts, but like you, I'd rather pay the high street price! There are some DIYs that are to easy to ignore though, shift collards have so much potential!

    Penny x

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    1. Yes, I do this too! I don't have the brain capacity to think of these projects independently, so the cards are brilliant.

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  3. So cute - and a great idea from Oxfam to offer these tutorials :)

    www.coffeeandrosesx.blogspot.com
    xxxx

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  4. Um, hello? We need to see this in action!

    I do love a bit of DIY. I might be sh*t at sewing, but the feeling of pride at my slightly wonky achievement is hard to beat. I did loads of crafting when I was getting married (made a veil, a hair flower, flower belt thingies for the bridesmaids, etc etc) but have been a bit lax of late... time to crack out the needle and thread I think!

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    1. Yes, will definitely get a photo of it in-situ! :)

      My sewing is totally wonky. But that's the joy of this project - you can't see the stitches! :)

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  5. The collar looks great :) I'll be looking out for these guides in Oxfam!

    Caroline x
    Caroline's Catwalk

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  6. I want to see it on! Can you treat us to a photo...;)

    Lauren
    www.thestyletag.com

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    Replies
    1. I definitely will, Lauren! It needs to be seen in action! :)

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  7. I love that Oxfam are selling these kits, it's such a great idea! I might have to dust off my pin box and give it a go myself :) x

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    1. It's a great idea, isn't it? The cards are totally free to pick up, and then the 'ingredients' can be found in charity shops for very little. I love it!

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  8. I love this DIY. I definitely need to give it a go. Yours worked really well.

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  9. wow this is amazing! and i love the shirt you chose. would love to give it a try, but i'm a total DIY diva... or maybe a DIY dunce would be a more accurate description! x

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    1. You should definitely give it a try, Jennifer - I am a total DIY dunce (diva is better, let's stick with diva!) but found it really enjoyable. Let me know if you give it a go!

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  10. I would never have even thought to make a collar myself. I will have a go at this (and link you to my attempt, which I'm sure I'll blog about). Thanks for the inspiration! x

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    1. Please do, Lauren! Would love to see your finished piece. x

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  11. Gorgeous! I love it! Hubby better watch his old shirts survive the night...x

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  12. You make this look so easy, I always used to be crafty but I haven't done anything for years, maybe I need to start some craft projects!

    Maria xxx

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    Replies
    1. It really WAS easy, Maria! Promise! Give it a go and let me know how you get on :)

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  13. Oh my goodness this is right up my alley, thank you so much! On it.

    xoxo

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    Replies
    1. Let me know how you get on! Would love to see your creation.

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  14. The boyfriend's shirts are soooo not safe anymore.... :). x

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  15. I remember PP very well! Still have a few pieces I wear. :)
    Great idea for the collar, love the little pearls, great finishing touch.
    xx

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  16. Great feature
    A vote for it to be a regular one please
    Alice xx

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  17. This is awesome! And so much cheaper than buying one! May have to give it a shot...Love your blog x

    http://januarysublime.com

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! Definitely give it a go and let me know how you get on! x

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  18. Love it Jen! Looks very professional, and sounds so easy I might even have a go myself!

    xx

    http://emsipop.blogspot.com/

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  19. Great job! Have to give that a try!x

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  20. Love this, I am one of those people who just head to Topshop but this does look really easy!

    Lucy Loves To Blog

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  21. Wow, amazing blog :D! I am now following you. I hope you check out mine and follow: http://the-proverbs.blogspot.com thanks for your time and God Bless!

    0:)

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  22. you have made it look so easy i'm going to have to try some home DIY before overspending on the credit card :)x

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  23. What a great idea - so unique and looks so expensive! Off to raid husband & dad's wardrobe right now... definitely doing this - thank you Jen & Oxfam.

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    1. You're most welcome, Anna! Let me know how you get on.

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  24. I was in a boutique the other day that were selling collars just like these (but less lovely) for £15! This seems like a much cheaper option and there's nothing better than when someone asks where you got something from and you can tell them that you intact made it yourself!
    harriet xo

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  25. Ooh, crafty definitely! I mean look at how lovely (and cheap!) this is!

    Pip x

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  26. very original and unique !

    http://kellinasthoughts.blogspot.com/

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  27. wonderful! i made one myself :D this is great for those who love to be original! great blog love! following you now! hope you follow back :)

    http://aimeedelacruz.blogspot.com/

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  28. Have been cruising eBay for ages for a cheap collar like this but after today I've snapped up some beads & cheap lace & will be attacking hubby's wardrobe later!

    Am new to the blog but loving it - keep it up please! x

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