5 tips to get started with DIY fashion

Written by Lydia Bolton

DIY Fashion was a trend coming back around before lockdown but with the sudden vast amount of time we were spending at home it has exploded in the last year. The combination of people looking for activities that are entertaining, creative and distract them from their phones contribute to why DIY Fashion has been so popular. 


Although DIY Fashion can be seen as more than a ‘trend’. It reflects our increasing awareness of the issues of fast, disposable fashion and how we need to be more sustainable with our approach to our clothing. Online searches for sustainable fashion tripled from 2016 to 2019 and DIY Fashion is a key way in which we can build a sustainable wardrobe. By extending the lifespan of an item of clothing by 9 months, we can reduce its carbon footprint by 20-30% (stat from Fashion Revolution). This shows how important DIY Fashion is and how reusing, reworking and mending our clothing is. 


Here are my 5 DIY Fashion Tips to help get you started:


  1. Research!

The best DIY projects are always planned. While this may sound a bit boring for the spontaneous folk, researching and planning your project will give you the best result and avoid the half finished, cut up project that is never completed. There’s so much inspiration out there on Reels, TikTok or Pinterest. Pick a few items in your wardrobe that you want to remake and then research different ideas of how you could use them. 


  1. Get some good tools

While you don’t need to invest in a sewing machine at first, treat yourself to a new pair of fabric scissors. Your fabric scissors should only be used for fabric and never on paper to keep them fresh and sharp. A good pair of scissors will transform your DIY skills and make the cutting a dream rather than a frustrating hacking of fabric. You can get a needle and thread from most supermarkets and this is all you need to start! 


  1. Explore different techniques 

There are so many different ways you can DIY your clothes, depending on your personal style. A major lockdown trend was tie dye - this is an easy and sewing-free way to DIY your clothes. Why not try it with turmeric to bring a beautiful sunshine yellow to your old tees and brighten up your spring wardrobe. Patching over holes is a good way to mend a worn out item and make it more interesting. Cutting and panelling items together with exposed seams (think the whole cabbage seam t-shirts and vests you will undoubtedly have seen on Instragram over the last year) is an amazing way to create something unique and rework your unwanted t-shirts. An additional bonus of remaking t-shirts and cutting up jersey is that the fabric does not fray so you can easily stitch it together, without the worry of it falling apart! Other ideas could be embroidery, embellishment and printing.


  1. Be creative and enjoy it

DIY is Do It Yourself so don’t get caught up in not knowing how to do things properly or being concerned about the end result. It's about being creative and enjoying the process of making something. Hand making is known to be a natural antidepressant as it can help relax you and be a therapeutic distraction from what is going on around you. It can help you escape the stresses and anxieties surrounding us, even if only for a short amount of time. Enjoy this additional benefit of DIY fashion rather than getting precious and worried about the end result.


  1. DIY Kits

While for some inspiration may come naturally, others of us prefer things to be more accessible. DIY Kits are the perfect solution if you're interested in DIY Fashion but want more help with where to start. Wool and The Gang have knitting kits where you can make almost anything from a scarf to a beautiful jumper, there are natural dying kits on Etsey, Ophelia Dos Santos has amazing patchwork kits and there are a range of DIY Kits from mask chains to making a top available on www.lydiabolton.com