IN FASHION: It’s easy - and cheap - to customise clothes

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Two years ago, Channel 4 and other mainstream channels bombarded our televisions with inspirational fashion shows, promoting a do-it-yourself ethic.

Shows such as Frock Me, and Gok’s Fashion Fix invited their audiences to source clothes from a variety of outlets, from high street favourites, to charity shops, with a view to customising the pieces they choose, to create items entirely to their taste, with that sought-after designer feel.

Choosing to make or customise your own clothes has many advantages attached. It is cheap and easy to obtain bits and pieces to add to items you already own from your local haberdashery shop or by searching for haberdashery online.

Buttons, lace, ribbons, safety pins and netting provide great embellishments to add texture, colour and individual flare to any item.

All you will need is some basic knowledge of how to sew, a skill I’m sure YouTube videos will help facilitate, and a needle and thread.

You can purchase most items from charity shops at a fairly low cost that are prime and ready to be updated, whilst at the same time, you can feel safe in the knowledge that you are doing your bit for your community and the environment by recycling old and unwanted clothes.

If you’d rather have a go at making your own pieces from scratch then there are plenty of features, videos and patterns online to help you get started. The Guardian newspaper website features several ‘how-to’ articles to help you get started at, providing serveral step-by-step guide’s in pictures to show you exactly how to create your own designer items. The great thing about making your own clothes is you can create the items you want exactly how you’d like them to be.

You can purchase patterns for every item of clothing online or at your local fabric shop, and make those pieces to suit your own preferences of colour and style.

If you can’t find a pattern to match your specific requirements then you can always purchase a similar pattern, and experiment with some alterations of that pattern by completing a paper ‘mock-up’ of the item, before you rush out to the shops to purchase your fabric.

Get thrifty, get creative and start experimenting with different fabrics and patterns to make the garment that is completely suited to you.