A few weeks ago I went to a Liverpool Bloggers event. In my head I was totally organised and had already decided my outfit, however, the day before I decided to pop into Oxfam on Bold Street in Liverpool for a little browse (the back of my mind knowing this would never happen). I found two gorgeous shirts one of which was an off-white, stripy one and couldn’t resist changing my pre-planned outfit!
The classic shirt has been called into question this spring/summer. Designers and high-street brands have been experimenting with it, creating all sorts of different styles whether it be strips of cotton coming off the sides, an off-the-shoulder look, or a cotton belt attached to the shirt to tie around your waist. I have wanted to splurge on one of these gorgeous shirts for a while but when I popped into Oxfam I found it – an incredible one too! It isn’t of the experimental kinds but it’s great because it’s simple, classic and only cost £8. The colour is off-white with faint grey stripes and it’s also mid-length. The cotton is rougher and not the soft cotton we usually find with high-street brand shirts. But I love it! I find this material is better quality and warmer for the winter.
But the best thing…it is one of a kind! Just can’t beat the feeling of owning a piece that is unique to you and that is also funding work to tackle issues such as poverty and education.
I’m always on the look out for ways to re-create the clothes displayed so beautifully in the fashion magazines using a little charity shop fashion DIY. Lately I have been noticing that slogan t-shirt’s are filling the glossy pages. I love the big ol’ bold quotes on a colourful t-shirt. I love a small embroidered understated slogan in the corner. I love a funny or tongue in cheek slogan. After lusting over these t-shirts for a hell’uva long time, I thought it was about time I got cutting and ironing. The wonderful thing about creating your own slogan t-shirt is that you
can choose your own slogan. You can be hilarious. You can be witty. You can be Political. I went with being a little French and choosing the slogan ‘JE M’EN FOUS’ which translates to ‘I Do Not Care’. Or it does according to Google Translate which I blooming hope it right! I got this idea from another t-shirt. I thought it was a nicer way to remind myself to be a little carefree from time-to-time. And I decided to go with the French version because everything sounds better in French, right?
So, here it is. A little ‘no sew’ fashion DIY.
- T-Shirt (Use a plain one you already have or hunt for one in your local Oxfam or on Oxfam’s Online Shop)
- Iron on Letters (I used the ones from here)
- Tape Measure
1. Start by cutting roughly around the letters needed for your slogan.
3. Lay the letters with the wrong side (white paper) facing up starting with the middle letter just below the pins and lay out to check how many lines you want the slogan to spread across.
4. Once you are happy with the positioning of letters, remove all but the middle letter. With the wrong side (white side) still facing up. Follow the instructions supplied with the letters – I pressed the iron on the letter and held for 15-20 seconds.
Carefully remove the backing paper. Check as you start peeling the backing paper off that the letter has transferred onto the t-shirt. If not, hold the iron on the letter for a little longer.
Add the remaining letters from the middle outwards.
And that’s it. An easy and quick way to adapt a plain charity shop t-shirt into something personal and unique! Let me know if you have a go at this fashion DIY as I would love to see your finished slogan t-shirt!
I have never paid much attention to interior trends when it comes to my own home, but I have had to be aware of them for my day job as a stylist over the years. This year cork and handmade pieces are ‘on trend’ apparently, but in my opinion these are classic pieces that I always look for when charity shopping anyway. Whenever I visit a charity shop, my first area to rummage in is the bric-a-brac section. I like to look for handmade pottery, brass and copper pieces, and wicker baskets.
This week while trawling the charity shops in Altrincham, I came across a large cork pot with a lid for £4. Immediately I knew I had to have it! I think pieces like this have multiple uses. I want to get more houseplants, so if I remove the lid it will make the perfect planter as it has a metal insert which would prevent the cork from getting soggy from watering a plant. But let’s face it, considering I couldn’t even keep herbs alive on my kitchen windowsill, that I might be better off using this as storage on my desk!
Another classic item that I’ve been hunting for is wicker baskets. On the high-street I’ve seen some retailers selling baskets at extortionate prices. I’m kicking myself for not picking up wicker waste-paper bins I saw in one charity shop (I had my hands full already!) but I have picked up some others since. This is another item that has multiple uses depending on the size of the basket you find. Any size can be used as a planter (tiny baskets for little cacti and succulents, large baskets for your giant cheese plant), large baskets could be used for storage for logs for
the fire or rolled up towels in your bathroom, or balls of wool if you’re a knitter.
One of the reasons why I like these items so much and always hunt for them, is not just because they appeal to my tastes now, but I believe they always will and that they can work in any style of room. Handmade pottery and wicker baskets can work in a country house, they can work in a room packed full of books and plants just as well as they can work in a minimalist modern home – against a white wall and with touches of gold they can look really high-end, and the best part is you’ve probably spent less than a fiver for it.
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Gemma Cairney and Rumble In The Jumble Oxfam Festival Shop at Royal Windsor Horse Show