Reworking, customising, fading and studding

I do like to mooch around the garden centre looking for plants that are a bit sad and neglected, and usually in the bargain bucket. I like to buy them, build them up and pop them in the garden or allotment. Most of my garden is stocked with bargain rack plants – and my garden is blooming nicely thank you!

I tend to also like mooch around charity shops and look through the rails to look for odd little items that look a bit sad and neglected. I like to try and think what I can do with them to revive them and make someone want them again.

Well I’ve been working my was through my pile and seeing what I can do with them. I posted an article a little while ago about reworking an old shirt and I’ve been doing some similar things to some other shirts.

Below is what I’ve done with a few shirts – mainly cutting and studding:Reworked and customised shirts at Quirky Purple

Here’s some of the cut of jeans/shorts that I’ve been working on – these have been cut, bleached, and studded:Reworked and customised denim shorts at Quirky Purple

Here’s a few skirts that I’ve recently customised – these have been studded mainly:Reworked and customised skirts at Quirky Purple

It’s quite nice seeing what they actually become as I don’t always know exactly what I’m going to do, and it kind of evolves as I work with the garment.

I’m always on the look out to try new things to try so I’d be interested to hear of any new projects I could try!

These reworked, customised items are available in our Quirky Purple Online Shop – happy shopping!

Big, bright and bold 80s

A little while ago I did a post about 80s colours – Sorbet, sherbet, candy cane – fashion that’s good enough to eat. That was more about the softer side of 80s colours. This week I’ve been posting up some vintage 80s clothes onto the Quirky Purple One Shop and they all seemed to be the bolder brighter 80s colours and it got me thinking.

As anyone who knows me or has read previous posts, you’ll know that I am a big fan of all things 60s. I properly discovered and became fanatical about the 60s in the late 70s. The 60s look was just starting to hit mainstream with films like Quadrophenia and then all the mod revival and Two Tone and ska bands suddenly hitting the charts.

This started a whole raft of 60s inspired clothes, colours and patterns in the High Street. Well, if you ignored the ra-ra skirts, leg warmers and hammer-pants…. The 60s and the 80s were both about big, bold and bright colours. Stripes and geometric patterns and of course big colour blocking was in – this didn’t have to just be the bright colours, but monochrome worked just as boldly with black and white contrast. That’s one of the keys here – contrast.

Anyway, as I was cropping the photos I’d taken of the dresses and playsuits it really struck me on how vivid some of this outfits are and the fantastic contrasts. Have a look at these:

Bright 80s coloursMore bright 80s coloursThey look fab don’t they? The other weird thing is that these are all original 80s vintage, but if you walk through the High Street you’ll see similar colors, patterns and styles. The great thing about wearing the originals though is that you are unlikely to walk into a room and see someone else wearing the same outfit!

Anyway, all the items pictured are either up for sale on our Quirky Purple Online Store or about to go up online.

£100 Asos blogger challenge

I came across this challenge yesterday at the Discount Coder Blog and thought I’d try and give it a go, but with a vintage twist – if at all possible.

Quirky Purple Asos challenge style collageWell, I decided to try to go with a 60s inspired look so thought I’d start with a dress and then add some accessories. It was actually quite tricky to get what I wanted within the £100 budget. The collage here is the overall look. Looks pretty good doesn’t it? And it’s all for under £100! The dress is really cute. I was also tempted for a nice white crochet dress look. There’s also a nice little daisy theme going on here.

Here’s the breakdown of the items and the costs:

Vera Moda 60s Dress at £26.50Quirky Purple Asos challenge - dress
Quirky Purple Asos challenge - shoesAsos crochet ballet flats at £15.00
Quirky Purple Asos challenge - handbagRiver Island handbag at £40.00
Quirky Purple Asos challenge - headbandAsos daisy headband at £4.00
Quirky Purple Asos challenge - tightsGypsy 40 denier white tights at £7.00
Quirky Purple Asos challenge - ringAsos trapped daisy ring at £3.00

This all comes to a sum total of just £95.50.

That leaves enough to buy a nice 60s cocktail...

You can find the challenge and other entries here at The Discount Coder Blog

Could you do this challenge for under £100 and try to give it a vintage look?

Quirky Purple logo Stock changes daily so check us out!
http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Quirky-Purple

Floral frenzy in our online shop

Quirky Purple floral stockI’ve just been adding some extra sections into our Quirky Purple online shop. One of the features is a section on Trends. I’ve done a few blogs on current trends and I thought it might be quite nice to split the stock into the various trends.

One of the trends I have blogged about recently is florals in Flirty florals and playful playsuits blog.

More Quirky Purple floral stockWhat is really odd is when I think of florals I always think of those ditzy type designs or Laura Ashley type patterns, or tea dress prints. Well, I’m not a huge fan of these, so I usually think I don’t really go for florals.They are a bit too girlie for me…

Anyway, as I was moving things around in the shop, I noticed how many different floral designs there are. There are loads.

So, I realised that I was wrong – and that’s not something I usually admit. I do like florals – but the big and bold florals. Much more your 60s big flowers patterns or your 80s Monsoon style. Something with some ooomph.

Anyway, we now have sections on current trends in our online shop, which includes the floral designs in the swatches on this page. Jump straight to the Florals section by clicking here.

What’s your favourite floral design? Big and bold, or girlie and ditsy?

Quirky Purple logo Stock changes daily so check us out!
http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Quirky-Purple

Monochrome, mods and sods

Quadrophenia_albumThere was a fab documentary on the BBC a few days ago about the writing of the Quadrophenia album. Here’s a link to the information on the BBC site – Quadrophenia – Can you see the real me?

Watching this really transported me back in time a few years. As a teenager I was a die hard mod and Quadrophenia was seen as a soundtrack to a mod’s life.

And as a mod, monochrome was the perfect colour scheme, along with plenty of olive green. In case you’re not hip enough to understand that, well olive green is the colour of old army parkas. You had to have an original one that looked a bit battered and certainly not a snorkel parka from a high street store – that would be a ‘plastic parka’ and you’d be in danger of being a ‘plastic mod’.

Mods in the 80sWhen I first started to dress like a mod I had a couple of black and white dresses which I had saved up for and bought from high street shops. This was just before I discovered the joys of charity shops, and all the 60s clothes that they sold for pretty much pennies! Yeah, I know, charity shops aren’t like this anymore. All the good stuff is sold off before it reaches the shops and then what’s left in the shops, is actually quite expensive. Of course there are exceptions, but it’s rare to find them these days.

Anyway, once a mod, always a mod. So, monochrome still tends to feature high on my list of faves.

Monochrome at Quirky PurpleAt Quirky Purple we have some cool vintage monochrome for sale in our online shop and have been having a Mid-Week Monochrome Auction, which ends this week. There are lots of sizes and styles.

Check them here – Monochrome Auction items

Do you have any fave mod outfits from past or present?

Quirky Purple logo Stock changes daily so check us out!
http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Quirky-Purple

I like zombies and I like tea – yeah, it’s a zombie tea cosy!

Well I’ve always loved reading and will read just about anything – I’ve even been caught reading the back of a cereal packet. I just can’t help myself.

My favourite genres are horror and sci-fi, in particular I like any sort of post-apocalyptic story. This is how I got into zombies. They feature in a lot of these books. I’ve been reading these books for donkey’s year, but all of a sudden zombies seem to be starting to get fashionable.

Not only are there a lot of zombies TV series and films around, it sounds like there are more to come. I’m quite excited about World War Z coming to the big screen soon. I can’t wait for the new TV series of the Walking Dead and my favourite zombie book series, Zombie Fallout, has a new book out soon.

It’s had an effect on fashion too. I keep seeing more and more zombies inspired clothing around, for example:

My Little Zombie Pony at Amazon
Hell Bunny’s Zombie Unicorn Dress
Iron Fist Zombie Stomper shoes
Iron Fist also do a Zombie handbag
Darkside’s Zombie Killer bag
Darkside also do a whole range of t-shirts
Zombie brain knitted hat on Etsy
Even baby clothes at My Baby Rocks

I could go on for ever. Zombies are suddenly cool.

Well, it got me thinking. I’ve been crocheting a lot of things lately. So, I wondered if I could design a zombie tea cosy. I did and below is the result:

Quirky Purple Zombie Tea Cosy

These are now for sale in our Online Shop.

Is that gross enough for you? What’s the best zombie item that you’ve seen?

Quirky Purple logoStock changes daily so check us out!
http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Quirky-Purple


Rework that ‘ole shirt

One of the things I love to do it give something new lease of life. Very often I’ll look at something in the shops, in my wardrobe or online and see something I like about it, but not everything. Then I know that I can make it better with a little bit of TLC – and usually some hard work and a bit of swearing!

A lot of shirts on the High Street at the moment are sleeveless. A lot of shirts in charity shops are long-sleeved. There’s a solution! Below is a step by step guide for a shirt that I recently re-worked.

 Reworked shirt part one Take a man’s shirt. Oversize is better. The one here is an extra-large.
You will need a stitch-picker and a pair of scissors.
I also used collar-tips to give the shirt a new look
 Reworked shirt part three Find the seam for the sleeve and unpick with the stitch-picker.
Take care with the stitch-picker as they are very sharp and you can cut the material by mistake (if not your fingers).
 Reworked shirt part 4 Once you have unpicked the seam, then use scissors to cut the sleeve off.
I prefer to use little cuticle scissors for this as they are a little bit more accurate for this delicate work.
 Reworked shirt part four Here’s the first sleeve removed.Check it over and remove any of those irritating little pieces of removed cotton.
Also check that you haven’t snipped any other bits of seams.If you have snipped a bit of say the seam that goes under the arm, get a needle and thread and finish these off.
You don’t want it unravelling when you wear it!
 Reworked short part six Here’s both sleeves removed.You’re nearly there now.
It’s time to add any extras like collar tips.

This is the finished article – looks fab doesn’t it – great with leggings or skinny jeans:

Reworked short - finished article

This shirt in the demo is currently for sale in our online shop at: http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Quirky-Purple

I’ve also done a similar rework with other shirts and playsuits. Below are a few more examples of what you can create with just a little bit of time and patience (and swearing when you slice yourself with the stitch-picker). Sorry, but a couple of these have sold already.

Other reworked items

Quirky Purple logoAbove is just an example of some of the things we have  for sale on our eBay shop – stock changes daily. Check us out!
http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Quirky-Purple

More tea vicar?

Well I think I’ve been affected by all the Jubilee celebrations and talk of tea parties that seems to have recently dominated the news. Tea cosies came to mind and now I think I may be going crochet crazy!

Crochet toilet paper coverMy mum tried to teach me to knit what I was little but I just never got on with it. In the 70s crochet was all the rage and everything was crocheted – who can remember the crochet dolls to sit on top of the spare toilet roll, never mind why everyone had one??? I’ve even seen patterns for wedding dresses. Well, my mum made clothes for my Action Girl (the sailor suit was my personal favourite) and then started to make those granny squares and I joined in. Before we knew it we had a throw, a bedspread and a blanket for the dog.

So, Quirky Purple have just posted up their first set of handmade crochet items. We have a new range of tea cosies and more designs will follow. Below are the current ones for sale on the online shop, but you can request different colours etc here

Handmade crochet tea cosies

You don’t have to like tea to like cosies – we’ve got coffee cosies too! Again you can request different colours etc. How cute is the espresso set??

Handmade crochet coffee cosies

Quirky Purple logoAbove is just an example of some of the things we have  for sale on our eBay site – stock changes daily. Check us out!
http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Quirky-Purple

Decades of denim

Who doesn’t own at least one piece of denim in their wardrobes?

Not bad for a piece of material that started out as work wear…

James Dean 50s deminIt’s been used in clothing probably since the 18th century and probably really only started to become a fashion piece in the 50s, when people like James Dean wore them in “Rebel Without a Cause”. This started to give them a rebel status with teenagers.
60s mods in denimAround the mid-60s it became more fashionable to wash jeans to give them a more worn effect, and shrink to fit. There’s a scene in Quadrophenia where Jimmy is trying to get his jeans shrink to fit. Sorry, I can’t resist adding something from one of my favourite films… When I was a mod I used to buy a pair of jeans and then get the sewing machine on them and make them so narrow I could barely get in or out of them – thank goodness I discovered stretch denim otherwise my knees may never have moved again!
70s FlaresBy the 70s, you have flares and bell bottoms and stitching and patching started to become the way to wear them. Standard wear for hippies. Fringing was also pretty popular. I can remember that you could buy different patches, some with slogans or just flowers etc, that you could sew onto your denim.
80s_SaltnPepaThe 80s saw some ‘innovative’ uses of denim – stonewash, acid wash, ripped jeans. I remember even seeing denim jeans that were printed with a tartan-like effect. Personally I decided the way to update my ridiculously skinny jeans to match my more scooter girl image was to put them in the bath and do the ‘bleached’ effect. I wasn’t sure it was working so got an old toothbrush to try to spread the bleach – but all the bristles fell out so I just left them there and thought I’d brush them off when I rinsed the jeans. It was a cool effect in the end – all the little bristles left little bleached marks all over the jeans. I also managed to accidentally get a ripped effect at one point when messing around with my Vespa battery!
00s denim lowriseMoving to the 90s, jeans were still popular and other styles such as baggy gangsta jeans were around and then the 00s brought us low rise – which to be fair a lot of people shouldn’t have worn as I saw way to much arse-cleavage and builders’ bums! Also that ever popular way middle-aged men started to wear jeans with a shirt and a casual jacket to prove they are still down with the kids (think Simon Cowell).

Jeans are now pretty much standard wear for all sorts of occasions – casual, dressy, clubbing, even work, with the more casual-wear culture in offices.

To celebrate all things denim, we have a whole range of denim and denim-inspired items for sale in our online shop. Here are just a few examples:

Denim inspired Quirky Purple stock

Quirky Purple logoAbove is just an example of some of the things we have  for sale on our eBay site – stock changes daily. Check us out!
http://myworld.ebay.co.uk/quirkypurple

70s – the diverse decade

70s inspirationsOver the last few weeks there has been a 70s documentary on the BBC. I love it. But then again I grew up in the 70s, so there’s also an element of nostalgia.

The 70s is an odd decade for me. When I was a teenager, it was a laughing joke – flares, flower in your hair – no thanks! The 80s seemed really edgy and the 70s just seemed lame. If you liked anything 70s it had to be your guilty little pleasure.

That changed in the 90s. The usual rule of ‘if you wait 20 years it will be fashionable again’ came into play and 70s influences were everywhere.

It was actually a really diverse decade. It had the runoff from the 60s hippy movement, into glam rock, progressive rock, then switch to disco, then a massive shift to punk and new wave. All these genres could be seen in the charts and on Top of the Pops each week. The same with the clothes. Walk around town on a Saturday afternoon and you would see fashion reflecting these music styles.

The 70s has spawned threads of styles in music and in clothes that are still around today. The influences can even be seen on the hight street today. Vintage really is the key to getting the look right though. Mix and match it with some high street looks and you’ll have your own individual style.

To celebrate 70s styling Quirky Purple have just launched their 70s Inspiration board on Pinterest – you can jump over to it here:
http://pinterest.com/quirkypurple/70s-inspiration/

Quirky Purple logoWe have a few 70s influenced and vintage clothes for sale on our eBay site. Check us out!
http://myworld.ebay.co.uk/quirkypurple