We recently stumbled upon a wonderfully creative textile artist on Instagram. We really loved her DIY jean mending, so we approached Lilibet and asked her if she would be interested in sharing some tips with us…
Let me introduce myself…
My name is Lilibet Stanley. I am a creative, textile artist/designer working in Australia. I have always loved fiddling with bits of fabric, yarn, paper and all things shiny. I share my creative journey on Instagram at LilibetStanley and my blog: www.lilibetstanley.com. Before I emigrated to Queensland, Australia, I was a Textile Designer for Next plc designing prints and embroideries for both womenswear and childrenswear.
My recent Instagram post about my ripped jeans repair took the eye of the lovely people at Total Wardrobe Care and they have kindly asked me to do a guest blog so here I am – ta da! This is my journey of turning my old jeans into what feels like a new pair!
Working in the fashion industry, thinking it was ‘in’ to have holes in my jeans, I didn’t think too much about it when my favourite pair of jeans started showing signs of distress. It all adds to the look, right? Over time, though my jeans showed more than just signs of love and wear. One day a parent at school made a comment that made me think it was about time I did something about the developing tear.
Recently, I have been captivated by the sumptuous costumes in the final series of Downton Abbey especially those for Lady Edith. It made me want to add some jewel-like detail into my practical Mum wardrobe. I may have swapped my clacking heels for the sound of flip-flops but I am still me and I felt I needed to inject some of my creativity back into my everyday style.
Why pay for a designer bag when I can make one myself?
Inspiration came in the source of an embellished clutch bag that I had decorated over a decade ago. The actual plain, black denim bag underneath was a give-away in a women’s magazine, which I diligently turned into an encrusted, ornate accessory covered in Suffolk puffs and beads for going out with my fashion folk friends. Why pay for a designer bag when I can make one myself which is now truly unique?
As a colour palette, I used my Paul Smith blouse as a starting point and picked out the pale pinks, ivory and pistachio green silks in my fabric collection to use along with opaque and sparkly beads. The Suffolk puffs nicely hide the large repair which look like flowers in full bloom mixed with the delicate bead spray.
I have loved making Suffolk puffs since my textile teacher at school showed me how to make them. They are so therapeutic to make and are a great pick up/put down project. I never go empty handed to dance/cricket/swimming lessons, I see it as a perfect time to get on with my own creative ideas. They were used in days gone by for quilts. In fact, my Little Lady has a Suffolk puff throw on her bed which took about 4 years to make.
How to make a Suffolk Puff
If you want to make Suffolk puffs, they are really easy:
- Cut out a circle of fabric, small or large, it’s up to you.
- Secure your thread by going over the starting point a few times.
- Sew a running stitch around the edge and pull it up to create a sort of little drawstring bag.
- Secure the thread again .
- Flatten out the Suffolk Puff.
- You are now ready to sew them onto your project or you can sew them together.
I have been obsessed with these little circles of joy for a long time, however I have taken the technique and turned it into a desirable, fashion embroidery giving my jeans a new lease of life. Now, I don’t mind people stopping me to give me comments about my jeans. It’s a great conversation starter!
Beautifying the next pair has already begun! You can read about it on my blog.
In addition, I have an Etsy shop selling paper goods, perfect for parties or little girls’ rooms.
Thanks to Total Care Wardrobe for letting me be a guest on your blog, it’s been a thrill!