Jenny Brownlees | Contributing Writer | Sunday, 26 April 2015

3 DIYs: Sleeveless Trench, Summer Tee & New White Shirt.

Some Brill DIY Ideas For How To Turn Your Winter Stuff Into Summer Stuff

The Debrief: It's too hot, but you don't have any money to buy new things - let's do some DIY instead

Summer is just around the corner, can we get an Amen? Just like Jon Snow, you feel like it’s been winter forever, and boy does it show in your wardrobe. We know you’ll be forking out for a few key new season pieces, but can we also suggest giving a summer update to some of your older, neglected garms?

Here's our how-to for DIY-ing your winter stuff into new, fresh summery things. 

The Sleeveless Trench

You want to show the world some skin (suns out, guns out). You love your trusty trench but want to rid yourself of the winter blues and it’s just that bit too heavy for al fresco drinks after work. Payday isn’t for a while and you can’t justify a new on-trend sleeveless version. So do it yourself. 

DIY: Sleeveless Trench

You’ll need:
A trench, if you don’t have one you really should buy one, like this one from New Look, in the perfect camel shade.
Thread in Black and cream
A seam un-picker/small nail scissors
Pins
A sewing machine (if not it is possible to sew by hand) 

DIY: Sleeveless Trench

How to:

1. Take your trench, and at the sleeve, slightly pull the fabric apart, until you can see the stitches connecting the sleeves to the coat. With your unpicker, or scissors, carefully cut the first thread. Once this is done, the rest will come away much easier.

2. Work your way all the way around each sleeve, unpicking the thread, until the entire sleeve is detached.

 TOP TIP ALERT! * Don’t get rid of those sleeves! Your local seamstress can easily put them back on come winter for about a tenner (waste not, want not people!)*

DIY: Sleeveless Trench

3. Next, do the same for each sleeves lining, all the way around until it’s detached.

4. Unpicking the lining will leave a rough edge that could be seen now your trench is sleeveless, so fold over the lining’s edge and hand sew so that the hem is tucked under, for neatness.

5. Removing the sleeves will have left a few millimetres of rough hem, where the stitching was attached, you will be able to see the line from where the stitches were removed. Fold this over to create a new hem, all the way around the arm hole and pin in place.

DIY: Sleeveless Trench

6. Set your sewing machine up with cream thread, and working from the top of the shoulder seam, sew a straight line all the way around the open shoulder, to seal the tucked in hem. (If you don’t have a sewing machine, you can do this step by hand)

 7. Repeat on the other arm.

Behold! A new season coat with none of the cost.

DIY: Sleeveless Trench

A New Button Shirt 

A tired old work shirt sits in your wardrobe and needs some serious sassing-up for summer. Enter, these incred novelty buttons. We just couldn’t resist the Anya Hindmarch- style chic of them. We mixed them with this gorge floral set but there is a world of button possibilities, just look at this tropical set. Amaze. 

DIY: button-down shirt

Changing the buttons on any garment is such an easy way to give it a whole new look.

1. Lay your shirt flat on a surface, we used this beaut longline shirt from ASOS 

2. Begin by removing the shirts original buttons. Using small scissors lift the button and carefully cut the threads holding it in place.

DIY: button-down shirt

3. Have an idea of where your going to place each button, once you’ve decided, start with the top collar button first.

4. Thread a needle with white thread, and knot the end.

5. Using the hole where the previous button was, start from the inside, thread your needle through the hole, through your button, and repeat a few times until secure.

DIY: button-down shirt

6. Knot on the inside of the shirt, and cut any excess thread.

7. Repeat until every hole has a shiny new button. 

If you’re feeling super summery, you could remove the shirts sleeves using the Trench Coat DIY instructions. We felt content tying the bottom of the shirt in a knot; summer girly cool look... nailed.

DIY: button-down shirt

The Pattern Tee

The situ: you live in your white tee come summer, but after last year's constant wear, it needs a bit of a facelift. 

DIY: summer t-shirt

We’ve had a serious fashion crush on Proenza’s printed vine tee from their Resort ’15 collection. It’s had us eyeing up our trusty white friend, thinking, surely we can call on our old GCSE art skills to create something similar? And we can. It's actually seriously simple. All you need is a fabric pen (we went for black, but feel free to go wild, there are some fab neon shades)

1. Lay your tee flat, and place an old magazine between the front and back, to prevent the pen’s ink going through to the back.

2. Have your inspo-pic on hand, and start doodling! The best thing about the abstract pattern is that you really can’t get it wrong.

DIY: summer t-shirt

3. Start at the top and work your way down. Short, shakey hand movements worked best for this pattern. You can do a little, put it to one side, and return until the whole tee is covered.

4. We doodled the sleeves and front, but left the back bare.

A new top you’ll be wearing every weekend for less than £2.50? Sorted.

DIY: summer t-shirt

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Photographs: Jenny Brownlees
Model: Vera at Savalas Models