omoulo's sewing box

UNDER CONSTRUCTION

welcome to my sewing box :o) here u can discover how i use the skill of sewing and my passion for using what already exists in the world to customise, repair, and create in my wardrobe.

projects

june 2022 - barnaby shirt

plain white tshirt laying around.....spruce it up

i marked out a rectangle with masking tape that id lessened how sticky it was by dabbing it on other fabric a few times, and painted inside this section with a mix of liquitex (fabric medium) and white acrylic paint. painted on top with acrylic. the design i sketched out a couple times in my sketchbook and decided on the colours in csp. it came out pretty nice :o)

march 2022 - red/black split sweater

ill write up properly how i made this sweater! but in short, i had two sweaters i didnt like anymore but i didnt want to lose two sweaters XD so i dyed one black (it was previously pastel pink) and after planning like in the sketch, sewed the two together to create this super comfy and fitting sweater. the neckline is a little off here as i didnt measure it properly but oh well. a good collar from a shirt or turtleneck helps to hide it haha! i learnt a lot from this project.

february 2021 - the crisp outfit

i filmed this entire process - video coming soon :o)

for her birthday in april 2021, my friend T wanted to throw an "anything but clothes" party - meaning your outfit had to be made of anything but actual clothing. i already had amassed a large number of crisp packets as i used to take them from my four person household (and i used to eat A LOT of crisps) to work to be recycled, but one day the recycling bin was taken away. and then of course, lockdown happened, and i just sort of kept them in my room, one day hoping id be able to travel to a terracycle crisp packet recycling point near me.

i created a three piece outfit - a top, a skirt, and a jacket. i also intended to have little decorations for my hair and shoes but didnt get round to it.

i worked on this every afternoon for a few weeks as i was furloughed at the time. i of course washed all the packets out before sewing, and learnt that they prefer zigzag stitches over straight stitches as this just rips the packet. the sheet i used in my corpse bride costume was repurposed here to line the skirt, as otherwise it itched too much.

when the party finally came, T made an outfit made of fake bank notes, M made an outfit from newspaper, and C made an outfit from an ikea bag. H just put on an oversized blanket type hoodie and thought this was acceptable smh.

we probably wore the outfits for about an hour - my top fell apart, it was fucking freezing, and we ended up burning the paper outfits at the end lol. i still have my outfit which will probably be just repurposed into an eco brick or something down the line

june 2020 - from jeans to jacket, my painting gear!

i had longed for a garment that i could wear on my upper half instead of letting my clothes get covered in paint...i had a couple pair of old jeans for my legs, but nothing to protect my beautiful top half. i decided to take these two jeans and using my own denim jacket as a guide to figure out how it was all assembled, created this jacket. as the two jeans were slightly different shades of black, i alternated them in a pleasing, symmetrical fashion. i used a leg from each for the arms and front panels, and the collar and back panels were made using what was left over.

2021 update

i was not very satisfied with the way the buttons looked on this jacket at all, so i decided to use a pair of shorts id stashed away for fabric reuse to add a new strip for the buttons to lie on. i also used this fabric to add stars all over the jacket, a couple extra pockets, and for elbow patches.

the rest of the fabric was used on a pair of skinny jeans i no longer wore casually and couldnt wear to work due to a paint stain. i wanted to make them more comfortable by opening them up at the calves and creating a flare effect. they are still pretty skinny but they did the trick :o) i used this tutorial, but adjusted to only widen the calves.

may 2020 - the sushi tote bag

this tote bag i painted and also completely sewed myself. i had purchased a bed sheet linen from a charity shop and made two other bags from it also, a first sushi bag and a pigeon girl bag. both are quite poorly made and i currently cant find them which is a bit worrying lol but i feel satisfied to use them myself.

i used fabric medium mixed with acrylic to paint the design, referencing my own digital drawings. i also referenced tote bags i already owned to sew the bags bc its easier to understand than looking up patterns to me lol

the second bag is avaliable to buy (UK only) on my etsy store. please read the description if youre interested as it details imperfections.

october 2019 - beetlejuice

in 2018, i had gone as beetlejuice for halloween but i was not satisfied with my outfit. this year i decided to paint a jacket myself and go for a bit more accuracy. i painted it using masking tape and a few layers of white paint (you can actually see where i missed a few layers on one of the shoulders lol) and then went back and added the green dirt and moss which can be seen on beetlejuice's blazer in the film.

i did attempt a pair of trousers to match, but i completely messed up the width of the stripes and they looked shit - so on the night, i settled with a skirt and ripped tights which i believe i rubbed eyeshadow into also.

badges

i have a lot of really girly badges left over from my youth which i never liked to wear, and so as a teen i started to just cover up with things i liked instead. i could never find badges of things i was interested in that i liked, the designs were always ugly or used horrible photos, so i thought id make my own.

i havent made any in a long time as my printer ink is running very low as you can kind of tell by the barbara crampton one which wouldve been the most recent.

my method has been to paint the badge white, use pva glue, clear nail varnish, or just more paint to attach a small printed image, which id carefully press down around the edges as flat as possible. this will not always be possible as paper isnt malleable like fabric, and will cause some bumps here and there. ill then top coat with pva or clear nail varnish, adding more generous amounts on the sides as i have had them pop up before. if you use clear nail varnish, id only use it AFTER the top coat of pva. this is because the strength of it can move the printer ink as i have discovered with my current printer. this is real bottom of the barrell diy shit.

i also used this method to draw this "the used" one (inspired by the lyric "he wears his heart safety pinned to his backpack") by painting the badge black, drawing on top with white fine liner, and sealing with what i believe was clear nail varnish. this is from 2014 so i dont really remember >.<

i used this method also to embed this picture of the legendary kidney stones, a cat who used to visit my house at uni


general repairs and adjustments

26th/27th - february

here are a number of small repairs and upgrades i did after using the konmari method on my wardrobe recently. many garments i really loved but needing sizing adjustments or button replacements. here ive logged everything i managed to accomplish this weekend here. next weekend, id like to start the red/black split sweater project.

size adjustments

this skirt was just too big so i decided to take it in a little. i simply pinched and measured how many CM i needed to trim it by, and turning the garment inside out, created a new seam, sewing over it a couple times with a straight and zigzag stitch. i tried to align the pleats but failed lol.

i used a similar method for these shorts which were similar in that theyd always been on the big side but were now too big. i measured how many CM would need to come off, and on each side sewed a new seam at half of this measurement so that it would be symmetrical.

i did it in this sort of triangle shape as to only take it in at the waist/stomach as this is where it didnt sit. i liked how the legs are baggy too, so i left them :o)

the final major adjustment i did was on this jumper. this used to be my hair dye hoodie, and has now been promoted to my painting jumper. it has this really strange turtleneck which is just huge for no reason and ive always hated so i decided to create a new neckline. i used this tutorial so i didnt have to make a new end seam. ive used this video for a jumper and hoodie in the past too.

firstly, i needed to make the turtleneck even as it actually gets wider towards the end. after this, i simply used the tutorial to shrink how long it was.

button adjustments

this light coat id got from the charity shop is beautiful but i fucking hated the buttons lol so i switched them out for some odd black ones i got for 10p each at another charity shop.

i also repaired the buttons that were falling off of my painting jacket...

...and the ones on the back of these shorts. ive also decided when i make some pockets from a spare jacket that i will put a couple into the back of these shorts.

other

as part of my sweater project, i wanted to dye one of them black. ive also been holding onto this hat which was a gross pink faded colour which i decided to also dye. both garments were cotton with polyester stitching which wont dye, but actually left a cool effect.

this jumper i had gotten from a charity shop but ive found it is actually too tight of a fit and as a result i rarely wore it. when i first got it, it had a massive seam opening down the side which ive stitched up, and i found a couple others at the neckline which i originally left but ive sewn back up for sale.

i also did the simple task of sewing a load of paint covered rags together so i could just have one large one instead of lots of little ones which just end up flying around my room. they also used to be used as sewing test rags when i was having issues with tension on the machine.

in regards to the konmari effect on my wardrobe, ive always had difficulty discarding clothes as many have been failed sewing projects or have paint stains on them. textile waste is a huge problem in the world, but i didnt know how to manage my own. i did a lot of research into ways to reuse textile scraps and repurpose garments, and many of the things i chose to discard are being reused by myself in future projects which when i can start on them ill show here. anything else i found in good condition, or repaired to be saleable, has been donated to charity shops. sadly, one bag worth of garments had to be taken to a textile recycling point. my wardrobe is now so much lighter and i do genuinely feel excited when i open it by all my beautiful clothes staring back at me :o)

2020 - mcr bag and shirt

while living in canterbury, i stumbled across a vest in a charity shop which someone had sewn two my chemical romance patches on - one on the front, and one on the back. i purchased it immediately and removed the patches. one is now sewn to a black tshirt, and the other i used to cover over a design i didnt like on a black tote i already had.

i do not know if they are from official merchandise or not. they wouldve come from the mid 2000s if so, being three cheers designs. i have only found the ace card on a camo shirt on the wayback machine.


other

october 2020 - emily from corpse bride

i made the skirt and headdress from a net curtain i found in a charity shop, dying the ends blue using acrylic paint. i lined it with an old sheet. it was a wraparound kind of skirt, so i had sewn buttons into it for fastening.

i used a top from another charity shop which was originally high neck - i ripped the lace+painted the ribs into the lining, and adjusted the neckline to better match emily's outfit. the stitching did this horrible thing where it sort of leant outwards so i had to redo it a couple times.

sadly i dont have a lot of good pictures of this. the only fullbody one i can find is this one of me in tesco

may 2010 - my pride and joy, my legendary cushion

in year 8, we had to make a patchwork cushion cover. if i can find my old textiles sketchbook, i will share the initial concepts here. i was one of the few in my class who managed to line the patchwork up exactly! here is a pic of it in 2010, on the bus home...

...and here it is in 2022...i still sleep with this cushion on my bed every night, and has become a little worse for wear and more oval shaped over the years...


try on...

to do...

  • mami tomoe cosplay, including charlotte bag
  • make braided rugs using my scrap textiles
  • make kitchen towells using scrap textiles
  • red/black split sweater
  • repurpose an old, paint stained jacket into waterproof pockets for my coats, bags, and more
  • make these shoes a second hand reality

sewing starter kit - TO BE UPD8'D!!!

END BLIND MASS CONSUMPTION // REPAIR IS RADICAL - empty brains

knowing basic hand sewing is an important LIFE SKILL! it is one of the few things i took away from school, but it is sadly not encouraged or reiterated in everyday life. many people, upon finding a hole, rip, or missing button in their garment, dont think to repair but to throw the garment away. often people will go to fast fashion to buy a replacement, which are poorly made and cheap so that they will fall apart and keep people coming back. teaching yourself the basics of sewing will save you so much more time and money in the long run, and help your garments last for so much longer :o)

executing small repairs such as mending holes, seam rips, or missing buttons, do not require a machine. you only need thread, pins, a needle, and some scissors. i also recommend a seam ripper/unpicker and a pin cushion. then it is simply a matter of learning how to thread a needle, how to straight stitch, and how to sew buttons. tutorials coming soon of how i personally stitch - but for now, the internet has everything you will need!!

you can find basic kits with these tools and more in diy/craft and homeware stores, supermarkets, and of course online. id reccommend investing in one with metal tools to avoid them breaking. i also often find charity shops that have sewing stuff available to buy for super cheap.

for things such as resizing clothes and more complex customisations and projects, investing in a sewing machine will be a good idea. i used to work 100% by hand but it is very time consuming, so i use a machine. my machine was bought in august 2000 by my mother so it may even be older than you....sewing machines do take patience and a little getting used to but it is worth it :o)

rescources

thegothicalice - been following her for years and creates such cool stuff endlessly. her DIY videos are how i got into buying second hand and DIY fashion :o)

thestitchess - an adorable channel with some really informative and fun videos! i plan on using her animal bag tutorial to make a charlotte bag for my dream cosplay of mami tomoe :o)

empty brains and angel brains - a uk based slow fashion couple. i find empty brains colour palettes and prints very cool, and angel brains has such clever uses for scrap material making so many creative accessories!

smokeylita's coord builder - a fun lolita coord maker by smokeylita!

jessica nigri - her time lapses are for cosplays but she showcases a lot of methods which are diy friendly and also has lots of links in her descriptions to other cosplay resources