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Upcycling inspiration

Get inspired by our savvy sewers who love nothing more than to breathe new life into their second hand clothes. They tell us how upcycling clothes has helped craft their own style and a more sustainable approach to fashion.

Hero curve mask

Alexandra Bruce, from Sew Happy!

Costume designer and illustrator, Alexandra Bruce is a dressmaking vlogger who loves to ‘sew and show’ her crafty creations on her YouTube channel Sew Happy!

Alexandra Bruce wearing a purple dress and jumping up beside a manikin

How did you get into making and upcycling your own clothes?

I have always loved clothes but I began to find that the high street didn’t cater to my body type or style. So I started to make my own cloths and have never looked back. I love creating my own style and what better way than to make it yourself with the perfect fit!

Gabby Young, from Gabberdashery

Gabby Young is a passionate sewing addict and singer. Her blog Gabberdashery offers tutorials on upcycling and how to make your own clothes effortlessly - some of which have even been spotted on stage. 

Gabby Young holding a red dress which she has upcycled

What is the best piece of clothing or accessory you have found in a charity shop?

So many of my favourite garments have come from charity shops but I think a duck printed tablecloth that I made into one of my favourite skirts wins. I bought it for 50p and I always get great comments when I wear it - she's a little beauty!

Rosabella Riddington, from Sewn

Rosabella Riddington is a modern dressmaker and gingham obsessive. Rosabella loves to share all her handmade style secrets on her popular sewing vlog, Sewn. She tells us why she's supporting The Big Stitch Campaign.

The BHF is such an inspiring charity and it’s a real honour to take part in The Big Stitch campaign. I also feel strongly about moving away from ‘disposable’ fashion. I hope the campaign will encourage people to get creative with second hand clothes and have fun with their wardrobes, all while supporting a fantastic cause.

Sarah McKenna, from Like Sew Amazing

Sarah McKenna is the Bristol based dressmaker behind creative outlet and independent fabric shop, Like Sew Amazing. A modern and sophisticated sewing enthusiast, Sarah offers great sewing inspiration and runs a popular YouTube channel.

Sarah McKenna holding a yellow measuring tape

What advice would you offer on upcycling clothing to a beginner?

Try to go in with an open mind and think of garments as a blank canvas. You can buy much larger garments than your actual size to give you more fabric to work with. Broken zips and missing buttons are easily fixed so don’t discount items based on that.

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