Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Misty Morning Fashion Shoot

This shoot is probably one of my most favourite collaborations to date.

We were blessed with be-yootiful weather, the clothes and make up were spot on and I managed to take away a set of decent snaps.

I'm really keen to do more fashion shoots, so if you like what you see and live locally (Bedfordshire), get in touch and we'll sort something out. 

Here's a couple of promo shots I did for Ami-Lu's most recent headpiece.

I'm so pleased that I managed to incorporate my found rabbit skull into these shots!

Anyway, let me know what you think in the comments below. Thanks!

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

DIY Quilted Coasters: Tutorial

Today, I'm going to show you how to make these crafty coasters using leftover scraps of fabric:

This make should only take you around 30 minutes - about as long as it takes to drink a cup of tea!

What you'll need:

  • Template
  • Iron
  • 16 fabric scraps, at least 7.5cm square, for patchwork coaster tops
  • Matching coloured thread
  • Erasable chalk
  • 1 fat quarter (as we call it in the sewing biz), approx 46x56cm for backing
  • 0.25m of fusible fleece
The coasters are placed together in four individual squares which are then cut into a circle shape using your template. 

How To

Step 1 
First, cut your 16 fabric scraps into 7.5cm squares. 

I'd advise that you first layout which patters and colours that you want to go together on each coaster. I'm using these fabrics because they'll create a shabby chic feel:

Begin with two squares and sew them together - right sides of the fabric facing - to form one half of the square and press open the seam:

Next, sew two more pieces together to form another half of the circle and press open the seam. Then pin both pieces together, right sides facing with the seams aligned. Sew together to form the entire square coaster top:

Make sure you press open the seams, other wise you'll end up with bunching:

You'll need to repeat Step one a further three times in order to create all four coaster tops.

Step 2

For this step, you'll need to create a circular template. This enable you to cut four circles from your coaster tops. 

I used some tracing paper to create my coaster top template. I set my compass to 10cm and drew a circle. But you can use a larger diameter if you wish. I then cut this out and pinned the circle to each coaster top, making sure that I'd centrally aligned the template across the four squares. 

Once you've done this, then cut 4 other cirlces from your fusible fleece and your backing fabric.

Step 3 

Place one circular coaster top, right side up, on top of a piece of fusible fleece circle with the wrong side facing the fusible fleece. Use a hot iron fuse the fabric onto the fleece, like this:


You'll need to repeat this process for your three remaining coaster tops. 

I cannot stress enough how important a hot iron is for this step. If you use a luke warm heat, you'll end up damaging the glue on the fusible fleece and it won't stick to your fabric properly.


Step Four

Using tailors chalk, or erasable pen, mark diagonal stitch lines through your coaster tops with the two lines intersecting the centre. You will be stitching through the coaster tops and fusible fleece only. The backing will be added at a later stage. 

Use your sewing machine to quilt through the lines you've just drawn. Do this for all four pieces, like this:


Step Five

Sew the backing to the quilted top piece. With a coaster top and backing piece facing right sides together, hand sew around the edge leaving a 6mm seam allowance:

Make sure you leave a gap of 4cm to enable you to turn the coaster right side out. Repeat this process for the other three coasters.

Step 6 

Gently turn one coaster right side out. Push out the inner seam so that that the circle edge is smooth. Turn in the fabric at the 4cm opening (pin the top and bottom together if necessary) and press flat. Top stitch around the edge of the coaster, leaving a 3mm gap from the edge, sewing the opening closed. Repeat this process with the other three coasters.


By the end of this, you'll have created four beautiful patchwork coasters. 

But if you enlist any helpers like I did, it might take you a little longer than half an hour:

Mick the cat

I hope you've found this tutorial helpful. It's originally inspired by Crafty Magazine's project. 

Monday, 21 April 2014


I'm super excited to be blogging my first fashion post here at Secret Diary of a Scavenger.

I can't believe I haven't shared anything like this before, especially because fashion is a huge part of my identity.

I'm one of these people who literally wears their personality. From bold animal prints to self-bleached denim, I don't shy away from pattern, colour or brashness.

But I'm not one of these people who blows their wages every weekend on bland, over priced items in  the high street shops. I prefer to go thrifting.

This activity, as you might have guessed, links up with my passion for scavenging. I like nothing better than rummaging around in my local charity shops for unique items at fair prices. And as I'm not bad with the sewing machine, I can alter anything that I like to fit me. 

Anyway, sorry to waffle. Here are my most recent purchases from my local good will.

Outfit One

Just in time for summer, I snapped up this cute bow print jumpe and up-cycled denim shorts combo:

Shorts: £3.99, Jumper: £2.99

I'm absolutely in love with the full-length chunky zip on these shorts!


Outfit Two

My second find was this up-cycled strapless a-line shirt dress in a candy stripe

Shirt Dress £4.99

Outfit Three

My third and final find of the day is this beautiful bow print play suit, originally from H&M.

Playsuit: £3.99

It's a little big but it will only need some simple alterations.

Altogether, I've spent around £16 on three decent outfits for summer. You'll be hard pushed to buy at least one quality item from a high street store these days.