Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Make-It-Yourself-Fashion: DIY Lace Trousers

I'm sure you may have seen over the last few months one of the latest trends in the ever-changing Pakistani fashion industry - embroidered and lace cuffs. I love that there's a variety of styles available rather than just the usual tapered pants - tulip trousers, brocade trousers, palazzos and straight trousers with cut-outs and lace inserts.cuffs

For Eid, I wanted to go for something quite contemporary - I had a beautiful worked kameez from my Pakistan which I loved but wanted to mix-and-match with some more trendy trousers. I had a look around the local shops - first wondering whether to get a brocade/jamawar print trousers to match, then looking for embroidered or lace trousers. Unfortunately I had no luck - the turquoise colour of the outfit is quite a specific one to match (although I did consider a contrasting look in light grey or pink), but in the end I gave up - the closest I found were trousers which were plain an had simple buttons on the cuff.

I decided then to try my hand at customising the pants I already had for the outfit instead - this way I'd get the look I was going for, and it would be a little more unique. I got a family friend of mine to alter the trousers so they would be more tapered (they were quite wide to start off with), and then looked around the shops and markets for some lace I'd like to add.

It took me a while but I finally managed to found some lace I liked, in a tiny shop near my mum's house, which was about the size of a walk-in closet and crammed wall-to-wall with lace, ribbons, buttons and sew-on patches.

This is the lace below - it's a silvery colour but for some reason it looks white! I got luck with this - it only cost £5 for a yard, and the woman who sold it confirmed that this was the kind of lace you can sew on trousers. Surprisingly, this was the only shop to have decent lace - a lot of the bigger shops and markets had very old-fashioned lace or just the wrong shape and size, suited more for kameez hems than anything else.

I also bought some pearl buttons (I couldn't decide whether to go for just buttons on the cuff, or lace, then opted for both!) - I couldn't find pure white ones but found some very pretty ones from Queens Market in a very pale mint blue shade which went perfectly.

I set about sewing the lace onto the bottom of the trousers by hand with white thread - which took me about two hours to do! This was mainly because I used small stitches to secure the lace legs properly (my husband kept offering to staple the lace on for me) and also because I kept checking the lace was in the right position and was straight - very fiddly work!

This is the final look of the trouser s- you can see the stitches a little but overall I was quite pleased with how the lace looked. My sisters told me that they wouldn't have realised I had sewn the lace on myself unless I told them, so I'll take that as a compliment!

I'd love to try more experiments with altering my own outfits and customising, and I had great fun searching in markets and shops for ribbons and laces, which gave me lots more creativity ideas. The only thing I wasn't happy about was that you can't see the pearl buttons on the trousers cuff, but seeing as the lace is such a statement piece of the trousers, this was bound to happen.

I'll be sharing more DIY projects soon - but let me know what you thought of this one!

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