DIY: Pom Pom Bag Charm

pom pom charm bag gwenstella made

What happens when a girl loves straw bags, has a huge stash of yarn, and is developing an obsession with pom poms? 

I have always had a soft spot for cute summer bags. Be it vintage wicker bags, straw bags, weaved basket bags, bamboo bags… whatever you like to call them, anything that goes under one of the aforementioned categories of bag make me go weak on my knees.

pom pom bag charm gwenstella made

pom pom bag charm gwenstella made

While I appreciate the beauty and versatility of a plain straw bag, I also enjoy changing styles and adding pops of colour to my looks. Adding pom poms in coordinating colours to my beloved second-hand weaved straw bag seems to be the natural thing to do!

pom pom bag charm gwenstella made

I made this pom pom bag charm on the same afternoon that I refashioned my old heels with pom poms. This mini DIY project took me less than 30 minutes from start to finish, including the time that it took to make the pom poms. Here’s how I did it:

DIY: pom pom bag charm gwenstella madepom pom charm bag gwenstellamadeMaterials:

Yarn in desired colours
Pom pom makers in different sizes
Beading accessory (in clockwise from top left): Lobster clasp, folding crimp, jump ring
Round-nose jewellery pliers


pom pom bag charm gwenstella made1. Make 3 or more pom poms in different sizes using a pom pom maker. Ensure that you leave a long tail for each pom pom. This is important for adjusting the length of the pom pom charm later.

pom pom charm bag gwenstellamade2. Hold the cluster of pom poms together and place it against your straw bag. Adjust the length of each tail of each pom pom for your desired look. For example, I made sure that the brown pom pom is the longest of all 3 pom poms, while the other 2 pink pom poms are about the same height. Trim the tail according to the desired final length of the pom pom charm.

pom pom charm bag gwenstellamade3. Using your jewellery pliers, secure the end of all the tails of the pom poms with the folding crimp. Add the jump ring and lobster clasp to the folding crimp.

pom pom charm bag gwenstellamade4. Wrap the tail around the handle of the straw bag and hook the lobster clasp around the strands of yarn. Voila! You now have a pom pom charm hanging on your straw bag!

pom pom bag charm gwenstella madeIn hindsight, it might have been better to use a different shade of brown as the brown I picked looks too much like the colour of the bag itself. But I guess having a low-key look with the cluster of pom poms isn’t too bad either.

pom pom charm bag gwenstellamadeTry making one yourself if you have some time (and yarn) to spare this weekend! I’d love to see your versions!


MAKE DO & MEND: Pom Pom Heels

gwenstella made pom pom heels DIY

gwenstellamade pom pom heels DIY
A lot of people have asked me about my heels from the last blog post on my new Gwenstella Made 1950’s Style Country Garden Dress. I have been keeping quiet about it because it’s a DIY project that I have been meaning to share! I have had this pair of pink mid heels for a good 3 years or so and they have turned kinda filthy. When I say filthy, I mean.. really filthy…

The faux suede surface is scratched in many different areas, the soles have worn off, and the interior is slowly peeling away. It is tempting to simply chuck them away and get a new pair. But there’s still so much wearable lifespan to them and I hate to send them to the landfill so soon. Really, it’s still overall a very structurally-sound pair of heels. And so, obviously, I had to make do and mend!

gwenstella made pom pom heels DIY
I was inspired by a few different pom pom heels I have seen online, and I knew adding pom poms would be a super quick and easy way to make my heels cute again. This took me less than 30 minutes from start to the end. Here’s how I did it:

gwenstellamade pom pom heels DIYMaterials:

  • A pair of heels
  • Foam soles
  • Yarn
  • Pom pom maker
  • Hot glue gun
  • Felt
  • Scissors


gwenstellamade pom pom heels DIY1. Trim foam soles to fit the soles of the heels. Glue them in place.

gwenstellamade pom pom heels DIY
gwenstellamade pom pom heels DIY2. Make 2 pom poms. Trim them and make sure they look almost identical.

gwenstellamade pom pom heels DIY3. Flatten a side of each pom pom and glue a small piece of round felt on the flattened side.

gwenstellamade pom pom heels DIY4. Play around with the position of the pom pom on the heels. This is important as you want to make sure you get the right spot before securing it with hot glue gun. When you think you’re ready, secure the pom poms on the shoes using hot glue gun!

gwenstellamade pom pom heels DIY

I am so happy with how this DIY project turned out! This is also a great stash busting project for anyone who has too much yarn lying around, like me. I have a few other pom pom projects lined up for the blog. If you like pom poms as much as I do, you can look forward to seeing here! xx

DIY: Sweet Hair Bow & Tie in One

Living in hot and sunny Singapore means that I have my hair tied up when I am at home most of the time. After completing my adorable 1950’s baby doll pjs set, I decided that I had to have something just as cute to tie my hair up with.

A bow is the simplest thing you could add to your hair for an instant cute and retro flair. Using a ribbon to tie a bow to a ponytail is a very popular hairstyle in the 1950’s and 1960’s. While I like the idea of having bows in my hair at home, I don’t quite like the trouble of using a regular hair elastic and then adding a bow in later.

I wanted something quick, easy and fuss-free. And so, I decided to make a pair of these hair bow ties for use at home. It took me less than 5 minutes to whip both of them up, so I decided to share how I made them with everyone too!


  • Toilet paper roll (or a pipe, a slim glass, or even a lover’s wrist – just something to tie your elastic around with)
  • Elastic (at least 28″ for 1 hair tie)
  • A pair of scissors


1. Lay your elastic under the toilet roll. Ensure you have at least 12″ to work with to the right of the toilet roll.

2. Hold the elastic on the right with your right hand, and the elastic on the left with your left hand. Cross them and pull one side under the other.

3. Create a loop on each side and cross your left loop over the right loop as shown in the photo.

4. After pulling the left loop over the right loop, pull it from under the right loop.

5. Pull the loops gently to tighten the bow.

6. Pull the elastic that is still wrapped around the toilet roll to tighten the bow even more. Neaten as you go along.

7. Cut the excess elastic off once you are done neatening the bow, to create the bow that you want. You may want to have a bow with longer strands coming down.

8. You now have a sturdy, and sweet hair bow tie!

I have been wearing this hair tie at home a lot with my baby doll pjs. Now all I need is a pair of pink fluffy house slippers to complete the dreamy 1950’s stay-home look!

DIY: Jean Seberg’s New York Herald Tribune T-shirt

The New York Herald Tribune t-shirt is an iconic fashion piece that was worn by Jean Seberg in the movie “Breathless”. Since the release of the French New Wave movie in 1960, the t-shirt, like Seberg’s gamine pixie haircut, has gained a cult following and inspired many, including me. There’s something about the combination of a clean white shirt and classic typography that is very appealing. Ever since I got my haircut and watch the film, I wanted a t-shirt like that to wear for casual days out.

Apparently, Rodarte even released an almost identical design in 2010 to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the film’s release. I’m not sure how much that t-shirt by Rodarte costs and I’m not even going to try looking it up, because I made one myself easily.

And you can do it too, with a print-out of the New York Herald Tribune logo. Tip: Search on Google!

Jean Seberg Breathless T-shirt 1960s Vintage Retro DIY


1x piece of freezer paper
1x penknife
1x plain white t-shirt
1x print out of the New York Herald Tribune (ideally full A4)
1x pot of black fabric paint
1x paint brush
Some washi tape



1. Trace the logo on the side of the freezer paper without the smooth, shiny wax.

jean seberg new york herald tribune t-shirt DIY 1960s fashion2. Cut out the letters on the freezer paper with a penknife. Some letters will be tricky, like “O” and “R”. You can choose to either cut the inner piece out and stick it on later (like my letter “O”) or cut the letters out like a stencil (like my letter “R”).

jean seberg new york herald tribune t-shirt DIY 1960s fashion3. Iron the freezer paper on the t-shirt. Notice that the inner circle of my “o” is missing in this picture. I stuck in on later.

4. And now the fun part! Slap on the paint over the letters and make sure you got all the itty bitty corners covered.

jean seberg new york herald tribune t-shirt DIY 1960s fashionjean seberg new york herald tribune t-shirt DIY 1960s fashion5. You may end up with some thin lines in each letter that don’t show up from your painting. Stick some wash tape to make sure you mark the boundaries and paint over with confidence!

6. Ta da! And it’s all done!

jean seberg new york herald tribune t-shirt DIY 1960s fashion

jean seberg new york herald tribune t-shirt DIY 1960s fashion

DIY/MUST-HAVE: Vintage-inspired Saddle Shoes

DIY Vintage Inspired Saddle Shoes

*This post is also featured as a guest post on Atomic Amber’s fabulous pin-up and vintage style blog.* >>> here!

Saddle shoes were very popular in the 1940s and 1950s, and are a must-have for anyone that loves mid-century fashion. Back in 2012, I made a pair of two-tone oxford brogues using bronze fabric paint. Now that I am slowly progressing towards a more vintage-inspired wardrobe, I find that I need a pair of black and white saddle shoes to supplement my wardrobe. And being me, I’d much rather make a pair myself than to buy a pair online.

So here’s a simple tutorial for everyone out there who wants to make a pair too!


DIY Vintage Inspired Saddle Shoes

A pair of white plimsolls – I got mine from Target
A pot of black fabric paint
A paint brush with a flat or sharp tip for precision during painting
Black fabric marker
Sticky tape – I used wash tape I have in my stash


DIY Vintage Inspired Saddle Shoes

1. Remove the shoe laces. Place sticky tape somewhere off the centre of the shoes. Also, tape the tongue of the shoe down so it doesn’t get in the way while you paint.

DIY Vintage Inspired Saddle Shoes

2. Use the black fabric marker to mark a semi-circle on the back of the shoes. I followed the stitching pattern that was already on the plimsolls.

DIY Vintage Inspired Saddle Shoes

3. Start painting away! Don’t be too worried about getting paint on the eyelets because you can wipe the paint off before it dries.

DIY Vintage Inspired Saddle Shoes

4. Wipe off any paint you have on the eyelets. You can also clean the insides using cotton buds.

DIY Vintage Inspired Saddle Shoes

5. Allow the paint to dry for a day, then set the paint with an iron. Avoid being too close to the rubber soles because you don’t want to melt the rubber!

DIY Vintage Inspired Saddle Shoes

6. Put the laces back on and smile, because you now own a pair of saddle shoes!

DIY Vintage Inspired Saddle Shoes

Wearing: Freddies of Pinewood Lana jeans and #gwenstellamade vintage-inspired saddle shoes

DIY Vintage Inspired Saddle Shoes

DIY Vintage Inspired Saddle Shoes

A couple of weekends ago, I wore my “new” saddle shoes for the very first time. I’m so excited about all the different ways I can incorporate it into my mid-century outfits in the future! Let me know if you make a pair for yourself too. I’d love to see your projects! x G


MAKE DO & MEND: Vintage 1950s inspired Kimono Blouse

Vintage 1950s inspired Kimono Blouse Make Do and Mend Refashioned

Getting the size of my wardrobe in check has always been a challenge for me. Month after month, there’s always bound to be a couple of pieces of clothing that I no longer fancy. And once every few months, I impulsively shop for mass-produced clothes from online shops because of the silly hankering for something rather new and fancy to become part of my daily ensemble. Sadly, love at first sight often only lasts for up to 6 months.

However, I must say that my shopping habits have improved markedly from my reckless days as a uni student. As part of my personal pilgrimage to achieving sainthood in being a conscious citizen of fashion, I often turn to the good ol’ make-do-and-mend. In other words, I put my amateur sewing skills into good use and turn something old into something new.

I have had a couple of projects in the past such as turning an XL denim shirt into a skirt and adding strips of jersey for a military inspired tank. But for the remainder of this year, I have resolved to make more radical alterations (and buy less mass-produced clothing items).

Behold! My first make-do-and-mend project of the year. This is a 1950s style kimono blouse that was inspired by the vintage sewing pattern Simplicity 4538.

Simplicity 4538 Vintage 1950s Sewing


Vintage 1950s inspired Kimono Blouse Make Do and Mend Refashioned

I was struck by the ingenuity of this pattern when I chanced upon it on Pinterest and had to do a lot of thinking before embarking on this project (since I don’t have the original pattern). My fabric stash contains no jersey material because I have no serger (yet), so re-using a preloved T-shirt was an obvious choice. Lucky for me, my boyfriend has lost quite a bit of weight recently and has a few T-shirts that no longer fit him *insert devilish smile and shiny scissors here*.

Vintage 1950s inspired Kimono Blouse Make Do and Mend Refashioned


Vintage 1950s inspired Kimono Blouse Make Do and Mend Refashioned


Materials/skills needed:
1 old large T-shirt
A pair of sharp scissors
The ability to sew a straight line on the machine

The steps are as easy… (no serger required).

Vintage 1950s inspired Kimono Blouse Make Do and Mend Refashioned StepsStep 1: Cut the top of an old XL tee off, leaving only the rectangular piece of fabric

Vintage 1950s inspired Kimono Blouse Make Do and Mend Refashioned StepsStep 2: Sew the top of the rectangular piece of fabric, bearing in mind to leave about 6 inches of opening at each end. These openings are the armholes, so you might want to adjust the opening according to the width of your upper arm.

Step 3: Cut a vertical slit from the bottom of the shirt to just about the middle of the fabric.

Vintage 1950s inspired Kimono Blouse Make Do and Mend Refashioned Steps

Vintage 1950s inspired Kimono Blouse Make Do and Mend Refashioned Steps

Vintage 1950s inspired Kimono Blouse Make Do and Mend Refashioned Steps

Step 4: Fold a small 0.5 cm edge towards the wrong side of the fabric/old tee and sew as marked in the picture.

Step 5: Wear it with pride! Put your arms into the armholes, making sure that the vertical slit is at the bottom (i.e. it will end up being on your back and just above the butt). Be sure to check out this link to see how it is worn!

Vintage 1950s inspired Kimono Blouse Make Do and Mend Refashioned

Please bear in mind that I am quite petite and my bust is non-existent, so the fabric from a super large T-shirt is sufficient to maintain my modesty. Busty and larger girls might not be able to recreate this from just an old tee. But hey, combining more than 1 T-shirt or using your own roll of jersey fabric works too!

Are you thinking about making a similar one? Let me know because I’d love to see your version! I have another large T-shirt with wide stripes in my stash.. and I might just make a striped version like the one on the cover of the sewing pattern!

xo G