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How to…

…make a cushion cover from an old shirt. By OK-JO

1. This Liberty shirt was picked up for £3.60 in a charity shop in Sidmouth. Beautiful print but it doesn’t look that great on. What can be done? Let’s make it into a cushion cover.

Nice shirt but not the way you wear it

Nice shirt but not the way you wear it

2. Cut out the label (if you want to use it later).

Lovely label, why waste it?

Lovely label, why waste it?

3. Measure cushion pad you’d like to use and cut shirt to size. For instance, 43cm squared but varies depending on cushion.

4. Button up your shirt and turn inside out. Pin sides together.

The shirt won't feel a thing

The shirt won't feel a thing

5. Use sewing machine to sew up all three remaining open edges.

Sew easy (sew sorry, bad pun)

Sew easy (sew sorry, bad pun)

6. Turn the shirt back so that the buttons are now on the outside.

7. Insert the cushion pad and button up to ensure a snug fit.

Button up

Button up

8. Hand-sew the label back on.

Nearly there

Nearly there

9. Place the cushion somewhere that people will see it and you’re done!

And it's done!

And it's done!


…throw a swishing party in a few easy (and illustrated) steps:

1. Set the date and send out some pretty invites. Mine were designed by Anna Spencer at

2. if you’re having the party at home – borrow a rail and get a little boudoir-feel going on so people feel relaxed and happy – wine can help too but easy on those measures and keep red wine away from the goods.


Cute as a button - keep your beady eyes open for pretty accessories

3. When the guests arrive, greet and receive their donations of unwanted clothes with enthusiasm. If you see something you like – keep your eye on it! Place clothes on the rail and start the party. Put on some tunes and let everyone browse to their heart’s content. If they want to try stuff on, that’s fine too. Don’t be shy!


Try before you sigh - make sure it fits first!

4. I’ve heard of parties before where a horn sounds/whistle blows/someone shouts to indicate the start of the swish. We decided to be diplomatic as there were just a few of us – we wrote names on paper and picked them out of a (donated) hat. This way people get to pick stuff they want as if they were in a little lucky dip boutique – if they exist.


If the shoes fits! Nab them!

5. Make sure everyone gets a go and then…it’s a free for all! Everyone can grab whatever they want to take home with them. Hooray! You held your first swish and hopefully you now have lots of new-old clothes to enjoy without having to spend your hard-earned cash in a shop where no one knows your name.

No frills, no fuss – tips to make swishing work for you

First things first – try stuff on! You don’t want to be sad if the skirt doesn’t fit once you get it home. If it’s not right for you, it might work for someone else.


Well-heeled woman - Jo with her new grey boots

Accessories can really make or break an outfit. Why not choose a few and jazz up something that needs an injection of colour with a hat or a little sparkle with a belt like Sarah did with this shirt dress.


A touch of sparkle!

Try something new – these jeans are a little short for MC but underneath boots, no one will ever know! You can also look at customising anything you bag so bear that in mind when you’re making friends with the sewing machine.


Turn up and get ready to swap

So, what are you waiting for? Why not throw a swap this weekend and remember – one woman’s trash is another woman’s treasure.

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