Tuesday, April 3, 2012

diy: colorblock sandals

Inspired by this wrapped tribal choker project from the ever-fierce Aimee at SwellMayde, I gave some plain brown platforms a little facelift:


I wrapped the embroidery thread per Aimee's tutorial, opting just knot the ends tightly to secure them at each end:

This is such a neat, simple technique for updating accessories.  Why not try it on your sandal straps, belts, purse handles, and various pieces of jewelry?  And it confers a significant bonus when used on shoes, adding a welcome layer of cushy padding!  Woot!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

diy inspiration: silk tops

After successfully finishing my most recent clothing project, I've been itching to do more like it - thrifted silky tops spruced up with a quick modification to the hemline.  Some variations to consider:

Samantha Pleet blouse

I'm enjoying this pointy detail!  

NW3 blouse
NW3 blouse

A scalloped hem would be darling as well (see here for a great tute on making a scalloped edge), though I'd probably do it as a full-on crop top with a swingy, less fitted shape.

Vero Moda blouse

Vero Moda blouse

And, of course, the mullet.  This shape will long be one of my faves.

Refashioning projects like these are at the top of my to-do list.  Can't lie, though - said list is out of control!  What are your priority DIY projects for spring/summer?

Saturday, March 17, 2012

diy: silk crop top

[Weird things have been happening with Google Friend Connect, and some of the cool kids are murmuring that it may soon be a thing of the past for all.  So if you like what you see here, please follow me on Bloglovin!]

Like everyone else, my sights are firmly set on warmer-weather dressing.  This breezy crop top is one of my faves, equally perfect with cutoffs/sandals or a pencil skirt and blazer:

Otis Maclain blouse

Inspired by the shape of this top, I did a little operation on this oversized thrifted silk shirt:



What I did:
1. Drew a curved hemline (yeah, I'm an addict) on the inside of the shirt, then sewed a line of stitches along that curve.
2. Cut off the bottom of the shirt about 3/4 inch below the line I had just sewed.
3. Carefully pressed the hem up so that the line of stitches was just slightly on the inside of the shirt, then folded the hem in about 1/4 inch and pressed that one more time with steam.  This helps manage the wonkiness of the curved hem and gathers the resulting excess material before you finish the hem.
4. Stitched the hem down in place.
5. Took in the sides a bit to create slightly more triangular shape.

I decided to just roll up the sleeves instead of cutting them off, as I like the option of having sleeves for a little coverage when the sun is just too much.  I'm ambivalent about whether to keep the pointed collar, though - what do you think?  Should it stay or go?

Friday, March 9, 2012

diy: passport cover

I had the day off yesterday and was eager to spend my time knocking out a dress makeover project.  FAIL.  Five hours into the task and it was a disaster.  Empty-handed, I rifled through my materials stash and commanded myself to come up with something redeeming - easy, no more than 30 minutes, etc.  The result: a quick sleeve to protect my passport from those harsh airport elements.

I made use of leftover materials seen here and here, and I get to take this baby for a spin this very day!  Follow the instructions after the jump and be prepared to dazzle border patrol.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

diy inspiration: ikat blouse

My next blouse revamp just might have to be inspired by this Thakoon Addition top:

Thakoon Addition top

You could either cut and fold a panel of patterned fabric to fit and simply stitch it to the front of a blouse (like here), or remove the front and sew on a new one.  I'll admit that I'm not a huge fan of the colors or patterns used here - not really up my alley - but I do like the concept.  And I appreciate its sharp take on the ubiquitous asymmetrical hemline.

Hope you're all enjoying your weekends!  After a very Madrid Friday night out, I'm going full-on homebody tonight.  Books, soup, blogs.  Ta!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

diy preview

A quick peek into my latest project in process.  No worries!  It may be a wack pile of fabric now, but I promise it will look pretty good when it's done, or at least that I will think so (that counts, right?).

In the last week, I've been consumed with moving...my third time here in Madrid.  But I've finally hit the jackpot - I have a sweet little study, perfect for use as a DIY lab! - and am feeling settled in.  Hope you're having a great week!  Check back soon for the scoop on this project.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

diy: scarf-panel sweater

Here's the paneled sweater project I promised in my last post.  I feel like I'm always spewing some variant of "Omg guys, this project could not be simpler!!!" but really, it's true.

These days, I'm trying to focus more than ever on quality - not just when vetting new wardrobe additions, but also when making/updating garments myself.  I'm not interested in adding any poorly-constructed items to my closet, whether they were made by me or someone else - if something is crappy, I'm going to feel cheap and far from chic when wearing it.  So I'm devoting a little extra time and attention to my workmanship (e.g., slowing down while sewing, undoing mistakes and starting over when needed), rather than racing through projects and checking them off the list, as I tend to do.  This project certainly didn't turn out perfectly, but the result is vastly better than it would have been if I'd let my manic-DIYer self take over.

Process pics and steps after the jump...