Showing posts with label tutorial. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tutorial. Show all posts

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Draped Neck Maxi Dress DIY Tutorial

Maxi dresses top my list for summer weather.  I love the comfort / ease associated with them and thought the draped neck might be a good variation from ones I've made in the past.

Difficulty: Easy

Time: ~1.5 - 2 hours

  • ~2 yards knit fabric (56-60" width)
  • Existing sleeveless shirt that fits you well
Due to the length of the post and amount of photos, please see the rest of tutorial after the jump.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Striped Tulle Skirt DIY Tutorial

I fell in love with the striped tulle skirt on Jenny of CrazyStyleLove in last week's preview post and decided to make my own rendition.  If you'd like to make your own, please see tutorial below :)

Difficulty: Easy

Time: ~1.5 - 2 hours

  • ~3/4 yard base fabric (the navy blue underskirt and waist band - I used satin for relative weight and stiffness to give me some volume)
  • ~1/3 yard contrast stripe fabric (teal stripes - also used satin) or less if you use more than 1 type of contrast like Jenny's skirt
    • I used one contrast since I couldn't find any other satin color that I wanted to incorporate
  • ~3/4 yard tulle fabric 
1. Cut out your pieces - all are easy rectangles.

  • Skirt Base = I went with a 1-seam skirt and used my desired length x fabric width for my skirt rectangle.  
    • In this case, 22 x 56"
  • Skirt Waistband = Use your waist size + 2" in your desired width * 2 + 0.5" for seam allowance. 
    • I like a 2" band, so my rectangle was 4.5 x 29"
  • Tulle Stripes = Depending on your # of stripes, your width will vary, but your length should be the same as your skirt base.  
    • I had 3 stripes.  Two stripes were 12 x 56" and the other was 2.5 x 56"
  • Contrast Stripes = As with the tulle, the width will vary on your # of stripes and desired end result.  The length will be the same as the skirt base.

2. Sew your stripes together by placing the right sides together (note: tulle is the same on both sides) and sew along the long side of each piece.

Another note on tulle, it stretches quite easily, so be sure not to pull it during sewing, otherwise your lengths will be mismatched.

3.  Due to the sheerness of the tulle, you'll see some unsightly stripe connections.  To mitigate, fold your contrast stripe inwards and topstitch it down.

4.  Place the right sides of your skirt base with your newly striped tulle panel and sew along the long side with a long stitch for gathering.

5.  Fold your skirt in half on the long side and mark the center point.  Fold in half again on the long side to mark your quarter points.  Do the same thing for your waistband.  Line up your marks and pin them right sides together.  These reference points will help you gather your skirt evenly.

6. Tug on your bobbin thread to gather between all of your markings so that the gathered length of your skirt now matches your waistband.  With the pins still in place, sew along the length.  This will join your base skirt and striped tulle overlay to your waistband.

7.  Insert zipper using this tutorial and hem the base skirt to your desired length.  The tulle does not need to be hemmed, so if you'd like it shorter, simply cut it to your desired length.  I kept mine longer than the base skirt for a little bit of a peek-a-boo effect.

You're finished!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

30-minute Removable Headboard Cover DIY Tutorial

I can be a bit fickle and love to experiment around with different things.  As such, I am particularly partial to impermanent items - removable peplums, reversible dresses, and now a removable headboard cover.  Making one is not only simple, but quick as well.

Difficulty: Easy

Time: ~30 minutes

Materials: ~2.5 yards of fabric (easiest if width is 55-60") for a King-sized headboard

Since this is picture-heavy, please see the rest of the tutorial after the jump.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Sew Easy: Pillow Cover DIY Tutorial

We're starting to get settled in the new place and now adding some finishing touches.  One of the items I wanted to update were some old pillow covers.

Easy Pillow Cover DIY Tutorial w/ Envelope Closure

Difficulty: Very Easy

Time: 30 minutes

How to:
  • Cut rectangle of fabric for your desired pillow size and add 7" on one side
    • I wanted my finished pillows to be 18x18" so cut a rectangle 18x25"
  • Hem your short edges.
  • Fold your rectangle into a square with overlapping edges (this is where the extra length is used) and sew down the sides
  • Snip each corner right above your sewn edge so that when flipped outwards, the corners will be crisp instead of slumped inwards from the excess material
  • Turn inside out and stuff - you're done!
What the back of the pillow looks like

I prefer these pillows:

to these:

Easy update!  :)

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Under the Sea Box Pleated Skirt DIY

I purchased this beautiful twill fabric a while ago waiting for spring and finally got around to sewing it up.  At the moment, I am making a top as well so that they can be worn together like a dress or separately.

Difficulty: Easy

Time: ~2 hrs


How to:

Happy Spring!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

1-Hour Blouse DIY Tutorial

Can't figure out what to wear?  Make yourself a new blouse in an hour :)

1-Hour Blouse DIY Tutorial

Due to the number of pictures, please see tutorial after the jump.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Reversible Shell w/ Removable Peplum DIY Tutorial

If I could multi-purpose every DIY, I would and feel pleased as punch about it.  :)  Today's shell is reversible - cobalt on one side and charcoal on the other.  I also put together a removable cobalt peplum  for more versatility.

Left: Peplum Look
Center: Cobalt Shell (side 1)
Right: Charcoal Shell (side 2)

Difficulty: Easy

Time: ~2-3 hours

Pattern:  Make your own from an existing sleeveless top

  • Existing sleeveless shell to pattern your top
  • 1 yard of fabric for side 1 and 1 yard of fabric for side 2.  Ideally, the same fabric type.  I used 2 stretchy knits - 1 in cobalt and 1 in charcoal.
  • ~3/4 yard fabric for 1 peplum
1. Create a basic top using an existing shirt (tutorial here).  Make 2 identical basic tanks.
2. Place one tank inside the other one where the right sides of each are touching.  Notch the collar (cutting through both) by making a triangular cut (a little over 1" on each side) at one side.

2. Sew the 2 tops together similar to how you would line a top (tutorial here)
3. Optional - Create the removable peplum (tutorial here, see part 2 towards the bottom of the post).  You can close your peplum several ways:
  • use a brooch
  • add a hook and eye
  • use a button and buttonhole

Happy sewing and have a great week!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

2013 Year in Review

I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season so far!  Sometimes it's hard to believe that the year is nearly over.  It's been a pretty full year for us as a family.  If you'll indulge me, I'd like to share some of my personal highlights.  :)

Favorite DIYs:
I cut down on buying clothing (1% vs. 4% last year) and focused more on making my own.  This year, I tried my hand at making more complex items like coats:

I also played around with different details on maxi dresses:

And experimented with more dress / skirt tutorials:

Favorite Eats:
My family and I spent a good deal of the year exploring different eateries :)
  • Gochi in Mountain View / Cupertino
  • Hakka in San Francisco
  • Mango Medley in San Francisco
  • Everything in Hong Kong (1, 2, and 3)

Favorite Moments / Events:
  • Food and fabric exploration adventures in SF, LA (1 and 2), and Hong Kong
  • Mommy moments
    • Toddler affection - when E asks for a "huck" (hug), or "I want to kiss your nose", or says "I wuv you" / "Hewwo Mom"
    • Preschooler accomplishments - V's utter excitement about reading / listening to bedtime stories / doing homework / learning Chinese (enrolled in bilingual preschool w/ nightly tutorials from my husband)
    • Building Lego castles with them and seeing their glee in knocking them down
    • Christmas morning squeals :)
  • Cycling with husband
    • Went from an exhausting 10 miles on our mountain bikes to 30 miles on our new hybrids 2x a week

Happy New Year to everyone!!  May 2014 bring you happiness and many blessings!
A GIANT thank you for visiting this blog and joining me in my sewing, dining, and shopping adventures!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Easy J. Crew Inspired Jeweled Sweatshirt Tutorial

Jewels, jewels, everywhere.  I especially love the combination with a comfortable sweatshirt for a cozy yet luxe feel.  Inspired by the beautiful details on J. Crew Factory's Jeweled Raglan Sweatshirt (here, $98), I wanted to try making my own after finding this Target striped sweatshirt (here, $12).

Jeweled Raglan Sweatshirt DIY

Difficulty: Easy

Time: ~2 hours + let glue dry overnight if gluing only
           additional ~2 hours to reinforce with thread

  • Existing sweatshirt (raglan sleeves work well if you're going for a similar look)
  • Jewels / Gems / Baubles
    • I used sewable black gems in a variety of sizes (Joann's) and small silver spikes from a previous project (eBay)
    • Note: The prettiest, clearest gems are Swarovski, but those are $$.  If you're going for a cheaper gem (like me), I'd recommend an opaque color so you don't have to worry about "muddy" clarity or surface scratches.
  • Fabric glue
  • Optional: fusible interfacing for added stability.  My sweatshirt is very thin and I was afraid the added gems would make the material droop, so I added a rectangle of interfacing on the underside of the sleeve seams on the front.
  • Optional: needle and matching thread.  I didn't want to take the chance of any gems falling off so reinforced with stitching by hand.
    • I would recommend against invisible nylon thread if you plan on wearing the top without a camisole as the thread ends tend to feel plastic-like and irritate skin.

  1. If your sweatshirt material is thin, consider using the optional interfacing.  Simply cut interfacing in the size and shape of your general design.  Turn your sweatshirt inside out and iron the interfacing (nubby fusible side towards the sweatshirt) in your design area.
  2. Lay out gems in your desired configuration.  Use the seaming to help orient the gems symmetrically.
  3. One by one, add a small dab of glue to each gem and glue in place.  If you misalign one, simply pull it off and re-glue.
  4. Allow glue to dry overnight.
  5. Optionally, reinforce with hand stitching after glue has dried.

Detailed look

Finished Jeweled Sweatshirt DIY

Happy DIYing!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

J. Crew Inspired Tweed-Front Merino DIY Tutorial

Continued from this post, I had fit issues with the J. Crew Tweed-Front Merino Sweater and decided to make my own version.  See details below on how to create your own.

Original J. Crew version here
and my DIY version

 Difficulty: Intermediate

Time: ~2-3 hrs (I wound up making 2, so it took me 5 hours total)

  • ~1/2 yard of tweed, 
  • ~1 yard of knit fabric (stretchier is better!)
  • Bias tape in a matching color to bind your collar
  • Existing raglan sleeve top that fits you well 
Due to the number of photos, please see the rest of the tutorial after the jump.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Sewing 101: Invisible Zipper Tutorial

I'm not an expert by any means and there are MANY great zipper tutorials (2 of my favorites here and here), but I wanted to share this from the perspective of someone who has never been a "natural" at anything.  I have a tendency to take shortcuts / do things my own way / learn via trial and error and this is the easiest method for me when it comes to sewing in a zipper.  :)

Typical Zipper Lengths and Project Types:
  • 7-9" = Skirts
  • 12-14" = Side zips on dresses / tops
  • 20-22" = Back zips on dresses / tops
I personally use the 7-9" and 20-22" sizes the most.  Though side zips are nice in minimizing a zipper on the exterior, I find that the zipper tab bothers me throughout the day.  I stock up on white, beige, and black zippers during every sale and find that those are really the only colors I need.  I do also pick up odd colors on clearance (sale goggles are applicable with sewing supplies too) and throw those in on occasion (like this leopard print with lilac zipper).  Since you only see the zipper tab, even an out-there color doesn't matter too much.

Getting Started:
If you read the directions on the packaging, they advise you to iron the zipper first so that the area folded underneath the teeth is exposed and ready for sewing.  In order for your zipper to be "invisible", you need to stitch right along this little groove (great pictures in the tutorials mentioned above).  For whatever reason, I can never seem to iron to the point of it being completely exposed (might be the fear of accidentally burning my fingers or melting the zipper).  So I forgo the ironing and move right along.

What I do:
1.) Unzip the zipper and align one side first.  I place the zipper stop at where the top of my garment will be.  Pin in place.

In the case of the skirt below, this is halfway up the length of the waistband.

2.) Baste one side.  
3.) Close the zipper to align your other side by matching the waistband / skirt seams up.
4.) Baste the other side.  Do not worry about basting these perfectly!  As you can tell, I do these pretty quickly because the main purposes of basting are to allow for try-ons and test zipper positioning. In the event that the garment needs to be looser or tighter, you just need to tug the bobbin thread and the whole zipper will come off for easy realignment.

Quickly baste your zipper in to test garment fit and zipper positioning

5.) Once I'm happy with the positioning, I use a regular zipper foot (I tried one of those plastic invisible zipper foots once and could not get the stitching close enough for the zipper to be invisible) to stitch along the groove.

5a.)  To do this, I use the wider part of the foot base to push the teeth down and my fingers to expose the groove while I slowly stitch my way down.  Caution - be very aware of of where your fingers are in relation to the needle!

 6.) Repeat Step 5 for the second side.  The bonus to pre-basting is that the zipper won't get away from you while you're sewing along the groove.

Once complete, you can remove the basting if you'd like.  I usually just keep it in since it doesn't affect anything and no one can see it in the interior.

True to its name, the zipper should be invisible when zipped 

 7.) To close up the rest of the garment beneath the zipper, simply position your needle alongside your zipper right above its tail and sew all the way down.  Remember to backstitch at the beginning and end.

8.)  Now time to close up the top of the zipper.

If you were to fold this over normally to stitch down, the top of the zipper tape might become exposed:

My Mom taught me to simply fold the fabric over the zipper and stitch closely along the teeth:

When you flip the fabric over, you'll see that both the excess fabric and top zipper tape are neatly enclosed:


Exterior view of installed zipper - see the visible tab?

How the zipper looks from the interior

Questions?  Please feel free to comment below, tweet me, or email me.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Tutorial: Box Pleated Skirt DIY

A continuation from last week's post, here's the tutorial for the box pleated skirt.

Box Pleated Skirt DIY

Difficulty: Easy

Time: ~2 hrs

  • ~1 yard of 54-60" wide fabric - you'll want something that will hold a little structure like a cotton
  • 9" invisible zipper
  • Optional interfacing (more info in this tutorial)
Due to the number of photos, please see the rest of the tutorial after the jump.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Easy Reversible Colorblock Skirt DIY Tutorial

Removable elements, reversible pieces, whatever - I love a gimmicky garment that offers options.  I had a small stripe of tan knit fabric from a previous colorblocking project and decided to use it in a skirt.  To make it kind of fun / versatile, I decided to make it reversible from tan / black to white / black.

Reversible Skirt DIY

Difficulty: Easy

Time: ~2 hrs

  • Your choice of colorblocking fabrics (also feel free to mix more than 2 blocks)
  • Elastic for waistband
Due to the number of photos, please see the rest of the tutorial after the jump.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Easy Refashion DIY Tutorial: Dress --> Separates

When my t-shirt dress shrank from slightly above the knee to slightly below my butt, I groaned at my laundering (in)capabilities.  Too long to be a shirt, too short to be a dress, I decided to chop it in half to create a tee for me and a skirt for E - whee! Sorry for cheesy rhyming, but I couldn't resist.  Our current bedtime story rotation consists of Dr. Seuss books.

Dress --> Tee + Toddler Skirt
Difficulty: Easy

Time: ~1 hr


  • Existing dress
  • Elastic for waistband
  • Optional - serger, twin needle

What I did:
1.) Try on your dress and mark how long you'd like your shirt to be.  Add on ~1" to allow for hemming.

2.) Cut your dress at your desired length (marked in Step 1).

3.) Skirt - We'll start with the elastic waistband.  To join your elastic ends together, I typically sew and backstitch 2 rows of zigzags.

 4.) If you have a serger,  go ahead and serge your elastic band to the waist of your skirt.  This prevents your elastic band from flipping around in the casing.

ALTERNATIVELY, for regular sewing machines, fold the waist over the elastic band to create a casing and stitch along the bottom.  To prevent elastic flipping, you can stitch / backstitch / stitch with matching thread along the side seams to hold it in place.  I usually go 3 forward, 3 back, and 3 forward to secure.  Go ahead and skip to Step 8.

5.) Fold the elastic waist over into the skirt interior.  Add a few pins to keep it in place.

 6.) Sew along the bottom to anchor and hide your elastic.

7.) Finished skirt:

8.) For the top, all you have to do is hem it!  I folded the hem inwards and then used a twin needle and navy blue thread to sew along the navy stripe.

9.) Iron the seams of both garments and you're finished!

P.S.  Today is the last day to enter the $1000 gift card giveaway from Vaseline Spray and Go Moisturizer.  All you have to do is leave a comment on the review post here.
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