Tuesday, August 28, 2012

J. Crew Inspired DIY Peter Pan Collar Mini Tutorial

I first saw this top on Gigi and loved the way it looked on her.  I knew I already had a gray sweater so decided to make a separate Peter Pan collar to pop on and off when I felt like it.

Left: J. Crew Peter Pan Collar Tee inspiration (buy here)
Right: DIY Peter Pan Collar worn over a gray sweater

There are a quite a few tutorials out there with printable patterns for you to follow, so I'm not really going to go in depth here.  I will admit that I was too lazy to hook up the printer to use one of those aforementioned tutorials, so I decided to wing it like I usually do.
The diagram doesn't show this well, but make sure you either sew a little overlap in the center front or don't cut through it completely.  You don't want 2 separate flopping pieces of collar.  Also, you can go ahead and cut through the center back.  This is where you'll attach a snap / clasp / hook / button / whatever you prefer to allow you to get in and out of your collar.

If you use something that doesn't fray and has structure (i.e. felt, vinyl, leather, etc.), you're done!  I used regular white cotton fabric so cut out 2 duplicate collar pieces, sewed the wrong sides together, flipped the right sides out, and sewed a snap at the back for a closure.  

Now you can wear it atop whatever you want :)

How do you feel about Peter Pan collars this season?

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Black Sheath w/ Structured Sleeves DIY

For most of my dresses, I tend to go with a sleeveless / collarless look as it keeps both the look and sewing simple.  However, I was enchanted by Wendy's structured sleeves here and decided to give it a shot on this black sheath dress.

The material is a ponte knit, which gives it structure with stretch and comfort.  The sleeves can be worn both flattened (normal) or pointed.  I rather like the pointed look.  It's something different than my usual aesthetic.

Black Sheath Dress w/ Structured Sleeves
Necklace 1 - my first thrift find!
Necklace 2 - Vince Camuto
Ollio Leopard Wedge Peep Toes

Deep side pleats for tummy hiding

Also replicated on the sleeve 

My husband, ever direct, asked, "Why do you have a ball on your head?"

Me:  "Um, I don't know.  I was trying one of those sock buns."

Him:  "I don't think you did it right."

Oh well, I tried.  If anyone has some tips on making my sock bun look more natural, please share!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Asymmetrical Chain Clutch and DIY Countdown

I have 1 week left of maternity leave and I plan to crank out the DIYs because I know time will become much more limited (and will be spent doting upon the children) when I return to work.

For this project, inspiration struck me whilst trying to get Baby E back to sleep at 4am.  How about a clutch with a decorative chain + button closure?  I drafted it up in my imagination and thought about it extra hard (*click* goes the camera for the mental picture - sorry, I sometimes just have to go for the cheese factor) so that it would stick in my mind when I got some DIY time.

My original vision was to use heavy, striped or chevron fabric in a white / blue combination, but I was scared of ruining expensive fabric, so decided to do a trial run with some old, leftover material.

DIY Asymmetrical Chain Clutch
Looking at this now, I should probably iron the flap to make the angles more crisp.

I was floundering when making this because I wasn't sure how to give this bag structure.  I wound up stuffing 2 pieces of felt between the lining and exterior.  This worked fine, but upon researching how real DIY bags are made, I found there is a special kind of interfacing that can be used instead.  Good thing this is a practice run!

Other projects I just finished (so many inspirations lately!):
Bejeweled Collar

Knotted Rope Bracelet

DIY Tribal Necklace (worn here)
Made from dissecting an old necklace, eyepinning the beads and arranging the geometric shape

DIY Crocheted Crescent Necklace in Yellow (video tutorial here)

I also have a structured sleeve dress, Kate Spade Jillian-esque dress, and chevron skirt in the works for future posts.  Busy sewing bee over here.  :)

How would you feel if I offered up practice DIY items for giveaway?  I sometimes wind up swimming in finished projects with too many to actually use.  But I don't want you to think I'm trying to foist things upon you.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

2 DIY Sheath Dresses: Lace & Paisley

I've been on a dresses and skirts kick lately.  I used McCall's M5972 as the basis for both dresses and changed just a few things on each.

The yellow lace sheath features little gathered pleats on the skirt while the blue paisley features 2 large pleats + little sleeves.

DIY Yellow Lace Sheath (lined)
DIY Blue Paisley Sheath

 Pleating details on each:

Deep pleats on either side of torso
It's a shame that the blue paisley pattern gets lost when viewed from a distance.  I think it's so pretty!

I wanted to try sleeves for something different on the paisley, but I'm not loving this look.  I'm currently debating adding structured sleeves (like Wendy's here) or making it sleeveless.

What do you think?  Different sleeves or no sleeves on the blue dress?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Jeweled Collar Necklace DIY Tutorial

I've been looking for an emerald green statement necklace for a few months now and haven't found the right one for the right price.  I spotted these pretty green crystal beads at the local bead shop and decided to see how I could DIY my own necklace.  To kill 2 birds with 1 stone (statement necklace + trying a trend), I decided to form a collar shape.

Please see tutorial after the jump.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

"Nautical Stepford" Dress DIY

Because Aubrey never ceases to amaze me, this post is dedicated to her :)  I've been shopping in the home decor section of the fabric store lately and have found some gorgeous prints there.  My theory is that people want more of a classic / modern print for their house than their garments (well, at least here) so those types of prints are more readily available.  I've run across chevrons, stripes, sailboat, and map prints that can't be found in apparel.  The caveat?  Most have a very open weave, are coarse to the touch, and cannot be machine washed.  Despite that, I found a few suitable fabrics and then some not-so-suitable ones I couldn't resist.

DIY Sail Away Dress
DIY Yellow Beaded Necklace
Talbots Sandals

Closer view of the print

I feel like this dress may be missing something and asked the gals of the "Anchor Brigade" (Aubrey, Cee, Elle & Ying) for suggestions.  I still need to figure out what to implement :)

What do you think?  Is there something missing?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Graphic Green Dress DIY (& 1 for Baby)

Whilst perusing the local fabric store, I noticed a "Country Club Collection" that I had never seen before.  I, of course, had to investigate.  The collection consisted of heavy-ish cottons in cute, graphic prints.  I'm going through a green phase so when I spotted a graphic green fabric, I fell in love.

I decided to go for a fit and flare type of silhouette to hopefully be more figure-flattering to my rectangular / pear-shape.  My go-to pattern for a bodice has been McCall's M5972.  It features darts at the bust and waist for a more precise fit.  I then added a waistband and full skirt (easy to self-draft) with plenty of pleating (hides the tummy).

DIY Graphic Green Dress 
DIY Pearl Necklace
DIY Pearl Bracelet & J. Crew Bracelet
Amrita Singh Ring
Michael Kors Tortoiseshell Watch
Talbots Wedge Sandals

I'm glad I went with the waistband because it really carves out a waist on me.  The print reminds me of golf.

And of course, a mini version for Baby E <3

Speaking of Baby E, anyone have any advice on how to stop a 10-month old from scaling the furniture?  Even though I'm always within a few feet of her, I worry about the day that I'm not fast enough to catch her (she is speedy!).  


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