Thursday, February 28, 2013

Mixed Leopard Scarf DIY & Mini Tutorial

I saw this soft cotton material at Fabrics R Us in San Jose and fell in love with the mix of patterns and colors.  If you sew and live in the area, I highly recommend FRU - their selection is massive and the prices are fantastic.

I've been on a bit of a scarf kick lately and this is a fast / easy project - great for any beginner sew-ers!

Project Difficulty: Easy
Time: ~20 min

Mixed Leopard Scarf DIY

What You Need:
  • 2 yards of a lightweight fabric - cottons or chiffons work well.  It's best to look for a fabric whose front and back are either the same or look very similar.  You can make 2-3 scarves out of this material depending on how wide you'd like it.  

What I did: 
  • Since my fabric was thin and drape-y, I decided to cut it as a wide rectangle (28 x 72") in order to get a little volume.
  • For those with sergers, you can just run it through your machine using either rolled or narrow hemming features (I used narrow for this scarf).  For those with a regular sewing machine, I've heard that you can buy a narrow hemming foot to finish the edges.

Serger Instructions for Rolled Hemming and Narrow Hemming 
(either can be used for a scarf)
  • And that's it!  You basically just cut a rectangle (or square if you prefer) and sew along the edges to prevent it from fraying.

Adds a little interest to an otherwise normal ensemble

Speaking of scarves, there's a few days left before my scarf giveaway is over!
Easiest giveaway ever - just click and enter a comment - that's it!

To all those who have entered and offered feedback, thank you so much!  You've given me many great ideas for future posts!  Special thanks to Rosie H. for the idea to add a difficulty scale to projects and Ronke / Cdang / Hongru for suggesting a mini tutorial on making scarves. :)

Stay tuned for more suggestions-turned-posts including one on fabric selection and figuring out which fabrics work best for which projects!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Kate Spade Carolyn Inspired Dress DIY

I first saw this dress on Blair of Atlantic Pacific and pinned it as a future project.  When I saw P of Phiphi's blog wear it, I knew it had to be my very next DIY :)  I just couldn't help myself, it looks so gorgeous on these ladies and this really satisfies my stripe obsession.

Fabric: Fabrics R Us in San Jose, 2 yards of ~55" satin

Pattern: Bodice via McCall M5972 (modified this way) with a self-drafted skirt

Difficulty: Easy/Intermediate

Kate Spade Carolyn Inspired Dress DIY
I made the dress a little more "me" with pleats instead of gathers and a narrow navy waistband combined with the narrow white stripe above for some visual interest.  I also matched the stripes the best I could at the sides for continuity. 

Kate Spade Hinge Bangle, Blue
Hermes Clic H, Red (see my shopping research for it here)
Coldwater Creek Chandelier Necklace

The hardest part of making this dress was finding a wide-striped fabric.  You really wouldn't think it would be so hard considering what a classic "print" it is.  But, I finally did in a shiny / satin-y fabric.  I usually avoid shiny fabrics like the plague - they tend to show every little pucker / imperfection.  I figured I'd cross my fingers and hope it wasn't too noticeable.  It mostly behaved, but you can see some little puckers on the waistband.  I'm thankful for warm CA weather because I can wear this dress now :)

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Spike It! Easy Shoe DIY

Instagram folks already saw my spike-y shoe DIY, but I wanted to share a little bit of the process and aftermath on the blog.

Spiked Shoes DIY

What I used:
  • $15 flats from Target
  • ~130 spikes (purchased on eBay for $5 per 100 shipped)
  • E-6000 glue (dries completely clear without any lumpy glue globs)
What I did:
Started on the edge where the shoe met the foot.  Glued first spike right in the center and then spread out to the sides.

Glued subsequent spikes in front of the foundational spikes from the above photo

Briefly considered stopping here, but decided a whole-shoe look would look better

On the first day of wear, I lost 3 spikes all along the edges of my toes (had no idea I accidentally kicked so many things throughout the day).  I wound up just pulling off all the toe edge spikes to even it out.  I liked the look of the edge spikes, but being clumsy just means they will keep falling off.  I was worried that the glue would blemish the shoe, but there is absolutely no residue on it.  Go E6000 for that!

On day 2, only 1 spike fell off.  Overall, I'm pretty happy with the results!

Helpful tips:
  • Non-permanently marked where I wanted to place my spikes prior to gluing them down.  One shoe has slightly more spaced out spikes than the other and this would have been mitigated by better planning on my part.
  • Wiped my shoes down before gluing.  I'm wondering if any shoe residue would make the glue not stick as well.
Are you a spiked accessory fan?

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Got Pillowcases? DIY a Shift Dress!

I didn't have much luck with the leopard shifts at J. Crew or LOFT, so decided to make my own when I saw this $5 set of pillowcases at Walmart.  Similar fabrics I've seen have been at least double the price and, in the event of an error, I wouldn't be ruining anything expensive.

$5 pillowcases + kicky lilac zipper = DIY Leopard Sheath

I wound up using Simplicity 3833 (link) as my pattern (it's a retro pattern and it fit well in the shoulders / chest / sleeves without any alterations) and modifying the skirt flare to be more straight. I would highly recommend any current / future sew-ers to look at less conventional sources (I love those unconventional challenges on Project Runway!) for fabrics - bedding, drapery, home decor fabrics, etc.  You may find a cute print or a good deal that fits your needs.  For reference, I simply seam-ripped the pillow cuffs, side seam, and top seam to get 2 flat sheets of fabric.  From there, I cut out my pattern pieces as if it were a normal piece of fabric.

Paired with some stripe-y tights & a view of it on the dress form

Random story - my fight or flight instinct doesn't work.  While hiking the foothills (I sure thought those were mountains when we moved here), my husband and I accidentally veered into the path of a not-so-happy bull.  I froze and tried to look inconspicuous.  My husband yelled, "run" and took off (his instinct apparently intact, lol).  The bull wandered off and neither of us got hurt, but it sure did get our hearts pounding!  Not sure if this is something anyone really encounters, but what are you supposed to do in this situation?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Closed - GIVEAWAY: Chain Print Sample Scarf

It's time for another sample giveaway!  I am practicing narrow and rolled hems on my serger these days so am giving away a scarf to one of you lovelies out there.

I've been finding such pretty chain prints lately.  The navy is a chiffon with gold chains that I've also used for a blouse.  The red is a soft and silky poly with chains, pearls, anchors, and gems (I was actually surprised they could put so many items on it!).  Please note that I'm still practicing, so please be forgiving :)

Giveaway Guidelines:
  1. I appreciate every single GFC (click follow on left sidebar) and Bloglovin' follow.  What can I say?  It makes a gal feel good about herself.  BUT you do not have to follow to win.
  2. To enter, simply leave a comment below.
  3. For a bonus entry, leave a separate comment on what you'd like to see on the blog.  Could be a DIY / tutorial project or any feedback you may have.
  4. I will randomly select a winner on March 3rd.  The winner will have 48 hours to contact me to claim the prize (choice of navy or red).  If unclaimed, I will draw another winner.  
  5. This giveaway is open to all readers in the US or international.
Good luck!


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