Got a pair of gently worn oxford shoes that look a bit boring to your taste now, but you’re not ready to throw out yet? Got an old scarf or piece of fabric that you never use but also is too pretty to give away? Then let’s get a little handy with a fabric glue and combine the two pieces together :)
This DIY took me about 1.5 hour to do, but I think it’s because I was slow and was thinking a lot about how to do it properly. I did use a little bit of tracing paper and muslin fabric to aid me with the correct “pattern” measurement, so that took a while. But the actual “doing” itself took about approximately 20 – 30 minutes. It’s definitely a good beginner – moderate DIY project; beginner because it only requires glue and scissors as the main necessary aid objects, and moderate because the pattern itself needs to be precise. But don’t worry about it too much and you’ll be surprised to see the final result (like I did)!
So what happened last weekend? Let’s see…I finished Wu, Wei, and Jin story line on Dynasty Warriors 7, had a BBQ party at a friend’s house, and finished this graduation gift for the lovely Evelyn (yes girl, it’s for you!).
So here’s my latest DIY project, a polkadot headband with a detachable, matching flower hair clip. On the above picture, I was “test driving” it and wore it as a accessory on my floppy hat (btw, a floppy hat is one MUST HAVE accessory for this super hot summer days).
Thank you Jeremy’s at Berkeley for the overall inspiration, DIY sites such as Craft Snob, Love Maegan, and ….one more website whose tutorial I actually used to make the flower (I can’t seem to find it after tried looking for an hour!) for the detailed instructions and for making me want to make A LOT more hair accessories =D
Evelyn, next time I meet you, I’ll give this to you. It’s already wrapped and ready to meet its new owner :)
When I first saw this reconstructed long-sleeve shirt project on Tomoko Nakamichi Pattern Magic Vol. 3, I thought I can bring new life to that ill-fitting grey long-sleeve shirt that I almost gave away to Goodwill. So I dug it out from my charity pile and a week later, this casual piece is born.
Out of all three pieces, this took me the longest since the fitting is rather…..interesting. Basically, you cut out the right arm of the long sleeve shirt and make it the place you slip your head in (yes, that’s right). From there, mark the place in the right seam where you need to make a hole for your right arm and make that right arm hole. Adjust the rest of the side seams and this shirt is born. Easy? Not for me.
For starters, it took me several fittings to mark the place to make the new right arm hole. Then I have to adjust the hole on the left shoulder (it was originally the place you slip your head in), decided that the left arm needs zipper to make it stand out more, and then I have to fix the neck line since the one outlined in the book doesn’t sit well with the fabric.
Of course, this finished garment is far from perfect. But I really enjoy making it and I’ll have fun wearing it as well :) I’ll wear it with sheer sleeveless black top underneath it or solid-colored tank top. Skinny jeans work best, I think, with high heels. A fedora hat or beanies can complete the look, as well as one arm warmer for the right arm. I can’t wait.
Have you ever reconstructed your shirt?
I love wearing ties. Exhibit number one is here. When I wear a tie normally, it gives a special edge of confidence and invincibility that stay with me throughout the day. I love it.
But when Koko Yamase suggests this alternate way of wearing a tie, I was excited. There’s some playful but still stylish vibe coming off from this sweater. You can wear it edgy with some black jegging and motorcycle boots, or schoolgirl girly with circle skirt, socks, and oxford shoes or mary-janes.
This is actually a reconstructed sweater (I got this XXL men’s sweater and yellow Armani tie at Community Thrift Store in Valencia St.). And actually, it really is pretty easy to make.
What I did is just shorten the sleeves for the sweater in the beginning. Then I take the tie and literally cut it off in the middle. Then mark the two points on the sweater’s right and left shoulders’ stitch lines where I want the tie to “appear” from.
When you have those two points (wear the sweater and check the points in front of the mirror one more time to make sure), sew the two parts of the tie on their respective point along the stitch line. Make sure it’s secure and you’re done.
Contrasting colors work great, and I love to see the yellow pops up, hugging the grey. A bonus point is that since it’s a finely knitted wool sweater, it is breezy enough to wear until early spring. Definitely one of my favorite pieces right now.
Try it out,
Earlier this month, I was thinking about transitional pieces that I can make before Spring 2011 comes and decided to do some easy-to-make top pieces using my two favorite books, Koko Yamase’s Kakkoii Couture Remake (the one I used to create Three New Additions to My Wardrobe) and Tomoko Nakamichi’s Pattern Magic Vol. 3. Using those awesome books’ guidance, I finished three tops.
This one, the convertible top, is the easiest to make. You just need about 3 yards of stretch fabric (depending on your torso length, you may get away with 2.5 yards) length-wise. The width depends on your hip’s diameter. For me, the fabric length is roughly 2.7 x 0.5 yard for a long piece of bias-cut, striped-pattern, blue nylon fabric.
Fold the fabric in half, wrong sides facing together, and sew together the long sides of the fabric (0.5 inch seam allowance), starting from the edges (not from the folded corners) for about 15 inches long. Seam the bottom part (the 0.5 yard in my case) and you’re done!
The 15-inch-diameter “tube” part is for your hips, and the rest is free for you to form on your upper body. Oh, and it’s backless :) You may want to use stretch fabric that has some friction on it so you don’t have to adjust your convertible top every so often. Otherwise, using safety pins in invisible places is totally handy.
I love this top, the bias cut is awesome, and it’s great for casual weekend shopping dates or work outfit (throw some black pencil skirt and tuck in the tube part of the top), some kitten heels and beige trench coat will do the trick). You can layer it with a lace shirt (preferably black) on the inside too.
Try it out,
I’ve been feeling under the weather this week, but I’m very happy to say that my personal project this week is done! My latest sewing project is near completion (the reconstructed garment is done; I only need to make a few tweaks before doing a photo shoot) and our portfolio is updated (new engagement and wedding pictures are added), and we add one more category: woof!
We’ve been very fortunate and honored to attend wonderful weddings and shoot great engagement moments, and these pictures will only push us to get better. We do want to take more pet photo shoot projects, so if you’re interested, let me know :)
As one of my friends said, “Spring is coming”. Indeed, and what wonderful, fresh feeling it brings.
Have a great weekend everyone,
Once again, thank you Koko Yamase for pushing me into reconstructing these men’s sweaters and dress shirts even though I’m lazy :)
It’s my first time doing sewing projects like this, so of course the results are not perfect. Nevertheless, I’m so happy when each of them came out as I expected. The feeling of glee when I held them up for final inspection is really something to remember.
All of the men’s sweaters (brown and black) and men’s dress shirt are from thrift stores, and I’m so thrilled to make these happened. Now I’m in the process of making (at least) 2 more using guides from the very same book!
I’m telling you: get one. Especially if you’re curious about fashion but much lazier than full-time fashion designers :)
Have a great weekend,