Posts Tagged ‘D.I.Y.’

Your Wardrobe Unlock’d

So. I’ve been looking into making my own corsets, decided to just go ahead and do it - as I’m not finding modern bras very helpful to my back and certainly can’t afford to buy several corsets (I’m still planning on buying from Damsel in This Dress, which I meant to do a week or two ago and it slipped my mind, but I want to try making my own). I haven’t ordered any of the supplies just yet, but I did get the Truly Victorian corset pattern, as well as The Basics of Corset Building (and another Gogol Bordello CD and some books on badass women of the wild west. cough.) I am definitely looking forward to starting on these projects and in the meantime I stumbled on Your Wardrobe Unlock’d through the corsetmakers community on LJ. And there is a WEALTH of information on there. I got a one month subscription so I could see the article/lesson on drafting a Victorian corset to fit your measurements (which I haven’t even started yet, but it looks comprehensive from a quick skim through, and was recommended by several people on the LJ community). A quick look around the site reveals a wealth of information for anyone interested in costuming or period inspired garments - I was intending to cancel my subscription after a month but I think I’ll keep it, actually. I would definitely recommend it! I’m hoping to purchase the actual materials to make the corset as soon as I get a refund on a pair of shoes from eBay that didn’t fit. I am really excited about this project and will post updates with the progress once I get started!

In other news, I quit my job, but have several prospects lined up (and an interview that I’ll be heading to in a little less than an hour as well). Wish me luck!

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I got my Karmaloop order today! The purse is SO much cuter in person than in the pictures (which were kind of terrible, I got a little apprehensive after ordering it…). And the t-shirts fit great and are super-soft. mmm. the…scarf…thing on the gray one is a bit odd, but I figure if nothing else I can just pin it up and out of my way (maybe with my new vintage skeleton key stick pin!). Pictures will come later, my camera is dead at the moment, stupid batteries.

I also have some REALLY crummy effin’ news. I got a message yesterday from the eBay seller that I bought the Bronx boots from, saying that he had been out of town, got home, and his basement was flooded. ALL THE SHOES WERE RUINED. argh. Once the refund goes through, I think I’ll get these shoes instead, probably in black-on-black. I like the coffee color a lot but don’t think it’d much match anything I own (and I don’t like that the wedge is a different color than the rest), and the silver ones are cool but a bit…cyber-y. I wish the black ones had more of the Asian feel…the chocolate ones really remind me of Firefly and Serenity. Which is an awesome source of fashion inspiration for me.

Speaking of inspiration, I’ve spent the last several days looking at steampunk photos and I love it! Most of it, anyways, I’m not a fan of the whole beige and brown color scheme. I’ve just realized I have a love for Victorian inspired things (Moulin-Rouge style burlesque, gothic lolita, now steampunk…) but I especially love the mixing of random things like gears and etc. in. And skeleton keys. I’ve always had a thing for skeleton keys and now I’m itching to put them on everything. Well, not everything, but I could certainly do with a necklace, and I’ve also got a neat idea for a purse and a wrist-cuff sort of thing.

I’ve done a lot of DIYing the last week or two (and have more to come - several ideas in mind) and have a good photo of one:

That’s really the only picture out of the lot that turned out well, I’ve already posted pictures of the pink circle skirt, and I made a black and blue Moulin Rouge inspired skirt, but the pictures I have of it are rather crap so I’ll just post it when I get better pictures. I also trimmed up the petticoat so it’s not quite so long (and also more even - not sure how the hell that happened but I had one section that was like, 2″ longer than the rest).

I hope everyone else had a great weekend!

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Stencilling Tutorial

Yes, yes, I’m aware this is two days late…I’ve been a bit laid up with a head cold. But here it is now!

You’ll need an x-acto knife, freezer paper (you can purchase it at most grocery stores or butcher shops I think - it’s like normal paper on one side and has wax on the other), a piece of cardboard to put inside the shirt, fabric paint or screenprinting paint, and a brush (you can use the ones that are spongey on the ends, or the ones that are made of several stiff bristles in a circle shape - whatever floats your boat. I like the spongey ones myself).

First off, we’re going to start with a black and white image. Totally black and white, no shades of gray. You can use this method with most photos, but some level of detail will be lost (there are several tutorials online on how to make a stencil in photoshop, here’s one). I’m just using a simple nautical star, as you saw.

You’ll trace the image on to your freezer paper.

Then cut the image out with the x-acto knife.

Do this with all of the stencils you’re using today (if you’re using only one, congratulations, you’ve saved yourself some time, skip to the next step!).

Now put some cardboard in your shirt or item to be stencilled, so that it doesn’t bleed through to the other side. Take your stencils and trim them as needed if you’re trying to fit several in a tight spot, and then arrange them on the shirt or whatever in the way you like. If you ripped something while cutting, it’s not a big deal - just arrange it how it’s supposed to be. Then iron it, on the medium setting (or it’s the medium setting on my iron). The wax on the other side of the paper melts and stick to the fabric, which makes it a lot easier to prevent bleeding - one reason I much prefer this method over cardboard, even if cardboard is reusable.

Now you’ll put some fabric paint on a paper plate or whatever surface you’re using, and dab the brush in it. You don’t want to get too much paint on there, because that’ll make the stencilling uneven and make bleeding slightly more likely. Just do this until you get everything covered, trying to make it as even as possible.

(side note: this shirt wasn’t actually a very good example, the fabric has a slight ’slick’ texture that makes stencilling a little harder and bleeding a little more likely - as you may be able to tell. )

When you’re done, just pull the freezer paper off. It shouldn’t leave a residue or anything. Let the paint dry, then heat treat it by tossing it in the dryer or ironing it from the other side. This’ll help prevent fading.

Using this method, you can get REALLY detailed results. Here’s the best one I’ve ever done (on my uber-ponx vest, ages and ages ago)

Oh yeah. Mad skillz, I has ‘em. haha. Using this method you can even sometimes use ‘islands’ in your stencils, if you iron them down properly.

Anyways! I think that about covers everything. Questions? Comments? Rotten fruit?

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Daily Outfit 1/1/2009

What I wore to bring in the New Year…

no talking in the library!

no talking in the library!

The pencil skirt is from, $14.99 on clearance and about $20 with shipping, it arrived the 30th.  Although I was really confused because it came in an box with a Target sticker on the side - I didn’t see the sticker and was like “umm…I didn’t order anything from Amazon…what?!”. The shirt is the DIY’d button up from Old Navy. Stencilling tutorial coming tomorrow probably. That backpatch is from my very first Clash shirt ever. *sniff* It’s getting a bit ragged.

kind of funny since the only place I actually went was to the mall to hang out for, like, two hours with some of my friends. It was quite entertaining - I don’t go shopping much any more (offline at least), and after nearly two years of the crazy hair I don’t know if I’ve just become completely oblivious to the stares or if I just wasn’t paying attention, but Alicia found the amount of stares highly amusing. Apparently, while we were eating, a woman was walking by and stared the whole way, craning her neck eventually…about to turn a corner, she looked away from me, then paused, took a few steps back, and looked again. As if it was an optical illusion. Heh.

Also - I touched up my hair (which is a pity because the bottom had FINALLY faded to pink, sigh) and got it cut, in case you can’t tell. It’s not too different in the front but muccccch shorter in the back.

I’ve done a LOT of sewing the past couple of days, and pictures will definitely be up before the end of the weekend. In the meantime, to tide you over…

he doesnt quite understand sharp objects yet...

he doesn't quite understand "sharp objects" yet...

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so maybe…

I fibbed a little when I said regular posting would resume after Christmas. For sure after the New Year, though.

I’m touching up my hair right now, and my hands look like I strangled a smurf. As soon as the stain fades it’s inevitably time to touch it up again, sigh.

I saw a post a while ago at Style Discovery about using Picasa for fashion blogging purchases. I thought of it while reading a post at Fabulously Broke in the City entitled Assess Your Personal Style. One of the things she suggests is making an inspiration folder (which I already have, of course!), and then making a collage out of it - to see what you’re drawn to and like in clothing. Her’s had things like “dresses with belts”, “black and cream”, mine ended up just being a collage of the places I get inspiration from. Oh well.

Inspiration Board

Inspiration Board

you can click on it to go to a bigger image. What’s kind of sad is that I ended up being able to fit less than half of the pictures on it, hahaha.

I got some DIYing done today, here’s pictures of my new skirt:

I’m also planning on trying to fix another skirt (which turned out HIDEOUS - really bad!), and stencilling that shirt that I mentioned. I’ll probably take pictures of the process and have a tutorial for freeze-paper stencilling up…hopefully before the end of the week. But no promises.

Oh - and I got my new boots from Payless today, you can see them in the picture (along with the thrifted belt I mentioned a few posts ago). I was surprised at the speed of shipping, since est. arrival time was 5-7 business days (or maybe 7-10…don’t remember) from date of purchase. I bought these Christmas Eve and they got here today. Awesome! They are REALLY comfortable too. I’ll keep Payless in mind when looking for bargain shoes from here on out - I was worried they’d be really cheap looking or uncomfortable, but they fit great, they look great, they feel great. No worries at all!

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Petticoat/Circle Skirt Tutorial

Since I wrote it up for Craftster, I thought I’d post it here too :) This is a tutorial to make a petticoat (also called a crinoline) like I posted yesterday - one that can be worn as a skirt, as well as being worn under other items to give them poof and body. So I guess it could also be called a pettiskirt. Anyways, without further ado:

1. The first step is to construct the underskirt. I used satin, you can really use whatever you want as long as it’s opaque. Figure out how long you want it to be (I made mine a little above knee length) first, and then cut out the fabric. I used my favorite method for making a circle skirt which is this:

2. Since I was using satin, I immediately serged the edges, which if you have a serger and are using satin I HIGHLY recommend. That stuff frays like nobody’s business. Then, you’ll cut a piece of elastic a few inches shorter than your waist measurement, and a piece of fabric that’s about 2.5 times the width of your elastic, and several inches longer than your waist measurement!! This is important, because I was a ditz and made it only an inch or two longer than my waist measurement, and now it will only fit over my boobs if I’m not wearing a bra, and won’t go over my ass at all. Just sayin’. Keep it in mind. Then you’ll fold the fabric over, stitch along the edge, turn it inside out (or not - I just sewed wrong sides together since the bottom of the elastic is under the skirt anyways, so I saved myself a step), and put the elastic through it. It might take a while. I’ll wait.

3. Now, you’ll pin and sew the long tube you just made to your circle skirt and stitch! I just left the hem of the skirt serged and didn’t officially hem it because a. I am lazy and b. it’s under a freakin’ pound of tulle anyways, so nobody knows but me.

4. Here comes the fun part. THE TULLE. Woo-hoo. Okay, you’ll cut out two pieces of tulle TWICE as long as your waist measurement and several inches long (depends on how many tiers you want to do - I did three tiers, so I my top two tiers were 7″ long and the bottom was 8.5″, as you saw, this resulted in a skirt a little longer than knee length). There can be several variations from what I did at this step - if you’d like, you could do three times your waist length for a really poofy tullemonster. Or sandwich in a layer of lace betwen the two layers of tulle for some added fanciness and opacity, or just do another layer of tulle. And of course it’s possible to vary the length of the tier. At any rate, now it’s time to run it through the sewing machine on a basting stitch - I used a 4mm stitch. Leave longggg trails of thread at the end. Now go look at one of those ends, and tug on each of the threads. One of the threads should start gathering the fabric when you tug on it. Tug and tug and tug some more, even out the gathering as you go, until the gathered edge of the tulle is as long as your waist measurement. Set this aside for now, someplace where the damn cat won’t get ahold of it and break the threads, undoing your hard work. Luckily for me, he only got the last four inches or so.

ALTERNATELY: If you are a lucky lucky person who owns a ruffler foot and knows how to use it, just fiddle around with the settings until you get a setting that gathers to the needed amount (i.e., can take a 10″ strip of fabric and turn it into a 5″ strip of ruffled fabric). Or you can do as I did, which involved having trouble with the ruffler foot, swearing loudly at the sewing machine, and grumpily resigning yourself to hand-gathering. Whatever works.

5. Now, take the length of the last piece of tulle that was cut cut, pre-gathering, and double that (we’ll call the resulting measurement x). Cut out two 7″ by x” pieces of tulle, and do the basting stitch along one edge again. Now, you’ll gather it to the original length of the first piece of tulle. This would probably be a good time to put on some Buffy or something, because it could take a while. Once you get done gathering it, pin it and sew it to the bottom layer of the first tier.

6. This time, you’ll take the length of the second tier pre-gathering and double it (measurement x). Cut out two pieces of tulle that are 8.5″ by x”, and baste one edge. Gather it until the gathered edge is the same length as the pre-gather length of the second tier (this will take a WHILE - I reiterate my suggestion to put a dvd on or something), and pin it and sew it to the bottom layer of the second tier. Confused? Hopefully this will help:

Now you’ve got a nearly constructed skirt - all you have to do is sew up the side of all three tiers, and then pin the top gathered edge to the foundation skirt you made, right under the waistband. Sew that all up, and then bam! Put on your petticoat and twirl around!

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first off, the dress! which is darker in real life but shows up VERY aqua with flash, go figure.

as you can see, it kind of wants to bunch a bit in the back. I think some double sided tape will be in order on the big day.

here’s the crinoline (pettiskirt?):

ps- I do not recommend twirling in heels. those are relatively small heels and I almost fell over when I tried to walk straight.

and the Day of the Dead skirt I finished tonight!

with the petticoat underneath. It was kind of funny because both the petticoat and the day of the dead skirt, I kept thinking, oh my god, I wasted all that time, these look TERRIBLE! (with the sugar skull skirt, I kept thinking I looked like a kindergarten teacher, hah) and then I looked at the pictures and I was like - hey! that’s exactly what I wanted it to look like! sweet! This is one reason we need to get a full length mirror. I wonder if that ever happens to other crafters? Probably not ones who have mirrors!

and now for some gratuitous cute! (yes, again. this may well become a regular feature haha.)

I’m about to hunker down myself for the night. The weather is nastaaaaay out there (looks like there’s already an inch of ice on the roads) and the high tomorrow is supposed to be 23 degrees. LAME. It’s not supposed to get above freezing until Thursday, and then it’s supposed to rain all day. At any rate, let’s just hope we don’t lose electricity for several days like has happened to a lot of people the last two years with the ice storms. The one we got two years ago when I was still living with my parents, we were out for four days! yuck! But yes, hunkering is about to commence. Hope everyone elses’ weather is better than mine!

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Daily Outfit 12/13/08

so my batteries died right after I took this photo haha. this was the only photo I got. sweater from Pac Sun, skirt and belt from Wet Seal, tights from Target, Sofft shoes, secondhand necklace.

So, we went shopping today, I got a ton of fabric and also a scarab ring from the Salvation Army for $2. I got enough tulle to make a petticoat, which I finished 10 or so minutes ago and it was a PAIN IN THE ASS holy crap. (maybe I’ll do a tutorial on that too) But when I’m done with all of this craftiness, I’ll have a petticoat that can be worn as a skirt, and two cute new skirts. There will be photos, of course. Not tonight because my batteries freakin’ died. I also got my Trashy Diva dress today! SQUEE. Photos of that too. It’s kind of a funny story because Matt put it on his Paypal and it got sent to his billing address, which is his parent’s address (STILL. I keep trying to get him to fix it, but eh.). We got a call from his mom the other day - “Uhhh honey…you have a package here from ‘Trashy…Diva’?” And then she got more confused when Matt told her it was my wedding dress.

I had today off, which was nice. Lunch at an Italian restaurant with Matt’s parents (they brought down my dress, as well as some stuff for Matt). And crafting. What more could ya want, right? I’m super-psyched for Friday so that I can pay for my boots and start them being sent over here from Germany!

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Swap item and a fascinator!

I was going to do a daily outfit post, but uh, around the middle of the day I started feeling icky and pretty much just spent most of today in a tank top and my underwear hahaha. So! I am going to post about what I did for my PRD swap partner, as her package is waiting at home for her (I think she’s out for a few days. or something. at any rate, she hasn’t PMed me saying what she thought yet, and it is making me twitchy.) and I’m 99% sure she doesn’t read this blog anyways.

She likes pink and black, and the Clash as well as Joe Strummer (a lady of taste!), so here’s what I did:

The image is stencilled (I think I might do a stencilling tutorial…hm) and the rest is freehanded. I was going to make her a roll-up soft case for her knitting needles, but I didn’t have enough fabric for what I intended to do, so I wrapped it in what I did have, so she can do something with it.

My productivity for the day was this:

not a very good picture, but the best not-a-close-up I could get. Here’s a close up:

that shows the color a lot better. And here is one of me wearing it. Note my absolute failure at de-purplefying and re-pinkifying my hair. le sigh. also the cigarette smoke from Matt, my photographer.

The fascinator took a LOT longer than I thought. That fabric rosette? was a bitch and a half. I tried using the gathering foot on my Rocketeer and I’ve never had a problem with it before, but it would just. not. work. I’m not sure it was meant to be used with two layers of material (which kind of sucks because I had been contemplating biting the bullet and just making a crinoline/crinoline-esque skirt, but I’ll be DAMNED if I am gathering that much tulle by hand!). So I basted it by hand and gathered it that way (and about halfway through realized I could have just basted on the sewing machine…), and then kind of randomly tacked down bits of fabric to make it look a little more flowery and a little less tubular. The rosette took the longest time out of all the components, but jeez, I’d say I probably spend between two and three hours on it. Lots of hand-sewing. I’ll be wearing it tomorrow so you can expect more pictures then!

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what is the reasoning…

behind someone buying a leather jacket, that looks EXACTLY like most of the leather jackets out there, typical moto style, at a thrift store for $20 tops, and then trying to sell it on eBay for $200? Seriously?

I’ve been looking on eBay for moto jackets, since that Wet Seal one I was going to buy (for $26.50…sigh) is apparently discontinued. And of course the cheapest one in cotton that I can find is like $50-60 bucks, and the leather ones are higher. LAME. Time to hit the thrift stores, I guess! It doesn’t even have to be that particular style, but I REALLY need a black jacket since all my current ones (ha, I say that like I have a lot, I have all of two) are either army green or camo.

Anyways, here’s some pictures of how my Halloween costume turned out:

Those heels are the Hot Topic ones I mentioned the other day. I made the mistake of wearing them because I didn’t think they’d be THAT bad and I thought they’d look better than my flats. IT WAS HELL. Jesus. Never again with the ill-fitting, sweaty-footed, lacking-arch uncomfortable cheap heels. And I have a coworker who doesn’t understand being willing to plunk down $100 for a pair of shoes.

Anyways, I made the dress today last minute and was surprised at how well it came together. Usually when I procrastinate it has terrible results. It’s not particularly flattering on me at the moment, since straight up and down dresses are not made for girls with curves, but I’m planning on taking it in, turning the neckline into a sweetheart style, and splattering it with bleach. Should be def. wearable after that.

It was pretty funny today, I couldn’t help but laugh. I’m not sure how the subject came up, but at work I mentioned to a male coworker that I’m spending a lot of my first paycheck on clothes as a lot of my closet doesn’t fit any more or isn’t flattering. He goes “Oh, you lost weight?”. I laughed and said “No, I gained weight.” (insert face of “oh my I just made a faux-pas” here) “You look fine!” “Haha, well, I just gained about 20 pounds, and only put about an inch on my waist, the rest went to my butt and here.” *gestures at chest* He leans over and says “Your boyfriend must be very happy!”. It was hilarious, just the way he said it. I told him Matt thinks it’s great, but he doesn’t have to buy the new clothes, and he told me he thinks Matt should chip in. Fantastic idea, no? ;)

Although, I guess it’s not just the fitting issue that’s making me want to do this - for the LONGEST time I literally could not afford new clothes. If I got anything it was once every few months and it was definitely from thrift store (or like, a half off of clearance promo plus my employee discount at Hot Topic). While I worked at Target I could go shopping and afford it sometimes, but from when I quit there in April (for that STUPID barista job that turned out to be a huge bust - thanks to the lying asshole manager who wanted to pay us less than minimum wage) to now, money has been so tight I couldn’t even think about buying nice shoes or any new clothes or anything, really. And it’s been made worse by the fact that I HATED borrowing money when I was out of a job, after the barista job, so for about two months (until I started working at HT again, which wasn’t exactly oodles of money anyways) I was pretty much living off my credit card. That wasn’t helped by the fact that in the same timeframe our ASSHOLE roommate decided to move out the day before rent was due and that meant I had to buy some stuff for the apartment and put it on my credit card. I did make a few frivolous purchases, but it was seriously mostly things like food and gas. You know, the petty little things. And after starting school, I was wearing a school t-shirt and black pants most of the day Monday through Friday, so it was really easy to just throw those on without thinking and then just throw on a different t-shirt when I got home. About two months or so ago I started to realize that it just kind of made me sad, because I used to really enjoy putting together outfits and here I was just throwing whatever on, and I couldn’t buy anything to help because I didn’t have the money. Only when I went through my closet did I realize how bad it had gotten, how nothing in there fit any more and I hadn’t noticed due to wearing the same things every day. That, and buying a pair of jeans that actually fit, and didn’t cut into my waist and hips, and remember what it was like to have clothes that FIT and don’t make you feel like a fat lump of lard. So, I am so excited to have actual options. I will still, unfortunately, be spending a lot of my day in uniform (polo and khakis…awesome) but two days out of my work-week I should be able to wear nearly anything I want, and of course there’s my days off too!

Wow, I totally did not mean to write a novel about my financial history, haha. It’s off to bed for me now though, Matt’s already there and I wouldn’t want to leave him snuggleless. Hope everyone had a fantastic Halloween/Samhain!

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