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Posts Tagged ‘Fashion Tutorials’

Hey guys!

I’ve been DROOLING over the amazing wrap dresses that have been floating around in catalogs, high end stores, and the internet.  These thing are FANTASTIC and gorgeous and amazing because of all the different ways you can wear them.  Seriously, if you have one of these dresses, you might never have to buy another dress again.  You wouldn’t HAVE TO, but of course I will.  Because I loves to SHOP!  But anyway, these incredibly versatile dresses run anywhere from $70-$200 and might just be worth it because of how much wear you will get out of them.  BUT, lucky for you you can save yourself some major benjamins and MAKE one!  Yep.  YOU CAN DO THIS.  AND it’ll be awesome.

I found myself in JoAnns the other day loving all over some green stretchy knit fabric that was on sale for 30% off.  I LOVE all shades of green and blue and teal and so I bought 6 yards, without really knowing exactly what I’d do with it.  I’m SO glad I did because I came home, did some googling, and found out that people are actually DIY-ing the wrap dresses I’ve been drooling over.  So, I made myself TWO infinity wrap dresses (or convertible wrap dress, transformer dress, etc.) out of my 6 yards and I LOVE them with a capital *SMOOCH*!!  I made one short one (circle skirt style) that is fun and flirty and drapey and divine, and a long one (maxi skirt style) which I also dyed darker (using RIT dye in Navy Blue) and is regal, and elegant, and beachy.

I used a combo of several tutorials I found online to make the dresses and a little of my own brain power thrown in.  I didn’t find a really GREAT wrap dress tutorial though and so I thought I’d better document my process for any of you who’d like to DIY one or two for yourself.  You’re going to have to excuse my messy handwriting and sketches, I wrote things down by hand as I went along instead of typing it up.  But, I hope this is thorough enough for you and helps you get the job done a little easier than it was for me.  Let me know of any tips or suggestions that you might have if you decide to make your own.

Here is the blueprint.  Feel free to print these off and use them but only for personal use please!!!

Here is a look at the finished dress with the tube top…

And heres the back…

 Thats basically how I made mine (with a few adjustments that I learned along the way and threw in to make it easier for you guys).  Would you like to see how to wear it?!  I had a little fashion show this afternoon and tried out some ways, but you can also find tons of youtube videos on how to tie a convertible wrap dress if you would like to learn more.

This is just a basic way to wear the dress…but so lovely…

Halter style wrap…

And the back…

Strapless style…and totally cute with the teal if you ask me.

Accessorize your dress with a cute blazer…

Or hike it up so the waistline is over your chest for a babydoll style dress…

Wear it with leggings and make the straps into a lovely cowlneck scarf for a cozy look…

Now my maxi dress…awwww.  I LOVE it…

I feel like a Greek goddess wrapped up in my maxi dress…

This will make the chicest swim cover-up ever.  Go for a swim, and then go to a red carpet event… 🙂

 There you go my friends!  If I can do it, you can do it.  Seriously, I made both dresses this Sunday afternoon.

TIPS:

  •  Use a knit stitch or zigzag stitch for stretchy fabric.
  • Realize that this fabric is STRETCHY so make your skirt and waistband somewhat smaller than you think you’ll need to.  Especially the waistband.  The weight of the skirt will want to pull it off your waist if it is not tight enough.
  • You can DYE these knits.  SO if you find a some on sale, grab it and alter the color if you’d like with RIT dye.  (My maxi dress is the same material I made the short dress with just dyed in navy blue dye for an hour)

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For Christmas I made a necklace for my big sis inspired by a sweet little something I saw on ModCloth.  It was a super easy project and I was really happy with the way it turned out so I decided to make myself one as well.  🙂  Merry Christmas me.

Here is the ModCloth necklace for $20:

My DIY’d knockoff turned out just as well I think.  The great thing about this project is that you don’t need jewelry making tools (or skills really).  All you need to do is basically sew a chiffon ruffle onto the back of some glitzy costume jewelry.  And voila!  But just in case you’re still feeling anxious about it, I’ll walk you through the process with a little tutorial.

Cost:  $5-$6 (depending)

Supplies:

  • A glitzy rhinestone necklace.  I found mine for $5 at Walmart on clearance.
  • A scant amount of chiffon in the color of your choice.  You can buy chiffon by the yard or ask around for scraps as this doesn’t take much.
  • Thread in a matching color.
  • A needle.
  • Sharp scizzors.
  • Straight pins.

1.  First thing to do is lay out your chiffon.  You’re going to want about 2 or so strips stacked on top of each other.   The easiest way to do this is to fold your chiffon a few times and cut into 3″ or so wide strips.  Then, just unfold them and lay them out.  *TIP*  Make your strips about twice as long as the “fancy” part of your necklace.

2.  Now, stack the strips on top of each other and fold them in half long ways (hot dog way).  It is best at this point to pin them together so that they will stay put while you sew.  Now, sewing by hand, sew a straight, wide, stitch trough the top of your folded stack (about 1/4″ inch below the fold).  Start pulling the chiffon down the thread to gather and make a chiffon ruffle.

3.  Once you have made your ruffle.  This is about what you should have.

4.  The only thing left to do is to sew your necklace to the front of your chiffon.  *TIP* Don’t worry about the strips being cut perfectly straight.  As you can see from the image above, the varying lengths give it a loverly layered look like in the ModCloth version.

5.  Find the end of your “fancy” part on your necklace.  Hold it in place on top of your chiffon (about 1/4″ from the fold) and sew from back to front, securing the necklace in place on top of your ruffle.

6.  Keep sewing on your necklace until you get to the other end of your “fancy” part.  (And yes, that is the technical jewelers term).  If you have leftover ruffle at the end, just snip it off.

7.  If you’d like you can apply fray check to the edges of the chiffon but I prefer to leave them raw and let them fray a little for that shabby chic effect.

There you go!  A great little ModCloth knockoff for half the price!

And of course I said I made one for myself as well…

Not too shabby.  Now I just need a cute little something to wear it with…

🙂

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The kids were down for naps and I had just hung up and put away all the laundry which meant everything I own was accessible.  I started looking around my closet with that really proud feeling that you get when you have NO DIRTY LAUNDRY.  You need to relish it because of course it won’t last long.  Anyway, I suddenly got the urge to try on outfits and see what I could come up with out of my wardrobe.  So, I thought I’d take pics so I can remember the ones I like.  So heres my little fashion show!  🙂  If you’d like to know my TOP 10 THRIFTING TIPS go here.

So what do you think of my dyed skirt, spray painted shoes, and thrifted threads?  🙂  I love my happy little closet.

P.S.  To see the black bib necklace tutorial go here.

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I walked into my master bedroom a couple weeks ago and thought, “BLECH.”.  Not that I haven’t loved the black and white neutral color scheme, I just got tired of it.  I blame it on the quarter-life crisis I seem to be going through.  I have been feeling very anxious and OLD and have been itching to mix it up a bit in my life.  I would do what I always do when I feel like this and just go and do something drastic to my hair, that usually seems to do the trick, but I PROMISED my hubby I would grow my hair out and wouldn’t cut it until it was about “boob length” (his words).  So, after flipping through my “Happy Chic” book by Jonathan Adler (it is so fun and dramatic),

I decided to spruce up my room with a younger, funkier, Jonathan Adler meets Domino Mag (I miss you Domino) vibe and some really happy colors. The problem, like usual, is that I don’t have much of a decorating budget so I had to get creative and try to use what I have as much as possible.  I knew the first thing I wanted to do is change the wall color.  I decided to keep it neutral and lighten it up so I went with a light gray.  This decision was also largely based on the fact that I happen to have a bunch of leftover gray paint from Peyton’s room that I knew I could lighten up and use.  I also knew I really wanted to make the walls come to life so I decided to take it one step further and paint subtle gray horizontal stripes on 3 of the 4 walls.  I thought this would be a BIG time consuming job, but it actually wasn’t that bad.  And the lines came out really crisp, even on my textured walls, thanks to this tutorial I found over at Living With Lindsay.  I did this all by myself so I imagine it would be much easier with a helper.  I figure my husband will be less annoyed by my constant redecorating if he doesn’t have to do any of the work, so I do things while hes not looking so he can be amazed at the result later! 😉  Anyway, my stripes are 11.5″ wide.  I simply measured from the baseboard up 11.5″, then marked it, and measured up another 11.5″, marked it again, so on…until I had marked off the whole 3 walls, putting marks every 4 feet or so.  Then I just layed the tape on the wall as straight as possible from mark to mark.  I’m sure its not perfect, but I’m impatient.  I think it turned out pretty dang straight actually.  I left the tall wall, opposite my bed, stripeless because A. The weird ceiling line would’ve made the stripes look off at the top, and B.  I decided to put bookshelves against that wall that would pretty much cover it anyway.

Well, I’ll just show you the pics and walk you through the rest of what I did….

As a reminder, heres what my master bedroom looked like before:

And heres what it looks like now!  SO much more fun and fresh I think.  And it definitely is a better reflection of me and Mr. Hubby’s style:

Didn’t the stripes turn out great?  I super love the subtle little FUN they bring to the walls.  So obviously with practically NO budget I kept all the original furniture.  The first and most noticeable upcycle is probablly the DIY’d ikat chevron headboard.  Yup.  I made that baby.  I looked and looked for cheap fabric that I liked and just couldn’t find any so I hit up Walmart’s fabric section and found some great white cotton twill.  Then all it took was a little craft paint, mixed with some textile medium, and a bit of creativity.  To be honest, I like but don’t love it.  I was too impatient and so my lines are a bit whompy.  I have leftover fabric so I might just do it again.  I dunno.  Anyway, the tutorial on that is coming soon if you want to paint your own!  (I’m sure you’ll learn from my mistakes and do a better job!)

I was happy to keep my lime green chairs and create a pallet around them so I distributed pops of green around the room.  But I also LOVE tealy-blue and threw that in there too, spray painting the nightstands, and adding other teal accents around the room.  Then I wanted just a little bit more so I added in just a few PUNCHES of tangerine orange.  It was tough to break out for my “4 colors in a room” box but I figured since gray, black, and white are really just neutrals in the background, 3 more fun colors wouldn’t hurt.  🙂

The black frames used in the pic above I got from BigLots for $5 for 2 (I also saw the same ones at Joann’s for $20 for 2 so I got a killer deal).  I just wrote on some canvas panels the letters to spell “ME” and “YOU” and flanked the room with them to fill up all the extra wall space surrounding my bed.

I debated for a bit on what to hang above my bed.  I didn’t want anything too busy to compete with the vibrant headboard and striped wall.  I thought about putting the framed “Me” and “YOU” there but decided I wanted something a bit more simple and small.  Also, I was afraid Daniel would think the room was getting too girly so I thought I’d throw him one and macho the place up by stealing the antlers (thrifted and painted for $4) from Sawyer’s nursery and mount those above the bed instead.  (Don’t worry, I just replaced them with the Pinterest project from this post and my wire dear head looks great in there).  I LOVE them in here.  I think they float perfectly inbetween my DIY’d hanging lamps and give just that touch of bohemian but in a sophisticated way.  Daniel likes them too.  Mostly because he says, “The bedroom is meant for mounting.”  Haha!  😉

Okay, I just wanted to talk about these pillows really quick!  Little orange guy is just some fabric I have wrapped around a pillow right now but I will soon get to sewing.  But the big gorgeous fringed beauty I found the other day at Home Goods in the clearance section for $7.  YES  $7.  You can’t even buy a down pillow form at the fabric store for $7.  I just love it.

This is all pretty much the same.  I still want to do something more to that dresser.  Not sure what though, but it works great the way it is too.  The little teal lamp was on sale at Target for about $20.  The picture frame was also a Target buy on clearance for $2 as well as the new duvet cover set that was (my big splurge) about $60.

Above is a quick look from the other side of the room.  Below is a look at my bookcase wall that once was my gallery wall.  I ordered the white bookshelves from Walmart (in store they only had the 11″ deep ones and I wanted the 9″ deep ones) for $35 each.  They did site to store so I didn’t have to pay any shipping.  Originally I wanted to back them with some fun fabric or wallpaper (probably something black and white to allow the decorative accents to pop) but once I assembled them and got them up I realized I rather like them backless with the gray wallcolor showing through.  I’m not sure if I’ll leave them this way or decide to go ahead and back them, but here they are for now.  I’m still working on the styling, but heres the gist:

I am also debating on building legs for my shelves to stand on to make them look a bit more custom and give them more height on my tall wall.  I dunno.  I’ll probably just be too lazy. 🙂  Most of the accent pieces on the shelves were things I already had although I did pick up a few colorful vases and such at Hobby Lobby (50% off) and Ross.  I probably bought about 6 things all under $6 each.

And thats pretty much it!  I LOVE my new colorful funky room, and so does the hubby which is always a plus.  😉  I also mixed up some leftover paint from Sawyer’s nursery and am going to be painting my master bathroom shortly in a tealy-blue color.  Of course I’ll post it when I get to it!

A completely new look for under $300!  So happy.  So chic. 🙂

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I don’t typically decorate my house much for holidays.  Not because I don’t want to, more because I can’t afford it usually.  And also, I figure if I decorate my house for every holiday that rolls around, I will never be able to appreciate it in all its un-decorated decorated glory.  But, after talking to my best friend Tiff the other day, I was reminded how much I used to LOVE Halloween and how much fun we used to have with it.  That inspired me to get back in the “fun” groove (as opposed to the “burned-out-irritable-just-trying-to-keep-myself-out-of-mom-jeans” groove that I usually feel like I’m in).  So I decided to throw me an adults only Halloween party!  I’m actually dorkishly excited about it.  I even made up a little poem for the evitations.  Ahem:

“Eeeekkkk!!!  Boooooo!!! 
We want YOU 
to join us for a fun night
of food and fright.
No children allowed
In our big kid crowd.
But come well dressed
in your Halloween best.
And you could win a prize
(or meet your demise).
So come if you dare
We don’t mean to scare.
We really truly hope
to
see
you
there!”

I know.  You’re stunned by my genius aren’t you.  I give you permission to use this if you decided to throw your own “Big Kids Boo Bash”.  Yes, that is what I’m calling it.  And yes.  I’m aware that I’m a gigantic nerd.

After I sent out the invites, I started browsing Pinterest (my latest online site obsession) for decor and food ideas.  I can’t believe all the cute and amazing things people are coming up with!  I’m blown away.  Anyway, that just made me more excited and so I made my way to my nearest Dollar Store to see what I could come up with.

Can I just say again how much I LOVE THE DOLLAR STORE.  It is a magical place.  Especially for Halloween items.  I found tons of decor and serving wear for my party and it was cheap cheap cheap.  I got home and got to work.  Even though my party is a couple weeks away still, I couldn’t wait to get the decorations up.  I’m totally in Halloween mode now.  I even found costumes for my hubby and I (he is going to be a scarecrow and I’m going to be a crow) at the thrift store this weekend with my sis-in-law Courtney.  I seriously want to just live in costumes for the rest of the month, thats how excited I am.

Anyway, would you like to see my decorations so far?  I used a lot of what I already had with a few things I made and several things from the Dollar Store.

Here is my mantel:

I made the bats by folding sheets of stiff black felt ($0.99 at Hobby Lobby) in half and then cutting out a bat shape (half a bat shape).  Then I folded the wings out and attached them to the wall with sticky tack.  Easy peasy and I LOVE it.  I made larger and smaller bats.  I didn’t use a template, but if you wanted to find one, just google image search “bat silhouette” and you’d find plenty.

I sketched the giant skull profile onto a black painted piece of mdf I had in the garage.  Its in white chalk so I can change it whenever I feel like.  I eyeballed it from an image I found google image searching “skull”.  Peyton calls it a “bone-head”.  Haha!

The Happy Halloween bunting banner I made from my bunting template and Picnik.  I LOVE the skeleton font.  So great.  I printed them on white cardstock and then cut them out and glued them to black cardstock bunting I cut out with pinking shears.  Then I attached them to white paper ribbon I bought at the Dollar Store.

The tombstones, spiderwebs, skulls, and creepy cloth all came from the Dollar Store.

I also made these big spiders out of crepe paper streamers and pipe cleaners.  I want to make a bunch more and have them crawling up my curtains in my living room.

Heres a quick look at my entryway.

Then Spiderman (aka Peyton) popped in to say “hi”.

And heres a closeup of my felt bats.

Pretty creepy huh?!  I’m super excited and can’t wait for the party.  Check out my next post for all of my FREE HALLOWEEN PRINTABLES I made for the party!!! 🙂  BOOOOOOOOOooooooooo!

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I HATE drama.  Except when it comes to fashion and design.  Then I LOVE drama.  And I’ve been meaning to make me something dramatic for a while now.  I think this loverly black bib necklace does the trick!  I’ve been loving bib necklaces for quite some time, especially the versatility of them.  Embellished shirts have been wildly popular but can also be somewhat spendy.  A great bib necklace is just the way to add a great embellishment that is temporary and looks almost like it is part of your top.  So heres what I did…

Cost: About $8

Supplies:

  • Beaded embellishments.  I found my 3 star/flower embellishments at Walmart in the craft department for about $2.50 each.
  • Black felt.
  • Scrap fabric.  I used leftover black chiffon.
  • Chain and necklace findings, or you could use black satin ribbon as the tie.
  • Scizzors.
  • Hot glue gun and glue.
(Sorry, the pics aren’t great because I took them with my phone.)
1.  Find a layout that you like with your beaded embellishments.  Lay them out on your felt.
2.  Cut around the embellishments, leaving about a half inch to an inch of felt on all sides.
3.  Cut your scrap fabric into thin strips (about a half inch or so wide).
4.  Begin hot gluing your fabric strips to the felt bib piece, twisting and squiggling the fabric around the spots where the embellishments will go.
5.  Hot glue your embellishments into place (the edges of the embellishments should be overlapping the twisted fabric portion of the bib so you can’t see any empty felt).
6.  I ended up giving my bib a bit more shape by cutting around the embellishments a bit more instead of just leaving the bib as a big “smiley”.
7.  Cut small holes in both ends of the bib to attach the chain/ribbon to.
8.  Attach the necklace portion to the bib with jump rings.
Thats it!  You’ll be amazed at how many things you can wear this with!  I wore it the other night at my mother-in-laws suprise party with a simple black and white striped tshirt and cute green skirt and it completely transformed the outfit.  I’ll have to get pics of that outfit up soon.  It really did look so cute with that striped shirt.
Have fun and remember, glue gun burns will fade, but your bib necklace will last for years! 😉
Update 10/26/2011:  Heres a pic with it on…

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While at Walmart the other day, I quickly ran through their new-again fabric section.  Can we all collectively say “yay!” for Walmart bringing back the fabric department?!  Anyway, I was about to walk out (I was of course shopping with the boys again and they had already had enough), when I spotted this purple and red chiffon print peeking out of a pile of colorful fleece bolts.  I grabbed it to check it out really quick and loved it even more when I unrolled it a bit and saw the lovely native american-esque pattern.  I know.  I’m sort of becoming obsessed.  It kind of had the same feel as my maxi dress I just did (and LOVE) and when I saw that it was only $1.50 a yard I HAD to have some.  I didn’t know what I was going to do with it, but I got 3 yards and went on my little way.

Well, last night I pulled it out and took a look at it again.  I love the big oversized drapey t-shirts and ponchos I’ve been seeing on Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie and such.  And my new chiffon draped so nicely.  So I drew up a little plan and decided to make a wispy, bohemian, poncho-shirt, or as I like to call it, my shoncho.  🙂

Heres what I did:

Cost: $1.50 (You only need about a yard of fabric for this shirt so check remnant bins to get some great chiffon for CHEAP).

Supplies:

  • About a yard of chiffon fabric (or other lightweight drapey fabric that you love).
  • Scizzors.
  • Pins.
  • Sewing machine.

1.  Refer to my little sketchy plan below.  It basically shows how to do it.

2.  Here are some extra tips.

TIP 1:  BE CAREFUL!  Chiffon is delicate and tears and frays very easily.  So be slow and steady when feeding it through the machine.

TIP 2:  I used the finished edge as the bottom of my shirt so I didn’t have to zigzag the bottom.  If your chiffon piece has a finished edge, utilize it to save you time.

TIP 3:  Don’t forget to zigzag stitch (or serge if you have a serger) the INSIDE seams as well as the outside raw edges so they don’t continue to fray.

And thats it.  This took me less than 30 minutes to throw together.  And I’m pretty happy with it.  🙂  What do you think?  You can make this.  And its great for FAT days.

P.S.  I also made the red necklace and the pink clip-in hair extension.  For more of my jewelry and accessories, see the Fashion Tutorials section on the sidebar. 🙂

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