January 31, 2012

DIY Varsity Sweater

Yesterday I posted about the varsity style-- past and present--that inspired this DIY. With a few bits of trim and a spare 45 minutes (last weeks SVU, anyone?), I updated this cardigan that I've had since freshman year of college. Talk about old school.

January 30, 2012

DIY Inspiration: Varisty

Top: Isabel Marant SS12 (Style.com); Atlanta, GA, 1947 (Bulldog Vintage); Rag&Bone FW11 (Style.com)
Bottom: Jason Wu (Net-a-Porter); Danny Zuko, Grease (Men in Cardigans)

I have a varsity letter... but no jacket. In high school I balked at the thought of purchasing an overpriced jacket I knew I wouldn't want to wear. I was right-- I still wouldn't want to wear my own letterman jacket, but man, how designers lately have made old school look so cool. Pared down, its stylishly sporty. To seal the deal on this trend, here's a few shots from Jil Sander's Pre-Fall 2012 collection.

(images from Vogue.com)

I'll bring you a DIY, varsity style, tomorrow. In the mean time, amuse yourself with this clip from Grease.

January 27, 2012

DIY Bib Necklace

Let's get down to business*: I found a necklace at a cheap jewelry store that seemed to be the perfect backdrop to create a Dannijo-esque bib necklace with its rows of chunky circular links. But it had a bit of... a problem. Here's the before:

Like a disco ball for cleavage, the weird plastic key-chain jewel had to go. Once it was removed, I had a blank canvas to personalize. I was inspired by Dannijo's use of dagger beads and lady-like pearls. See how reinterpreted the necklace after the jump!

(images from here)

*If you read that phrase and immediately sang the song from Mulan, mad points for you.

January 25, 2012

Blog love!

Discovering new blogs is addicting. First you find one, and then it leads you to another, and another, and another. Since the fall, the list of blogs I follow has multiplied greatly, and I love seeing the products of all the amazingly crafty people out there. The more the merrier, I say. If you're like me and hooked on DIY, here are some other sites you might like to peruse.

You can find more by clicking "Blogroll" up above. Also, by no means is this list definitive! I love the treasure hunting of reading blogs; there's always more to discover. P.S.-- As you may know, I'm a Pinterest addict too, and love to pin the DIY projects I find on the web. Check it out!

January 23, 2012

DIY Gold Dot Notebooks

What has two thumbs and loves nice notebooks and pens? This gal.

There is nothing like a good pen on good paper. I will forever wave my Pilot V7 high, scribbling and compartmentalizing my life away into list upon list in Rhodia or Moleskine notebooks. Everyone has their own system of organizing their thoughts and tasks, and the one that's worked best for me is a combo of smart-phone+Google calendar with ol' fashioned to-do lists I keep in a small black notebook. Carrying this notebook shouldn't be a chore though! Instead, I thought I'd liven it up with some cheery polka dots. Your possibilities for designs are endless.

January 20, 2012

DIY Glitter Ring

Hello! Just quickly popping in today to show you how I made a glittery ring inspired by tutorials from Alicia at Dismount Creative and Ali from With an I.E.

Materials: Coarse glitter, silver glitter glue, Mod Podge, and ring with empty setting (from Michaels).
I mixed up a batch of glitter glue-more glitter-Mod Podge, and filled the in ring setting with the mixture and let dry. Quite simple!

January 18, 2012

DIY Collar Roundup 3

Collar, collar, collar, collar chameleon... you come and go, you come and go-ooooo*

Whoddah thunk it? I do believe that collar DIYs have been one of the biggest crafty trends of the past year, second only to glitter shoes, of course. Here's one more round up of them, with parts une et deux.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9

Yes, the last one is mine, but I needed just one more to make a nice Brady Bunch style grid!

*See Karma Chameleon, Culture Club. You go girl Boy George.

January 16, 2012

X Out Challenge: DIY Belted Cross-Back Dress

X Out, the makers of Proactiv, asked me and other DIY bloggers to DIY a dress, drawing on the letter "X" and X Out, that inspires confidence and individual style. X Out stands for confidence and putting your best face forward with just one simple step, like putting on a dress. They sent me this dress from American Apparel as a blank canvas and the means to alter, modify, and DIY to my heart's content.

When thinking about design ideas for a dress brought to you by the letter X (hello, Sesame Street!), I instantly thought to dresses with fun cross strap backs. Sleuthing around for some inspiration, I found this gorgeous number from Michael Kors, with not one, but two X's! It's insanely do-it-yourself-able with just a white dress and black trim. See how after the jump!
(images from Michael Kors)

Tools and materials:
Plain white dress with an open back (X-Out sent me this one)
Black faux-leather trim or ribbon/fabric trim
Strong fabric glue (I used Magna Tac) or needle and black thread (if using ribbon)
2 D rings
Measuring tape

The dress is rather... long. I didn't think the maxi look would work with the belt details. First order of business was to shorten it: cut, fold, pin and sew.

I went a little crazy and bought several yards of the faux leather trim because I wasn't sure how much I would need. I ended up using about 4 yards plus a few inches.

Try on the dress and place the trim along the neckline of the dress. The trim should be off center, with one end about a foot shorter than the other for the end with the belt hardware. Use straight pins or binder clips to hold the trim in place.

Use the glue (or hand sew) to attach the trim to the dress neckline from shoulder seam to shoulder seam. I chose glue because the faux-leather I had was too thick for me to sew by hand.  If gluing, place the clips back on to keep the bond strong. (I placed folded up paper towel in between the trim and clips to avoid making an impression in the faux-leather while it dried.)

On the shorter end of the trim, slide D rings about two inches down, and fold over and glue the trim to itself. 

Let everything dry overnight. (Obviously an unnecessary step if you're sewing.)

To tie, bring straps over shoulders, cross in back bringing the belt to in front below the bust, cross again as you wrap the ends behind you, and around the the front once more. Fasten the loose end in the buckle.

For a little versatility, it can be adjusted to be fastened off center. This is my expression when B told me the dress was very "Princess Leia." Silly boy. But I see the resemblance.

January 13, 2012

Not every DIY sees the light of day

Even if you're a Parisian-atelier-trained, world-class designer, sometimes something you make just flops. For me, it begins with an "oh my gawd I could make that" moment that work brilliantly in my head, prompting the execution of a new DIY that just doesn't... deliver. Luckily, these moments are overshadowed by successful projects. However, these shoes continue to glare at me out from under my bed.

Back in the fall, I caught sight these oh-so-beautiful Alexander Wang shoes captured by many a fashion week street style photog and woman-repelling-man. They're shiny, they're silver, they're tasseled; an absolute trifecta. I then saw how Natasha of Required2BeInspired took a pair of old boots, and chopped them down into cool new pumps. With the same trick, scrap leather, and silver spray paint, I thought I could recreate Mr. Wang's (I'm immaturely giggling right now) shoe.

Here is what I thought would happen:

(left | right)

And here is what happened after I attacked a pair of thrift store boots:

Worthy of Sir Elton Hercules John himself. Now, I love Elton, so I'm not saying it's a bad thing... just not me.

And there you have it folks, a little lesson in DIY humility. Sometimes (and I mean only sometimes), somethings are just better left to the pros.

January 11, 2012

DIY Ideas: Net-a-Porter edition

So I lost track on Monday for the grand centenary post, but TODAY is TIMI's 101st post! Hooray for Thanks, I Made It! If I could make balloons and confetti fall down your computer screen I would. But I think that's spam or something. THANK YOU all for giving me the encouragement, support and readership to have made it this far. Cheers to 101 more!

On to business: What to do on a quiet night in? Browse online stores for DIY inspiration, of course! Here are a few items I thought would be fun to DIY.

I love the brightly colored pom-poms popping off the collar of this turquoise sweater. Some hand-sewn trim could make the neckline of any crew neck sweater a show-stopper.

Tulip's Beads in a Bottle fabric paint would be perfect for this project, using the colorful paints to add round "jewels" to sandals or flats.

I also spied this top on the cover of Lucky Magazine not too long ago. Make a bow from black lace, sew on a tee, and voila! I always find short-sleeve blouses in a rainbow of colors at the thrift store; I'm kicking myself for not getting the fuchsia one I saw last trip thrifting.

(All images via Net-a-porter.com)

January 9, 2012

DIY Leather Kindle Cover

I received a Kindle for Christmas, and at first my bibliophilic side was reluctant to break with tradition and all the sensory experiences that come with a book in my hands. However, this thing is so compact and convenient that I look forward to my commute. My super handy grandfather gave me a leather daybook cover from the thrift store with the binder rings removed, which makes an excellent Kindle case, but for daily purposes I needed something a little slimmer to store my reader. Enter DIY! (PS- I have a feeling this won't be my only eReader case project...)

January 4, 2012

DIY Neon Cord Bracelet

Here's the companion to the neon necklace I showed you last week: a sparkly, neon bracelet, inspired by nOir's bright jewels.  Let's start the new year off to on the bright foot, shall we?

Tools and Materials:
Neon cord
Rhinestone brooch
Strong glue (normally I'm team E6000, but thought I'd try out hot glue for this one. I should have used super glue instead.)
Base bangle, another treasure from the junk jewelry stash

Cut the cord into three pieces the length of the bracelet.

Glue the cord to the bangle.

Break off the pin on the back of the brooch, and glue it to the center of the bracelet.

Lovely! I have to say though, the brooch is a bit challenging with coats/sweaters/mittens. This might be in heavier rotation in a few months time when sleeves begin to shorten again.

January 2, 2012

DIY Quick Tip: Crafty things to do with felt circles

Hello 2012! I can't say I have a whole lot of resolution malarkey to share with you. Not that I'm a saint, but what am I going to say? I resolve to be more crafty? I'm up to my ears in crafting, and if I resolve to do anything, you might hold it against me in the coming months. Just kidding... sorta. Let's crack on then.

I had so much fun coming up with ways that clear nail polish can be used in crafting, and loved hearing feedback with more ideas from you! I want to celebrate another unsung hero of my junk drawer: the self-adhesive felt pads or circles that are intended to protect your floor from furniture legs.

I bought a giant multipack of them at Target last year; my old apartment's floors were painted grey with a peach primer (really, 'Gonks?), so when I moved in, every.freakin.thing. scratched up the paint. Not just furniture, but even my computer charger. Pink scratches were everywhere! To combat the problem, I stuck the adhesive felt circles on the bottom of my all my furniture. They came in all sorts of sizes for plenty of uses.

What to do with the rest? Here are some ideas:

1. Make simple coasters from ceramic tiles, with a little felt dot on the bottom in each corner.

2. Have any hand-me-down or vintage clip-on earrings? If they pinch your ears, add a small felt pad.

3. Small circles stuck to the arms of a clothes hanger can help prevent slippery tops from piling up on your closet floor. I got this one from the bible of new uses for old things, Real Simple magazine.

4. They aren't just for preventing scratches on the floor! Stick them on the back corners of picture frames or mirrors to avoid scuffing up the walls.

5. Silence loud cabinet doors with a felt pad on the door's inside corner.

6. Sticking them on like "feet" to the bottom help balance out a wobble object.

How else could you use these felt circles?

(image source)
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