BEFORE & AFTER: MIDI SKIRT & TOP SET

Here we go again, turning a (let’s be honest) pretty nasty dress into something not-so-gross and potentially wearable. I like to think of this as the job interview version of the checked set I made a little while ago here (so long as your job isn’t weird around a hint of midriff!

Turn a dress into a skirt and top

Wearing: Dylan Kain bag, Lack of Color hat

DIY matching top and skirt set

We used:

  • Long Maxi Dress
  • Elastic
  • Scissors
  • Needle & thread
  • Pins
  • Unpicker

Two piece cropped top and midi skirt www.apairandasparediy.com

How to:

1. First we turned the front of the dress into the back of the dress so first we unpicked the pocked from the front. Then cut the maxi dress into two sections, separating the top section from the gather section around the waist.

Two piece cropped top and midi skirt www.apairandasparediy.com

2. You will then have two sections and will be half way to having a new crop top and midi skirt!

Two piece cropped top and midi skirt www.apairandasparediy.com

3. Hem the edge of your crop top, this can either be done by hand or machine.

Two piece cropped top and midi skirt www.apairandasparediy.com

4 .Take your elastic and place it along the top of your skirt. Use this to work out how thick the elastic is and then fold the fabric over and sew down to create a waistband that you’re going to thread your elastic through.

Two piece cropped top and midi skirt www.apairandasparediy.com

5. Attaching your elastic to a pencil, knitting needle or in this case some chopsticks push your elastic all the way through the loop until it comes through the other side.

Two piece cropped top and midi skirt www.apairandasparediy.com

6. Once you have both ends of your elastic, sew them together to create your waistband.

Two piece cropped top and midi skirt www.apairandasparediy.com

Voila!

Turn a dress into a skirt and top

Photos by Nicola Lemmon

Ps. Check out one of my favourite before & after projects here.

DIY MARBLE GEM DECORATIONS

In round two of ‘decorations you’ll never want to take down’, today we bring you the marble geometric decorations – so simple to make and in hipster approved diamond shapes. Read on to see how.

DIY marble gem ornaments www.apairandasparediy.comDIY marble gem ornaments www.apairandasparediy.com

You need: 

Make marble decorations www.apairandasparediy.com

How to:

1. Download your diamond template here. Print this onto card paper or simply stick the template printed on normal paper onto card. Next cut out a piece of marble paper the same size as your paper.

Make marble decorations www.apairandasparediy.com

2. Remove the adhesive layer of the marble paper and stick it onto the back of the card paper and make sure to smooth over any bumps.

Make marble decorations www.apairandasparediy.com

3. Cut out your template.

Make marble decorations www.apairandasparediy.com

4. Using a dart awl and the edge of a ruler, run the sharp point along the fold lines, this will make the lines more defined and easier to fold. If you don’t have a dart awl, you can also use a needle or pen. Once you have folded all the lines, apply glue to the tabs and begin to stick your shape together.

Make marble decorations www.apairandasparediy.com

5. Before gluing shut your shape. Take a needle and pull a long piece of thread through the top to act as a hanging string.

Make marble decorations www.apairandasparediy.com

Voila!

DIY marble gem ornaments www.apairandasparediy.comDIY marble gem ornaments www.apairandasparediy.com

Love marble? Read our tutorial for creating a marble photo background here.

Finished items photographed by Nicola Lemmon

DIY NO SEW BLANKET CAPE

It’s getting to that time of year when getting out of bed is hard. I mean REALLY HARD. The snooze button starts to look pretty good every morning and all you want to do is wrap yourself in your blankets and never come out. Enter the blanket cape, the fashion set’s equivalent of the snuggie (although let’s be honest, the latter wins hands down always). This style was seen all over the AW15 runways, most noticeably at Burberry where they were precariously thrown over the shudders. Kinda like the jacket as cape trend, but hey an actual cape! The best thing about this piece of clothing is that it’s insanely do-able in an at home sense, and so here we show you how.

Make a cape out of a blanket

Wearing: DIY Cape, Grana Tee, Whistles jeans, Asos boots, Dylan Kain bag

No sew cape

You need:

  • 3 m (3.3 yards) of blanket fabric like a thick cotton or jersey.
  • Scissors
  • Tape Measure
  • Pins

How to make a blanket cape www.apairandasparediy.com

How to:

1. At the edge of your fabric, cut a piece of fabric 5cm wide (2 inches), this will serve as your belt later on.

How to make a blanket cape www.apairandasparediy.com

2. Take your piece of fabric and fold it in half.

How to make a blanket cape www.apairandasparediy.com

3. Along the folded line, cut to approximately halfway.

How to make a blanket cape www.apairandasparediy.com

5.This is what the bottom half it will look like after you have unfolded the fabric. How to make a blanket cape www.apairandasparediy.com

6. Now we’re going to cut the belt holes in the front. To do this put the cape on and mark where your waist is, which is what you want the belt to wrap around. Then measure 30cm (12 inches) away from the central split on each side in line with where you marked your waist.  You can see the slits cut below.

How to make a blanket cape www.apairandasparediy.com

7. Now take your belt fabric and from pull it through the two slits you create. This is how it should look. When you put it on, the waist fastening will sit behind you so that you can tie it around your waist and create the right shape.

How to make a blanket cape www.apairandasparediy.com

Voila!

Make a cape out of a blanket DIY blanket cape

 

Outfit photos by Nicola Lemmon

Ps like capes? See the other versions I’ve created here and here (this one’s great for the rain!).

GIFT IDEA: THE PERFECT WARDROBE ESSENTIALS (UNDER $50!)

When it comes to gift giving, I’m all about tracking down the most useful presents, without blowing my (admittedly often tight) budget. Although some of you may think this makes me a bit scrooge like, I like to think of it as getting the proverbial bang for buck – and who doesn’t love that? Usually I go for DIY or  market bought presents, but sadly both of these require one element that I’m rather short on this year – time. Failing any sort of pre planning, I like to seek out companies that share my ethos for quality at an affordable price.

Wardrobe essentials as gifts

One such company are my friends over at Grana (you may remember them from my traipse around Hong Kong’s markets), who have the perfect solution for those of you who like me a) like to give presents that people will actually use (and use and use annnnnd use) and/or b) are yet to have started your shopping at all. Their boxed up essentials (think tees, tanks and shirts) are the perfect addition to any wardrobe (trust me on this – I’ve been wearing the shizz out of my silk shirts!), and are great for those impossible to buy for people. Yes, you could get your brother another set of golf balls like last year, but chances are he’d love 5 new cotton tees. And did I mention it’s super affordable? Meaning you’ll probably have a few pennies left over to add to your own tee collection… ;)

The best part? You can buy with Grana up until the 21st of December (23rd if you’re in Hong Kong) for pre Christmas delivery, and they’re offering free shipping, just use code ‘SANTA’ at checkout. Even better for those of you who prefer to bypass present handling at all, they can also gift wrap your items and send them directly to your loved ones. Below are a few of my picks, it’s one of those choose your own adventure situations!

For your sister / mother / bestie

Under $50

– 3 x Peruvian cotton tees

– A sleeveless silk top + a tee

– A tank + a tee

Under $100

–  3 x silk tanks

– 2 x silk tanks + 2 x tees

– a silk shirt and a tank

– 5 tees

For your boyfriend  / father / hipster cousin

Under $50

– 3 x tees

Under $100

–  5 x tees

– 2 tees + a pair of jeans

Shirts as gifts www.apairandasparediy.comShirts as gifts www.apairandasparediy.comShirts as gifts www.apairandasparediy.comShirts as gifts www.apairandasparediy.comShirts as gifts www.apairandasparediy.comShirts as gifts www.apairandasparediy.com

This post is in collaboration with Grana, a brand I love and wear regularly.