9th December 2013
As many of you probably know by now, nothing satisfies me more than reworking old, boring pieces from my local secondhand shop into shiny and bright wardrobe essentials that I can not only wear down the street for a coffee, but actually throw on for my christmas party. I saw this white dress in a thrift store and bought it because I supposed that deep down it had some potential, if not only as a blank wall for me to go all Banksy on. Once home, I put it on and asked my boyfriend what he thought I should do with it and he said (with zero pause and much vehemence) ‘burn it!’. As you can imagine, his response was pretty much a red-rag-to-a-bull style challenge for me to see if I could make it into something not bound for a Joan of Arc inspired farewell. With a quick hem chop, a few nips and tucks and the addition of some golden paillette sequins, I think it worked out ok! Read on to see just how I did it.
- A dress or top with a simple round neckline
- 100 or so gold paillettes
- A needle and thread
1. The first thing I did to make the dress more party worthy was to cut a few inches off the bottom of it because it was an odd middi length.
2. I used my sewing machine to finish the hem.
3. And then ironed it nice and flat. I also took it in a bit at the back by tightening the little belt tie that went around the back, and folded the sleeves under once and ironed them down. These small changes made the world of difference to the shape and overall look.
4. Then I grabbed a handful of paillettes… So shiny! (eyes light up).
5. I then took some time out on the couch to then handsew the paillettes onto the dress. This might sound super tedious and some of you may want to opt for glue instead, but honestly it didn’t take much longer than an hour (in fact, one episode of homeland – the sewing gave me a great excuse to avert my eyes during the suspenseful bits!), and they have so much more movement and flow when they are sewn on.
6. I left a small gap along the edge so they didn’t scratch my skin.
7. I sewed them all the way around to the shoulder seams, and then repeated with layers underneath.
8. Knot each sequin at the back as I have done here by threading the needle through a loop made by a stitch . This will ensure that if one comes off, they don’t all come off.
9. In the end I did around 4 layers. I mainly tried to make sure the gaps between the sequins were filled and didn’t bother making it too tidy, straight or regimented.
Et voila! I have to say the this is exactly what I needed to satisfy my holiday-party-dress cravings! Can’t wait to wear it this week (can kinda see myself spilling red wine on it already…).
For more Before & After posts head here.
Outfit photos by Luke Casey
8th December 2013
For those of you who liked the Dior Inspired Double Pearl Earrings I made a while ago, I wanted to share with you another version I recently made – a two tone pair, with black pearl bead backing for a slightly more leather jacket/weekend appropriate look. To make your own, all you need to do is follow my original tutorial and swap out the larger pearls at the back for black beads or frosted black pearls. I used the new black frosted version of this pearl embellishment kit. Time to get crafty!
3rd December 2013
At this time of year I’ve always got my eye out for sweet and simple DIY projects that make the perfect gifts, all the more special because you added a bit of your own elbow grease to the mix. There’s nothing more I personally love to receive at Christmas than a new notebook, the perfect accessory for the fresh start that goes hand in hand with a new year (along with a hangover and soon to be defunct new year’s resolutions). Add a little bit more love to your notebook gifts with a hint of customised fabric, I went with girly florals but you can tailor yours to the needs of your giftee (whether than be you, or someone else!).
- A notebook
- white/school glue
- a ruler
- a length of white and floral fabrics
Or you can buy the kit here.
1. The white fabric is to line the notebook so no colour shows through and the notebook has a soft, luxe feel. Cut your white fabric to the size of your notebook.
2. Spread some glue on your notebook and use the paintbrush to distribute evenly all the way to the edges.
3. Press the white fabric on and smooth with your fingers, and then close the book to tighten the fabric. Trim the edges using scissors. Repeat with a second layer of white fabric if you choose (we wanted extra softness so that’s what we did!).
4. Place your book on top of the floral fabric. Using a ruler and pencil, mark 2.5cm (1 inch) all the way around the book.
5. Cut the fabric out.
6. Add the glue on top of the white fabric and use the paintbrush to once again distribute evenly.
7. Place the fabric on top, making sure to line up evenly with the edges.
8. Use your fingers to press the fabric into the spine.
9. Turn the book over and open to the inside cover. Add glue about 1 inch around the long edge using the paintbrush.
10. Fold over and press the fabric down.
11. Cut the fabric to the corner as shown.
12. Place some glue on the edge of the fabric as shown.
3. Fold over into a triangle.
14. Put some glue along the short edge and then fold the fabric over. The folded triangle edge should cover the raw edges of the other side.
15. Trim the fabric away from the spine of the book and add a dab of glue to secure it.
16. Finally, put some glue on the page you just folded into, and press down the first page so you cover all the edges