My DIY

DIY OFF THE SHOULDER BEACH DRESS

Being on holidays inspires in my all sorts of fun and summery DIYs. As you may have noticed, I’m currently loving all things off the shoulder, and what’s more relaxed and beach to bar-ish than a piece that works both as a cover up and a dress? Ok so to be honest, without any lining this piece best functions over bikinis, which works a treat here in Thailand where I’m currently travelling, but probably not so much at home during after work drinks. However, using a less sheer fabric or by adding a slip or lining, this style of dress could have a million different lives, and it’s surprisingly easy to make!

Make a simple off the shoulder beach dress www.apairandasparediy.com

Wearing DIY dress, J Crew bag and shoes, H&M hat (I love this), Daniel Wellington Watch

Easy off the shoulder dress Easy off the shoulder dress

You need:

  • 2 m (2.4 yards) of heavy (perhaps sheer) fabric, lace style would work well
  • Scissors
  • 2.5cm (1 in) elastic
  • A sewing machine

Simple off the shoulder dress www.apairandasparediy.com

How to:

So, this dress is really easy because it’s pretty much 2 big squares and 2 big rectangles, that’s all you need. I used fabric which didn’t require hemming which made the process even easier! Refer to the pattern below to understand how that works.

If you’re referring to this off the shoulder top I made recently, note there is a major difference in construction – the top was created  using three gathered tubes each with separate elastic, however this dress is a body and arms attached with one piece of elastic gathering it at the top – making it a little more simple.

Easy off the shoulder dress www.apairandasparediy.com

1. Cut your fabric pieces out.

Simple off the shoulder dress www.apairandasparediy.com

2. Now sew your body section by sewing seams up the sides of the large pieces of fabric, stopping 10cm (4 inches) from the top. This is where you will attach arms on each side. Essentially what you will have is a tube with open top seams.

Easy off the shoulder dress www.apairandasparediy.com

3. Fold and sew the seams of your arms, once again leaving around 10cm (4 in) open at the end, this is where you are going to jigsaw your arms and body together. Can you see how this is coming along?

Easy off the shoulder dress www.apairandasparediy.com

4. Sew the arms to the body, making sure you sew the seams on the same side (inside out) as the side seams, otherwise you’ll have to unpick and start again!

Easy off the shoulder dress www.apairandasparediy.com

5. It will look lil this once the arms have been sewn on.

Easy off the shoulder dress www.apairandasparediy.com

6. If your fabric has holes such as mine did all you have to do is thread the elastic through the whole way around the fabric (making sure to leave an inch at the top for ruffling) and then tie it off once the elastic meets. If your fabric doesn’t have holes, I suggest you sew a hem and seam for the elastic as you would for a gathered skirt and insert the elastic that way.

Easy off the shoulder dress www.apairandasparediy.com

Voila! Will definitely be adding some skin coloured lining to this when I get back to Hong Kong!

Easy off the shoulder dressEasy off the shoulder dress

Looking for fabrics or materials for your next project or collection? Wander & Hunt is now sourcing in bulk everything you need to get serious about your craft. Read about that here.

DIY NET INSPIRATION BOARD

I’m such a huge fan of having inspiration boards around the office, usually in a constant state of flux dependent on what I’m thinking or planning at the time. One of the things I love about these is that in some ways they can act as artwork  as well as reminders around the office, something more than just a to do list. Not content to have a normal pin board, I recently set about creating this net inspiration board – was surprisingly simple to create and definitely ticks the box of functional art!

Create an inspiration board out of net www.apairandasparediy.comCreate an inspiration board out of net www.apairandasparediy.com

You need:

  • A decorative fishing net
  • two dowels (or broom handles)
  • some extra string
  • a coil of coloured rope

Create an inspiration board out of net www.apairandasparediy.com

How to:

1. Start by unravelling your net and threading the top through one of the dowels.

Create an inspiration board out of net www.apairandasparediy.com

2. Thread it all the way on making sure not to miss any loops.

Create an inspiration board out of net www.apairandasparediy.com

3. Do that for the other end so you have the top and bottom attached to the dowel.

Create an inspiration board out of net www.apairandasparediy.com

4. Now, because naturally the net will slide inwards due to the slack within it, you want to use some string to make it taught between the dowels. To do this you want to cut two pieces of string that are roughly 1.5 x the length of the net. Start by tying the string to the top of the dowel.

Create an inspiration board out of net www.apairandasparediy.com

5. Thread it all the way through down the side of the net.

Create an inspiration board out of net www.apairandasparediy.com

6. And then tie it off tight at the bottom, pulling the knot away to tighten the net. When you’ve done this on both side the net should sit taught between the dowels. String it up to the wall by adding some bright coloured cord.

Create an inspiration board out of net www.apairandasparediy.com

Voila!

Create an inspiration board out of net www.apairandasparediy.comCreate an inspiration board out of net www.apairandasparediy.com

HOW TO: NO HEAT HOLIDAY CURLS

When travelling who can honestly be bothered with the straightener and curler when you’ve got so many other fun things to do? In ode to us just landing in the beautiful area of Krabi in Thailand, I thought I would share with you my go-to holiday hair routine, seriously easy – and perfect for super humid destinations like Thailand where a messy curl goes a looooong way to disguising crazy frizzy lampshade hair. The best thing about this little morning routine is that you don’t need loads of creams or potions – just your conditioner and some bobby pins – I used the handy bottle from this travel set which worked perfectly!

No heat holiday curlsNo heat holiday curls

 You need - conditioner, hair pins, a comb, a towel

No heat holiday curls />

How to:

1. Wash and towel dry your hair.

No heat holiday curls

2. Put a small pea sized amount of conditioner on your fingertips.

No heat holiday curls

3. Add it to the ends and mid lengths of your hair.

No heat holiday curls

4. Pin your hair in some small buns at the back of your head and let your hair dry naturally. I usually do this little routine before breakfast and take out the pins before my hair is completely dry so they curls aren’t too tight. You can add some spray to hold he curls but I don’t bother unless I remembered to throw it in my suitcase – and let’s face it I usually didn’t.

No heat holiday curls

Let your hair out and have fun!

No heat holiday curlsNo heat holiday curls

Psst, there’s 25% off over at  Grown Alchemist this weekend including the travel kit that’s been my trusty Thailand companion.