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inspiration: Lace


Greetings from sunny New Zealand! I feel so lucky to have spent the last few days enjoying every moment with friends and family on the gorgeous island of Waiheke – if you ever get the chance to visit this part of the world you must (must must!). I can’t even put into words how lovely it is here – every single bay and little cottage looks like it’s straight out of Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom! One of my good friends got married a few days ago at Mudbrick Winery, and it was one of those long nights I’ll no doubt remember forever (luckily long after the morning-after-headache has subsided!). I thought I would share with you some of the details of this (picture perfect) wedding as well as what I threw on for the day – a hot pink lace dress and (never one to leave the house not wearing a new DIY) which I decided to toughen with a little DIY.

Pink lace and chain www.apairandasparediy.comPink lace and chain www.apairandasparediy.comPink lace and chain www.apairandasparediy.comPink lace and chain www.apairandasparediy.comPink lace and chain www.apairandasparediy.com

Pink lace and chain www.apairandasparediy.com

Wearing: Whistles Lace Dress, Oroton Heels, Dylan Kain Bag, Daniel Wellington Watch, DIY belt.

Pink lace and chain www.apairandasparediy.comPink lace and chain www.apairandasparediy.comPink lace and chain www.apairandasparediy.comPink lace and chain www.apairandasparediy.comPink lace and chain www.apairandasparediy.com

A big thank you to all you lovely people that took the time to impart your NZ related wisdom for m in this post! I can’t understate how useful all your tips have been (I re-read them all in a cafe in the Coromandels today to check what I shouldn’t miss) – it’s like having your very own local guide. I’m going to be here all week travelling around, can’t wait to share our trip with you!


Today marks the last day of the marathon that is fashion month, and to commiserate (or celebrate – whatever your jam) I’ve done a roundup of my favourite DIYable street styles. I’ve clicked next, next, next (next next neeeeeeext) until my carpal tunnels ached to pick out the styles I think you could recreate at home, and then strut down the street like you’re in the Tuileries (without the flight + outfit pricetag). You can thank me later!


Feathers and fringe, can one photo have any more DIY inspiration than this? Adding a little of either to your heels/skirt is super simple.


Sometimes it’s the least obvious styles that catch my eye the most. The shirt wrapped into a one shoulder style has the makings of a fantastic DIY (I’m assuming it came that way but can’t be sure?). Who doesn’t love making something amazing out of a simple black shirt?


Studded clutch (totally doable!) and wrapped curb chain. Done and done.


This inspires a cut and sew, dropping the hemline of a skirt and creating a cage with ribbon.


This look was one of the most photographed of the season, and I love just how easy it would be to  achieve this look (aka sesame street alphabet song has thrown up on you) if you so chose!


As a lover of all things transparent and plastic, I love this skirt, not only does it look cool, it’s the perfect wet weather skirt. I imagine making it using this construction.


If you have an old denim jacket lying around, you’d be mad if you don’t add some oversized varsity letters to the back.


I kinda wish I had front view of this top, but in my own world I imagine it’s a cashmere sweater tied into a bustier at the front. Not so great if you’ve got any breasts to speak of, but definitely something I would have passed off as a top when I was 15. Oh to be that age again with no concept of gravity!


This cage briefcase! Kinda looks like something you could make with chicken wire but I think it might be a little more complicated than that.


Skirt: same same but different right?


Cut outs are no longer clean and hemmed, now they’re slashed and torn. Makes it easy for the lazy DIYer!


Handcuff bracelet? Yes yes! You could spraypaint a plastic set but I’m not sure it would have the same visual effect. Perhaps some things are better left unDIYed?


I noticed a lot of jewelry box-like clutches on the streets this season, and I have to say I dig it. Even more when I can simply liberate mine from the nightstand and take it out for the evening.


For those of you worried about going whole hog into the plaid trend for fear of looking like a lumberjack, why not whack a few patches on your jeans instead? Although on second thoughts you may end up looking like a lumberjack who used old shirts to cover holes in your jeans… But, fashun!


Possibly the easiest DIY going around, add your favourite quote to the back of a khaki parka. For extra points, choose a quote from Shit Girls Say – ‘sorry I’m not sorry’ or something of the like.


The trench skirt has serious appeal this season, and those added polka dots? A bit of acrylic paint and bob’s your uncle.


 One of my all-time multifunctional wardrobe pieces, the maxi skirt turns into a dress in the blink of an eye. I would add a belt to mine because, well, breasts.


A bit of white leather fringe goes a long way to modernise a simple white shirt. Totally going on my list!


Backless and bowed, does it get any better than this? Add an oversized bow once you get scissor (and thread) happy on a simple dress.


Adore this cut out sweater that for some reason reminds me of a roman cathedral. Looks pretty fiddly  but can’t wait to make something like this soon!


How about replacing the back arm panels of your denim jacket with some crochet and tassels?


Crushing on anything tulle at the moment, and this layered skirt is right up my DIY alley.


A bit more inspiration for the wrapped mans shirt, totally going to have a play around in front of the mirror next chance I get.


Patches were the most DIYable trend on the streets this fashion week, the sillier the better. All you have to do is make sure you don’t burn yourself when you’re ironing them on (so pretty much anyone can make this).


 Too much? Or just the right amount?


Patches: exhibit b.


This grommet mesh skirt is screaming out to me. But how would I make it? Thoughts please!

Images: Style.com, Vogue, W Magazine, The Cut, Nasty Gal


What could be more appropriate for your summertime wardrobe than a lace romper? I’ve had my eye on this style since last summer, but instead of buying I decided to try my hand at making my own. In many ways this project evolved as I worked on it, I wasn’t exactly sure what it would look like before I started (I was thinking it might be halter but went with strapless in the end) but it turned out to be exactly what I needed for hanging by the beach or a bit of high summer boat hopping.

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Although this project may look complicated, in reality it wasn’t. It was an update to the project I did here where I made a pair of shorts – I simply extended the pattern out to create a pair of shorts very long in the waist to cover the bust. Presto!

You need:

  • 2 meters (2.2 yards) of lace fabric
  • 2 meters (2.2 yards) of lining fabric (I used light cotton)
  • ribbon or twine for the waist
  • thread
  • scissors
  • a pair of shorts as a template

When choosing shorts for the template this project, go for something a bit oversized in the waistband. If you don’t have that add a few more inches all the way around to the pattern because what we are aiming for here is an oversized shape that will gather at the waist when tied with ribbon.

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1. Fold your fabric in half and line up your shorts (also folded in half) along the fold with the bottom hem in line with the edge of the fabric.

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2. Cut around the shorts, using them as a guide. In a previous here I used a template, but this time I just used the shorts instead and eyeballed adding a few inches around to allow for the hems etc.

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4. Instead of cutting the fabric to be in line with the waistband of the shorts, I added another 30 cm or so (the space from your waist to your armpit). Cut a second piece exactly the same.

diy lave romper

5. Open the two pieces out and lay them flat against each other like this.

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6. Lay two pieces of lining fabric over the top to fully cover the lace and use the lace as a guide for cutting out the same shape for the lining.

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7. You will then have 4 pieces – 2 lace (the outer shell) and two lining (the inner shell).

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8. Now, lay the pieces on top of each other in this order: lining, lace, lace, lining. Basically you will have the lace encased by lining. Then pin the pieces together all the way along the curved edges. Sew the edges using a zig zag stitch. Choose one side which will become the front of the garment and leave the seam open a few inches (refer to image in step 11 to see why).

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9. Now, this is the tricky bit. Flip the fabric around so instead of the seams being on the sides, they are in the middle. Pin and sew the crotch together. There is another example of me doing this here for those of you that need more visuals.

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10. Your finished product should look like this.

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11. Your romper is starting to look better! Take the time to put it on and play around. If you put it on and it is too big across the back or droops down at the armpits, take it in by sewing a deeper seam for the back – I took mine in a little bit but it will all depend on your body shape.

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12. Once you are happy with the way it sits, turn it inside out and tie the front ties together. When you put it on make sure to tie it tightly so it doesn’t fall down. If you are worried about it riding down, add some simple straps using ribbon or twine (in either normal or halter style), however I found that when I wore a strapless bra and tied the front knot tightly it didn’t fall down. I think again that it will be down to your body shape.

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13. Add the ribbon or twine to give it more shape on your body, trying at the back or in a bow at the front.

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When you wear the romper make sure to gather it at the waist particularly at the front so that the seam which goes all the way up isn’t so obvious.

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Wearing: DIY Lace Romper, DIY Transparent Satchel, Karen Walker Sunglasses

Photos of outfit by Lauren Engel