BEFORE & AFTER: DIY LACE UP DRESS

Greetings from down under guys! I’ve just arrived in Sydney to spend a few weeks here – for fashion week and for a few other things that I’ve been working on. It’s so nice to be on home soil -there are gorgeous rosella birds sitting on the veranda watching me type as we speak. To kick off a week of fun and fashion that is MBFWA (and a bunch of fashion inspired projects that I have lined up for you) I thought I would share with you a little before & after – taking a simple black dress and turning it into something different, special and, well, oh so Spring 15! If you haven’t noticed lacing has been everywhere recently, I have to say I’m loving the whole 70’s vibe! This is the first of two ways to add some laced detailing to your dress/top/whatever, and it wasn’t too hard either!

Before and after: the lace up dressBefore and after: the lace up dress

You need:

  • An old dress with a high neckline
  • Leather Cord
  • Scissors
  • Needles, thread and pins
  • Sewing Machine

We used a simple fitted dress with a high neckline and a seam around the waist, which made it easy to create this cut out whilst still keeping the structure of the dress.

Make a Lace Up Dress www.apairandasparediy.com

How to:

1. Draw a line down the centre front of your dress to where you want your V-neck to start and end. We made this  one quite low, it went to the waist seam, but you can make it as low or high as you want depending on modesty – this version isn’t something you’d wear to work haha.

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2. Cut along the line. If you are going to the waist seam cut all the way down, otherwise cut to your chosen depth.

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3. Fold the two sides under to create a V-neck and pin them into place. You will need to reinforce the bottom of your V if you don’t use a seam to end the cut.

Make a Lace Up Dress www.apairandasparediy.com

4.  Decide on where you want to start lacing your front from.  From this point measure up to the top and divide by 5.

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5. Mark the 5 points with your chalk pencil.

Make a Lace Up Dress www.apairandasparediy.com

6. Cut small sections of leather cord.

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7. Fold these leather cords in half to form loops and pin them along the four points. Sew along the edge to reinforce the edge and also to attach the loops. You can also hand sew the loops on for extra security.

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8. Once the loops are in place, take your leather cord and start by weaving from the bottom criss crossing through the loops from side to side.

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Voila!

Before and after: the lace up dressBefore and after: the lace up dress

Outfit photos by Nicola Lemmon

HONG KONG GUIDE: EATING & DRINKING

Like any world city, Hong Kong has an almost overwhelming number of dining and nightlife options, streets and streets lined with places you could load up. But also like many other big cities, it’s so easy to miss the best places because of the sheer amount of choice – it doesn’t help that the true gems are well and truly hidden. As part of a new partnership with Hong Kong Tourism Board, I’ll be sharing with you an updated guide of my favourite hidden parts of this city, first up, where to eat and hang after dark. Read on for the not-so-known places.

To celebrate Hong Kong Summer and our new partnership, Hong Kong Tourism and Flight Centre are giving away an amazing travel prize to Hong Kong, including flights and 5 nights accommodation. To top it all off, I’ll be personally showing the winners around this gorgeous city, so they can get the hidden insights. Head to the Hidden Hong Kong site here to enter!

Hong Kong Travel Guide Eating and Drinking

Oddies Foodies – chocolate filled eggs waffles with vanilla and chocolate soft gelato (!!)

Hong Kong Eating Guide

Limewood

Hong Kong Eating Guide

Tea and toast at Cafe Mido

Hong Kong Eating Guide

A pit stop in Sham Shui Po

Hong Kong Eating Guide

Noodle stops in Central

Hong Kong Eating Guide

Lok Cha Tea House

Hong Kong Eating Guide

Cha Cha Wan

Hong Kong Eating Guide

Teakha

Hong Kong Eating Guide

Fish & Meat

Hong Kong Eating Guide

Teakha

Hong Kong Eating Guide

Teakha

Hong Kong Eating Guide

Oddies Foodies

Lok Cha Tea House
My favourite dumpling house in Hong Kong by far, you’ll be hard pressed to find somewhere with such a perfect mix of old world ambience and yummy (vegetarian) dumplings.

Cooked Food Centres
Although not necessarily easy on the eyes, Hong Kong’s cooked food centres are home to a plethora of eating options – perfect for a quick meal between pit stops. Queen Street Cooked Food Centre is the most accessible, and home to a great Indian restaurant, and a little further East at Java Road Cooked Food Centre, Tung Po is a poular place for traditional cantonese seafood – try a plate of razor clams.

Mido Cafe
Wes Anderson would be proud of the throwback 50’s tiles and furniture, and the gorgeous green antique windows that look down onto the local temple. The menu is Hong Kong cafe food which can be a tad odd for the uninitiated – condensed milk on toast anyone? – but don’t let that stop you.

Oddies Foodies
The soft serve craze has hit Hong Kong hard, and you’ll find that everyone has their favourite place to go. I’m all about the east meets west element at Oddies Foodies – softserve topped with traditional Hong Kong egg waffles (they’ve added chock chips because.. why not?).

Teakha
Hidden away behind newly gentrified area of Tai Ping Shan Street, this quaint little tea house is one of my favourite places to relax with a cup of freshly brewed Masala Chai. A palette of mint green and Japanese cermaics on the tables gives it a distinctly feimine edge, and the surrounding area feel a little bit like Old World Hong Kong.

Cha Cha Wan
Still an absolute favourite of mine, this Thai restaurant continuously serves up delicious (albeit super spicy) fare. Australian chef Adam Cliff (who trained under David Thompson at Nahm in Bangkok) has nailed the food, music and ambience tri-fector and you’re going to love it. It’s great for a late night meal!

Brickhouse
This alleyway restaurant has been open for a few years but is still going strong, with cocktails, great tunes and late night vibes, it’s a great choice when you’re looking for a bit of variety.

Ho Lee Fook
Chef Jowett Yu (previously of Mr. Wong and Ms. G’s in Sydney) dishes up the most delicious chinese food on the island, and the basement location is perfect for a big and raucous night.

Stockton
This bar is admittedly almost impossible to find, but worth searching for. Located directly below Fish & Meat restaurant on Wyndham Street, you’ll have to take the alley next to O2 hairdressers to find it. But once you’re there you’ll love the speakeasy vibes and big soft leather chairs.

Duddells Rooftop
Although Duddell’s may not have the skyscraper view that other rooftops do in the city, it is easily the best when it comes to ambiance. Better know for the dim sum searved downstairs, this rooftop is somewhat of a hidden gem, with shrubs and hanging light making it the perfect place for an evening drink.

Missy Ho’s
The neighborhood of Kennedy Town has seen major changes over the last few years, particularly with the opening of the recent MTR station. Step into Missy Ho’s, an all night dinner and drinks spot where you’re obligated to have fun. Don a costume as you head in, order a Mai Tai and take a turn on the swing (yes really).

A few other places you shouldn’t miss if you have more time include Limewood, Linguini Fini (escalator location is perfect when you’re wandering) and Chilli Figara (the original one).

Photos by Nicola Lemmon

QUICK DIY: THE WORD SWEATER

Although I love a long, complicated DIY that involves a zillion steps, there’s often something really really satisfying about a simple project that only takes a few moments, but completely changes the look of something you already own. Annnnnd I know you guys like to sometimes keep in simple too which is why I thought I would share this stupidly easy sweatshirt I crafted recently. It’s the perfect example – taking a simple sweatshirt from boring to all sorts of ‘how to be Parisian’.

DIY Graphic Word SweaterDIY Graphic Word SweaterHow to make a graphic sweater www.apairandasparediy.comHow to make a graphic sweater www.apairandasparediy.comDIY Graphic Word Sweater

What are your favourite easy as pie projects? Got any you’d like to see done here?

Photos by Nicola Lemmon

DIY LEATHER JEWELRY DISH

Do your gorgeous rings and necklaces often end up lying all over the house or perhaps collecting dust on your nightstand? Yep mine too. Instead of letting that happen, make something pretty to store them in. We used the leather crafting kit from the store to craft this – so easy!

DIY Leather Jewelry Dish

 

You need:

Buy the full kit of materials here!

LEATHER JEWELLERY DISH www.apairandasparediy.com

How to:

1. Draw a triangle on the back of your leather measuring 30cm (12 inches) along the sides.

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2. Cut out your triangle. At each corner, punch two holes 1cm (half inch) from the edge.

LEATHER JEWELLERY DISH www.apairandasparediy.com

3. Place the bottom part of the stud through one hole.

LEATHER JEWELLERY DISH www.apairandasparediy.com

4. Fold the leather over so that the two holes match up and then add the top of the stud.

LEATHER JEWELLERY DISH www.apairandasparediy.com

5. Repeat adding the studs in the same direction. Once all the studs are in, fold the leather along the crease.

LEATHER JEWELLERY DISH www.apairandasparediy.com

Finally, add your little treasures!

Leather Jewelry Holder

Ps. If you love DIY Jewellery Storage make sure to check out this project and this one.