Archive | DIY RSS feed for this section

A Flashback …Plus, I Need Your Input!

25 Aug

A few weeks ago, I was supposed to hang out with one of my good friends but she needed to run a few errands before our meeting. So I went to the local Goodwill to kill some time. They were having a sale on dresses for $3.99 that day so I went straight for the dress racks.

Most of the time, there’s nothing for me, but that day, there was this awesome 100% silk dress that looked brand new. I checked the tag and it said Robbie Bee Petite, Size 4. It required a little fixing since there were two missing buttons and the elastic was stretched out at the waist. I decided to purchase it and figure out its potential later.

The dress looks pretty good in its original state.

Outfit Details: Robbie Bee Petite – 4 (Goodwill), Valentino Garavani heels (DecadesTwo)

Totally 80’s right?

Well, here’s where I need your input and your fashion advice.

I want to do a DIY project with this dress, but I’m not sure how to proceed because I have several ideas. So I’m leaving it up you readers to decide for me.

You can provide other ideas in the comments below! =)

DIY: Altering a Formal Dress Part 2

20 Jul

From yesterday’s post, I didn’t write exactly HOW I did the alterations, but I briefly mentioned them. So I’ll try to go into more detail about what I did exactly.

Here”s a quick sketch of what I planned to change for the dress (sorry for the quality)

I had thought that the front portion that “connected” to the band in the back was a waistband, but I didn’t realize that it was connected to the actual twist detail.

From the inside of the dress, it seemed like I could just remove the “waistband” that’s why it seemed so easy to alter. I wanted to pick out the “waistband” and re-attach the bust portion to the skirt. The back portion was simple enough, but the front was more difficult.

The front portion seemed easy to do from the inside, but once I looked from the outside, the twist detail prevented me from removing the “waistband” portion completely.

Original Front (inside)

Original Back (Inside)

Original Outside View

So I ended up overlapping the “waistband” portion over part of the bust section and re-stitching everything in place.

What I Actually Did (Step  by Step)

  1. Remove the side zipper
  2. Partially separate the corset lining from the dress (just the bottom)
  3. Remove stitching at the top of the band in the back
  4. Remove stitching between the bust area and the “waistband” in the front
  5. Flip it inside out, sew in the sides of the dress by half an inch
  6. Overlap the “waistband” over the bust detail and stitch in place
  7. Match the line of the “waistband” to the back band and stitch in place
  8. Sew down the corset lining
  9. Reattach side zipper

Before Alterations

Here’s what the front looks like, I didn’t take a photo of the back, but where the band extends to the side, that’s where the back band connects.

After Alterations

The bust detail looks a lot smaller and the back band is higher than it was originally. I didn’t take photos of the inside since I stitched the corset lining back in place. But I think you can see the general changes from the outside.

I hope that helpful and please let me know if anything was unclear. Thanks! =)

DIY: Altering a Formal Dress

19 Jul

Prom season is over and a lot of formal dresses were heavily discounted at Loehmann’s. Even though I don’t have many formal events to go to, I wanted to try out some dresses anyway.

I found a Laundry by Shelly Segal dress in size 0. Amazingly, it fit in most places except the bust area and the length. The bust detail was too large on my frame and the sides stuck out by an inch on each end. I checked the construction of the dress and it seemed relatively simple to alter.

Instead of paying the tailor to fix this dress, I decided to take it in myself.

Before Alterations

Since the dress was relatively cheap, it was worth the risk of a DIY.

My initial plan was to remove the waistband and attach the bust to the skirt of the dress to make everything look smaller. But when I looked more closely at the construction, the waistband part of the bust detail and I couldn’t simply remove it.

I ended up overlapping the waist portion with the bust hand-stitched it together. It wasn’t too difficult, but I didn’t anticipate hand-sewing all the alterations.

After Alterations

Since I was going to see the Sleeping Beauty ballet at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion (Disney Concert Center) this past weekend, I thought to pull out this dress. It was appropriate and there were plenty of other people who were more overdressed than I.

Plus I had three celebrity sightings at this event, Judy Greer(Casey from 27 Dresses), Amanda Schull (Jody from Center Stage), and Malese Jow (Anna from Vampire Diaries). I’m sure there were probably more famous people at the event, but those are the ones I specifically recognize. It’s not often that I see celebrities, but I don’t like to approach them since they’re with their friends and families. After all, actors are people too.

At The Event

So I haven’t purchased a maxi dress this summer, but this formal gown can work just fine for casual situations as well. With a white denim jacket and wedges, this dress can change from fancy to semi-casual in a instant. I love trying to remix my clothes! =)

DIY: Fixing a Tear

16 Jul

My friend got a major tear in his khakis but he really loved these pants that he wore them until someone thought he was homeless.

So I told him I could fix it if he wanted.

When I got them, they were just washed, but I didn’t know the extent of the damage. It turned out that it wasn’t just a simple tear, it was three in parallel.

I was a bit surprised, but it wasn’t anything I couldn’t handle. I picked up two patches and matching thread for less than $5 to get started.

Since the patches were fairly large, they looked unsightly on the outside, so I applied them on the inside of the pant. Then I sewed the tear down to prevent it from getting any bigger or more frayed to give it that “destroyed” look.

The view from the inside of the pant isn’t too pretty, but at least you can see how it looks from the inside. I know I didn’t follow the traditional way of repairing a tear, but it works fine.

Things You Need

  • 2 Heavy Canvas Iron-On Patches
  • Matching Thread
  • Iron / Ironing Table
  • Sewing Machine

Instructions

  1. Take two heavy canvas iron-on patches and apply them to the back of the tear. (Inside out)
  2. Iron on the patches and wait for the bond to set
  3. Invert the pants and sew down the tear using a diagonal stitch

The completed result isn’t very fancy, but it does the job and it’s heavily reinforced so I doubt it’ll fall apart any time soon.

A Remix of Sorts

28 Jun

Looking through old photos not only reminds me of my past experiences, but the clothes I’ve worn.

My friends and I have been reminiscing a lot lately since a few are leaving SoCal soon. One is heading to medical school in Chicago and another is going to law school in San Francisco. We were talking about the silly parties we used to have at the end of the year and I remembered a skirt I made for one of those events.

Continue reading

To Infinity and Beyond

13 May

A while back, I made my own version of DKNY’s infinity dress.

Since then, I slightly shorted the dress but I think I might have to re-do the entire dress since its construction wasn’t completely thought out. In my stack of projects, I have another version to create in the near future so that it can be worn without a back middle seam. But I haven’t had time to execute it just yet.

Anyways, I thought I should at least put up another way to wear the dress…as a halter. There are many ways to wear this dress, but I’ve found that some creativity and experimentation is key in discovering ways to wear it. From American Apparel to DKNY, there are several explanations of how to create a specific style, but I haven’t quite figured them all out. Additionally, I can’t pull off some of those looks because it’s a bit too wacky for my taste.

Excuse the wrinkles on the dress, I was trying to steam it out, but it didn’t exactly work out.

Directions to style the dress:

  1. Take the two top pieces and cross it in the back and bring it to the front.
  2. Twist the fabric twice and then bring it to the back of the neck and tie a knot.
  3. Adjust the height of the twists between the chest area.

Just Keep Sewing…

29 Jan

So after watching the new season of Project Runway, I picked up my inspiration book and started a new sewing project. I’ve been bad posting up the finished products because usually, it still needs tweaking and after a while, I forget about it.

Anyways, I finished this project in ONE DAY…but that’s because I already knew what the finished product should look like. However, I estimated my fabric incorrectly and the band is short by 10 inches and really, it should be 15 inches longer. So it’s not as flexible as I wanted it to be, but it works. If I want to cough up the extra money to buy more fabric, I’ll fix it, but for now, I’m fairly pleased with the result.

What did I make?

An infinity dress version that’s similar to the one by Donna Karan. It has the same silhouette, but DKNY’s is obviously better constructed and without a back seam. The official DKNY dress costs $895.

There are other versions of this convertible style dress from Victoria Secret, American Apparel, Etsy, bridal boutiques…you name it…it’s there. But I happen to like Donna Karan’s version because it’s a bit more sophisticated.

It cost me about $45 because I bought 3 yards of expensive fabric that I didn’t fully utilize. I needed the 3 yards of continuous fabric for the band but I can make something else with the extra fabric, so really it’s less than $20 for the dress.

The Result

Continue reading