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Showing posts from April, 2012

DIY Trapeze Dress

I'm a pretty big fan of tent dresses (or trapeze dresses - call it what you want). They're simple, easy-to-make and you can have many variations of them. These are a fun style to wear for spring and summer!  See this DIY from a Good Housekeeping Crafts book from 1971 - photos at the end of my own trapeze top from a while ago! (Bear with me on the photos here - this book is quite cumbersome and hard to scan.)  Applique patterns, in case you wanted the dress to look EXACTLY like the photo. (But why?)  How to cut the fabric efficiently. (This is actually pretty important cost-wise for you - especially with something this big.)  Using pattern instructions from my patternmaking book from college, I created this swingy trapeze top a bit ago. I used sweater fabric from a thrift store find for the collar of this top.   I also opened up the back on the pattern to have a diamond shape.   It can easily be belted like in this photo fo

DIY Vintage Home Projects

Out on a thrift store trip today, I found some more gems chillin' in the books section. Whenever I go to a thrift store, I scour the book sections for any DIY books from the 60s and 70s. I love 60s/70s interiors as there was lots of bright color usage and the top book is perfect for ideas of shelving, storage, and painting. Both books are from 1977. I don't really know a lot about how to build things (though I did want to be a construction worker in middle school for some reason) but these seem easy enough to do with minimal experience. Most of the time if you go to Home Depot or any other store like that, if you have measurements that you want things to be, they will cut it for you to those specifications. I think this is an amazing storage idea for renters (if a landlord doesn't mind you putting holes in the walls) and owners alike. I'd definitely go nuts with contrast colors here - or even powder blue! The diagram tells you how it's built.

Colorful Creature

 Lots of times getting dressed in the morning lately, I keep wanting a really bright cardigan. Nothing super-special, but here it is An orange cardigan!  I never seem to get my shoes in any of the photos. When I originally bought these, I wasn't quite sure how to wear them. (Duh, with ANYTHING!) They're a fun oxford shoe/saddle shoe combo.  The blue-green (but mostly green) hair continues. I re-saturated it the other day and the pigment is much better now. I think maybe I should wait with this dye after bleaching. That seemed to help for me.  Detail of my favorite scarf. Waves or clouds? I like to think it's clouds, but I think it's waves. I have totally destroyed it last time I put it in the washing machine. Whoops.  Yes, I still need to finish that insane dress behind me. Sooooo close!  My goal is to finish and wear it over my week off... which is happening right now.   Heading out! (With my Victrola pin.)  Cardigan - H&

When Seafoam Green is in Fashion

Not sure what possessed me, but I decided to dye a huge chunk of my hair one of my favorite colors - blue-green. Perhaps my cat Arthur 's death on Friday night, early Saturday morning had something to to with it - I don't know. Brian and I found him in much pain and zombie-like that night and took him into the emergency center. Hardest night of my life. I absolutely loved that cat and cannot express how much I miss him. The vet was nice enough to make a paw print of him for us since he was a polydactyl (in my opinion the best cats!). Anyway... this dye took 2 processes of bleach. The dye I used from another beauty supply store initially did NOT take at all in my hair. A friend tipped me off to a salon in Chicago called Twisted Scissors  which is one of the very few places to buy Special Effects dyes in the city.  I had used this brand some years ago (like 4?) when I dyed my entire head Atomic Pink . I didn't have to re-dye that color for a MONTH! Best unnatural

Pattern Magic

While not a vintage craft or sewing pattern, I wanted to share my excitement of discovering these books at a recent trip to Chicago's MCA. I always enjoy checking out the gift shop and one of these amazing books was on the shelf. Apparently, they were only in Japanese up until not too long ago. Nice to have an English edition to follow along to! These books are full of insane pattern-making how-tos! I recommend these for an experienced pattern maker as they can be a bit complicated even for someone trained in pattern making like me. My favorite teacher in college was Japanese as well - someone I learned a TON from. She worked for Issey Miyake for a bit and gave me an appreciation for the complexity (or simplicity) of making sewing patterns. I believe she considered fashion design "soft sculpture" in a way and that changed a lot for me once I looked at it that way. To this day, I get pretty excited about seeing and working with sewing patterns. Fashion design