Slicker than your Everage – How to DIY Dior’s So Real sunglasses

While many continue to tout sandals as the statement piece of the summer, I can’t help but to notice what I like to call floating cat eye sunglasses with transparent tips like these ones from Fendi.

Fendi Crystal-embellished cat eye Optyl? sunglasses

With that said, it was Dior’s So Real mirrored cat eye sunglasses that got the stars, bloggers and editors purring in succession, helping the design gather ground as a fashion institution that’s still going strong after a year.

How Dior’s Dior So Real Sunglasses Became a Street-Style Sensation

You will need…

DIY tools

Not pictured

Long-nosed jewellery pliers
Scalpel
Wooden splint
Container for the resin

Difficulty

difficulty05

Moderately challenging

Although straightforward in principle, this one was more fiddly than I expected. Also, expect things to get messy.

 

Time

A couple of hours, most of which goes on waiting for the resin to set.

 

Hello, cat eye…

Cat eye sunglasses template

If you want, you can print out and trace the template above but they might not fit the sunglasses you’re using. I would recommend tracing the outline of the lens onto paper with the sunglasses face-down.

Once you have drafted out a template, cut it out carefully with the scalpel, trace the outline onto the glass fibre tissue, turn it over so that it mirrors the shape you just traced and then trace an outline around that. You should have two shapes that mirror each other, like in the template.

Method2

Cover the lenses with parcel tape.

Tip: Press the tape onto your clothes a few times so that it loses some of its stickiness but has just enough to stay in place on the lenses. This prevents lens damage.

Cut out the shapes in fibre tissue.

Mix the resin with the hardener and use it to attach the fibre tissue shapes to the top edges of the lenses. Make sure you follow the directions carefully and leave at least 20 minutes for the resin to dry.

Method4

Make a wire outline for each of the lenses and stick it in place with more resin. I also used some flattened bits of curb chain to hold the top bar in place.

Once the resin has dried, remove the tape and scrape away any excess resin with the scalpel, taking care not to scratch the lenses.

 

So authentic?

DIY Dior So Real Sunglasses DIY Dior So Real Sunglasses

 

The Trends on Wednesday: Can you sandal this?

With the start of summer weather finally here, in the mildly thawing, you-can-crawl-out-from-underneath-your-coat-and-jumper sense, I thought it appropriate to introduce some DIY ideas for the humble sandal. With sandals taking on the role of statement piece as well as summer staple I thought I’s whet your appetite with a few taster projects you can do to new sandals or old ones that need making over.

Realise dragons – How to DIY a Nicole Miller dragon motif top

Nicole Miller Fall 2015 Ready-to-Wear - Collection - Gallery -...

While it was 2015’s huge oriental trend that inspired me to take on this top, the dragon design in question actually had folkloric fairy tale roots, specifically the illustrations of Patrick Arrasmith and Alan Lee, for The Last Apprentice and The Hobbit, respectively. Whatever inspired it, it captured my imagination so I thought I’d capture the idea myself.

You will need…

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Not pictured

Gemstones

Gemstone glue

Printer

NB: Make sure the top is not so small it has to stretch to fit you, otherwise it presents problems when you attach the non-stretch fabric. Go for something slim-fitting but not skin-tight.

Difficulty

difficulty01

Very easy

…Provided you don’t make the same mistakes I made (more on that later).

 

Time

A few hours (the exact number of which I was too sidetracked to count).

 

How to make the top

Print out a copy of the following template, flip the image around so that it’s mirrored and print that out.

template

You should have two images. Pin them underneath the front panel of the top, making sure they’re placed at the same height so that the whole image is completely symmetrical.

Method1

Using black 3D fabric paint, trace the outline of the image, add some dots to look like embellishment and add some gemstones.

Method2

 

Now to add the brocade fabric. I’ve mentioned the importance of choosing a top that fits well. I bought mine online, as I had no choice. Sadly, it was a lot smaller than I expected it to be and my execution of the final design suffered on account of it. I could have done better, and I’d recommend you avoid making the same mistake as I did by not choosing too tight a top. The reason for this is that it won’t fit properly when you attach the non-stretch brocade fabric. Make sure the top fits you without needing to stretch before you buy.

DIY Nicole Miller dragon top

Turn the top inside-out so that the ‘wrong’ side (the side you don’t want to be visible on the outside of the garment) is facing outwards. Cover the ‘right’ side of the brocade fabric (the side you want to be outwardly visible) with craft mount and stick it to the ‘wrong’ side of the front panel. Turn the top right-side-out.

DIY Nicole Miller dragon top

The Trends on Thursday: Patching Things Up

With handicrafts very much in vogue, it may seem like a trend that’s made for DIY-ing – unless you’re not much of a crafter. From the granny squares at Miu Miu to the intricate panelling at Burberry Prorsum, the autumn/winter shows served up plenty of inspiration or perhaps impetus to reach for the needle and thread, fabric glue or bondaweb and simply attach a fabric of your choice. That’s the beauty of the patchwork trend: no need to toil or challenge your technical skills, simply find a beautiful fabric and sew it on. This is craft in its rawest, most organic form, and the first skill you’re likely to learn or use, whether you’re sewing on a patch or adding squares to a quilt, and from that basic foundation arises an endless scope of creative expression – it could be in the stitching you use as a feature in its own right, or in the material you attach. It is that almost childlike creative touch that gives the patch its organic style. What’s more, the fact that it’s so easy to apply makes it one of the most potentially personal touches anyone can add.

With that in mind, I thought I’d perversely dictate a few ways in which you could apply patches in a way that exactly mirrors the current trends! Or not. For, as always, I set out to inspire and teach rather than give orders. The creative expression has to come from you; that order still stands.

The Trends on Wednesday: China dolling up

Any doubts you could have had that fashion’s love affair with chinoiserie had come back full circle after almost twenty years would have been officially laid to rest in the light of the Met Gala where every outfit that justified the $25000 expenditure for the privilege of attending was Chinese in theme or designer. Sure, it wasn’t an isolated occasion where the Far East was recently reacquainted with the West like an old friend, as if it had never gone away. Chinoiserie it seems could once again be a talking point, just like it was when it was pioneered by Paul Poiret or by John Galliano and Alexander McQueen in more recent years.

As a teen in the late ’90s and at the turn of the millennium I remember Far East-inspired fashion being something of a institution, from the cultural appropriation of the cheongsam and related paradigms to the rather less culturally appropriate character tattoos and photoshoots in sleazy Chinatown-esque backstreets with Chinese lanterns just so you know where it’s (supposed to be) set! However, to devolve from the opulence of the upper echelons – whether they be John Galliano’s Poiret-style drapes or Alexander McQueen’s intricately embroidered blossoms on diaphanous fabrics – to a fetishised sleaze takes real allure: a lust for the exoticism and mystery of the aesthetic. Chinoiserie, or let’s just say stuff that looks generically Oriental if we’re talking about the assimilation broadly, has always been more than a common or garden fad in the way that it captures designers’ imagination; in the elegant silhouettes classic designs, such as the cheongsam, create and in the way that it’s from far away and, like, looks exotic, innit?

This time around – so far at least, touch wood – the trend has been kept classy. Perhaps it’s to do with the fact that the meaning of an unfortunate tattoo is so easily Googlable and that red carpet looks are copied more closely – even those sold on the cheap (it might be in poor taste to suggest we have China to thank for that one!). Nonetheless in my cheat sheet to getting ahead of the curve, I thought I’d share a few suggestions for getting the look by your own fair hands.

Shelf help – how to customise shelving units with patterned paper

I’m sure I speak for all of us when I say it is with bittersweet solemnity that we reach the end of the bank holiday weekend and look on wistfully at the three whole weeks of numbing nose-to-the-grindstone routine we have to endure before our next long break. I used the time for a spot of furniture DIY involving a second-hand bedside table, some patterned paper and some varnish.

Simply cut the paper to the right size for the area in question and slather on some varnish.

 

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Another nifty trick is to make shelves out of boxes. Not that you haven’t heard that one before but, while there might be the temptation to spend money on fabric boxes with fancy prints, trust me, there’s no need. Simply cover a shoe box with fabric using craft mount; you might want to mix colours and patterns up a bit for a true bohemian look.

DIY fabric covered box drawer

DIY fabric-covered box drawer

DIY fabric-covered box drawer

You can also cover the box with leather or faux leather if you want a chic, luxurious look.

DIY paper patterned shelves and drawer

It’s glittery to talk – a five minute phone cover DIY

A photo posted by Charley H (@chiccheatcharley) on

  DIY glitter phone cover

Just to update or rather elaborate on a previous entry, I thought I’d give phone cover customisation a try. While there were some lessons to be learnt and kinks in my methodology to be ironed out, though I say it myself, it’s a super-effective five-minute DIY project for giving your phone its own unique style. DIY customisation can be a matter of necessity as well as individuality (I love my Google Nexus 5 but cover designs are somewhat limited). It’s also enjoyable and therapeutic if you don’t mind making a (truly beautiful) mess.

 

A photo posted by Charley H (@chiccheatcharley) on

 

Tips for customising a phone

    • Make sure you spread your glue as evenly and thinly as possible.
  • Keep your design as flat as possible so that the phone fits properly and doesn’t keep slipping out of the case. Keep to one layer of glitter and avoid textured items like gemstones or sequins.
  • You can also keep your design flat and thin by placing and spreading your glitter with a palette knife instead of pouring it from the tube.
  • Once you’ve finished your design, coat it with a thin layer of glue to protect it.
  • Wait for your glue to dry completely before putting your phone into the case or it could cause major damage.

 

 

 

A photo posted by Charley H (@chiccheatcharley) on

Fall for biker chic – How to make a fallaway biker jacket without a pattern

As we transition into spring, I thought it only fitting that I should carry on my theme of lightweight jackets with a fluid flight of fancy from the biker chic vein.

You will need…

55 x 150cm of bouclé wool

35cm of hook and eye tape (available here and almost nowhere else; to my knowledge they’re no longer available at any mainstream retailers, perhaps because the hooks and eyes are fashioned from the ivory of unicorns and there’s a shortage. Either way, it’s not like the old days and sadly you have to look online. And breathe.)

Mannequin

Jacket sleeves (ideally lined)

Sewing machine

Fabric scissors

Needle and thread in a contrasting colour to the fabric

Pins

Fray-stop glue

 

Difficulty

difficulty03

Quite easy

Straightforward in principle but it has its fiddly moments.

 

Time

A day. Mine took eight hours. I thought it would be more straightforward but a lot of that time was spent problem-solving and figuring out how to make certain things work – both of which have been taken care of in this tutorial, so it should take you significantly less time.

 

So, just to wrap it up…

Method1

Finish off any raw fabric edges with fray-stop glue.
Method2

NB: Make sure you pin the fabric to the mannequin with the wrong side facing outwards. Try to position your fabric as concentrically as possible so that the fallaway collar is symmetrical (if it isn’t, you can just cut away the excess fabric on the relevant side and fix the edges with glue again).Method3 Method4 Method5

NB: This hand stitching should be done – and the outer sleeves should be visible – with the right side of the fabric facing outwards.Method6

NB: Attach the eyelets under the folds of the jacket opening and top stitch them in place.

The jacket

DIY fallaway biker jacket

 

DIY your festival wardrobe: Day two

Get your rocks off or stick some on in the name of style? You decide.

The second instalment of our festival-flavoured morsels of DIY ideas is more than a little bit rock’n’ roll with (faux) leather, studs, chains, eyelets and an obligatory sprinkling of glitter. As a woman of words I endeavour to avoid slinging in the jarring, overused ‘rock chick’ cliché so instead I’ve thrown  retro rainbows and folksy fringing into the melting pot for a touch of ‘I’m-with-the-band chic – that effortlessly cool, bohemian, devil-may-care elegance that can be thrown on yet look immaculately styled. Sure, glitter, rivets and chains have always lent themselves to DIY fashion but with the festival season on the horizon and eyelet fastenings bang on trend, their time is now.

DIY in a bottle – a quick tutorial for spicing up fairy lights

My third foray into home decor tutorials with the express purpose of repurposing saw me return to my trusty fairy lights, with a vial or three. Or twenty.

You will need…DIY tools

In order for this to work, the bottles have to be tiny with wide enough necks for fairy lights to fit through, so I don’t recommend that you use nail polish bottles. I got my bottles here.

NB: Make absolutely sure the fairy lights you use don’t give off any heat (which is true of some LED lights), otherwise – not wanting to panic you or anything – the whole project could catch alight. And possibly your front room.

 

Difficulty

difficulty01

Very easy

…Not to mention very straightforward. You need to be reasonably dexterous with pliers and jewellery wire and that’s about it!

 

Time

About an hour, depending on how many lights you have to cover.

 

Strike a light!

Method1 Method2

Repeat this process with the rest of the lights and bottles.DIY fairy lights hack

DIY fairy light hack DIY fairy light repurpose

 

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