Girl with the Pop Art Earring – How make an earring holder by upcycling a photo frame

You will need

DIY tools

NB: Make absolutely sure the gauze sheet is bigger than the photo frame – check sizes against each other or dimensions online. I didn’t and lived to regret it.

Difficulty

difficulty01Very easy

One of the easiest, least time consuming projects to date – happy days!

 

Time

About an hour. Mine took longer, due to technical difficulties (more on that later) but they’re easily avoidable.

 

Ear(ring) we go…

Method1

 

Staple the gauze to the back of the frame. Staple along the sides and close to the inside edge, so that they are ‘sealed’ without any gaping holes.

Once again, it is imperative that the gauze sheet is bigger than the frame – you might need to overbuy size-wise. Mine wasn’t and I had to use some filler along the edges, which proved time-consuming and compromised the overall design.

Method2

 

Staple the picture hanging wire securely in the middle of the top of the frame – unless, of course, your frame already has one, in which case you don’t have to worry your pretty head about this stage!

DIY earring holder photo frame

 

Tonight we’re drizzling from the bottle! Get as many colours of nail polish as you can (I never get round to wearing mine so I had several colours left over from the past few years – I literally had a lot to work with!)  and pour them in wavy linear lines all over the frame.

earring holder earring holder2Upcycling – it’s the Pollocks!

 

 

The Trends on Wednesday: Flat Haute

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As I’ve stated in a previous post, when I heard that poolside glamour was going to be the signature look of the summer, clumpy pool slides were the last thing to cross my mind. How uncanny, then, that Céline’s shoe-du-jour is exactly that, albeit in finest patent leather, python and crepe fabric. Trainers are keeping in with the theme of comfort but in a way that’s far removed from the modesty of normcore; they’re embellished, metallic panelled and patched in multicolour tweeds. Be inspired, be very inspired.

The Trends on Wednesday: Phe-norm-enon

Phe-norm-enal
“You’re not going out in that – it’s too formal! You look like you’re going to a party! People will be dressed casually in shorts and t-shirts. It’ll be completely inappropriate for what we’re going to be doing. Put on something snug and practical.” That baying imperative left my mum’s mouth throughout my teenagehood – a time spent in the glare of late 90s girl band glamour – and on many an occasion over the past decade, as I battled her sartorial sanctions. Maybe I should be sorry, because maybe – just maybe – my mother was at the forefront of avant garde fashion forecasting, with insight so cutting edge it was decades ahead of its time. Yes, fast forward 15 years (or just skip the track – duh! More on technology later) and it’s purists’ practicality that the cool kids are wearing, or normcore as it is currently known.
Fashion has ventured beyond the obnoxious ‘irony’ of the hipster look to outright avoidance of fashion’s standard fare: commercialised branding, transient fads and conventional glamour. Key pieces for the summer include Céline’s skater shoes, Prada’s crystal hiking sandals, unfitted jeans and tracksuit bottoms, grey marled sweatshirts and ‘ugly’ pool shoes (perchance bringing new meaning to the term, ‘poolside glamour’). Some see it as a shift of paradigm from binding, ornamental sufferance for one’s style to comfort: a slow-burning zeitgeist reacting against years of impractical, constrictive opulence. Richard Nicoll, a designer with a penchant for relaxed-fitting, timeless staples said: “fashion in the last five to 10 years has been quite shouty and bold. It’s an old-fashioned idea that aesthetics matter above comfort. It’s outdated.” Within that timeframe – one which began with the ‘fierce’ look of binding bandage dresses at Christopher Kane, hazardous, tottering heels and short bodycon dresses at Burberry and Balmain that groaned under the weight of rhinestones – the world caught up with the elusive glamour of the privileged few, with reality TV shows trailblazing their take on catwalk fashion and reworking desirable looks through face-contouring makeup and immaculately tonged hair. The elusive became ubiquitous, so fascination turned to the ‘off duty’ aesthetic on celebrities. This new approach is echoed by designers. in their mission to make the wearer feel good because the clothes are good to wear. If you consider the Mary Quant quote: “The fashionable woman wears clothes. The clothes don’t wear her,” perhaps it’s not such a new idea, after all. By the same token, it’s not thought to be the end of an era for ostentation either. Be prepared for the pendulum to swing back towards binding, tottering glamour over the next five years!
Maybe a shift back to flamboyance wouldn’t be so bad in the long term. Since the bland, anti-style ethos of normcore begun in the summer of 2013, it’s seen its share of controversy and disapproval. The concept of embracing sameness as a way of looking cool, rather than striving for individuality was born in a world of frenetic technology and communication. Everything is so easy to find, research and publish via the internet, that “everyone is a researcher now” according to Natasha Stagg, the Online Editor of V Magazine. Trends and cycles happen so fast that the concept of staying current is no longer possible or existent. It is for this reason that trend forecasting collective, K-HOLE identify normcore by conceptual rather than aesthetic means – as co-founder Emily Segal asserts, “it’s not about being simple or forfeiting individuality to become a bland, uniform mass, (rather, it’s about) seeing (recognisability) as an opportunity for connection, instead of evidence that your identity has dissolved.”
It is a salient point that the normcore mentality offers a means of sartorial discourse instead of individualistic flamboyance. I’d rather not have to forfeit any of the artistic expression in my dress sense simply to not look sad and old hat – apparently, neither would Grayson Perry.To quote Henry Van Dyke: ”Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those that sang best.” The same principle applies, surely, with sartorial expression. Where the normcore mentality might just be right, however, is that fashion, like any art form, is read and decoded as a set of signs. If we are to take the reins of communication and break new ground, perhaps it should be done, not with what we want to say in mind but how we know people are going to read it and where we fit within the wider discourse of fashion. It ain’t what we say, it’s what the world says it is. Face it, you’re unique – just like everyone else!

My DIY Stella McCartney black lipstick intarsia jumper

Image: neimanmarcus.com

Image: neimanmarcus.com

 

DIY Stella McCartney Black Intarsia lipstick sweater

My birthday celebrations (plural intended – the Queen has nothing on me!) ended with a leisurely weekend on the south coast. So, did that mean I was going to slack off with blog projects? Why, heavens, no! I used some spare time over the previous week crocheting a DIY Stella McCartney black intarsia lipstick jumper with the exact same method as this project  that you might remember – only working from a different design, obviously! I mixed it up with a few more projects of old to create a bold red statement and now you lucky things get to see the results!

DIY Stella McCartney black intarsia lipstick sweater DIY Stella McCartney black intarsia lipstick sweater

Hand haute – How to DIY a Vivetta White Rachelle Hands Shirt

Get a surreal deal with this Elsa Schiaparelli-style shirt refashion!

Image: Style.com via Avenue 32

Image: Style.com via Avenue 32

You will need…

Craft tools

It also helps to have a fine-tipped pen, pencil or tailor’s chalk to trace out the hand design onto your collar.

I will be using a template for the hand design, so you might find it helpful to print the shape out, but a printer is completely optional (and has to be worth the sanity it typically costs you, in my experience!).

Difficulty

difficulty02

Easy

Nothing struck me as particularly challenging for this one but, as always, care and love are needed for best results.

Time

About 2 hours.

Hand it over!

collar hand template

Pin the pattern paper to the collar of your shirt and trace the edges, so that you know what size to make your hand template.

Copy or print out the above hand design and trace it onto your pattern paper to fit the collar outline you have drawn. Make sure the thumb, index and middle fingertips touch the edges of the collar outline – it’s even better if you can get the other tips to fit the collar shape but all collars are different!

Method1Cut out your template and trace the hand design onto each side of the collar. You will have to turn your paper over when you change sides, in order to get the design symmetrical.

Cut out the hand design and cut away the edge of the collar along the middle, so that the new edges are raw, with no top stitching.

Method2

Paint black ‘nails’ onto each finger on the top layer and leave them to dry. You should be left with two layers of fabric along the collar – both of which are cut into the hand design. Iron interfacing onto the inside areas (the ‘wrong’ sides) of the two layers.

Method3

Cut away the excess interfacing and top stitch the two layers together about 1mm from the edges, or as close to them as possible.

Tip: It helps to use glue to hold the layers together while you sew them. Make sure your glue’s fairly dry and not slimy, like gemstone glue. I used craft mount.

DIY Vivetta White Rachelle Hands ShirtMy shirt was short-sleeved, so I added some broderie anglaise trim (2012′s finest!) along the cuffs.

DIY Vivetta White Rachelle Hands Shirt collar detail

DIY Vivetta White Rachelle Hands Shirt

You couldn’t make it up!

It was my birthday today, and quite a momentous one at that; I turned 30! I decided to celebrate with a throwback tribute to my birth year, 1984. I, sadly, lack the requisite bravery to feature shellsuits in my selfies; I like my hair short and straight, thank you very much; ra-ra skirts do nothing for my short, bottom-heavy frame; shoulder pads terrify me to this day (but then I think that was part of the plan) and frankly the less said about leotards and leg-warmers donned outside a performing arts studio the better! Rainbow coloured, mermaid-esque makeup, however, was perfect for a post-celebration selfie session. I decided to have some fun, and so here are the results:2014-03-19_22.47.11~2 2014-03-19_22.48.50~2 2014-03-19_22.50.25~2 2014-03-19_22.53.28~2 2014-03-19_22.54.35~2 2014-03-19_22.54.54~2 2014-03-19_22.57.24~2 2014-03-19_22.59.18~2 2014-03-19_23.07.01~2

Marni, Marni, Marni – How to DIY a Marni Visor

Marni’s attention-grabbing accessory is a ‘shade’ more experimental as a style statement!

You will need…craft tools

 

Just to clarify, you need 180cm of rope.

I got my visor from Hobbycraft and would recommend it. Alternatively, you can cut out a piece of foam 24cm wide, in the shape of the template, below.template

Difficulty

difficulty02

Pretty easy

I can’t think of anything too challenging or painstaking with this project but I figured I’d err on the side of caution and not declare it a total doddle.

 

Time

2-3 hours, I think.However, it is amazing how little you can keep track of time in the company of Mr. Television so I’m not entirely sure I’d like to give it  a more specific timeframe than ‘a ;leisurely evening,’ if that makes sense.

 

Re-visory

Method1

Remove the strap from the visor and use craft mount to cover both sides of it in satin, ensuring the right side of the fabric is showing.

Method3Use the glue gun to attach rope along the edges.

Method4

Punch holes in the corners; you can use a hole punch, scalpel or even scissors. Cut two pieces of rope about 50cm in length, thread them through the holes, tie them in knots and secure them using the glue gun.

Method5

Thread the two lengths of rope through the tassels, fold them back on themselves and secure them using the glue gun.

DIY Marni visor

 

DIY Marni visor selfie e03fc9a0abda11e3b18e0eedbef4a9b3_8

DIY Marni visor selfie

 

D-Eye-Y – How to DIY your own eye-printed clothing

The eyes have it this season!eyes

If the blog and street style avenues are to be believed, Kenzo’s eye prints – and anything resembling them, as I’m sure the high street will be quick to point out – are the motif to be seen with right now, so I thought I’d share a nifty little tip for recreating the pattern.

You will need…

 DIY fashion tools

NB: My foam was about 1cm thick.

Difficulty

difficulty03Quite easy

…But not as easy as I thought before I tried it. This isn’t a particularly long or complicated project but it’s more reliant on skill than I initially thought. As ever, I can guide and advise you so that you don’t find it so hard. You can also practise on some scrap fabric to get the feel.

Time

An evening…well, a few hours. Sorry, I got a bit lost in the project so I wasn’t counting!

Timings for this project depend largely on the number of eye motifs you’re looking to do; if you’re only doing one it will take less than an hour but if you’re covering your top it will take significantly longer.

Eye-eye!

template

Cut out the circle and eye shapes into your foam using the above template. I made my circle about 9cm in diameter and the eye about 4cm from the tips of the eyelash.

method1

Now to craft some stamps! Cut the lid of your box into smaller pieces that cover your foam shapes and glue the shapes to them.

Method3

Method4Use the paintbrush to wet the surface of your stamps; don’t apply it too thickly or allow it to drip. Also, don’t let any paint get onto the plastic as this will cause the design to smudge when you press it down – wipe excess paint away, if necessary. Stamp your design down, pressing firmly to ensure that the whole design is transferred onto the fabric. Don’t press too hard, as this will also cause smudging.

Repeat this process until your design is complete.

DIY eye top

DIY eye topLoving the stamp action? Check out this tutorial.

The trends on Wednesday: Cartoon Couture

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How to follow the huge art iconography and brushstroke trend gaining momentum this spring? Get conceptual and be creative in your interpretation. Strictly speaking this is more of a compilation of pieces that caught my eye from the autumn 2014 shows but, punctuated as they are with key trends and fashion week highlights, there is a more subtle link between them.

The up-and-coming flats trend, or more specifically the very now tomboyish chic look was surely instrumental in propelling skate shoes – a shoe that lends itself better to customising and DIY paintwork than most - into the must-have accessories arsenal. The  geometric multicolour seaming of the Wanda Nylon raincoat (pictured above)  is a subtle nod to the linear compositions of a Mondrian work. Anya Hindmarch was the talk of London Fashion Week with Warhol-reminiscent iconography of well-known homespun products.

Over in Milan, Jeremy Scott (the designer who gave us Bart Simpson knits to remember 2012 by) channelled Spongebob Squarepants in his debut show for Moschino. The art connection, you ask? A tenuous one – conceptually, at least. Certainly, the designs have a bold colour scheme and playful aesthetic in common with their brushstroke-printed contemporaries, but the clue here is cryptic: cartoons  originally came from the Italian word, ‘cartone’ and Dutch word, ‘karton’ for strong, heavy paper. The term was first used in the Middle Ages for the preliminary sketches of paintings, tapestries and frescoes. If you’ve studied art or are a regular at the Victoria and Albert Museum, you might be familiar with the cartoons of High Renaissance painter, Raphael.The meaning of the word might have changed with time, but perhaps that is true of fashion as a whole; so great a focus is fashion’s transience of trend after trend, should we not consider how they unravel as a process or story? Is the fashion medium an endless, relentless treadmill of looks and fads or is it an evolution of aesthetics; an infinite discourse between countless paradigms, shifting in significance with taste, spirit of the age and, of course, ground-breaking creativity?The changes of season and the trends that go with them each play out as a logical consequence of the last; as an obvious next juncture or a radical reaction. Do you see where I’m going with this?