Sunday, July 29, 2012

Braided Denim Bracelet

Hey there! I just wanted to tell you that I've developed on a slight fixation to find uses/projects from the leftover denim material from my Old Jeans to New Shorts post. While the bows were really fun (from my DIY Denim Bow post), I have a lot of fabric left over and I fully intend to use all of it! This brings me to today's project. I will be constructing a Denim Bracelet! I really like my Button Bracelet which was very girly and cute... so this time I wanted to do something that had a little more "edge" to it. Keep reading to see what I did, and how it turned out!

- Denim scraps (I have 4 strips shown but I sewed them so that I ended up with 2 long pieces of denim and one long chain)
- Chain
- Shears
- Needle and thread

 If don't have the same exact materials on hand, don't worry! You can substitute the chain for anything (another strip of denim, ribbon, yarn etc.). If anything, try something new to personalize it!

1. First cut your fabric into strips. I used one chain and two pieces of denim but if you only have three denim pieces (or whatever you decided to use) that's totally fine too! Anchor these three pieces to braid (I just used the heel of my foot >.<), and start braiding! As you can see, my denim started fraying all over the place as I was braiding it, but don't worry! You can clean up stray ends (and your carpet) later.

2. When you're done, just tie the ends of your braid into a simple knot. On the anchored end, I didn't want to have two knots and have to tie them together into this huge, massive knot... I just used a needle and thread to sew together the pieces.

3. After that part is secure, I sewed that end of the bracelet to the knot, to make a circle just big enough to put your hand through. Make sure at some point in this step, you sew right through the knot to keep that from coming undone later when you're showing it off to your friends! ;)

 4. Great! Now you're pretty much done. I just went back and pulled out loose thread, trimmed the ends of my knot and snipped off the frays a little to keep the bracelet looking a little more polished. You can opt to tuck in the ends of your knot and leave the frays as they are. Leaving the frays will give you an even edgier look. I hope you like your new bracelet as much as I like mine!

So here it is! I think having the ends of the knot showing is pretty cute! What do you think?

What I learned:

- Cut your strips as evenly as possible. If you can do it with the "grain" or threads in your fabric, there will be less fraying later on.
- When you're braiding, check a few times to make sure the length matches the length needed to go around your wrist.
- Also while you're braiding, make sure you don't pull so tight that you don't get to see each piece, especially if one is smaller than the others (ex. my chain).

I decided to wear it my new bracelet out for the day and I actually wore it along side my Button Bracelet! How are you planning to wear yours?

This was an easy, fun and quick project that looks pretty good (if I can give myself a little pat on the back) when you're done! I hope you liked this post and that you try it out!

Alison <3

Friday, July 27, 2012

Faux Bob with a Twist

Hi everyone! Today I wanted to try out this thing called a "Faux Bob" but add a little twist (I know I'm super cheesy heh) to it! One of my friends recently cut her hair into this super cute bob, and I wanted to see if I could have a similar hairstyle or "look" without having to cut my hair (I'm actually trying to grow it out longer so that would just be devastating to have to cut it!). This "look" that I'm going for will look like a Bob in the front but from the back it will look like a loose twist. Also, I know many other sites tell you to curl you're hair for a more natural look but I wanted to try it with straight hair (since that would be more "natural" for me). Let's see how it goes!

My Hair:
This is how my hair is normally... kind of long and layered, and definitely not "Bob" length! It is very, very thick and gets frizzy so it can be difficult to work with at times. Hopefully it'll cooperate with me on this!

(Try to ignore the exercise bike in the background that I throw clothes on! Whoops!)

- Hair (mine's about medium to long, but feel free to try it at any hair length)
- Large flat clips
- Bobby pins
- Hair spray
- Smoothing/finishing hair balm

Before we get started, make sure you comb/brush your hair so it'll be easier to work with!

1. Divide your hair into a top and bottom half. Take the top half of your hair and twist it so that you can pin it underneath the top of your hair. When you pin it, you shouldn't be able to see the hair pin you used.

2. Now take the bottom half and twist it upwards and tuck it under the top of your hair but above the the first pin. Pin your hair there, underneath the top of your hair to hide the pin again. You're hair will kind of be in a ying-yang shape... if that makes more sense! Here is where we see the twist part of my tutorial. 

 3.  Now that we pretty much have the look down, I'm going to be fixing some loose hair that has fallen out. I'm going to pin back the shorter layers by my face and pin the pieces falling out underneath the bob itself. Just tuck those hairs in to give it a more polished look. 

4. Once you've gotten everything in place, you can spritz some hair spray on to keep it together. If you have smoothing cream on hand you can smooth down your unwanted flyaways as well.

Here's the final look:


Overall, this was something completely different than how I normally wear my hair and it was really fun to try! Honestly, because I naturally look young (baby face), I probably won't be trying this look too often, at least not without an edgy outfit or putting some make up on first (maybe a bright red lipstick?). I almost wish I had one of those "pill box" hats like the ones Jacky O wore, to go with this hair style!

What I've learned:

- This look has the potential to make me look wayyyy younger than I actually am!
- Use strong pins and clips to help your hair stay in place longer.
- Maybe next time try this look with curled or wavy hair.

This was a fun, quick and easy Updo that looked like a Bob from the front. It kind of tricks people into thinking you have short hair.  Let me know what you think and if your tried this look!

Alison <3

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

DIY Denim Bow

Hellooo! In my last post, I updated a pair of old jeans for summer (check it out: Old Jeans to New Shorts). In this post I'm going to be using the extra fabric from those jeans to make... drum roll please.... Denim Bows! I won't lie to you, I thought this was going to be really difficult and I was pretty nervous getting started. But everyone started somewhere right? Even with my basic sewing skills I managed to make not one, but two pretty decent looking bows! If you want to try it, keep reading! (I made sure to add a lot of pictures, hopefully it helps!)

- Denim fabric (or other fabrics if you want to make a different kind of bow)
- Shears for cutting fabric
- Needle and thread
- Bobby pin (if you want to wear your bow in your hair) 

 For those of you who kept your material from my last DIY, just cut that pant leg so you can open it up. Then cut a small, rectangular section off that you will be using for your bow. Keep in mind that the length of your finished bow will be half of the length of your material and the width of your finished bow will be the a little bit smaller than the width of fabric you originally cut. Okay! Let's make this bow!

1. With your rectangular piece of fabric, hem the edges along the length of the material. It doesn't have to be perfect but it does have to be able to hold the edges down. Check out my pics:

<------ This is what it should kind of look like when you're done! You can also trim the excess thread as we go along.

2. After your done hemming, you want to sew the two "width" sides together to make sort of a mini cuff. Don't sew it through to the other side!


3. Now get prepared to cinch the middle part of your bow, this is when you'll start to see the bow shape through the folds/creases. Fold your bow to your desired shape and crease lines. In mine, I just made one crease in the middle. To do this, you have to make 3 zig-zag folds on the width of the bow. Once you get that, through the very middle, pull your needle and thread through to hold it in place. Then wrap the thread around the middle of your bow a few times, pull your needle and thread through a spot on the back side of your bow and tie a knot. Good job! 


4. You will need to cut another piece small of fabric to wrap around the middle of your bow and hide the thread. This piece should be long enough so that it over laps a little in the back. 


5. On the back of your bow, sew this middle piece in place. And.... you're done!


I decided that I wanted to be able to wear this in my hair, so I looped a bobby pin through the back of the middle piece. You can use different kinds of pins and secure them permanently with super glue or a hot glue gun if you'd like. I only had a booby pin but it still worked out okay!

***Sorry, I was having a little too much fun with the camera!***

What I've learned:

- Double knot the ends of your threads. The material I used had a little bit of "stretch" to it and one of my knots slipped through at the beginning.
- It's okay it your denim has frayed edges, it gives the bow an edgy look.
- If you're first bow doesn't come out the way you wanted, try again! I like my second attempt a lot more!

My second attempt:

I decided to make another, bigger bow! With this one, I was able to make two creases in the middle (mainly because it was bigger and easier to work with). I also flipped the middle piece around to show the what would be the inside of your jeans and I think it gives it a cool look! What do you think?


Please post comments and/or subscribe! I would love to hear from you!

Alison <3

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Old Jeans to New Shorts

Hi everyone! I live in the San Francisco/Bay area right now (I'm going to be moving to New York City in the Fall) and it has been a pretty hot summer over here. I have a few pairs of bell-bottom and boot cut jeans that are too short or are just so out of style that I'll probably never wear them again, even though they fit just fine at the waist. So... today I'm going to be taking a pair of old jeans and shortening them into Bermuda shorts! This was super easy to do an I hope that you try it if you have some old, out-of-style jeans laying around.

- Old pair of jeans
- Shears
- Sewing Pins (you can use some other kind of marker or even eye-ball it if you don't have these)

(Do you like my hedgehog pin cushion? I made it in middle school for a Home Economics class!)

Here's a picture of the jeans I'll be using, the pant legs flare out a lot and I swear I haven't worn these in years! Let's get started!

1. To start, try on your old jeans again. If they still fit fine and you're absolutely sure you won't wear them again the way they are then move onto step 2. Otherwise this DIY project isn't for you!

2. With your jeans still on, see how long you would want your Bermuda shorts to be in terms of length. Make sure you check out your front and backside. Then, an inch below that spot, pin it! Pin both pant legs (careful not to poke yourself!) and make sure they are even with each other. If you don't have pins, you can use a white colored pencil or other markers.

3. Carefully take your jeans off and lay them out on a flat surface. Find the threads that go across in your jeans next to your pin and start cutting across using that as a guide. By following along the natural thread lines, you won't have as many strings hanging off when you're finished cutting.

4. After you're done cutting both pant legs, I would try them on again. They should be longer than you wanted with the extra inch (where you pinned). Instead of hemming the bottom, I just rolled and cuffed mine to the length I wanted! You can also sneak a safety pin inside the cuff or even iron the cuff to make sure it stays put.

And.... here's my new pair of Bermuda shorts, perfect for summer! Who knows, maybe when I get tired of them, I can make a cute pair of cutoff shorts. ^.^

What I've learned:

- When you're cutting across your jeans, if it's a little off that's okay since you're just going to tuck and cuff the ends anyways!
- Having a good set of shears helps a lot... struggling with the scissors isn't fun.
- If you want to be safe about the length you're cutting, give it an extra 2 inches instead of one, you can always go back and cut off more or cuff it a little tighter.

I hope you enjoyed this and found it to be an easy way to update your old jeans! Now I just have to think of something to do with the extra denim fabric the we cut from the bottom of our jeans... Don't throw it away! I will think of something for next time!

Alison <3

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

DIY Tank Top

I have a whole bunch of old tee shirts so I thought I'd try and make some of them more wearable, instead of only wearing them to sleep! This was a super easy project and although my first attempt did not come out as great as I would have liked, I have plenty of other shirts to practice on. Read on to see what I did!

- Old tee shirt
- Scissors

I started off by cutting the sleeves off and then collar part of the shirt. This is where you can really customize the look and fit of your soon-to-be tank top. I decided to go with a V-neck and thinner straps. Then, I cut off the bottom hem of the shirt all the way around. Keep in mind, you will need this part in the next step so try and cut it evenly! (I didn't do that great of a job heh)

Now flip your shirt over and take the long hemmed piece you just cut off and wrap it around the two straps. This will give it a racerback look. I wrapped about a 3 inch section, but this part is totally up to you! I ended mine with a small tied bow, but I know others have knotted it in different ways.

And.... your done! Try it on and check it out! Here's the front of mine:

And here's the back (I'm wearing a bandeau underneath):

What I've learned:

- Try on your shirt throughout the process to make sure you like the cut
- Do your best to cut clean, straight lines! (I'm going to do a better job with this next time)

This DIY tank would be great for wearing tot he gym, or on a lazy weekend or even casual events where you have to wear some kind of tee shirt. I wish I knew about this in college when I had all of those fundraising, student group and organization events.... could have made my shirt fun and pretty!

I hope you try this and let me know what you think! 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Button Bracelet

Hi! As my very first craft/diy project, I am making my own button bracelet! I've seen a lot of these online, and it seemed to be a do-able craft that you can customize for yourself. The materials I am using are simple things I found in my mother's sewing box.

- Piece of elastic cordage
- Cream colored DMC thread (commonly used to make friendship bracelets)
- Needle and thread
- Random buttons: I used different sizes and textures but stuck to a main color scheme of pearly whites, silvers and pinks

Personally, I like elastic bracelets more than for example, a cuff or a bracelet with a clasp because you can have them fit your wrist without the struggle of closing the clasp one handed. 

First, I cut the elastic to fit my wrist and sewed the ends together to make a circle, our basic bracelet shape.
Sadly the piece of elastic was a dark green (didn't fit my color scheme at all!) and so I chose to cover it with the cream colored DMC thread by simply wrapping the thread around and over the elastic many times and knotting the ends. 
With the basic bracelet part done, I laid out the buttons I wanted to use and carefully sewed them on, through the elastic to get this end result:

What I've learned:

- Pick buttons of somewhat similar sizes. I chose 1-2 larger sized buttons and they seem kind of out of place.
- Different textures add a little whimsy and fun! I used some pearls and fabric buttons with a few sequins here and there for sparkle!

Hope you enjoyed this and try it on your own! Feel free to post questions/comments/successes and stay tuned for more!