Wednesday, 28 August 2013

The Trends on Wednesday: Fur Show




Now that we're happily enveloped in the sultry summer heat, turning our sartorial thoughts to the distantly looming winter cold is the last thing on our minds. Still, it's never too early to get ahead of the fashion curve with ideas for a practical, on-trend winter investment so allow me to introduce an up-and-coming season staple: fur.

The autumn 2013 catwalk shows saw Fendi offer brilliant colour, Tom Ford work oversized shearling seams with dramatic panache, Balenciaga rework fur with camouflage-style patterns and Prabal Gurung put pattern in the frame. Also incorporating bold colour were Roberto Cavalli and Peter Som.


The DIY fashion remedy? Go faux; Scour every charity shop and eBay offer, or dig out your old fur boots; dissect and experiment. Try collaging, trimming or dyeing if you're feeling bold enough.  The high street will inevitably be throwing in its two (maybe proverbial) cents if you want to do it the easy way. Whatever you do, don't be left out in the cold!


Monday, 26 August 2013

Marc and Mirror - how to DIY a Marc by Marc Jacobs geometric necklace

Continuing the curb chain craze with a mirrored masterpiece from Marc.
Marc by Marc Jacobs Giant Gems printed silk and crystal necklace

You will need

N.B: Contrary to what the picture suggests, you will need a large slab of polymer clay in order to make your mirrored sections, or three normal-sized blocks in the same colour - I chose black.

Buy your jump rings in bulk - you can't have too many for this one. I got a pack of 100.

Difficulty

Moderate

I have no reason to lie here, this DIY did have its fiddly moments, although I wouldn't call it difficult.

Time

A full day - 6 or so hours, I think - but I wasn't really keeping track too closely, as one does when one's as pleasurably lost in a project as I was.

Total Cost

I don't usually go into detail in this particular category but this project was definitely more of an indulgence-motivated outing than a recycling or economical one. The total came to about £23 but, as those who know me will agree, I couldn't help myself. It's also a lot less than £202, which the original cost!

Get it in the necklace!

Fold your ribbons and chains in half, securing the latter in place by attaching your fastening at the tips, using your jump rings.

Tie each of your ribbons - at the centre - to the bases of your chains (the opposite ends to the clasps). Knot them twice.
Plait your ribbons and chains. The three sections should comprise two separate strands of ribbon and two chains together. Tie the ends of the ribbon as close to the end as you possibly can, cut away the excess ribbon and secure the edges with your glue gun to prevent fraying.
Cut 5 large pieces of clay about 0.5cm in thickness, wedge a pattern of mosaic tiles across the top and embed 4 jump rings at each side, apart for the two clap pieces that link to the chain - embed two jump rings for each of their corresponding sides. Ensure that your jump rings are well embedded with a loop sticking out, so that they don't get pulled out by the weight of the tiles.
Use your glue gun to secure the gems and diamantés in place.

Using pliers - or tweezers if your jump rings are especially small - link all your sections together via the extraneous jump ring loops.
Finally, secure your chain and ribbon sides in place, using the pliers and jump rings, as before.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

The Trends in Wednesday - Practically perfect: The Return of the Satchel




One may typically suffer to be fabulous - be it with ankle busting heels or constrictive, unforgiving seamlines - so imagine my delight on those rare occasions when the sorting algorithm of directional fashion trends gives a nod to something genuinely useful - in this case, the humble and respectably utilitarian satchel. Luxury fabrics, quirky designs and structured shapes are among the updates to the classic bag that this and the resort collections have to offer. Look to Lanvin, Fendi and Givenchy for inspiration on how to rock this trend with bags of style.


Monday, 19 August 2013

Curb Chain Enthusiasm - How to DIY a Bijoux de Famille Pyramid Bow Necklace

Kicking it with the curb chain trend proved to be a "Famille" à faire!
With punk's sartorial vitriol back in vogue and curb chains a staple season accessory I decided to combine the two and DIY the Pyramid Bow Necklace by Bijoux De Famille.

You will need



Difficulty

Pretty Easy

My gut instincts tell me I'd be wrong in listing this in the "Super Easy" category but I really can't think of anything too challenging in this one. There is one step that some people may find fiddly but, trust me, this one's nowhere near as hard as it looks.

Time

Mine took an hour and a quarter.

Total Cost

The cost varies a lot. I paid about £18 in the name of convenience but if you were to get the same fabric and cuff as I did on Ebay (which came to £ 4.50), as well as the fabric paint (about £3 depending on where you go), diamantés (priced at £2 with postage and packing included) and a chain (apparently priced at £1, if you're prepared to wait a few weeks for the delivery - I wasn't!) you can wangle the full ingredient list for just over a tenner.

Even if you find yourself forking out £20 it's still less than a tenth of the cost of the original, which is priced at £252!

Chain DIY action


Cut a rectangle measuring about 6 x 15cm out of your newspaper print fabric.




If you do manage to find some red newspaper print fabric I'd like to first of all offer you my hearty congratulations and secondly ask where you got yours from. Failing that, simply paint yours red with a thin coat of fabric paint, like I did.

Meanwhile, with your cuff, remove all of your pyramid studs except a square area of nine, ideally near the middle.


Cut away the excess material on either side of the square so that there is enough for both sides to overlap when folded inwards but so much that it goes over the edge.



I used three of the left-over studs to secure the back bits in place.


Taking a small length of wire, thread it through the top of your new cuff, bend it back on itself so that it covers the top and bend each end upwards when it's halfway across. You should have two wires in the middle. Secure them in place by twisting them together with your pliers. Thread your wire through the middle link on your chain, bend the end into a loop and secure it with a final twist.


If your fabric needs stiffening, use clear car lacquer like I did - a fixative which, despite the name and intended purpose, is a fail-safe fixer I can't recommend enough.


Slot your fabric through the cuff and, making sure you've got the same amount on each side, secure it in place across the top with your gemstone glue.


Glue your diamantés along the edge and work the look!

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

The Trends on Wednesday - Haute for Teacher






From pinstripe to Prince of Wales, if you think heritage tweeds are only for men, think again. Autumn 2013's fashion tweeds are minding their manners with a delectable confection of elegant drape, experimental asymmetry and feminine flourish. For directional notes on where the trend is heading, look to Haider Ackermann and Lanvin. Also making some very up-and-coming waves is the humble and reassuringly practical satchel - examples pictured above include Anya Hindmarch and 3.1 Phillip Lim. Both looks are perfect teamed together and worn as a collegiate chic look - for inspiration on the latter, think Chloé's Benneth lace up shoes, Acne Studios' Coin skirt and Jil Sander's Burgundy Booties. Who said back to school fashion was just for kids?

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Lim Beau - How to DIY a 3.1 Phillip Lim Resort 2014 dress

A recycled men's t-shirt packs a punch as a DIY 3.1 Phillip Lim dress from his Resort 2014 collection.

Image: Style.com

You will need... 


Difficulty

Moderate

Fiddly towards the middle. I say fiddly - if it weren't for the one process in question I'd rate it very easy. It helps to know your stuff when it comes to sewing elastic but if you don't, fear not for I will be your guide!

Time

About a day, i.e. 6-8 hours. Again, if it weren't for the process with the elastic it'd be significantly less. I don't want to give the ending away but the hole punching part was much quicker than expected.


Total Cost

The pliers cost about £12 from Hobbycraft, interfacing generally costs a few pounds, tops. For the t-shirt, you just have to be lucky with charity shops if you don't already have one hitherto in need of a new home - or makeover!

Lim Pickings




Use your graded setsquare (I used a patternmaster which does the same thing in this tutorial) to mark out 3 lines: a 45° diagonal line about 7cm from under the sleeves and a horizontal line just under the sleeves.



Pin your interfacing to your t-shirt as a reference and trace out 2 triangular pieces from below your diagonal line and a front and back piece from the shoulders to your top line. Cut them out.



Use your grid paper as a reference to trace out some perfectly geometric dotted patterns, as shown in the picture above, by placing it underneath your interfacing. It helps to have a well-lit work area!



Iron your interfacing in place and use your setsquare to measure parallel horizontal lines from 4 and 6cm under the bottom edge.



Now for the tricky part! Cut a length of elastic slightly longer than the circumference of your waist, or as much as you feel comfortable with, bearing in mind you'll need to be able sit down in the dress. Pin it along the top line, stretching it out until the ends meet ans sew it in place with a long, straight stitch along the middle - a tacking stitch which should be easy to unpick. To avoid snags and puckering take your time. If your sewing machine "eats" your fabric at all, simply unpick the stitches with a seam ripper and go over it. Use a small zigzag stitch across the top and bottom of the elastic, again, holding it under tension and stretched out, then unpick the tack stitching.



Use you eyelet puncher to create grid-like perforations through all your marked dots.



I tucked in the sleeves, fixed them along the armhole edges with a single row of stitches and cut away the excess fabric but that part's optional.





Wednesday, 7 August 2013

The Trends on Wednesday: Chain Female





As easy as it is inspirational for getting creative DIY juices flowing, the chain trend has endless possibilities for creative interpretation. For some great chunky chains, go for industrial ones weave them, mix them, knot them or link them with smaller rings to make chain mail - they're all doing it on the high street and in the ateliers, dahling!


Sunday, 4 August 2013

Haute Lips - How to DIY a Stella McCartney Resort 2014 Lace Dress

Stella McCartney gives it some lip in her Resort 2014 collection.

Following my latest trend-related entry, I thought I'd give you another easy, ahead-of-the-curve tutorial inspired by the Resort 2014 trend for net and lace as a key feature (as recommended by Style.com).

You will need...



... and a sewing machine

Difficulty

Very easy

...and super quick - by the way, that last point's coming from an easily-distracted faffer so you've got no excuse!

Time

About an hour and a half - like I say, I faffed about a lot so it'll probably take you even less time.

Give it some heart - and lips!


Fold your lace in half to ensure that your shapes will be symmetrical - you could hold it in place with some pins to make it easier - and cut out your lip and heart shapes.

Craft mount them to your dress. Technically, fabric is within most good craft mounts' bonding remits but it's still best to secure your pieces by sewing them, once you've placed them exactly where you want them. Your heart shape should be quite big so you will need to sew across it several times to keep it completely flat once the glue loses its hold.