I'm gonna need more hangers.

fiona green [the coveteur] :: kate foley [refinery29]

I want a wardrobe that consists solely of dearly loved items that give me joy to wear. Objects that I always look forward to wearing – I’m quite sure such a wardrobe is utterly attainable.

-Dead Fleurettes

while i don’t follow her manifesto of stark and disciplined minimalism, i was completely taken with what she said here. its so simple but something i never considered to the fullest: its not just about having pretty things, many things, things things, but things that are precious to me. that should be sufficient and enduring. if i would just avoid acquiring unnecessary things, i could have more of the kinds of pieces i’ve always wanted. with this goal in mind, eliminating everything in between has become easier. it took a lot of tumblr viewing, a lot of closet photos to realize it makes me kind of nauseous to see those vast walk in closets, shoe racks piled high with barely worn louboutins. i don’t want that anymore. i’d love to have a humble collection of my favorites and my go-tos, as pictured above, and that’s what i’m going to continue to go for.

side note: owning less does pose an interesting paradox however, as posed by The Guardian: it doesn’t absolve you of your material attachment. you’re still fixated on “stuff.” meh, i’m ok with that. i just want stuff that i actually like.

for more closet inspiration, you can check out my tumblr (same name, hehe), stylelikeu, and the selby, among countless others.

 

dress [prototype DIY] :: shoes [jil sander] :: bag [pandorama]

today i went grocery shopping. yup.

i’m a sucker for office girl shoes, they make everything else seem so avant garde by visual comparison. but i’m not sure about these, got them off ebay for pennies and was stoked, but they weren’t the pill white i was imagining them to be. i felt deflated. the fit is a bit narrow too. i might have to resell them. or have them dyed white. or do it myself. bah.

a DIY post for the dress is coming up. i made it recently but didnt know how to photog it. sometimes versatility stalls you. i love having it, but it makes me so indecisive.

category: DIY
tags: , , , ,

sorry for not posting this earlier, i honestly didn’t think to make one, i was just dicking around.

but here we go! this is a tutorial for turning an old blazer with shoulder pads into a vest or vest dress. i’m not a professional, but i’m not a fan of DIYs that look like DIYs, ie. sloppy or fast. this is going to take awhile, but sit down and watching some reruns of a favorite show while you sew.

you’ll need:

1) a blazer

2) a seam ripper

3) sewing needle

4) pins with heads

5) thread of a similar color to blazer

6) fabric scissors

step 1: acquire blazer

i found this while thrifting, but you can use any blazer you like. pick on that fits well around the waist, i’ll only be showing you how to remove the sleeves and resew it the armholes. this tutorial is for the kind where the lining is sewn on, so it’s a bit more challenging than if there wasn’t one. i’d also go for a longish one so you can wear it as a dress or with leggings or what have you. but that’s just a personal preference.

step 2: remove the seams of the sleeve shell and lining

use a seam ripper. mine cost $1.48 at walmart and it’s my favorite sewing tool.

step 3: realign shoulder pads

if your blazer doesn’t have shoulder pads, you can skip this step. undo the shoulder pads, they’re probably anchored down by a few stitches. alternatively, you could just cut them until you get the length you want, but mine were fabric covered and pretty so i decided not to. it doesn’t really matter too much because they’ll be covered. i basically pushed the pads closer to the lapel till a little before my shoulders ended (for me, the final length was about 15.75″). i put them on the outside here to show you what i did, but you’re going to want to put them back between the lining and the shell.

step 4: reattach shoulder pads

pin the shoulder pads in place on the shell and lining to keep the lining in the right place and to not risk forgetting about sewing pins inside the jacket on accident (which i did on this very jacket, like a jackass, and how to wrestle it out). reachor them down onto the seam, so it doesn’t show on the outside of the lining. keep the pins that secure it in for now and remove everything at the end.

step 5: fold the hem over twice to cover the raw fabric edge

you’ll want the shell to be curling into the lining and ideally covering the shoulder pad as well. on the curved edges, cut a few notches like i have done so the fabric will curve more. don’t cut too deep or it won’t be covered when you fold. pin in place.

step 6: blind stitch in place

i used what’s called a blind stitch. that tutorial explains it really well, there are plenty out there. it’s a great hidden stitch, even better than the parallel stitch because it’s totally hidden if you do it right. a few notes:

1) when going through the covered hem, try to catch both the lining and shell so its more secure

2) when attaching to the main blazer part, catch only the lining. if you catch the shell too, it creates a weird puckering thing in the end. which i did. :( it was a long night.

tada!

sale: $25

the vest is closer to this color, a bright fuchsia watermelon hybrid.

if anyone’s interested in giving it a home, it’ll be $5 shipping, so let me know!

note: this was a thrifted piece, so it’s not in pristine condition. there’s a small stain on the lapel, but other than that, it’s in great condition.

anyways, i hope that helps and let me know if you have any questions! have fun DIYing!

first i have to apologize for the inconsistent lighting/editing, i was rushing to get this done and started at funny times. anyway this post is about how to turn a shirt sleeveless like a pro. well, sort of.

ANYWAYS, so i had added the straps that you see underneath and altered the shoulders to fit me a long time ago, but i decided i needed more sleeveless shirts for the summer. it feels weird to undo your own handiwork, but i’m pretty ruthless with a seam ripper. just do it. don’t even think.

step 1: undo seams

do a little under the armpit so the new hem folds over.

step 2: refit shoulders

try it on inside out and pin where you want it. keep doing this until its perfect. i find that you might need to cut off bits to create concave curves inwards, instead of just a straight cut. see for yourself.

step 3: notch the curves

this makes it easier for the hem to curve along the shirt. we’re going to fold the hem over twice to hide the raw edges, so make the notch a little less than halfway.

step 4: fold new hem and sew

sew somewhere 2/3 or 3/4’s away from the edge (towards the shirt) so that it catches the folded under part and traps it inside. otherwise, it’ll escape and that’s not good. this is gonna look so pretty you’ll come all over yourself. i do every time. true story.

told you.

categories: DIY, What I Wore
tags: , ,

dress [kensie]

The new luxury is a small wardrobe.

- Fashionising

i had been inspired before by A Pair and a Spare‘s post about “wardrobe rehab” and Dead Fleurette‘s general high standards for quality and wearability in her clothes to attempt some of those things on my own. however, i feel like rehab just cleans things up for the next binge and too much restraint stifles any sort of creative play with clothing, both of which are on very paralyzing ends of the closet clearing spectrum. it’s just like crash dieting for me; it never sticks, no matter how hard i swear by it each summer. i’ll do the same thing: put stuff on ebay, buy more shit later. it’s not just a cycle anymore, it’s a sucking vortex. i’ve accepted it for a long time that i’m a compulsive shopper–after all it is in the name of this blog–even qualified it as a quirk and valued it at times. and i’ve always thought it was ok because i have my own sense of style, i follow trends, but at my own pace and to my own tastes. though i do in fact feel that way about my style, i have developed some hateful feelings towards my spendthrift ways and that it has fossilized the following problems:

  1. cheap clothing with lousy quality – you heard me f21, uo. in fact all fast fashion is guilty of this, h&m, zara, asos included. you lure me in with your cheap prices, which i used to be all about for the cheap thrills, but i can’t stand the crap quality and fit anymore.
  2. over-invested trend pieces – i have obsessive tendencies and when i go for a trend, i really go for it. which is why i have a bagillion pleated skirts i dont wear anymore and tons of plastic bracelets from “those” days. i bought these things because it feels like a wardrobe basic, but its not. it’s just a parasite and i can’t seem separate the difference.
  3. impulse purchases/buying “unique” items – these are those things that are so special i never consider where i’ll wear them. often times i have no trouble making up an occasion, but when i’m goo-goo eyed for something pretty faced, i don’t often think about it. i just want them just to have them and i get it. it’s a problem.
  4. sale items – augh. i’m a sucker for a sale. i think i’m getting a good deal, which i probably am, but not often in the long run, because there is no long run for more of my sale things, it’s a sit there.

the idea of possessing something easily fills a void in my life at the moment and it is infuriatingly satisfying. the long term result though is just a frustrated me and yet another yearly wardrobe overhaul. its a mess. yes, i love dabbling in new looks, but i need to be more methodical and selective. i just didn’t know how to control myself, at any price point.

i read Fashionising’s article about “the curated wardrobe” and it just struck me how i should be going about fixing my wardrobe quaries. i don’t just want to clear out old clothes: i want a curated wardrobe, my own curated wardrobe (i just like alliteration so my feature will named thusly. nyah). fashionising hasn’t written their method to this wardrobe curating process yet (note to fashionising: follow up on that foreplay and get on that shit!), so i decided to meditate on my own. after trying methods prescribed by magazines and favorite bloggers alike, i’ve concluded that it’s pretty important that people not follow other people’s methods blindly, but tailor one for themselves. this is a deeply personal thing, and while friends and family can help, you are ultimately the one wearing the clothes, so nothing else matters except your final word. here’s my current working model, which is based off of A Pair and A Spare’s and will be expanded upon:

  1. Defining personal style
  2. Visualizing dream wardrobe
  3. Culling and Purging
  4. Re-organizing
  5. Determining Essentials and Trends
  6. Refocusing shopping

what you see in the photo is my closet in the step 3/4 phase. i’m jumping around to all of these steps because it takes a lot of time and self-reflection to cure consumerism.

category: DIY
tags: , , , , , ,

1) refitting the legs

2) shortening the rise

3) hemming pant legs

4) sewing a button

so i changed my mind. sewing a button is pretty basic, but there’s a couple tricks you might like to know.

step 1: marking the spot

when you try on the pants, mark the place where you want the new button placed. i chose the far end of the button hole, but i made sure it didnt make the pants pucker strangely in the front.

step 2: tying the end of the thread

this is a trick i learned from my mom for tying the end of a thread, single or double. loop the thread around your finger and hold the crossed area between your thumb and your index finger. without moving your thumb, pull your index finger back so that it twists the thread around itself. pull the long end to tie the knot. it takes a bit of practice, but it definitely speeds things up. maybe i’ll do a video on this, its a bit tricky to explain.

step 3: loop it through the button a few times

i did it three times and didn’t make the loops super tight. you’ll see why in the next step.

step 4: secure the button threads

this is something not often done, but its important so that the threads are stable. on the last loop through the button, stop before you puncture the fabric. wrap the thread around threads underneath the button a few times. go through the button holes again and then puncture the fabric to finish.

step 5: closing knot

i accidentally did this without thinking, so now i’m doing this on a scrap piece. to make a secure knot on the back, use your needle as an anchoring point like in the first picture. pull the other end of the thread to make it tight.

when the needle is pas the fabric, press your finger on the cross section and continue pulling through. i tied the thread off after 3 rounds of this, but you can do more or less depending on the fabric.

done!

category: DIY
tags: , , , , , ,

1) refitting the legs

2) shortening the rise

3) hemming pant legs

4) sewing a button

so the first problem being solved (the leg fit), the second problem with the pants is that the rise is too high. i almost tried to imagine them in their heyday, but i caught myself. luckily for me, it’s a bottom fly and easier to fix than a zipper. it involves cutting off the original waistband, the offensive excess rise, and refitting a new waistband.

step 1: measure the waistband cut

the photo is slightly incorrect actually because i measured 3″ out later, but you get the idea. the waistband is a piece of fabric covering the top layer, but it also fastens. i measured down to the top of the 3rd button from the bottom (where i wanted my new waistband to hit).

alternatively you don’t have to measure out all the way around the waistband: you can just align the cut portion over the uncut portion, folding and cutting as you go.

step 2: undo the hem of the original waistband

the white portion you see there is the interface, to give the fabric more structure. keep that together with the waist band, you want it exactly as it was, just in a new locale.

step 3: pin the old waistband hem onto the pants

once the old waistband has been freed, repin them onto the pants (right side out). there is a portion of the waist band that folds over, so to recreate that evenly, fold the waistband in half over the pants. then, fold half of that half back onto itself like shown. this will create a line for you to follow pinning the new waistband along.

as you’ve probably gathered, the new waistband is a bit short in length. what you’ll do in a later step is extend the pants but cutting up scraps of the rise and sewing them on.

step 4: sew on the waistband to the pants, allowing a 1/4″ seam

i neglected to photog this part, but its pretty self-explanatory. do not go all the way through the unfinished part of the waistband, you need to save enough room to be able to sew on the extended piece.

step 5: extending the waistband

measure out how much more of the waistband needs to be covered. use scraps of fabric from the rise and make sure the length fits the bill and the width is the same as the waistband currently attached, in order to match. in my case, i need 3 scrap pieces.

step 6: run the edges through a serger

isn’t it bootiful? :D i love serging, it’s both scary and satisfying at the same time. but that’s neither here nor there.

step 7: attach the waistband extension to the waistband

make sure all the seams are on the inside when you fold it over.

step 8: serge the attached part as well

your work should look something like this. you can new reattach the rest of the waistband until the pants are covered.

step 9: fold over the waistband

so that is covers the other seam where the waistband is attached.

step 10: sew along the outside like shown

this seam will show, so use a similar colored thread to the fabric.

you’re probably wondering about the seams on the extension piece: doesn’t it disrupt the waistband? for me, these pants have a busy pattern and i’m not really planning on wearing them to dinner parties so i’m not too worried about it. if you’re more concern about this, you can put the extension between belt loops in the back or on the sides. you  just have to the remove the belt looks beforehand. alternatively, you could cut out a new waistband from another piece of fabric. just be sure to cut on the bias so that it folds and curves when sewn, otherwise weird puckering will happy and that’s no good.

questions? let me know! i’m still relatively unsure how much detail to put or pictures. help me help you!

i’m a thrifter and sometimes i just find things that are only half perfect, but half perfect is enough. when i saw these, it instantly recalled to mind these punky babies from awhile back. they’re a great fit, but there were two major issues with them: 1) the rise was above my belly button 2) bottoms were horrendously flared. i’m a big fan of altering, as you can tell, so for $2.50, i was willing to invest some time into these. these pants are actually the perfect conduit for showing how to alter pants, so i will be doing them in 2 installments.

altering these pants involves:

1) refitting the legs

2) shortening the rise

3) hemming pant legs

4) sewing a button

the last two steps are pretty basic things, so i decided it was more trouble putting up than its worth. if anyone really really wants to know, i’ll post something later. i was starting to get really sick of plaid on the screen.

step 1: refitting the legs

technically, the first step is to undue the hem of the pants. you’ll have to rehem them in the end, but that’s a later installment.

i wanted the pants to have a slim/straight leg fit, so i chose a pair of my khaki pants that have a similar fit. try to choose a pair that have the same amount of stretch.

line up the crotches (teehee) and then you center the slimmer pant legs on top of the other. pin the new pant seams using the other pair as a stencil.

step 2: sew

sew along the pins and remove them as you go.

step 3: re-refit and sew

try them on again inside out and refit them if necessary. i pinned the length of the area that needed to be slimmer and drew it out with some dried soap. repeat the sewing process.

step 4: run it through a serger

a serger creates a nice finishing seam by cutting off excess fabric as it sews.

to finish off the pant legs, iron a new hemline and hem those suckers up.

category: DIY
tags: , , , ,

jacket [newyork&co]

this is a perfectly cozy moto jacket sweater but it was never exciting enough for me. it lacks the bells and whistles of the real thing: the belt, the buckles, the hard-edged zippers, LEATHER, so i’ve been wanting to turn it into something more sculptural. here’s how i did it and it’s really not terribly hard; it just takes a bit of patience. and love. lots of love.

 

step 1: undo the seams

first, i undid the seams of the bottom band in the back and one sleeve. feel free to do both sleeves, but i ended up liking the asymmetric look better. 

step 2: mark the back arc

i chose the end of the arc to be in the middle of the jacket, so i folded it hotdog style first and made a mark. then i folded it hamburger style and marked the rest of the arc. if you don’t have tailor’s chalk, or chalk period, a bar of old soap is perfect. in fact, i prefer it because its free. bahahhaha.

step 3: cut

step 4: refitting the back

this step is pretty crucial and may take some trial and error to find the right fits. if you notice, the bottom is too short to reattach because of the length of the arc made, so how to you make it fit?

you shorten the arc! if you notice on the right, i’ve folded up about an inch or more of the fabric in a triangular shape, where the hypotenuse is the side on the table and the short leg is the edge of the arc. it needs to be a triangular fold and not a parallelogram because you don’t want to create weird puckering underneath the armholes of the sleeves (if you choose to keep them) or shorten the armhole (if you omit them).  line up the short leg along the edge of the arc as you’re folding/fitting so that it stays even. i did two going towards the arm holes and another right down the center back.

alternatively, you could just do one down the center, i just chose to do 3 because i like the way it looks. skip to step 7 if you’re only doing one fold.

step 5: sew and trim

only sew the inside and check afterwards to see that everything still lines up. mine actually doesn’t line up perfectly, but it’s ok because it gets sewn over with the bottom piece.

step 6: sew again (opt.)

fold over one flap and sew again onto the jacket back, with a little bit of space between seams so it looks like the photo on the right when the jacket is worn. i did this to keep the new flap in place and it matched the seams on the jacket. you could finish it with a serger before this step, but i chose not to.

step 7: pin bottom to arc

this is where you make sure the refitted back is the same length as the bottom piece. pin it as close to the center as possible and make the final triangular fold down the middle. it helps to fold the jacket in half to center it. you could mark all of this, but i like eyeballing. i don’t really know why. maybe because i’m lazy in odd ways.

step 8: sew down center flaps and sew on bottom piece

this goes with the design and will keep it from breaking . alternatively, you could just use a serger over the new seam and skip this step. here are my results of the outside, after i’ve sewn on the bottom hem. i did the seam for the bottom the same way i did the triangular flaps.

step 9: armholes (opt.)

i made the armhole a bit larger, folded it over about a cm, repinned, and hemmed it with two parallel seams.

finished product

please let me know what if you have any questions or if i need to be more clear about some steps!

jacket [DIY newyork&co] :: shirt [bdg] :: skirt [wish] :: bracelet [monki]

DIY tutorial post for this coming up! haven’t done one of those in ages.