Awhile ago I found this lovely bright chiffon blouse at my local Goodwill. It was a couple sizes too large for me and a little outdated in shape; I decided to upcycle it into something more fitted and modern. Colorblocking has been on-trend for a couple seasons now, so I decided to add some contrasting fabric to the collar*. Here’s how:
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Bib-style and collar-style, multi-tiered, embellished, spiky, organic, tribal necklaces have been all over the runways for a couple seasons, and it’s high time to add one into regular rotation in one’s wardrobe. But it’s so easy to make one out of bits and pieces floating around in your craft drawer!! This particular project utilizes craft foam that, once covered in paint, studs, buttons, and beads – looks high-fashion and “artsy” without the high price tag.
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Top row, from left: Rachel Roy, Ccharel, Jil Sander, Prada, Issa, Christian Dior. Bottom Row, from left: Moschino, Mary Katrantzou, Stella McCartney.All photos from Style.com; array by me.
As the Spring/Summer 2011 runways have demonstrated, big, bold splashes of color and bright, clashing prints are going to be BIG trends for this coming season.
Jil Sander! Dior! Moschino! Prada!
And street-style incorporating these bold colors is just so inspiring…
For the first time in my life, I’m swayed by these 80’s pops of bright…infusing an otherwise dreary winter (and my overwhelmingly gray wardrobe) with a little dose of happiness.
So I’ve been pulling out all the bright-and-bold fabric from my stash that I can find – which is almost nothing, needless to say…
From left to right: Photorealistic Lemon-Print Cotton (bought in Japan, 1998); Banana Leaf-Print Cotton (bought on St. John’s Island, Caribbean, 1989); Universe/Galaxy-Printed Organic Cotton Sateen and Silk Crepe de Chine (designed by me, just printed the samples earlier this month); Bottom: Cotton Twill Sofia Fabric (bought at Ikea)
The lemon fabric I made into a blouse back in 2000 or so; but I had to alter the collar a bit and so it’s been on my to-do pile for awhile. The other fabrics I haven’t used at all…yet.
The expression on my face and the caption makes me cringe; but unfortunately I couldn’t find another photo of the finished blouse. Circa 2007.
Strawberry-print dress and bag I designed and made back in 2000. They’ve been sitting on my Fix-it Pile for awhile…since I realized the dress is way too Flamenco for my tastes and the bag is just silly. But they’re bright! And fruit-printed! Photo circa 2001.
I rarely wear bright-colored clothing (accessories, no problem…but clothing I still struggle with). I think I have a deep-seated negative association with wearing bright colors; something that was harped on as the antithesis of stylish and fashionable as I was growing up. I feel the strongest physical revulsion at bright jade green, bright turquoise, and bright purple. Especially the turquoise.
Yes, the idea of wearing these colors actually scares me. Custom Pantone palette made at ColorExplorer.com
Which is ironic because turquoise used to be my favorite color when I was a kid, probably from when I was 5 or so until I was around 12 or 13.
My brother and I in our front yard, circa 1986. I was 8 – can you guess what my favorite color was?? Actually, you can probably guess what my brother’s favorite color was as well.;-)
This irrational negativity towards bright colors is a huge mental block I’ve had for years.
An outfit built around this much color is highly unusual for me.
Anyway, projects up next: a green-striped bias draped skirt, a pair of coral pleated trousers, a hot-pink linen swing skirt, a red galaxy-print silk shell, and a blue galaxy puff-skirt. I’m not quite sure what to do with the banana leaf-print fabric from above just yet as I only have a little of it…maybe a bandeau bikini top?
How do you feel about this upcoming trend of brights? Do you incorporate bright colors in your outfits – and if you don’t, why?
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Adapted from the book Cut-Up Couture: Edgy Upcycled Garments to Sew [though mine is the Japanese version; I’m not sure if the translated version I’ve linked to is the same]
I’ve written about this book a little while ago in this post on how to make a Convertible Blouson Tunic from 3 Men’s Sweatshirts). To me, this sweet little cape seems slightly Chanel-ish, two-toned, sleek…anything but sweatshirt-like.
(And if you made the tunic following that tutorial, you will have found yourself left with the top half of 3 sweatshirts. In this project we’ll use the top half of 1 for our cape, and as to what to do with the remaining 2 sweatshirts…stay tuned!)
How to Make a Chanel-Style Black-and-White Cape With Bow
You Will Need:
*2 sweatshirts (Men’s XL work best), in two different colors
*sewing needle for knits
*thread matching one sweatshirt
Measure and Cut
1. Measure and mark 5.5″ down from the neck opening on your first sweatshirt, on the center front. Measure and mark 8 5/8″ on each side of neck opening on the shoulder seams. Connect the marks you made in a semicircle around the neck portion of your sweatshirt.
2. Cut out the neck along the line you made, cutting through both front and back of the sweatshirt.
3. Mark and measure 15″ up from the ribbed hem of your second sweatshirt. Draw a line straight across the shirt from side to side (it should be very close to right under the arms).
4. Cut along the line, through both front and back of your sweatshirt.
5. Draw a rectangle 4″ high by 8″ long on the remaining fabric of the sweatshirt from Step 4). Cut it out.
6. Draw another, smaller rectangle measuring 2″ high x 2.75″ long on the same sweatshirt and cut it out.
Your cut pieces should look like this:
7. Turn the 15″-high bottom half you cut out in Step 4) upside down, and pin on top of the cut edge of the neck piece from Step 2). Overlap the ribbed edge about 1/2″ onto the cut edge of the neck piece, following the curved edge. Pin along edge.
8. Fold both the smaller rectangles you cut in half lengthwise, right sides together, and pin edges.
9. Sew both smaller rectangle along their longer edges, about 1/8″ from cut edge. Turn each right side out again – this will create two tubes. (not pictured)
10. Sew the cape main parts together, stitching on top of the ribbing in a matching thread, about 3/8″ from edge. If both your sweatshirts are exactly the same size, the neck piece should not be gathering despite the stretch from the ribbing. (Mine is b/c I used an L sweatshirt for the neck and an XL sweatshirt for the bottom…my bad!)
11. Hem your cape, turning over about 1/2″ at the bottom and stitching a 3/8″ hem.
12. Flatten the larger rectangle tube you made in Step 9), roll the seam to the center, and fold each end over to meet in the middle. Hand-stitch ends together to make a bow.
13. Flatten the smaller rectangle tube, roll the seam to the center, and stitch one end to your stitching in the center of your bow from Step 11).
14. Roll the strip around your bow, pull tight to the back to make your bow “poufy,” and secure in the back again with more stitches.
15. Stitch bow onto the center of your cape, slightly above the ribbing seam. (not pictured)
You’re done! A lovely cape – just in time for cold weather.
And don’t forget to cut the remaining parts of your sweatshirts in the same fashion – and just reverse the colors – and you can make a second cape to give to someone this holiday season! Brrrr! I feel the winter chills coming on!:-)