30 Days of Outfits Challenge: Day 21

 LS Tee: Petit Bateau
Draped Rose Chiffon Skirt: DIY
Studded Cuff: Target
2-finger Pyrite Ring and Spike Ring: handmade by me
Diamond-pattern pale blue tights: unknown
Suedette Tie Shoes: Lela Rose for Payless (2009)
Quilted Bag: indio (Japan)
Pierced Rose Brooch: DIY

Day 21 in my 30 Days of Outfits Challenge: November 21.

Sunday at home recuperating from the long shoot from the day prior.  But I still wanted to take a couple DIY items for a spin – and put together an outfit in dreamy pastels.

When I first saw luv aj‘s pieces, I thought they were a wonderful solution to connecting large statement pieces onto ring bases without soldering.  Many jewelry artisans cannot solder (myself included).  Not being able to do this simple construction method (though goodness knows I’ve tried!) often limits the designs you can create, especially when it comes to rings (which usually need to be soldered together lest the stone pop right off the base).

But wire-wrapping is an ingenious solution to the problem of connecting the top to the ring, and completely eliminates the need for soldering!  I tested it out on a couple similar designs.  (The drawback is the rings are incredibly uncomfortable on the fingers.  I wonder if luv aj’s versions are easier to wear?)

This skirt I made from a curtain valance.  Yes, a curtain valance!! If you ever check out Goodwill (or any thrift store that sells home items), you can probably find some curtain valances that have chiffon overlays to them.  I was struck by how beautifully they were draped – so I bought the pair ($3.99) and made a skirt out of one.  When I draped it onto my body I found the waistband wouldn’t sit right, so I did have to make some darts at the waist…and sew a front-seam and hidden fly.  It’s not perfect – it’s DIY, after all!

But if you have any valances at home lying around, or spot any at the secondhand store – they really look lovely as a draped, twisted skirt – a style of skirt that is so popular now (just look at the recent collections of Alexander Wang, Burberry, and Celine, for example).

The Pierced Flower Corsage is so easy to make: just a silk flower from the craft store, with rings threaded through it, or grommets added and rings and ball beads through those.  I made two and thought the rose one went better with this outfit.

Hope everyone had a great Sunday!


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DIY Inspiration: Coco Avant Chanel

So apparently I’ve missed the few screenings of Coco Avant Chanel here in Portland that happened earlier this month. *sigh* I soooo wanted to see it, but looks like I’ll have to wait for it to come out on DVD (whenever that will be). Inspired by the sheer idea of the film (since I haven’t seen it), I crafted a few things Chanel-inspired:

Double-C Sequined Perfume-Bottle Brooch

Gold sequins glued onto black fabric in the shape of the iconic Chanel No. 5 perfume bottle, then bordered by silver bugle beads stitched around the edge. I glued on some rhinestone chain that I salvaged from a broken necklace in the shape of two interlocking C’s. Counterfeit couture. (Though I’m using the word “couture” loosely, since I used glue to attach the sequins.) I made this at least 5 years ago now…the bugle beads look absurdly crooked upon closer inspection; a mere shadow of the real thing.

Black & White Bow Shoe Clips

Made from frilly white chiffon ribbon and black satin wired ribbon wrapped around, and then stitched onto shoe clips.

Black & White Bow-Detail Cape

Made from two men’s sweatshirts. I’m posting the tutorial next, so stay tuned!  I’ve posted the tutorial here, so check it out!!

 Pirate Triple Pearl Necklace

The messy hair is on purpose. That’s the only way it can be explained.

I know this is a little bit of a deviation from the standard Chanel pearls, but I liked the pirate-esque nature of them. I made them from some cheap pearl rope I had laying about – and I added some little charms and this cool carved nut I found at a bead show. I know they would be much better if they were real – or even faux! – pearls and not these pearls fused to the string like this…but this would seriously take so many pearls and so much knotting in order to make I got tired of the idea before even attempting it.

Chanel-Style Camellia Brooch

This is the photo from the book; I didn’t actually make the brooch, sorry.

Adapted from the book “Ima Sugu Tsukuritai Co-saju” [“Corsages I Want to Make Right Now” Bunka Publishing, 2006]. Here’s the scanned, translated-by-me instructions below – just omit the instructions for the stem and attach the brooch back to the back of the flower for a Chanel-style piece.  See here for more DIY corsage patterns, by the way!

Click above for full size.

The book page is 8 1/8″ wide by 7 7/8″ high if you want to print it out, in order to make sure the petal pattern is sized correctly. The pattern requires the use of a round-headed stylus in order to create the rounded, 3D-effect to the petals. Not completely necessary, but it helps create a finished, professional look to your corsage. I haven’t sprung for the $30 heated stylus tool specifically for this purpose; I just use a metal muddler that has a small ball on the end. You could probably find a paint mixer or similar stylus tool at a crafts store. [And if you’re wondering where I found the muddler, it’s actually for mixing cel paints, courtesy of animation school in Japan. I don’t think you’ll find anything similar stateside.:-)

Hope this helps to get you into a Chanel-style mood – and hankering after black and white, stark contrasts, tweedy fabrics, pearls, and girly flowers. Have a lovely Chanel day!



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