DIY Alexander Wang Stirrup Socks

runway photos: Marcio Madeira,; photo array by me.

Seen on the Spring 2010 runways (more than a year and a half ago, would you believe?) these stirrup socks, gaiters, or whatever you wanted to call them were the quintessential accessory for Alexander Wang‘s 2010 football-inspired sporty-girly aesthetic.  With a little hand-stitchery and some Stop Fraying sealant, they’re a breeze to make.

You Need:

*pair of knee-high socks

*marking chalk

*white 1/2″ wide soft, lightweight elastic

*matching thread & hand-sewing needle

*fabric scissors

*Aleene’s Stop Fraying fabric sealant


1. Try one  sock on, and mark where you want to cut off the toe.

Also mark the back of the sock at the widest points you want your cut-out to be…and at the lowest point you want it to reach.

2. Take off sock and cut off toe, straight across.  Draw a curve on the marks you made at the back of the sock in the previous step, and cut out along the curve.
  Cut the other sock in the exact same way.

3. Apply Stop Fraying to cut edges and allow to dry according to instructions.  (If you can use a sewing machine or overlocker, overlocking the edges will create a permanent, washable piece!  With the fabric sealant these are more special-occasion-only socks, and probably won’t stand up to much washing.)

4. Sew one end of elastic to one side of the cut part of the sock.  Try on sock again to see the fit, and stretch the elastic to the other side of the cut. Anchor elastic with your needle and take off the sock again.  Sew other side of elastic down.

5. Trim elastic.  Cut other piece of elastic the same length and sew both sides to the other sock.

Wear with a pair of clogs, mules, oxfords, sandals, or anything that acts as a straight-laced counterpart to this sporty legwear.

Happy DIY’ing!

*I actually wrote this tutorial for Foam Magazine online, in May 2010.  It unfortunately has been lost somewhere out on the Internet…if anyone has seen it, please let me know!  I also found another tutorial for these exact same stirrup socks, done by the fabulous Jazzi McG, long, loooong prior to me ever doing mine…which I was totally unaware of when Foam asked me to do a tutorial for these socks.  So sorry, Jazzi – you deserve the credit for first DIY!
**and thanks to reader Ejiro for reminding me to post this!


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Don’t Buy, DIY: Embellished Short-Sleeve Sweater

Okay, there’s not much of a price difference there, but still…

Fa la la la la! I love the holidays!!

But one thing I don’t love is all the correspondence it entails. Email just won’t cut it at this time of year.

Sorry for the short absence from the WWW – just been overwhelmed with sending holiday packages, cards, New Year’s greetings, baking Christmas cookies, and gift-shopping.

7 packages, 27 cards, 11 packages of cookies, 9 holiday letters with photos later…I always overachieve this time of year and end up dropping off the face of the planet for about a week. Plus, spending an hour and a half standing in line at the post office yesterday (in THREE separate lines – one for parking, one for the automatic postal machine, and one for the window) can put anyone into a bit of a bah humbug mood. Or make one go postal. Yuk yuk yuk. Can anyone relate?

But I love the holidays – all the festivities of, all the traditions – seriously, the most happy times growing up.

So anyway…
I wanted to share a DIY I finished a little while ago with all of you.

Perhaps you or your SO has a fuzzy gray sweater or fleece in need of a makeover?

Who says winter sweaters have to be long-sleeved? This one is super-cute with armwarmers, gloves, or another layer underneath for when the weather outside is frightful.

Scanned from Vivi December 2009 issue. What can I say – I love this magazine maybe a bit too much!:-)

So I figured, why not make this from an oversized sweater? (after the jump)


You Need:
oversized sweater (nubby knit or fleece, preferably men’s)  //  9 faceted sew-on jewels

scissors  //  pins  //  needle and thread  //  sewing machine  //  sewing machine needle for knits

How To:

1. Cut off sleeves and trim neckline into a V-neck.

2. Turn under sleeve cuffs and stitch raw edges down. (not pictured)

3. To size the sweater smaller (if using a men’s sweater), try on sweater and pinch extra fabric at back of neck until V-neck lays properly on your collarbone (i.e., not too wide). Have a friend stick a pin in the excess, take off the shirt, and turn inside-out. Pin in a line down the center back, all the way to the hem.

4. Unpick the bottom hem of the shirt so you can flatten the line you pinned all the way down to the cut edge of the fabric. (Probably about 1″ or so on either side of the line you pinned.)

5. Sew CB line all the way to the cut edge. (not pictured)

6. Turn hem under once more and re-stitch hemline. (not pictured)

7. Cut off excess of CB seam. (not pictured – obviously, I got lazy here)

8. Turn under seam allowance around neckline, and stitch down. (not pictured)

9. Sew jewels around neckline.


I’m thinking about resetting the sleeves so the shoulder seam is shorter, which I think might make this less matronly and more like the original.

But maybe I’ll leave it as is!These little jewels were in a multisize pack of 25 for about $3.99 at Jo-Ann’s. And the shirt was $6.99 at Goodwill. Super-warm!

Happy DIY’ing…and Happy Birthday to me! (It’s today!) Not quite sure the appropriate emotional response…but hopefully I’m another year wiser! (Maybe to avoid the P.O. after December 15 next year?)



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DIY Cutout Skully T-Shirt (like Pleasure Principle and Barak)

I’ve been hankering after a cutout skull tee since I saw some in last year’s S-Cawaii Magazine [Japanese] from the brand Barak (nothing to do with Prez Obama, I assure you). Trendy Tokyo girls wearing pastel-colored lightweight tees with skull-shaped cutouts over striped tees? Lovely!

(And ironically, Childhood Flames posted her own DIY cutout skull tee inspired by a Pleasure Principle shirt a few months later that had the blogosphere all agog.) How did I go about making mine? (Okay, I know, it’s kind self-explanatory, but…keep reading…)

Regardless of who was first and all that rubbish (likely Barak ripped it off from Pleasure Principle, though they probably took it from the cutout skully tees from the 80’s that just about every hair metal band had back then…), I decided to make my own Barak-style tee, with two el cheapo tees from Target (the striped one, incidentally, is not sewn from striped fabric…the fabric was actually screenprinted with a striped pattern and then sewn together. Like that was cheaper for the manufacturers than actually sourcing a black-and-white stretch striped fabric. Sheesh.) Though I’m technically a Medium, I bought a large for my skully tee, so it will be loose enough to drape over the second layer. Here is the skull that I drew for my pattern:

If you’d like to use these drawings as a pattern for your own T-shirt, right-click on each above [or control-click if you don’t have a 2-button mouse] to save each drawing, and print out landscape format on TWO 8.5″ x 11″ pieces of paper.  Alternatively, you can just print out the entire PDF pattern + instructions here.

Line up each paper under your tissue-wight tee…

…trace the outlines lightly with sewing chalk or a fabric pen…

…and cut with fabric scissors!

Couldn’t be easier!

I also tried layering the Skully Tee over a black t-shirt for a more Gothic look, and a white tank for a summery ensemble. You could also try with just a bra if you’re daring!

Have fun cutting and slicing, and Happy DIY’ing!


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