Formspring.me Q&A Marathon: How Do I Make…This??

So I’ve received a lot of questions in my Formspring.me account asking “How do I make this? with a link to a photo.  Here are my quick analyses of the hotw-tos (and please everyone, chime in in the comments if you’re struck with another way to make these items!):

Hi! How do you sew something like this: http://lookbook.nu/look/392753-i-miss-summer or this? http://lookbook.nu/look/908247-Deserts-eating-Oceans

I see lace dresses are on your mind!

The first one doesn’t even look like it is a dress – the edges look completely unsewn and it appears like the person wearing it just added a belt and let the edges flap in the wind.;-)  You could possibly re-create this garment with a piece of lace about a yard or so wide, and literally cut a hole in the center for your neck – and wear half the fabric in the front and half in the back!!  (If it were me, I would allow the sleeves to drape to about the waist, and then sew the skirt part since I wouldn’t be comfortable walking around in a dress that’s kind of like an open toga at the sides…)

The second dress is just a typical tank-style dress; it’s very hard to see the detail on it but it looks like the top has crochet edging along the armscyes and bust; it’s fully lined; and the bottom appears to be gathered tiers of lace.  There may even be little lace rosettes dotted on the bottom tiers but it’s a little hard to tell.  SecretLifeofaBioNerd shared a video on Threadbanger on how to make a sweet lace dress; simply adopt her method for making the skirt (but add a couple more tiers instead of just the one she has), hand-sew the rosettes on there if you like (sourced from the bridal area of your local fabric/notions store), cut and sew a tanktop-style top, and add a crochet applique to the neck area.  Speaking of crochet…


How do you sew this? http://www.easybizchina.com/picture/product/201008/white-cotton-tank-top-with-hand-crochet-507095.JPG Is there a way of cutting the crochet part without it unravelling? Someone told me that if I cut rib knit, it frays, is that true?

Are you trying to re-create this from scratch or are you trying to alter the piece that you have?  If you’re trying to make this from scratch, you will either have to crochet the top embellishment yourself, rip it off of a dress or shirt that already exists, or buy a bridal or crochet applique from the fabric store to use for your piece.  I’ve never seen crochet embellishment like that come on a roll like fabric does; I don’t think you can just go to the fabric store and get a yard of it cut for you to use.  The crochet embellishment would have been made-to-order by the manufacturer’s and even if you can find a big piece; cutting it down to fit the size of your top would just cause the whole thing to unravel (unless you really know what you are doing and snip certain threads and tie them off together etc. as you go…you can certainly try but something like that poses a problem even for experienced crocheters and knitters, so I wouldn’t really recommend it if you can avoid it at all).

Rib knit is an entirely different thing than this crochet piece…if you’re talking about your standard cotton or spandex interlock rib-knit, then it will only fray to the extend that cotton or spandex knit fabric does.  Repeated stretching will cause it to fray more.  In using rib knit, as with any knit, you need to overlock the raw edges to prevent fray and wear and tear.  You can cut it no problem but it will have to be finished if you’re planning on using it in something wearable (especially if that something is washable too!)  But it doesn’t really unravel like crochet or a knitted sweater…unless you find a loose weft thread and yank on it…

If you’re trying to alter this piece that you already have, again, don’t cut the crochet part if you want to retain it at all; just sew on top of it/through it.  (You can add darts or gathers to take up the extra fabric to alter it smaller…to make it bigger I don’t think it’s possible without cutting the crochet, which will have you running into the previous problem.


Hey could you do a tutorial on how to make this kind of structure? http://store.americanapparel.eu/rsatd300.html?cid=139

Ohmygoodness.  Okay, that piece is a huge amount of work.  Not to say that it can’t be done, but if you can buy off-the-rack from American Apparel (still available here BTW!), it will probably be cheaper than all your time and effort going into it.  But if you really want to make a top like that…

Find a rose-embellished mesh fabric and make a basic shirt out of it!!  High-end fabric stores and stores that cater to designers may have exactly this type of fabric, which you can buy in however many yards you need, and then make your shirt out of it.  I did find it online here, but the price is not listed so you’d have to call the company to find out more…and even if you can’t find the fabric as yardage you might be able to re-appropriate something.

I saw this photo on Cruel*Thing of a DIY rose-embellished skirt…made from a pillowcase!  Which is a fabulous idea made even more fabulous by the beautiful pillowcase Diana used.  Bravo!

Do an Ebay search and there’s usually some similar pillowcases available, which you can cut up and use for your shirt.

And if you really want to make every single one of those fabric roses yourself…There’s a great tutorial on Cut Out + Keep, submitted by one of my fave DIY’ers Stacie G. from Stars for Streetlights on making a Fendi-style rose dress, which you can adapt for making a shirt like this.  The shirt you want to make uses flat chiffon cording to make those roses – if you check out the trims section of your local fabric store, you can probably find this similar flat trim.

Good luck!

xoxox

Carly

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DIY Lacy Convertible Belt: Create Couture Challenge

Project #9 in my submissions for Style Sample Magazine and New York Design Shop’s Create Couture Challenge back in early August.

You Need:

*Victoria Lace
*Cream Ruffle Stretch Trim
*Brown Sweater Style Stretch Trim
*Baby Single Face Satin Ribbon in Brown
*Large Iron-On Butterfly
*White Rose Pin (pin back only)

Additional Tools/Materials:

*scissors
*fabric glue
*hand-sewing needle
*matching thread
*black felt
*lighter
*iron
*sewing machine (optional)

[prep: iron ribbons and trim if kinked or curled]
How-to:

1. Cut Victoria Lace in half.

2. Place each side onto the edges of a piece of the Sweater Style Stretch Trim.  You can either glue them down with fabric glue, or sew them down.

4. Trim the end off the Sweater Style Stretch Trim.

5. Sew or glue down the Cream Ruffle Stretch Trim in the center, covering up the Sweater Style Stretch Trim.  I cut the Ruffle Trim a little shorter so it wouldn’t go completely all the way around my waist.

6. Cut the Satin Ribbon in half, on an angle.  Seal the ends with an open flame.

7. Hand-stitch the un-angled ends of the Satin Ribbon to the underside of each end of the Ruffle trim.

8. Iron the Butterfly on to the felt.

9. Trim the felt around the butterfly carefully.

10. Remove pin back from White Rose.

11. Hot-glue pin back to the wrong side of the butterfly, and pin to the belt.

A pretty and vintage-fabulous result for a pretty simple process!

You can wear this piece as a belt or as a headband – and the butterfly as a separate pin.

Choices, choices…

Happy DIY’ing!
xoxox
Carly

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DIY: Lace Top to Lace Vest

I’ve stuffed the stockings, laid out piles of prezzies under the Christmas Tree, emailed 18 of my closest friends holiday greetings, realized I’ve forgotten to stock my fridge with eggnog – and now I’m DIY’ing.
Isn’t that what Christmas is all about???:-)

The lacy ruffled vest: I know, it’s a strange concept. But I’ve been seeing these since summer in Tokyo – on all the coolest girls, and plastered all over the Japanese mags – where girls are using it as a feminine layering peice to tone down the masculinity of all that black, denim, and studs.

And it’s super-easy to make!

You Need:
*lacy long-sleeved top (I found mine at Goodwill – but you can probably find one at any thrift store – or even off-the-rack, since 80’s lacy stuff is experiencing a huge revival right now)

*fabric scissors
*sewing machine
*matching thread
*needle for finer woven fabrics

How To:

step11. Cut the sleeves off your top carefully so you leave the finished armhole seams on the shirt. Cut straight down the center of the shirt. (If your shirt didn’t have a V-neck before, cut the neck into a V-shape.)

2. Cut each sleeve in half vertically and spread open.

3. Place one sleeve on one side of the cut front of the top. (Orient the top of the sleeve cap at the end of the V- of the V-neck; and the sleeve itself centered on the cut CF edge. The sleeve bottom/cuff area will likely be slightly longer than your top length.) Stitch the sleeve to the top along your shirt’s cut edge. (not pictured)

4. Repeat for the other sleeve – attaching to the other side of the top’s center front vertical cut edge.

step55. Cut the sleeve edges into a scalloped pattern – you can follow the pattern of your lace – or cut in a vertical zigzag – or scalloped – it’s up to you. It may take a couple tries of cutting and then trying the piece on to see how the fabric falls – and adjusting after that.

done2You’re done!

Wear under a denim vest (my DIY here), layer under a fur vest, throw on over a slim-fit turtleneck – pair under a leather jacket or a men’s plaid top for the ultimate Victor/Victoria.

And if you don’t want to DIY – just buy – this adorable piece for $30 from jadelouse1’s Etsy store. (above)

Happy DIY’ing if you so choose – and Merry Christmas – Happy Hanukkah – and Superb (?) Kwanzaa!

xoxox
Carly

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