DIY Quilted Vinyl Midi Skirt it’s still Winter and I wanted a (p)leather skirt – midi length, so demure, yet made of a material that’s a little reminiscent of biker gangs. That’s just how I roll.

Midi-length leather and pleather skirts have been a Winter staple for awhile – and I love that the quilting pushes it into Chanel-esque territory without being anywhere near that price-point. Plus quilting can hide fabric (or pleather) that is actually quite cheap and force it to look more expensive. And no hemming required! Here’s how:

You Need:

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DIY Balenciaga Cut-Out Boots

             This is a long tutorial, so please bear with me!:-)

I’ve had to divide it into 4 stages to make it a bit easier to deal with.  The end result is fairly dependent on the boots you started with, and what the hardware you add looks like. (more…)

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Guest Post: DIY Celine-Inspired Leather Pocket Blazer from A Pair and a Spare

Today we have our first guest post ever here at Chic Steals…from Geneva over at A Pair and a Spare!  If you’re not familiar with her fabulous blog, you’ve truly been missing out!  She posts daily DIY inspiration – with tons of runway and editorial photos and DIY hints, as well as simple and chic DIY tutorials and creations of her own.  (A leather bustier trompe l’oiel sweater?  A leather collar blouse?  A lip-print blouse and smudged stripe breton shirt; pleated pants belted super-high?  (And did I mention her incredibly helpful series of articles on how to makeover your wardrobe: DIY Wardrobe Rehab Project?  I’ve begun using her methods and it’s really paying off in my own wardrobe!)  Definitely pay her blog a visit and start browsing through her archives…I guarantee you your fingers will start itching to DIY something within minutes!!  So take it away, Geneva!…

DIY Weekly – Celine Inspired Leather Pocket Blazer

I saw these beautiful oversized leather pockets on dresses and blazers at one of Celine’s runway shows recently, and thought they looked chic and totally DIYable.

What you’ll need: (more…)

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Don’t Buy, DIY: Christian Louboutin for Rodarte Super-Spiked Heels

This was a lo-o–ooooong time in coming. Hope you guys didn’t get bored waiting!:-)

The highly, highly coveted Christian Louboutin for Rodarte spike heels – only sold for a short time at Christian Louboutin boutiques in Fall of ’08, never showing up at Net-a-Porter, not ever appearing on eBay. Victoria Beckham even stepped out in the gorgeous gold ones below. But how to get a pair for oneself?


The RedSole version.

Of course, you could always fork over $188 for the black knockoffs over at RedSole (or here for the gold ones, pictured above). They’ve changed that texturized (Swarovski-encrusted?) area on the toe to snakeskin, and the heel isn’t as high or as skinny, but it’s a fairly good knockoff…if you want to pay $188.

(source: Fashion Mongers)
You could always DIY your own following the instructions at Fashion Mongers here for a similar style also in the Rodarte line.
But I wanted the exact same style as the shoes above on the right, butin black- and I haven’t found any DIY tutes out there on the Internet yet (correct me if I’m wrong!:-) So here ya go – step by step!

I have to break the process into multiple steps, since this is quite long though not excessively complicated. So, in 4 Parts:

To DIY Your Own Pair of Rodarte Spiked Heels You Will Need: (after the jump)


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Don’t Buy, DIY: Sex and the City Half-Scoop Gloves

So, were you watching the last Sex and the City movie close enough to notice those adorable half-gloves Carrie was wearing while using a pay phone in one scene?

Such a subtle difference to the regular wrist-length leather glove…but oh so cute. The gloves were actually from Ines Gloves, available for $147.

Ines gloves…so cute…but oh so expensive too. Why does this hand model lady have such hairy arms? This confuses me…and dissuades me from wanting to spend that $147 for some reason.

But we wouldn’t think of paying that much for such a simple accessory, now would we?

So why buy when you can D.I.Y.?!
Enter a typical pair of wrist-length leather gloves (mine I got at the Buffalo Exchange for $8). Wish that they were gray or brown…but c’est la vie. (I didn’t want to go through the whole rigmarole of painting them with leather paint…or worse yet, attempting to dye them. I don’t even know if that would be possible with black gloves. In any case.)

By using the photos on the website as reference, I sketched the scoop shape using an eraseable fabric pen onto the gloves.

You can see the white lines on the gloves…I tried a couple variations before deciding on the shape. Always make sure your pencil comes off of leather BEFORE you draw all over your gloves!

Add 1/4″ seam allowance below the line, and cut with a pair of sharp shears. Behold the scoop shape!Cut with a pair of sharp shears. I don’t have leather scissors, for some insane reason. Oh yes, because they’re ridiculously expensive and I just squandered my available funds on some new sewing scissors.

Using Loctite Vinyl, Fabric, and Plastic Glue, turn under that 1/4″ seam allowance and secure it to the underside of the glove. (Barge cement is a be-otch to work with since you have to wait 15 minutes after applying it before sticking your surfaces together…a total hang-up for a DIY’er in a rush like me…) ‘Tis necessary to glue the seam allowance since leather gloves are usually made from a thin and soft lambskin…which rolls and shifts uncontrollably as you sew it on a home sewing machine…unless you’re an all-star with sewing lightweight leathers, I’d recommend gluing it down to get that clean seam first!

The seam allowance glued (for the most part) down to the inside.

Then, using a leather needle (medium-weight leather, since we’re going through two thicknesses + two thicknesses of the lining), edge-stitch about 1/8″ from the edge of your gloves to secure that hem. (sorry no photo of the stitching…couldn’t work with the sewing of something black, with black thread, in a might-as-well-be-pitch-black poorly-lit sewing room.)

You’re done! Step back and admire.

Use a longer stitch than you normally would when it comes to leather…and a good tip when sewing leather is to crank the needle forward manually so that it has pierced the leather completely…BEFORE pressing with the presser foot of the machine to sew your line of stitching. Start sewing with the needle already in the leather to say it another way. Also, you can’t go super-fast or super-slow…there’s a happy medium where your machine’s feed dogs advance the leather at the right speed, the needle punches through the leather without jarring and hitting the needle plate, and the needle goes in vertically and doesn’t hit the bobbin case. Too fast and the aforementioned problems will crop up; too slow and the needle won’t punch through the leather. It’s different for every machine – just something you need to experiment with. (Of course, if you’re using a heavy-duty/industrial machine for sewing leather, you can completely ignore what I’ve just written.:-)

When starting your line of sewing, DO NOT BACKSTITCH. Go all the way around the edge, then back into the first ONE or TWO stitches you did at the beginning of the line. Backstitch ONCE. This will create a nice, professional look to your stitching.

Also, do not start stitching directly on a seamline. This will usually cause the needle to jar and hit your presser foot/needle plate/bobbin case. Sewing machine needles for leather (for the home sewing machine) are pieces of s$#@. They will snap willfully at ANY irregularity of thicknesses in your material; or bend and not punch the leather vertically at certain speeds…ugh. Buy more needles than you think you need!

Can’t wait to work these in a new outfit…the leather glove is THE must-have accessory this Fall, so rock it while you can!

Happy DIY’ing!


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