Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Venice Beach Clothing Swap

It's crazy, I know, the queen of recycling has never hosted a swap.  Well, I finally did it. No one else had the time or set-up this go round and I'm lucky enough to have access to the neighbor's yard so I made it happen.  I was nervous.  Would anyone come, would anyone bring anything good, would there be too much left over for me to handle?  I was mostly concerned about the turn-out- a leftover sentiment from my middle school anxiety-ridden fear of birthday party hosting.  Well, it turned out awesome.  Plenty of style starved ladies turned out and took out tons of clothes.  At one point, I was wondering if I was going to have to rent a UHaul to take it all away there was so much.  Thankfully, it dissipated, as people took their fair share of loot and I was only left with eight boxes to take to the shelter.

Chaise de bijoux
More tops than anyone could ever handle.

Food on the porch, clothes on the patio and a man?  Believe it or not, he even found some clothes.

So many shoes!  There were some happy size 8s in the house!

My friend Dany with her Ikea bag full of much needed work clothes.

Heather not only found her new favorite pants, but an exercise ball!  Clothing swaps- not just for clothing.
The clothes line full of dresses.

Marisa Lynch of www.newdressaday.com Cannot wait to see what she does with this In Living Color lycra crop-top.

Yay for swaps and friends with great clothes, (hats, scarves, and shoes)!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Book Purse

Hard back books are one of my favorite materials to craft with since they are so easily accessible and often in the trash.  This summer I taught a craft class at the Venice library on making books into purses.  Here is a quick, simple tutorial for those who came and want to make another, and for those of you who may just have a few books lying around that you would love to turn into a cute and practical accessory.  This project is especially good for young tweens who want to get creative.
1.  Remove interior pages from book by cutting at seam.

2.  Use pages to figure out how much fabric you'll need to span interior of book leaving a  1 inch seam allowance.

3.  Center, then glue to the spine.
4.  Notch fabric 1/4 inch up from top and bottom of cover.

5.  Glue to interior sides. 
6.  Make holes where handles will fall with a pin tool.  Add a page from the book to both interior sides to cover seams of fabric.

Almost done!

7.  Add 24 gauge wire for handles.

Optional: Add a paper flower for a bit of texture.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Men's Blazer Skirt and Collar

Once in a while, I'll come across an out-dated blazer in Chris' closet that's just begging to be D.I.Y.ed.  I usually use all of my self-control to put it back nicely, knowing that the next time he might want to squeeze into it again, it should be there but...well, I had a moment recently, and just grabbed a certain sports jacket that I figured he wouldn't miss.  It's been pretty toasty here in L.A., but fall's just around the corner, so I thought I'd take his old coat, turn it into a mini-skirt/collar necklace, and see what happens. One things for sure: he won't notice it's gone.  Anyway, here's what the old coat looks like, re-invented.

1.  Cut away collar leaving a 1/2" in the back.
Really sharp scissors are a must to get through all the layers.
2.  Hot glue a thick wide ribbon to the back to keep all the threads from fraying.
3.  Add a bauble to keep the two ends together.  I found this great leopard face at Berger's Beads, Downtown.

Chop the bottom of the blazer off and turn edge under, leaving enough of a channel for a 1" elastic to be threaded through.
2.  Run elastic through and sew together.

The pockets are totally functional still!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Baby-Doll Dress Purse

So what do you do when you have a wool baby doll dress, made for Iceland in the winter but are living in Southern California and not a baby?  Easy solution- turn it into an easy to carry, very chic for Fall, yellow handbag and belt set.  Let's face it, baby doll dresses don't look very good on anyone over the age of 12.  This dress was way too heavy for Southern California and just swallowed my dear friend up.  An easy sewing project that took less than 1/2 an hour- here is how it's done!
Purse and belt set.

1.  Cut top off dress.  You will see the top of this dress re-appear in another future project so take note.

2.  Cut bottom 12 inches off dress.

3.  Turn inside out.  Sew seam at the bottom cut with a machine.  Turn down top and hand-sew a whip-stitch 1/8" from cut, turning under to hide raw edge.  Add handles to top opening a couple of inches from each side, also by hand-sewing.  The inside of the purse is already naturally lined.
The pocket of the dress became a little pocket for keys/lipstick at the top back.  I took the ties from the back of the babydoll and attached them as handles by hand sewing them 2 inches from each side.

The thing I love about yellow is that it goes nicely with pink (above) or blue.  See how the cute front of the dress looks even better on a purse?