Crafts, DIY, Fashion, Knitting, Sewing

Twinkle Knits and My First Sweater!

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Now that the weather in SoCal is starting to cool down, I thought it would be a great time to break out the needles! I absolutely refuse to knit when it’s warm out. Does that make me a bad knitter? I just can’t stand having the yarn weave through my fingers if I think my palms are about to get sweaty; it changes the texture of the yarn, I swear! I also have a strange dislike for complex knitting patterns… I find them to be intimidating. BUT after seeing the pattern for this sweater from Twinkle’s Big City Knits, I knew I was up for the challenge.

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Because it’s been a few months since I’ve knit anything, I also decided to start small and knit this cute little headband first, just so I can brush up on some simple techniques. I found the pattern here, and adjusted it a bit to fit the needles and yarn I had on hand. I’d have to say that while it does take off a few years (it makes me look waaaayy younger than I should), it’s just so darn adorable that I couldn’t resist!

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Anyway, back to the sweater! I have been coveting that book for quite some time now (it came out in 2007!), but since I have been a bit hesitant to buy any knitting book (remember, patterns scare me?), once I saw that they had a free pattern of one of their creations online, I hopped to it! AND, guess what? It actually wasn’t so bad!

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While I DID have to read over the pattern about a thousand times before I really understood everything, I think it was worth it to me to get out of my comfort zone for this one. I learned a few techniques that I’ve never done before, like bobbles and shaping, and in the end it turned out to be super cute, comfortable, and amazingly warm. The pattern can be found here (Canadian Living, not what you were expecting, right?) and I highly recommend it for a first-time-garment-knitter.

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Happy Knitting!

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DIY, Fashion, Places, Sewing

Maxi Dress and a Day with the Fiance

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Since work has been getting a tad stressful lately, I’ve been looking for any excuse to get out of the house or to at  least spend some time for myself and Robert. A few days ago I finished sewing a maxi dress, and since today was my day off (finally!!) I wanted to take it out for a spin, and what better place than the beach?

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It was a bit windy, yes haha. A lot of inspiration came from this ($3,000!!!) Chloe dress, but I chose a slightly bolder print and avoided the sheer overlay fabric. Robert and I are becoming regulars at the local swap meet, and I jumped for joy when I saw this fabric; for 6 bucks it was a pretty good steal.

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We paid a visit to Baguetier because I wanted to try out their raspberry rose croissant, which I’m sure is a take on Pierre Herme’s gorgeous Croissant Ispahan. It was pretty damn good too, although I would have wanted the rose flavour to be a tad more pronounced. Still totally worth the money, I’d say.

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Overall, it was a pretty amazing day. Tomorrow we plan on going to the fair, so here’s hoping your weekend is as good as (if not better) than mine!

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DIY, Fashion, Sewing

Golden Peplum

So I’ve wanted a fitted yellow dress for a while now, basically ever since I saw this Sugababes music video, and I’ve also been trying to figure out how to make a peplum dress for a long time too; what better time than in the midst of Spring?

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Cute, right? This one is from AX Paris, for $48. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find any sort of peplum dress anywhere here, and I’m also still trying to save up money for the wedding so buying one was out of the question. It was time to fire up the sewing machine once again!

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I chose a dark gold fabric with green undertones, and it actually came out pretty nice and was a lot easier to make than I thought. Basically you just make a simple pencil skirt, sew a mini circle skirt on top of it, and attach a basic tank top. From start to finish this dress took roughly 2 hours to make.

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Robert kept making me laugh in these pictures! Sigh, that boy! Anyway, while I’m not a big fan of ruffles, I think peplums add a nice touch of femininity to some dresses, and the bateau neckline keeps it classy.

If you want to make your own peplum dress, I suggest watching this video from LoveSewing.com, and have fun!

Create Your Own Office Peplum Dress

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DIY, Fashion, Sewing

High-Waisted Shorts and a Tale of Revenge

Last week I went out with a friend to a very well-known and high end shopping center in southern cali, which will remain unnamed for the story’s sake (hint: it has the same initials as the phrase “Some Cats Poop.”). Anyway, we were shopping around and came across the store Zara, where I spotted and quickly fell in love with these shorts.

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But alas, a dilemma arose when I saw the price tag. $40 for a pair of shorts that I could probably only wear during summer? I have a wedding to save up for, dammit, and here these shorts are, flaunting around their cuteness in front of me while I tried to hold back my impulse-buying senses. I decided to shop around to other stores before committing.

After shopping around, I decided that I NEED these shorts. Like, NOW. I head back to Zara, only to find that they are closing. I walk into the store, only to be promptly turned away by an employee.

“But I know what I want! I’m just gonna get one thing!”

“Sorry, WE’RE CLOSED.”

Well sheesh. There was certainly no need for raising your voice, and I was immediately off-put by her rudeness, almost angered by it. If someone came into my restaurant 1 minute before closing, we would still have sat him and offered him a menu as if he were the first person there, because that’s just good service, and I shouldn’t have to tell that to anyone working at SCP!

So, I was on a mission. What was the next best thing I could do? Make’em of course!

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I was certainly not going back to that place after that incident, so I furiously perused the interwebz for a free shorts pattern. I have never made shorts before, so it was somewhat of a challenge, but luckily I came across Danielle’s free pattern on Burdastyle. The pattern is actually for spandex volleyball shorts, but could be easily adjusted for what I wanted to achieve.

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Close-up of the buttons. I opted for a soft, stretchy camel-colored fabric; I wanted something neutral that could easily transition between any season.

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Et voila! I’ll admit that at first the pattern was a tad intimidating, as I haven’t used a sewing pattern in over 3 years. At first it was like I was cutting out a puzzle piece from hell, as I couldn’t quite figure out what piece goes where, but once I got it down it was actually quite simple. I adjusted it to make it high-waisted by adding a few inches to the top, and also added a few inches to the sides as the pattern is only offered in size small. I love that it came out looking very 1940’s-esque.

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So take that and shove it, snooty Zara saleswoman! I don’t need your overpriced clothing! Just kidding; I’ll probably go back another time wearing some sort of disguise, just so you don’t recognize me as the girl who tried to sneak in while you were about to close.

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DIY, Fashion, Sewing

Feeling the Heat

So I don’t know if it’s just me, but I swear 2012 went straight from winter to summer! Not that I don’t like it or anything, it’s just another excuse to wear more dresses, which I definitely don’t have a problem with.

Cream has to be one of my favorite colors of all time; it matches with pretty much any color, while still keeping the look very demure and classy. And, when paired with red, it adds a touch of spice.

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See what I mean? Rosie Huntington-Whiteley knows what I mean!

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The two colors together just make a dreamy, romantic combination, perfect for any summer dress. Last week I made a creamy crepe dress, and it came out really cute, but I thought it needed a little more ooomphh, if ya know what I mean.

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Red maxi skirt to the rescue! Woot! I decided to give it a lil’ hippy-chic feel and make a floor-length skirt to the equation, using the rest of the leftover fabric I had from the last dress I made. I’d say it was a success.

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Without the lace vest.

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The back. Excuse the bra! I also decided to make the straps cross at the back, just to keep things a little more interesting. The fabric for the skirt was soo light and flowy, making it perfect for summahtime and trips to the beach.  Anyway, I hope you guys enjoyed and keep craftin’!

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DIY, Fashion, Sewing

Red Hots

Last night I finished making another dress with some of the fabric I bought from LA, and I’d say it turned out pretty successful!

I attempted to make it look like this Sessun dress from Urban Outfitters:

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BUT since the fabric is a semi-sheer (and luxuriously soft!) cotton blend, I also decided to kind of close the back a little because there is no way on earth that I would wear that stuff without a bra (sorry, boys!)

So, with a little inspiration from this dress:

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I knew what I wanted to do 🙂

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Red isn’t a color that I typically wear (too flashy!), but I thought it would be nice to have one dress that’s an attention grabber, without being too revealing.

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Another view of the front

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View of the back. As it turns out, sitting in the car too long makes for a wrinkly dress. Well now I know! I really enjoyed making this dress; the only problems that I had were making the buttonholes. Apparently the fabric was too thin for my machine to make proper buttonholes with, so I ended up having to hand stitch them. NOT something I would recommend as my hand stitching is painfully ugly. Thankfully the buttons cover that!

Soo, let’s review:

Sessun Dress: $282 USD

Fabric ($2) + buttons ($9): $11 USD

Hopefully this post will inspire any amateur sewers out there to make (and wear!) their own stuff, and I hope you guys enjoyed!

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DIY, Fashion, Sewing

Quick Dress in a Day

This week I decided it was time to take a short break from all the wedding planning. I’m beginning to think that too much excitement gets overwhelming sometimes! Since Robert and I happened to both have Monday off work, we decided it was time to make another visit to Downtown LA, and this time I wanted to go to Fashion District.

One of my favorite stores in Fashion District happens to sell fabric by the pound, so expect a few more sewing posts in the coming weeks (I bought 8 lbs of fabric! yayy!).

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A few days ago I saw Moschino’s Cheap & Chic Belted Crepe Tunic Dress, and I knew it was what I wanted to make. Plus, £355? Really?? I think we can bring that number down!

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Seeing as how I already have 3 pink dresses, I opted for a pale sage green instead. I’d say my attempt was pretty successful! The fabric feels amazingly soft and light, and I feel good about keeping this dress in my everyday wardrobe.

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I didn’t use a pattern for this dress and basically just winged it, but I’d say it looks pretty amazing for something that only took 2 hours to make. And to be honest, it probably would have taken less time if I didn’t have so much trouble figuring out all the right side/wrong side nonsense!

Sooo, let’s see:

Moschino dress: £355.00 or about $467.43USD

Faux crepe fabric: about $3.00USD (I paid $2.50/lb)

I’d say I saved a pretty penny, wouldn’t you?

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