DIY: Bling It On

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Top: Emerson @ BigW

Skirt: Youtheary Khmer

Shoes: Wittner

Necklace: DIY

Yes! Hi! Hello! Not dead, obviously!

Two weeks since my last post. Bad blogger.

This year is just racing away, I can’t believe it’s almost October, though I’m glad to see the blossoms in the trees, the warmer days, the light that lingers into the evening.

I bought this skirt while I was in New York at FFFWeek, and this is the first time it’s really been warm enough to wear it. I snapped it up during the Curves In The City Shopping event at the same time as Dani picked up the hot pink maxi version (which is an absolute showstopper!)

It’s a great little chiffon number – much better quality that the cheapie that I bought from eBay – in a kind of a tannish blush with a stretch lining and a zippered fastening. I’d’ve liked it a little peachier, and a little less brown in hue, but I can play up the pink with my new coral necklace which I DIY’d using the same technique as my favourite yellow beaded necklace.

I did promise a tutorial, so here we go!

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To start with, you’ll need some tiger tail beading wire: the plastic coated, kind of flexible kind, don’t buy the rigid beading wire because you want the beads to hang naturally. You’ll also need some chain (I chose antiqued bronze), some crimp beads, a clasp, and obviously the beads that want want to feature. For the yellow necklace I just used twelve largish faceted yellow beads, but for this necklace I wanted a graduated effect, so bought two different sizes of coral beads.

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Step 1. Start by threading a crimp bead over a length of tiger tail.

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Step 2. Thread the tiger tail through the last link of the chain.

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Step 3. Thread the tiger tail back through the crimp bed…

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Step 4. Draw the crimp bead tight up towards the chain, then crimp tight.

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Step 5. Lay out your beads how you’d like to thread them. To get the graduated effect I obviously had the large beads in the middle, then equal quantities of the smaller beads on either side. I made the coral necklace double layer, so I laid out a few more beads for the lower string than the upper.

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Step 6. Start threading!

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Step 7. As you reach the second thread of beading wire feed that through the first few beads as well.

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Step 8. When you reach the end of your row, repeat the order of crimp-chain-crimp, then feed the end of the tiger tail back though a few of the beads at this end, too.

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Step 9. Pull the tiger tail tight until the row of beads come up flush against the chain, then crimp the crimping bead closed, and trim both ends of excess tiger tail away.

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Step 10. Voila! At this point you should have pretty much the makings of a necklace.

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Step 11. Decide how long you’d like the necklace to be…

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Step 12. … and cut the chain to the right length.

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Step 13. Then attach the clasp at the two ends, and you’re done! One DIY’d beaded necklace! If you want to do the “advanced” (not really!) double strand version, just repeat the steps, making the second necklace a few centimetres longer, then attach the clasps to both necklaces, so the two are fastened with the same clasp.

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Happy crafting!

DIY: Hearts For Hens

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Blouse: Dorothy Perkins

Skirt: DIY

Shoes: Chie Mihara

You’re not imagining things – I’ll actually still be in NYC the day this post goes live, helping The Sophisticate celebrate an O-birthday – but I scheduled this to drop on the 13th of April, because I wanted to wish my baby sister a very happy and exciting Hen’s Day.

Hope you’ve had an amazing day, my darling girl, and I hope you’re enjoying the skirt!

This is a skirt ESPECIALLY made for celebrating love in, and I gave it to Mae to wear on her hen’s day (or not!) but first I took some photos in it so I could share it with you, dear readers, as it’s such a fun and easy DIY project.

I’ve had my eye on this fabulous flocked-heart netting since first spotting it in Spotlight, but it wasn’t until I found the wide red elastic that I decided to put my dream for the fabric into action and have a go at making a kind of Queen-of-Hearts-Tutu.

The instructions are pretty obvious.

To start with you’ll need a couple of metres each of the overlay fabric, an underskirt fabric, a wide strip of elastic suitable as a waistband, and thread to match.DSCF0999

Lay the fabric out and cut a pair of rectangles from each fabric, making them wide enough to fit round your body (with a bit extra for gathering) and as long as you want your skirt to be. Your top layer should be considerably wider than your underneath layer, and remember: the wider the rectangle, the fuller the skirt. So as you can see, the white underskirt will be much less full that the tulle overlay.

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For your waistband, take the elastic, and wrap it around your waist. I usually make it snug, but not too stretched, so it doesn’t cut in uncomfortably. Mark where the seam will be.

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Sew the waistband up with a sturdy satin stitch, so that it sits flat on both sides.

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Now thread your machine with the thread to match your underlay skirt, and sew the side seams (the short sides) together to made a big circle.

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To make the gathers, baste two lines of stitching close to one another along the waistline…DSCF1009

… then using four anchoring points – the two side seams, and the centre front & centre back – pin the underskirt to the waistband at regular intervals. This helps you guide the gathering.DSCF1010

Draw a loose threads from each line of the basting stitches, and begin pulling the fabric along them. This will create the gathers.DSCF1011

Keep pulling, until your skirt matches your waistband, then check to make sure your gathers are evenly spaced between each quadrant.

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Then, you do exactly the same steps with your overskirt. Sew the side seams together,DSCF1013

do the basting stitches for the gathering,DSCF1014_2

then gather the overlay skirt until it matches the underskirt (matching the side seams together again, for tidiness-sake)

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To keep the two layers of skirt together, stitch along the waist attaching the underskirt to the overlay with a zig-zig stitch. You can then trim the excess fabric off at the top, but be careful not to accidentally snip into the zig-zag stitching.

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Now, using many, many, many pins attach the waistband to the skirt(s) matching the centre back to the seam at the back of the waistband.

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And sew the waistband to the skirt, using a long zig-zag stitch, so that the elastic waistband can still be stretched.

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Once you’ve hemmed your skirt (if you use netting or tulle you will probably only have to do the underskirt, you don’t have to hem netting, you just just cut it to length) your new skirt is ready.

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If you don’t have a beautiful and much loved little sister with an upcoming hens day to share it with, too bad, you’ll have to keep it yourself.