Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Grunge Autumn - Fashion Post #2

Following with my last post, here's another outfit I absolutely love, and follows the grunge style basics.

Floral Tank Dress: Handmade, thrifted- $3.90

Black Cardigan: Given to by mom- free

Suede Tan Vintage Purse: thrifted- $4

Tan Crochet Circle Scarf: made by me, yarn as a gift- free

Studded Tan Boots: from Urban Outfitters sale - $24.00

(Same tan socks and necklace from last post)
Socks: Marshall's - $3.99

Necklace: Urban Outfitters sale - $24.99

TOTAL: $60.88
(the necklace was the most expensive item!, so without this necklace, the outfit totals $35.89!)

I love these studded boots. I bought them after they went on sale at Urban Outfitters in 2010. Surprisingly, they are still holding up after two winters, and the weathering on the front of the shoe looks great.
 I made this scarf from yarn my brother bought me from Purl Soho in Manhattan this past May. I've been wanting to make a super soft circle scarf that would match most my clothing. This alpaca yarn is SO soft and was quick to make up, I made up this pattern and it turned out great.

The cardigan was given to me by my mom. Seriously, don't under estimate your loved one's closets. My mom bought this from Marshall's several years ago, and it didn't fit her. Marshall's has great designer brands for cheap prices (especially on clearance). Sometimes, you have to go more than once or twice if you're looking for something in particular, but sometimes that's the fun of it :)

And, this dress! I actually posted about it in June, find that post here. It's a handmade dress in a floral print that I luckily found at a thrift store! It's big, so it needs to be belted when worn, but it's worth it! Nicely, the dress is midi length and conservative tank sleeves, great for work!
Floral prints are a grunge staple - scavenge your local thrift stores, you will definitely find something!

Lastly, this suede purse - oh it's so soft and has cute gold tabs on the side. It's a nice hobo that fits across one shoulder, and it is big enough for me to bring to work. Plus, it was only $4 at a thrift store for quality suede.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Grunge Autumn - Fashion Post #1

With the changing of the seasons, I like to change my fashion style with it. Each summer, I've been committed to "metal summer [inset year here]" and I've been sad to see each metal summer go (metal meaning I wear high waisted black cut off jeans/shorts, bra bandeaus with cut off metal band t-shirts, heavy jewelry, occasional studded items, solid colored tees, and flats).

So for the fall, I've decided to dress 90s grunge with a modern update. Also, I need the grunge look to be suitable for work, since I'm there five days a week. What's the point of changing your style if you can't be a working woman, too?!

For the next few weeks, I wanted to reach out to my fashion side and show you some stylings and how much they cost to add some new "grunge" items to your wardrobe. Don't be afraid to get creative, too. I already asked my mom to find my sisters early 90s jean jacket, but she couldn't find it anywhere! Now thinking about it, my sister would wear everything 8 sizes too big, so it probably would have been down to my knees. I'll just have to go on the hunt at thrift stores.

Here's an outfit I wore yesterday. While it may not be work appropriate for your work place, my work is a little more relaxed (or I just dress like this and no one has ever said anything). But you can always alter the look to suit your purposes.

While Steve was trying on a suit for the wedding,  I captured this photo!

Here's a better photo of the outfit, modified a bit:

Tunic: vintage silk paisley earth tone tunic, purchased from Ania's shop alacloth on etsy - from her sale section for $12 - really a great deal for such lovely silk!

Belt: handed down from my mom - free

Black leggings: on sale at urban outfitters: $6.99

Black chain collar necklace: on sale at Urban Outfitters - $24.99

Marbled tan socks: Marshall's - $3.99

Black "Revenge" boots: Macy's on sale - $35

TOTAL: $82.97
Seems like a hefty total, but for staple pieces like the black boots, it's completely worth the extra cash.

Now about this belt from my mom... I have a very faint memory of her wearing this belt, but when I found it in her closet a few years ago, she insisted I take it because it reminded her of the 80s too much. This belt does NOT look 80s to me at all. It looks super bohemian-chic and definitely my favorite waist-cincher. Sifting through your mom, grandma, aunt, etc closets will not only find you treasures, but your family members probably don't want those items anymore and would be happy you're finding a new use for them.

If you find a belt like this, do not put it in your carry on luggage. I brought it on a flight a year ago and security had to pull Steve and I aside because they told us it was serious and it looks like we had a few knives. I certainly did not bring it on the returning flight and had my sister mail it back to me.

And don't you just love the detail of that tunic? The colors are great for fall! Pairing the bohemian tunic and belt with black leggings, a heavy black necklace and tall black boots bring the outfit back down from flowers/happiness to a level of grunge and authority.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

DIY Peter Pan Collar Necklace

I really like the new trend of these necklaces - collar chain necklaces!

I bought this necklace recently because I really liked the interlinking loops and the necklace has a nice weight to it. I bought it from Urban Outfitters on sale for $24.99. While I didn't mind paying that much for something I knew I couldn't make myself, other simple collar chain necklaces shouldn't be priced this much unless they are made from precious metal. I've seen tons of simple peter pan collar necklaces online - Etsy sellers, Forever 21 (which would probably break in two uses), Free People ($498 for a chain, non-precious metal!).

If you have some necklace chains laying around, you can easily make this peter pan collar necklace! If you don't have a long chain, go to your local thrift store- I'm sure you can find a simple chain for less than $2. The necklace I'm making is close to a choker size, so take that into consideration when making if you want it to sit lower on your chest.

For the necklace, you will need:
-A chain of your choice, at least 33" long, with a clasp and loop
-Three small O rings (I used extra rings from other necklaces I wasn't using)
-Ruler/Fabric measuring tape
-Needle nose pliers

Here's the template for the necklace. It might help to draw this template on paper with exact measurements, then place your chain over the drawing to get exact sizes!

1. Measure a 17" long piece of chain and use the needle nose pliers to unhook the extra chain from the 17" piece.
2. Using the remaining leftover chain, measure two 8" pieces and use the needle nose pliers to break free these pieces from the rest of the chain. Set the extra chain piece to the side, as you don't need it anymore.
3. Using the long, main piece of chain, measure the exact middle between ends. If you are using the 17" chain size, the exact middle would be 8.5" in from the end.
4. After finding the middle, attach one of the O rings in this middle. Before closing the loop, tread in both of the 8" pieces. Then using the needle nose pliers, close the O ring.
5. Lastly, measure 2" from the end towards the middle (or 6.5" from the middle O ring towards the ends), and add another O ring at this spot. Add the other end of one of the 8" chains to this loop. Close the loop with the needle nose pliers.
6. Repeat step 5 with the other 8" chain on the other size, using the third O ring.

I made two of these necklaces. This one is in a thicker, interlocking gold loop chain:

The other one I made is in a simple, gold chain that had some black tarnish on it (which I thought looked cute).

I love the way these necklaces look with both collared shirts and shirts without collars! You can button your shirt all the way up if it has a collar and wear the necklace over your shirt. Most of all, have fun making the necklace - it makes great gifts, too :)

Sunday, August 12, 2012

New Dress Form (Or Mannequin...)

I finally found one! I got a dress form for my craft room, to help with photographing my Etsy items!

Okay, so it's not really a dress form... maybe for Barbie, not me. It was used as a clothing display mannequin at J.Crew in Center City Philadelphia. A friend of a friend works for a cleaning company and J.Crew was throwing out ALL of their mannequins. The base on this puppy is awesome, super heavy duty black metal with an (un-functional) cool pedal, and the body moves easily up and down the base. Plus, it's on wheels!! Already Happy about the wheels, I can photograph the front, roll quickly and photograph the back in a snap.

Really, throwing all of these out? Thankfully, the friend of a friend decided to keep all 40 of these and resell them.

I got a great deal, and I already re-photographed some of my Etsy items :) Like this 80's sweater vest that looks SO much better on a body rather than a hanger... Darn oversized 80s...

I've always wanted to set out my next day outfit on a mannequin, and I think I'll start doing that!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Popcorn Stitch Striped Baby Blanket

My nephew's first birthday just came and went, and for his birthday, I made him another blanket. I think the gifts we make for one another are the gifts everyone remember and hold dear to their hearts. I can see my nephew growing up with his blankets, knowing his aunt made them for him when he was little.

I decided to do a whole blanket of popcorn stitches. I picked the popcorn stitch because I thought it would be fun for a one year old to run his hands through the blanket and grab the little popcorns because they will almost never come out. I finally taught myself how to do a proper popcorn stitch. Then I realized how long of a project this blanket would be. Also, I'm still trying to learn when to stitch in the turning chain, or when not to. So the two sides of this blanket came out really (really really) wonky. I tried to fix it with the borders, but it was not really going to fix all my mistakes after mistakes. My theory is if my nephew uses the blanket enough and it gets dirty and it has to be washed, it will just blend in as an aged, old treasure.

I made up the pattern, starting with about 120 chains, then double crochet in the next row, then the next would be the popcorn stitches. I used single crochet until I was ready for the popcorn stitch, which is 5 double crochets all together in one stitch. Then three single crochet between each popcorn. After the popcorn row, I switched colors then started over (with the double crochet row). The I just alternated where the popcorn stitch would fall, so they weren't in row, but more a scattered pattern.

Lastly, as I said before, I tried to fix the wonky edges by adding a border. I used a white double crochet, blue single crochet, then a white slip stitch for the final edge.

It took me about 50 minutes to do one row of colors - I did 36 rows of colors - meaning just the stripes of the blanket took me about 30 hours. Add on the border, I probably spent 5 hours. Not to mention the about 3 hours I spent weaving and tying all those loose ends. Okay, so a 38 hour blanket! I always think these projects take much less time than they do!

Hopefully my nephew loves this blanket and will remember his auntie every time he hugs it.

note the strange edges, especially on the right... don't tell anyone!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Vintage Designer Purses! - Dooney & Bourke

It's super rare when you find fabulous designer purses in almost pristine condition. I hit the jackpot! I found two Dooney and Bourke leather purses, both in awesome condition.

The first is a super rare shape/style, made early in the 1980's by the starting up company. It still has the original tag attached - why someone didn't use this purse beats me. It's a beautiful military green color with tan trim and the leather is SO soft.

Find this purse on my Etsy page, here!!

The other purse I found is a more classic shape, the tack bag, in navy leather with tan trim. Another vintage purse in fabulous condition, and the cute all weather leather duck on the brass fob.
Find this navy Dooney and Bourke purse here!!!

I wish I could keep these purses, they are so fabulous, but I know someone has been looking for something similar, so snatch them up while they are on my site :)