diy: velvet skirt

It took me almost 5 hours to complete this relatively simple elastic waist skirt, mostly because I’m horrible at sewing; I’m impatient and make a lot of mistakes as a result. But it’s finished! And I think I’ll actually wear it.

velvet skirt

When I saw this fabric at Jo-Ann Fabrics, I recalled American Apparel’s version. Although this velvet isn’t as thick or supple, it still has a nice texture. (P.S. I have some velvet pieces for sale at Water Lily Thrift if you’d rather buy than make a piece for yourself.)

velvet skirtI didn’t follow a pattern. I purchased a yard of fabric (which I had to cut down by about a quarter or a third yard to keep the elastic waist from getting too thick), cropped it to hit at mid-thigh, and sewed a casing for the elastic. I had major trouble with the elastic waist because the knit elastic I purchased kept folding over inside the casing; I recommend buying woven elastic, as it’s a bit sturdier. I used a safety pin fastened to the end of the elastic to push it through the casing.

I left the hem unfinished, as the fabric curls under naturally, but I may finish it off when I get the energy to work on it again.

The total cost for this project was about $10.00. Not super cheap but less than American Apparel’s $38.00 price tag.

Sources: American Apparel skirt, Outfit

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images & inspiration

pretty things

  1. Rachel Antonoff for Bass Fleur Wedges
  2. Sara Sherman Samuel’s pretty studio
  3. P.S. I Made This… Graphic Print Napkin tutorial
  4. An eight year old with a marmot he befriended in the Austrian Alps
  5. Elsie’s dining room makeover
  6. This quote – it encouraged me to clear some stuff out this week (could not locate source)

diy: studded pullover

I bought a plain pullover on clearance originally intending to embellish it like this one. But when I got to the craft store, the only iron-on animal applique that caught my eye was the same one used in the tutorial and I really didn’t want a shiny fox. I wanted something cool, like a deer or an un-shiny fox.

I brainstormed for entirely too long while walking up and down the aisles of Jo-Ann Fabrics, then found myself back in the applique aisle, considering studded shoulders. I took the plunge, buying two sheets of iron-on studs. The next evening, The Clothes Horse was wearing an ASOS studded-shoulder pullover and I knew I’d made the right decision.

the clothes horse studsstudded pullover diySupplies: Plain pullover, Iron-on studs, Iron

studded shoulder pulloverI caution you against buying a mini iron for, although it was invented specifically for use with iron-on appliques, it doesn’t get hot enough to achieve satisfactory results. It took far too long to convince the glue to melt and the studs to stick. Some are still loose. I should have purchased a regular iron.

images & inspiration

  1. I love the composition and timeliness of this photograph by Elizabeth Messina for The Huffington Post.
  2. Stripes and polka dots in fall colors appeal to me.
  3. Inspired by Downton Abbey’s Season 3 wardrobe.
  4. I’ve seen a few building projects that use unfinished crates from Michael’s, but this is one I might actually do.
  5. The setting of this image makes very little sense, but I like the outfit and the stacks of books.
  6. A photo by Paper Crowns, a Charlottesville blogger!

It’s almost time to write a four months in Charlottesville post. Isn’t it weird that it’s practically December?

Jacob’s Ladder

Daniel and I visited Circa, our favorite antiques store in town, on Saturday. I stumbled upon a really cool Jacob’s Ladder limited edition art print in the dollar room, where everything happened to be on sale for 50 cents. The rungs of the ladder and Jacob’s sleeping body are formed entirely in Hebrew cursive script. The artist signed his or her name as kaf yod shin (I think) and the print is 221/250 and embossed with a “Made in Israel” stamp. The print was custom framed in 1999. If it looks familiar to you at all, please let me know. I have been struggling to find the history of the artist and the print. Since I am not familiar with Hebrew cursive, it’s more difficult for me to decipher the markings than if it were in block lettering.

The print was originally framed in a gold metal sectional with brown and gold matting. There was no glass over it, so both the matting and print were scuffed and damaged. Upon further investigation, it appears that the matting was originally black and had faded significantly over time.

I had some scrap mat cut to size at my local frame shop, purchased some plexiglas, then repainted a thrifted 16×20 frame with semi-gloss black paint for a more contemporary look.  I re-framed the print at home with my staple gun and framing kit, then hung it in my bedroom.

It’s annoying that I’m in these images thanks to plexiglas glare

The total cost of the project was about $10.00, including the print. If you can read Hebrew cursive or are familiar with the artist, please let me know (click on each image to see it larger).

I love discovering treasures for cheap.

home tour: The Kitchen

It’s difficult to keep our tiny kitchen clean enough to photograph most days. If there’s one space that’s really lacking in our rental, it’s this room. There’s no dishwasher, which I can deal with, but the lack of counter space can make it difficult to tackle basic kitchen tasks and previous tenants have added an odd assortment of hooks, nails, and pins to the walls and ripped a hole in the linoleum. We’ve had to get creative with counter top appliance placement, facing the microwave out to the great room to take advantage of the open counter design.

The room theme is a bit rustic on accident. Daniel’s mother made the needle art early on in her marriage and gave it to her parents-in-law. They gave it to us as a wedding present and it has shaped the overall feel of our kitchen ever since. I purchased the “Equal but different” tea towel on Fab and stretched it over canvas stretcher bars when I still worked as a framer. I made the unfinished clothes line frame to hold post cards, but decided to feature favorite photos of loved ones and travel destinations this time around. I love looking at beautiful faces and places and getting nostalgic. Nostalgia is particularly suited to the kitchen, I think.

Custom cutting board, wedding gift; Swedish pot pad from my parents; Candles and holder, wedding gifts; Ceramic vases handmade by my sister.

There you have it. This is the cleanest the kitchen will ever be, so I hope you enjoy it.

 

home tour: The Craft Room

The craft room has technically been as finished as it’s going to get for at least a month, but I’ve been so busy stocking my shop and sewing that it’s always a mess. I cleaned it up just for this home tour.

This is the space that’s solely mine in the house. I gave Daniel a lovely “library,” but he only goes in it to chill with our pet rats. At least I tried.

Vintage and supplies

Sleeping at Last album art, crafts books, supplies, vintage to be altered

I repainted the edges of this desk that we picked up at the local Habitat Restore to give it a clean finish. I bought the shelf at the Good Cents store in Tallahassee and gave it several coats of semigloss black paint.

Wedding photo transferred onto canvas, engagement photo canvas DIY, wedding photo in thrifted frame

I picked up the old window frame above outside an art studio at Railroad Square in Tallahassee during a portrait session. I added some covered cork board to two of the holes with patience and a staple gun. I’m not sure if this is the finished look or not, but I’m good with it for the time being.

These curtains were a thrifted find. I initially planned to make a crazy skirt out of the fabric, but, in the end, they got to fulfill their intended use. They’re a bit childish, but they work in this room.

Edit 10/1: Perfect timing! ModCloth just announced their “Awe & Order” contest, highlighting the efforts of fans with great organizational skillz. If you like this room, please vote for my entry here! Thanks. 

home tour: The Dining Room

I finally finished the dining room decor and layout this afternoon. We had makeshift curtains up for the past month and a half, but they weren’t working for me. I lightened a queen-sized tapestry we already owned, then cut it into curtains. I was hesitant to go with the yellow-beige tone in the main room, but it seems I can’t stray far from a retro ’60s/’70s vibe; I guess the house has inspired me.

We’ve been making due with only one lamp in the living/dining area, but when night fell, I couldn’t really see anything while working at my computer from the table. I needed something extremely economical that wouldn’t look too tacky. When World Market sent me a 15% off coupon for my birthday, I decided on a paper lantern. Of course, whenever we settle into a real house someday, we’ll find something more permanent, but this works well for the time being.

Moose carving from antique store, frame made by Indiana artisan, thrifted owl print

We happened upon this Sally Gregory piece from the 1970s at an antique store in Ruckersville about a month ago. Since we knew nothing about the artist, we decided to do some research before purchasing the piece. It turns out that she was best known for her children’s book illustrations; pieces like this rarely ended up in the U.S. since she was known, for the most part, only throughout Britain. I was overjoyed when I walked into the store this morning and found it right where we saw it last! Each section represents a season of the year. The women are bedecked in pretty, flowing garments and the curving black stems and branches recall the style of art nouveau, which is what drew me to the piece initially.

Rose scented candle, ceramic dish handmade by my sister