Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Adventures in Unconventional Sewing Part I

     Sometimes I get a picture in my head of a specific dress that I want, but no matter how many hours I spend searching for it, I can't seem to find the perfect fit. Enter fabric, thread, sewing machine, and a few hours of my time. I am by no means an expert seamstress and this was the first time I've really sewn on my own. In fact, I hate conventional sewing...absolutely hate it! All the technicalities of following a pattern bore me to death and I usually end up skipping ahead due to my impatience. When I was little I would ask my mom if I could help her with her current sewing project, but by the first ten minutes of reading the pattern instructions I would lose interest. Most sewing projects I've done before have either ended up half-finished or finished for me by someone else, so when I was faced with a prom dress dilemma this spring I decided to get a fresh start on my sewing experience.

     As a senior this year, I knew I wanted to go to the junior prom, but I also knew that I couldn't afford an extravagant dress since I had already gotten one for my own junior prom last year. I looked around for cheap dresses at stores like Charlotte Russe but with that comes the possibility of someone else wearing a duplicate of a widely produced dress sold in thousands of stores across the country. Plus, I couldn't get this amazing dress from Nasty Gal out of my head. I knew I wanted something unique, edgy, and affordable so there was only one other option...making my own!

     I sketched up exactly how I wanted my dream dress to look during a boring day in Americana--comfortable to dance in, subtly sexy, figure-flattering, and in club-worthy metallic. I not only wanted something unique, but something I could see myself in months from now at a party in Boston.

Some magazine clippings, my drawing, and a fabric swatch as my inspiration.

     After my design was finished it was time to collect all my supplies and get started. In the beginning I wanted a gold lamé fabric, but after finding out that lamé was extremely hard to track down, I found a dark green fabric with a hint of gold shimmer that was better. I had to do some more improvising when I couldn't find a pattern I could work off of. Instead, I saved more money by making my own! I laid out large sheets of paper and traced a strapless dress I already had for a base. I then altered it to my design and measured everything to ensure that it would fit.

Creating a relative pattern for my dress.

     Then came putting the pieces together! From the start I didn't want anything to be too complicated so I came up with my way of risk-taking, no-regrets, dive-right-in sewing! I just stitched the places I thought should be sewn and went from there. If I made a mistake I adjusted whatever I had to. Around ten hours later, it had gone from a few lines on paper to a wearable dress!

My friend Rose and I went to the prom together...girls' night out!

     I'm really glad I ended up making my dress for prom this year. I always love making things I can wear and it felt really good to put effort into something that I could be proud of. I also think that this sewing experiment made me discover another way to express myself and take risks. Making bold moves such as cutting fabric without a very scientific pattern and sewing away even if I wasn't sure how the end product was going to come out also made me more confident in my sewing skills. Doing things your own way can be rewarding in so many ways and I hope that I've inspired at least one person to try it. Whether you make your own necklace or rip a tee to look like a runway creation, sometimes it's what you can make with your hands that is more special than what money can buy!

To be continued...

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Dior Meets Katy Perry

     Summer is always a fun time to try different make-up looks and I'm a fan of the one seen at Christian Dior for the Spring 2011 show. The candy-colored eye shadows and bright, popping lipstick is totally Katy Perry, and who better to look to for fun make-up inspiration? I also love that they topped off the whole look with vibrant barrel-curls to achieve the complete Katy style!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Guest Post: F is for Fetish

          With Fetish looking set to be Autumn/Winter’s most influential trend, we thought we would get a fashion head start and take a trip to the dark side and take a look at our plethora of designer jewelry.

Of course fetish is nothing new, but the popularity of its latest re-vamp has skyrocketed since the endorsement of Lady Gaga, Rihanna and of course recent CFDA winner Marc Jacobs, whose entire runways were swathed in fashionista fetish get-up.
 When it comes to 2011/2012 fetish, think more Park Avenue Princess than Soho Siren as leather, rubber and Perspex become your new best friends. From leather tote handbags, designer cuff bracelets to even leather designer belts, this season, it’s all about going for bold. Of course one of the things that excites us so much about this trend is the unique, off-the-beaten-track and personal nature of it which of course is what is all about. A trend sure not to be championed by every Francine Fashionista. this is one of the easiest ways this winter to mark your individuality and stand out for your unique and personal fashion interpretation.
U studded belt by ARTESSARIO  
Making their way to the top of our ‘must-have’ fetish list is Michelle Lowe-Holder and her large leather cuff. Hailing from the UK, Michelle’s pieces are truly one of a kind, using antique and vintage material that is mostly ethically or sustainably produced.
Large leather cuff by Michelle Lowe Holder

The thing that we love most about BRAI Jewelry’s designs is that the patterns are not just patterns, they are in fact braille. Stumbling one day across a braille covered medical packet, designer Claire Naa found herself intrigued with its beauty and graphic charm, making her Alphabet bracelet for women, made with leather and steel, just the fetish ticket.
Braille Alphabet Leather Bracelet by BRAI Jewelry 
And the fun doesn’t stop there either with Boticca’s medley of fun, frivolous and above all fetish inspired treats available here.

Friday, July 8, 2011

South Carolina

     Hey everyone! I got back earlier this week from my trip with my family to Charleston, South Carolina to visit my sister, Heather. It was so much fun and we even got to visit our long-time family friends for a day too. The weather was hot every day, which wasn't a problem for me at all, but the water was always warm! So as enjoyable as it was to swim in it, it wasn't very refreshing. We spent a couple days walking around in downtown Charleston and looking around in little shops. The town is so beautiful and the houses are gorgeous!

The first day that we spent in downtown Charleston we ate lunch at a yummy Greek restaurant.

I just had to get a couple pictures in front of Louis Vuitton!

The palm trees were such a pretty touch lining the sidewalks.

My brother and I had a water gun war in our friends' pool!  

There were some really ornate front doors on all the beautiful homes in the Battery of Charleston.

The smaller homes were just picturesque!

This theater looked like a cute hang-out spot.
This church gave the town such an old-world feel.
We stopped walking around for a little ice-cream break!
This home overlooking the water was one of my favorites.
Heather and I posing at the Charleston Crab House.

We got these bracelets earlier that day at the Charleston City Market. The woman who made them uses authentic materials from Africa and embraces her heritage by creating unique jewelry designs. You can visit her website and look through the jewelry that she sells online here.
Last, but not least, my sister's little puppy Doberman named Brody. He's so adorable!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Who Belongs to These Shoes Vol. 28

The answer to the last week's pair...

Elle Fanning

The young starlet wore a Dolce & Gabbana romper with her matching floral
wedges at the 2011 MTV Movie Awards in California.

She even added clever, lilac eyeliner to her otherwise very minimal-chic makeup look.

Here with JJ Abrams, Joel Courtney, and Steven Spielberg.

Where to find shoes like Elle's:"  style="outline:none;border:none">" alt="Naturalizer, Moda Spana, Tommy Hilfiger, Chinese Laundry" style="margin:0;border:0 none;position:absolute;left:0;top:0">" style="color:#606060;background-color:transparent;font:11px Verdana,sans-serif;text-decoration:none">Sandals at DSW" style="color:#606060;background-color:transparent;font:11px Verdana,sans-serif;text-decoration:none">Platforms by Chinese Laundry"> src="" alt="ShopStyle" style="border-style:none;position:absolute;right:6px;bottom:6px;margin:0">

This will be my last regularly posted Who Belongs to These Shoes. I would like to focus my time on different subjects in posts, but I will still post these from time to time.
See the full WBTS archive here.