Monday, February 28, 2011

project: t-shirt scarf!!

Remember all those baggy old t-shirts from random points in your life? Bar/bat mitzvahs....sleepaway pride....that stuff that you keep for the memories but never actually wear? Well, now it gets a second life as a scarf!
This project began as a sorry tie-dyed shirt gone wrong. And I mean wrong. I was about 10 so I didn't yet understand that purple, red, yellow, and green should never be mixed on a gray background and then hung up to drip all over the fence. *shudder* it looked like translucent puke when I was done putting my poor shirt through the wringer.
I did this project a while ago so I didn't really take a before photo or step-by-step pics, but it's super easy anyway.

This is the scarf:
Yes, my camera's still having issues.

 stuff you'll need
-an old t-shirt

That's it! You don't even have to sew anything. What I did was chop off the fabric (cutting through both layers of the shirt at once, the line doesn't need to be perfectly straight) just below the armpits. We'll use the sleeves in a later project, don't worry. Then I cut small (2" to 3") fringe on the side without the hem (the side you just cut) all the way around. Cut the fringe wider than you would think; the fabric curls inward.

 Once you have done that, you are pretty much done! If you want to you can tie 2 fringe-a-doodads together to make little tasselly knots (I did). And now you have a hip scarf that gives everything a unique touch, cost nothing, and is green besides.
have fun!!
<3 kai

Sunday, February 27, 2011

savvy sunday

well hello thar....
sorry I haven't been posting for a while. I've been super busy with my dress for the fashion show!! Pics are coming soon, I promise. I'll post a sneak peak when I finish the accessories. :)
also I don't think this frugal friday is working so well....maybe it'll just have to turn into savvy saturday. 
anyway, my savvy tutorial for today isn't very exciting but it will probably come in handy. I like to call it the sweater-rescue tutorial.
It all started with another garment from my days of yore (third grade). It is a very cozy warm stripy knit cardigan that used to be a coat when I was 2 feet shorter. Behold!!

sorry for the terrible quality. My camera was being feisty. I think its on a weird setting.  I'm bad with machines (can you tell?).
 And that's another thing that prevented me from posting. My camera's on this weird setting where there's a long exposure (I think that's what its called) and the shutter doesn't snap close immediately, it takes its own sweet time. Basically it turns everything really blurry. If you know how to fix this please leave a comment.
The main problem with this sweater was not the fit (surprisingly it fit pretty well....the sleeves weren't even short on me!), it was a big ole tear along one of the sleeve seams.
Close-up of the damage

The damage, only less blurry and yellowish
 I used this really complicated and technical method to sew it up. There was a lot of fancy equipment involved.
-yarn (embroidery floss works too)
Basically, I tied the yarn to one of the loose stitches that used to be sewn together in the seam. Then I wove my yarn through the loose end stitches. For all you knitters out there it's exactly like stitching up the back of a hat.  Don't be afraid to pull the stitches a little wider so you can get the yarn through. You're really supposed to use an embroidery needle or something for this kinda stuff and you'll probably get a tighter seam with it, but fingers work fine.
Mad repairing skills in action!

As I was trying to figure out what was wrong with my camera, I snapped a couple shots of my cat Dervela as she dozed on the bed.

Close-up of my sleepy kitty
 And ze result??
Surgery successfully completed.

My glamorous model pose. The camera's still acting wonky.
Wahoo! Hope this helps you take your ripped sweaters out of the box in the attic!
<3 kai

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

project teaser.....

So, I have a school religions field trip Friday. It sounds like it should be an interesting experience, but there is a VERY strict dress code and I don't really have anything appropriate (think going to church in the 1800s only without the corsets and parasols). Ok. I'm exaggerating a little bit.
Well, I do declare!
I think this fits the bill perfectly! 
Si, amigos! (that was random). This dress is going to get a big, big revamp veddy soon. If I don't post it on Friday it's because I ran out of time and wore something else instead (which will probably happen). Apologies in advance. But I promise you this will come out of the closet and get a makeover soon (meaning hopefully within the month of February and if not definitely sometime in March).
Also, if you were wondering how I came to own such a dress....
It's from my second grade pioneer play (and yes, I still fit into it. No, I'm not anorexic! It was a little looser back then).

Saturday, February 19, 2011

savvy saturday

In a fit of euphoria over a now-working sewing machine I forgot to post a frugal friday post! Bad week and already off I decided to make it savvy saturday instead :)
 I actually did make these valentines for my mom and dad but forgot to post them until now *shameful face*
I started with these:
But what's this? you cry, reeling in shock. How could such....pediatric grandma shoes....ever grace the feet of one so stylish as moi? Well the truth is, my other sandals fell apart and I bought these because they are the most comfortable shoes ever invented, like wearing slippers. Heaven! And I wore them. For about a month.
Then I looked down and realized I looked like I should be wearing a sweater with hand-knitted kittens on it.
So, the refashioning begins.

 Stuff you'll need:
-hot glue gun (of course)
-spare bit of fabric (I got a pack of these weird 2" wide fabric strips from JoAnn that I thought were fat quarters....they're pretty long, a yard or something, but you probably won't need the whole thing)
-ugly sandals in need of some TLC
-a good pair of scissors

It was a fairly easy process for impatient me. I glued and pasted, pasted and glued. And occasionally cut away the extra fabric surrounding the straps.
Fabric is down! How exciting :D

 Close up: You can also fold the extra fabric around the straps so there are no raw edges exposed. I would have done that (neater) had the fabric been a little wider.

I wrapped some fabric around the middle elastically straps but they turned out too bulky so I took them off again.

WEE! One shoe down, one to go!

 After many hot-glue burns I put the refashioned shoes on my feet right away and admired them!
Ballerina pose. Channeling Black Swan just in time for the Oscars (well, in a few weeks....)

YAAAAAAAAAAY! Wearable sandals!
A variation on this project would be to glue fabric down as a fancy new insole. There's a great tutorial for that here.
now go forth and refashion, young DIY-ers!
<3 kai

Friday, February 18, 2011

IT WORKS!!!!!!!!!

OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG (and I don't even say OMG--it sounds so annoying and valleygirlish) MY SEWING MACHINE WORKS!!!!!!!!!!!
Well....its still sewing backwards....
IT SEWS GREAT! It sews great backwards! I can sew wonderful things backwards, I can do that, yes. I LOVE YOU SEWING MACHINE THANK YOU FOR SEWING SO BEAUTIFULLY! Once I worked out some kinks....
zig-zag is Zany's best stitch. (I'm calling my machine Zany Danny for now even though I think she's a girl). See the gorgeousness:

the stitches aren't totally straight. I was too happy (no, not drunk! Get those improper thoughts out of your head, young lady).

After I worked out a kink with the straight stitch (it involves pressing the reverse lever the entire time) they were beautiful and even and gorgeous and....I HAVE A MACHINE AGAIN WOOHOOOOOOOOOO!
On to names. Zany Danielle is too weird, but I do think my machine is a girl. I'm not naming her Martha Stewart! How dare you suggest such a thing, voice in my head? This is a weird conversation.
In other news....since I have a machine again and a fabulous four-day weekend (thank you, President's Day!) you're going to see some sewing projects very soon. Remember the Anthro inspiration pics....

oh dang....I suddenly realized today was supposed to be frugal friday....well it may have to be savvy saturday!
<3 kai

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

so I lied

blogging hiatus? Pshaw. That was tiny. I keep threatening one but it never happens. I can't stay away! I'm still a little sick, but on the mend. Sadly, my hands are empty of crafts this week (the only crafty thing I did was sit on the couch knitting a hat that's STILL not done....)
I can show you pretty, love-themed art by yours truly from Valentine's past!
Um....ok. Not so happy.

Yup. Definitely not the happiest stuff.

Aw, hummingbirds! Cute, colorful, happy. I see light at the end of the tunnel.....

.....a light filled with crows and pigeons. Darn.

But wait! The flowers say it all: hope is not lost, my friends.
Hope you enjoyed :)

Sunday, February 13, 2011


It seems like I've been sick the entire month! I almost can't remember what it feels like to have a not-stuffed-up nose. I may not be blogging for a while--I need me some quality time with a soft blanket and some Progresso soup.
stay healthy!
<3 kai

Saturday, February 12, 2011


I really love Burdastyle's coffee date dress! I'm currently working on a dress for my school charitable fashion show (with the lovely CB as my model, strike a pose dahhling)
In case you were confused, this is not actually her.
What, no smiles? Are you mad because I thought you looked like a tanned version of Robert Pattinson who actually uses a hairbrush? Ok, I'll stop talking to the picture now.
Anyhoodle......I'm a little nervous about Burdastyle because I'm just a beginner sewer and regular patterns bamboozle me as it is. I'm also a bit iffy about using a pattern that came from the internet and was printed out of my testy printer. Does anyone have any tips?

In other news....
Jennifer, you're a genius!
SO PRETTY! SO PRETTY!! Click here for the full story. Now I'm inspired! Expect to see some lamp love soon.
<3 kai

Friday, February 11, 2011

T-shirt refashion--the beginning of 'Frugal Fridays'

Aren't you EXCITED?! First clothing refashion on ze blog. Whee! Every Friday I will post something refashioned (and brag about being frugal). To kick it off I made a baggy, red t-shirt somewhat in the style of this:
Ain't it gorgeous??
I apologize for the boxers. I was just about to go to sleep and am too lazy to change into real pants.
....into a halter top, and yesterday in honor of Valentine's Day I sewed on a heart applique. You can't see it in the photo but the stitching is actually done with pretty turquoise thread that me likey :). For clarity, I handsewed it. The sewing machine still refuses to work.
It was pretty easy to make the top--I chopped off the sleeves and used one strip of fabric from a sleeve to gather the backs of the now-tank-top straps & tie them in a knot. If that doesn't make sense I apologize.....I'm posting this pretty late. SLEEEEP is calling to me.
good night and happy shirt refashioning!
<3 kai

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Scarfin' it up

Aside from being in love with my glue gun and in a difficult relationship with my sewing machine, I also like to knit. It's very calming when I'm freaking out about a test and a good thing to multitask with (knit and watch TV, knit and read, knit and listen to the teacher etc). All this week I was working on something I thought was going to be a scarf but could also be a belt. On the edge of your seat for a photo? Here it is!
Worn as a scarf. Please excuse the bad school uniform.

And as a belt. Rainbows rule!
If anyone wants to know how to make a scarf-belt hybrid, it's really very easy. Just cast on 10 stitches and alternate 1 row knit/1 row purl until it's long enough. Now you have an even better response for when people ask you where you got your clothes. Instead of saying "I got it in Paris," you can confidently purr "I made it."
Bonjour! Baguette! (those are the only French words I know)

Monday, February 7, 2011

project: My Ties!

Mm, mai tais.
Just kidding! I'm underage. But I will make my ties. Hair ties, that is. Inspired by these pretties:
Anthropologie! (sorry I'm an Anthrophile :D)
I had a ton of plain pony holders lying around so I grabbed one, some beads, and my trusty glue gun.
 The end result?
 Just a quick crafty pick-me-up for a major homework night! I had this random felt flower lying around but they take five seconds to make. Just cut out five petal-shaped pieces of felt, pinch the bottom to create a curve, and stitch them together in a flower shape.

*update: I wore this to school a few days ago with my hair in a braid and got compliments and a request to make a girl one, which makes this gal very happy.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

my anthro obsession

Let me tell you something, friends: I am Anthropologie-obsessed.
Unfortunately their stuff is kind of pricey. So what's a crafty gal to do?
Create her own version, of course!
As soon as my sewing machine starts working again I will flood this blog with Anthro-inspired stuff. Until then, enjoy this sneak peek at future projects.
perfect for spring yay :D
How cute are these? Simply spray-paint an ugly urn/pot/plaster animal sculpture and paint a pattern on it. Done!
This. Must. Be. Mine.
Wheeeee! Plenty of projects to come!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Happy Chinese New Year!!!!!

gong hey fat choy!! Here's to the Year of the Tuzi (that means rabbit in Chinese)! Power to those little cute fuzzy guys. I'm a rat myself, but I prefer to think of it as a mouse. :)
So anyway. Sorry for the minor blogging hiatus, but I had a huge test this week I was studying my little ratty (mousy!) bottom off for. But now it's over and I'm ready to celebrate the New Year!
Here's a little Chinese-paper-cutting tutorial I learned in my Mandarin class. When the teacher first showed it to me I thought holy cow no way can I do that! But it's actually quite easy and now I'm obsessively making them.
The one on the left is what it looks like unfolded. The one on the right is a mess-up but I still think it's pretty.

This is the character for chun (spring) in Mandarin.
Materials you will need:
-One square of paper. Any paper you want--origami paper, construction paper, really pretty patterned paper like I used in the tutorial--the (paper) world is your oyster!
See, it's that easy. No fancy-schmancy materials needed.

1. Fold the paper diagonally to make two triangles, crease, and unfold.
Wee! That's my foot down there, sorry. Also sorry for the bad picture.
2. Fold the other way to make another triangle, crease, unfold.

3. Here comes the mildly tricky part. Flip the paper over and pinch the center part where all the creases meet, like so.
4. Wait a second, that wasn't tricky! Now make creases between the sides.

5. Bundle everything over to one side and draw these lines on it. Make sure you use the 'backbone' (my term for the one-piece side without all the little triangle tips poking out) as the backside, like in this picture (mine doesn't really show up so well):
My picture. You can kinda see the lines....sort of? Maybe?
Cut out the shapes you drew.
Then unfold and stand it up! Gorgeous! See, you can make it.