Chanel’s Fall Trends, DIY Style

Checking out the latest and greatest from the Fall runways show has been my favorite pastimes as of late. I am finding fashion inspiration in so many places and Chanel’s Fall 2011 RTW is no exceptiong. The collection is mostly grays, blacks and whites in the form of textured jackets, blazers and sweaters. I am totally loving this part of the collection and decided to try and create something as a take on Chanel’s fall line.

I picked up some blazers at a Goodwill while visiting my Mother. I thought this one had a little something although I knew it was a fixer upper, not a wear outta the store kind of look. It’s most definitely 80’s and the first thing I did was take out the shoulder pads (I don’t need any more bulk on my shoulders than what is naturally there). There were a couple of stains and the colors were all wrong, for me anyways. It was too Miami Vice and not enough Lacy Chic.

Started with my ol’ stand by RIT dye in Black. I knew that I planned to use lace in the reconstructing process, so I threw that in the dye bath as well. I wanted to go for a jet black but one never knows how a dye bath will turn out especially with a multi-colored garment to begin with.

Well, the end result? Eh, not exactly the BLACK that I wanted it to be. The blazer turned out to be a more purpley gray, which is of no surprise since it started with pinks and blues. The lace turned out to be a little darker gray… and together, I thought they looked pretty cool… although at this point, I am still thinking about doing another dye bath.

My plan was to adorn/garnish/embellish the blazer with the lace and maybe add a bit of black cording that I have had lying around. I did some major pinning so that everything was in it’s place.  I knew that once I started sewing, I could pull things tight if need be.

After a couple of hours of hand sewing, I decided to take the Husqvarna out for a couple of reasons. #1 This was becoming majorly time consuming and #2 I knew I would get the accuracy I was looking for with the sewing machine. The edges were difficult but I knew that I was more than likey giving it another dye back, which would hopefully be forgiving of any tiny mistakes.
In the end, I did decide to give the old girl another dye bath. I really wanted to try and achieve as close as I could to the Chanel look I was going for… I did a decent job. The second dye bath really worked to get a dark black. While I thought about adding some sequins and extras, I decided to edit and move on with my life. I rolled up the sleeves (a tip of the hat to Miami Vice) and am ready to pahty.

I am totally wearing this to a show this weekend to see what some friends will think…. what do you think? Cool or Not worth the work?

Chanel’s Fall Trends, DIY Style

NYC Fabric Stores Equal Heaven

My sewing instructor (Becca of Create! Sewing Studio via Sarah Veblen) was kind enough to put together a great list of her favorite fabric stores before my trip last week to NYC for Fashion Week. I knew I might have a little time to kill (which ended up not being as much as I would have liked) so I definitely wanted to hit up some of the great fabric stores in New York’s Garment District. I will share her list with you, because, I am crediting her genius and research after all.

I only made it to 3 fabric stores (Mood Fabrics, B&J and Stretch House) before I had to call it quits due to time constraints and the need to majorly take a shower before a dinner I was attending… but I must say that what I did see? It was heavenly… and I cannot wait to get back to the city to hit up some more.

Spandex House ( – 263 W. 38th Street, New York, NY 10018 (212-354-6711). If you’re looking for a knit with spandex, they have it. From stretch tulle to jersey to stretch lace. Best slinky knit selection and price I’ve found. Excellent mail order service, and inexpensive prices.

Spandex World ( – 228 W. 38th Street, New York, NY 10018 (212-391-2310). Smaller than Spandex House, but with an excellent selection. Prices, like Spandex House, are excellent.

Stretch World ( — 252 W. 38th Street, New York, NY 10018 (212-398-3004). Like Spandex World, smaller than Spandex House, but with a very nice selection. Prices are excellent, and they are happy to send swatches.

Mood, Inc. – 225 W. 37th Street, 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10018 (212-730-5003). Also in Los Angeles ( Excellent selection of silks, plus fabrics of all kinds. Wonderful selection of tissue wools, wool gauze, and novelty wools; and a fabulous selection of interesting cottons. If you write the store for swatches, service is not always speedy; but I’ve been told that ordering fabric or swatches from their website works smoothly.

B & J Fabrics – 525 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10018 (212-354-8150) ( They will send free swatches and have excellent mail order service. Fabrics of all kinds; especially good for silks; good selection of tissue wools and wool gauze.

Bazar Fabrics, Inc. – 256 W. 39th Street, New York, NY 10018 (212-575-5640). A lovely store for all sorts of ornamented fabrics, including lots of hand-painted, embroidered, and beaded sheer fabrics.

Elegant Fabrics – 240 W. 40th Street, New York, NY 10018 (212-302-4984). A wide variety of fabrics all of excellent quality. Mail order service is extremely good, and they’ll send free swatches.

Exclusive Lace Star – 215 W. 40th Street, New York, NY 10018 (212-391-7777) ( If you are in NYC, go here just to look – the most exquisite laces, most of which are designed by the owner Rachel Hezghia. Beautiful imported tulles, and the nicest selection of printed silk chiffons I’ve ever seen (not the typical “old lady” prints). They are happy to mail order.

Gray Lines Linen – 260 W. 39th Street, New York, NY 10018 (212-391-4130) ( All linen fabrics with excellent prices. The linens in your swatch set came from here. I’ve never mail ordered from them, but they have told me they are more than happy to mail order.

Metro Textile Corp. – 265 W. 37th Street, Suite 908, New York, NY 10018; (2120209-0004). A small store, but everything is quite interesting. The owner, Kashi, is very helpful, often willing to bargain, and happy to mail order. Let him know what you’re looking for and he’ll let you know if he has it.

Paron’s Fabrics/The Annex – 206 W. 40th Street, New York, NY 10018 (212-768-3266) ( A lovely selection of fabrics, a large number of them designer imported fabrics. Many of the swatches in your kit came from here. Good mail order service.

Sources for stretch lace trims and other elasticized trims:

M & J Trimming Company – 1008 6th Avenue, New York, NY 10018; (212-391-9072). (

Daytona Braids & Trimmings – 251 W. 39th Street, New York, NY 10018; (212-354-1713).

Ginsco Trims (retail division of Ginsburg Co.) – 242 W. 38th Street, New York, NY 10018; (212-244-4539). (

Pacific Trimming Inc. – 218 W. 38th Street, New York, NY 10018; (212-279-9310). (

So wondering if I bought anything? Wellp, I did. I think that I very much exercised extreme control over my spending (well because I spent a lot at H&M before I went to these fabric stores) but I did see a couple fabrics at Mood that I just had to take home with me. There was a cotton stretch knit in bright colors (and I was inspired by that morning’s Nanette Lepore show with TONS of bright colors) and another knit that I felt would make an awesome skirt over a brighter color fabric, sort of a play on the recent popularity of crochet and macrame, you know?
NYC Fabric Stores Equal Heaven

Blast from the Past, Friendship Bracelets

Honestly, I don’t know when friendship bracelets came back into style but seriously I don’t care… do you know why I don’t care? Because I have been secretly making friendship bracelets all these years waiting for the resurgence to arrive and now that it has, I am basking in the glow, knowing that I rock and rock hard. Obvi, I have been making the simple braided version with embroidery floss since I learned how to braid. The more difficult bracelets, well they take some practice (check out this nifty DIY tutorial from Honestly WTF) and you don’t always want to give your friends the fugly bracelets you make. Whether you call them friendship bracelets or buddy bands, they are back!

Want to know something that you probably didn’t know or want to know about friendship bracelets? “The knotcraft and hand weaving used to create traditional patterns stems from Native American handcrafts, particularly from Central American tradition. According to indigenous tradition, the recipient of a friendship bracelet must wear it until the cords wear out and fall off naturally. (I have actually done this!) The idea is that the friend paid for it with the hard work and love that made it, and the recipient repays the friend by honoring the work. Removing the bracelet before it naturally falls off is a sign that the friendship has gone sour (what if I accidentally lost it because I have unnaturally thin wrists?). Another variation of this tradition is that the recipient of a bracelet is entitled to a wish. After the bracelet wears out and falls off naturally, the wish will come true (I wish I had wished I wouldn’t lose my friendship bracelet).” (Thank you, Wikipedia)

Anyways, I am thinking of setting up camp and busting out some new bracelets.Who wants in on a crafting party where we make bracelets, watch Are You Afraid of the Dark? and eat Pizza Rolls?
Blast from the Past, Friendship Bracelets

Rippin’ and Braidin’

So in my quest to be ever craftier and try new things (and having the massive urge to braid) I decided I was going to take an old bed sheet that I picked up at a consignment store and do a little reconstructing. The beauty of an old bed sheet is #1 they are super soft #2 they tear into strips so unbelievably easy (with a little snip to help of course) and #3 the little frayed edges are adorbs and hard to create otherwise. So anyways, there was a full night where I watched my programs and tore the flat sheet into strips, which would eventually be uses to braid… can you dig? And so begun my process… the braiding…

Once I had braided ever last strip into, well, a braid, I then decided I was going to sew them all together to make what you would assume would eventually become a braided rug (here you are wrong). I sewed each piece to the next, using only one side of the braids… you know, to keep things clean. I tell you that it took the biggest needle that I had in my battalion to combat the BRAID.

So anyways, after many evenings of work on this creation, we finally come to a stand still… what should I do with this braided flat piece of braided braid chunk. Yes, I said braid multiple times yet braid is the recurring theme here, yes? Anyhoo… I let this creation sit for many weeks, this is no lie… you ever just lose the motivation mid-project? And now I am stuck.

What should I do?! (and don’t say “have direction before you start a project”)
Rippin’ and Braidin’

Makin’ Earrings with Friends

So this past weekend, I got together with some friends to do what? Be crafty…That’s right, make some jewelry (my dearest Petal and Pink would be so proud)… My friends (one of which is also my cousin) and I sometimes get together to do crafty things…

…once we puff painted t-shirts to wear to the Twilight premiere (awesome shirts… premiere? noted to selves not to see the 7pm showing with 30.1 million 10 year olds)…

…another time we decorated t-shirts and watched Girls Just Want to Have Fun; said T-shirts got us through a sobriety checkpoint on the way home…

Officer: What have you ladies been doing this evening? Me: Puff Painting T-shirts, Officer shines light in backseat where said shirts are drying. Officer: Go ahead

…. so needless to say we are pretty successfully crafty when we get together… Our goal this time? Earrings! I brought over what I had for findings and beads and we went to town. I am not usually a jewelry maker per se but I have dabbled in the past. Any way you slice it, we had a great time. (The menfolk played video games and tended to our pizzas).

We, of course, had to stop for a mini photo shoot which had some hilarious outtakes and some good shots as well. It’s just nice to spend some time with friends being crafty and making each other laugh.

Makin’ Earrings with Friends

Scarf Loving with a Dash of Buttony Goodness!

So my crafty self was looking at some of the fabric that I just had hanging around and thought that I should try to find a quick and easy project to work on so that I got some crafting satisfaction pretty quickly, ie instant gratification. Enter this little project off of the “I am Momma Hear Me Roar” blog, reconstruction-esque area of the site. Yay for fun projects whilst also being simultaneously awesomely easy! See my take on the Buttony wrap/scarfy thing. Yay!
I started with a scarf that has been in my “Ghosts of Scarves Past” drawer for quite some time. I mean, if I did a botch job on this, then well, I would give it a proper burial without shedding too many tears. Anyhoo, I took that, about a 1/4 yard of cotton fabric from “The Collection” for the pockets, and some buttons from the stash… and was on my way. (Note: Here is where I get nervous because, well, I am ashamed to say I had never done a button hole before)… Anyway, I did it and my only issue came when I realized the scarf was too short. Next time, I’ll know. All in all, it was fun and easy to do!


Watch out for these guys today!

Scarf Loving with a Dash of Buttony Goodness!

What we can learn from one another

So I have been thinking a lot lately about how there are so many people in the handmade/ artistic/ crafty/ creative community that I totally admire for how they have really just found what the loved and ran with it. I have taken inspiration from so many bloggers who share what they do and embrace their inner/outer artisan… and I think I want to interview some of them… maybe do a weekly or bi-weekly post with a feature of that lady that I so admire, who was willing to answer my questions (because the ladies in my bubble are suuuuuuuuper nice and supportive). I mean, I have a lot of questions, but I am sure I could narrow them down to the 5 that I think are most important… my main thing though? I want to learn things from others… everyone’s creative journeys are different and lessons learned are invaluable. Is it cheating to want to skip learning the hard way? 😉

So if you could ask your favorite creative ladies any questions, what would they be? I am curious to see what others think of this idea… is it stupid or could it be fleshed out to be a robust and awesome blog series?

What we can learn from one another