Wrap Skirt tutorial and Valentine’s Nonsense – DIY #9

So I done goofed. This year was not my first Valentine’s Day in 3 years. It was actually my first in 4 years! And what a day it was: I went to the winter wonderland up in the countryside, where the Mad Hatter and the white rabbit were waiting. We decided to stay in, dress up, and have a home cooked dinner.

The Mad Hatter’s trademark colours are red and black, and I wanted to match his outfit. Since red is a nice Valentine’s Day colour, I chose to make a red outfit. Unfortunately, I didn’t own any red dresses, and there was no way I was going to drop $40 on a new dress I’d only wear once. I did, however, find a red t-shirt that fit fairly snug, and thought it would make a cute cutout top. How about, I thought, we cut the top, and make a detatchable skirt, like the one April made.

And then I started looking through videos, and found this video about a convertible skirt. These skirts are similar to the infinity dress, which can be worn in many different ways. So I thought about making a similar one; it’s basically a wrap skirt that goes around twice, with a keyhole in the center of the band to accound for the extra wrap.

But then, a whole bunch of things went wrong…

  • I bought sheer ribbon, thinking it would work. It did not.
  • I found the perfect red fabric, but not the perfect complementary fabric.
  • Logo removal methods didn’t work on the shirt.

 

So here is the final decision on the outfit. First, we will make the skirt. Note: this is not a formal pattern. If anything, it’s an experimental blog. Now let’s dive in!

dsc_0100Materials :

Fabric of your choice

Scissors

Sewing machine

Matching thread

dsc_0102Step 1: Measure the fabric around your waist. It should be enough to wrap around twice. When in doubt, round up. Remember, it’s easier to take in a garment, than to let it out.

My measurement is about 30 inches (76 cm) around. So the minimum amount of fabric I need is 76 x 2 = 152 cm, or 1.52 m. To be on the safe side, I bought 2 meters of fabric.

dsc_0103This is where I started to fail… I bought satin. ($4/m) Satin is delicate, frays easily, and shows mistakes. You can try ripping out seams, but the holes where the needle pierced it will show through. In the future, I will use jersey, or a soft knit fabric that doesn’t fray and show holes. It’s a good thing I bought extra, because a lot of the selvage ends had to be sheared to remove stray fibers.

Step 2: Make the band.

Decide how wide you want your band. I want mine to be about 2.5 inches (5 cm) plus half an inch for seam allowance. So the width of the fabric I cut was (2.5 + 0.5) x 2 = (3) x 2 = 6 inches. Hooray for BEDMAS!

As for the length, I just used the length of the remaining fabric. Each cutout strap was 6″ (15.24 cm) x 2 m. You can adjust the length of the straps later.

straps

*Looking back on this project, step 4 was unnecessary. I think I meant to sandwich the top of the skirt between the two pieces, and cut it open so I could roll the hems? I don’t remember.

Step 3: Attach the skirt to the band.

Yeah. I got lazy and just sewed it on flat, as thought it were a ribbon. To ensure the skirt fit me properly, and to give it a bit more body, I made rough pleats with my fingers to gather any excess fabric. Below, I’ve pinned a ribbon, to give you an idea of where the strap was sewn. (I forgot to take a picture of this step. >_< )

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Step 4: make a keyhole in the center of the belt. Glue the edges of the keyhole so it doesn’t fray.

To determine where the keyhole should go, I held one end of the skirt, wrapped it around my waist once, and marked the position where the belt crossed.

Instead of hemming the skirt, I treated the raw edges with FrayCheck, to keep them from unraveling. This helps maintain the flowiness of the fabric, and saves on thread.

Finished! Sigh… Perhaps in the future I’ll revamp this skirt, into an easier-to-follow pattern. More like Fail-entine’s Day, amirite? ^_^….’_’… T_T

Here is the final product, side by side with my Mad Hatter’s dashing suit. He said it looked good, but I know I can make something better. I paired this outfit with the heart earrings from last week’s blog, and black stockings.

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Date not included. Perhaps one day, I’ll make another skirt like this.

 

Hm… I should’ve made this much shorter. I think I’ll refashion it into a wrap dress.

dsc_0131For the top, I took a fitted red T-shirt I no longer cared about, and cut a square neckline. Unfortunately, I couldn’t remove the logo on the front, so I ended up cutting a low back. Yikes! This low back, plus the square neckline, meant the top couldn’t stay up on its own. So instead, I opted for a technique I used in a Pikachu costume way back when, and wove a ribbon in the back. This created a cute lace-up back. I hope I’ll get more chances to wear this style in the future.

I tried to curl my pigtails, but they failed miserably. Do you ever get that? Like, you’ll be putting on eyeliner and one eye will be Beyonce, and the other side will be Jay-Z? Or one side of you is original, and the other side rips off jokes from iiSuperwomanii?

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Strawberry Rose

After getting dressed, the Mad Hatter took me by the hand, and opened the door. We sat beside each other and ate spaghetti with bacon alfredo sauce. Yes, we tried the Lady and the Tramp thing. We decided it’s best left to doggies, who can make anything look cute.

We made the fondue after we finished eating, so it would be fresh. In the past, Shoonie and I have made chocolate cups by melting chocolate, painting containers with the melted chocolate, and letting them harden. The chocolate fondue stayed nice and liquid for a long time by comparison. We dipped strawberries, marshmallows, bananas, and even bacon! The bacon was sweet and salty, aka delicious. But the bananas were still my favourite.
Spaghetti: $0.99
Butter: $2.99
Whipping Cream: $3.69
Parmesan cheese: $3.00

Chocolate Chips: $3.69
Strawberries: $2.00
Bananas: $0.59/lb x 2 = $1.18
Bacon: $5.00
Marshmallows: $3.69

Fabric: $4/m x 2 = $8.00
Ribbon: $1.25

Megabus tickets: $70

Time spent with the Mad Hatter: Priceless

The moral of the story is, you don’t need lots of money to have fun. All you need is good friends, good food, and good times. Here is my belated present to you, dear readers: an entry from this month’s 30 Day Challenge.

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How was your week? Did you celebrate Valentine’s Day? Friends’ Day? Cousins’ Day? Write midterms? How do you like to celebrate? Comment below!

Pika, so happy~

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OMG DOUBLE FEATURE!!!

So I’ve missed last week, and the week before the last post.

You: “What does that mean??”

It means we’re doing extra fun stuff this weekend!

Now that it’s September, we’ve succumbed to the dreaded bipolar weather patterns. This week has been comfortable, but last night was freezing cold! And just last weekend was cold and rainy. Either way, it’s time to bust out the layered outfits. If you don’t go out much, chances are you have stuff in your closet that no longer fits, but it stayed in said closet because you forgot it existed. This became the inspiration behind the dress I wore yesterday.

I don’t remember where this dress came from, but I do remember how old I was the last time it was worn: 12 years old. Imagine all the other girls your age dressing in sexy spaghetti strap and halter dresses, yet there you are looking like your favourite doll from when you were 6. I stowed this dress in my closet and never wore it again. As for why I still haven’t given it away? See above.

I like the light, airy fabric of the skirt, but could do without the huge collar and puffed sleeves. And I wanted a new outfit for a date with M yesterday, so figured why not. Let’s help this dress grow from a self-conscious tweenager to a self-confident twenty-something!

Before vs After

Before vs After

Let’s assess what we have to work with here: the dress looks like it has two layers, but it’s actually sewn in one layer. The dress has a zipper at the back to account for the closed collar, and ties at the back to make the dress more fitted. It also has a nylon cord in the front, to lace up the bodice. While it will waste less fabric, it will also require a lot more time to detach the white parts of the dress.

rip

We begin by turning the dress inside out to find the seams. Then we’ll take out our lovely eye goug–er, I mean seam ripper, and rip out the sleeves. As always, you can simply cut them with scissors. I like to seam rip, so as to waste as little fabric as possible. Seam ripping also leaves the bent edge, so you only need to fold over once more to create the perfect, fresh seam. Once that’s done, repeat the ripping process for the collar. I wanted to keep some lining underneath, so I marked the part of the white body piece that will be covered by the floral dress. We’re not going to seam rip anything below this line.

I saved the collar to make a necklace. This will add interest to a baggy, plain sweater. Just in time for fall!

Halfway done! Hem and iron out the edges.

Finally, I tried on the dress. It feels a bit long, but I’ll let M decide what he thinks of this length.

Ne-ne~ Simply by removing the sleeves and collar, we have a comfortable sleeveless dress! Pair this with solid coloured accessories, and you’ve got the perfect end-of-summer date night outfit. 12 year old Pika is very happy.

Part 2: Delicious Eats with M

This next part is a great date idea: cooking lunch together! M loves cheese, I love chilli, and so we made chilli mac n cheese. He has stories about his grandma using a whole block of cheese in her homemade mac, but for my tummy’s sake we’re going to use a small bag of shredded cheddar. Click here for the recipe we used.

M cut the onions, while I stirred the meat. We used the whole box of macaroni, because M started eating the noodles raw. XD I’ll admit it doesn’t taste bad, but it feels weird to eat uncooked macaroni. It feels like a cross between a corn nut, and a plastic tube breaking in your mouth.

*A tip on cooking mac n cheese from scratch: if you make the noodles seperately, don’t add all the cheese right away. As you take servings, add cheese accordingly. If you add all the cheese right away, leftover mac will become dry and gross.

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You drooling yet?

Final verdict: amazing! This is the perfect comfort food, all right. Too bad we didn’t have any garden salad on the side. I filled up a huge plastic container for M to take home.

I got two phone calls during this date, both from people I actually care about. It may not seem like a big deal, but when you typically text instead of call, this is quite a treat. M talked to both of them. XP Until it was time for dinner, M and I cuddled and watched Rick and Morty. It reminds me of a cross between Doctor Who, Adventure Time, and South Park. I should finish watching Archer… Man, it’s hard living with your parents. It’s annoying when you just get comfortable while watching a great show, and then all of a sudden you hear, “don’t sit like that, it’s bad for your back! You’ll walk with a hunch!” “Why you’re watching this? This is not a good show!” “Instead of watching TV with your guest, come help me!”

( – _ – );

We went to dinner with Kitty that evening. When he saw M, Kitty’s like, “HOMG, M!!! HI!!! NICE TO FINALLY MEET YOU!!! <3” They were bros. It’s blurry, but this is an immortalization of my favouirte memory from yesterday: walking to dinner with my BF and BGF. (Best guy friend) Peck Peck asked, “why does that guy on the right (M) look like he’s from Brokeback Mountain? XDDDD” (- _ -); Humph. M if you’re reading this, don’t worry, I still think you look handsome. :3

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Kitty and M

I tried Steak and Kidney pie for the first time. It was pretty good, albeit very salty. Think of a chicken pot pie, but instead of chicken it’s beef. And no, the “kidney” doesn’t mean kidney beans. If you know what liver tastes like, kidney tastes the same. I for one am not a huge fan of either, but I give it 7/10. The pie came with mashed potatoes, but the waitress forgot to bring the potatoes, so I got free dessert! Wot wot~ I felt awful for undertipping; to the waitress at the Black Dog Pub, I promise you’ll get a better tip next time! Here is the free key lime pie, a perfect end to a perfect day.

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Sometimes, you come across a person who just makes you feel great. Sure you felt great before you met them, but this “greatness” is different. You want to improve for them, you want to make them happy, and in return they make you happy. You want to share the most important parts of your life with them, whether it’s going out to your favorite restaurant or introducing them to close family and friends. I know it hasn’t been a long time, but I’m looking forward to many more memories with M. I can’t wait to cook new dishes with him, go on new adventures, and cuddle with him again. ❤

How’s September starting out for you? Any cool new changes this year? Have you repurposed or upcycled any of your old clothes into new outfits for this year? What do you like in your mac n cheese? (If you say “green peas,” we can’t be friends) Comment below!

Pika, so happy~

Two T-Shirts into Dress – DIY #3

As a stereotypical female, I know the feel of opening an overflowing closet and deciding, “there’s nothing to wear…” And when it comes to choosing things to donate or throw away, this video is the story of my life. So when digging through the closet once again, I decide that this time I would actually use some of my old clothes for a DIY project. Summer’s on, but I don’t have many “casual” dresses for school or every day wear. And so, this happened. I might cut out the neck though, the closed neck looks a bit stuffy. This will be the first sewing blog here on Val Crafts.

intro

Now let’s proceed to turn two dumpy looking T-shirts, into a cute dress/shrug combo!

Materials

2 T-Shirts

Scissors (I recommend fabric scissors)IMG_20140731_143739106

Sewing pins

Matching thread

Sewing machine

Fray preventing sealant (optional, if you don’t feel like hemming)

Directions

Bodice of the dress

Choose which t-shirt you want for the top of your dress. Flip it inside out, and put it on. (I chose the V-neck shirt)

Making the shirt more fitted:

I wanted the shirt to be more fitted, so I took in the sides just a little bit. Try not to take in too much, otherwise it will be too tight to put on. Your best bet would be to pinch at the side seams. Press the joint of your thumb at the seam, and make a mark at the tip. Draw a line from here to about where your bust begins.

take-in

Flip the shirt in half and copy the markings on the other side.

Sew along the lines you’ve created. Sew loosely so that you can rip out the seams if you make a mistake.

Put on the shirt again. If you’re happy with the fit, trim off the excess. Yes, it will be bulky on top! We’re going to take care of that next.

Fitting the sleeves.

sleevesLet’s make this a sleeveless dress. While still wearing the shirt inside out, mark on your shoulders where you want the armhole to be. Cut off the sleeves in a curve toward the “underarm” seam. (Where the sleeve and side of the shirt connect.) Try to follow the existent sleeve seam, and snip exactly under the underarm seam. Hem the sleeves.

My bodice is ready!

My bodice is ready!

Make adjustments to the sides as necessary. I pinched the corners closed to create a new armpit seam, and sewed it down.

I left my bodice with the neck intact. If you want a more summery look, cut out the neck . Hem or use anti-fray gel to keep it looking neat.

Attaching the skirt

This will be much easier. While wearing your new bodice, place the second T-shirt against the bottom of the bodice, as though creating a skirt. Adjust it until the skirt is as long as you’d like it to be. I made mine a bit longer so I could wear it with or without leggings.

First, cut the shirt horizontally, leaving about an inch (2.5 cm) below the sleeves:

skirt

Attach the skirt as follows:

1. Make sure the bodice is inside out, and the skirt is right side out.

2. Turn the skirt upside down and put the bodice into it.

3. Find the side seams of the shirts. Align and pin them together. Do the same for the other seams

4. Hold the pinned seams together and fold the shirts in half again. Pin these new edges together to attach the skirt.

5. Repeat the process around. You should have a total of 8 pins.

6. Sew along the natural seam at the bottom of the shirts. If you get to a loose, unpinned portion, pinch and flatten them as you sew.

*If you’re having trouble attaching the skirt, refer to this pleated skirt tutorial.

Now, flip everything right side out, and something resembling a dress of sorts should magically appear.

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Now you’re probably wondering, “but what will I do with the leftover shirt?” Easy – make a shrug to match! Cut down the middle of the remaining shirt, and voila~

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Here is the finished project:

finished

From left to right: without shrug, with shrug, full outfit

And there you have it, I’ve given you a new outfit idea and saved you a hanger. And now, you have an outfit for just hanging out and playing video games (or “vidya gaims” as we call it) with your friends. I now have an idea for Oreo Day! 🙂 What’s Oreo Day? Well, you’ll have to wait and find out. 🙂

Questions? Concerns? Suggestions for improvement? Comment below!

Pika, so happy~