Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Lace Overlay Skirt Tutorial

Lace overlay is so in right now. I see lace everywhere; dresses, shirts, blouses, jackets, skirts, suits, hats,'s everywhere! I love love love the lace overlay skirts. I was on and I saw this adorable skirt on My first thought: "I can remake that!" 

The lace is actually a hand-me-down from my mom. She used it to make some sort of fairy costume for me and my sister when I was younger, and offered it up to me last time I was home. And the lace overlay skirt tutorial was born! 

So. Deep breath. Here goes my first sewing tutorial. Let me note that I am a very beginner sewer-- I like to consider my self a crafter above all else, but really I'm into crochet and knitting with other things on the side to keep me entertained. Sewing is still quite new to me (just take a look at that uneven edge up top! woof!)

That being said, I think this is a great project for anyone of anyone skill range! It's a little fiddly, but if you have a french curve or a really good eye, this could be made in under an hour.

So let's get started!

You will need: 
  • 1.5-2 yd of lace, or enough to wrap around your body
  • 1.5-2 yd of broadcloth (or enough to wrap around your body) in a corresponding color--but I bet it'd look cute with some contrast!
  • 7" to 10" invisible zipper--mine was 12" and I cut it down to 8"
  • Matching thread
  • Sewing machine!
  • Hook and eye closure for top
Step 1: Take your measurements
Measure around the smallest part of your waist or where you want the skirt to sit-- my measurement was 26". Now measure around the widest part of your hips. Last, measure the distance from the widest part of your hip to where you took your waist measurement. A couple of notes: The length of my skirt turned out to be roughly the width of my fabric. You'll want to have enough fabric to cut out two squres. Also, you'll want to do this measuring in your undies in order to get an accurate measurement. My measurements were a wee bit off, and the skirt came out all bunchy and loose! I had to fix up the side seams later, causing my top hem to be all wonky.

Step 2: Take 1/2 your waist measurement, and add 1". Fold your broad cloth in half, raw edge to raw edge. Mark your hip measurement and cut out two pieces. The pieces will be roughly square, or should be! Fold each square in half, and mark 1/4 of your waist measurement from the fold. Unfold. Now do the same thing with the lace material, but leave a little extra lace on the bottom. My lace has a nice finish on the selvage edge that I could work with. This is what you should have:

Step 3: I don't have many pictures after this because I was so excited to finish, but it's all pretty clear from here on out. Pin the top edge of your lace to the top edge of your broad cloth, right sides together. Overcast or zig-zag stitch the pieces together. Turn right side out, and press. Now's the time to hem the broadcloth! I did a 1" hem.

This is what you should have:

Step 4: Move to the top of the skirt. Fold the joined fabrics down one inch, pin, stitch and top stitch. Repeat with second pattern piece. Once you finish this, you'll want to check and be sure your top hems match up to avoid my messy seams!


Step 5: Pin the front and the back of the skirt together. Mark the waist to hip measurement from the top of the skirt down.

On one side, draw a slight curve from the mid-measurement to where you marked your waist in Step 2. You can eyeball this part, or use a french curve to make the line. Sew the seam and up along that curve ON ONE SIDE.

On the other side, mark the same curve. You will be inserting the zipper along the curve. Measure that length, and cut your zipper to size.

Now cut your fabric, allowing at least half an inch of seam allowance on the curve, where your zipper will be inserted. I used an invisible zipper. Invisible zippers give you special instructions on how to insert them, including when to sew the rest of the seam below the zipper. Now, go ahead and follow whatever instructions your zipper gives. Trust me-- you will get the best results!

Last but not least, hand stitch a little hook and eye into the top of the zipper.

And you're all done! Turn the skirt inside out, and wear proudly!

I'm really excited about this post because it is my first ever sewing tutorial!!! I think this skirt turned out way cute, and it was ultra cheap. I found the broadcloth as a remnant (how lucky!) so that only cost $1, and the zipper was on crazy sale for $1.50. Not too shabby compared to the $65 from! 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

A week of success!

After a long, productive week, I'm treating myself. I'm visiting my sister in Raleigh, NC. She's studying entomology, and today is BugFest at the science museum! We're going to take a few hours to check it out, and maybe even eat some insects--blegh! Then we're baking vegan macaroons, and going shopping for her apartment. All-in-all, today's my treat. I'm taking a break.

But I'm also posting!

One of my classmates took a couple photos for an interview I had. I liked this one so much, that I thought I'd throw it up here! Thanks, Byron :)

Shirt: Target, on sale
Belt: Forever21
Skirt: Homemade!
Boots: My roommate's highschool's costume shop

I'm definitely not the most fashionable person in the world, but I loved the way this turned out!

Also wanted to post another picture of my Ivory Eshe Necklace Knock-off. You can really see how cool it is when I'm wearing it!

And that's it for now! I'm working on knitting a vest right now, and I'll be sure to post that once I'm done. 

Happy Weekend!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Anthropologie DIY! Ivory Eshe Necklace Knock-off

I have a love-hate relationship with Anthropologie. I hate how expensive everything is (so expensive that I've never made a purchase there!) but I love all their crazy weird clothes and jewelry. 

So, true to our relationship, I was browsing when I came across the Ivory Eshe Necklace. My first thought was, "I can make this!" And I did! Behold, the Ivory Eshe Knock-off!

Now, I admit that my picture isn't very good, but I'm pretty proud of the outcome! It was super cheap, if a little challenging to make. I had the seed beads, and all I needed were some fake pearls, a few 1" eye pins, and those little bitty bead tips. I'd be happy to post a tutorial if you're interested :) just let me know!