Soft Strokes

Monday, October 31, 2011

After giving you two DIY's last week, I figured it was time for an old-fashion style post :D Today I am showing you a great dress I found a few months ago. Being from a painterly family, I have always been a fan of brush stroke prints. I hope you love this dress as much as I do :) I got this whole look for under 20 Bucks!!! Not to shabby :)

Brand: Guess by Marciano
Purchase Price: $7.99
Purchased From: The Goodwill (Los Angeles, CA)
Suggested Retail: $158.00

**They are so old, I can’t even remember where they came from :D

Brand: unknown
Purchase Price: $1 each
Purchased From: some random dollar store
Suggested Retail: unknown

Brand: Nine West
Purchase Price: $7.99
Purchased From: The Goodwill (Los Angeles, CA)
Suggested Retail: $89.00

How to Make an Apron from a Skirt

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Upon the arrival of my new sewing machine this Summer I have been searching out good patterns for "first timers."  I stumbled across a ton of different patterns for aprons and I thought those would be great first time projects. I bought some cheap fabric and made a simple half apron with ties. I was very proud of myself, however it was pretty boring! I found quite a few patterns for cuter aprons, but they all involve piping and ruffles and pleats... things I have not yet mastered. I am not above trying, I just don't think it is going to happen overnight.

After purchasing quite a few new fabrics and letting them sit on a shelf for weeks, I came up with a novel approach to making aprons. I do not claim to be the first one to think of this but I have not come across this idea in all my DIY searching. I was in the thrift store the other day (go figure) and I saw a really pretty skirt. Of course it was an extra small and there was no way my tush was going to fit into it, but I had an epiphany... why don't I turn skirts into aprons? Genius, Right? You can credit me as the inventor of the skirt apron if you must :D

I have laid out my very simple instructions for turning an old/stained/ill-fitting skirt into  stylish kitchen-wear! (Guess what everyone is getting for Christmas??)

I found this XS Forever 21 Skirt at the Goodwill for $5.99

To Begin the Apron process, I Located the zipper on the inside of the skirt

I cut out the zipper, thus opening the skirt, creating the canvas for the apron

I Pinned each side of the skirt

I sewed a new hem on each side to keep the fabric from frying

Voilá! We're halfway done with the apron!

For the ties, I took some great green fabric I already had and cut strips long enough to wrap
around my waist. Everyone is different so, do a rough measure of yourself before cutting.

My green fabric is pretty thin so I wanted to fold it over to make it more sturdy.
I find that by ironing it is easier to keep together.

Pin both strips of fabric in  half and sew a 1/4 inch seam

The part that makes me crazy, flipping the strips right-side out. I use a pencil to help me push the fabric through. Some fabrics are more stiff than others and can make this process very obnoxious.

After I have flipped the strips and ironed them smooth again, I pin them where I want to attach them.
I make a quick stitch and then cut off the excess.

For the ends of the ties, you can leave them square if you want, but I like mine to be in a triangle.
I just fold over one corner and pin.

I add a quick seam and I'm done with the ties!
I wanted to add a pocket, so I took the same green fabric I used for the ties. I doubled it over and sewed it together to give it more stability. I then pinned it where I wanted it on the skirt and sewed it on three sides. Remember not to sew the top closed :)
*You can make your pocket any size you want, mine is 6" x 7" (just big enough for my iPhone).

The Finished Product!!

And the view from the back :)

Runway Inspired DIY

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I have been trying to keep up with the Spring fashion shows, but there are so many! However, the ones I have seen, I find a ton of inspiration. I have even found a few looks that I know I can recreate :) The following  DIY comes from a look in the Burberry Prorsum Spring RTW 2012 collection. I have a feeling I will be doing quite a few more runway inspired DIY's in the near future!

Burberry Prorsum Spring 2012 Ready to Wear

I saw this sweater and thought "Hey I could make that." So, that is exactly what I set out to do. I don't exactly care for the prints featured here but I love the idea of having a different pattern panel down the front. Now, I don't really know how to construct clothing, but I do know how to modify existing stuff.. kinda :D I went to the thrift store and started searching for shirts and patterns that I might want to mix. I had a bit of a hard time finding a long sleeve with a nice pattern so I decided I would find a plain sweater and add the print as a front panel. Below I have laid out my process...

 I found this shirt and I really liked the pattern, however it is a 2X... so I figured I could at least cut it up and use the fabric for my center panel.

I found this mocha brown long sleeve that goes perfectly with the pattern shown above.  I only paid $6 for this one and $5 for the short sleeve. I figured for $11, I could experiment a bit.

I began the process by putting on the long sleeve and seeing where the center fell on me. I then made two ink marks as big as I wanted the middle panel to be. I ended up measuring 4" and making pen marks all the way down so when I cut it, it would be straight.

I cut out the center panel, as you can see above. Note, this is my first time using Jersey knit and it is a pain in the Ba-donk-a-donk!! I suggest using a different fabric if you're a beginner like me.

I then cut a strip of fabric from the patterned blouse. I cut it 5" wide to compensate for the space it takes to sew new seams.

I lined up the panel to the collar and the bottom of the long sleeve in order to see where I needed to hem the it. Once I made sure the two pieces fit I folded and pinned the panel and proceeded to sew it on top and bottom.

 After I made sure the top and bottom of the panel were hemmed, I began pinning the sides to the long sleeve. Again, working with a knit can be kind of trying but I got through it with only minimal puckering!!

Here is the end result!! I am so very proud of myself for being able to see something and make it a reality!! I know Burberry put this in a spring collection, but I am wearing my mini masterpiece all winter long :D 

My little afternoon project only cost me $11 and two hours time!! I promise a style post with this shirt very soon!!

There's a story in every....

Saturday, October 22, 2011

I think one of most fun things about thrifting is imagining what life the garment had before you found it. I'm not really a believer that inanimate objects have feelings (except my childhood bunny rabbit), but I do like to imagine the story about a garment. Clothes have always been a big part of my life, I can tell my whole life story through wardrobe. I am able to pick up a dress and I can be immediately transported back in time. So, when I find something I really love, I like to imagine it's story and where it's been.  I imagine the blouse I am sharing today has a rich history. It's bright coral color and its cut leads me to believe it is defiantly from the 80's. I imagine a little old lady would wear it with a pleated skirt out to have lunch with her girlfriends. Where they would gossip about their husbands who fart in their sleep and it wakes the dog up. You know, things like that :D I find myself being drawn to "grandma" style clothing lately and trying to put a modern twist on it. I also realize I've never shown jeans on here (I love jeans) so I hope you enjoy my take on this vintage top!! The whole look cost $42.50 :)
Brand: Chaus
Purchase Price: $4.49
Purchased From: Goodwill (Los Angeles, CA)
            Suggested Retail: unknown
Brand: New York & Co.
Purchase Price: $8.99
Purchased From: New York & Co.
    Suggested Retail: $8.99

Brand: unknown
Purchase Price: $2.99
Purchased From: eBay
Suggested Retail: unknown

Brand: Hudson
Purchase Price: $7.99
Purchased From: Goodwill (Los Angeles, CA)
Suggested Retail: $198.00

Brand: Atmosphere
Purchase Price: $9.99
Purchased From: Goodwill (Los Angeles, CA)
Suggested Retail: Unknown
*They were brand new with 'made in Ireland' tags
Brand: unknown
Purchase Price: $8.00
Purchased From: Rapsody
Suggested Retail: $8.00

Pout Perfect

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I don't know if any of you can relate but I have a serious obsession with obsessions. I will see something and then become obsessed with finding it. My most recent craze is a bubblegum pink matte lipstick. I used to think it was so 80's, but recently I've had a change of heart. I was perusing Kristina Bazan's Blog (, and saw her sporting this amazingly bright pout. I am not usually one for lipstick, I'm kinda a gloss girl, but something about her images made me say "I've Got To Find That!" So naturally the very next day I began my hunt. I started at Ulta (a cheaper version of Sephora) and one of the girls recommended the brand NYX and it's a soft matte cream. I thought I was totally good and had found what I wanted, quick and easy. However, when I got home It didn't quite have the bold color I was searching for. Thus, the next day I found myself at a MAC counter and picked up their version of a satin pink. I once again was very content with my purchase. Then, I was surfing around on Facebook and saw one of my girlfriends wearing the same shade I've been pining over. I asked her what brand it was and crazy enough, it's Revlon. As you can guess I went and bought that one too! So now I have three, pretty similar, pink lipsticks and what am I going to do with them??

I think I shall blog :D I am not going to keep all three but I figured I would do a little mini review on the three brands I found. If you're looking for the perfect pouty pink lip, listen up...

First Off, My inspiration.....
This is Kristen, (I hope you don't mind I swiped your pic) Gorgeous Right?!?

Now, The Three Culprits....

(From Left to Right)
First NYX, color tokyo, It is a soft matte cream. So it goes on smooth and drys Matte. Second, Revlon's Matte color Pink Pout and third is MAC's satin finish, color Snob.

My first review is on the NYX brand. At first I really liked this one, my problem is that it is very subtle in hue. After trying to apply it multiple times  (to achieve a desired richness) it became "cakey" (sp?) It is at a nice price point of under $6. I also got a nude colored one as well, which I will be keeping. I think I will return the pink one however, because I have found others I like better :)
(See Below)

The second shade I found was from MAC. I don't normally buy MAC products just because of the sheer price point. This satin lipstick is no exception. The color Snob, retails for over $15... wowzer. I did buy it anyways because one, I rarely splurge but two, that damn obsession I had was not going away! I REALLY like this lipstick. It seems to have everything I am looking for. It is not completely a matte finish, but it isn't shiny either. I love the rich color and although I know it is hard to see in my pictures (bad lighting) it really pops! Honestly, the only thing negative I have about this one is the price.

The third lip color I have purchased in the last three days, is Revlon's Pink Pout Matte Lipstick. This one wins for me on ALL fronts! I love the smoothness and the matte affect this color has! Not to mention, I bought it at Rite Aid (on sale) for under $6!! The only downfall is that, this color is sold out almost everywhere, and I can see why! I know I will keep this one, but I still like the MAC one too... I might keep both :)

 • • • •

Below is my girlfriend Ashley wearing the Revlon shade. My pictures do not do it justice, so on her you can see how bright it is :)
Love you Ash, Hope you don't mind me stealing your pic :)

and... since we're talking lips, I love this new lip gloss!!

It's Maybelline's Baby Lips in Peach Kiss, I love it!

Tokyo Red

Saturday, October 15, 2011

My husband and I are pretty big explorers. When we lived in Chicago I would make him drive me all over the city at 2 am (That's when there's no traffic). It was such a fun time to explore a new city and see all the neighborhoods. Since, we've been living in LA it's more difficult to see this vast land. LA is so much more spread out with a ton of hidden little neighborhoods. Nevertheless, we always seize the opportunity to check out a new place.

My Husband recently found himself in Little Tokyo with a buddy who showed him some amazing mochi balls (Japanese confection made from mochi (pounded sticky rice) with an ice cream filling). As soon as we both had time, he swept me up and wanted to share the confection with me. We took all these pictures in Little Tokyo and I must say my red dress was very fitting for the scene :) This look cost $40.45!!

Brand: LVL X
Purchase Price: $5.99
Purchased From: Goodwill (Los Angeles, CA)
Suggested Retail: Unknown
Brand: J Crew
Purchase Price: $5.49
Purchased From: Goodwill (Los Angeles, CA)
            Suggested Retail: $89.50
Paper lanterns lined the walk ways

Brand: Forever 21
Purchase Price: $6.00

We got a strawberry one and a chocolate one


Brand: Nine West
Purchase Price: $7.99
Purchased From: Goodwill (Los Angeles, CA)
    Suggested Retail: $89.00

Brand: Gap
Purchase Price: $9.99
Purchased From: Goodwill (Los Angeles, CA)
Suggested Retail: Unknown, But I’m pretty sure it was over $80

Brand: Thrifted
Purchase Price: $4.99
Purchased From: Goodwill (Los Angeles, CA)
Suggested Retail: Unknown