Monday, June 24, 2013

30 DIYs with leather

I've updated my popular "20 DIYs with leather" to now be "30 DIYS with leather" and fixed all the missing embedded Pinterest images.

Leather adds a certain elan to handmade goodies, and the interwebs are full of fabulous projects.

The above Jil Sanders leather lunch bag is the real deal but you can find a DIY for it at Chictopia.

This white leather flower bracelet from Between the Lines was the result of an accident.


From EvaForEva, a leather clutch from old clothes that is lined with fabric.

White leather net bag from Love Aesthetics and the famous Swell Mayde leather phone case via Design Sponge. Lots of holes to be made for this one.

This clutch from Beautiful Objects is made from an old coat.

This bag from Between the Lines looks gorgeous and doable as does the plant hanger from Design Sponge.

Leather can be golden. Above a chevron cuff from Oh the Lovely Things at You Are My Fave. Below a gold Peter Pan collar from A Pair and a Spare.

Lots and lots of bracelets and bangles. Painted, studded, embellished. Above, a leather snap bracelet from A Beautiful Mess.

Leather and lace cuffs from Mom Spark.

The magical one-piece braided bracelet (with animation and video) from Melissa Esplin at I Still Love You.

Some dude-friendly projects - a lunch tote from Wood and Faulk above and leather journals from Ishi below.


A studded Peter Pan collar from Crème de la Craft above.

Leather shoulders on a shirt from Cotton and Curls.

Leather flower rings from Wedding Window.

The iconic DIY leather foldover clutch from Say Yes to Hoboken.

A big crazy DIY leather necklace from Time for Tea and three simple leather necklaces from Cotton and Curls.

A Splendid Assemblage's DIY pyramid wrist bag.

My own gold-dipped leather bookmarks.

My own rustic leather journal from an old coat and DIY leather cabinet handles from Veronica Loves Archie.

A minimalist white leather notebook by Design and Form.

DIY Hermes inspired illusion knot cuff from Inspiration & Realisation.

Leather star sweater from Mormors Glamour. DIY this Celine knot bracelet at Whimseybox or with a video tutorial at Refinery29.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

My DIY faux raffia bracelets

I made this set of summery faux raffia bracelets using a mystery dollar store material. Can you guess what it is?

Did you guess poly rope?

This project was inspired by a raffia kumihimo bracelet project at El Cuaderno de Ideas. You could use raffia for this project and end up with a somewhat skinnier bracelet. The dollar store rope strands are thicker and a bit cheaper than raffia (although you won't break the bank with raffia, that's for sure.)
Instead of kumihimo, you use lanyard knots. To make a lanyard knot, see this video and photo tutorial.
See the full tutorial at Dollar Store Crafts.  Make a stack. They're cheap.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Myanmar street style

At last, the long-awaited Yangon street style post, perhaps the only Yangon street style post on the entire world wide web.

These are a few street photos from my trip to Myanmar a few months ago.

Myanmar has been under military rule for decades and has been cut off from the western world until recently. So most people still wear the traditional longyi, a long skirt tied at the waist.  Men and women tie it differently. Almost everybody wears a dress shirt.  Flip flops are the national footwear.

The absence of western t-shirts, blue jeans and shorts is refreshing. The Myanmar people look dignified across age, gender and occupation and make the tourists look disheveled by comparison.

Myanmar people are also unbelievably friendly, tolerating and sometimes welcoming picture taking by visitors.

A few opt for western style clothes or hair.

And some young people mix and match - a longyi with a t-shirt as an example.

Many women carry colorful plastic totes instead of a handbag, which allows room for lunch.

The top of the head is also useful for carrying everything from tiny bowls to entire street food stations.

Myanmar men and women are fearless about mixing pattern.

Women, children and some men wear thanaka, a cosmetic paste made from bark and used as a sunscreen.

Female Buddhist monks wear pink robes with an orange sash.

Yangon is mostly Buddhist with a mix of Muslim and Christian.

Add a bright head covering, thanaka, betel nut, and bubble tea and you have a colorful mix.

Vendors sell antique hill tribe jewelry.

And for you DIYers out there, this is standard equipment. People carry foot-pedaled sewing machines out to the street and set up shop repairing and making clothes, shoes and bags. Nothing is wasted.

Colonial-era buildings that have barely changed since the British left.

I'll share some of the goodies I bought in an upcoming post.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Visual inspiration - clean lines and saturated color

Dreary day. Busy week. Wish I lived inside of this photo shoot, all calm, cool and colorful.

Photography by Horst Diekgerdes for Instyle magazine, normally known more for cute outfits and celebrity fawning than inspiring imagery.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

My DIY 5-minute skirt alteration

Here are two super easy alterations you can make to a thrift store skirt that don't even require a sewing machine.

I've had a lot of success finding colorful skirts in thrift stores, but sometimes the fit and style leaves much to be desired. The 1990s were an era of putting padding where no padding should go (e.g. shoulder pads, harem pants, and adding pleats and pockets to the hip area.)

If we take another look at our wonky skirt from yesterday, you will note that part of the problem is gapping bulky pockets.

Solution: Pin and hand sew the pockets shut. Turn the skirt inside out and chop off the pockets.

The second alteration helps with the shapelessness you will sometimes see in a second-hand skirt. See how the skirt tapers out at the end when it really would look a lot better if it were straight or even tapered in?

If you don't want to bother with actually tapering the skirt (and you may not want to if the skirt is full at the top since it will just exaggerate the problem), just sew up the back slit.

If the back slit has flaps, make sure they overlap evenly (both flaps should bend in just a tad.) Pin and try moving around in the skirt. If you're OK, then hand stitch the flap shut.

Still a little "poofy" but definitely better.

Have you found any quick fixes for your clothes?