DIY Gossip Girl-Inspired Starburst Safety Pin Blazer

done1*This project I contributed to Snippets Magazine: The New York Issue on Cut Out + Keep in 2010, and am re-posting to my blog here.

A la Balmain or a la Jenny, this blazer is looking sharp!

inspirationThough it only appeared onscreen for the briefest of moments, this was Little J’s take on an elegant cover-up to take her straight to the Ambassador’s Dinner and show up Damien. Making your own is easy, just by adding multiple safety pins to a blazer in need of a makeover.

Materials:
materialsBlack fitted Blazer  /  Medium-large size silver Safety Pins

How To:step1 1. Start by inserting a couple safety pins in a fan-shape at one of the side-seams of the blazer, right where it hits your waist. Try not to push the safety pins through the jacket lining.Add more safety pins in-between the first row.

step22. Keep alternating placement as you fan out from the side and create a “starburst” pattern.

step33. Add a few larger safety pins near the edges.

step44. Repeat for the other side of the blazer.done2
So easy- and so impactful. This piece looks great over skinny jeans, or even a slinky dress for a night out!
done3
Happy DIY’ing!
xo
Carly

DIY Bell-Sleeve Coat Dress and Sweet Dress Book Review

sweetdressbook_coatdress1 Laurence King Publishing (the same publishers of the incredibly useful DIY Couture by Rose Martin) recently were gracious enough to send me a copy of their newest sewing book, Sweet Dress Book: 23 Dresses of Pattern Arrangement by Yoshiko Tsukiori. sweetdressbook_cover2Translated from the Japanese, this pattern book features 23 tutorials for making a variety of blouses, tops, dresses, cardigans, and even shorts – all engineered from a basic 6 patterns with different darts, flounces, and lengths to switch up the silhouettes. (more…)

DIY: Chanel-Style Black-and-White Cape (from Two Sweatshirts)

cape1Adapted from the book Cut-Up Couture: Edgy Upcycled Garments to Sew [though mine is the Japanese version; I’m not sure if the translated version I’ve linked to is the same]

I’ve written about this book a little while ago in this post on how to make a Convertible Blouson Tunic from 3 Men’s Sweatshirts). To me, this sweet little cape seems slightly Chanel-ish, two-toned, sleek…anything but sweatshirt-like.

(And if you made the tunic following that tutorial, you will have found yourself left with the top half of 3 sweatshirts. In this project we’ll use the top half of 1 for our cape, and as to what to do with the remaining 2 sweatshirts…stay tuned!)

How to Make a Chanel-Style Black-and-White Cape With Bow


You Will Need:

*2 sweatshirts (Men’s XL work best), in two different colors
*scissors
*sewing needle for knits
*thread matching one sweatshirt
*hand-sewing needle

How-To

Measure and Cut

1. Measure and mark 5.5″ down from the neck opening on your first sweatshirt, on the center front. Measure and mark 8 5/8″ on each side of neck opening on the shoulder seams. step3Connect the marks you made in a semicircle around the neck portion of your sweatshirt.

step42. Cut out the neck along the line you made, cutting through both front and back of the sweatshirt.

3. Mark and measure 15″ up from the ribbed hem of your second sweatshirt. Draw a line straight across the shirt from side to side (it should be very close to right under the arms).

step64. Cut along the line, through both front and back of your sweatshirt.

step75. Draw a rectangle 4″ high by 8″ long on the remaining fabric of the sweatshirt from Step 4). Cut it out.

6. Draw another, smaller rectangle measuring 2″ high x 2.75″ long on the same sweatshirt and cut it out.

Your cut pieces should look like this:

Pin
step97. Turn the 15″-high bottom half you cut out in Step 4) upside down, and pin on top of the cut edge of the neck piece from Step 2). Overlap the ribbed edge about 1/2″ onto the cut edge of the neck piece, following the curved edge. Pin along edge.

8. Fold both the smaller rectangles you cut in half lengthwise, right sides together, and pin edges.

Machine Sew
9. Sew both smaller rectangle along their longer edges, about 1/8″ from cut edge. Turn each right side out again – this will create two tubes. (not pictured)

step1010. Sew the cape main parts together, stitching on top of the ribbing in a matching thread, about 3/8″ from edge. If both your sweatshirts are exactly the same size, the neck piece should not be gathering despite the stretch from the ribbing. (Mine is b/c I used an L sweatshirt for the neck and an XL sweatshirt for the bottom…my bad!)

step1111. Hem your cape, turning over about 1/2″ at the bottom and stitching a 3/8″ hem.

Hand-Sew

12. Flatten the larger rectangle tube you made in Step 9), roll the seam to the center, and fold each end over to meet in the middle. Hand-stitch ends together to make a bow.
step1313. Flatten the smaller rectangle tube, roll the seam to the center, and stitch one end to your stitching in the center of your bow from Step 11).
14. Roll the strip around your bow, pull tight to the back to make your bow “poufy,” and secure in the back again with more stitches.

15. Stitch bow onto the center of your cape, slightly above the ribbing seam. (not pictured)

You’re done! A lovely cape – just in time for cold weather.

And don’t forget to cut the remaining parts of your sweatshirts in the same fashion – and just reverse the colors – and you can make a second cape to give to someone this holiday season! Brrrr! I feel the winter chills coming on!:-)
cape3Happy DIY’ing!

xoxo
Carly