Posts Tagged ‘DIY’

Mar. 2012 28

Braided Sleeve Top

I did this sketch a few months ago of a simple shirt with braided sleeve. So of course when I found this crazy psychedelic print that was by far the loudest fabric I’ve ever bought, I thought it’d be perfect for this (slightly weird) shirt. It’s pretty straight forward. You’ll need a t-shirt to use as a pattern. I had only a yard of this fabric, so it cost me about $3 to make. The best part I this shirt has dolman sleeves, which mean you don’t need to cut separate sleeve! Also, you don’t really need to finish the edges since it’s a jersey knit; it might actually add to the look (I finished mine because I hate raw edges)


1. Trace shirt like so:

2. Add length for braids

3. Cut out. Repeat for back side as well

4. With right sides together, sew side seams

* **Optional: Finish neck holes and bottom***

5. Turn shirt right side out, sew shoulder seam

***Optional, finish sleeve opening edges***

6. Cut fringe just up to seam, 0.75” wide

7. Stitch down the beginning of the braid at the neck opening. You can add extra strips here if you want to, it’ll make starting the braid easier.

8. French braid!

9. Tie a knot at the bottom and cut off. You could also tuck the ends in and sew to finish.


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Feb. 2012 15

Button Belt

I’ll be the first to admit I’m a Pinterest addict. I saw this button belt and fell in love with it. The only bad thing? I forgot to pin it! So I have no idea where it came from. So if you know, tell me so I can give credit where it’s due.

Moving on…

This belt is super easy (and comfy!)


What you’ll need

-Length of 2” elastic slightly longer than your waist

-3 Hook & eye closures

-Tons of buttons!



1. Measure the length around your waist. Add ½”. Cut your elastic to that length. I like to lightly singe the edges with a match so it won’t fray

2. Fold back the ends ½” on each side. Stitch

3. Sew your three closures on the back side of the fold so that when closed, there is no gap

4. Start adding buttons! Don’t do too many with the same string. You want your belt to be able to stretch still. And that’s it. Seriously easy. I didn’t go all the way around the belt because I don’t have the attention span for it.

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Feb. 2012 8

Easy Breezy Caftan

I am a truly lucky girl. I have a great boyfriend, Vlad, who is such a sport about getting dragged to the fabric store. He’ll go through endless amounts of clearance fabric trying to find some allusive piece of fabric that I can’t even describe myself. Yet some how, he always comes away finding some killer piece that I would have completely missed. Thus was the case with this awesome black, grey and blue shear panel printed fabric. I have no idea how he found it, but I love it. I loved it so much I didn’t want to waste a single inch. So I went with a belted Caftan design. It’s super easy, although a little time consuming.


What you’ll need:

-About 2 yards of fabric (which is approximately what 1 panel of the design was)

-Some ¼” double fold bias tape

-Fabric for a sash


1. This is by far the most time consuming step. Cut your fabric into a rectangle, I recommend using a rotary cutter for this so you have clean edges. Then you are going to roll the hem  all the way around so it’s 1/4″ finished. Sew

2. Fold in half, mark the center top

3. Take a v-neck t-shirt and trace the opening. Cut out

4. Using your double fold bias tape, finish the neck opening.

5. Put the Caftan on, pin front and back together at natural waist. I had to get Vlad’s help with this.

6. Remove the caftan, mark 2.5”where you pinned in step 5. Sew button holes here.

7. Make your sash 2” wide. To do this, cut strips 3” wide, enough to fit around your waist and tie together. Then sew strips together, turn right side out and press.


Then just belt your caftan and you’re done! There are so many ways you can where it. I know most people only think of caftans as beach cover ups, but look, I paired it with a simple purple tank dress and it’s ready to go out on the town! It also looks great with jeans. You can pin up the “sleeves” and add a thicker belt, or belt the sleeves in for even more looks. I feel like there are way too many pictures of me this post, but I really wanted to show you how easy it is to style a caftan.

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Jan. 2012 20

The Fashion Cape

Let’s talk capes. No, not the Renaissance fair kind, but the stylish every day kind. Capes are just one of those things you either find really attractive/elegant or silly. I’m of the former group. I find them simple and beautiful (when done right). I’m going to walk you through a tutorial for making a really easy cape out of flannel. But before I do I want you to know, you can simplify this way down if you are looking for a fast project. You don’t need the pockets or collar if you don’t want them. I tend to go crazy if I don’t have pockets, so I had to add them. You also don’t need to line it. I wanted something that would be useful in DC’s weather, so I opted for a warm liner so I could get some use out of it.



1.75 yards flannel

1.75 yards liner (I choose thick velvet-ish fabric)


Some scrap vinyl




1. Fold fabric in half, then half again

2. Cut circle with 29” radius

3. Cut circle with a 3” radius out of the middle for the neck hole

4. Open up the circle, cut a straight line, opening up the cape

5. Now we are going to make the pleats where the pockets go. If you don’t want pockets (or pleats, skip to step 11)

-Measure 20” in at the bottom edge, mark

-Measure 3” past the first mark, mark this spot

-Tuck the 3” portion back on the underside so it points towards the opening

-Pin pleat along edge

6. Now we are going to cut the pleat open on the back side, about 13” in length. Roll this edge back once and stitch to finish.

8. Using the scraps from around your larger circle, cut the pockets by tracing your hand.

9. Sew each pocket right in to your pleats. You’ll sew along the top edge of each side first, and then sew the pocket itself together.

10. Top stitch the pleat as follows:

11. Lay out your cape, cut a copy out of the lining fabric.

12. Using the rest of the scraps from your big circle, cut a collar. I just used as much as I could, I didn’t measure or anything.  Sew pieces together, leaving bottom arc open. Then turn right-side-out, press and top stitch

13. Sew collar to right side of cape (1/4” seam). Then sew lining to the cap (1/2”), leaving an opening on the front straight part so you can turn it right side out.

14. Turn cape, press, finish opening. Now you can top stitch.

15. Now mark and add buttons to the front. I chose to have the buttons face inward so you wouldn’t see them

16. Put on the cap, mark where you want you “arm” to be defined. Stitch multiple times here, about ½” up.

17. Add tassels.


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