Clothing

Put a Bow On It

Sometimes you gotta roll with the punches… make lemonade when life hands you lemons… keep calm and carry on. What I’m trying to say is that sometimes DIY goes madly awry, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s “game over” for your project. In fact, deviating from your original plan – or scrapping it entirely – can yield stunning results.

Bow full

Long story short, I put a not-so-small hole in this sweater. Like, front and center… which is a problem since I had set out to embellish the front of my cardigan with heavy beads and buttons.  Instead of a DIY pièce de résistance, I had an unraveling mess on my hands. Y I K E S.

At moments like these, I put my project down and walk away. Taking a break gives me time to think through my options, say a bunch of swear words, and reboot. I weighed the pros and cons of several ideas over a cup of coffee, but ultimately decided on the simplest fix: put a bow on it. A BIG ONE.

folded 2

So, that’s how this bow-bedecked cardi came to be.

Button Row 2I switched out the plain buttons for shiny (plastic) gold ones and placed a small silver-lined bead in the center for added interest. Much to my surprise, the buttons actually sparkle as they catch the light!

I fashioned a large bow out of black and white grosgrain ribbon and sewed it onto the collar. The bow not only hid the hole (which has been patched), but transformed a basic cardigan into something wonderfully chic.

While disappointed my original project never came to be, I am thrilled with what I made in the end. This cardi will transition from work to weekend seamlessly, and because the details are timeless, it will work with any season.

Here, I have paired my newest creation with an emerald blouse (Pantone’s color of the year!) and my favorite pair of denim. Throw on some black ballet flats and I’m ready for Sunday afternoon.

tryoutEmerald sleeveless blouse (Joe Fresh, $14)
Dark wash skinny-straight denim (Level 99, $130)
Heather grey 3/4 sleeve cardigan (Merona, $13) + Folklore DIY bow and buttons

Sweater Weather

My dear friend and very crafty maven Sarahrulu (of FHF fame) brought a lovely embellished cardigan to my attention this week. A simple crew neckline goes from “blah” to “ahh!” with pearls of all sizes and a sprinkling of rhinestones. You can see it here. Once I stopped swooning –  it took a bit – I began to day dream about my own fancy cardi. Swap out that buttery yellow for a fall-appropriate neutral and add a healthy dose of academic chic. Now we’re talking!

And so, as it always goes, I found myself at Joann’s last night… but not before I made a Target run. Snatched this heather grey Merona crew-neck cardigan for only $13! That’s a bingo! I’m not entirely certain what I’m doing with all these delightful craft supplies yet, but that’s never stopped me before.

sweater buttons beads ribbons horz

Oh! Do yourself a favor and listen to “Sweater Weather” by The Neighbourhood.

Hello, September!

I cannot believe it’s already September. Time has flown by these past few weeks, but I’m not complaining. Fall crafting is now officially in full swing, and I can begin to publicly plan for Halloween… I will buy glow-in-the-dark glitter this year, I swears it!

I finally got around to unpacking my yarn stash – what’s left of it anyway. Poor things have been sitting in a box since we moved in May. Now that they’re free, the nubby textures and dark colors are inspiring all sorts of creativity. I really want to make at least one sweater this season. Motivation? Got it! Selecting a pattern? That’s the hard part.

yarn stack

close upNow, I can’t talk about knits and sweaters without mentioning jackets. Oh, how I live for jacket weather. I’m feeling the need for an unconventional outerwear-related DIY project. Any ideas?jackets

Beaded Peter Pan Collar Tutorial

2013-08-18 10.13.28 HDRTurning a boring ol’ t-shirt into an embellished masterpiece is as easy as draw, outline, and fill! Let’s get to it.

WHAT YOU WILL NEED
Crew-neck or scoop neck t-shirt
Thread to match t-shirt
Thread to contrast t-shirt
Needle
Beads (I used three tubes of 6/0 e-beads in Onxy)
Fabric chalk

Before starting, I recommend giving the shirt one last machine wash. You’ll probably want to handwash your top once the collar is complete.

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Outline1. DRAW THE COLLAR
Draw an outline of your collar directly onto the t-shirt using your fabric chalk. I free-handed mine, but tracing a pattern is always an option.

Don’t be afraid to try out different sizes and shapes until you find something you like. A damp cloth will erase the outline if you want to make adjustments or completely start over. I drew a smaller collar in the beginning, but ultimately decided on something more substantial.

Once I was happy with my sketched-on collar, I used the contrasting thread to sew on an outline. I figured that as I beaded, the chalk would rub off (which totally happened). While this step might seem redundant, it will save you from re-drawing your outline over and over as you begin to sew on the beads.

2. BEAD THE OUTLINE
Your collar is outlined and your beads are assembled, so it’s time to start sewing. Pick a point to begin beading and just go for it! I doubled my thread for extra hold and sewed on one bead at a time.

Make sure your knots are nice and secure, and every so often, gently tug on the fabric to make sure that the beading will stretch. I had this nightmarish vision of pulling the t-shirt over my head, hearing a pop, then watching helplessly as beads tumbled to and bounced all over the floor. Kinda like this.

Once I had beaded around the entire collar in the front, I sewed a single row around the back of the neck. It’s totally optional, but I’m a fan of even the smallest details.

fill in

3. FILL IN THE COLLAR
The final, but most time-consuming step is simply filling in the collar. Just as you did for the outline, sew on one bead at a time and stretch the fabric every once in a while. I took the opportunity to add a bead or two to the outline itself, creating a smoother and more polished edge.

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Like I said, it’s a very simple project and totally worth the time spent. If you use this tutorial, please send pics to folklorecraft (at) gmail (dot) com! I would be honored if you shared your creativity with me!on table

Beaded Peter Pan Collar

Close-Up On

Moving twice in 11 months will certainly prompt you re-evaluate your wardrobe. Why pack, move, and unpack something you haven’t worn in ages? Why fill your closet with clothing that’s out-of-shape, the wrong size, or just plain uninteresting? My friend Sarah, the Fröhliche Haus Frau, recently blogged about her experience downsizing for her move across the Atlantic. It’s tough and sometimes heartbreaking work, but completely necessary if you wish to maintain a polished wardrobe and your sanity. Trust me.

Plain Black Tee

Even though I’ve made a concerted effort to maintain a slimmed down closet, a few items always seem to fly under the radar. I recently discovered this black t-shirt stuffed in the back of a very neatly folded drawer. How?! Why?! Alas, I had no answers. I honestly can’t even remember the last time I wore it. Not good.

Rather than toss it into the donate pile, I decided to give the shirt one last chance. The high neckline made the tee the perfect candidate for a peter pan collar – so hot right now.* I toyed with the idea of sewing a collar, but DJ encouraged me to try something new. I went out on a limb, and by that I mean to the craft store, and took on the task of beading one instead.

On Hanger

The project was surprisingly simple, albeit time consuming. I worked on the collar over the course of a few nights, but I think the results are definitely worth the time invested. Plus, what’s easier than throwing on a t-shirt with a built-in necklace?

I took some pictures along the way, too, and I’m considering putting together a tutorial. Anyone interested?

*this phrase only exists in my lexicon as a Zoolander reference

Grey Days Ahead

While the temperature is still hovering around the low 80s here in Tennessee, recent mornings have greeted us with crisp air and a hint of a Fall breeze. Just in time for back-to-school season, too! I cannot wait for the real thing, so this taste of Autumn has been a real treat.

Recently, I’ve been dreaming of layered neutral tones. They add interest to monochromatic ensembles, and play up Fall’s more vibrant hues. I am especially fond of grey and navy. Since I’m very fair-skinned, heathered charcoals and deep blues are more flattering than say stark black and white. Here is what I’m looking forward to:

grey collage1. Peggy Skirt (Plümo, £56)

2. Polka dot button-down

3. Matte grey nails (Zoya, $18)

4. Rolled cuffs, striped socks, and oxfords

5. Repurposed sari bag (Joss and Main)

6. Mixed media tassel necklace (Madewell, $38)