crafts

The Big Costume Reveal

After weeks of deliberation, I have finally decided on my Halloween costume. This is no trivial matter, mind you, as I take this holiday very seriously. Out of many excellent possibilities, I have chosen to revisit one of my favorite childhood costumes:

Grey-Eyed Athena. Minerva.
Ancient goddess of wisdom, arts and crafts, and strategic warfare.

I have always found Athena to be absolutely fascinating and visually stunning. Born from Zeus’s head fully clad in armor, she was both feminine and masculine, nurturing and destructive. Artisans throughout the centuries have been inspired by Pallas Athene, depicting her in paintings and statuary in all her terrible glory. The goddess, even when adorned in beautiful woven robes, bears the head of Medusa on her aegis. In other words, she’s a total badass.athene

For my costume, I have chosen a non-traditional color scheme of gold and navy in a variety of textures. The light and airy navy (with a subtle black dot) will make up the tunic, while the gold solid will be draped from one shoulder and gathered in some fashion.

bundled jacquardI fell for the stunning gold and silver jacquard fabric in the store and couldn’t leave without it. The raised bumps reminded me of hammered metal, but it still was beautiful enough for a goddess. I’m thinking it will be perfect for a breastplate, which no Athena costume should be without. I am hoping to add some quilting and beadwork to the armor to give it even more depth.

As I construct this year’s costume, I will share updates on my progress. Have you decided on a Halloween costume yet?

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

Chain Reaction

Fall’s rich colors and luxe textures demand accessories with just as much visual impact. No offense to dainty jewels, but I want pieces that bring some edge to feminine cardigans and fit-and-flair dresses. That means chains and lots of ‘em.

Three Necklaces

To indulge my inner goth kid – yes, she’s very real – I’ve whipped up three necklaces that can be worn all together or on their own. All different lengths, the three necklaces use the same antique gold chains and are complemented by translucent grey and matte burgundy beads, black grosgrain ribbon, and a deep navy embroidery floss tassel. They’re just the right mix of alt-rock and classic opulence – without the price tag.

Necklace Collage

I am especially intrigued by the thicker gold chain with the silver accent. Mixing metals, even just a little bit, adds dimension and roughens up the look.

Houndstooth Far

This particular one was inspired by a Madewell necklace that I blogged about a few weeks ago. I love unusual pieces… especially if they have tassels. If you’ve been visiting FOLKLORE recently, you’ve probably noticed that I’m on a bit of a tassel binge.

Florence Mini Tutorial

This tutorial is for the Florence Mini, a slimmer and shorter version of the Florence skirt that I unveiled last week. It’s lightweight, has pockets for stashing small items, and will show off those legs!

Florence MiniWHAT YOU WILL NEED
Scissors
Pins
Yard stick
Large safety pin or double-sided knitting needle
Iron and ironing board
Sewing machine
1.25 yards of fabric
18″ x 22″ of contrasting fabric for pockets
3/4″ or 1″ non-roll elastic

HELPFUL EXTRAS
Seam ripper (just in case)
Fabric chalk

Today’s skirt is for my little sister – a 5’10” stunning and über-talented Amazon/photographer. She might be 2″ taller, but we have the same waist (26.5″) so I was able to use my own measurements as a guide. The final product was 17.5″ long and 26″ wide (or 52″ around). If you desire a longer and fuller skirt, simply increase the measurements I have provided.

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Florence Project Prep

PROJECT PREP
After pre-washing and ironing the fabric, I cut two identical rectangles that were 20.5″ long and 28″ wide. That leaves plenty of room for the seam allowance at the sides, the elastic casing at the top, and the hem at the bottom. Once sewn together, these rectangles will form the front and back of the skirt.

You will also need a pair of pockets, which I cut out after loosely tracing around my hand on contrasting fabric. In total, you will have two matching rectangles and four matching, mitt-shaped pocket pieces. Assemble your other materials, brew some tea, and then you are ready to go!

Florence Pockets & Side Seam

1. ATTACH POCKETS
Measure 5.5″ from the top of the first rectangle and pin one piece of a pocket. The fabric’s right-side (RS) should face the RS of the skirt. Measure 5.5″ on the other side of the rectangle, and pin another pocket piece. Repeat for the second rectangle. Before proceeding, make sure that the pockets will line-up!

Sew the four pocket sides to the rectangles and press the seams open.

2. SEW SIDE SEAMS
Line-up the two rectangles, RS together, with the pockets pressed to the outside. Pin in place. Your skirt should basically look like a tube with elephant ears.

Sew along the outer edge of the skirt while being careful not to sew the pockets closed. Press the seams open and turn the skirt inside out.

Florence Elastic Casing3. CREATE ELASTIC CASING
Beginning at a side seam, fold the top down 1/4″ and iron all the way around. This will create a nice finished edge for the waistband. The height of your casing all depends on the size of your elastic. Mine is 3/4″, so I folded down 1.25″ and pinned, leaving space for my seam and allowing the elastic to lie flat.

Sew the casing along the bottom but leave  an opening approximately 2″ long. This is for placing the elastic.

Florence Elastic4. MEASURE & PLACE ELASTIC
Measure the elastic by pulling it snuggly, but comfortably around your waist where you would like your skirt to sit. Note how much you need and cut a little extra (1.5″ – 2″ will do).

Anchor one end of the elastic to the skirt, just under the opening at the top. Taking the other end, attach a large safety pin so you can pull the elastic through the casing. I like to use a double-sided knitting needle, which I liberally tape to the free end of the elastic. I find it easier to hold, but to each her/his own!

Pull the elastic through the casing, being careful not to let it twist. Once out the other side, pin both ends together with some overlap. Feel free to try to skirt on at this point.

If it fits, use a zig-zag stitch (it’s stretchy) and sew the elastic. I like to make a rectangle, securing all sides. Switch back to a regular straight stitch and close up the opening at the casing.

Florence Hem Sew

5. HEM BOTTOM
Now you are in the home stretch! Hem the skirt to whatever length you desire. I rolled the bottom twice, creating a neat 1/4″ edge all the way around.

Sew and press the hem.

6. ENJOY
Try on your new Florence Mini and enjoy your creation!

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Finished Florence

Today’s skirt took a bit of patience, some tea, and a lot of Queens of the Stone Age to complete. Overall, I am very happy with it and I can’t wait to ship it off to Chicago!

Corkboard Jewelry Holder

Ever since my freshman year of college – which was way too long ago for my liking – I have used a corkboard to organize my jewelry. At first, it began as a necessity in my cramped dorm room, but as time passed I began to appreciate the board’s utility. I found that I could add pieces using only a thumbtack or change up the board’s look on a whim.

No longer plastering my walls with unframed posters and concert tickets, I was looking for a more polished way to incorporate my trusty corkboard into my chic (read: adult) apartment. This is what I came up with.

WHAT YOU WILL NEED:
At least one sturdy corkboard (I bought mine at Target )
Paint or a permanent marker (I used metallic Sharpies)
A ruler
A pencil
corkboardholder

Hang your corkboard only after it is dry. If your board is on the larger side, lean it up against the wall for a more casual look. I chose to make two identical boards and hang them side by side, but let your imagination run wild!

Both boards side by side

Both boards side by side

detail boards

Detail