WhatIWore: If you’ve read What I Wore before, you know I’m a crafty kind of gal and I love putting my own do-it-yourself touch on everything from clothing to shoes to bags. My most recent project is a set of digitally printed clutches (and a tote!). Although I could have attempted free hand painting or stenciling onto a pre-made clutch, I didn’t want to risk losing the crisp lines and overall feel and that’s why I decided that digital printing was a must. To get the perfect look, I’ve partnered up with Kodak Gallery. Their service is a great way to get a high end look and feel while having your own, one of a kind design.
INSPIRATION: When I started working on my clutches, I was thinking about it more as a collection rather than singular items. And collections have a theme, right? I’ve always been such a fan of the 1960s from typography to fashion to patterns and prints, so I knew I wanted to work in that direction.
Have you ever noticed the highly geometric designs within playing cards? I love how the patterns flip upright either way you hold the card and how much fine detail is included within the garments. I thought it would be fun to take a playing card and redraw my own design using the sixties inspiration I’ve collected with my own Queen of Clubs card.
PRODUCT: I narrowed down my mini collection into three clutches and one tote bag. The clutch has a buttery leather outer shell - your design on front and black on back. The tote is a nylon, metal and leather combo. The quality of materials is more high end designer than craft store project - which I love! I’ve also been thinking about going back with one of the designs to make my own iPhone case or compact.
PROCESS: To begin you’ll need an image you want to use to create your digital accessory. Photos are the easiest, but you can use a custom design like I did. If you’re creating your own design, give yourself a nice border so you can appropriately size your image onto the item. I went back and forth many times between Photoshop and the Kodak Gallery to re-size my image/add more or less border to make it perfect. It was easier for the floating designs that didn’t have a specific edge (like my hexagon pattern above), but the playing card took some precision. Either way, they both came out great.
Jump on over to Kodak Gallery to design your own custom leather clutch and get free shipping while you’re at it! (Offer ends 4/23/2012).
This isn’t going to be a step by step DIY post, rather some of notes I have on the overall blazer construction. The first time I made this project was the final semester of my Costume Construction Technology associate’s degree during my senior year of college. Emphasis on SEMESTER. We took 4 months to complete our blazers and used traditional tailoring and couture techniques. I used the same pattern and skipped making a muslin mock up, which was no big deal. The only adjustment I made to the fit was taking in the hips by about an inch overall, which I did during construction. The pattern is VOGUE 7578, which unfortunately is out of print (but it looks like there are a lot of copies on ebay).
Although I couldn’t dig out my original notes from class, I did have two books (Classic Tailoring Techniques and Couture Sewing Techniques ) to serve as a guide. I replaced my copy of the Reader’s Digest New Complete Guide to Sewing late in the game, and had if I had all three, I think I could have made a couple of things easier on myself.
My major hang up on this project were the sleeves. I went with my college alterations and did a two piece sleeve with the intention of a functional vent. I spent hours creating the most perfect little bound button holes. I would have used them, had I not mixed up the sleeves and sewn them in backwards (when I sewed them to the jacket, the vents were in front). MAJOR BUMMER. Instead of spending another 8 hours recutting and making buttonholes, I opted to skip the vent. Luckily I had plenty of extra fabric. I think the error had to do with the two piece sleeve obscuring critical markings which denote front from back. Also I was on a mission to make this jacket in less than a month and wasn’t paying enough attention. Next time, ma!
The other thing I’ll change when I make this jacket again - pad stitching. I opted to skip the lapel and collar stitching and hair canvas which helps give the jacket shape. I don’t think my jacket ended up with a lack of shape, but I think it would feel more proper had I spent the time to do it right. Lesson learned!
Finally, although the woven leather buttons I ordered from M&J were awesome, they weren’t the right color. It was a $7 mistake, but I’ll use them on another project down the road.
Enough with the trials and tribulations! On to the fun parts! I added double lip pockets with a flap to the front of my jacket! Don’t they look smart?! What about those elbow patches?! I used a darker true camel hair, which I also used on the under side of the collar.
I also chose to do a small prick stitch around the pocket edges and lapel and collar edges of the jacket. Normally you’re supposed to do this stitch on the underside of the lapel to keep everything nicely in place, but I really like the detail you can only see up close.
When it comes to sewing, I’m a perfectionist and all of my tiny mistakes are like huge billboards. As I told my mom about this project on the phone yesterday, she reminded me that when it’s all said and done, no one’s going to notice the little flaws… and after a while, even I won’t see them. I think she’s right.
WhatIWore: This is a guest post by my intern extraordinaire, Sheri! I love her ideas on how to make inexpensive (and fast!) presents for your friends or family!
I like to give great holiday gifts just as much as the next person. However, being a college student, my wallet tends to limit the amount of “fiscal love” I can delve out each season. Have no fear fellow student loan sufferers, here are six of my favorite DIY gifts that can be worked into any college budget!