Thursday, April 28, 2011

DIY Bleach Customising + Cropped Top tutorial

I get asked quite a bit about my bleach customisations, so I thought I would write up a more detailed tutorial for those who want to know :D

This works really well for plain black cotton shirts or jeans that you want to jazz up :D

You will need:
- An item of clothing you wish to bleach. Black cotton works the best, I find. I have had results with polyester blends, but you will definitely want to patch test to make sure you have the desired results.

- A bottle of bleach. You can find it in the cleaning aisle of a supermarket. Black + Gold is cheap and works just as good as expensive cleaning bleach :) Make sure it's undiluted!
- A paint brush + container for the bleach. I usually use the lid, but some people don't like pouring bleach into tiny containers.

- Rubber gloves. I cannot stress this enough- bleach chemical burns are horribly painful, and you don't want to wreck your pretty nails!

- Put on old clothes, particularly clothes you don't mind getting a bit of bleach on. It can be messy!
- Access to a bathtub/laundry tub. You need to rinse your clothes :D

- Put down a splat mat, or even do it outside if you can. I do mine on my balcony, but make sure I have a plastic bag I can put the clothes in to transport them to the laundry without dripping bleach on the floor.
- You have some plastic/a piece of cardboard/something sturdy to put inside your shirt if you're painting a bleach design on the front. It stops it from leeching through to the back, which isn't a good look most of the time!

Okay, now we're all set up!

I decided that this time I did a bleach shirt, I wanted to make it a cropped top. To crop a top, basically all you really have to do, is put the shirt on, mark where you'd like to cut it + then shear it off with sharp fabric scissors. You can hem it if you'd really like, but I find with cotton shirts, the cut tends to roll a little which eliminates the need for hemming. That said, make sure you keep this in mind, as your top will always end up a centimetre or so shorter than you intended because of that rolling :)

How to:

1. Prepare your work area. Sketch out the design you wish to paint onto your shirt if desired, otherwise you can freehand it. If you're not just spattering with bleach, make sure you put cardboard up inside the shirt to stop the bleach from leeching through to the back.
If you're just going for a splatter effect, it's not such a bad thing, so you don't have to worry about it :)

2. Don't dilute your bleach! Put on the gloves, and go mad! I find for a good splattering effect, if you load a big paint brush up + flick bleach, it comes out quite good! You can dribble it on with the lid, splash it your gloves- it can get quite messy, which is why wearing old clothes is important. And eye protection, for that matter!
If you're going with painting, try not to expect a hugely sharp image, it may bleed a tiny bit. It's a mistake free zone too, if you smudge it, don't get sad- it will add to the DIY look :D

3. Once you've bleached + painted to your hearts content, let it sit in the sun for a couple of minutes to develop. You will see it's start to lighten around the edges, but most of the time, it's all you see of the developing. I find a good waiting time is three minutes- by then you can see some of the spatters lifting well.

My latest creation soaking in the sun. The warm sunlight helps bleach develop ^_^

4. Safely transport your garment to a tub where you can rinse it. If that means whacking it in a plastic bag, do so- you do NOT want bleach stains on your carpet!
Rinse under a cool tap until the water runs clear. I find after that, putting it in the washing machine for a rinse + a spin ensures you get the rest of the bleach out. There is nothing worse that the smell of not rinsed bleach clothing. Puke!

5. Air dry, flat if you can. And viola- you are now the proud owner of a totally unique, totally rad bleached clothes! How did yours turn out? Send me pictures! ♥

I wore my cropped shirt out today- it came out a liiitttle shorter than I thought it would (remember what I was saying about the fabric rolling up? Yeaaaah.)

But I had the bodylove to rock it today- along with my high waisted cut offs + bowler hat. I bought fodder for my next DIY project- stay tuned ;D

Happy customising!



Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Sheer blouses = ♥

I don't know about anyone else, but I have been going a bit crazy for sheer blouses recently. I first spotted one in a tumblr post- a 90s Vogue shoot- I knew I had to have one.

I had a rather fortuitous op shop encounter recently, that resulted in me not only finding an awesome black sheer blouse, but a structured shoulder shirt, a chunky white knit, size 6 skinny black jeans + black harem pants.

Paired with the collar + bow tie I made recently, it made for some fancy daywear. I guess I caught the sheer bug from the sheer maxi skirt I made recently!

I'm trying to get the balls to wear it with pasties. I made a super quick pair + shot with Alex for fun- the pictures came out pretty okay! ^_^
I guess the pictures are technically NSFW, so click through :)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

How-to Bow Tie tutorial!

Oh gosh, I have fallen for bow ties recently.
I mean, I have always been a very bow-y person, but recently, with all the nice shirts I have acquired from op shops, I just love to dress them up with some geek chic.

I tried my hand at making a bowtie on Saturday- I was going out shopping + wanted to look cute! This is something I whipped up in five minutes before heading out- you're more than welcome to sew instead of using a hot glue gun, if you have the patience/a good sewing machine! I think the best thing about this tutorial, is it's super adaptable; I have used this to make bows for clothing, accessories + even my hair! :D

Please please make sure you read the whole tutorial before giving it a crack to ensure maximum success ;D

Okay, so you will need:

- A piece of fabric, preferably longer than it is wide. You'll see why when you read through :)
- A scrap of material for the middle bit

- Around 30cms of elastic/stretchy soft material
- A hot glue gun/hand sewing needle + thread/sewing machine
- Embellishments! They're half the fun!

How to:

1. Take your main piece of fabric + fold the end in about an inch. Glue/sew in place. This is to give the edges of the bow a rounded look + reduce fraying etc. Repeat on the other side- you should have something that looks like this:

2. Fold down the top edges, about 5mm or so, and glue/sew in place. Again, to stop fraying + to give the bow a more rounded + structured look. 

Yeah, it looks dodgy as shit- but do you know how hard it is to glue + shoot a tutorial? Stupid hot glue dries so fast! :P

3. Flip your fabric over + fold into a concertina. Basically, you want it to look like an M on the side- with the top and bottom seam both facing back. It takes a bit of wrangling, but I am sure you'll cope :D

4. See where my fingers are pinching the middle of the bow? This bit is probably the trickiest bit to the whole tutorial. What you need to do, is take your elastic/soft stretchy material, drape it over the middle + tie it in a tight knot at the back of the bow. This will give your bow it's shape, but will also be what you use to tie around your neck.
Okay, so once you have the initial knot, tie another one. This will make sure it's good + tight! This is where you cut off the excess 'tails' IF you want to make a bow to attach to a clip, but for a bowtie, leave it alone! Your bow should look something like this:

Yeah, I used a scrap of jeans material. It's super stretchy!

5. Flip your bow over. Bows usually have that middle bit, right? This is where your scrap fabric comes in. Usually I make mine to match, but I kind of like the colour difference. I spruced mine up by attaching a stud- but you can wait til you've finished the bow to decorate if you aren't using fiddly things like studs :)

Put a nice blob of glue on the middle bit, press your chosen fabric + glue in place. Or sew, if that's your deal :) Trim off excess ends + secure in place with extra 

6. Decorate to how you see fit! I'd love to see what you come up with :)

Viola! You have your very own bow tie to love + to wear! My finished product is modelled by my very fetching cuddle buddy, Vincent- I went with a kind of half assed polka dotting ;D

Me modelling my five minute faux leather attempt that inspired this tutorial! :D

I kind of look like an alternative used car salesman from some whacked out sitcom. But I can deal with that!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial- if you need any help at all, don't hesitate to contact me or drop me a line in the comments. Happy bow tie-ing adventures!



Thursday, April 14, 2011

DIY Clothes Freshener How-To

Everyone knows a winter staple this coming season, is a big cuddly knit. A lot tend to be woollen blends, and there’s nothing more frustrating when moths get into your wardrobe + have a munch on your favourite cardigan!
Even if you don’t own woolly clothes- coats + dresses hung up in your wardrobe can get musty after being hung up for a while- especially if your wardrobe also has your shoes in it. There’s nothing quite like consistently sweet smelling clothes ^____^

I decided to get cracking on a few after recently acquiring a few second hand woollen clothes that moths have already had a bit of a nibble on, and my shoes take up the bottom of the wardrobe. I REALLY didn’t want to buy mothballs- they are full of dangerous chemicals that can have some serious effects on people. Instead I worked with what I had- it’s a super easy DIY, and I put heaps of steps in it for people who are like me + suck at sewing D:<

You will need:
-          - A few sprigs of fresh Lavender, Rosemary. You can also use Mint, Cloves, Thyme, Rose petals; anything herby + strong smelling :)
-          - An old t-shirt. I cut up a shirt that was far too thrashed to take to an opshop, that had mesh sides, which was handy! You don’t have to use mesh- any material will do.
-          - Some ribbon, anything you want to decorate with.
-          -A handsewing needle, some dressmaking pins, a spool of thread + scissors

1.      - Tear up the herbs into a clean, dry bowl. I shredded off individual rosemary leaves + lavender flowers, but left a sprig and a flower to add in whole. Set aside.

2.      - Cut out a large square of fabric. Enough to fold in half + hold a good amount of stuffing. Pin in place with dressmaking pins.

3.      - Hand sew, with whatever stitch you’re comfortable with. I used a very basic stitch, but made sure they were fairly small so pieces didn’t escape. Take the pins out as you sew.

4.      - Sew around, but leave one end open- stuff with the mix you made. It should feel fairly full, but not to bursting. Tuck the whole flower + sprig in, then sew up up the remaining seam.

5.      - Make a loop with ribbon, and sew into place whichever way you want it to hang. I like to pretty things up- I made a little bow + sewed it on as well ^_^ You can customise them + make them as cute as you want!

6.      - Hang in your wardrobe, around the neck of a coathanger holding your favourite woollen. Or, just hang on an empty hanger to keep the wardrobe smelling sweet. You can even put them in drawers of clothes to prevent them from getting musty.

Gratuitous wardrobe shot!

I hope you enjoy this tutorial- it’s awesome to use less chemicals in the home, and keeping your favourite clothes fresh without moth balls or airspray is always a better option.

Send me some pictures of the ones you make? :D



P.S; This post idea was suggested to me a few times. What would you like me to write about? I am open to suggestion, drop me a line here or on my Tumblr ♥

Headwear Obsession

I go back through old photos + it’s quite clear what I’m obsessed with at that point in time. Purple nails, lots of rings etc.
But something I have found to be consistently obsessed with + constantly seeking to expand my collection of stuff you wear on your head. I seriously LOVE me some headwear- hats, scarves, sunglasses; I have thrifted SO many because they’re so cheap + offer some real easy versatility in your wardrobe :D

Whenever I find a pretty scarf at an op shop, I’ll buy it. Asides from being awesome to wear as a scarf,they are easily turned into a super easy, super cute headwrap, to keep your head warm + conceal bad hair days. Headscarf tutorial HERE ♥

Even if they’re just a ribbon, intended for neck ties; they can easily be wrapped around your head in a cute alice band to pep up an outfit ^_^

I never used to own more than one pair at a time, and would be devastated when a pair broke because I hated shopping for them. I now own no less than 9 pairs, that I have thrifted + adopted over the past year. They are something that is SO easily customised. Craft shops sell everything, from felt, to stick on diamantes, to chains; you’re only limited by your imagination ;D
 I’d have to say, a huge vintage inspired pair is a must while you’re skulking around and being mysterious ;3

I made that sheer maxi skirt mysElf! I'm pretty pleased with it ^____^ Worn with my DIY bleach shirt, thrifted hat + bag.

People always go so crazy for hats when races are near- I’ve never managed to see why one day of watching horses run around in circles equated to wearing ridiculous hats. What mystifies me is, why isn’t EVERYDAY like this. I love hats- you can always make them work. Having a cool statement noggin decoration is always fun too- you should see the looks I get when I wear my raccoon hat out :P 

It doesn't always have to be a silly hat; I find slouchy beanies are really easily jazzed up with the use of a brooch or two- even stud earrings make cool 'badges'

Here is my most recent addition; I went out on a walk to feel less bleh, and nabbed it at the sales. I have wanted a Bowler hat for as long as I can remember- it’s about damn time I got around to owning one. That + my sweater = Degrassi High? Oh dear lord. I need help.

I'm, um, thinking of offering my services as a stylist to shoots, perhaps. I have a fairly large wardrobe I can utilise in choices etc. Would you like me to help out with a photoshoot? :)



P.s What's your Tumblr URL? Follow me here, dahliink ♥

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Next customisation project..

Alex was rummaging through his wardrobe + found this vintage (partially moth eaten) John Halifax coat. The list of pros for dating someone the same size as you just keeps growing.

I seriously can't wait to customise it. It's sO snuggly + just in time for winter! Wooop!

The first thing? A patch across the bottom of the jacket that says "FUCK SHIT UP". Yeaaah.



P.s Alex + I went sweater shopping today. We're such hipsters.

I'm short D:


 I figured I should write a post like this eventually. I am sorry sometimes, my blog has days before it even gets updated. I suppose having a little chat about mysElf may help to clarify.

I've put in a page break, so only people who really like to read what I write should click through :)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Picture Spam

I started writing a really huge post for tonight, but I've been quite overcome with the blues. So instead of letting it affect my post, I'll call it a night + just post some photos from the past few days :)

Mismatched socks, vintage felt hat, thrifted shirt + shorts.

The first of the Ghosts series by Alex Baulderstone.

I cracked + cut my long fringe off. I think I look much better with a shorter fringe! ^_^

The beginning of my Rodarte inspired scarf. It's faux mohair, relax Vegan Police. With matching manicure, of course ;D
I'm really loving knitting as a craft at the moment- I need to meet fellow knitters so I can organise a Stitch 'n' Bitch. Knitters, say hi! ^_^

Also, follow my Tumblr- I'll be updating it more than Facebook pages with dorky pictures + what not. Say hi!



Monday, April 4, 2011

RIP Vincent + How-To DIY Bleaching

My beloved bunny, Vincent Fluffybutt, succumbed in the night to Myxomatosis. I love him so very dearly + it's all so painful.

I've recieved some nasty comments about how "he was JUST a rabbit,"- which I think is quite rude. You should never estimate the value someone else feels for something. He began as my 'therapy pet' and became my best friend. I'm going to miss him terribly.

I was shooting around the time that it happened, weirdly enough for a set I called "Black Widow".

I like flipping photos. NO becomes ON. ;3

I customised the shirt by:
Cutting the collar + sleeve seams off, 
Painting undiluted cleaning bleach on + spattering with a paintbrush. Wait for a few minutes, then rinse until the water runs clear. Throw it in the washing machine for a rinse + a spin for good measure. 
Rub with a cheesegrater/sandpaper to give it an extra distressed look + viola! :)



Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sad news :(

Two things;

Firstly, I sold my soul + got a Tumblr. It's not very safe for work, but I'll be updating it a fair bit ^___^

Tentacles and Teacups Tumblr

Secondly, I was woken up with some really awful news. My precious, beautiful bunny Vincent, has been infected with Myxomatosis. He's being put to sleep tomorrow, and I'm utterly distraught. I need a hug v_v