Monday, April 14, 2014

Refashionista: Blouse turned into a zippered jacket

Happy Monday, my friends! It's time to dive into another refashion. But first, I'd like you to meet my flatmate Mari Krõõt, the girl in this post's pictures. She's usually the one behind the camera, but today she's doing a little modeling. This was my first time sewing something for her, so I was a little nervous about whether it would turn out the way she likes it. It's so much harder to refashion for someone else since you don't know their style or taste as well as you know your own. And what seems like a fabulous idea to you might result in blank stares by them. So, I tried to consult with her as much as possible on this project.

This started as a cute blouse. The blouse was ok to begin with, but it didn't fit her and wasn't really her taste either. But, we both loved the color, so I knew it had potential. She didn't like any of the ruffled parts, but I convinced her to leave the sleeve heads as is, since they would need a complete reconstruction otherwise. We decided on a front zippered jacket-like look and I set to work.

As you can see, I made a lot of alterations. First, I deconstructed the front bodice, detached it from the back, and removed the hem elastic. Next, I took in the sleeves from the underarm seam, and added darts to the back bodice. Then it was on to the front bodice. I added shoulder darts to take in the extra fabric from the gathering, and to add some shape. I still had to alter the neckline - take off a couple of centimeters from the shoulders and lower it in the center. Finally, I added the zipper and re-hemmed the bodice.

This one was a lot of work, and we had to do a million fittings to get it to look good. I must say, it's still not my best work, but I think it turned out pretty great. This project taught me a lot. I'm so used to sewing for myself that making something for someone else with a different body type is really difficult. I know what looks good and work on my body, but with different proportions, these things don't apply anymore. I've already promised to sew her an evening gown this summer, so I'll get more practice then.

I think the jacket/blouse suits her, and I'm still in love with the color. I also love the new, more modern look that the zipper adds. Also, the puffy sleeves add a touch of femininity. So, it's balanced and pretty.

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Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sunday Spirit: Life through my phone lens

This is how my life looks through my phone camera lens. One of my new year's resolutions was to take on a phone photography challenge. I'm super crappy at taking pictures with my phone. When I finally got a new phone with a decent camera, I was all enthusiastic about capturing my everyday life more. So far, that hasn't happened. So, I did something I should have done ages ago and finally hopped on the Instagram train yesterday. I'm taking on a challenge to post at least once a day. You can follow me @pearlsandscissors, if you'd like. Do say hi, because I'm completely lost in this Instagram world, and I could use your help!

Have a wonderful Sunday and I'll see you around!

P.S! I think my two best friends, Kärt-Katrin and Triin just made their Pearls & Scissors debut. Love you, gals!

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Saturday, April 12, 2014

Favorite Things: Life is beautiful

Links: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9

I took my violin out an played today. That hasn't happened in almost a year. I don't even know why I haven't touched it for so long. I keep meaning to play, but then it gets pushed back again and again. So, today I finally took some time and really played. And it felt so good! I'd forgotten how much I love the sound of the violin. I played for almost an hour and it felt like therapy. Making music really does heal the soul I think.

It's been a beautiful week. Life is good. I've been feeling that a lot lately. Happiness. Content. There are better days, and worse days, but at the end of it all I'm grateful for what I have. A beautiful life.

Have a wonderful weekend, my friends!

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Pattern Hacker: Working with leftover fabric

Today I'm starting a new series on the blog called "Pattern hacker". I've been sewing more from scratch lately which I haven't done much of in the last couple of years. I've noticed that I almost never use patterns as they come. I make a lot of modifications along the way - from slight changes in fit to changing the whole look of the pattern, to combining different patterns into one. Seeing the full potential of a pattern is such a valuable skill, and I'd love to inspire you to see your pattern stash in a new light. So, this new series will give you ideas, inspiration and tips to make the most of every pattern.

Now, onto today's hack. The project, like most of my sewing, is fully inspired by the fabric. I got this coral pink lace from a local shop that sells industrial selvedge fabric and sample garments. The lace came in different sized rectangles, which were smaller that 50cmx50cm. Needless to say, I had to get creative in order to make a garment from these fabric pieces. But, I loved the texture and pattern of the lace, and, oh, the color! (Sadly, the worst color to photograph.) I just new I needed to have it. Also, it came with a very good price tag. So, I bought 2 bundles for 2€ each.

Finally, I found a suitable pattern from my stash of Burda magazines. It's model 112 from Burda 04/2009. The pattern had a 2-piece raglan sleeve which fit perfectly with one of the lace pieces. To make things easier, and more wearable, I decided to make the back and line the front with a solid coral jersey I had in my fabric stash. (You might recognize the fabric from my summer maxi. I have a lot of yardage still left over.)

Now, the only problem I still had was the front pattern piece. The only way to use the lace was to cut the front into multiple separate pattern pieces. You can see my alterations on the picture below:

First, I measured the center of the pattern piece, and then drew lines from the outer corners to the center creating 3 pattern pieces. I cut the lowest triangle (nr 1) on fold. The sewing order for these pieces would be:
1) attach 3a to 2a
2) next, attach 3b to 3a
3) then, attach 1 to 2b
4) finally, sew the diagonal seam (only one possible seam left).

Other alterations I made: raised the front neckline by 4cm, and used fabric bands to finish the hem, neckline and sleeves.

I'm so happy with the end result. It's super comfortable, the fit is just what I hoped for, and I'm still very much in love with the color and fabric. I've been wearing it constantly over the past 2 weeks, and that in itself is an indicator of project success. Hooray!

I'd love to hear you feedback on the new series, so leave your thoughts in the comments!

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Sunday, April 6, 2014

Weekend Favorite Reads

the best cup of joe made by my fiance
This weekend is/was all about relaxing, catching up on some reading, wedding planning and time with family. So, I thought I'd share some of my this week's favorite links from around the web with you.

Blogging and everything related is still pretty prominently in my mind. I've been planning a blog design makeover and thinking of ways to improve this place. I want to enjoy blogging and be inspired as well as inspire you guys, so it's really important to me to grow consistently. Speaking of learning and growing, I've been messing around with Photoshop curves. The top photo is edited using Siiri Kumari's free photoshop curves.

I stumbled on a great blog post over at Aunt Peaches that gathers all sorts of awesome articles and resources for people who want to start or grow their blog. I haven't managed to click through all of them yet, but I did find Dana's article about SEO basics super helpful.

my messy studio waiting for spring cleaning
Spring always sparks the creative spirit in me. I find myself wanting to experiment and try new things. When I read about doing my own gel manicure and trying out false lashes on A Beautiful Mess, I wanted to give it a try. I've got plans to try out false lashes this week. Laura mentioned that her individual lashes stay on for about a week, and I'd love to give it a go. Wouldn't it be great if I could cross out applying mascara and removing it from my daily tasks. And, I think I might invest in nail gel as well. I'll let you know how that pans out.

Oh, and if you've been caught by the spring cleaning bug, you might want to check out this article on Apartment Therapy. I know my home and computer are in a dire need of a deep clean, so I'll try to carve out some time for that as well next week.

Have a fun Sunday!

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Thursday, April 3, 2014

DIY 5-minute statement necklace over at OEH

I have another tutorial up over at Oh Everything Handmade. This time it's a 5-minute statement necklace. I kid you not, it really honestly takes only 5 minutes to make. Go and have a look!

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Monday, March 31, 2014

DIY Rhinestone Ear Cuff (from an old necklace)

I've been wanting an ear cuff from the moment I saw them popping up on Pinterest. I couldn't find anything I liked that was affordable, so I set out to make my own. So, this project has been on my to-do list for ages. It took me a while to figure out how to make it. Then, I had one of those lightbulb moments when going through a box of miscellaneous items. I found this vintage rhinestone necklace I got from my Grandma. There were some rhinestones missing, so it had become unwearable. I love that I could give it a new life. Every time I wear it, it reminds me of my Grams. I love things that have a story to tell! And the end result looks simply stunning, non?

Here's what you'll need to make your own:
♥ Old rhinestone necklace or separate rhinestones
♥ Wire cutters (if using an old necklace)
♥ Earring studs and backs
♥ Strong gel adhesive (like E6000 or similar)
♥ A simple nose ring

A little tip for glueing the rhinestones together. After adding the adhesive, I'd recommend placing the earrings on plastic to dry. There's going to be some glue residue on the back and the earring will stick to  whatever you place it on. Plastic is more inconspicuous and easier to remove once the adhesive has dried.
After you're done with the above steps, glue the earring studs to the back of the earrings and let dry. Finally, glue the nose ring to the back top part of the ear cuff. It should be positioned so that you can attach the nose ring to your ear. This makes the ear cuff stay in place. Without the ring it'll just fall down because of it's weight.

I hope this tutorial helps anyone wanting to tackle an ear cuff DIY.

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