Sunday, November 30, 2008

A crazy mix of fashion for the December screensaver

December feels vibrant, courageous and whimsical. It's about borrowed jeans worn with fantasy shoes and brightly dyed hair -an Indian inspired fresco backdrop - expressing the eastern worlds enriching a western individuality. The Parisian dragonfly pins, and favorite men's hats and caps, seem to play into the right looks for the festivities as we enter with great hope the end of 2008 and into 2009.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Dragonfly and diamonds in Paris

Translucent, glowing, fragile, mesmerizing, overtly precious, imaginative and simply beautiful!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Jewerly as pens ... or notebooks

I fell upon a a chest of my brother's "bridge" and "dance card" pens last summer. They are like jewelry, and, especially the pens for the ladies's dance cards, to record who was promised which dance, had to be super chic and charming, to hang around the neck, the wrist, off a bag, or the dance card ... they are colorful, whimsical and lovely to hold. And I remembered these photos when I saw the tongue and check versions of notebooks as necklaces on Junk Jewelry...

Monday, November 17, 2008

Rhinestone bows and plaid choker DIY

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Old worn denim can easily be recycled as the base for all kinds of fashion accessories. The softly frayed edges and sturdy structure of the cloth make it easy to use and hip when you combine it with contrasting textures, like in the photos on this post - the rhinestones buckles on the bows and the plaid trim on the choker. Just search through your button and fabric scrap piles for your favorite trims, and have fun making these projects - all the How-Tos are on:

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Little Dorrit

BBC is showing a most sumptuous Charles Dickens's series - "Little Dorrit". The costumes, the settings, every detail in the hair and accessories (we're on a fashion blog so I will not start on the superb acting), all of it delightfully inspiring. It is worth staying in to catch the episodes.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Edwardian Frock - diy from denim

One just needs to imagine, wish for it and then get to work. Turn your recycle bin and trim boxes upside down to find just the right mix and with with some sewing fun you can transform an old denim cast-off into a hip, eclectic look. I had an old denim coat. The simplest most basic one imaginable, that was too tight, I couldn't even button it closed. So I cut off the sleeves, and made some simple alterations with only scissors, so it would fit snug but fit, like cutting off the sleeves, and then I adorned it with all my favorites -- purple and burgundy velvets, gold braid, lime cotton (looks incredible on the burgundy) hand embroidery, frayed denim edges and delicious buttons and appliques. It is now a sought after pièce de résistance, to wear out tonight, layered over other royal threads and big, confident, decorative shoes and stockings.

Monday, November 10, 2008

My blog's almost one year old

... January 2009 will be one year, but the mood to celebrate is already in the air - and a new masthead was in order - it's a collection of fashion thoughts, impressions, sketches and inspirations of colors, textures and moods.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

It's all about Michelle O

Fashion is going to get a big lift from MO. Who can resist her feminine fashion play of dresses, oversized accessories and color - it's all so contagious in a big way. Watch her pop the status quo in the USA!

A little Mom and Pop sewing shop

Found these buckles from a little mom and pop "sewing and notions" shop. They cross many decades and are sincere in their design, and, though in a different hemisphere, are not less intriguing than these jewels I spotted from the window of a Paris antique shop.

Black and white on white

I love these lush white wool flannel 60s pants sunk into hollywood art deco furntiure.

Black, red, white and silver. The classic color palette is the most appealing, it's fresh, bold and beautiful - from the retro-window display to the romantically designed, here are some more images along the ModoBruxelles fashion walk.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Sweet Pea toddler's denim jacket

This baby or toddler jacket, in soft blue denim with pretty pink velvet and crème lace accents is made from a pair of cast-offs jeans. Worn denim has a wonderful soft hand-feel and texture that can be re-made into “new” clothes for toddlers, giving the clothes a romantic, charming and very hip look for very little time and a tiny budget. I made this as a baby gift and it was inspired by photographs of antique doll’s clothing and my interest to re-cycle and make by hand. I really enjoyed making it!

The pattern is a size 92cm, and is sewn with ½” seam allowances.

A pair of cast-off jeans – adult size
4 1/2 yards x 1 3/8” crème cotton lace
1 1/2 yards x ½” wide pink crushed velvet ribbon
Thread to match the denim, the lace and also a shade deeper than the denim (I used black thread but ochre is another option)
The front, back and front side panel pattern pieces
Your sewing machine and sewing basket

Cut the denim:
Wash your jeans. Cut the jean legs off and cut them open along the inseam. Press them open and lay them flat on the table. Lay your pattern pieces on them to decide the best placements (the straight grain is usually down the center of the jeans.) When you are happy with the placement, pin and cut out your pieces.
--Note: I cut the right side pieces from one leg and the left side pieces from the other leg, and in this way I balanced the worn denim texture.
Soak the denim pieces and tumble dry to get the softly frayed edges. Press.
Sew the jacket:Sew the front side panel to the front piece.
Ease the side panel excess into two tucks. Sew dart.
Sew the center back seams.
Press all seams.
Sew the overarm seam and press.
Sew the underarm seam, clip and press.

Sew on lace:Cut off a 12” strip of lace and reserve for the back bow detail.
Starting at the bottom sideseam, pin the lace all around the outer edge of the jacket with ¼” tucks about ¾”.
--Note: Narrow the amount the lace extends beyond the denim edge to ½” around the neck to the waist point.
Baste in place, remove pins and sew with a zigzag stitch, ¼” from the denim edge with the denim thread in the needle and the crème thread in the bobbin. Repeat around the cuffs. Remove basting.
Finish with a row of hand running stitches, using the contrasting thread, ½” from the denim edge.

Sew on the Ribbon:Cut two strips of velvet, 12” long. Attach each strip, with a ½” fold back, to one end of the front darts. Sew securely with hand stitches using the crème thread. Cut the loose velvet ends on a diagonal.
Make a back velvet bow, with a 2 ½” spread. Tack at the center back waist with a 12” strip of lace folded in half, underneath. Cut velvet and lace ends on a diagonal.
Finishing:Trim any really gangly denim thread ends. Knot securely all threads.
The jacket is adorable layered over a pretty dress, or knit t-shirt and leggings with pretty boots.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

More button and plastic glamour

I fell in love with this corsage, the interesting colors, simplicity of the plastic, the over sized proportions and the desire to make one myself ... once I find an appropriate plastic material - maybe re-cycle a shopping bag... . Anyway, it was the inspiration for my November calendar sketch, the artificial beauty of plastic flowers and deco-colors contrasting the natural, worn denim blues.

And I loved the big black buttons on this black beret - they're shiny and bold against the classic felted cap - creating stylish proportions that make black fresh and fun.

Structured knits at Modo Bruxelles 08

I love the modern strong quality of these knits discovered along the modo bruxelles '08 route. I don't know the designer's name, so if anyone does, I would love to post it, so please pass it along.

... and another, fabulous knit designer (again - want to give credits), with this endless length of meaningful black and white. It makes you want to get out your needles.