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Experiment in Dyeing: A review of RIT and iDye Poly Dyes

22 Apr

An Experiment in Dyeing-5
An Experiment in Dyeing-2
An Experiment in Dyeing-6
Top: Charlotte Russe (similar)
Skirt: DIY (similar/similar)
Shoes: Steve Madden
Bracelet: Anna and Ava
Bag: Dooney and Bourke
Earrings: c/o Jami
Sunglasses: c/o ZeroUV

Recognize this skirt? How about if I told you that it used to be a different color?

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I completely love this skirt to pieces, so I was heartbroken when I spilled on it and I couldn’t get the stain out, no matter what I tried. So I decided to try something I hadn’t before; I thought that I’d try to dye it. I picked up a box of RIT dye in purple and hoped to get it to a radiant orchid color.

And despite the box saying clearly that the dye wasn’t recommended on 100% polyester, I tried it anyway. Lesson in following directions. After almost an hour I ended up with a still mostly pink skirt with lavender blotches all over.

Luckily I was able to find some iDye Poly at Joanns, which is meant specifically for polyester fabrics, and it worked amazingly well. The color was absorbed almost instantaneously, and all the stains (both the initial ones, and the ones I created by attempting to dye with the wrong kind of dye) disappeared. So while my skirt may not be Radiant Orchid, I’m completely in love with the vibrant purple color and am so glad I can keep wearing it.

Subtle Stripes and Polka Dots

25 Mar

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Shirt: Unknown (similar)
Sweater: Gap (similar)
Scarf: Designed by Me
Shoes: Unknown

I go through cycles of obsession with certain things, and my most recent has been my one with knitting. I’d learned how to knit almost 8 or 9 years ago, but had kind of forgotten about it until well into my college career. Since then I’ve been casually knitting and making some fun projects, and when I graduated I ended up having loads of free time to dedicate to the cause. So I made a scarf or two (you’ve seen one of them here), and then I started trying my hand at making something based on something I’d seen somewhere but didn’t have a pattern to make.

And I don’t think I did too bad! I love this scarf more than I love any of my other scarves because I put energy into figuring out how everything worked and because it’s so different and unique.

So maybe I’m a little bit of a old lady at heart, but I think knitting might be one of those obsessions that’ll stick around a little while. I’m working on my first sweater right now so we’ll see how long that’ll take.

Graphic Tee Tutorial!

19 Mar

Graphic Tee Tutorial
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Before T-Shirt-1
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Shirt: Target
Shorts: American Eagle (similar)
Shoes: Chinese Laundry (similar)
Belt: Unknown (similar)
Sunglasses: Jessica Simpson (similar)

As I mentioned last week, I’ve been really obsessing over all of those cute graphic tees that I’ve been seeing everywhere. So I decided to make some of my own. But apparently I’m not creative enough to come up with fun quotes of my own so I borrowed inspiration from Pinterest. And it was such a fun and easy project with such great results that I wanted to share with you guys.

First you want to gather your supplies:

  • a plain t-shirt (I really like these from Target)
  • fabric paint in your color of choice
  • a sponge paint brush (I’d recommend the kind that’s round and flat on the bottom)
  • freezer paper (found in the grocery section by wax paper)
  • an iron
  • an exacto knife
  • a cutting mat or cardboard to cut on

So first you’re going to want to design your t-shirt. If you want to make the same one as me you can use this stencil, otherwise it’s super easy to whip something up on word. Grab your roll of freezer paper and cut out a 8.5×11 sized piece. Put it into the printer so that it’ll print on the non-shiny side.

Once you have your image printed you can cut out the template. This is probably the most time consuming part, but it’s well worth it I promise. If you made your own template you might have little pieces of paper for the holes in certain letters like o p b and d, just make sure you save all those.

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Once everything is cut out, lay your stencil on your shirt, I placed mine about an inch down from the neck, but that’s completely up to you of course. Now grab your iron, put it on the highest setting you can without steaming it, and carefully iron the whole paper down to your shirt. The plasticized side will stick to your shirt, and seal it so no paint will go under the stencil. This stuff is a godsend, and I’ve gotten crisp clean designs almost every single time.

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Once you’re sure its ironed on completely, slip a square of freezer paper inside your shirt so no paint leaks through onto the back, and grab your sponge and paint and go crazy! Make sure to focus on covering everything evenly with paint.

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When you’re done, wait for the paint to completely dry to avoid any smudging, and then peel off the stencil. And that’s it! You’ve got a customized unique shirt that all your friends will be envious of. If you have any questions about it feel free to ask! Also if you’d like to see more pictures of the stencilling process you can also refer to my last stencilling tutorial for my patriotic shorts.

American Flag Inspired Shorts Tutorial

4 Jul

DIY Patriotic Shorts Tutorial

I’m not sure when I saw flag inspired shorts for the first time, maybe last year around the 4th of July, but I do know that from that moment, the wheels in my head began spinning. I really wanted a pair, but I needed the right occasion to really galvanize me into crafting mode.

So I made myself a pair to complete my 4th of July outfit. They were really simple, and came together quickly. For those of you who have never stenciled before, here are a few tips to make the process easier.

I swear by freezer paper for all my stenciling projects. You will find it in any grocery or convenience store near the wax paper and foil. I’ve tried a lot of different things and found that out of everything, I get the cleanest lines with freezer paper. But for those perfect lines you have to take your time ironing, and make sure that the steam setting on your iron is off.

Make sure to slip a piece of freezer paper inside each leg so you don’t get paint staining the back (though the denim should be thick enough to avoid this anyway).

When I did these shorts I used plain acrylic paint mixed with fabric medium. That’s what I typically end up using as I have tons of acrylic paint from various art projects and it’s easier for me to just buy a tube of fabric medium (which basically converts normal paint into fabric paint), than buying fabric paint in all of the colors that I need. Choose what works better for you.

I think I’ll probably go back and do the pockets in the future, but until then I’m loving these shorts. Check back tomorrow for an outfit post featuring my new patriotic shorts!

Handmade and Houndstooth

11 Mar

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Dress : Forever 21
Tights : Forever 21
Shoes : Macy’s
Scarf : Made by me

I normally wear this dress with a backless bra but I wanted to try something different this time. I think that in the future I’ll stick to the backless bra. I feel that the bandeau cheapens the dress a little. I’m really happy with the rest of the outfit, though. Black and white prints are really in right now and I think the scarf adds the perfect pop of color.

Tip: Invest in some printed and colored tights that are on trend for this season. They’re an easy and inexpensive way to incorporate trends into your outfits and dip your toes into something that might be a little outside your comfort zone.

The scarf I made using the GAP-tastic cowl pattern and was really such a quick and easy knit. I finished after only three days of sporadic knitting. You cast on 131 stitches onto size 13 circular needles and just keep alternating between a knit and purl stitch until you run out of yarn. I used 2 skeins of Lamb’s Pride bulky yarn and I love how soft and warm it is. If you’re a beginner knitter or have always wanted to learn, this is a great first project.