Monday, June 25, 2012

Peter Hunt and DIY inspiration

I recently went on vacation to Cape Cod, and at a museum I read about an artist called Peter Hunt whose work is, in my opinion, really wonderful. At that time, the government was trying to create a culture of recycling and reusing. He became famous by teaching how to make old ugly pieces of furniture look new and awesome with paint. 

To try your hand at this, you could go to Home Depot or similar stores and get spray paint or paint samples. You just have to remember to sand the surface a bit before you paint, so that the paint sticks.

Whether or not you feel like you are good at painting, you can adjust the designs to your skill set. And really, painting is just breaking down shapes into simpler shapes. And you can always use stencils if you don't trust yourself to freehand it.

 In my experience of painting, you can't go wrong if you use colors you like and claim to have intended any/all mistakes.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

How to make a long formal skirt


Necessary measurements
  • Hips -- It is important to take this measurement on the WIDEST part of your hips and add 1-2 inches to that. This does not include seam allowances.
  • Waist: -- this is about where you want your dress to sit. 
  • Waist to widest part of hip length
  • 1-2Yards of (stretch) satin
  • Measuring Tape
  • Invisible Zipper
  • Marking tool (I just used a color pencil)
  • Basic sewing necessaries (sewing machine, matching thread, iron, scissors, etc)
  • Your body, to test out the fit
Helpful tip: To be safe, it's always a good idea to go a few inches bigger than you think you need when cutting.

1) To start, I cut a trapezoid- like shape with my measurements on the bias. I made it about six inches longer and added about 3-4 inches extra on one side just in case. I also draped it on myself to check the measurements. Bias defined here

B/2= Half the waist
A/2= half the hip measurement
C= waist to hip measurement

2) To make sure it was symmetrical, I also cut on the fold of the center front (as seen in the crude paint drawing).

3) Then I draped it inside out as if I was going to wear it and pinned and marked a seam in the fit that I wanted. After marking on both sides of the seam, I took it off.

4) With about a half an inch seam allowance, I cut along the seam line I just drew.

5) As done, in the picture above I finished the edges with a zig zag stich and then did a blind hem at the bottom. This is a good video on how to do a blind hem:

** I hemmed before sewing the skirt together, but generally you want to do this last.

6) Add a waistband (if you want to) and then attach an invisible zipper, and sew the back seam closed. Press all seams. I learnt how to from the same series as the blind hem above.

Final product!!

Done, and happy sewing! (Just so you know, I was not wearing shoes in the picture, which is why there was so much of a train on the ground)

You could also make/buy a top and attach it to the skirt (in that case the zipper would have to incorporate the top) to make it a dress

If there is anything that was unclear in the instructions please leave me a comment! Also, I'm self taught, so any tips are welcome too