Tagged: diy

Self-drafting leggings: Tips and tricks

I made some leggings a while back, and posted about them on reddit’s sewing subreddit. Someone asked about tips, and I wrote a long post outlining my tips to make the whole process easier/more successful. So I’m adapting/recreating it here; hopefully someone finds it to be useful! (The post took longer to write than the leggings did to make. Talk about an instant gratification project!)

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Beaded costume/bellydance belt tutorial

Confession: This wasn’t meant to be a tutorial at first. Originally, the belt was supposed to be over a sheer paneled floaty skirt; the idea was that I’d make it, photograph it, and maybe try and sell it if it turned out especially amazing. But I just started hating that idea, until I decided to leave it as a belt. Then it just seemed a little too simple to keep to myself; it’s time consuming, but by no means a work of artistic genius. Finally, I kept changing my concept as I worked, which led to some severe uneven-ness in the beading, and some crazy wonky grommets.

So instead, how’s about a tutorial so you can make your own? I might still offer a 2.0 version in an Etsy shop or something in the future, since they are super time consuming for such a small accessory, but it’s nice to share how to make things.

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Simple body chain with cape tutorial schematic/notes

Pretty self-explanatory. Do you like body chains? With our without capes? Wanna see how I did mine?

Now, normally I’m not a fan of any sort of metal in my festival costumes, because I tend to not like to wear a lot of clothing, and skimpy armor is a BIG anti-feminist pet peeve of mine. But body chains don’t look like armor to me. I mean really, is anyone going to mistake this thing for protective shoulder gear? No.

I fully expect you to extrapolate your own from this, since it’s only a few notes about construction and a tiny schematic showing which chains are connected where. But I think and hope it’ll be helpful for someone who has chain but isn’t quite sure how to puzzle out the shapes in their head.

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Trash costuming: Rams-horn headdress

I love using up trash in my projects, for a few reasons. Number 1: It’s good for the planet. Number 2: I’m not quite as worried about testing my limits and screwing up; if I can’t salvage a project, at least it was trash already. Number 3: I’m simultaneously lazy and extremely frenetic. When a project occurs to me, I need to get started on it NOW, nothing silly like going to the store.

So, when I decided I wanted an elaborate hat for cool festival nights, I wanted to get started NOW, and I didn’t want to spend any actual money. I cheated a little; I’m a habitual crafter, so I already have things like wire and spray paint sealant. But the horns themselves are a wire coat hanger armature covered in strips of cardboard and tape, old brown paper bags, and paper mache paste from flour and water. (Side note, I’m recently learning about the raw awesomeness that is paper mache.) The crown is braided copper wire salvaged from an old lamp/headlight. Originally I was going to make a dreadlock wig out of leftover tulle scraps and wool roving, which I may still do, but I was a little bit burnt out after the paper mache (it took so long!) and just wanted a finished project.

This isn’t a tutorial, exactly. I have a couple of photos so that anyone who is so inclined can have an idea of how I did mine, but you should do yours however works best for you.

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Miscellaneous tips and tricks for costuming/sewing on a budget

Whenever I’m working on a costume, I think “this is super cheap. I should share it.” And then it doesn’t quite fit into the tutorial, or it’s a weird tributary of eddying thoughts that strays far away from the main flow of the post. So here’s a few tips and tricks I’ve picked up about obtaining materials on the cheap, that hopefully go beyond your standard “go to the thrift store. Thrift. Good job.”

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Mini-tutorial: Embellished lace-up costume bracers

Quick and easy tutorial today, guys. It’s almost like cheating. But hey, not every project has to be crazy complicated, right? I wanted some bracers for a costume I’m making, and I had this piece of crazy beaded fabric lying around. It came from the waist band of a child’s skirt that I bought forever ago and ripped up for its plain black cotton. (Every time I use something years later, it enables the hoarder in me. Alas.)


-Strip of heavily embellished fabric that will go around your wrist ~2 times, at least 2 inches wide. Wide ribbon is a good choice. Alternatively, use this as your chance to practice beading/embroidery/smocking/whatever crazy techniques you want, since it’s such a small piece of fabric.

-Equal amount of lining fabric. I used a silk scrap that I had lying around, for extra luxury and to help diminish forearm sweatiness.

-Grommet tape or grommets. I used grommets because my bracers are tiny and I needed them close together.

-Short amount of shoelace, ribbon, string, I-cord, what-have-you. Something to lace it with.

-Heavy interfacing. (Optional, but essential if you want them to look like armor.)

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DiY Tome of Galaxies (Raspberry Pi Case)

The Compatriot and I teamed up for my mom’s Christmas present this year. He got her a Raspberry Pi — she’s a gamer, but has been simplifying her life and doesn’t want to have a ton of consoles and controllers lying around. This was his thoughtful solution. (On a related note, I have the best Compatriot a girl could hope to have on her team!)

My mom is also a huge reader, so I made a custom case for it out of a book, and titled it The Tome of Galaxies. (Also the Compatriot’s idea.) It’s a fairly easy project but time consuming, so let’s get going!

Disclaimer: I am not a computer scientist. I don’t know what all the pieces are called — I’m a total layman. If you are a Pi aficionado, you’ll likely cringe at my terminology. You’ve been warned.

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Copycat Fashion: Backless beauty tutorial-ish (Intermediate – Advanced)

Buckle in readers, today’s post is quite long. It involves drafting fancy shoulders and a backless shirt. So bear with me, it’ll all be worth it. I hope.

I got a dress form for an early Christmas present! Hooray! So I’ve been playing with some drape. My first project is inspired by this shirt I found on Pinterest. (Please, ignore the weirdness on the model’s back. Poor girl’s waist curve was moved over so far in post-production, her head’s bigger than her ribs! Or she’s just standing at a really contorted angle. Either way, it’s freaky if you look at it too long.)

I like the idea of backless shirts, but somehow they always move around just a little too much for me to feel comfy, even with a bra. I just feel like I’ll flash my bra at everyone, and that’s weird, no matter how pretty it is — if your bra is showing, it should be intentional! So I’m always on the lookout for something pretty and functional, no specialty bra required. In this case, that means bra-less, but it’s secure, and the girls are fairly well contained/supported, so it’s all good for me. It’d be painful to run a marathon, but that’s not really what I plan on doing.

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How to keep your dress from riding up — stretchy bodycon edition

Today’s “refashion” doesn’t have many photos, since I made it over two years ago. I only have pictures of the finished product.

Secure sweater dress from... 2011? Thereabouts.

Secure sweater dress from… 2011? Thereabouts. Jeez I needed to vacuum. Boo, past self. Boo.

P.S. I swear that photo isn’t shopped. The edges are all blurry because of my crappy camera and the fact that I was wobbling, trying to keep that ridiculously over-exaggerated back curve. Oh, past vanities.

It was pretty simple — take an oversized v-neck cotton sweater and sew it down to size — but it has one interesting feature that I hope women will find useful. And that’s a modified hem.

I do this all the time with my winter tunic dresses, actually, refashioned or no. It’s easy: Take the hem, open it up at the side seam and insert elastic, or (preferably) bungee cord. Elastic by itself may have too much stretch and not enough snap-back to work: My solution when I don’t have bungee cord lying around is to use 1/2 elastic and 1/2 ribbon ties. The ties keep everything nice and tight, while the elastic allows me to actually move my legs and walk and stuff. Plus it makes a cute bow.

I use this all the time.

Elastic sewn to the inside.

Elastic sewn to the inside. Sometimes I thread it through and just secure the edges, sometimes I secure the whole length. Whatever I’m feeling.

Another example; see, elastic on one side, ribbon on the other. (Normally you wouldn't have a hole there where the elastic could peek out. The only hole should be on the ribbon side.)

Another example; see, elastic on one side, ribbon on the other. (Normally you wouldn’t have a hole there where the elastic could peek out. The only hole should be on the ribbon side, where you can tie it into a cute bow.)

Because there’s nothing fun about wearing a short, sexy skirt and having to worry about your butt cheeks hanging out. I’ve found that even with longer skirts, this is an issue if you want to do anything other than sitting demurely in the corner, and I hate it. I wanna swing-dance in my bodycon tank dress! I wanna run in my sweater dress! I want it all, and I’ll be damned if I have to compromise between feeling sexy and having fun.

Functional Costuming: DIY Obnoxiously simple vest for costume and casual wear

Vest 2 ways

I realized that I was missing a fairly integral part from my steampunk costumes. I had the corseted bra tops (I know opinions are super mixed on this, but it’s MY steampunk, and I like bra tops!) and the floofy skirts, and the pseudo-corset top and the boots and the fingerless gloves and the parasol and the pocketwatch necklace and the goggles. (Again, I know opinions are super mixed. I like goggles. Somewhere, a steampunk purist is getting a cold chill.)

But no vests!

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