MAKE DO & MEND: Pom Pom Heels

gwenstellamade pom pom heels DIY

gwenstellamade pom pom heels DIYA lot of people have asked me about my heels from the last blog post on my new Gwenstella Made 1950’s Style Country Garden Dress. I have been keeping quiet about it because it’s a DIY project that I have been meaning to share! I have had this pair of pink mid heels for a good 3 years or so and they have turned kinda filthy. When I say filthy, I mean.. really filthy…

The faux suede surface is scratched in many different areas, the soles have worn off, and the interior is slowly peeling away. It is tempting to simply chuck them away and get a new pair. But there’s still so much wearable lifespan to them and I hate to send them to the landfill so soon. Really, it’s still overall a very structurally-sound pair of heels. And so, obviously, I had to make do and mend!

gwenstellamade pom pom heels DIYI was inspired by a few different pom pom heels I have seen online, and I knew adding pom poms would be a super quick and easy way to make my heels cute again. This took me less than 30 minutes from start to the end. Here’s how I did it:

gwenstellamade pom pom heels DIYMaterials:

  • A pair of heels
  • Foam soles
  • Yarn
  • Pom pom maker
  • Hot glue gun
  • Felt
  • Scissors

Steps:

gwenstellamade pom pom heels DIY1. Trim foam soles to fit the soles of the heels. Glue them in place.

gwenstellamade pom pom heels DIY
gwenstellamade pom pom heels DIY2. Make 2 pom poms. Trim them and make sure they look almost identical.

gwenstellamade pom pom heels DIY3. Flatten a side of each pom pom and glue a small piece of round felt on the flattened side.

gwenstellamade pom pom heels DIY4. Play around with the position of the pom pom on the heels. This is important as you want to make sure you get the right spot before securing it with hot glue gun. When you think you’re ready, secure the pom poms on the shoes using hot glue gun!

gwenstellamade pom pom heels DIY

I am so happy with how this DIY project turned out! This is also a great stash busting project for anyone who has too much yarn lying around, like me. I have a few other pom pom projects lined up for the blog. If you like pom poms as much as I do, you can look forward to seeing here! xx

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MADE: 1960s style crochet twin set

vintage retro 1960s crochet twin set suit handmade outfit fashion

vintage retro 1960s crochet twin set suit handmade outfit fashion gwenstella

Wearing: 1960s style crochet twin set suit (handmade), retro saddle shoes (DIY), vintage white hoops (thrifted op-shop find)

Last year, I wrote a blog post about a few vintage inspired knitting and crochet projects that I was planning to embark on. After completing a 1950’s inspired polka dot sweater, I immediately started working on the next thing that was on my to-make list – this 1960’s inspired crochet twin set.

vintage retro 1960s crochet twin set suit handmade outfit fashion gwenstella

vintage retro 1960s crochet twin set suit handmade outfit fashion gwenstella

vintage retro 1960s crochet twin set suit handmade outfit fashion gwenstellaThe pattern for this crochet twin set is from Patons Book 1318 Vintage Charm: Archive patterns from the 40’s to the 70’s, a pattern booklet I purchased from Spotlight (Singapore). I was initially tempted to make an identical one using pink yarn that is similar to the one used in the book, but I couldn’t find anything suitable in Spotlight. Every pink ball of yarn I found in the shop was wool, and wool is icky for hot and humid Singapore. Fortunately, I was shopping with a friend and she persuaded me to pick this sunny pastel yellow acrylic instead. I know, acrylic ain’t the best substitute but where do I find cool cotton yarn in Singapore!?

vintage retro 1960s crochet twin set suit handmade outfit fashion gwenstella

vintage retro 1960s crochet twin set suit handmade outfit fashion gwenstella

vintage retro 1960s crochet twin set suit handmade outfit fashion gwenstellaFibre aside, this colour was a great recommendation! I am glad that I listened to my friend and didn’t submit to my 16 year old mini-me on the left shoulder that screams for anything in cotton pink.

This crochet twin set has turned out to be such a lovely addition to my capsule wardrobe for the months of March and April so far. Matching twin sets are the best for people (like me) who are trying to expand their vintage/vintage-inspired outfit repertoire without hurting the wallet, wardrobe, or world. *insert twin heart emoji*

Here’s how I have styled my crochet twin set:

vintage retro 1960s crochet twin set suit handmade outfit fashion gwenstella

Wearing: 1960s style crochet blouse (handmade), second-hand vintage 90s does 60s mini-skirt (online purchase), vintage white purse (thrifted op-shop find), ballerina flats (ASOS), white hoop earrings (had them for as long as I can remember)

vintage retro 1960s crochet twin set suit handmade outfit fashion gwenstella

vintage retro 1960s crochet twin set suit handmade outfit fashion gwenstella

vintage retro 1960s crochet twin set suit handmade outfit fashion gwenstella

Wearing: New York Herald Tribune T-shirt (DIY), 1960s style crochet skirt (handmade), retro style huaraches (ASOS), wicker tote (thrifted op-shop find), ice-cream necklace (handmade), cat-eye glasses (ASOS)

Hooray to a versatile capsule wardrobe. I can’t wait to wear these out more often! xx G

DIY: Jean Seberg’s New York Herald Tribune T-shirt

The New York Herald Tribune t-shirt is an iconic fashion piece that was worn by Jean Seberg in the movie “Breathless”. Since the release of the French New Wave movie in 1960, the t-shirt, like Seberg’s gamine pixie haircut, has gained a cult following and inspired many, including me. There’s something about the combination of a clean white shirt and classic typography that is very appealing. Ever since I got my haircut and watch the film, I wanted a t-shirt like that to wear for casual days out.

Apparently, Rodarte even released an almost identical design in 2010 to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the film’s release. I’m not sure how much that t-shirt by Rodarte costs and I’m not even going to try looking it up, because I made one myself easily.

And you can do it too, with a print-out of the New York Herald Tribune logo. Tip: Search on Google!

Jean Seberg Breathless T-shirt 1960s Vintage Retro DIY

Materials:

1x piece of freezer paper
1x penknife
1x plain white t-shirt
1x print out of the New York Herald Tribune (ideally full A4)
1x pot of black fabric paint
1x paint brush
Some washi tape

Steps:

 

1. Trace the logo on the side of the freezer paper without the smooth, shiny wax.

jean seberg new york herald tribune t-shirt DIY 1960s fashion2. Cut out the letters on the freezer paper with a penknife. Some letters will be tricky, like “O” and “R”. You can choose to either cut the inner piece out and stick it on later (like my letter “O”) or cut the letters out like a stencil (like my letter “R”).

jean seberg new york herald tribune t-shirt DIY 1960s fashion3. Iron the freezer paper on the t-shirt. Notice that the inner circle of my “o” is missing in this picture. I stuck in on later.

4. And now the fun part! Slap on the paint over the letters and make sure you got all the itty bitty corners covered.

jean seberg new york herald tribune t-shirt DIY 1960s fashionjean seberg new york herald tribune t-shirt DIY 1960s fashion5. You may end up with some thin lines in each letter that don’t show up from your painting. Stick some wash tape to make sure you mark the boundaries and paint over with confidence!

6. Ta da! And it’s all done!

jean seberg new york herald tribune t-shirt DIY 1960s fashion

jean seberg new york herald tribune t-shirt DIY 1960s fashion

MAKE DO & MEND: 1970’s Inspired Pastel Bohemian

Make Do Mend Vintage 1970s Pastel Peasant Dress

As I bravely declared in one of my Instagram posts, one of my goals for 2016 is to work on more sewing projects. This includes altering a garment so it works better for my body and my current style, as well as dressmaking projects.

Make Do Mend Vintage 1970s Pastel Peasant Dress

Make Do Mend Vintage 1970s Pastel Peasant Dress

Make Do Mend Vintage 1970s Pastel Peasant Dress

This is an alteration project that I completed quickly in 2 nights earlier in January. Silly me, I got into the project so quickly I didn’t take a proper photo of it before the alteration. This 1970s pastel peasant dress is one of the vintage pieces that came with a vintage lot I bidded and won on eBay. It was too large for me and the original band around the top was losing its elasticity so I decided to unpick the stitches and reinsert new elastic bands.

The waist also came with a tiny and frail elastic thread that wasn’t really doing its job anymore, so I also took that out and put in a thicker elastic band around it. I am pretty proud of how neat the gathers around the waist turned out!

Make Do Mend Vintage 1970s Pastel Peasant Dress

Left: The altered dress on the mannequin
Right: Close-up of the gathers of the waist on the right side

Make Do Mend Vintage 1970s Pastel Peasant Dress

Left: Close-up of the bodice
Right: Close-up of the top band with elastic inserted on the inside

Make Do Mend Vintage 1970s Pastel Peasant Dress

Thick elastic band on the waistline on the wrong side of the garment. I’ve taken a bit of the sides in after sewing the elastic band… bad planning…

Unfortunately, I miscalculated the width of the waist and the dress turned out a little baggy even after inserting the elastic band. I fixed that by taking in the sides a little. No way am I going to unpick all 3 rows of stitches in the thick elastic band! I know that sounds awfully lazy, but I swear I do more unpicking with dressmaking projects when something goes wrong.

Make Do Mend Vintage 1970s Pastel Peasant Dress

Make Do Mend Vintage 1970s Pastel Peasant Dress

I know it looks better on the mannequin, probably because the mannequin has a bigger bust than I do…. Yes yes yes, on hindsight, I probably should have measured the width of my chest and width of the top of this dress, and altered the sides accordingly.

Make Do Mend Vintage 1970s Pastel Peasant Dress

Make Do Mend Vintage 1970s Pastel Peasant Dress

Experimenting with elastics in this project was fun and I am pretty happy with the way it looks on me right now. Pop on a large sunhat and coordinating accessories, and I am ready for a lazy Sunday afternoon in the park.

xx G

 


Wearing: Vintage 1970s babydoll peasant dress (eBay), white sunhat (Target Australia), white clip-ons (thrifted), white necklace (nondescript shop in Sydney), vintage white purse (thrifted), retro square sunnies (ASOS), vintage-inspired huaraches (ASOS) 


More Make Do and Mend projects on the blog right here

MADE: Vintage 1950’s Style Polka Dot Sweater

Vintage 1950s inspired polka dot sweater

Vintage 1950s inspired polka dot sweater
Many of you may not know this, but I started blogging eons ago when I picked up knitting. My first blog was called “because she started knitting”. Obviously, my focus has changed significantly since. But… my knitting skills pretty much stayed stagnant because I was never confident enough to move away from hats and scarves.

A while back I blogged about some vintage-inspired knitting and crochet books which spurred me to pick up my knitting needles once more. Fast forward many months later, this polka dot sweater is born.

Vintage 1950s inspired polka dot sweater

Left: My creation // Right: The original pattern from the book Vintage Knits for Him & Her: 30 modern knitting patterns for stylish vintage knitwear

Vintage 1950s inspired polka dot sweater

That’s 6 inches off the bottom!

It took me about 2 months to finish this project, and then a couple more months to grieve over the fact that it was too long for my liking. After a tearful post on Instagram, I finally mustered enough courage to snip the bottom off and to correct the length. I took off about 6 inches from the bottom! I honestly don’t know how I ended up making a dress. Maybe I shouldn’t have steamed it with a steam iron. But I love how yarn looks after a bit of steaming.

Vintage 1950s inspired polka dot sweater

Vintage 1950s inspired polka dot sweater

Front and back

And then, after the length was fixed, I realised that I wished it fitted on my body better. Once again, maybe.. maybe I really shouldn’t have steamed it, because steaming relaxes the yarn.

Vintage 1950s inspired polka dot sweater

It took me a few more months of grieving before I finally came into terms with the fact that I am NOT going to make it better. I am NOT taking the sides in. I have had enough. This project has exhausted all of my patience. And so, this is the way it stays. xo G

DIY/MUST-HAVE: Vintage-inspired Saddle Shoes

DIY Vintage Inspired Saddle Shoes

*This post is also featured as a guest post on Atomic Amber’s fabulous pin-up and vintage style blog.* >>> here!

Saddle shoes were very popular in the 1940s and 1950s, and are a must-have for anyone that loves mid-century fashion. Back in 2012, I made a pair of two-tone oxford brogues using bronze fabric paint. Now that I am slowly progressing towards a more vintage-inspired wardrobe, I find that I need a pair of black and white saddle shoes to supplement my wardrobe. And being me, I’d much rather make a pair myself than to buy a pair online.

So here’s a simple tutorial for everyone out there who wants to make a pair too!

Materials:

DIY Vintage Inspired Saddle Shoes

A pair of white plimsolls – I got mine from Target
A pot of black fabric paint
A paint brush with a flat or sharp tip for precision during painting
Black fabric marker
Sticky tape – I used wash tape I have in my stash

Steps:

DIY Vintage Inspired Saddle Shoes

1. Remove the shoe laces. Place sticky tape somewhere off the centre of the shoes. Also, tape the tongue of the shoe down so it doesn’t get in the way while you paint.

DIY Vintage Inspired Saddle Shoes

2. Use the black fabric marker to mark a semi-circle on the back of the shoes. I followed the stitching pattern that was already on the plimsolls.

DIY Vintage Inspired Saddle Shoes

3. Start painting away! Don’t be too worried about getting paint on the eyelets because you can wipe the paint off before it dries.

DIY Vintage Inspired Saddle Shoes

4. Wipe off any paint you have on the eyelets. You can also clean the insides using cotton buds.

DIY Vintage Inspired Saddle Shoes

5. Allow the paint to dry for a day, then set the paint with an iron. Avoid being too close to the rubber soles because you don’t want to melt the rubber!

DIY Vintage Inspired Saddle Shoes

6. Put the laces back on and smile, because you now own a pair of saddle shoes!

DIY Vintage Inspired Saddle Shoes

Wearing: Freddies of Pinewood Lana jeans and #gwenstellamade vintage-inspired saddle shoes

DIY Vintage Inspired Saddle Shoes

DIY Vintage Inspired Saddle Shoes

A couple of weekends ago, I wore my “new” saddle shoes for the very first time. I’m so excited about all the different ways I can incorporate it into my mid-century outfits in the future! Let me know if you make a pair for yourself too. I’d love to see your projects! x G

 

MAKE DO & MEND: Vintage 1950s inspired Kimono Blouse

Vintage 1950s inspired Kimono Blouse Make Do and Mend Refashioned

Getting the size of my wardrobe in check has always been a challenge for me. Month after month, there’s always bound to be a couple of pieces of clothing that I no longer fancy. And once every few months, I impulsively shop for mass-produced clothes from online shops because of the silly hankering for something rather new and fancy to become part of my daily ensemble. Sadly, love at first sight often only lasts for up to 6 months.

However, I must say that my shopping habits have improved markedly from my reckless days as a uni student. As part of my personal pilgrimage to achieving sainthood in being a conscious citizen of fashion, I often turn to the good ol’ make-do-and-mend. In other words, I put my amateur sewing skills into good use and turn something old into something new.

I have had a couple of projects in the past such as turning an XL denim shirt into a skirt and adding strips of jersey for a military inspired tank. But for the remainder of this year, I have resolved to make more radical alterations (and buy less mass-produced clothing items).

Behold! My first make-do-and-mend project of the year. This is a 1950s style kimono blouse that was inspired by the vintage sewing pattern Simplicity 4538.

Simplicity 4538 Vintage 1950s Sewing

(via)

Vintage 1950s inspired Kimono Blouse Make Do and Mend Refashioned

I was struck by the ingenuity of this pattern when I chanced upon it on Pinterest and had to do a lot of thinking before embarking on this project (since I don’t have the original pattern). My fabric stash contains no jersey material because I have no serger (yet), so re-using a preloved T-shirt was an obvious choice. Lucky for me, my boyfriend has lost quite a bit of weight recently and has a few T-shirts that no longer fit him *insert devilish smile and shiny scissors here*.

Vintage 1950s inspired Kimono Blouse Make Do and Mend Refashioned

Before

Vintage 1950s inspired Kimono Blouse Make Do and Mend Refashioned

After

Materials/skills needed:
1 old large T-shirt
A pair of sharp scissors
The ability to sew a straight line on the machine

Steps:
The steps are as easy… (no serger required).

Vintage 1950s inspired Kimono Blouse Make Do and Mend Refashioned StepsStep 1: Cut the top of an old XL tee off, leaving only the rectangular piece of fabric

Vintage 1950s inspired Kimono Blouse Make Do and Mend Refashioned StepsStep 2: Sew the top of the rectangular piece of fabric, bearing in mind to leave about 6 inches of opening at each end. These openings are the armholes, so you might want to adjust the opening according to the width of your upper arm.

Step 3: Cut a vertical slit from the bottom of the shirt to just about the middle of the fabric.

Vintage 1950s inspired Kimono Blouse Make Do and Mend Refashioned Steps

Vintage 1950s inspired Kimono Blouse Make Do and Mend Refashioned Steps

Vintage 1950s inspired Kimono Blouse Make Do and Mend Refashioned Steps

Step 4: Fold a small 0.5 cm edge towards the wrong side of the fabric/old tee and sew as marked in the picture.

Step 5: Wear it with pride! Put your arms into the armholes, making sure that the vertical slit is at the bottom (i.e. it will end up being on your back and just above the butt). Be sure to check out this link to see how it is worn!

Vintage 1950s inspired Kimono Blouse Make Do and Mend Refashioned

Please bear in mind that I am quite petite and my bust is non-existent, so the fabric from a super large T-shirt is sufficient to maintain my modesty. Busty and larger girls might not be able to recreate this from just an old tee. But hey, combining more than 1 T-shirt or using your own roll of jersey fabric works too!

Are you thinking about making a similar one? Let me know because I’d love to see your version! I have another large T-shirt with wide stripes in my stash.. and I might just make a striped version like the one on the cover of the sewing pattern!

xo G

MADE: Vintage 1960’s inspired Chocolate Chip Christmas Hat

vintage 1960s inspired knitted hatvintage 1960s inspired knitted hatHappy New Year everyone! I hope everyone had a good Christmas and New Year’s. I was away for the entire month of December as I had been busy with my work and life in general. More importantly, I spent Christmas with my boyfriend in Texas and got to meet his family and friends for the first time!

And because it was winter, I got to wear all the coats and hats and boots and everything that I haven’t had the chance to wear since I moved back to Singapore 3 years ago. But I still couldn’t resist knitting something new.. especially since I still have so many balls of yarn in my stash!

Bernat 1969 hat knitting patternBernat 1969 hat knitting pattern

I saw this photo of a vintage 1969 knitted hat featured in an old Bernat knitting pattern magazine and I was smitten! The hat looked like it was made with a bulky yarn in the photo, but I wanted to use my existing DK / 8 ply yarn, so I decided to improvise! I used this gnome hat pattern that I found via Ravelry as a base for my hat.

vintage 1960s inspired knitted hatAnd to replicate the original 1969 hat pattern, I made the following modifications:

  • Created the long tail by repeating a few of the decreasing rounds a couple of times
  • Adding a pom pom at the end with fabric glue

vintage 1960s inspired knitted hatvintage 1960s inspired knitted hat

vintage 1960s inspired knitted hatEasy peasy! And is it just me or does the yarn remind you of chocolate chip and vanilla ice cream? Yum.

And now that I am back in hot and sunny Singapore, this hat shall rest in the wardrobe… until my next adventure to somewhere cool…

MADE: Wrapped quartz stud earrings

photo-5_fotor

I bought a few little pieces of quartz at a market in Sydney a couple of years ago at some low prices and have always wanted to make some accessories with them. Well, being the person that I am, I have only just put my arse down to making something from those lovely little pieces of rock a couple of weeks ago.

I haven’t made anything “modern” or done any DIY for a while, so it’s quite a refreshing project!

IMG_6416

Materials:

  • Quartz pieces
  • Wrapping wire
  • Ear posts and back lock
  • E6000 glue

IMG_6419

IMG_6423

IMG_6420

Steps:

1. Glue quartz pieces to ear post

2. Wrap wire around the centre haphazardly.. or carefully, whichever works better for you. Tuck the end of the wire in or twist it around the ear post

3. Wear them and be fabulous!

Have fun!

x g

MADE: Crochet Bacon and Eggs scarf

Bacon and eggs scarf, very NSFW, innit?

Bacon and eggs scarf, very NSFW, innit?

It’s been a long time since I made a scarf. Actually, it’s been a long time since I made any knitted or crochet objects, really. And by a long time, I mean a looooong time. To be honest, I don’t think I have ever posted a knitted/crochet project here? Shame on me who previously had a blog called “because she started knitting“.

This is long overdue project, a birthday gift that was promised to my friend over a year ago. Ah, better late than never.

I whipped up this bacon and egg scarf on my own without following a specific crochet bacon and eggs scarf pattern out on the Internet. There are tons of versions out there and all you need to do is type “bacon and eggs scarf” into Google to get inspired. So, unfortunately, I have no pattern to share. All I can say is that this pattern was made using about 9 balls of yarn (x 4 red, x 3 beige, x 1 yellow, x 1 white), 5 days of recuperation at home from wisdom teeth removal, and 2 seasons of 2 Broke Girls.

P.S.: If you like my bacon and eggs scarf, you might also be interested in checking out my knitted/crochet projects from the past such as the knitted pencil scarf and the knitted panda hat. I am also on Ravelry.