You know those shoes that you keep in the back of your closet, but never wear? There’s nothing particularly wrong with them, and they’re still in great condition because, well, the most action they see is dust bunnies being swept up around them. They’re just lacking that “wow” factor. I have a few pairs that I can think of, so I know that you must have at least one pair.
Cue shoe clips. I’ve seen these floating around boutiques and handmade shops recently, so figured it was about time to do a round-up. They’re so perfect for adding life to even the most boring sole. Here are some of my favorites:
I wish I were joking when I said that the heat index in DC reached 124 this weekend. That’s just absurd. While the Mid-Atlantic is a sweaty ball of disgusting, the fall catalogs are being stuffed into mailboxes (and inboxes!) as we speak.
J. Crew, one of my favorite retailers, has released their Fall 2011 that is chock full of saturated-hues, layered pieces, and cropped pants. I’m particularly digging the bright orange-red colors that add interest to any outfit. And that mustard blazer? Gimme, gimme.
It seems like tank top dresses are quite the trend this summer. Figuring it was easy enough to make myself, I picked up a couple yards of fabric, grabbed one of my old tanks from my closet and went to work. I’m loving the kelley green + navy combo. So fresh.
Because I love ya so much, I whipped up this tutorial so that you can make your own. The steps are included in each picture, but the basic outline is as follows:
Cut out skirt and sew both vertical seams
Create an elastic waistband
Sew top half of tank to skirt
Hem skirt to desired length
(Optional) make sash for waist
Let’s get started! For your skirt, you will need to cut 2 pieces of fabric that are exactly the same size. For a really full skirt like mine, each piece should be the same width as your natural waist measurement. So if you have a 30 inch natural waist, each piece will be 30 inches wide. If you don’t want quite as full of a skirt, you can do 75% of your waist measurement. So if you have a 30 inch natural waist, each piece should be 22.5 inches wide. The length is completely up to you. I gave myself a lot of extra length so that I could try it on and hem it at the very end.
You now have a tube skirt that is huge. Each seam should be sewn together, and the top and bottom are open. Now let’s make the waist band.
Now that there’s waistband, we’re going to open it up so that we can put our elastic in. The length of your elastic should be one inch less than your natural waist measurement. You want it to be a tad snug on your waist.
Since this seam opening is on the inside, I didn’t bother to stich it shut. If you want to stich it shut, this would be the time to do it. Now we’re going to attach the tank to the skirt that we’ve made.
Your dress is basically done! Now we just have to hem it. Try it on and see where you want it to fall. Pin it in one place and carefully take the dress off. Using your pin as a guide, evenly pin the rest of the dress up on the underneath side.
You’re done if you want to be! I made a sash, but you don’t have to it at all.
What do you think, friends? Looks pretty easy right? Send me pics if you make one yourself! I’d appreciate if you’d Pin a picture from this post to Pinterest if you love it!
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Because I’m trapped in way-hotter-than-I-would-like weather in steamy Washington DC, I wanted to focus on cooler times: nights when the slight chill in the air calls for a scarf messily thrown around your neck, but still allows you to look polished. So I decided to make a We Are Owls inspired scarf. It’s really simple, given you have the right tools. I didn’t experiment with many supplies, but I was really happy with Tee Juice fabric markers I used on my first try. Here’s what you need to make a Poem Script Scarf:
I told you it was simple, right? Grab a Tee Juice marker (I used the black broad tip version, found on Amazon) and a scarf in the color of your choosing and let your creativity flow.
I chose some phrases out of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 47. The Hubs recited this sonnet to me last autumn right before he left for a week for business meetings on the west coast. I picked the lines: “For thou not farther than my thoughts canst move/And I am still with them and they with thee/Or, if they sleep, thy picture in my sight.” Here’s how mine turned out:
A Few Tips
Make sure you lay something underneath the scarf/pashmina. Because of the loose weave of the fabric, the Tee Juice marker will seep through. Try not to move the scarf on your surface once you’ve started writing, otherwise the ink will smear.
Practice a few words on a scrap piece of fabric of a similar weave. I didn’t do this, so my first words are slightly different from the rest of the poem. That’s okay, it just adds character. Try different amounts of pressure on the fabric and how much you squeeze the tube. Both produce different results.
Let it dry well, then iron using a cloth over it for several minutes to make the ink permanent.
If you try this, please do send me a link to your final version!
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Most of the wedding details are done (it is less than 2 months from now, afterall!), and I’m starting to think about ITALY! The plans are basically finalized, so now it’s time to think about packing- the fun part! I think I can justify some new clothes? Okay, maybe not justify, but it will be fun to see if I can find some good deals at the outlet.
The rolling hills of Tuscany, narrow canals of Venice, and bright sunshine just beg for a cute striped sundress to be worn with some bright summery wedges.
I put together a little inspiration board of items that would work well on our honeymoon. Did you know that polyvore.com has templates that you can use to create beautiful layouts? It got my creative juices flowing, and this is the result:
J.Crew recently posted a video showing a behind-the-scenes look into how their shoes are designed and manufactured from idea to tangible product.
I’ve long loved J.Crew shoes, especially their cheery ballet flats. They’re a little pricey for what I would typically pay, but the quality and craftsmanship is evident.
J.Crew does a great job by engaging their customers by showing an in-depth look into the process. This brings both potentially new and existing customers. When customers have a chance to see the product lifestyle, they become involved with the producer and the story of the product which makes them more likely to buy. The more the connect, the greater your potential sales are.
How do you engage customers with your handmade product? Do you offer glimpses into your studio? Try posting a video of the process! (That is, assuming it’s not a trade-secret process.) Potential customers will love to see how you create a product from raw materials to the item that will eventually end up in their hands. It might take a little more time, but it shows that you care about a quality process of production. Customers appreciate quality. Before they’re actual customers and can hold your product, it’s it to you to communicate the level of quality.
Take a look at some behind-the-scenes shots of how J.Crew shoes are designed and made, and check out the video here.
It should be no surprise that I love vibrant colors. I like to start with a clean & neutral base to work from, then add accent colors. Admittedly, I sometimes get carried away and become a walking rainbow. Or a room in my home looks like something from Peewee’s Playhouse [eesh, I hope not. promise me you'll tell me if it does, k?].
I saw this final project from Karishma Shahani at the London College of fashion via ecouterre and it spoke to me. Shahani designed this collection from inspiration found in India- their use of color, resources, and “Indian ingenuity.” Being inspired by my environment continues to shape and refine my style on a daily basis, as it is evident that it does for Shahani, too.
On a personal note: when I was traveling in the Philippines a few years ago, I spent the day with new friends in a trash dump in Manila. Despite the heaps of trash and awful stench, the beauty overwhelmed me. The colors were breathtaking. I was inspired by my new friends’ smiles in the midst of their pain against a backdrop of brilliant color. I don’t know that I was able to transform that inspiration into anything tangible- that is the hard part. Inspiration is easy to come by, but not often does it influence your life in a way that you can see, feel.
[photo by Stamp 48]
It seems that Shahani succeeded in bringing out the emotions that she feels from her native India to her collection. I will definitely be looking forward to what she creates next.
There’s so much to love about these shots from Shana Faust: the dark walls with white-sketched detailing, the gorgeous clutches, fabulous accessories, and stunning dresses. I love how the color just pops against the walls. Yum. It’s strikingly similar to these beauts.
Hi! I'm Lauren. Thanks for stopping by Stamp 48. I love empowering Creative business owners, grape soda, google maps, peonies, mustard yellow + gray, and ruffles. Stamp 48 represents the next phase of my journey. Subscribe + follow + fan S48 to join me in the journey.