Tuesday, March 20, 2012

altered bustier/bustiere

Gosh, who knew there were two spellings for this fabulous garment. Wikipedia says that bustiers are traditionally worn as lingerie and also as evening garments. They are used as push up bras or as a camisole for outer wear. That is what I use them for. Either over long sleeve tops with my short skirts and leggings or over tank tops with shorts. Guess I can thank Madonna for using underwear as outwear. I have two bustiers I am currently working on. Both from the thrift store. The solid pink one is finished. The solid pink bustier was a little too tight, bra cups TOO big and had a closure down the back. First I found a pair of stretch capris at the thrift store just the right color to use for inserts in the back to make bigger. Second I cut the front of the bustier down the middle and used the capri pants fabric to make a binding. Then I inserted a zipper so I could do a front closure. I made bra cup linings so I could insert bra cup fillers. Bummer, but what's a girl to do. I also added pink elastic straps. This is really pink.

The second bustier is the pink poka dot one. Wow, sometimes I wonder where these come from or who wore them. It is not finished yet. I have cut off the ribbons in the middle and I am going to put a zipper down the center like I did the pink one. The bra cups are WAY TOO BIG and I have to figure out exactly what I want to do. Either add inserts like the pink bustier or try somehow to remake the bra cups.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

altered straw hats

Today I would like to address my love affair with hats. Now I know, I can hear everyone out in blog space saying Oh, I love hats, I just don't look good in them or I can't wear them. Hear is my response. One that I heard from someone I know who sold hats. He said everyone looks good in hats, you just need to find the style that works for you, and I couldn't agree more. Not only do you look fabulous in a hat, hats help keep the sun off of your face and neck, and hats also keep you cooler. Jay Leno was interviewing Taylor Swift a week or so ago and was discussing her cover on some top magazine and she was wearing a hat. Jay Leno said something to this effect, that more women would wear hats if they knew how good they looked in them. I totally agree. Both of these hats have been altered. The aqua hat was tan when I picked it up at the thrift store. I dyed it with Dylon dyes and it turned out this beautiful shade. After I dyed it, the straw had lost it's sizing and was limp. I put a coat of Stiffy on one side of the hat. It was enough to give it some stiffness, but not make it too stiff. I was able to shape the brim. I also added the poka dot band around the hat and put the same poka dot binding around the hat brim. I love doing that. It is fun and easy, and I think adds a special touch. The second hat is a purple hat that I got in LA at the Melrose Flea Market several years ago. It had a HUGE brim, and because of that I never wore it. When looking at it the other day, I decided I would cut off a big chunk of the brim ( about 5"). I then applied the binding ( couldn't find a poka dot fabric that would work ) around the brim. I glued a piece of felt on the hat band, so I can clip different flowers on the hat. It now looks great, and I will definitely we wearing it.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Altered dress

This week I would like to tell you about one of my favorite makeovers. I purchased this dress at the thrift store for about $5. It had big, poofy, 80's sleeves and had a cheap acetate, straight bottom type skirt, and a totally cute little peblem. Guess I should say I here and now I love peblums. I also loved the black, red and white floral, graphic top, and bought it knowing I wanted to use the top. Sometimes I buy something with no direct thought on what to do with it, but I knew right away what I wanted to do with this dress. First I washed the dress. Here is a cautionary tail. I like to be able to wash my garments, but sometimes washing the garment backfires on you. This dress did shrink, and I had to let out the seams in the bodice. Thankfully I was able to let it out enough for it to fit. So be careful when thinking of washing a garment which says dry clean only. You should be prepared for it to shrink. After I washed the garment, I cut off the bottom skirt. I also cut out the acetate lining in the top, which I then finished off with a purchased black bias tape. I also took out the zipper down the back of the dress, using the existing front closure to get in and out of the garment. I did leave the acetate lining in the peblum. I pair this top with either a short skirt with leggings or in our warmer weather, over a tank top and shorts. I really love wearing this.