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Dip Dyed Linen Top

DIYStephanieComment
DIY Dip Dyed Linen Top | Wellnesting

Linen is one of my favorite summery fabrics. While most people tend to focus on the impracticality of a fabric that wrinkles the second you put it on, I’m a fan of how breezy and wearable it is. The versatility of linen is one of it’s best selling points because it can be dressed up or down and it’s insanely comfortable at the same time. Not to mention, it’s a natural fiber which makes it perfect for DIY projects that involve heat and dye, which, let’s be honest, is nearly all of my projects.

DIY Dip Dyed Linen Top | Wellnesting

I knew I wanted to make a lightweight, swingy blouse when I ordered this flax colored linen a couple months ago. I immediately narrowed it down to a simple sleeveless top that would go with anything, but after weeks of thinking about it I realized I also wanted to add some pretty ruffled cap sleeves to make it more interesting. Like all of my sewing projects, the final product came about through trial and error.

Lots and lots of it.

Let me just tell you, while a little ruffle sleeve looks easy, the actual construction behind it nearly made my head pop off*. But once I finally got the shape figured out, it was easy as pie to put together.

DIY Dip Dyed Linen Top | Wellnesting

When all was said and done, I got out some old dyes I had leftover from a few projects of yore and mixed up the perfect orangey-red color. Then I simply dipped my shirt into the dye and let it absorb the color at varying increments to get a pretty ombre effect.

Despite all the trial and error this little shirt caused me, I’m super smitten with how it turned out!

*Ps. I apologize if the step-by-step pictures are less than obvious – after ripping and re-ripping seams, the process got a little muddled. Hopefully my descriptions will help, but if you try this and you still have questions, email me and I’d be glad to help!
 

Supplies

1 1/2 yards linen
Scissors
Iron
Pen and paper (to create a pattern)
Stitch Witchery fusible hem tape
Buttons
Pins
Sewing Machine
Dye suited for natural fibers
Old shirt that fits
Double fold binding tape (I used Dritz)
Needle for hand-sewing

DIY Dip Dyed Linen Top | Wellnesting

Before you get stared, be sure to wash and dry your linen fabric to prevent any unwanted shrinking later.

  1. Take an old shirt and place it on top of your piece of heavy paper. Trace the body of the shirtand the sleeves separately as best you can (they don't have to be perfect).  To trace the sleeve, I free hand sketched the shape of the sleeve as it looked when the shirt was lying flat, then when it came time to cut it, I folded the piece of paper along the upper/outside edge to get the front and back of the sleeve.
  2. Cut out your template pieces.
  3. Take your sleeve pattern piece and cut about 6 long slits in it, starting at the flat edge and extending to the curved edge. Do not cut all the way through the curved edge. Next splay the sections until youget a large curved shape (see the red shape in Step 3 above). Trace.
  4. Trace the body pattern piece onto your linen (this will be the front of your shirt). Be sure to add a 1/2 inch seam allowance, then cut.
  5. Cut your the body piece down the center so you have two separate halves (this will be the two back pieces). Trace each half onto your fabric with a 1/2 inch seam allowance all the way around. Cut.
  6. Lay your two back pieces on top of your single front piece with right sides together and line up the seams. Pin along the edge where the back should meets the front shoulder. Sew along this seam.
  7. Open the shirt right side up so that the front piece is laying to the left and the back pieces are laying to right, connected by the shoulder seams in the middle. Next, fold your sleeve pieces down the middle and iron to make a crease - this will help you center the sleeves on the shirt. Take your sleeves, and lay them right side down (so that right sides are facing each other) with the fold in the sleeve lining up with the shoulder seam. Pin to the shirt with curves perfectly aligned and sew together with a 1/2 inch seam allowance.
  8. Finish the arm hole by folding the seam allowance over by 1/2 inch the rest of the way around and securing with your Stitch Witchery fusible tape and an iron.
  9. Now take your shirt and, with right sides together, pin both side seams together. Sew the side seams.
  10. Hem the bottom edge and two edges at the center of the back by folding each edge over 1/2 inch, press with an iron, then fold another 1 inch and press again. Pin and sew.
  11. Mark out where you want your buttons and button holes to be.
  12. Take your double fold binding tape and fold it over top the raw edge at the neckline. Pin in place and then sew. I used an edge stitch foot to get the stitch nice and close to the inner edge where the binding meets the shirt.
  13. Make your button holes. The process will vary by machine. Here is a nice detailed guide on making button holes on a machine. Sew on your buttons by hand.
  14. Finally, dip dye your shirt using any natural fiber dye you like. Follow the instructions on the package for tub dying. Wet your shirt first and dip the top 1/3 of the shirt into the dye bath for a few seconds. Slowly pull the shirt out of the dye in increments until your get the desired concentration of dye. Rinse your shirt in cool water and then use the gentle cycle on your washing machine to get rid of any remaining dye. Let dry.

Rather than hem the sleeves and add bulk to the ruffle, I left the hem raw to retain the soft, frayed look. In order to keep them from fraying too much, I covered most of the sleeve with a piece of newspaper and then used a sprayable fray check on the outer most edge right where the fray starts.

DIY Dip Dyed Linen Top | Wellnesting
DIY Dip Dyed Linen Top | Wellnesting

DIY Tribal Earrings

DIYStephanie1 Comment
DIY Tribal Earrings from Shrink Plastic | Wellnesting

When it comes to DIY inspiration, for me, Anthropologie is where it’s at. Everything they have is artsy and eclectic and can’t be pinned down to just one style, which for some reason totally speaks to me.  I spotted some tribal earrings there a few months back and immediately etched them into my brain, only to have them come up again and again every time I sat to plan my next DIY. I don’t know if they’re still for sale otherwise I would show you what I’m talking about, but these little pretties are darn close.

DIY Tribal Earrings from Shrink Plastic | Wellnesting

As any DIY’er knows, sometimes what’s in your head doesn’t always translate very well in the real world, but these came out better than I expected. With a piece of shrink plastic, some colored pencils, and several different shades of embroidery thread, I was able to jimmy these little guys together in under an hour.

And I just love how the different shades of amber thread remind me of a lion’s mane. Paired with the bright turquoise, I think they say hey-look-here-not-at-the-bags-under-my-eyes, no?

Definitely one of my favorite DIYs thus far!

DIY Tribal Earrings from Shrink Plastic | Wellnesting

Supplies

Shrink plastic (look for the frosted version)
Scissors
Hole punch
20 gauge wire
Ear wires
Embroidery floss in 3 shades
Wire cutters
Baking sheet
Parchment paper
Colored pencils
Pencil, round drinking glass, paper (for a stencil)

Tribal Earrings | Wellnesting

The How To

  1. Create your stencil by tracing a drinking glass or small cup on a piece of paper. My glass was about 3 inches in diameter.
  2. Cut out your stencil and trim off the top 1/3 of the circle. Next, trace your stencil on a piece of shrink plastic and cut two semicircles.
  3. On the rough side of the plastic, color the entire semi-circle with a heavy hand to deposit as much color as possible. If your shrink plastic didn't come pre-sanded, simply grab a fine grain sandpaper and lightly scuff the plastic going in small circles.
  4. Use your hole punch to make a hole in each of the top corners, and then 10 holes along the bottom curve. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Place both pieces of plastic on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for about 3 minutes or until plastic has finished melting and completely untwisted.
  5. Gather your floss and a hand sewing needle and cut your thread into 36 inch segments. You'll need 3 segments of two of the colors, and 4 segments of one of the colors.
  6. Thread your needle with one of the colors and start passing the needle back and forth through the hole.  Essentially you want to feed the need through the front of the hole and then bring the needle back in the opposite direction through the same sideof the hole you just came out of -- being sure to leave about 1.5 inches of thread on either side.
  7. Remove your needle and even up the loops of thread on either side of the hole. Then feed the thread from the back of the semi circle through the loop of thread on the front of semicircle and tighten.
  8. Trim the thread and continue this process for each of the 10 holes.
  9. Take a 3-inch piece of wire and fold it half. With your pliars, twist the wire 1x to create a loop at mid-point of the wire.
  10. Then bend the wire at both ends to create the loops that will attach to your earrings. Thread the wire through the holes at each end of the earrings and use your pliars to close the loop.
  11. Finally attach your ear wires to the loop at the top.
DIY Tribal Earrings from Shrink Plastic | Wellnesting

Just in case you wanted to see them on, here I am modeling them for you (and not looking awkward in the slightest.)

Tribal Earrings | Wellnesting

And as a reward for those of you who scrolled all the way down here to the bottom, here are some outtakes for you.....

(C was trying to distract me while I was voguing for the camera. Bottom right especially cracks me up.)

Tribal Earrings | Wellnesting

Pssst. If you like playing with shrink plastic, these earrings are an awful lot like another pair I made a few months ago. Check ‘em out.


Easy DIY Bralette

DIYStephanie2 Comments

I’ve officially jumped on the bralette train.

How to make a Simple Bralette from an Old Shirt | Wellnesting

As a rather flat-chested gal (and I’m not afraid to sing it loud and proud) I’ve long avoided lingerie that doesn’t at least give the illusion of a little curves. In college I was totally the Wonder Bra type with a minimum of an inch of padding, but since then, the padding has progressively thinned until I reached my current status: shaped but very little, if any, extra oomph.

These days it’s all about accentuation, not complete and total fabrication, and lately I’ve found myself being drawn to simple and dainty bralettes.

How to make a Simple Bralette from an Old Shirt | Wellnesting

Most bralettes are nothing more than a couple pieces of lace sewn together with the addition of elastic straps, and while they look delicate and time-intensive, I knew one couldn’t be hard to make. Not to mention, spending $50 on something so simple didn’t really float my boat when all I needed was to get the right fit and add a couple straps. Easy, right?

While most tutorials online featured triangle lace cups made by sewing the lace together at an angle, I wanted something even easier. So I chose to go with a gathered cup that still looks pretty but doesn’t have the seam running down the front (which can be trouble if you’re on the flatter side and don’t get the fit just right). I also added a little plastic closure at the back to make it more practical and easier to wear.

As for the fabric, I picked a light, printed chiffon top that I no longer wore and that I figured would be the perfect weight for a lingerie project. It originally came from Madewell a couple years ago but after a recent closet purge, it ended up in my DIY project box. I thought it would be pretty paired with a soft berry colored elastic but all the fun colors were sold out at my local JoAnn, so I decided to dye my own. As luck would have it, the only dye I had was for natural fibers and, while I went ahead and used it anyway, it resulted in a lavender tie-dyed effect, which I ended up loving. Hooray for happy accidents!  

How to make a Simple Bralette from an Old Shirt | Wellnesting

Supplies

1/2 yard lace or chiffon fabric
2 yards elastic (1/2 inch wide)
Scissors
Ruler
Clear 1/2 inch swimsuit bra hooks ( I like these from Dritz)
Pen and paper
Need, thread, sewing machine

How to make a Simple Bralette from an Old Shirt | Wellnesting
  1. Start by creating a paper template. This will vary depending on your cup size, but I made a simple triangle 6 inches wide at the base and 5 inches tall. Then I added a 1/2 inch seam allowance on all sides. Once you get the size just right, cut it out and pin it to your fabric. Cut two pieces.
  2. Using a sewing machine set to the longest stitch, sew a running stitch along the bottom (6-inch side) of your triangles (don't back stitch at the beginning). The machine will slightly gather the fabric as your sew, but I gathered it just a teeny bit more. Again, this will vary depending on your cup size. Be sure to experiment until it's gathered enough for you.
  3. Cut your elastic. Wrap the elastic around your torso, right underneath your chest - add an inch to this measurement to allow for a little extra give and cut one. Then cut two 5 1/2 inch pieces (one for each of the inside edges of the cups). And finally cut two more pieces that will go along the outside edge of each cup, all the way over your shoulders and connect to the back of the bottom strap.
  4. Pin one of the 5 1/2 inch pieces of elastic to the inner edge of each triangle, and using a zigzag stitch, sew in place. Trim any seam allowance that may be showing.
  5. Pin one of the long shoulder straps to the outside edge of each triangle and sew.
  6. Finally, center your triangles on the bottom piece of elastic with a 1/2 inch gap in between the cups. Pin and sew using a zigzag stitch.
  7. Attach the bra hook by taking 1 end of the bottom elastic piece and folding it over to create a small loop. Pin the end down and sew a straight stitch. Take the other end of the elastic and thread one of the plastic bra hooks, fold the elastic over, pin and sew closed.
  8. Attach the shoulder straps to the bottom elastic at the back (I placed mine about 2 inches from the closure). Attach using a straight stitch.
  9. Try on and adjust for fit if necessary.
How to make a Simple Bralette from an Old Shirt | Wellnesting
How to make a Simple Bralette from an Old Shirt | Wellnesting