Do you have that one item in your wardrobe that you love but just don’t know what to wear with it? Mine has been Baby, the Stars Shine Bright’s Twinkle Constellation and the Stars of Confeito Skirt in Dreaming Vega (fancy name for white.) Back in 2012 I wasn’t that excited about the print, but when I saw it in person in Tokyo, the contrast of the navy to purple to pink on the white background won me over. Two years later and sadly I’ve only worn it once. In order to remedy that I have been cooking up a cutsew remake to pair with it. If you’ve been following along on Instagram you’ve already had a sneak peek ヾ(＾∇＾)
I was super fortunate to attend a Baby tea party at Anime Next where designers Masumi and Saki gave out print handkerchiefs as a small gift. Stephanie, who also attended, swapped me for a dark print I received in exchange for the Dreaming Vega!! I knew right then and there this was going to be jumping off point to build a new coordinate. My original idea was to make a kuma mimi out of it. I even sketched out a cute design. But that concept didn’t make the best use of this rare opportunity so I shelfed it.
Work In Progress
The bib on my recent Cherry One Piece project turned out well and re-inspired me to do something similar with the handkerchief. I dove right in and added just a couple of tucks, then traced around the Land’s End polo’s collar to figure out where to cut into the Baby fabric. Then went to task trimming the entire piece out with a very delicate little lace to finish the edges.
The thing with refashioning pieces is that you really have to go with the flow. Its not like working with a pattern and a pre-set direction. You have to be flexible and adapt to what the materials are telling you. And luckily, I stopped and stepped back before I went to far. My original idea was to mix in a lace knit fabric but it just wasn’t looking right. Wisely, I took a pause (watched Sailor Moon and painted my nails) and then came back to it.
A vintage peignoir that I picked up on Etsy just so happened to be the perfect matching shade of pink. Sheer has been so popular lately as well as styling with retro bed coats so figured I would throw it into the mix. This of course started me down a whole new path and hours and hours of hand stitching…
Next Time: Sheri gets totally distracted and makes a matching fascinator to go with the new blouse.
Picked up the most adorable skirt from Poppy England which features vintage storybook style illustrations of London’s main attractions. The drawings feature a little girl, Poppy, and her friends, such as Fred the dog. The history of the company is really charming – check it out here. While in Heathrow waiting for my flight back home I found a key chain of a classic British phone box in Harrods and was immediately inspired.
I could barely wait to make this when I returned. Had a picture in my mind of something sweet but simple to match the skirt to pull a whole look together. By sheer dumb luck, left over fabric from curtains I just made for the house turned out to be an exact match for the turquoise color of the skirt. Then I remembered a necklace from Banana Republic that I never wear but haven’t been able to part with. It was covered in little crochet butterflies and flowers. The chain had patinaed so I stopped wearing it but the charms were still in good shape and also a good matching shade to compliment the curtain fabric bow. The skirt has red, white and yellow details so after some digging in my bead box decided on glass beads that are large enough to balance out the size of the key chain. Originally was going to use a linked pearl chain but opted for a double loop silver chain instead to support more weight. The key chain fob is a bit heavy.
Since I have to start plotting my packing strategy for a visit to San Fran next week, just a wee bit excited, pulled out pieces to complete a coordinate. Red and white stripe socks from Angelic Pretty match the vintage children’s storybook vibe of the skirt design. White rocking horses might not make it into my suitcase (not practical for this trip) but would be a nice finishing touch. Also threw in a Scottie dog bracelet I picked up year’s ago in Germany – isn’t he adorable!!
The past couple weeks have been fun, started back to Japanese lessons and then there were the fashion shows. On the flip side that means my sewing has slowed down. Still have a few things to post but need to get back in gear as I have set a lofty goal with my summer project line up. Before my mini break, I completed the second of several items in the Garden Party coordinate project.
Once I finished the Rabbit Apron my attention shifted to a remake of a vintage wicker hand bag. This is turning to be an annual summer event as last year you might recall I remade another wicker purse to go with a Baby, the Stars Shine Bright cherry dress.
Did I start this post saying I completed this bag? Well that is not exactly true. I still need to do something to the interior of the purse. Right now it is gingham which is absolutely charming but is not in keeping with the color palette and styling of the rest of the outfit. Fussing over the details is important to make a good project be great. Which is why during all of this I also add a couple of bows to the apron to make the lacing feel more finished.
Materials for lace wrist cuffs have been cut and I just need to finish them but have been distracted by a couple other items so hope to wrap those up soon. So all-in-all off to a good start on my list of to-dos but can’t slack off anytime soon. Thank you summer for the motivating sunshine and energy! よし、がんばれます。
I like so many other die hard fans am jumping for joy at the release of Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal this July. Sailor Moon got me through the tedious last days of college and gave me strength when first setting out on my career. While I had seen other anime from Japan this was the first to steal my heart. To celebrate the new release I wanted to make something – anything – to show my support. I opened up my box of Moonie goodies collected over the years and had a brainstorm. What about a decorated jean jacket?
Yes, I cut up one of my many Sailor Moon handkerchiefs. I have some fabric but the print just wasn’t right. So I took a very deep breath, placed my ruler carefully following a pattern I made and put the rotary blade down. Swoosh, no going back. Which I am totally cool with because the end result is awesome. The back had such a strong impact with the color of the Luna backpack that the front needed something punchy to create balance.
I think the jacket is still missing something. Have been debating making the sleeves shorter, adding a small red bow below Sailor Moon on the front, and maybe mixing in more beads here and there. I don’t want it to go over the top, but want to push it a little more.
What do you think?
It is so satisfying to finish a project. And this DIY vintage wicker handbag transformation is complete! The finishing touch was the addition of a sweet lolita makeup pouch. Blending form and function, the pouch is more substantial than a typical makeup bag – by about 2 inches. It also features a small clip so that keys don’t slide around or get lost when you open and close your purse. Alternatively little charms could be attached to it to add a personal touch.
I didn’t follow a pattern for this bag but I did flip a Lancôme freebie inside out to examine their general construction. I doubled a piece of the cherry fabric and ironed in some fusible interfacing to half of the fabric. The side with the interfacing became the outside and with the extra stiffness I was able to embellish it with lace to match the main handbag. I then attached a swivel clip to some pink ribbon for the key chain. Last was the addition of a big pink ribbon.
I wanted to use a white zipper, but my sewing stash failed me. Seeing the finished product, I think it worked out best to have the contrasting red zipper instead. After inserting the zipper I serged the two sides and then a quick stitch across the bottom corners gave the pouch its final shape.
The pouch comfortably holds a brush, hand lotion, blush and a powder compact with some room to spare. If your wondering where to keep Life’s Sweet Essential #4 – Money, well, my Vivian Westwood wallet tucks in nicely in front of the pockets on the other side of the purse.
I’ll conclude this DIY July project with a small photo shoot of the finished handbag and a few before and after shots to show its makeover.
While the outside of this wicker handbag is charming and refined, the inside is an over the top explosion of cute. I really outdid myself on making this purse organizer. So thrilled about the final result. My daily essentials are perfectly placed and easy to get to:
- Mobile Phone
- Business Card Case
- Tic Tacs
No commercial lolita brand would spend this much time on the inside of a purse. Far to expensive to manufacture. But wow what a difference it makes. The vintage purse is still a modest size compared to styles popular these days in mainstream fashion. But once the bag is well organized that size difference isn’t a big deal. And this is just one side of the bag. There is more to come. But first lets break down how the organizer was made.
The finished piece looks like this. A simple flat organizer that can be slipped into the purse. I did decide to attach it to the lining in the purse for stability, but that is personal preference versus a necessity. Below is an overview of the steps to make your own organizer.
My biggest advice is to go slowly and be sure to think ahead to the next few steps. With patience and diligence I would rank this an intermediate sewing project. To make it more basic, I would drop the lace trim and the rounded corners.
It was dark when I finished the other side of the purse. After brunch I’ll get around to taking some photos to share with you the other half of what has turned out to be an exquisitely organized handbag.
Almost there! Was able to squeeze in just enough time yesterday after work to sew and glue in the lining. This is just a foundation for more to come. I want to make a zipper pouch for one side of the bag and an organizer for the other. Took me a while to plot it all out inside my head and I think I now have a good plan of attack.
There are plenty of tutorials online for making 3-d cube corners, so I won’t ramble on about it today. The key is to make sure you start and stop your stitches at a specific position which will become the pointy corner of the box shape. This is where 3 pieces of fabric all meet. If your stitch runs the full length of your fabric, you will not be able to turn it right side out and get the shape you need.
The typical recommendation is 1/4 inch from the edge of your fabric. For the project I left more seam allowance, probably 5/8″, due to the fact that I would be adjusting measurements by hand to accommodate the slight curvature of this purse. Having the extra fabric allowed me to let it in or out as I progressed.
As I said, I left a ton of allowance in the fabric pieces to adjust as I went. Once the base was sewn and looking good, the next step was to adjust the height. I inserted the lining into the purse and folded over the edges following the frame of the handbag. Painters tape worked best to hold the fabric in place, and taught, so that the measurement was as precise as possible. There was plenty of stitch ripping and readjusting until the corners matched the purse properly and the height was right. Tossed in some pins at that point then gave it a really good pressing with the iron. Trimmed away all the excess fabric, ran a final stitch around the edge and set to work gluing it into the bag.
I reused the tape from before to dry fit the lining before gluing. After all that hard work the last thing I wanted was a wonky finish. All-in-all I give myself an 8 out of 10 for this piece of the project. I set myself a deadline of this weekend to finish and the result is more than satisfactory as is. Given more time I would have used quilt batting for all sides of the lining and not just the bottom layer. But I am a happy camper just the same.
Stay Tuned: The final reveal will happen later this weekend when I finish the organizers. Now where did that lace go…
The summer lolita handbag is coming together nicely. I finished the exterior decorations yesterday. Seeing it next to Baby’s Cherry print from last year I think the quality of my execution is very in-keeping with the brand’s esthetic. Fun, frilly, sweet but still refined and sophisticated.
Hot glue was my best friend for attaching the two lace trims. A little painters tape came in handy to line up the rows in exactly the spot I wanted them. I was generous with the glue but also very careful. I didn’t want big globs of it to show nor did I want it to drip thru the wicker into the inside of the bag. I paid particular attention for the rose trim. Each leaf and blossom was glued down one at a time. Took a lot of patience but well worth the investment to make the finished look smooth, clean and perfectly placed.
After the lace dried I added the string of pearls. I used a beading wire to give it strength. Gravity is going to constantly be pulling on them so things needed to be secure. Got creative and decided to use a beading spacer bar to make sure the wire is crimped snugly and wont slide around or slip thru to the front accidentally.
And before you think I am crazy enough to hot glue on my dresses waist ribbon, I am not. Using the same beading wire and two jump rings I made hoops for the detachable bow to attach to. Originally I thought I would just pin the bow on to the lace, but that worried me. The weight of the bow could tug on the lace too much and pull up the hot glue or it could just damage the lace over time. Neither would be pleasant situations. The location of the hot glue also challenged that idea, it is smack dab right where I want the bow placed anyway. So with a little strength and a good sewing needle I was able to pierce the hot glue and string the hoop through instead.
The bonus prize for this method is different color bows can be mixed and matched on the front of the purse. For example, the blue ribbon from this sax color BTSSB dress to make a perfect coordinate, and say a pink bow to match another. I’ll whip up one using the lining fabric to start things off.
Last step was to hot glue on the cherries. I found these small crochet cherry appliques at Joyce Trimming in NYC. They have a section towards the back of the store where you can find plenty of boxes of applique and patches to suit many different tastes.
Before dinner I had just enough time to start planning out the interior of the purse. Light does filter through the wicker so using some fusible interfacing and pink cherry fabric to line the main body seemed like the right thing to do. Next, I added a layer of quilt batting to cover the wooden frame. Hopefully after work today I can do the math to start the lining. Found this tutorial that should be a good jumping off point for keeping all the handbag contents nice and neat.
For now, ciao lovelies. Have a super Friday.
As soon as I returned home yesterday I went right to work on my wicker handbag project. First things first, I had to remove the paper lining. It was musty and had some spots of mold. Well and it was really dirty. No sense in trying to salvage it, simply not worth it. After removing the paper, there was access to give the handbag a thorough cleaning. And it sure needed the cleaning.
My original plan was to reuse the original leather hinges and just give them a coat of white paint to spruce them up. But the leather was in pretty bad shape.
I turned to a very recent purchase to replace the leather. The Baby, the Stars Shine Bright stationary set that arrived last week contained a vinyl diary cover. Vinyl means no fraying edges and fairly strong material to withstand some use.
I removed the feet from the purse and used the original leather hinges to make a template. The leather straps are more decorative than functional. They cover up a set of metal hinges that are nailed to the bottom of the bag.
I increased the width ever so slightly. The vinyl is not as thick as the original leather so I wanted to ensure good coverage of the metal hinge when all is said and done. Using a circle template I rounded the corners of the new straps. The vinyl was easy to cut with an Exacto knife. To finish them I used a craft hole punch to make nice clean openings for the brass feet to insert into.
Did my best to polish the brass feet before putting it back together again. I am tickled pink with the result. I doubt anyone will notice this small detail since it is on the bottom of the purse, but if I am going to all the trouble to upcycle the vintage purse there is no point in half assing it.
I’ve got some chores to attend to this morning, but then I have the rest of the lovely 4th of July holiday to continue working on the handbag. Should be a fun and rewarding day.
Happy 4th of July!!
I started putting together a coordinate for an upcoming convention. My second Con to be exact. Once the dress form was lookin all good and frilly, it came to purse options. I have tried every bag I own and no joy. So I hit the brand sites and still no love. What’s a girl to do? Then it came to me – Etsy! And score! For $26 + shipping, this beautiful vintage wicker handbag was on its way.
But you know me. Can’t be that easy. No this vintage jem is about to get the full treatment. The package arrived late yesterday and I could wait to start the creative process. The Plan: decorate to be a perfect match for Baby, the Stars Shine Bright Cherish my Juicy Cherry. The purse is missing its original lining. But that isn’t a problem, that’s an opportunity. I have some nice pink cherry fabric from last summer’s DIY marathon that will be a good match.
As you can see above, the outside is starting to take shape. I played with a bunch of embellishments, laces and various compositions. So far this option using the waist bow from the dress along with some pearls, lace and crocheted cherries is my favorite.
And the best part? We have a nice long holiday ahead which couldn’t be a more perfect time to start some DIY July. Get ready glue gun. Here I come.