My DIY: Card Suit Cardigan

Recently I mentioned Joyce Trimming in NYC.  In the back of the shop they keep a section with boxes stuffed full of different types of embellishments.  I had to have a few sets of their card suit embroidered patches.  Knew right away that I could DIY a Baby the Stars Shine Bright cardigan that I have long admired.

Make your own BTSSB cardigan.

This is another pretty easy do it yourself project.  The first and most important step is to align the patches so that they are evenly spaced on your cardigan.  Be sure to use a ruler! The cardigan I used is a very basic three-quarter sleeved by Merona from Target. I first ironed the patches down on low heat to set them.  Followed the iron by stitching each very close to the edge to ensure they wouldn’t pop off in the wash or with wear-and-tear.

Next up was the lace.  I choose a lace with hearts on it to stay with the card suit theme. It is smaller than that which Baby used, so if you want to make an impact you could use a more substantial cluny lace. With the lace you have to pay attention if you want to stitch it around the waistband like I did.  I ended up hand sewing it so that I could have more control and be sure to stretch the cardigan as I went along.  I was afraid with the machine I might lose the elasticity of the knit.

The finished card suits cardigan.

Must say I am pleased with the outcome.  Was even brave enough to wear it into work (on a casual Friday.)  It certainly was a conversation starter.  Most comments were a in passing question of, “are you feeling lucky?”

My DIY: Crown Jubilee Canotier

I have to say this has been a fun month.  Really enjoying taking the time to photograph all my sewing endeavors.  Gives me a sense of satisfaction to see first-and-foremost how much my skills have improved as well as to see projects completed.

Today’s DIY is a regal, black canotier.  Now if you look up “canotier” in a dictionary, you will learn that it is associated with sail fabric or a sailor’s hat, of which a straw boater is common.  But in the magical land that is Lolita Fashion, a canotier is a round lacy headdress.  Some have a long ribbon used to tie it around one’s head with the knot under the chin.  Others, have clips or combs attached to the back to secure them easily to one’s hair.

My DIY canotier, a lolita headdress, with very royal roots.

I started with a black silk and cotton blend fabric that has a wonderful woven texture.  One of those subtle details that I love so much.  The crown was picked up in the NYC fashion district at Joyce Trimming.  There are so many great trim shops, but Joyce is one of my faves for patches and embellishments.  It is also dangerously close to Kinokuniya, so well within my stomping grounds.  The rose lace and black ribbon came from my second favorite trim shop, Daytona Trimming.  I am madly in love with cats, but also deathly allergic to them.  So I have to give warning that, if you too are allergic, be ready to dash in and out of Daytona as quickly as possible.  Know what you want to buy or suffer a major allergy flare up as they let their cats have the run of the shop.

I started this project way back in April.  You might recall it from my J-Weekend post.  The reason it is only now being posted is that I just couldn’t find the exact clip for the back.  I finally settled on this round one that has both an alligator clip and a pin clasp.  Barrettes never stay in place on my super fine hair, so it had to be an alligator clip.  But I also wanted the flexibility to wear it as a pin over a dress or cardigan.

So there you have it.  My Crown Jubilee Canotier!

Sweet Dreams, Sheri




P.S.  Congrats to Queen Elizabeth II on 60 amazing years!

DIY July

I love summer.  The days are longer and with all that extra sunlight my artistic gene kicks in to high gear.

DIY July BannerAnd it looks like So-En, Japan’s first fashion magazine (started in 1936,) also has the bug.  The July Edition is aptly named, “DIY GIRL.” It is jam packed with tons of do it yourself inspiration and how-to examples.

The July 2012 Edition of So-En MagazineOne spread is dedicated to a bib-front, tuxedo style shirt. Looks a bit complicated, but love the sassy style.  The model is wearing the blouse with a simple pair of shorts and a chunky pair of shoes which keep the look from being too serious.

DIY How To Examples

If the blouse is too ambitious, check out the article, “Tokyo Reworkers.” I have been clipping articles like this from Japanese Magazines for years.  One day I will have to pull the Lacoste remake from my archives – still my most favorite remake ever. But anyway, if you have intermediate crafting skills than this is the article for you.  I am noodling over the jeweled collar.  They are even showing up in U.S. magazines now, so I am long overdue to try one myself.

So En make your own ribbon necklaceOr if you are looking for a quick project, check out the “everyday ribbon” article. Very simple and very sweet ribbon necklaces that can be whipped up out of pretty much anything.

Sweet Dreams, Sheri




P.S. I have been saving up some of my own DIY projects.  So look for the following to make an appearance here on L.S.E. in the coming days (*^^*)

Do It Yourself Sneak Preview

Winter Warmth

2012 has been off to a very busy start.  Between lots of business travel, starting classes, and a bout with a nasty cold, I did sneak in a bit of time for myself.  While it has been a very mild winter this year the fact remains that I live in an older home.  It comes with “character” I believe is the polite expression.  Meaning it has with its age developed many quirks, one of which is that it stays relatively cool inside all year round.

To accommodate this charming character, I now have a growing collection of fleece vests.  They add just the right extra amount of warmth. The challenge is they are not exactly cute.  I do keep hoping that Timberland or The North Face will release a collection in pink… but am not holding my breath.

So I squeezed in a sewing project to add a pink fleece vest to my room wear options.  Nothing fancy and there are many things I would change if I made a second one. But all-in-all it does its job nicely.

Lolita Pink Fleece Vest

Cabin Fever
Looks like I have been over indulging in the cutesy, frilly stuff as of late.  So with March approaching think I will dive a bit more into Life’s Essential #3 – Shelter.  Seems appropriate to spend some time talking about Home Sweet Home as I always suffer from cabin fever in the last month of Winter.  Time can drag on anxiously awaiting spring so let’s make good use of the time spent indoors.

Sweet Dreams, Sheri




Valentino Fall/Winter 2011

As girls go, I am definitely very independent – a tough New Yorker.  But I am also infatuated with girly cute things  (lace, ruffles, bows, ribbons…)  Case in point, I got my Black Belt in the Bronx and, well, my sparring gear was pink.  I am sure Bennett Sensei still rolls his eyes every now and then thinking about my pink punchies.

For all those gals out there who are also strong but sweet, this Autumn Valentino has delivered.  I am completely and totally in love with the season’s Red Valentino line.

Red Valentino Autumn 2011

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There is a little something for everyone.  There are T-shirts with screen-print bows and polka dot tulle for a casual look, ruffled military jackets for a day at the office, as well as lace and tweed dresses for an evening out.  And if you want to overdose on cute: add a sweet pair of ballet flats, leather ribbon belt, and pink bow tote to top it off.

Even the  “themes” for the collection are lovely:

  • Tailored Bow
  • Fairy Military
  • Romantic Outerwear
  • All Over Bow
  • Sweetly Sweatshirts

DIY Valentino T-shirt

For those on a budget and who are endowed with some basic sewing skills, I spy a DIY opportunity.  Try your hand at replicating the hooded sweatshirt.  Purchase a standard issue gray hoodie and pick up some black dot tulle online and embellish away.  Or go for the classic white T-Shirt plus’d up with more tulle and some twill tape ribbon.

Sweet Dreams, Sheri