DIY Sleeveless Skater Dress

This DIY Sleeveless Skater Dress is proof that good things can still happen on a bad day.

Happy Van in her Dress

It’s the first dress I’ve sewn in over a year.

A Line Dress by Bumbling Panda

So a couple days ago, I was having a really terrible time at work. I felt like sitting and crying at my desk for really no reason, one of the worse things about depression. Having depression sucks because you feel sad, like the deepest sadness ever like you’re in this deep black cave in your own mind and there’s no way out even though a part of you knows it’s only temporary, but there’s really no reason to feel sad, so then you end up feeling guilty for feeling sad, which makes you feel alone and unloved, which makes you feel sadder, which leads to more guilt. It’s a vicious cycle some days.

Anyway, so I went home but on the way, remembered that I had discovered a Joann’s directly on the route to my home. Since moving back to LA in January I haven’t stopped by an arts and crafts or fabric store–I haven’t even been back to LA Fashion District, even though it’s like 15 minutes from where I live now. I know! Shocker.

I promised my budget I would only buy one yard to make a dress out of (it only takes a yard for me because I am short. Lucky me!), but of course, had to nab this gorgeous plaid fabric that I eventually turned into a plaid scarf.

Plaid Scarf by Bumbling Panda

And then I struggled with only buying one yard. I really wanted this gorgeous galaxy-like mix of colorful knit fabric, but but but stopped myself. I’m so proud of me, yo.

I settled on chose this cute floral print instead (because I need more floral print dresses in my life). I didn’t pressure myself too much, just said I’m going to play around with making a dress and if I didn’t like it, well it was only like $8.

Floral Print Knit

Floral Print Knit Fabric

It turned out to be so much lovelier as a dress than when I saw it in the store. The fabric is lightweight but thick enough that I didn’t need a lining or double-layer for the bodice. My favorite types of dresses are ones without a lining, since I live in Los Angeles and spend most of my days sweating (TMI, sorry). I’m so glad that this fabric is light but thick with the perfect weight, coverage, and patterning in the print.

I busted out my sewing machine, which has been stowed in a box in my closet, and started cutting up some fabric.

And voila!

A Line Dress by Van Hoang

A Line Dress by Bumbling Panda

Sorry there is no tutorial. It’s such a simple dress though, very similar to these other ones I’ve made in the past.

Like this fit and flare a-line dress, but without the sleeves:

Or this one but without the ruched wasteline:

I’m glad to be making things again and getting out of my funk. Sometimes when I feel the depression monster sneaking up on me, it’s very easy to just let myself slip away. But this helped me be more present and mindful, and it helped distract me from darker thoughts. I was able to focus on a project, an end goal, and it turned out so well in the end. Times like this remind me that I need to be creative and make things and not neglect that artsy side of myself I desperately need.

10 Dresses Week 5! DIY Striped Tank Dress

DIY Striped Tank Dress by Bumbling Panda

Pointy Boots and Striped Dress

looka that belly pooch

Striped Sleeveless Tank Dress with Pointy Boots

Striped Sleeveless Tank Dress with Cross Over Body Bag

Striped Sleeveless Tank Dress with Denim Jacket

Striped Sleeveless tank dress outfit

It’s like my hair wants to be one with the palm trees. ONE OF US. ONE OF US.

:: Outfit Details ::

Striped Sleeveless Curved Hem Dress (made by me, tutorial here)
Denim Jacket (I got mine on clearance for $15 at Target, but find similar here and here)
Pointy Toe Chunky Heel Boots ($10 from here)
Cross-Over-Body Clutch ($15 from Ross)

OMG, it’s week 5 already. We’re halfway through this series! I’m excited but also sad at the same time. Remember, if you guys make this dress, PLEASE send me photos. I love to see what other people make from my tutorials–you guys are all so creative and talented. 

Anyway, now on to this DIY striped tank dress. First off, this thing is suuuuuuuper comfy. Like I would wear this to sleep if I could justify it. It’s made of a thin stretchy knit, but since it’s black, I could get away without a lining. The fact that it’s so light makes it perfect for summer. I walked around with Husband in this dress on what felt like a 100-degree day, and it was a life-saver.

Hop on over to YouTube to check out the tutorial, or just watch it below, because I know how lazy everyone is. 🙂 You’re welcome.

Right guys, I was off in St. Diego Land over the weekend, so I have a bit of a vacation-hangover (n., a condition in which a person suffers from not wanting to go back to work after spending a weekend with her husband in a wonderful, far away place).

Dress tutorials for this series will post as per schedule still, but I don’t have a preview. You can check out what’s next on the 10 Dresses in 10 Weeks post, and also see a schedule of the rest in the series. See you on Thursday for my next Outfit on a Budget, and then maybe I’ll have a DIY or a TMI for Friday!

I CAN Change a Leopard’s Spots

A few months ago, my husband and I celebrated our ten-year, first-date anniversary. (Yes, we celebrate out first date! But only because we got married on Christmas Eve–all the ladies say “awww”–and the holiday season is usually sucked up by family time, so it’s easier to celebrate just Us on a different date.) I bought this midi skirt for our big night out because it looked so beautiful online and I had the perfect outfit in my mind. Well, it’s technically a midi skirt, but on me it’s more of a maxi. 🙂

Once the package arrived, I couldn’t remember why I thought it would look so great. It’s absolutely not my style at all. I think longer skirts tend to make me look shorter, and I manage that effect organically as it is. I even tried it on as a dress and…




So I decided to turn it into a tank top instead! And it just goes to show I CAN change a leopard’s spots. That is, if that leopard is a skirt, anyway. Click for the tutorial.

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Upcycle T-shirts into Beanies!


As the weather drops it’s difficult not to think about warm hats, hoodies, and of course Christmas sweaters! I always get the itch to knit around the holidays and I’m notorious for making crocheted and knitted hats for all my friends and family. (Not sure if this is a good thing, but I haven’t heard anyone complaining…)

Of course, at Bumbling Panda we’re all about going green and recycling, upcycling, and giving every piece of clothing a second chance. So I pulled out a couple worn t-shirts from my thrift haul and mulled over what to do with them. It didn’t take long for that ah-ha! moment to hit. Then I grabbed a pair of scissors, snip snip snipped, and turned my t-shirts into a beanie. It took about three t-shirts to make this beanie, but it is pretty loose and slouchy on me, just how I like it. It’s super comfy and really thick and warm! Perfect for the cold weather (although I do live in Southern California, so I might be over-exaggerating the coldness here).

If you plan on making your own t-shirt beanie, send me a pic of it! I’d love to see how it turned out. Here’s a helpful video on how to turn your t-shirt into yarn to knit or crochet whatever you want. It doesn’t have to stop at hats! Turn that t-shirt into whatever your heart desires and keep on dressing responsibly!