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.

DIY Upcycled Ruffled Chiffon Shoes

Clogs with Yellow Ruffles - cover

So! I upcycled some shoes. Here’s what they looked like before:

shoes beforeBefore



And after:

Shoes 2



(Also, don’t you love my Kindle case? It’s adorable! I love it so much, and also I don’t feel so paranoid about leaving it on a desk when I go use the restroom at a cafe or something, since it looks like a notebook-ish. And did I mention it’s adorable?)

Ruffled Yellow Shoes

Yellow Ruffled Shoes

Shoes

Ruffled Shoes with Blue DressClogs with Yellow Ruffles



A few weeks ago, Cat from Cut Out + Keep ~~ this really cool social networking site for crafters like moi, or should I say, US (I’m assuming, since you’re on my blog) ~~ asked me if I was interested in being a featured member on the site! Actually they asked me quite a while ago, but being the weirdo that I am, I totally didn’t notice until a few weeks ago. I thought I’d totally missed out when I responded, but nope! They were still willing to collaborate with me. So check out my featured member page, yo! **Brush dirt off shoulders.**



Also, go check out some of the other projects on Cut Out + Keep. People get so creative on there, and there are some projects I’ve stashed away for my weekends. I’m also fairly active on there when I can get a chance to post my projects on yet another site, so if you want to stalk me further, you can follow my profile.



Anyway though, Cat also asked if I’d like to upcycle some shoes from Lotta From Stockholm, and of course when I saw these adorable clogs, I knew I had to have them.



They’re even cuter in person–so cute that I felt a little bad gluing extra stuff on there. But too late! And I loved how these DIY Upcycled Ruffled Chiffon Shoes turned out. 🙂 They would make a really great statement piece to wear to a wedding, and are the perfect way to add bright colors to an otherwise basic outfit.



Here’s the tutorial if you want to make your own. The method is really simple and easy. The actual cutting, sewing, gluing takes about 30 minutes, but if you factor in drying time, they took about twelve hours to make. This depends on the glue you use, and I used E6000 so I let them dry overnight.



The shoes are also up on Cut Out + Keep, so don’t forget to go check out the website!

DIY Fit and Flare V Neck Dress

V Neck Fit and Flare DressDIY V Neck Fit and Flare DressYellow Fit and Flare DressDIY Fit and Flare V Neck DressFit and Flare V Neck DressV-Neck Fit and Flare Dress

Hey guys! Sorry I’ve been sort of MIA over the past few weeks, but things have been crazy busy at work. It’s difficult enough trying to find time to breathe and sleep, much less to sew! Added to the fact that my right knee and left hip are killing me and I have a strong suspicion I’ve got IT Band syndrome. Anyway the point is that I’ve been really preoccupied.

Nevertheless, I’ve whipped up this adorable DIY Fit and Flare V Neck Dress. It’s got a ruched, pleated waistline, an a-line skirt, and a curved hem. What do all of those things do? Create a beautiful silhouette that looks good on anyone, if I do say so myself. 🙂

The Ibiza Stretchy Yersey Knit Mustard fabric is from fabric.com (affiliate link) and for a knit, it was extremely easy to work with. It did roll a little at the edges, but as long as I pinned and worked efficiently, it was all good. Nothing like slippery chiffon or that lace fabric I worked with on my bodycon dress.

The best part about dresses is that you can dress them up with accessories or you can dress them down for a more casual look. I wore this on a Casual Friday to work, so I paired it with my gray anorak (I love anoraks) and sneakers. I personally think dresses with sneakers are an adorable combination. Since it’s still averaging 90 degrees, that’s all I’ve been wearing for the past weeks.

So head on over to YouTube, or scroll back up for the video tutorial on this DIY Fit and Flare V Neck Dress. I hope you guys enjoy it! Now that I hopefully won’t be so busy with work, I’m planning on launching another sewing tutorial again. I’ll keep you guys posted!

DIY Fall Cardigan

DIY Fall CardiganDIY Brown Fall Cardigan

DIY Brown CardiganBrown Cardigan for Fall DIY

Sunglasses!

Well, I guess denial time is over. It’s officially fall or winter or whatever it is nowadays what with global warming and all. Seriously, it’s still about 100 degrees outside, when am I going to get my cold weather? We can’t have a hot Christmas, guys. That’s just too weird.

But nevertheless, cardigan season will be cardigan season whether the weather really calls for it. Thus, I’ve made my favorite cocoon-cut in brown hacci sweater-like material. I love this DIY Fall Cardigan because it’s super super comfortable. The fabric is very lush. I got this as a 5-yard bolt for $5 from Wal-Mart back in Albuquerque. Man, I wish I could still get deals like that, but too bad so sad.

Anyway, about one yard was what this took, though I am a bit on the–ahem–short side. I love pairing it with florals and bright colors because it helps to balance out the hues. I’m thinking of keeping this one permanently in the office so I can just throw it on since it’s loose enough to go over most of my clothing.

Check out the tutorial below. I hope you guys like it–and make it!

DIY Kimono Sleeve Scoop Neck Dress

Scoop Sleeve Kimono Sleeve Dress DIY

Red Scoop Neck Dress DIY

Red Dress DIY and Blue Cardigan

Red Dress and Pointed Toe Flats

DIY Red Scoop Neck DressDIY Red Kimono Sleeve Dress

DIY Red Dress and Blue Cardigan OutfitDIY Red Scoop Neck Dress Bright

DIY Floral Print Red Kimono Sleeve DressRed Scoop Neck Kimono Sleeve Dress DIY

I feel incredibly Asian in this DIY Kimono Sleeve Scoop Neck Dress. The high bun, the red floral fabric, the kimono sleeves.

Every time I say something like that though, Husband is quick to point out that, duh, I am Asian. In essence, I should ALWAYS feel Asian.

Whatever though. You guys know what I’m talking about. Right?

So yes, I know the 10 Dresses in 10 Weeks Summer Sewing Series is over, but I can’t help it if I really love wearing and making dresses. Plus, this one turned out really cute, if I do say so myself. 🙂

I got the red floral print woven fabric at the L.A. Fashion District. Husband and I had errands to run up there, so I was like hey you know what’ll be fun? Walking around for hours in the hot sun surrounded by equally sweaty and annoyed people in the most crowded, overpopulated place in the country, shopping for fabric!

Haha, just kidding. We had a lot of fun though, and I found some things I really love, like the fabric to make this DIY Kimono Sleeve Scoop Neck Dress!

:: Outfit Details ::
DIY Red Kimono Sleeve Dress (tutorial here)
Navy Blue Boyfriend Cardigan ($6 from this store in Long Beach)
Pointed Toe Flats ($12 from H&M)
Cross Over Body Clutch (Ross)

Check out the tutorial:

10 Dresses Week Ten! Blue Lace Bodycon Dress

Oh boy. This lace fabric was tough to work with. Even worse than chiffon, I think. It kept slipping and sliding and moving where I didn’t want it to.

I got both fabrics from Jo-Ann’s remnant’s section, and it was totally one of those moments where I was browsing and wasn’t really expecting to find anything. Then I grabbed a hold of both of these, and was like, hmmmm. I’ve always loved pairing dark blue with yellow (like I do in this cut-out outfit). So when I held these two fabrics up next to each other, an idea slowly formed, and this DIY Lace Bodycon Dress was born!

I can’t believe this is the last dress in the 10 Dresses in 10 Weeks Summer Sewing series. It seems like only a few weeks ago I was barely making the first dress. Oh well. I guess it’s only applicable since summer is over. Not that you would know it here in Southern California where it’s been averaging 100 degrees. I know I know. First world problems.

Even though the series is over, I’m planning on making more dresses, and I’ve already got some tutorials ready to go up. You guys should check back next Tuesday and stay tuned for more projects!

Also since summer is technically over (for the rest of the world, anyway) and cold season is here, I thought I’d start on a different series… A Sweater Weather Sewing Series?! Who knows. Maybe…

Week 9! DIY Empire Waist Little Black Dress

cover

I like versatility in my clothing and accessories, because they’re great for combining and mixing and matching outfits. For someone who’s always on a budget, that’s a great feature for any item in my closet. So this DIY Empire Waist Little Black Dress was the perfect addition because it’s also a swimsuit coverup.

Then again, sometimes I’ll just throw on a cute dress over my bikini because it’s comfortable.

This dress is so easy to make also! I used the pink crocheted fabric from my swimsuit cover up/sweater dress (see–versatility) and it turned out to be the perfect combination. The black fabric is a swimsuit material that I picked up from the remnants section at Jo-Ann’s, but I wasn’t really in the mood to make a bikini when I’m already obsessed with buying them.

So you guys all get a dress tutorial instead!  

black with white

Click for the slip dress diy underneath!

back

swimsuit cover up black dress Head over to YouTube for the tutorial.

DIY Batman Pillow Plushie

DIY Batman Pillow Sewing TutorialDIY Batman Pillow Plushie

DIY Batman PillowBatman Pillow Tutorial

My husband and I are Superhero fanatics. My favorite Superhero is definitely Spiderman, but in honor of the new Superman vs. Batman movie, I decided to whip up this cute version of the usually somber Batman.

He still looks pretty mean in pillow format though. I guess there’s something about those sharp, piercing eyes and the straight, set mouth. I love that his cape billows out too, so if I really feel like playing around, I could just toss him across the room and pretend like he’s flying.

This post is a little late, seeing as the DIY Batman Pillow Plushie video went up on Sunday, but in honor of DIY Friday, here it is at last. It’s actually very simple to make, even though there are a lot of steps and little pieces of fleece involved. Any time I make a plushie pillow stuffed animal whatchamacallit, I am reminded of my days in Kindergarten when we would cut out little pieces of construction paper and glue them into a mosaic. I loved those arts and crafts projects. I miss being a kid, actually.

Come to think of it, I guess this means I haven’t grown up one bit, except instead of construction paper, I’m now using  fabric, and instead of glue, I’m using a sewing machine and thread.

I guess I can live with that.

Especially when it turned out so cute.

Here’s the tutorial if you want to make your own. I’m also planning to add it on Etsy if you’d rather purchase it instead. 🙂 Though they are made to order, so keep that in mind. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

Of course, now that I’ve made Batman, I’ll have to whip up a Superman. He’ll be ready, hopefully, in time for next week’s DIY Friday. Have a great weekend guys, and don’t forget to come back on Tuesday for the next dress tutorial. 🙂

Week Eight! DIY Fit and Flare A Line Dress

close up

dress with sweater and purse

dress with bright purse

Strappy Blush Wedges

It’s our eighth week in the 10 Dresses in 10 Weeks Summer Sewing series. Seriously, I’m not sure what I’m going to do once all the dresses are up.

Then again, you can never wear–or make–enough dresses. So maybe this will turn into a 52 dresses in 52 weeks thing as was the original idea, who knows? Hmm, then again, that might be too much craziness, even for me.

But not to worry guys, I’ve got some more projects in the works. Like…a fall and winter series. 😉 Stay tuned, yo!

fit and flare dress

So I made this DIY Fit and Flare A Line Dress without the sleeves at first, and then decided to add them in. I’m glad I did because I tend to wear a cardigan with sleeveless dresses anyway, and at least I can wear this without if I choose to. I love the a-line skirt, which flares out and does this flirty fluttery thing at the hem. In fact, I love everything about this dress.

What’s funny is I used to hate flowers and any derivative thereof. But then again, I was a very tomboy-ish child. I know, it’s hard to imagine, right? Someone who wears dresses all the time and has way too many shoes. But seriously, I used to wear nothing but baggy jeans and loose t-shirts and follow my brother and his friends around, chasing after their skateboards.

Now I’m suddenly obsessed with anything floral and bright and cute and girly. People can change after all!

a line dress with blue raincoat and bright yellow purse

See outfit details in my previous post on this dress.

Week 7! DIY Two-Toned Fit-and-Flare Dress

 

Jeez, I can’t believe it’s already the seventh week. Only three more dresses to go and this will all be over.

So for this DIY Two-Toned Fit-and-Flare Dress you’ll need one to one and a half yards of lining, half a yard of lace, and half a yard of woven fabric.

The instructions in the video are starting to sound redundant to me, but that’s because the basic construction of most dresses are very similar. I love this fit-and-flare cut though. It’s flattering on most anyone.

It was a beautiful day at the harbor when I took this photo.

happy-dress

Next week we’ll be making this fit-and-flare a-line dress. Told you I’m obsessed with that cut. 😉