{Hannah} Unrevealing

Sometimes I buy a dress that I love, but the neckline is a little too revealing. Luckily, if the fabric has a little give, and there’s a bit of extra space in the bust, it’s easy to sew the neckline up to be less revealing!

Enter: fancy designer dress from eBay. The neckline was too low for my comfort (especially on a dress that is otherwise work appropriate).

A few minutes with a needle and some thread, and I had very carefully stitched the neckline closed a few inches. Revealing no more!

I had also done this a few months ago on a dress I wore to a cousin’s wedding. I had worn it in all its low-cut glory to a friends’ wedding a few months before, but I wasn’t very comfortable then and knew I wouldn’t be in front of family either.

It’s a quick and easy fix to make your clothes work for you!

Advertisements

{Home} Airing My Dirty Laundry

In my first and second apartments, I had space in the closet for a laundry basket to use for dirty clothes.  But there wasn’t space in the closet in my last apartment, so dirty clothes ended up in a laundry bag under my dresser.  I wanted something more adult for this apartment, since it’s one large room and my dirty laundry will literally be seen by everyone.

Most of the laundry hampers I saw did not interest me at all, so I was excited to see this West Elm hamper listed on Craigslist.

laundry hamper west elm twig

Even though the woven vines conceal a lot, I wanted an additional bag on the inside to cover everything and make doing laundry in my building’s basement easier.  Off I went to Bed Bath and Beyond with a 20% coupon, and I came away with this hamper.

It’s a perfect fit!

I bought a can of gold spray paint to turn it gold, but I’m still liking the dark brown.  I can always glitz it up later if I change my mind!

{Hannah} Darn It!

A few years ago, I was at a consignment shop and fell in love with a Diane von Furstenberg wool wrap dress.  As I was admiring it, I noticed a few small holes throughout the dress.  Not wanting to leave it behind, I negotiated an extra 10% discount, figuring I could try my hand at mending the holes.  And I did!

Fast forward a few years, and I regularly buy wool items with holes in them, knowing that darning small holes is fairly easy and unnoticeable.

I recently bought a sweater dress from Goodwill, and didn’t notice a hole in the sleeve until I got home.  The previous owner had repaired it with some scotch tape!  That’s not good enough for me, so I broke out a needle and thread and got to darning the hole.

img_7629

There are a lot of darning techniques, and everyone seems to put their own spin on it.  Most tutorials say to work from the inside of the garment, but I prefer the outside, so I can make sure it’s coming together well.

I start with a knot on the thread on the inside, and push the needle through to the outside.  Make sure the needle isn’t so close to the hole that it could get pulled into the hole.  Then I start pushing the needle through the knit weave, working my way across the hole.

img_7631

Back and forth, back and forth.  Once I’ve been across the whole hole in one direction, it’s time to go back in the perpendicular direction.

img_7630

Back and forth, back and forth, making sure to weave above and below the threads just added.

I make sure it’s tight enough to hold, but not so tight that it puts a pucker in the fabric.  I end with the thread next to the beginning end, and tie the two together a few times.

And then it’s done!

darn hole wool sew fix diy mend sweater dress

Depending on the hole size and location, some are easier to mend than others.  This hole was more of a long snag, and it still is visible if you’re looking for it.  The hole is located on the upper arm, which means it won’t be very apparent from most angles.  I bet no one would’ve even noticed if I hadn’t just shared this publicly!

PS. This dress also had some button accenting the end of the sleeves, which I removed with a small pair of scissors.  Who says that when you buy something it has to stay that way forever (I’m sensing a trend)?!

{Hannah} Going Green

A few weeks ago, I found a field jacket at Goodwill that interested me.  But being January, I felt like a light coat wasn’t a practical purchase, so I passed.  Then February turned out to be filled with 50+-degree days, and I wished I’d bought it!

I wasn’t having any luck finding a jacket that I liked in both fit and weight, until I saw this one.

img_7605

I liked the way it fit and that it was lined, giving it a little extra warmth for those in-between days.  However, I didn’t like the tan color.  The tag said the fabric is cotton and linen, which made it perfect for dying!  It also had the perfect price–under $10 because of Goodwill’s Presidents’ Day sale.

I’ve dyed a few items before (mostly jeans and a denim jacket), so I was excited to try dying something else.  On my way to Michael’s to get some dye, I googled the Rit colors.  I didn’t see the color green I wanted, but they had this color recipe chart which had two greens I was interested in.

rit-dye-green-colors

My ideal color is somewhere between the two.  I took a look at the Tan color, and it was a close match to the existing color of the jacket.

img_7583

This meant that I only needed Dark Green and Brown dyes mentioned in the color recipes.  And a 20% off coupon made each bottle of dye less than $4.

img_7585

The directions indicated that cotton and linen require a cup of salt to be added to the dye bath.

img_7606

img_7607

I followed the instructions for sink dying.  My tip (which they don’t mention) is to turn on Netflix to entertain yourself while you stir constantly for over 30 minutes.

img_7608

I took the drawstrings out of the jacket, so they could be dyed evenly.  Then it was time to get it wet in hot water.  Run the tap for a bit so that the hottest water is coming out.

img_7610

Once it was wet, I filled the sink with more water, added the salt, and poured in some dye!  I started out with half of the dark green bottle, but added more to darken the color.  (I ended up not using the brown dye at all and returned it to the store.)

img_7611

Then I stirred…and stirred…and stirred…and checked the clock…and stirred some more.  About half way thru I drained some of the sink and added more hot water, since the color was getting darker than I wanted and the water was becoming cool.  Once the 30 minutes were up, and I completely drained the sink and started rinsing the jacket until the water ran clear.

img_7612

Typically the stitching is not made out of a natural fiber (which doesn’t dye as well as the rest of the item), and that is true here: the stitching is still tan.  So are the zippers and binding strips on the inside.  I think it looks cool and unique with that added detail though.

I wore gloves during the whole process, but there must’ve been small holes, since my fingers and nails turned dark green.

img_7614

The directions say to then wash it in a machine with warm water, but I chose to wash in cold since that’s what the jacket’s care label says.

It’s also worth noting that the dye bottle says that you should take caution before dying an item that recommends washing in cold, since hot water can damage the item.  In fact, I think the jacket shrunk a little in the hot water dye bath, but I think that helped the fit in the end.

And now it’s green!

rit dye green jacket army olive drab clothes

A pretty perfect army/camo green, if I do say so myself!

And now I have an on-trend jacket for those warm winter days for under $15!  Which I’m sure will get a lot of use, as spring is just around the corner. 🙂