shit to make: on-trend corset belt (no sew)

I was asked to do a DIY post that didn’t involve any kind of sewing. So alright. Do I think i’m above turning to Kylie Jenner for fashion inspiration? yes. Am I actually tho? no.

kylie

She looked 100% great in this outfit and I love it for being the perfect combo of trashy and classy. The belt took a total of 1 hour to make and that was through severe allergy crying and mucus-unloading because MY KITTY IS SO FUCKING CUTE AND SOFT BUT HER FUR IS POISONOUS.

SUPPLIES:

IMG_2013

Fabric: I decided to make mine 2 colors (black and green) for more VERSATILITY so the front and back are gonna be different. It’s up to you if you wanna go that route but you should because why the fuck not. Try to get the heaviest ANTI-UNRAVEL pleather you can find at the craft store because you want this to be thicc and no one wants to be dealing with sewing boning into their shit. and i already promised this would be a no sew project. I got away with getting a quarter yard of each fabric because both were like $20/yd and I’m still working a part-time job. Make sure you have a decent amount of width to work with and if you’re unsure, don’t be a dumbass (like i’ve been so many times before) and take measurements first before you buy.

Fabric glue: E6000 is a fantastic standby for everything and if you’re ever going to make shit then you should own a tube. I’d probably date E6000 if it was a person. It’s just that perfect and reliable. For this tho I only ended up using Scotch Super 77 sprayable fabric glue because I’m lazy and that stuff actually worked well. Scotch Super 77 is like that guy you’d never date but is 8.5/10 hot and knows way too much about craft beers BUT he wears a NASCAR shirt and you’re like, a little too unsure whether it’s ironic or not.

Eyelets/Eyelet kit: Since I’m not a fancy boy with the rotary fabric hole puncher/eyelet placer tool, I have to buy the old fashioned poor bitch eyelet kits whenever I need to use them. For the belt I made, I needed 20 2-piece 1/4 inch eyelets, so I only ended up using 2 packages.

Cording: This is for lacing the whole thing up. I got two colors, black and beige, to match the two different sides of my belt. They can be used interchangeably.

Here’s a picture of all my supplies w/added cute cat:

IMG_2015

MEASUREMENTS:

I really hate pattern making because it involves a decent amount of math and I really, on a very fundamental level, don’t super understand how numbers work. In my junior year of high school I wrote an essay about postmodern semiotics and counting theory on the back page of my Remedial Algebra II final instead of actually taking the test because that was the only thing I could physically do to make it look like I was doing something with my pencil. I got a D for it because my teacher took pity. So the lesson is, if I can do this measurement bullshit, you can too.

Height: The largest part of the belt is the front, and it extends from just under the bust to right above the hip line. I have the torso of a farm animal so my height will be longer than most. My measurement was 8 inches.

IMG_2016

Length: measure around your waist and subtract 2 or 3 inches for lacing. My waist measurement was 25 inches so I am going to make my belt 23 inches long.

IMG_2014

Sides: This belt narrows down to its shortest height at the sides. I measured this by bending to either side and seeing how much length I could have without making the fabric bunch up. For me, this was 4.5 inches. Picture is not great because it’s really hard to measure yourself and take a picture at that angle.bend

Side note: Kylie’s belt mirrors the front peak in the back as well. I thought this looked awkward so I left it out and continued my 4.5 inch height all the way around the back.

DRAWING THE PATTERN:

I use a roll of parchment paper to draw my shit out on because it’s cheap, thick, and decently sized. You can use special pattern paper or wrapping paper or really whatever else you have that’s big enough. We’re going to half everything for our pattern because that makes life more enjoyable and simple. Also I know the lines are hard to see and I apologize for that but I use pencil because I fuck up everything I do a minimum of 3 times first.

  1. Start by drawing out half your length. My length measurement, with lacing accounted for, was 23 inches. So, my pattern length is 11.5 inchesIMG_2017
  2. Draw half your height upwards from one side of your length line. My total height was 8 inches so I drew 4 inches up from the left side of my length line. IMG_2018
  3. Draw half your side height upwards from the other side of your length line. My side height was 4.5 inches so I drew 2.25 inches up from the right side of my length line. IMG_2019
  4. Begin to map out the taper from the peak to your side height. The taper is pretty dramatic, and I basically free-handed it after marking inches in descending order until i reached my side height. I did it in a way I thought looked right.IMG_2023
  5. Outline the whole damn thing in marker you can actually see.IMG_2024
  6. Fold your paper in half HOT DOG STYLE, and cut along everything but the fold. My parchment paper is incredibly annoying and curls way too much so I had to break out my classy piano paper weight and a rock from outside to help me out. IMG_2025

FABRIC TIME:

  1. Okay so now that you’ve got your pattern we can begin our journey to becoming a trash bourgie bitch. Fold your first fabric in half, wrong sides out, and place your pattern on top. Carefuly line the smaller side up with the fold. Pin shit down. IMG_2028
  2. Cut it all out. Don’t cut the fold, obviously. IMG_2029
  3. Unpin the pattern and unfold the fabric. Look at what you’ve done.IMG_2031

ADDING THE BACK LAYER:

  1. Now we get fancy with our second fabric. Start by spraying fabric glue on the wrong side of the piece you just cut out. Getting the entire thing, especially the edges, coated in glue is really important. Also I suggest wearing gloves and doing this outside because I fucked up and didn’t do either of those things. IMG_2032
  2. Lay your freshly glued piece down on the wrong side of your second fabric. Make sure you smooth it out because air bubbles will make your belt look like an animal made it. If any edges are separating, which they shouldn’t be if you sprayed enough, close them up with E6000. IMG_2033
  3. Carefully cut out your second fabric using the top fabric as your guide. This is what all those years of scissor practice in grade school has prepared you for. IMG_2034

EYELETS:

  1. Mark out where you want your eyelets. How close or far apart they are is totally up to you, but I wanted mine to be fairly close together. I ended up making them .75 inches apart, marked with a sharpie dot since fabric marker doesn’t show up on fake leather. Since my dots were really hard to see in the picture, I went ahead and KINDLY added some red lines in post-production to better show you where they were and how they lined up. IMG_2008
  2. Poke holes on your dots and make cuts just big enough for an eyelet to snugly fit through. I like to make an initial hole with a beading dowel and then cut a small X with thread scissors. Since you’re digging through two layers of thick fabric, this counts as a workout. If you look close enough at the second picture, you can see where my boogers leaked out. IMG_2036IMG_2039
  3. Hammer your eyelets together. There are plenty of easy-to-follow YouTube videos about doing this that explain it way better than I can. Basically, the kit comes with a bottom disk and a top disk with a post, and you sandwich the two pieces of your eyelet between the fabric and the two disks and hammer the top post so the eyelets fuse together. There are different kinds of eyelets so I won’t get super specific on the directions, but its actually fun and kind of relaxing because you’re hitting shit with a hammer. Make sure you do this on top of a hard surface, but use a piece of barrier fabric in between the floor and your bottom disk. I used pink felt scrap. IMG_2041

YAY UR DONE

Look what you’ve accomplished. Front and back look great. Eyelets will reinforce the holes for lacing and now you’ve got a trendy item that probably won’t be cool 6 months from now. 

colage done

Lace it up and pair it with whatever looks good. You can go the giant tshirt route like Kylie or put it on a dress or just wear it on its own with nothing else—that’s hot too.

collage finished product

xoxo,

allegra

shit to make: a retrospective of past creations

Before we get started, let me explain to you that I have zero formal training in making shit. I own a decent set of jewelry pliers and a basic White sewing machine that I got for Christmas when I was 8. I don’t know many technical/correct terms, I learn from YouTube or my mom (a creative goddess with little patience), and most of my unplanned, chaotic processes would probably give anyone who actually knows what they’re doing a headache. The way I make shit usually always follows the same pattern: 1) I see something I like online/at a store 2) I look at the price 3) I cry 4) I congratulate myself on having expensive taste 5) I take my broke ass over to Joann Fabrics or Michael’s because if I cant afford the actual product then I sure as shit can’t afford materials from those nice (expensive) boutique craft stores 6) I spend an unreasonable amount of time coming up with a half-baked plan, completely scrapping that plan, fucking everything up, tearing shit apart, rethinking the whole thing, deciding I don’t even really like what I’m trying to make anymore, making more trips to the store because my poor planning translates to not buying enough of whatever I need, sweating, pushing my cat off everything, and 7) I finish, finally, and proceed to be completely turned off by any kind of creative venture for the next 2-3 months.

I figured it would make sense for my first DIY post to be a collection of shit I’ve already made, so you can judge me as either credible or just another asshole who should stick to using my hands for prayer. And if you’re thinking, “is this all just an excuse for her to take poorly-posed, poorly-lighted pictures of herself?”

Probably.

All Saints Replication

all saints collage

So my mom used to watch Burn Notice and I was never really into it but I’d watch with her because I didn’t have a lot of friends and what else even is there to watch on TV. Then one day I saw the beautiful rebel gun-slinging-yet-fashionable supporting character Fiona wearing this white bustled dress that I like, needed to own that very second. I am not a dress girl. I don’t like the constant possibility of it flying up and revealing my old free Victoria Secret underwear that I should have thrown away probably 6 months ago because the elastic is so threadbare it’s insulting. Girly shit in general tends to make me bleed from my eyes but something about that dress ignited a fire from deep within my female consumer nucleus. I performed some high-quality Google searches and eventually discovered that the dress was the All Saints brand Melody dress. And of course, by the time I did this search, 1 minute after seeing it on TV, I learned the dress was discontinued and not available anywhere on the internet, except from two sellers on Ebay who both wanted $350 for it. ALL THE CLOTHES I OWN COMBINED AREN’T EVEN WORTH THAT.

all saints real

^^^ the real dress as featured in the show

I made the base bodice and skirt for my version of the dress by using an actual sewing pattern from Vogue, which is something I almost never do because I don’t understand any of the directions. Sewing patterns are written in the most vague English possible, and they use terms I’ve never seen before and include pictures that don’t match what I feel like those words should be saying. My mom helped me out a lot on this one, and even she struggled. When I got to the bustled front part that makes the dress look so cool, I was on my own. I figured it out using a square overlay and 2 drawstrings that are knotted and don’t fully pull together, therefore creating the layered effect. I added this into the back as well, but prefer to leave them down because I loved the short-in-front long-in-back trend and I think it looks better that way in general. I bought men’s suspenders from J.C. Penny for the straps and added the embellished belt for some fucking PIZZAZZ.

High Neck Sleeveless Top

high neck collage real real

 

I like to pretend that I’m above falling for trendy fashion but in reality i love a lot of that shit. These particular shirts are great because the short sleeves make them casual but the high neck makes them formal enough to put under a jacket and go out for the night to one of those bars where you want to show up looking put-together but know that by the end your makeup is going to be melting and you’ll have somehow lost your socks and Becky is crying again and that guy Bortley who gave you his number 3 months ago is suddenly a lot hotter now that you’re thinking about it and the Uber driver won’t be able to find your address on Apple Maps because somehow his location got set to Oregon and you’re no where near fucking Oregon but this will take 10 whole minutes to get figured out and you needed to apply another layer of deodorant 2 hours ago but of course you forgot to bring some and overall you look like a dump truck because it’s 3am and tequila doesn’t love you back but shit, at least your top is still FINE AS FUCK. Overall versatility 10/10. Easy project with 3 total pieces: front, back, collar.

Lace Up Crop Top

green top collage real

Lucky for me, I’ve been the same size of “skinny bitch with wide swimmer shoulders, no hips, long torso and boobs that are not the same size” for years now. Once I went through the trouble of figuring out all my measurements and made an easily-modifiable bodice pattern on newspaper, I can now pound out shit like this in about 20 minutes. Also I realize that the photos make it look like 2 totally different colors but that’s what filters do and that’s why you shouldn’t trust technology.

Bat Wing Top?

bat wing collage

I’m not really sure what these are technically called, but they’re a great use of those flowy fabrics that seem really great at the store but you don’t wear skirts and the word “maxi dress” freaks you out so you don’t know what you can do with it. Pattern is super easy–as you can see when laid out it looks like the dried skin of a psychedelic flying squirrel AKA basically just a fitted box with arm and head holes. Make sure you use a GOD DAMN JERSEY-KNIT NEEDLE IN YOUR MACHINE or else hemming this pretty fabric turns into a test of patience proctored by Satan the man himself 🙂

Joggers

joggers collage

A good pair of non-sweatpant joggers looks great on just about anyone, WOMEN INCLUDED. So I don’t know why they’re almost exclusively made for men. They’re a great way to put your converse to use in the colder, pants months without looking like a shameful throwback to the bygone days of mid 2000s Emo fashion (RIP). I’d never made pants before (or since) so it was quite the learning experience, which basically means I spent a lot of time sitting at my machine in my underwear because measurements are hard. Thank You shirt, while one of my most prized possessions, is not something I made.

90s Patchwork Shorts

shorts collage real

I didn’t make the actual shorts–those are thrifted Topshop Moto acid-wash shorts I got for $3 at Goodwill. I sewed on patches of white denim to the front and back pockets and then used fine-tip fabric markers to draw on random designs I felt fit the trash 1990s handmade aesthetic.

Windows 95 Shirt

post modern

While the fabric markers were out, I figured why not.

TV Test Bars Quilt

tv test quilt real

Because, if I’m going to do something as grandmotherly as quilt-making, it has to be something just absurd and ironic enough to fit my personality. Who wouldn’t love to sleep beneath the nostalgic, subliminal warmth of obsolete analog telecommunication?

Hoe Choker

hoe choker collage

Leather strips are expensive and honestly I could have saved myself a lot of trouble (and in this case $$$) by just buying one of these from Forever 21. But i made it, so I bask in the misguided feeling of being better than the people who went out and spent their lazy money.

Hoe Leggings

hoe leggings collage

Another installment in my H O E Kollektion is these rad detachable pleather leggings that, if i’m being totally honest, I was inspired to make while playing the Sims. The only time I’ve worn them was when my boyfriend and I went with his badass biker/photographer mother to the Sturgis motorcycle rally in South Dakota–a place I absolutely did not belong at but it totally looked like I did.

300 Spartan Helmet

helmet collage

When I get into something, i tend to really get into it. I went through a huge 300 phase which ultimately resulted in my devotion to studying Herodotus and the Persian Wars in college. Feel free to ask for the entire generational lineage of Phraortes, because I understand it’s something you need to know RIGHT FUCKING NOW. Lessons learned: Mod Podge does. not. dry. in. Midwestern. summer. humidity.

Magnum Opus, 1998, crayon on computer paper. Frame made by artist. 

mom

At three years old, the artist composed this masterpiece using only a Crayola 12 pack and computer paper, creating an affecting image that is both playful and dramatic. The deconstructionist, semi-abstract work features a depiction of the artist’s mother (pink figure) enjoying a day at the beach while stating, in explicit text, “it is a good day at the bec…” We are left with no closure to this statement, due, perhaps, to the boundaries of the paper and perhaps more so to the constrictions of human language itself. The image is haunting, no sun shines on this beach scene, the robin’s egg blue water rises dangerously close to the cautionary orange beach towel, and several baskets containing unidentified items loom threateningly to the left side–this asymmetry working to elicit an emotional response from an otherwise emotionless landscape. No discussion of this piece would be complete without directing attention to the frame, which was constructed using a cardboard base and sea shells from a plastic bag found in the garage. Considering this, viewers are thus persuaded to contemplate the interconnected, organic nature of both art and death.

 

xoxo –Allegra