Sunday, April 29, 2012

Crystal Headband: Claire's
Lace Dress: c/o Motel Rocks
Wedges: Colin Stuart

I was very excited to style this dress when it came in the mail from Motel Rocks! It really gives off the figure-skater or ice princess vibe :) I styled it with this crystal headband because it looked like an ice crystal crown to me. For the shoes, I kept it simple and neutral with the wedges.

The lace work on this dress is very well done. It's not scratchy like other lace garments can be, instead it has a softer, fluffier texture. The sleeves are stretchy too so they will fit both thinner and more muscular arms. The back has a lovely circular dip as well. This is a dress that is warm, but not too warm. So if you throw on a thick cardigan over it in the morning you won't be freezing, but if it suddenly becomes hot in the afternoon, you won't be sweating either. If you need to find a bodycon dress, definitely look at Motel Rocks! They are quite well balanced in the stock they carry. There's always a broad selection of colors and prints, and they are pretty well known for the amazing detail work they have in the backs of their dresses :)

Aside from being really pressed for time with early finals and AP exams, I can't wait to see The Avengers at midnight this Thursday! Even though I have a lot to do, I think it's still important to set aside time to do things you enjoy so you don't go crazy later on. Anyways, I also happened to receive this really beautiful red dress from Akira and I found a way to incorporate my Iron Man obsessions into the styling; so I'll be wearing that on Thursday to school to celebrate the long-awaited release of The Avengers! ;) I can't wait!


Friday, April 27, 2012

Spiked Headband: Urban Outfitters, $19
Floral Shirt: c/o Romwe
High-waisted pants: H&M
Shoes: Vintage

Today, I finally got to wear two of my most favorite additions to my closet: my spiked headband and my floral print shirt from Romwe! I love moody, picturesque prints and when the Zara floral shirt came out, I wasn't quick enough to catch on and they sold out. But when I found one just like it at Romwe a few months later, it just goes to show that good things come for those who wait (or are forced to wait) ;) You can't see from the photos but the buttons on the shirt are mother of pearl, another thing I am obsessed with! It's a small reference to the current aquatic trend of the moment as well. If you ever fall in a love with a designer print but can't afford it or it's sold out, just stalk and there's a good chance you will find a spin-off of it on there! :)

The spiked headband is something I picked up on the LA trip in March from Urban Outfitters! I'm really liking the whole spikes and headpieces or hats combination right now. The headband kind of reminds me of the Statue of Liberty! It was $19 but I always find that spikes are a lot more expensive in comparison to studs so if you like this headband, you might as well just buy the real thing instead of making your own unless you already have spikes lying around.The spikes are screwed into the headband so you don't have to worry about them falling off either. This headband also comes in pink with silver spikes, and black with silver spikes.

I also got to go to the de Young museum to see the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit with my Fashion class! It was an incredible experience; very inspiring and thought-invoking. It's really hard to imagine how much work gets put into these haute couture garments until you see them in person for yourself; it was not uncommon to find garments that required over 300+ hours of work! I don't want to spoil anything else about the exhibit but the bottom line was that it was very engaging, and innovative with how they went about executing that. You are also allowed to take photos (no flash though) so I'm really regretting leaving my DSLR at home now too. All in all, if you have a chance to go to the de Young museum before August 19, you shouldn't pass it up!

PS: Rachel Schwartzmann from The Style Line recently did a style interview on me at her Tumblr here! Her Tumblr blog as well as her personal blog, le style child, has a lot of solid and fresh content so if you have a minute to stop by, you should follow her :) Stay tuned for another interview she did on me that focuses on my design work!


Monday, April 23, 2012

Beanie: North Face, $8
Crochet Sweater: Vintage, $18
Cross Necklace: Vintage
Sparkly Maxi Skirt: c/o Oh My Frock
Black Sneakers: H&M, $15

This has to be one of my new favorite outfits. I recently received this mesmerizing, sparkly maxi-skirt from Oh My Frock! When I go shopping, I am always looking for those pieces that not only have the wow-factor on the rack, but become even more eye-catching in movement. This skirt hit the mark right on! When you walk around in this skirt, it really looks like a glistening wave or as if you somehow possess water-bending powers (Did anyone else used to watch The Last Airbender?). You might also imagine the texture of the fabric to be scratchy but it was actually soft and the best part was it did not have static cling. (I have the worst luck with static when I wear chiffon, and once the static gets to my hair, all hell ensues!)  This is really such a beautiful garment, not only during the day but imagine how lovely it would look out at night if you were to go dancing or out to dinner. Thank you so much to Oh My Frock! :) I'm very happy with this skirt.

This weekend, I also picked up this black beanie which I found at Nordstrom Rack for only $8... mind you I had to awkwardly go into the men's section though but it was worth it ;) I also got new black sneakers from H&M. They have black laces and go up a little bit past your ankles. I was originally looking for a short black lace up boot but these were cheaper and worked for the look I was going for. One detail I like in particular about these shoes is the small portion of elastic banding in the top rim by your ankle. It makes the shoe much more comfortable because it can stretch to fit various ankle widths. It also makes it a lot easier to slip into and out of your shoes for us lazy people who dislike tying and retying laces ;)

I'd also like to say I was really surprised but also extremely humbled by all the support I received when I posted my final look from my collection. I had the honor or being on the top of the Hot page on Lookbook for the entire day for the first time! I thought my eyes were deceiving me because I actually scrolled past my look when I went to check my notifications on my phone that morning xD The fact that I reached that goal with one of the garments I made, made the experience even more rewarding :) So thank you once more for making a Spring Break full of only APUSH and AP English work (I seriously only left the house once to go to the post office during the weekdays) a lot more memorable! I've also decided to start working on a major blog layout revamp which I will put into place after all my exams are over. I'm going to start posting larger photos while making the layout more minimalistic. Funny how in the beginning, I kept adding little gadgets and whatnot to my layout.. whereas now I'm trimming it back down to something very simple! I'm also hoping to integrate more of my illustrations into this new layout as well so I hope you guys will look forward to seeing it once it's done! <3


Friday, April 20, 2012

This is the final look in my collection (and my favorite; which is why I saved it for last!) This look was inspired by soil and the expansive network of tree roots. Again, I wanted to stick with the theme of a second skin and I particularly envisioned the imagery of roots wrapping around the body and these brown appliques were perfect for the effect I was looking for. Similarly, I was also inspired by the way that dust or the feathery bristles of dandelions look as the float through in mid-air. I added a tulle maxi-skirt overlay on which I then attached more of the brown appliques to the hem so they would give the appearance of being suspended in mid-air while also looking as if they were crawling upwards.

For this dress, I purchased about 3 yards of thick muslin ($3 per yard), 3.5 yards of shimmery brown tulle ($2 per yard), and $28 worth of brown appliques ($2 each and I bought 14). I also used a gold accented zipper in the back as well as black elastic at the waist of the tulle maxi skirt (which might I mention is removable so you can wear the dress short, or long with the tulle skirt!) And for the dye, I used a mixture of the Cocoa Brown powder Rit dye ($3) and the Tan ($3).

The construction of this dress started by making a basic strapless, babydoll dress. Then I pinned on the appliques to the dress and machine sewed them on. It didn't matter if it wasn't neat, so long as they stayed put because I did not sew them onto the interior lining, so I had the lining available to cover up the stitch lines afterwards. For the tulle overlay, I just made a maxi skirt and put in a waistband. I also machine sewed on the appliques to the skirt because the tulle is so thin that you wouldn't even be able to see where I had sewn regardless. The total cost of materials to make this dress was approximately $60.

This dress was everyone's favorite at the fashion show :D Hopefully it is yours too because I believe this to be the strongest piece in my collection. I still love my other pieces but this is the piece that I will be most proud to present to colleges! (Unless I am able to make more pieces this summer as I am working on the fine arts portion of my portfolio). I hope you guys like this piece as much as I do!

I'd also like to say THANK YOU to everyone for your undying support and constructive criticism. It's hard to put into words how much I appreciate it. So let's just say I appreciate it as much as I love Robert Downey Jr!!! :) As I've said before, in the future, should I fulfill my aspirations as I envision, I will remember the support I received in the beginning the most because without it, I would not be where I was in the end.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Headband: Vintage
Dress: c/o Romwe
Rope cord: Random fabric store, $1
Shoes: Cynthia Vincent for Target

Hey guys! Today I'm wearing a lovely boho-chic/princess inspired dress from Romwe! I was mainly attracted to this dress because of the detailed embroidery work :) But upon further thought, the lavender shade is also right on trend with this season's pastel color scheme (the color looks light in this photo but it is a lot darker in real life). To me, this piece looked like the kind of thing you'd find at Free People but wouldn't be able to afford because of the two or three hundred dollar price tag. However, this dress was only $45!

I styled it with my mom's vintage chain headband to give off an overall medieval-inspired look! I also tied a rope tassel cord around the middle (this was actually purchased in LA at a random fabric store for only one dollar; I believe its real intended use was for curtains) to accentuate my waist. Lastly, I threw on these studded heels because the gold hardware matched with the headband, and I also wanted to add a rock and roll twist to contrast with the sweetness of the dress!

In the future, I can see myself wearing this dress to do a photoshoot at the beach or on a carousel. Or you could fit in right at Disneyland with all the other princesses! You could even style this down and make it more wearable for school by throwing on a chunky sweater on top so that only the skirt part is showing :) Overall, I look forward to wearing this dress more, especially because it photographs beautifully!

PS: Don't forget to enter my Romwe giveaway here! It ends in 2 days!


Monday, April 16, 2012

Here is the fourth look in my collection! The inspiration for this look came from the way that waves look when they break off at shores. I usually start with one element that I want to focus on and then build the rest of the look around it. I knew I wanted a pair of pants in my collection for the sake of variety and what better shape than bell bottoms? After finalizing my design for the pants, I then worked to keep this look within the aquatic mood by dying the basic top with a turquoise ombre effect. The jacket was originally part of a different look but due to lack of time in completing that look to my satisfaction, I decided to feature it with this outfit, rather than not feature it at all after all the time I spent on it. Luckily, the bell bottom sleeves in this jacket still cohere well with the pants! I do plan on remaking this jacket in my next collection; I don't want to say much to keep it a surprise but I'll be using a lot of lace and intricate trim that I have been hoarding ;)

To make the pants, I used a pair of stretchy bell-bottoms I already owned because I needed to make sure that the pants would fit tight and would billow out at the right places. Patterns tend to be cut on the wider side while also compensating for more curves, so for me, using a commercial pattern would still require more extensive altering afterwards. At Jo-Anns, I bought this cream-colored, wrinkly cotton/polyester fabric which was $6 a yard and I bought 2 yards of it. What I pretty much did was lay out the bell bottoms on top of the fabric and cut around the shape I needed for the leg piece. I now had a pattern piece for the legs that I knew would be sure to fit!

After finishing the seams and zipper for the pants,  came the detail work with the ruffle tulle trim I had purchased for only 50 cents a yard! I bought 5 yards of it. I wanted to use various lengths of strips of the trim on the sides of the bell bottoms so that when you walked, the movement of the pants would exaggerate the flutter of the trim and help echo that foamy look of breaking waves. I pinned the trim on and sewed them directly on. I wish I could show you all a video of how they look in movement but I hope you understand the concept I was going for!

Last, came the top and jacket. The top was made with the same bodice pattern I had been using for the previous looks. However, for the jacket, I made the pattern entirely on my own with no help from any store bought patterns so I am especially proud of this piece even though I plan on redoing it later! The jacket actually has a sharp V shape down the center front but is cut horizontally across in the back. To construct the bodice of the jacket, I started by using muslin and pinning it to the dress form (adjusted to my measurements) the way I wanted it to look and removing and redrawing with chalk where the cutting and seam lines would be. For the sleeves, I had a little help from a regular long sleeve top I owned so I could see what shape that sleeve patterns had, particularly at the underarm area. Using that general shape, I altered the pattern to have bell bottom sleeves. I sewed the sleeves to the bodice and basically cut out a rectangular shape with added interfacing, to attach onto the top of the bodice in the neck area, to make a collar. I might also mention that this jacket was lined too! :)

In summary, I went though once again, less than $30 for all the materials for this complete look! The only fabrics used were thin muslin, thick muslin, and the cotton/poly wrinkled fabric; the only additional materials were 2 zippers, some hooks and eyes, scraps of interfacing, and dye of course. I hope the inspiration for this look translated well to you all from what I had envisioned in my mind! Nonetheless, I still ended up with a pair of pants that I personally think are lovely regardless! :)


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Here is the third outfit in my collection! For this look, I was inspired by the grassy texture of Lanvin's green tweed top. The texture and frayed edges of the top are so aesthetically pleasing. Raw hems are normally looked down upon but this Lanvin top would not have the same effect without it! Plus, going back to the earthy mood of my collection, you can't get any more organic with your inspiration than from grass! :) I really wanted to own my own grass-inspired piece so I set out to make a pair of high-waisted shorts using burlap fabric. From there on, I focused on building the rest of the look to accent the burlap shorts. In my opinion, this is a look that showcases craftsmanship, more so than innovative design-- the pieces may be rather simple but the burlap more than made up for the lack of difficulty that comes with complexity! ;)

Burlap isn't a fabric that is generally used for apparel construction because of it's rough texture and extreme tendency to fray. On the plus side, burlap is rather cheap at $3 or 4 dollars per yard and dyes very well. I used about 1.5 yards of natural jute burlap which was originally cream colored. Once again, I used McCall's M6238 Pattern, which is the pattern I always go to when I want to make a pair of high-waisted shorts! When I started cutting the pattern pieces, it really startled me to find that the burlap was fraying when I had barely touched it. The slightest pull on any of the individual fibers would loosen the entire length! If you're not careful and you let too much of the fibers come apart, you'll end up with a garment much smaller than you had originally intended. I was about to abandon the burlap until it dawned on me that I could try serging every edge of each pattern piece first and luckily that worked because it locked all the fibers in place! However, there's no use seam-ripping burlap so I had to be extremely careful not to make any big mistakes or I'd have to start over from scratch :(

From then on, I went about making the shorts like I normally would. After constructing the shorts, I immersed them into a Rit dye mixture of Kelly Green and Golden Yellow. Next, I moved onto constructing a plain strapless top and long, kimono-sleeve robe, once again using muslin. Both these garments had very few pieces and were quick and easy to make. I threw them both into a dye bath of Cocoa Brown and Tan Rit Dye and I ended up with this Adobe brown color! It wasn't exactly the color I was going for but in the end, the color was very flattering to my model's skin tone and hair color :) I accessorized this look with a floral headdress I had previously made and a turquoise cross to finish it off!

In case you're wondering why the fit is larger on me it's because I did after all, have to have models wear my other four designs for the show. One of my best friends modeled this look and she has a bigger bust, hence the loose fit on me; she's really tall too so I had to make the sleeves long in proportion; and she has hips unlike me so the shorts had to be bigger. So don't fret, I do know how to measure myself properly! xD The nice thing about the shorts is the pattern allowed for a tie to be put in so I can still adjust them to my size. They have that paper bag look but I think that brings out the texture of the burlap more! In conclusion, for less than $30, on all materials including fabric, dye, and zippers, I got the grass-inspired piece I had been lusting after as well as a top and robe to accompany it :) This was definitely an occasion where you can see the possibilities of some of the cheapest fabric available at its finest! ;) [If you haven't noticed yet, I am a cheapo when it comes to all my fabric choices]


Friday, April 13, 2012

This is the second outfit I made for my collection :) The goal of this look was built around the idea of a second skin and body art. In my mind, I envisioned using appliques that would look as if they were stuck onto the skin. I wanted this outfit to mimic a goddess of nature so the outfit needed to have the right touch of opulence while still cohering to a barer and more primitive feel, which is why I chose to use nude spandex for the base of the top! I guess if you want to look naked without really being naked, nude spandex is the way to go? Hahaha but moving on, I bought a yard and a half of nude spandex fabric which was $7 or 8 per yard. To make the long sleeve top, I used one of my Under Armour tops, pinned it to the fabric, and cut around the shapes for the torso and sleeves. Using clothing you already have and following the shape of the various parts of the garment is a great way to save money on patterns and also to ensure that your garment will come out with the correct fit. (Commercial long sleeve top patterns tend to be very loosely fitted). Spandex isn't the easiest material to sew with because it only looks good when it's tight and any puckering at the seams shows like crazy! I almost went mad trying to construct this top -.-

The slightly more frustrating part came when I was trying to find the right appliques for the top. I couldn't find any individual pieces I liked so I ended up choosing to buy this gold embroidered fabric by the yard. I only needed a little bit so I asked for 1/8 yard... but I was then told that you can only buy fabric at that particular store in 1/2 yards. This wouldn't have been that big of a deal of the fabric wasn't $40 A YARD! I got it anyways because it was my last resort :( At home, I cut out the shapes I liked from the gold embroidery and then I fit the top over the dress form, pinned the appliques onto the top, and hand-sewed them directly onto the top at various points around the applique. On the day of the show, I had my model put on the top and I wrapped the appliques on the sleeves around her arm and hand-sewed it right on the spot. Don't worry, it only took a couple minutes so it wasn't a frantic panic! ;) All in all, the top cost about $30 in materials but considering I have so much excess gold fabric, the total materials actually used only comes out to be a little over $15?

For the skirt, I had prepped a sheer tulle overlay for another dress but I scrapped it in the end. Towards the last minute, I decided to use the tulle skirt for this outfit instead. The tulle skirt started out at maxi skirt length so I rolled it up from the hem 3 times in to add volume to make a short, bubble skirt. Then I added a thin waistband to finish it off. The funny thing is the tulle actually shifted as I was sewing it so it got pulled around (Lesson learned: Always pin everything before heading to the sewing machine!!) but in the end, the way the tulle was oddly gathered, ended up making the skirt appear more voluminous so I got lucky! ;) The tulle is $2 per yard and I used 3 yards, plus the waistband, I already had. There's also a white bandage skirt underneath that serves as a slip for modesty purposes which I made with scrap pieces of stretch fabric I had left over. In summary, the total amount spent on this outfit was under $25. Not bad right?

I hope you like this look! Thank you everyone for the comments you left on my previous look. They might take you less than a minute to type out but those comments will stick with me for much longer than that and I'll always think back to the comments I received on the first design I posted online, well into the future! <3


Saturday, April 07, 2012

Ahhhh! I am so beyond excited to show you all the first piece in my spring collection! After months of planning and one and a half months of rushed sewing, I produced 5 complete outfits for my school fashion show. I can not believe how well this piece came out when I compared it to what I had envisioned in my mind. My inspiration came from the image of a fallen statue lost out in the bottom of the sea. I wanted to portray the idea of a beautiful disaster and the dress coupled with the mystic and sea inspiration came to look very much mermaid-like with the aquatic light blue-green color.

The best part about this dress is it took less than $30 to make ;) I used muslin for almost all the pieces in my collection because it was cheap and I actually quite like the feel of it (plus I had intended to dye everything on my own anyways so it didn't matter about the color). I estimate that I used about 4 yards of muslin at the most which was $2 per yard. Then on our Fashion class' LA field trip, I purchased a TON of cotton crochet trim at discount fabric stores all around the Fashion District, which cost about $15. Lastly, I used an invisible zipper I already had lying around and transformed the cream colored muslin into this light turquoise color using Kelly Green Rit dye ($2) and the liquid Aquarmarine Rit dye ($4).

I made this dress with the help of the adjustable dress form I got for Christmas :) I used commercial patterns for the basic fitted top and maxi skirt. The crochet trim I had purchased came in rectangular blocks and the other in a circular garland. I had to alter the shape of the rectangular trim to get it to resemble the deep V triangle cut-out in the back which was a bit difficult since I also had to refinish the edges so the crochet would not fall apart. Next, I pinned another rectangular piece to the front to add to the neckline, and sewed that piece to the back piece to construct straps. I then sewed the circular garland trim around the mid-section of the skirt. Lastly, I cut up the remaining rectangular trim in half the long way and finished the sides again, and sewed that onto the bottom portion of the dress.

I dyed the dress with a mixture of the Rit dye colors and it came out this pretty turquoise color! I was pretty lucky that it came out the way I wanted since I had never used Rit dye before... At last the dress was finished and I finally got to go collapse onto my bed that night! I'd say it took about 4 days to make this dress with school in the way and such. Tell me what you guys think of the dress in the comments! <3 I can't wait to show you guys the remaining 4 outfits! Until then, have a great weekend and don't forget to enter my ROMWE giveaway here!


Friday, April 06, 2012

Shirt: Vintage, $24
Top: c/o Motel Rocks
Skirt: H&M
Necklace: Forever 21
Shoes: Wt. Mountain

This is the adorable turquoise bralette that Motel Rocks sent to me! I'm so happy to finally own a Motel Rocks piece with their signature back detailing. This is a great top to wear in conjunction with high-waisted garments. I normally stray from crop tops because I see enough stomachs at school -.- But I've always felt that showing a teensy sliver of skin on your midriff is a lot more attractive than baring your entire stomach. Plus who can resist the ladder-detailing in the back? I love pieces that surprise others when you turn around! I can already picture other outfits with this top such as pairing it with a full, voluminous knee-length skirt, or a tight, long bandage skirt in the same turquoise color. Thanks Motel Rocks! <3

This button up shirt is one of the vintage pieces I got at the LA Wasteland on our Fashion class trip! It was $24 and the fit was perfect on me. I have small arms so tight-fitting sleeves are hard to come by when you aren't buying plain stretchy tops. The shirt stops right at my natural waist too-- another plus. 

Overall, I went for an 80s Madonna inspired look for this outfit. The shirt is no leather jacket but is the closest thing I have in my closet! The fuchsia reminded me of the material girl and of course I couldn't forget the cross necklace either! Lastly, even though I couldn't tease my hair and get the same tight curls she had, I curled all my hair and flipped it all over to one side which gave me some seriously crazy volume! Curls tangle incredibly easy on my hair but it was worth it for the photographs! ;)

Now onto the giveaway!! You can win a detachable collar and $40 freebies from Romwe! (Officially my new favorite store now that I finally have that Zara floral shirt dupe in my hands hehehe)

To enter, the only thing you are required to do is make an account on Romwe and please leave a comment below with your name and email that you used for your account! If you want additional entries, you can follow me on GFC, bloglovin, or Twitter (@artinourblood). So you can have up to 4 entries total! I set up the giveaway on Rafflecopter below so just register your entries on the widget below after you do each task. This giveaway will end on April 20th. Good luck! ;) 

Also here are some coupon codes you can use on Romwe :)
RomweEaster1 = Save $15 on purchases over $60
RomweEaster2 = Save $25 on purchases over $90
RomweEaster3 = Save $35 on purchases over $120
[Coupons expire April 20th]

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Monday, April 02, 2012

Cap: Target
T-Shirt Dress: c/o YourEyesLie
Lace Tights: Forever 21
Knee High Socks: c/o Club Couture
Shoes: Wt. Mountain

Today I'm wearing a landscape print t-shirt dress which was sent to me from Your Eyes Lie! This is a simple piece at first glance but upon further inspection, I find that I quite like the baseball-inspired sleeves and the deep U-cut in the back. Playing on with the baseball theme, I threw on a black cap because my head always feels naked without some type of headpiece... I added my grey lace tights to make the outfit more dynamic and to match with the grey in the mountains print. Lastly, I layered a new pair of black knee-high socks from Club Couture to counter with the black 3/4 sleeves :) 

Anyways, after two weeks away from my blog, I've been seriously dying to get back!! Those two weeks had been spent frantically preparing for our school's fashion show and although I worked right up to the day before the show, all the hours labored and sleep lost were more than worth it. I've got all the photos taken and I'll be posting them 5 in a row individually, and then I'll be doing one final cumulative post in addition with more details on the cost of materials, techniques, and time spent on each garment.

Now that the fashion show is done with, it is so refreshing to have all this extra time now. It's always been difficult for me to try to work efficiently between the logical frame of mind with my studies at school, verses the creative frame of mind with fashion design. My work desk was taken over by my sewing machine and serger; there were boxes of fabric everywhere, various sketches and notes all over the wall; pins and fabric scraps scattered all over the ground-- it was not very conducive to focusing on homework. Right after I came back from the fashion show, the first thing I did was do a massive cleaning of my room! Now all the sewing equipment has been cleared away in storage and my room must have increased twice by size! I no longer get a headache when I look at my room!

But for now until I finish editing the photos of my pieces, I have a video to share with you all, which my dad took for me at the fashion show! The song I used is Intro by The Xx. Enjoy!