Thursday, October 08, 2009

Why DIY?

Lucky though we are to be located in the Great White North during this current economic crisis, everyone can benefit from being a penny-pincher now and again. And with the access to fashion trends continually expanding along with advances in technology (read: online shopping for supplies of any kind via the internet), the question really is: why not DIY?


Dov Charney's 80s inspired incarnations always keep us jonesing for the next perfectly executed throwback to (probably ill-advised) fun fashion moments from our childhood. And while scrunchies might be taking it a little too far, acid wash fits right in with fashion's current biker-chic aesthetic. Grab some household bleach, your garment of choice, and rubber gloves to protect your skin to DIY. Depending on what look you're going for, you also might want to pick up a squirt bottle for less liberal distribution of the bleach.

Step 1: Wet your garment. Ring some of the water out.
Step 2: Squirt or pour bleach on random areas, wherever you like, and then scrunch the t-shirt a bit to spread it around. Continue until you've achieved your desired look.
Step 3: Leave it alone and keep checking on it. When you are happy with the colour, rinse off the bleach and throw it in the washing machine for a cycle.


Distressed denim in various forms has been spotted on the likes of Katie, Reese, Rachel, and just about everyone else. And although we can find it at many different retail locations, sometimes it's nice for your wardrobe to have a more personal touch. Follow these simple steps and rip, tear, and rub your way to a new pair of perfectly on-trend jeans that won't look like anyone else's.

Step 1: Place a block of wood under the part of the denim you want to distress.
Step 2: Use a steak knife or cheese grater to create holes, tears, and simulate signs of typical wear-and-tear. Don't use scissors, as this will create a less realistic, unfrayed hole.
Step 3: Use sandpaper around pockets, knees, hemlines, or any other area that would naturally wear out faster than other areas.
Step 4: Use a sponge to lightly rub bleach around the outer edges of holes to create a faded look.
Step 5: Wash your garment.


We all collectively lost our minds when we first caught a glimpse of Balmain's incredible glam-rock inspired Spring 2009 collection, and the studded looks were carried right into the Fall/Winter 2009 collection, along with the collections of many other designers as well. And although we don't have access to the very softest lambskin leather or the skills of a professional atelier, we can still channel the toughness of an 80s rocker without the upwards-of-a-thousand-dollar price tag - with some basic sewing skills, a few craft accessories, and a quick stop at a couple of stores.

Step 1: Buy a basic leather (or fake leather) jacket at Forever 21, H&M, or find one second-hand.
Step 2: Select embellishments to affix to your garment. Sew, hammer, or snap studs on according to manufacturer's instructions.

Currently, the shoulders are a great location for studs, especially on blazers and leather jackets, and on jeans, be careful around the back pockets, so as to avoid looking like you were attacked by a rogue Bedazzler circa 1983. Take care in your application of studs on basic tees as well, as small or glittery pieces of any sort will look dated and cheap. Go big or go home - use larger, heavier studs, so that your garment will look like it gives you street cred rather than look like a home arts and crafts project. have a great selection of studs that look more hardcore than kitschy and a great selection of tools.


Now that our coordination and creative abilities have evolved past the days of childhood tie-dye parties, perhaps it's time to give this one another whirl - who doesn't love having an article of clothing or accessory that you can claim full artistic responsibility for? Use dark dyes such as grey or black, or just stay monochromatic to make your piece more season-appropriate. Grab a t-shirt or similar item, rubber bands, tie dye powder, and soda ash to get started. Nowadays there are plenty of places to get tie-dye powder and soda ash, and even tie-dye kits that contain everything you need (at craft stores or online).

Step 1: Bunch your garment into a ball and bind with several elastics. Randomness is key; try not to be too specific about it. You're not trying to create the same rainbow rings of colour we did when we were kids; in order to modernize this look it has to have a more distressed, haphazard look to it.
Step 2: Soak your garment in soda ash dissolved in water for at least 20 minutes.
Step 3: While your garment is soaking, mix the dye and create the colours you intend to use.
Step 4: Do not rinse the soda ash off before applying the dye. Apply the dye to your soaked bundle in a random pattern, using spots, lines, or covering larger areas with colour.
Step 5: Place your bundle in a plastic bag for 24 hours.
Step 6: Unwrap and rinse the garment under warm running water until the water runs clear, and wash the garment right away, in the washer with warm water and liquid soap. After the first wash, your garment can be washed with other clothing items.

1 comment:

Janet said...

Good title. I had to read on about it to figure out what the acronym stood for. A little lengthy and possibly could use a conclusion (depending on page set up) but really great tips and well written!