{diy} cape cape hooray!

DIY cape DIY cape DIY cape DIY cape DIY cape

How fun is this cape?!? I'd like to say that I completely made it myself but I had a lot of help from DIY Couture's designer herself, Rosie, during a recent workshop at the Papered Parlour.

I don't normally do style posts since I feel like I get totally awkward when posing but I figured that this cape deserved a proper shoot. Sunday's mini-countryside excursion (and Eton College's...sshh...private park) proved to be the perfect setting to hop around and take some snaps. The glow from the sun was incredible and since we don't get many days like that in London, all of the colors were extra amplified in my mind. Super bright, bold, and almost unreal (hence the crazy Photoshop treatment!).

What's totally real is how easy it was to make this cape. Rosie's company, DIY Couture, is founded on making clothing construction easy to understand, and more importantly, do. I am completely head over heels with her approach to creating your own couture designs and here's why...

My degree in fashion merchandising required me to take sewing courses where all we did was create or work off of technical patterns that were often too fussy or intimidating. DIY Couture simplifies the construction process by speaking in layman's terms and providing simple visual instructions that have more to do with practicality than technicality. I was super impressed with how she taught the workshop but when I got home and flipped through her "How To Make a Cloak" book, I was floored. The visuals are simple and pleasing to follow and the options for customizing pieces (hood, collar, etc) are very approachable. For example, to create the hood pattern she instructs to lay down a hood from a sweater you already own (and like) and trace to cut - so practical and effective!

I could rave about it for days but as for my personal couture cape, I opted to forgo a hood or collar for a more simple neckline. I also didn't add a button so that I could keep the option open to use vintage brooches and mix it up as I please. When I realized that not doing any of the above made my cape reversible, I was a very happy girl! Joe later had the great idea to buy vintage cufflinks and use them along the entire front - perfect for reversibility, right? It means that I'll have to create button holes after all but it's okay, the book has easy instructions for that too.

But now it's YOUR turn to make a cape, cloak, or caploak - whatever, it's couture design!

I'm giving away my copy of  "How To Make a Cloak" to one lucky reader. Simply write a comment below, anything you'd like, and I'll pick a name at random next week. C'mon, capes are so hot right now ;)

and p.s. thanks for all of the tweet, comments, and email love from yesterday's launch of the pond market!!!

{diy) boy meets girl...mens bowtie belt

{diy) boy meets girl...mens bowtie belt{diy) boy meets girl...mens bowtie belt{diy) boy meets girl...mens bowtie belt {diy) boy meets girl...mens bowtie belt {diy) boy meets girl...mens bowtie belt {diy) boy meets girl...mens bowtie belt {diy) boy meets girl...mens bowtie belt

I finally got crafty with a vintage bowtie I bought at Camden Market a few months ago. I was sifting through vintage neckties and thinking of what I could make with them when this simple black bowtie popped right out and told me what to do.

Surely you can tie a bow out of anything to make a belt but I love the fullness, weight, and perfection of a mens bowtie. Especially when paired with a pretty ribbon.

I'm really happy with the way that it turned out but for the next round I think I'll try a few modifications: use a more stretch-friendly ribbon (so woven threads don't break) and find a way to make it fully adjustable to wear either on my waist or hips. A girl needs options, right?

Let me know if you make your own or get inspired to create something else with a mens bowtie...there are so many possibilities!