Category Archive

Geometric Brass Necklace DIY

geo necklace diy - drifter and the gypsy blog
geo necklace diy - drifter and the gypsy blog

A jewelry designer I count among my favorites is Iacoli & McAllister – their futuristic designs are striking and comfortably complement the simplest or craziest of wardrobes. Lately I’ve been intrigued by their most basic forms of geometric shapes and monochromatic bead strings, but I wanted to see them in a silver color, so I experimented with making my own.

What you need: 3 yards of 1-2mm leather (which will make roughly two necklaces), suede, or imitation cord and brass tube beads in a square shape, 3.5×3.5x60mm. You can find the beads all over Etsy, but I suggest purchasing from Geometric Land. I used 8 of them in all.

geo necklace diy - drifter and the gypsy blog

The easiest way to make a brass tube necklace is simply string four beads onto about 35 inches of cord, then knot it at the top. But if you’d like, you can create fun geometric shapes with the beads as follows…

1. To create a triangle, string three beads onto your cord. To create a square, string four beads, etc. To create a simple bar shape, use one or two beads.

2. Take the end of the cord and string it through the opposite bead, facing the cord end towards the rest of the beads.

3. Pull tight. You should have your geometric shape! Knot your cord tightly at the ends.

geo necklace diy - drifter and the gypsy blog

Feel free to experiment with these beads and see what shapes you can come up with – the thinner the cord, the more you can lace it through your beads. Don’t cut your cord until you know the shape you’re using. And have fun with it!

geo necklace diy - drifter and the gypsy blog
geo necklace diy - drifter and the gypsy blog

This is my last post for Drifter & the Gypsy. Thank you for reading my column; I have truly enjoyed contributing! For more DIY tricks, be sure to follow my personal blog at Blooming Leopold.

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Block Print Blouse

block print blouse - drifter and the gypsy
block print blouse - drifter and the gypsy
block print blouse - drifter and the gypsy

Hey all! It’s Lauren from Blooming Leopold. If you’ve investigated fall runways lately, you’ve probably noticed that eye prints are a serious (and perhaps polarizing) trend this fall. Instead of dropping a lot of cash on a transitory style, why not use the trend as an excuse to get creative and make an eye print shirt of your own?

block print blouse - drifter and the gypsy

What you need: Speedball block printing kit, fabric screen printing ink (the ink the block kit comes with is for paper, not fabric), a shirt, and an iron.

block print blouse - drifter and the gypsy

Step one. Find an eye image you like, and print it out and cut it (after Googling eyes I found this image to use). Trace the eye image on your linoleum block using a pen. I cut my linoleum block in half so I could use the other half for a different project.

Step two. Outline the eye shape carefully using the small no.1 cutter located in the block kit. The best way to cut is hold the tool firmly and push long, deep cuts away from you and into the block. The cutter blades are in a U shape, angle the blade so the U is standing upright and hold the tool at a side angle (see the fifth photo).

Step three. Once your eye has been outlined, remove the excess area with the large no.5 cutter. Make sure to cut deep enough that when you stamp your fabric, only the eye image remains. Brush off all excess chips of linoleum.

block print blouse - drifter and the gypsy

Step four. Start stamping! Place a piece of cardboard inside your shirt and lay it out flat on a protected surface. Roll the fabric paint into an even layer in your tray. Press the stamp into the ink, then onto the fabric. Press every bit of the stamp firmly down with the palm of your hand, making sure that the stamp ink is contacting the fabric evenly. Before you start stamping onto the garment, it’s a good idea to test the stamp first onto a piece of paper to verify that all excess area has been removed and isn’t catching any ink.

Step five. Allow your shirt to dry, then heat set it using a dry iron. Place a piece of scrap fabric between the iron and the shirt, then let the iron sit on each inked area for 10-20 seconds. When you’re ready to clean up your tools, just rinse them with water and dry thoroughly.

block print blouse - drifter and the gypsy
block print blouse - drifter and the gypsy

There you have it – an eye print top and a block printing kit you can use for future projects!

Lauren (DIY Sew Contributor)

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Five Minute Dip Dye Method

five minute dip dye method - drifter and the gypsy blog
five minute dip dye method - drifter and the gypsy blog

Happy September, all! It’s Lauren from Blooming Leopold, back with the fastest project yet – a simple dip dye DIY. The entire process (minus drying time) takes roughly five minutes to accomplish. Let’s get to it!

five minute dip dye method - drifter and the gypsy blog

What you need: A dress or skirt to dye, a one quart sized plastic storage bag, an iron, and a 2.25 ounce jar of Dye-Na-Flow fabric paint.

five minute dip dye method - drifter and the gypsy blog

If you have textile detergent at home, wash your garment in the detergent as it’ll aid in taking the dye well. Fill your plastic bag with the Dye Na Flow paint, and add just a little water. Seal the bag and shake it to mix. If you’re looking for a marbled texture like my dress, add more water. If you’re interested in a solid dye hue, add less (just a few drops).

five minute dip dye method - drifter and the gypsy blog

1 & 2. Take your dress and evenly dip the skirt hem into the bag, maneuvering it so half of the skirt is submerged in dye. Leave the skirt in the dye for a few minutes. Be careful to protect the rest of the dress from the dye.

3. Once done, lay your dress out on a covered surface and in the sun to dry. For a marbled texture, crinkle the skirt up a bit – the dye will dry unevenly. If you’d like the dye more even, flatten the skirt as much as possible.

4. When the dress is dry, it’s time to heat set the fabric using an iron. Move the dry iron over the entire dyed area and let it rest for several moments at the heat setting specific to your fabric (read the label for prescribed heat settings).

five minute dip dye method - drifter and the gypsy blog

And that’s all for this project! When washing your dyed dress or skirt for the first time, I recommend using textile detergent. If you don’t have any, a gentle wash with cold water and like colors will do. Feel free to share thoughts or questions in the comments below.

five minute dip dye method - drifter and the gypsy blog
five minute dip dye method - drifter and the gypsy blog

Lauren (DIY Sew Contributor)

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Art tissue top

art tissue top - drifter and the gypsy blog

Hi guys! Lauren here. Discovering new dyeing processes is an exciting part of creating clothing – perhaps it’s my favorite part. There are many variables with dyeing, and generally the final result is a surprise. This month, I’m using art tissue paper to transfer color to silk, resulting in a vibrant design.

art tissue top - drifter and the gypsy blog
art tissue top - drifter and the gypsy blog

What you need for this project: Spectra Art Tissue, spray bottle filled with equal parts water and white vinegar, a tray to hold your project, and a dyeable silk piece – scarf, top, dress, anything.

art tissue top - drifter and the gypsy blog

Caution – I’ve read that fabric dyed with art tissue is prone to fading when washed, so use it on a top or scarf that requires infrequent washing. I have yet to wash my dyed top but I will update this post with the outcome once I do. Other precautions you can take – treat your garment with textile detergent such as Synthrapol prior to and following dyeing.

Elizabeth Suzann kindly lent me her kimono top pattern to try out, so I used it for this tutorial. I folded the pattern piece at the center by a couple inches to shrink the size, making sure to cut a wider neck opening. For the top, I used Dharma Trading Company‘s 16mm crepe de chine silk and sand washed it myself using soda ash and Elizabeth‘s handy tutorial.

Once your silk is ready to dye, choose your color scheme. Cut or tear the art tissue sheets into whatever shapes or sizes you prefer, then lay out your garment in the shallow plastic tray.

Place the art tissue on the garment in whatever order you like, covering nearly every inch of fabric. Keep in mind that colors will bleed together, so don’t layer too many colors – you might get muddied results.

art tissue top - drifter and the gypsy blog

Once the art tissue is laid out, completely saturate the garment with the vinegar and water mixture. If more of the garment needs to be covered with tissue, layer and repeat, folding the garment in on itself.

Let your garment dry overnight. Once it is completely dry, check your results and discard any washed out tissue – if you want more color, repeat the process with new art tissue.

Once you have your desired color, heat set the garment by ironing it or throwing it in a warm dryer for 10-20 minutes.

After heat setting, I sewed the side and shoulder seams of my kimono top pieces together. Air out the garment (and maybe use some fabric refresher) to rid it of the vinegar smell, and you have a wearable piece of art.

I heard that the art tissue is reusable for other projects following the dye process, but all my tissue was washed out (not to mention smelling strongly of vinegar) so it had run its course.

art tissue top - drifter and the gypsy blog
art tissue top - drifter and the gypsy blog
art tissue top - drifter and the gypsy blog
art tissue top - drifter and the gypsy blog

There you have it! Feel free to share any thoughts or questions in the comments section below, and check out my blog, Blooming Leopold, for more DIY and style ideas.

Lauren (DIY Sew Contributor)

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How to sew a tiered skirt

how to sew a tiered dress - drifter and the gypsy blog

Hey all! Lauren from Blooming Leopold back again. I find that even for the most basic projects in life (it’s obsessive but I even Google egg boiling), I like to follow steps. Today, I’m outlining the (easy-as-pie) method of sewing a tiered skirt.

how to sew a tiered dress - drifter and the gypsy blog

Modifying a simple skirt into a tiered skirt can work for a skirt pattern or a dress pattern, so long as the shape of the skirt is basic. I chose a dress pattern that used the same rectangular, cut-on-the-fold skirt piece for both the front and the back, so I only had to modify one pattern piece.

What you need: skirt pattern pieces, fabric (I suggest lightweight fabric such as rayon or cotton voile for easy, flowing drape – but stiff fabrics work for a more bouncy tiered skirt), ruler, and brown kraft paper or pattern tracing paper.

how to sew a tiered dress - drifter and the gypsy blog

First step: Copy your skirt piece. You will be modifying it so unless you care about cutting up the original piece, copy it using brown paper or pattern paper.

Second step: Cut your copy horizontally down the center, creating two even pattern pieces. In order to make up for the lost skirt length due to a new seam in the center, you can add about 5/8 inch to each piece if desired.

Third step: Once your copy has been cut, take the bottom half and double its width.

Fourth step: Cut your fabric with these new pieces – the top piece will be the top tier, and the twice-as-wide bottom piece will be the bottom tier.

how to sew a tiered dress - drifter and the gypsy blog

Fifth step: Sew the front and back of the two tiers together at the side seams, then gather the tops of the tiers. I used a gathering foot with my Serger, but if you don’t have a Serger sewing machine, it’s simple to gather the old-fashioned way. Sew two rows of horizontal stitching at the top of each tier, making sure not to backstitch or overlap, and leave long strands at the end. Then, carefully push the fabric back along the stitches, forming gathers.

Sixth step: Once your two tiers have been properly gathered, sew the bottom tier to the un-gathered bottom edge of the top tier, right sides together. Then, sew the top tier to the edge of the dress bodice or skirt waistband.

how to sew a tiered dress - drifter and the gypsy blog
how to sew a tiered dress - drifter and the gypsy blog

And that’s all! Stay tuned next month for a painted silk dress tutorial.

Lauren (DIY Sew Contributor)

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Shibori Dyeing (Stitch Resist Technique)

Hey all! It’s Lauren from Blooming Leopold. This month’s DIY involves a recent love of mine: shibori dyeing.

There are many tutorials out there on traditional shibori dyeing (my favorite is this one), but surprisingly few on the stitch resist technique, a branch of shibori that, while time consuming, can be pretty simple to master. Stitch resist can be as complicated as the dyer wishes it to be, ranging from simple shapes to intricate patterns.

shibori dyeing - drifter and the gypsy blog

Today I’m sharing an introduction to stitch resist: how to stitch and dye a shape onto your fabric.

shibori dyeing - drifter and the gypsy blog

What you need: natural fabric such as cotton muslin or linen (I used a 12 inch square of linen), an embroidery needle, crochet thread or embroidery floss (any thread that is thicker than normal sewing thread – the thicker the thread the thicker the pattern), seam ripper, and your dye. This project works with nearly any kind of immersion dye but I highly recommend using indigo, specifically this indigo dye kit as it’s inexpensive and easy to use.

Keep an open mind with this project. You can stitch resist nearly anything… a pillow case, tote bag, dress, you name it. If you decide to dye a square of fabric, make sure to finish the edges by serging them or cutting them with pinking shears to prevent too much fraying in the wash.

shibori dyeing - drifter and the gypsy blog

To begin, outline your chosen shape onto the fabric using a pencil or fabric chalk. I chose a simple floral scene and the outline of a house (which I’m giving to a friend as a first-time homeowner housewarming gift). Another great idea is an animal – your dog or cat, or even this adorable rabbit via Folk Fibers – just look up simple images on Google and copy them onto your fabric.

shibori dyeing - drifter and the gypsy blog

Then, loop your thread through the eye of your embroidery needle and double it up, knotting at the end. Slip the needle through the fabric and straight stitch around your shape with even stitches, making sure to never overlap (you will need to pull the thread and gather it at the end, and stitching over another stitch will prevent successful gathering).

Once your stitches are done, leave a long chain of thread at the end. It’s time to gently pull the thread, gathering your shape evenly and tightly in the process. Once the thread is gathered tightly, knot it in place.

shibori dyeing - drifter and the gypsy blog

Now dye your fabric! Once it’s been completely submerged in the dye (and oxidized, in the case of indigo), rinse your fabric well. Gently pick out your stitches using a seam ripper. Pull out the thread – you should have a white outline of a shape on color-saturated fabric!

shibori dyeing - drifter and the gypsy blog

Wash according to your dye instructions. All finished!

shibori dyeing - drifter and the gypsy blog
shibori dyeing - drifter and the gypsy blog

There are many stitch resist techniques out there – feel free to experiment with all sorts of patterns and styles. And have fun!

shibori dyeing - drifter and the gypsy blog
shibori dyeing - drifter and the gypsy blog

Lauren (DIY Sew Contributor)

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Facing an Armhole with Bias Tape

It’s Lauren from Blooming Leopold back with this month’s DIY project. This time around, we’re working with vintage again. As I’ve mentioned before, changing a vintage garment doesn’t have to be intimidating; it can be as simple as shortening a skirt, or in this case, removing sleeves and finishing the armholes with bias tape.

facing an armhole with bias tape - drifter and the gypsy blog
facing an armhole with bias tape - drifter and the gypsy blog

I recently found and fell in love with a nude colored silk jumpsuit via Salt Valley Vintage. When it arrived on my doorstep and I put it on, the puff sleeves overwhelmed my frame and I channeled Rosie the Riveter a little too strongly – so using this Pinterest image as inspiration, I decided to cut off the sleeves in an attempt to modernize the one piece.

facing an armhole with bias tape - drifter and the gypsy blog

What you need.. single fold bias tape, your item of choice, sewing machine, iron, and scissors.

facing an armhole with bias tape - drifter and the gypsy blog
facing an armhole with bias tape - drifter and the gypsy blog

First step: Cut off your sleeves. It’s important to use a vintage item that doesn’t have super deep armholes, such as a dolman sleeve blouse (unless you want large, gaping armholes). Be sure to leave about a 1/4 inch for the finishing. Try it on and see how the new armholes lay, then trim as necessary.

facing an armhole with bias tape - drifter and the gypsy blog

Next step: Sew your single fold bias tape, right sides together, to your new armhole. Begin at the armpit seam and sew around, leaving about an inch of extra bias tape at the end so you finish it neatly. You will need to sew the small 1/4 fold of the bias tape to your garment as shown in the photo, leaving the majority of the tape loose (you will be folding this into your garment to finish).

facing an armhole with bias tape - drifter and the gypsy blog

Using an iron, press the bias tape into the garment, wrong sides together, keeping the edges flat and pressing very close to the bias tape edge (where it is sewn to the garment). Also fold the remaining inch at the end of the bias tape inward at the armpit and press it in place.

facing an armhole with bias tape - drifter and the gypsy blog

Then, it’s time to sew the tape in place! Sew on the outer edge of the bias tape and you’re finished. As you sew, keep the fabric fairly tight and pressed to the tape.

facing an armhole with bias tape - drifter and the gypsy blog
facing an armhole with bias tape - drifter and the gypsy blog

The bias tape will allow the armholes to lay flat against the body, resulting in a professional finish. You can also use double fold bias tape to face armholes and necklines, as seen in this DIY.

facing an armhole with bias tape - drifter and the gypsy blog
facing an armhole with bias tape - drifter and the gypsy blog
facing an armhole with bias tape - drifter and the gypsy blog

As the weather grows warmer, I hope this project comes in handy for you all. Happy May! – Lauren (DIY Sew Contributor)

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