Archive for the ‘Fashion’ category

Styling Guide- Burlesque Beauty

July 19, 2012

I love that Burlesque has re-emerged in popularity (thanks Dita!) and have put together a Styling Guide to celebrate it’s return. Knit up our sexy Trish Corselette and Madeline wrap, then accessorize with items from around the web. (The huge ostrich feather fan is so awesome!!)

Vintage Button Brooches-Upcycle

July 9, 2012

Vintage button brooches

I love to collect old buttons, buckles and whatnot and glue them together to make brooches to wear on my coat or jean jacket. They’d be cute on a hat or bag, too!

This weekend I was lucky enough to find a bagful of bakelite buckles at a yard sale. I stacked them and glued a button on top of each as shown, then glued on pinbacks.

Regular Crazy Glue doesn’t work well in glueing these types of materials (plastics, metal, Bakelite) together, but I found a gel-type Super Glue that is great for little projects like this.

It helps to roughen up the surfaces to be joined with an emery board, glue them together, then tiptoe away and don’t disturb the project for a few hours.

The Retro Suit- Bringing Back Elegance

May 3, 2012

In my mom’s day, if you knitted (which practically everyone did) then somewhere along the way you’d knit yourself a suit.

At the time you might have done that on very tiny needles and it likely would have taken the better part of six months to complete.
However, when finished you’d have a beautiful addition to your wardrobe and if you were careful with storing it you’d probably keep it for many, many years as she did and proudly show it off to anyone interested. I found it amazing that anyone could have the patience to do such an involved and seemingly endless project.

Since I am so enamored of vintage fashions, I decided to give a nod to the days when knitters proudly wore their suits to any and every fancy or dressed up occasion. In these times when it is becoming increasingly popular to go out in public like this, it is a joy to see a woman taking enough pride in her appearance and talent to create and accessorize a beautiful outfit like the Retro Suit.
If you’re a real vintage afficionado, there is no better place than Ebay for a selection of vintage accessories, many of them quite affordable (the 40’s hat in my Styling Guide below went for a mere $24.99).

Tee Shirt Recycle – Bleach Pen

April 7, 2012

Every new season I go out and buy at least a couple of fresh Tee shirts.
One of the reasons that I do this I’m sure will be familiar to the more buxom among us.
It seems that whenever I get a new Tee, it’s only a short matter of time before I spill something oily right on the shelf of my chest and the shirt is now stained; ruined for “good” wear. This is usually caused by salad dressing, spaghetti sauce or undrained hamburger among other culinary culprits.

As I was clearing out my Tee drawer this morning, I counted no less than three of these new-ish shirts and thought what a shame it is that I couldn’t save them.

Then I remembered a Clorox gel-pen tutorial that I’d seen somewhere on the net. The blogger had used the bleach pen on some stained kid’s clothing and just drew on some simple designs.

I thought I’d give it a whirl with the worst of my shirts. The Clorox White Gel pen set me back less than three bucks (got mine at Target) and I used almost all of it to do the design on this shirt.

I stuck a piece of cardboard inside so it wouldn’t bleed through and left the gel on for about 20 minutes once I was finished drawing. Then I rinsed it in water and vinegar to stop the bleaching process. Below we have the outcome. I am thrilled! Can’t wait to get on to the rest of my Tees!

Just a note: Tutorials that I’ve read say that leaving the gel on until it is completely dry will give a white line, 20 minutes gave it the intensity that you see in my photo.
Have fun with it!
UPDATE: I’ve had many requests to draw up the motif I designed for this. I have a PDF and some simple instructions available in my Etsy shop. For less than $1 you too can save some tees with this cute Boho motif!

“My Grandmother’s Knitting” Giveaway!

March 5, 2012

The book signing and shrug fitting event at Knitique last weekend was such a success, to further celebrate the wonderful book by Larissa Brown, “My Grandmother’s Knitting”, I’ll be giving a copy away to a lucky winner who signs up for my newsletter between now and March 15th.

The book contains family stories and patterns from seventeen designers such as Jared Flood, Meg Swansen, Ysolda Teague and myself.

Here is Knitique’s photo of my Angelina Shrug named for my mother which is included in the book.
Angelina Shrug

Sign up for our White Lies Designs newsletter here for your chance to win a copy of this beautiful hardback book!

Many thanks to Lisette Davis for such a lovely photo.

Clarissa Styling Guide

December 14, 2011

It’s been a while since we posted a new styling guide and today Clarissa is the lucky girl.

My dad was a Navy man in WW2, so I have a soft spot for sailor pants on both guys and gals. If a blue jean can be elegant then these certainly are, especially when paired with the lovely Clarissa cardigan and a gaggle of beautiful accessories.

I must point out the Italian millefiori ceramic mosaic brooch worn at the neck of Clarissa; a vintage find on EBay. It’s amazing to find lovely folk art such as this for under $20.

Fashion Conscience

April 3, 2011

I love to read fashion blogs and it’s interesting to note how the proliferation of blogs from all over the world are leading to a sort of homogenization of fashion. So with that, I can say that the following observation is not just an American thing; it is showing up everywhere.

It’s been an unusually cold winter across the entire US and Europe this year, and with that has come something we’ve not seen in some time. Fur. On the street. Worn casually.

I’m not sure if this is a generational thing or if PETA is finally losing some of it’s militant grip on the conscience of the public, but I am surprised to see this and have a somewhat divided opinion on the matter.

I can argue the fur issue either way, but what really irritates me about this is the hypocrisy around it.

Many people I personally know wear leather, eat meat, fowl and fish, feed their pets commercial foods (which contain meat products) and yet are vehemently anti-fur. I find this emotion based stance completely illogical. I think the reason that this position isn’t more deeply explored is that once the issues are looked at in the cold light of day, it would take a major shift in lifestyle to support these emotional decisions; a place most of these folks are obviously, judging by their choices in food and dress, unwilling to go.

I think the bottom line is that if we all had to hunt or raise and kill our own food, not only would vastly more people become vegetarian, those who were not wouldn’t waste even a scrap of the animals they consume. In that case NOT wearing fur would be seen as despicable. But as it is, we have hired guns known as farmers to do the dirty job so it’s easy to chastely enjoy the spoils and fling mud at the fur industry.

So, what do YOU think?
Has the politically incorrect-ness of wearing fur worn off?

Knitting is sexy; proof positive.

February 5, 2011

How is it that I see lingerie where others see turtlenecks and heavy jackets?

Maybe it has something to do with living in a part of California that rarely allows the wearing of heavy wools and outerwear. Seriously, I didn’t even own a raincoat until just this season.

Sooooo, when designing, my mind turns to more body-conscious ways to use the same old yarn and needles.

Welcome the Kimber Bustier and Panty set.

Wear this sexy set for intimate evenings, or just the bustier under a jacket for an unusual top. Either way, you’re cable ready!

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Won’t You Be Mine, Valentine?

January 31, 2011

My husband is one of the few men I know that looks forward to Valentine’s Day.  The notion of having a special day every year to celebrate being in love puts a spring in his step and a twinkle in his eye for the whole event, whether we do something special or just spend the day being together. He is truly a romantic soul and I’m lucky to have him.

His wonderful attitude inspired this little goodie. I knitted it for me, but you and I both know it’s really for him.

And now you can make it for you and yours, or a friend or daughter. The pattern is available for download right now on my Ravelry shop  and the yarn (which can be a little hard to find) is here.  Have a lovely Valentine’s Day!!!

Finally! Fashion for the common gal!

January 18, 2011

I have to say that I love fashion.

I love to receive the phone-book sized issue of Vogue every September and pore over it’s pages. I watch every episode of Project Runway and What Not To Wear. I read fashion blogs and watch videos of the current collections. I go to the mall for nothing more than to look at clothes and see what’s new in colors, shapes and fabrics.

As much as I love fashion, I  find it ironic that I seldom see anything that truly translates into my own life. I am five-foot-two, somewhat overweight ( in an hourglass-shaped, pin-up girl kind of way) and come from French/Italian peasant stock meaning that my family is a sturdy lot. There is nothing about me that resembles a runway model, and yet I look at all these fashion-y things and dream.

But darlings, this season something was different. My January issue of Vogue arrived and lo; it contained not just the usual teeny dresses, short skirts and skinny jeans. There were also several very wearable (even by the short-legged likes of me!) pant outfits as seen below:

Then in a Gap ad:

Then finally, spotted and photographed in the wild on one of my favorite fashion blogs, the Sartorialist:

Color me thrilled!  Yes, I wore pants like these in the 70’s as a very young woman and I normally don’t find the need to repeat fashions ( 80’s leggings are just one of the items that will never grace my body again), but this is something I can get my teeth into.  A gracefully flared pant or jean with a romantically tailored top or jacket (or sweater, of course) can literally go anywhere, any time.

And of course, you must have the appropriate  Kork-Ease shoes to complete the look:

Now I can die happy………. : )