Petite Fashion Challenge #17: Candy Colorized

 I’m back, finally! And I decided that my returning post was going to be a PFC, my first in a long time. I finished my exams last week, but TBH, I haven’t fully recovered and I’m still trying to find a groove into life without studying. Thank you for your patience. I haven’t done much shopping over the past month with the exception of some activewear, and I’ve been feeling a bit uninspired, so I decided to take this challenge to try and get me going.

The challenge is hosted by Sew Petite Gal:

The Challenge: Candy Colorized : Take a bowl full of colorful candies (M&Ms, Jolly Ranchers, jelly beans, etc.), close your eyes, and draw 2-3 pieces.  Now use those colors (+ a neutral of your choosing) to form the basis for your ensemble. **Extra brownie points if you post more than 1 colorful ensemble or if you add a DIY element (because I love DIYs so much!) :D**   

When I’m in a style rut, sometimes I try to put together outfits that make me feel uncomfortable to try and push me out of that proverbial “box”, so for this PFC, that is what I tried to do. You’ll see in a moment what I mean.

Here is my bowl of candy. I decided to use some M&Ms. I was going to use some Smarties because they have more colors, but I forgot to buy some when I was Toronto, and they don’t sell them in the U.S:


    There are the two colors I ended up choosing:


And the outfit (I apologize if the photos look strange, both my iPhoto and my Pixelmator are giving me issues right now, so much for upgrading):

DSC03650 DSC03651H&M Collarless Blazer (similar here) / Theory Larryn Skirt (similar here and here) / GAP Stripe Tank  (similar here and here) /  Pour La Victiore Mai Wedge /  Viktor Sabo Leather Obi Belt (Black, O/S) (similar here) /  Forever21 Flat Link Chain Necklace / Material Girl and Forever21 Bracelets (similar here) / Forever21 Ring /  Botkier Charlotte Clutch

If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you can guess what it is about this outfit that makes me uncomfortable. LOL. And yes, I cheated and put the color on my feet just so I could use the skirt and these shoes that I’m currently obsessed with.

The blazer is the one non-gym-wear clothing items that I purchased this month. It comes with a ruched sleeve, but ruched sleeves on blazers bug me, so I took it upon myself to do some DIY-ing and cut out the elastic and pressed out the wrinkles. Does this get me some brownie points?!?:


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The end result is bracelet-length sleeves, which is fine for a spring/summer blazer. I may decide to let them out a bit more using the technique I used here.

Check out what the other petites came up at Sew Petite Gal’s blog!

DIY: How to Let Out a Hem or Cuff

 OK, so I know most petites don’t usually have this problem, so it makes me a bit of a freak of nature when I say that I’m only 5’1 and I find petite pants too short, but I still need the proportions of petite clothing in the hips and rise.  Even if you do not have a similar issue to my own, there might be a situation where you feel like you want to let out a hem on a pair of trousers that you may have accidentally hemmed too short or even just letting out a cuff since they aren’t so flattering on shorter legs. So I thought I would show you how I let out the cuff of my J.Crew Cafe Capri in Pop Art Polka Dot, seen in the last post.

Let me start off by saying, it is a bit of work although not particularly difficult. And this is by no means the “professional” way of doing it, only the way that I’ve interpreted how it might be done by examining at the end result of having a professional tailor let out a hem for me in the past.

I’m going to try to make the steps as simple as possible, but if anything needs more clarification, please let me know and I’ll make some changes to the steps to make it easier to understand!

What you’ll need:

Seam Ripper (or small scissors to let out the old seam)
Seam binding/old material/grosgrain ribbon about 1″ to 1.5″ wide
Thread that matches your pants as closely as possible
Sewing machine
Iron for pressing

The steps:

(1) Let out the existing hem. Here, I had a cuff and used my seam ripper. If you don’t have a seam ripper (I highly recommend that you get one), you can use a pair of small scissors. Be careful to cut the right threads or you may have the entire pant leg coming apart!


(2) Press well (with an iron), so that the lines of the old hem no longer show. The last thing you want to see is the residuals of an old hem job.

(3) Find a piece of old material or seam binding about 1″ to 1.5″ wide that you can sew to the end of the pants.  This will not be seen, so you can use whatever you like. I decided to use this polka dot grosgrain ribbon that I had purchased from Etsy a while back:


(4) Cut two pieces that are a little longer than the total width of the leg opening of the pants (approximately 2cm longer). You are going to sew the ends of the binding together, so after they are sewn, the width of the loop should match the width of the pants exactly.

(5) Take one piece of ribbon/binding and sew the ends together. If there is a “right” side and “wrong” side as above (the “right” side has polka dots, the “wrong” side does not), sew the right sides together so that the seam looks like this:


(6) Do the same with the second piece of ribbon/binding. You should have two loops, one for each pant leg.

(7) Pin the ribbon/binding to the pants so that the right side of the pants AND the ribbon/binding are facing you. They should overlap slightly. Mine overlaps about 1cm. This can be a little tricky. Use as many pins as you need and pin all around the leg opening and line them up as best you can. For the best looking result, try to align the seam of the ribbon/binding with one of the seams on the pant leg.


(8) Sew the ribbon/binding to the pants. If you have a small leg opening, the leg probably won’t fit around the arm of the machine which makes this very tricky. I did it in very small sections. Make sure you don’t accidentally sew the other side of the pant opening or you are going to sew the entire pant leg closed!

(9) Repeat steps (7) and (8) with the other pant leg.

This is the end product after the ribbon was sewn on to the pant leg. If you look closely, you can see I had sewn the ribbon as close to the edge as possible:


(10) Fold the ribbon/binding inside the pant leg so you can no longer see it and adjust to desired length. I wanted as much length as possible, so the edge of the binding is right at the edge of the fold:


(11) Repeat with other leg.

(12) Hem the pants using desired method. I used an invisible hem.

(13) Press well.

Ta da! Here is the final result:


The same technique can be used for skirts, so I intend to use this same method for my J.Crew Double-Serge Cotton No.2 Skirt that I find too short for my liking. I hope this tutorial is helpful to someone! 😀

DIY: Skirt #2

My personal sewing goal is to be able to make one kick-ass pencil skirt. For the next little while you may see a few of these “Did It Myself” skirt posts.  Don’t worry, this won’t turn into a sewing blog. 😛

I know in my first DIM skirt unveiling, I said I would try something easier, but I went ahead and tried another pencil skirt, but this time with a side slit.

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What do you think? The material is 100% cotton, so it doesn’t drape as well as I’d like (it crinkles at my every twist and turn). It took me a few weekends, but only because I didn’t have an invisible zipper to match the fabric. In the end, I think it was a blessing in disguise. I was dying to work on it so I spent a lot of time perfecting the details and the fit waiting for the zipper to come. It turned out pretty well. Check out the cute little grosgrain ribbon in the inside:

The fitting process was…I don’t want to say difficult, but it was very time consuming and took a long time to get just right. What may have helped me was my previous knowledge on fit since for so many years I’ve studied, analyzed and picked apart clothes trying to figure what needed to happen to get them fit my petite body perfectly.

For this skirt, I followed a pattern, and as much as I tried to alter the pattern itself before actually cutting, the fact that I’m petite and the pattern was not, turned the process into a whole new ballgame. With my initial changes, theoretically the skirt should have fit. In reality, it did not.  Regular-sized sewing patterns (like many ready-to-wear clothes) are definitely made for women with hips, thighs and a butt, all of which I do not have. It was a lot of sewing, adjusting, sewing, adjusting, sewing, and adjusting. The fit turned out a lot better than I expected, however. The biggest mistake I made was shortening it too much when cutting the fabric, not sure how that happened. So instead of a 2″ hem, it was more of a .75″ hem with an added a polka dot grosgrain ribbon for binding to make it pretty. Overall, I’m pretty happy with it. For the next skirt, I will attempt to add a lining. Stay tuned.