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WITW is DIYStyle?

WITW :: Where In The World is DIYStyle?! Follow our weekly update to let all of our followers in on where we are in the world! Yes, Allyce and I have started doing a bit of traveling, getting up close and personal with our Creative Chics. So, whether we are back in our studio (slaving away on a new design or project), visiting a retailer that hosts our programs, or showing at a trade or consumer event….when you see this weekly header you can get the scoop on what’s NEW and where we get to see YOU!

In Studio-Thru October 15th

Upcoming Programs:

Haute Knits
Seminar and Hands-On Serger Program
October 17-18, 2014
Sew Vac, Ltd.
Long Beach, CA
sewvacltd.com for registration details

The Way We Sew TODAY!!
Hands-On Sewing, Embroidery, and Serger Weekend Retreat
IN WINE COUNTRY!!
October 24-26, 2014
Presented by The Sewing and Vacuum Place
Santa Rosa, CA
Event Location-Hyatt Vineyard Creek, Santa Rosa
mysewvacplace.com for registration details

Can’t wait to meet you in person at one of our appearances. And if you have a special request for us to travel to where YOU are, please drop us a note and tell us more. Allyce and I can get in touch with a retailer or sewing dealer near you to see if they too want to host one of our events. We LOVE making new friends and serging all along the way too! Serge On!!

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Game Day Spirit Fingers = Fun DIY! DIY! DIY!

Prepping for a TV spot is nothing new for us here at DIYStyle, but this had to be one of the more FUN segments we have done. Watch us show how to make the ever popular Spirit Fingers, from our new book–Game Day: 50 Fun Spirit Fleece Projects To Sew! It is always a good time on set of the Great Day St. Louis show, thanks to the host Virginia Kerr, and her buddies Kent and Matt. Allyce and I gave everyone a quick update on our travels, and soon got our DIY on. With the help of a clever Pom-Pom maker from Clover, whipping out the 10 poms needed for spirit fingers can get done super quick……and way before the big game!

http://www.kmov.com/great-day-st-louis/DIY-Game-276188131.html
(Sorry for the UGLY link but my blog editor is being finicky)

SOOO when you are ready to nab a copy of THE BOOK for yourself, go to our “Visit Us on Etsy” link to get your very own signed copy (and check out some of the Clover gadgets and other notions used in Game Day). Here is the UGLY link to get you straight there. https://www.etsy.com/listing/201723127/game-day-50-fun-spirit-fleece-projects

And for all you iPad and tablet owners, Game Day is also available as an Ebook too! Go Get Your Game On!!

 

 

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IT’S HERE!! Game Day: 50 Fun Spirit Fleece Projects to Sew!

Game Day Cover

 

GO Team! Hooray! Our new book, Game Day: 50 Fun Spirit Fleece Projects To Sew from St. Martin’s Press releases TODAY!! After months of wading through mounds of fleece, and whipping up this “go team” spirit gear, it’s finally time to introduce you to our new “baby”. Fleece is a super fabric, available in a ton of colors, prints and types. AND best part is you can find it in TONS of team or school colors and licensed team prints to please all sports fans in the family–no matter what their age (or who they cheer for!). We included more than fifty stress-free sewing projects, designed for tailgating, game time, men and women, kids and babies, man’s best friend, and a few No-Sew projects too. Here’s a sneak peek at a few of our favorites.

 

Doggie Hoodie

 

Lazy Day Capris

Lazy Day Capris

 

Tailgate Party

Tailgate Party

 

Taggles Lovey

Taggles Lovey

Check the playbook included for info on fleece fabric types, notions and tools, and our tips and techniques for working with this wonder fabric. And what Game Day tailgate would be complete without a game of Cornhole? We even show you how to make your own game boards, bean (corn) bags and post the rules to keep everyone honest!

Order Game Day HERE! And while you are visiting check out my Q&A at the SMP Craft site, as their author of the month (thank you St. Martin’s-this is a pretty cool honor!). Doing a spirit-filled happy dance here in the DIYStyle studio. May every day be a Game Day. And my own personal shout-out–Go Cards!!

 

 

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Allyce in Pageantland-To Market We Will Go!


So many people have asked what I have been up to since designing for DIYStyle and McCall Pattern Company. There is a long answer and a short answer.

Short answer–I started Allyce King Swim, a swimwear line designed especially for pageant competitors (think Miss USA, Miss America, etc.) and have been busy promoting, selling, producing in the USA (yay!!) and everything that goes with starting a new fashion line.

Long answer–in starting my line right after graduating from Stephens College with a degree in Fashion Design and Product Development, I have traveled a long, hard, fun and interesting road to get where I am right now as a fashion designer. And I have met some of the most talented and successful people along the way. With that said, I am going to tell my story………..the road to Allyce King Swim or Allyce in Pageantland as this post and others will be titled!

Atlanta Apparel Mart view from inside Glass Elevator

I am going to jump in at the middle of the story, but with Atlanta Market just wrapping up I could not resist to let you in on one of my MAJOR leaps of faith and one every designer dreams of–taking their line to market. Atlanta Apparel Mart is the location for a huge Prom and Pageant market that takes place each year in August, and I was so excited to present the Allyce King Swim line to prospective boutique owners in attendance that carry pageant competition gowns, swimsuits, cocktail dresses and more. I design swimsuits that make a pageant competitor look their very best–with strategic cuts, interesting fabrics and just the right touch of glitz. Actually my debut line is called “Sparkle”.

Me with my Allyce King Swim Girls-Sydnee and Lacie!

 

There is a ton of prep work that goes into being ready for market with a line, and mine was no exception. Fortunately I have had several girls wear my Allyce King Swim suits on stage and girls were already winning in my suits! On both the local, state and national levels, showing them off all really nicely. Pretty much like a movie star wearing a red carpet gown at the Oscars. It promotes the gown designer….same here….winning pageant competitors showcase my brand and make Allyce King Swim look fantastic. So the rest was a lot of organization, line sheets, order forms, sales, pre-sales, promotion, emails and more emails, and getting a showroom set up for the very first time.

Allyce King Swim is on the Floor!

 

Outside the Allyce King Swim Showroom with Lacie!

We arrived at the Atlanta Apparel Mart and were in complete awe. Actually I cried as I was handed the keys to my showroom and opened it for the very first time (yes, I was overwhelmed-joy? terror? how did I get here?!). Fast forward to three days later, with several new stores interested in carrying the line, as well as a few of my current stores there too, market was over as quickly as it had started! It was a complete whirlwind, including my first ever market runway fashion show. All in all it made for a really exciting and rewarding experience. The perfect mix of brand exposure and selling opportunity. Yes, Atlanta Prom and Pageant Market was a success for Allyce King Swim. Whew!! :)

Sydnee and Lacie my Allyce King Swim Girls, The view from the Top, and Sydnee in the AKS Official Model Robe!

 

Backstage at the Atlanta Apparel Mart Fashion Show

 

Allyce at Apparel Mart Fashion Show

My words to young designers: Do not go to market to sell your line until you are really ready. Buyers are in a super time crunch at market and you have to be able to command their attention and then follow through. SO much needs to be in place. Thank goodness for all my training at Stephens as well as everything I have learned along the way (I will be sharing some of that in additional Allyce in Pageantland posts).

Yes, I have been VERY busy as a designer, but here’s the BEST part! I am coming full circle back to DIYStyle! With all of our experience in sewing knit fabrics, active and swimwear, as well as designing, now it’s time for me to share some of this on DIYStyle with the help of Cindy Cummins (my Mom and my biggest supporter-usually behind the scenes at DIYStyle, you will get to see more of her!). What a fun way for us to work together to show YOU how to create and design with REAL pro’s (we have some Industry Icon surprise guests)-with REAL info and REAL instruction. We can’t wait to dig in and reboot DIYStyle. So follow my posts and watch as we expand DIYStyle. Stay tuned to hear the rest of the story. It’s going to be a blast filling you all in!

Allyce in Pageantland  xoxo

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Define DIY

For us at DIYStyle, DIY stands for “Design It Yourself”. Originally we meant that in the literal sense of designing & creating as it applied to sewing–YOUR Style. Design It Yourself Style. As we have grown (older!), these Creative Chicks are an ever evolving flock–with TONS of talents–and a bunch of pro expertise to share, not necessarily limited to the sewing, crafting and project area!

So (or Sew), to keep us moving in a fresh new direction, we’ll be whipping DIYStyle.net into a different form. Can’t wait to introduce you to our new team, all of them Creative Chicks LONG before they came to be part of DIYStyle. We think you will enjoy getting some of their (and ours) pro perspectives on fun fashion, fast good-for-you-food, entertaining, parenting, personal style, real beauty, balance (if there is such a thing!), and anything else we decide to tackle. YES, creating and sewing fashion will ALWAYS be our foundation at DIYStyle. I guess what I am trying to say is we are not only DIYStyle to sewing, we are SO much more. We lead crazy diverse lives too! That includes creating not “just” for 20-somethings, but all of you who are young at heart not matter what the age. I am convinced, sharing knowledge, advice and the “little secrets” between the generations is the real key. Mom, daughter, friend, DIYStyle Creative Chickie.

In keeping, Allyce and I will be bringing you some fun (and sometimes funny–hey you gotta laugh!) Mom and daughter stuff. Yeah, she learned to sew from me, studied fashion at Stephens, and now is a “real life” (hard working) fashion designer! I have enjoyed a career in the sewing and design area all of my life and now have added teaching at a University in the Fashion Design Department to the mix! Together we have been writing, designing, and sewing original projects for more years collectively than I care to admit to! More recently I have had a real live education into the RTW fashion world, helping her roll out Allyce King Swim.

Now in this next chapter of DIYStyle, we get to share the fun and our adventures with all you–our Chickies. Can’t wait for the DIYStyle party to begin. Will you join us?!

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How a Sewing Machine Works!!

Click on our Blog Page for the Video Link!!

I found this on the Science Channel’s website and just LOVE how it shows how a sewing machine functions. Just good info to know–helps a lot when you need to troubleshoot any mishaps on your machine. And found it pretty cool they used a sewing machine from the nice folks at Brother USA too.

Happy Sewing

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FREE Book Look :: The Book of Doing

The Book of Doing

What a fun book to kick off our “Book Look” reviews and FREE giveaways here on DIYStyle! At first glance I thought “The Book of Doing” was a book for kids (see what I know!), but written by Advertising Age publisher Allison Arden–hence it is mostly for us grown ups. Subtitled–Everyday activities to unlock your creativity and joy….this is a book that gives all of us the permission to get messy, experience something new, and ultimately get your creative juices flowing. :)

Allison is one who experienced the lack of “doing” firsthand as she works in a fast paced, tech field, publishing the 80 year old powerhouse of a magazine that professionals in the Ad and Marketing areas look to. So these days, with 2 children in tow, she learned how getting crafty and giving yourself permission to try new things REALLY enriched her life (most of us sewers and crafters already know how this works right??—-actually wrong!!).

Filled with ideas of things to try out, this book is a kind of kick-start workbook rather than a high level read-and-digest manual. Starting off the adventure into creativity are the 18 “Laws of Doing”. Kind of a mantra for the whole book’s direction, these simple but profound words to live your creative life by are certainly worth repeating to yourself on a regualr basis. I think we all sometimes forget how the little things turn into BIG things, no matter what the direction and journey.

This workbook for creativity includes exercises like Imitate a Cocktail or Mocktail, and Spend an Hour Looking at the Stars and Learning the Constellations. As connected as we are to the tech world thru our tv, computers, phones, facebook, and tons of social media; Allison proposes for us to stash the “red bouncing ball” that is always vying for our attention and just DO. A simple message, a really cute book, and a creative movement we should all be involved in!

The Book of Doing, by Allison Arden, available from Penguin books gets a thumbs up “Like” from us. Check it out and let us know what you think. And “Like” our page at DIYStyle on Facebook and leave us your comments there for a chance to win YOUR copy of The Book of Doing! One facebook post-ee will receive a copy directly from the nice folks at Penguin.

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Costume Bash

Fun and Flirty Halloween

It’s that time of year when you get to dress up as anything you want and PARTY!!! What better way to impress all of your friends on the most fun night of the year than with a cute little number from our new Fun and Flirty Halloween Costume Collection?! With our friends at VELCRO and our team of Creative Chicks, we whipped up some really stylish (and just plain cute) costumes for your next Halloween bash.

Start with the Base Costume pattern, and print out the size for your top (we have all of them as PDF’s to make it super easy).

Top XS

Top S

Top M

Top L

Top XL

Then chose your look ::

Anchors Aweigh

Ahoy Matey

Bootiful Bride

Lady Luck

Ms. America

Midnight Swan

and start creating your own Fun and Flirty costume.Thanks a bunch to the good folks at VELCRO for providing us with some of their fantastic hook and loop fastener products–

FABRIC FUSION
Soft and Flexible Sew-On

Sticky Back
Home Decor 

So get stitching….Halloween is right around the corner!! 

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Endless Scarves

Endless Scarf-Printed Silk

 

It’s Fall and time for some new wardrobe spruce ups. One easy add is an endless scarf. Some call them ring scarfs, loop scarves, or infinity scarves……either way it’s just an endless ring of fabric, finished (or not) so that it’s a loop. SOOO very easy to make I’m not sure why anyone would buy these ready made. Here’s my version for just about any fabric, silk, rayon knit, textured, you name it. Follow the steps below, and soon you will have a wardrobe of scarves only limited by the thousands of fabric choices in your favorite fabric haunt. And don’t forget about vintage scarves. these can be remade in a ring the same way.

Step 1: Purchase enough fabric to get about an 18″ x 60″ piece (50″ – 72″ is good). Trim all the edges neatly so you have a nice rectangle.

Step 2: Fold the fabric piece right sides together, matching long edges. Stitch a narrow seam starting 3″ in at the beginning, and stopping 3″ from the end. You can use a serger (if you have one) like I did to make it even faster!

Endless Scarf Step 2

Step 3: Turn the tube right side out. Match the short ends, right sides together and stitch a narrow seam, securing the ends of the scarf together in a ring.

Endless Scarf Step 3

Step 4: Tuck in raw edges and hand or machine stitch the opening closed.

Endless Scarf Step 4

That’s all there is to it! Super simple, and made in less than 10 minutes of sewing time (it actually took me longer to trim the fabric straight than to sew!). And don’t press these flat after you are done, just steam to remove wrinkles so you have a nice billowy or drapey shape.

Endless Scarf-Rayon Knit

This is a look that’s just as chic paired with jeans and a tee, as it is with a fitted sheath dress. These scarves make it “sew” easy to add a shot of color to your fall fashions. And check out our Tube Scarf project too. It’s made basically the same way, just a wider version to be worn as a shrug or fuller scarf.  

Just wish shopping for a new pair of jeans was this easy. :)

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Michael Drummond::Project Runway Season 8!!

Michael Drummond

Can you believe how excited were were at DIYStyle to find out that one of favorite St. Louis area fashion designers is a contestant on THIS new season of Project Runway! Lucky for us that we snagged an interview with him for DIYStyle long before PR got hold of him :)

Watch the video on our vodcast page (it’s Episode 52), and cheer Michael on when the new season of Project Runway starts on July 29th on Lifetime. Check out Michael’s page for PR to see his casting video and more. You know the Creative Chicks at DIYStyle and loads of other fashion lovers in STL and beyond will be rooting for him. You go Michael……..we LOVE you!

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DIY Lingerie

Lingerie Pattern

A girl can never have too much lingerie. And it’s even more fun to add to your stash when the goods are created by yours truly. So, our original DIYStyle Lingerie pattern (panty party anyone?) now has a sister…………tah dah……..check it out! Our first panty pack along with the Cami and chemise was styled a bit girlie. Sporty was more the theme here with a cute little halter and comfy beater tank, string bikinis and boy short. And, these pieces stitch up in a snap, just right for beginning sewers. DIYStyle for McCall’s 6128. Hope you have fun with this one…………….

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DIYStyle Guest :: Jan Saunders Maresh

Sewing for Dummies cover

 

When I was asked to write Sewing for Dummies, I was thrilled and…I’ll admit it…flattered. As part of the Dummies author group I rub elbows with experts on everything. Computer geeks of the tallest order like Andy Rathbone, Windows for Dummies (15 million books in print), to famous coaches — Notre Dame University’s Richard “Digger” Phelps, Basketball for Dummies. But as I revel in that warm momentary glow, reality slaps me in the face as potential readers – sewers with years of experience tell me they are put-off by the title. After all, they don’t consider themselves “dummies” and figure that a book like this is for beginners – which it is – and it isn’t.

So let me clear this up. The Dummies formula is familiar to readers – a great resource presented with a sense of humor that breaks down a topic into bite-sized pieces.  And here’s the good news for readers who sew.  Whether beginner or experienced – each chapter and each topic within each chapter is written as a standalone.  So you don’t need to read anything before or after that chapter or topic to understand it. 

How do you use this in your everyday sewing projects? As you work through your next project and your next step is to sew a dart, edgestitch that pocket, or insert a zipper, flip to the topic in the book and see how I suggest you do it. My hope is that you’ll read my words, hear my voice and find a better, easier way to get the job done. Keep the book next to you as you sew, make notes in the margin – use it to your heart’s content.  When you do, I hope that you, treasured reader, will understand that “Dummy” is a term of endearment.

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DIYStyle Boutique Launch!

DIYStyle Boutique

Well it was inevitable. DIYStyle is located in the metro St. Louis area. Our DIYStyle vodcasts have included designer interviews from around the nation as well as several designers from our own backyard. SO, when we heard that local independent fashion, jewelry and accessory designers needed a place to showcase and sell their collections, AND we had the opportunity to expand into the space next to the DIYStyle Workshop we knew we had to take the leap! This Friday evening marks another phase for DIYStyle…..the opening of the new DIYStyle Boutique!

Launch Party Flyer

Excitement is in the air! We’ve been busy sprucing up the space, working with Habitat for Humanity of St. Charles ReStore (thank you Andrea!), and pulling ideas together to make a small space work for a showroom/boutique. If you are in the St. Louis area join us for our Launch party. You will get the chance to meet a few of the designers, shop their collections, and support local independent fashion.

We’ll also be carrying a few designer supplies, a section we hope to keep expanding as we grow the Boutique. And this fall we’ll add the Boutique shopping to the DIYStyle website. Let us know what designer supplies you are looking for and we’ll be sure to source and get them in. I know our BIG roll of pattern paper was a long awaited item that designers just cannot do without.

Back to work………we have a Boutique to open!

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Susan G. Komen St. Louis :: Survivor Event

Balcony at MAC

 

A sea of pink! That was the view, as we stood up on the balcony overlooking the ballroom at the Missouri Athletic Club. DIYStyle was honored to produce a fashion show for the St. Louis Susan G. Komen affiliate, at their annual Survivor luncheon. As the designs to be modeled filtered into the dressing rooms, and the over 600 women arrived downstairs came into the Art Deco Room, it was evident….Pink was the power color and theme for the day.

DIYStyle created the “Dreams to Design” fashion show to showcase Rejectamenta fashions that were inspired by breast cancer survivors and their stories, with student and alumni designers from Stephens College. These designs, collectively called  ”Breaking the Pattern” are made from recycled materials and are very PINK. In addition, DIYStyle created a special collection of T-Shirt Surgery designs from Race for the Cure Tees. Together, these unique collections had quite an impact on our “pink ladies” at their dessert reception Sunday!

Heidi Glaus News Channel 5

We were definitely excited to have Heidi Glaus, from News Channel 5 as the emcee. Heidi had visited the DIYStyle studio and Workshop a few months ago, so our introduction was quite entertaining as she relayed the story of making panties and then trying them on (on live TV!). And so we started…..to the song “Halo”…………..and this model walked out on the runway:

Poker Cards Dress

And then these:

Mop Dress  Hanger Dress

Shells Dress  Bullets Dress

Starburst Wrappers Dress  Breaking the Pattern Model Parade

Matt our DIYStyle video producer did a wonderful segment with survivor interviews we did at the local Komen office, coupled with pics from last years STL Race for the Cure (did you know St. Louis now has the largest race in the country with over 65K participants!?). Yes Matt, you did bring tears to everyones eyes (he told me he would do that). This was actually our time for models to do a quick change for the next set.

And then the DIYStyle Race for the Cure, T-Shirt Surgery Collection walked (rocked) the runway….to the songs “I Will Survive” and “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”:

T-Shirt Surgery 1  T-Shirt Surgery 2

T-Shirt Surgery 3  T-Shirt Surgery 4

T-Shirt Surgery 5  DIYStyle T-Shirt Surgery Model Parade

Talk about audience participation! Clapping, laughing, and rocking out to the music….everyone was having a fantastic time. And our models definitely nailed this show for all (thanks girls–you’re awesome!). And a special thanks to our A/V guy who mixed all the music, timed everything precisely (slides, video, lights)…our own Jon Cummins (yes nepotism here–he did a GREAT job).

Group shot 1

Group Shot 2

Group Shot 3

And kudos to our talented designers!

Designers for the show

Such a wonderful cause….we were SO pumped to do this show. The women inspired all of us, and I think we inspired them as well. “Dreams to Design” is hoping to be on tour in a city near you. Let us know if you have a Susan G. Komen related event where the collection can be included! And, watch for the video of of the show to be posted very soon.

Think Pink….and support your local Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure! We’re walking……how about you?

   

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DIYStyle at Swap-O-Rama in St. Louis 4-10-10!!

Swap O Rama STL

 

The Swap-O-Rama has landed in St. Louis this weekend, and DIYStyle will be there! Join in the wardrobe refashion fun, and dig in to find the gems you can restyle into this season’s pick pieces. Best yet, it’s all FREE!!! The whole deal will be held at the Missouri History Museum in Forest Park, this Saturday, April 10th, from Noon until 4pm. Come early for the best selection, and bring a bag of your own closet misfits to add to the pile. We’ll be helping at the sewing stations and giving away some cool prizes. Stop by our table and say hello and learn more about our upcoming workshops, and the new DIYStyle Boutique. We’re really excited to be a part of this. AND Allyce just did a segement for Great Day St. Louis (KMOV 4 in STL) on wardrobe refashion  that airs today too. Fun, fun, fun………..sew on! 

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Project Runway:: And The Winner Is…

Main

There are nine designers left! Everyone that voted for who they thought would still be in the running is correct so far. That means everyone who posted their fav PR designer in the early post will receive a gift from DIYStyle! Keep an eye out for an email from us announcing what you won.

Seth Aaron

Last week’s episode was titled “Hard Wear,” and a couple of the designs looked like they were pretty “hard to wear”. The designers were instructed to create an uncoventional look using hardware materials instead of their usual fabric. 

Maya Designing

This week’s challenge winner was Jay. His design was quite amazing–who thought that someone could make such a fashionable outfit out of a black trash bag! Even Heidi said that they have never seen anything like it. Also, in this challenge the designers had to create an accessory to go with their look. The braided belt that Jay created looks like genuine leather!

 

I really liked Maya’s accessory. She made a very bold necklace out of keys that I think was simply amazing. The judges even said it was the strongest accessory.

 

 My personal favorite is still Seth Aaron. We will just have to watch and see what happens…

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