The Smiling Journal

For all your creative needs!

DIY braided skirt!

Have a plain old skirt and a bunch of old clothes that you’d like to upcycle? Then this is for you!

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You will need:
– Scissors
– An old skirt (or you can make your own, preferably black or white)
– About eight old tops, in solid colors that complement each other (better if they’re slightly stretchy)
– Knowledge on how to braid/plait
– Needle and thread

Start off by cutting the eight old tops into strips about the length of the skirt. An easy(ish) way to do this is fold the top in half twice, then cut strips all the way up as far as you can go.

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Theoretically, this should take you four times less than if you’d left the top unfolded. Yay!
Once you’ve cut up all the strips, cut each strip through one layer once (because the strips will actually be loops) in order to have a straight piece of material.
Now, grab three strips of different colors and tie the ends together. Its time to braid! A tip when doing this is to either tape/tie the end to a surface, or hold the end between your feet in order to keep an even tension. When you reach the end of the material, tie another knot.

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Continue braiding strips together until there’s no fabric left to braid. Then comes the annoying part – sewing them on.
Find the side seam of the skirt (or if there’s a zip, use that) and that’s where you start. If you’re using the zip, start about 1cm away from it. Thread your needle (with the thread doubled over) and tie a knot at the end.
Now, push the needle through the waistband of the skirt and one of the braids from the inside out. The knot should hang over the edge, like so:

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Now, pull the thread through until you feel the tug of the knot. Poke the needle back through, close to where the thread is coming out, then repeat. You should now have two lines of thread:

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Now, repeat these steps for all of the braids! Once you’re done that, you can trim the ends of the braids to your preference, and cut off the knots around the waistline of the skirt.

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One last optional step:
If you have a zip and you don’t want a gap, simply tie one of the braids to the zip and trim the ends!
Ta da, you’re done!

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I’m A Black Belt (In Fashion)!

Some people’s outfits can look a bit blah, or two pieces go well together but don’t flow, or they look shapeless. The answer to these problems is simple: a thick black belt.

Belts are so versatile – they match most outfits, especially if they’re black or white.

To prove to you guys how essential a thick black belt can be, I pulled together three outfits in less than five minutes, all improved with the use of a thick belt (the same belt, too)!

Problem 1 – outfit looks blah:

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By simply adding a thick belt to a t-shirt-and-skirt combination, the outfit starts to look alot more interesting!

Problem 2 – two pieces don’t ‘flow’:

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Here, the thick belt acts as a type of ‘bridge’ that ‘sews’ the two pieces together!

Problem 3 – shapeless:

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Thick belts are useful for casual summery dresses – it accentuates your shape by holding the dress in at the waist (or higher).

Now do you see? Thick belts (especially black ones) are must-haves for your wardrobe… (I mean, they go with everything!)
You can thank me later ;P

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