DIY Pajama Shorts

I love wearing cute pajamas even if no one will see me in them… It’s kind of like wearing cute underwear right? I also love having super unique pjs that no one else will have and having fun with cute prints. DIY pajama shorts is my way of combining these two loves – it’s a cute, simple, and affordable DIY. Once you have the pattern perfected, you can make a whole bunch of adorable elastic shorts in no time at all! Continue reading

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Too-short Dress to Skirt

Between the age of 15 and 16, I grew about 6 inches and so I just have a bunch of dresses at home that are just too short. They are super cute and I love their fabric and patterns, but when I try them on they cover about half my butt and no more. So what better to do than to transform these dresses into skirts? I still get the cute patterns, and by lowering the waistline, they are now an appropriate and comfortable length!

This specific dress was a hand me down from my sister and has a beautiful grey lace fabric with lavender lining. Originally, I was planning on turning it into a two piece cropped dress (a la Taylor Swift), but it didn’t look right after I separated the pieces.  Continue reading

DIY Polaroid Travel Board… without a Polaroid!

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Yes, Polaroids are incredibly expensive, and yes, the film seems even more expensive after you’ve purchased the camera. So thankfully, this tutorial does not require you to own a Polaroid camera or film! You can easily make your own faux-Polaroids to create a cute travel board 🙂

I spent much of 2015 traveling, and along the way I ended up with many pictures of a special travel companion – an origami squirrel given to me before I left. I’ve always felt somewhat narcissistic taking pictures of myself in front of famous monuments, so I decided that I would remember the wonderful places I’d been by taking pictures of my little purple squirrel instead. With some simple photo editing, I was able to transform my iPhone pictures into cute polaroids without the cost and stress of trying to take the “perfect” shot. They whole project took half a day, and was a fun way of reminiscing on my 2015 travels!

materials for corkboard

Ready to create your faux-Polaroid board? 😀

The first thing you’ll need to do is edit your photos. I printed my photos as 4”x 6” photos from CVS for 14 cents each, but needed them to be 1.5”x2”. I used Gimp to edit, which you can download for free here.photo editing step

  1. Create a white canvas that is 4”x6” with 300px/in
  2. Scale your photograph so that it is 1.5”x2” with 300px/in
  3. Copy your photograph onto the white canvas and export

Once you have your pictures printed, you can move on to compiling the corkboard!

corkboard directions

  1. Add a white border. I added a 1/4 inch on the top, right, and left, and 3/4 inch on the bottom so I could write a description. I measured out the distance, and then marked with a pencil.
  2. Cut out the Polaroids. Cut along the border, making sure to keep your cuts as smooth and even as possible.
  3. Write the description with a Sharpie. I put the date and place of the picture.
  4. Arrange and pin the photos on your corkboard, and you’re done!

This photo board is both a commemoration of traveling in the 2015, a promise for my squirrel to see more of the world in 2016, and a gift to the person who made me the squirrel before I set off on my adventures. I hope it also encourages you to take pictures of moments in your life that bring you joy, and compile them into a cute collection without having to shell out for an actual Polaroid.

My little squirrel has been to Italy, the Netherlands, Paris, China, and Mexico, and is now tucked away safely back home in the United States…. I wonder where else he’ll be traveling this year? 🙂

Updates + softwearhacks hits social media!

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Softwearhacks has been busy bouncing around and traveling for the past few months (Florence -> DC -> San Francisco -> Shanghai -> Atlanta) and it has been pretty difficult getting tutorials in between traveling and a full-time internship.

With that being said, I want to let you guys know that I have some tutorials filmed and am excited to share them in throughout the next month. Think Halloween costumes, hair accessories, and more!

And finally, if you’re craving more interaction than my rather sad current posting schedule, you can find softwearhacks on social media now!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/softwearhacks/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/softwearhacks

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/softwearhacks/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTuUCrZWRDcav8Qwfwdb17Q

Tumblr: http://softwearhacks.tumblr.com/

So check out softwearhacks’ social media scene and please enjoy the completely unrelated picture of Shanghai soup dumplings!

DIY Onigiri Coin Purse

Onigiri are rice balls wrapped in seaweed, and I think they are both tasty and cute 🙂 Their round shape inspired me to create this coin purse tutorial. Instead of filling your onigiri with dried plums or shrimp, you can instead stuff it full of coins and the miscellaneous debris that gathers at the bottom of your purse. Continue reading

DIY-spiration: Pastries, Sweets, and Desserts!

Traveling throughout Italy and Europe has introduced me to remarkable art, breathtaking views, and…. delicious sweets and desserts! For me, a big part of experiencing new cultures is trying different types of food, and I have a special fondness for all things sugary and sweet. Mmmm….Desserts have always been an inspiration for me, maybe because I love them so much!  My cat macaron plush and mooncake charm are some of my favorite tutorials 🙂

For me, desserts aren’t just guilty pleasures; their delicate forms and compositions are truly works of art. From cute, fluffy creampuffs to elaborately layered tarts, the pastries in Europe are both delectable and a beauty to behold. I wanted to share with you guys my own mini “recipe book” of dessert DIYs, but of course the ingredients will be fabric and cotton stuffing!

brioche instructions

Brioche with a cappuccino is one of my breakfast favorites! I had this particularly amazing Nutella and white chocolate cream combination at a bar in Rome. Soft, buttery pastry combined with rich sweetness of the creams…. Well, I think it would make an adorable and tasty looking plushie 🙂

strawberry and pistacchio tart intsructions

One of my favorite parts of Paris was the amazing and decadent selection of pastries, and I only regret I could not eat more! This strawberry tart had a crisp base layered with pistachio (also apologies for the misspelling in the picture!), a light custard cream, and juicy, fresh strawberries. The beautiful colors and diverse textures would make it a beautiful DIY project.

upside down apple cake instructions

I made this upside-down apple cake in my Italian cooking class. The base was layered with lemon zest and the apples were stewed in homemade caramel. To mimic the layers of the cake and also to minimize sewing, I would suggest building up the fabric by layering and glueing!

Of course, all of these DIY projects are pretty hypothetical, since I don’t have access to sewing supplies. However, I just wanted to share the cuteness and happiness these pastries brought me, and I will definitely post the actual creations when I make them! Let me know which one looks the tastiest to you 🙂

 

DIY-spiration: Art

Every once and a while, I see something so beautifully made that it absolutely takes my breath away… And then I came to Europe, and at this point I can pretty much no longer breathe. These past few weeks have been like a walk through my art history textbook. Before studying abroad, I had an idea of what art was (or as much as I could glean from high school art history class), but now I feel as though I am living in a world where beautiful works are a given and art is a part of life.

This past weekend I took a trip to Paris and hit three museums – the Louvre, Musee d’Orsay, and Musee l’Orangerie. I felt as though I embarked on a journey that took me through the change and growth of art throughout human history. Even though I know hundreds of thousands of people have traipsed through these same museums and have gawked at the same paintings, I still felt like the works were speaking to me individually. It was an incredible experience and gave me beautiful ideas for creating and sewing. I wanted to share some of my favorite works with you guys 🙂

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Monet’s waterlilies were a calm pool of nature in the middle of my tourist-attraction filled day. It made me want to embroider delicate flower and blossoms while sitting in a lovely Italian garden!

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Though I’m usually not a huge fan of portraiture, Renoir’s paintings made me stop because of the detailing of the clothing! Probably not the best reason for appreciating fine art, but I was struck by how the dresses were airy and light yet substantial at the same time. Maybe that’s the power of impressionism! I know the next dress I make will have to be modeled after one of these paintings.

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And my all time favorite work of the day was Canova’s Cupid and Psyche. It honestly gave me no specific DIY inspiration, but it fill me with a feeling of overwhelming tenderness and love ❤

What I felt most as I explored these museums was the love of the artists and the strength behind their works. Whether it was tranquility, desperation, love, or sadness, each work invoked such deep feelings. I think we all have an urge to create, to share something unique with those around us. I can only hope that anything I make is able to convey even a fraction of what I saw in these great works of art!