Thursday, 26 March 2015

DIY Asymmetrical Hem Skirt/Skorts | Make Thrift Buy #15

Alright, today's DIY was a bit of a tricky one. I post this video in the hopes that you can avoid the same mistakes that I made! But we got there in the end - and I freaking love how these shorts fit me (they make my butt look so damn good). 

Enjoy :)

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Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Cherries, Gingham and a DIY T-Shirt (and a new video! - Get Sewing With Me #3)

Gingham is probably my favourite pattern for clothing right now. Anything gingham = good. Does anyone else do this thing where you get really obsessed with a particular print or pattern, and before you know it your entire wardrobe is 99% things with that pattern??
It reminds me of when everything had to be bird-print a couple of years back. I'm still cleaning the birds out of my closet.
Gingham is my favourite right now because it immediately alludes (aesthetically at least) to a sunny day in the 1950s spent picnicking on fresh fruit in a luscious green meadow - and so it gives any outfit that I wear gingham in this happy, kitschy, retro vibe.
So when I found this second-hand gingham-patterned shirt, I couldn't go past it! But unfortunately, while it had the right pattern on it, it was a little bit boring and shapeless. So, I saved it with the power of upcycling, and turned into both a cropped-tee and a matching headband!

Here's a couple more pictures of me being super chuffed with myself in my new upcycled shirt (without the matching headband):
Side note: This is another one of my fabulous vintage skirts that fits me much better since I've gained weight! #yayweightgain
I'm finding so many of these in the deep, dark depths of my wardrobe, it's very exciting stuff :D
Outfit details:
Shirt is DIY (patch is from Hong Kong) 
Skirt is thrifted vintage
Shoes are Naot (Kedma)
Socks are Tutuanna (Japan)

Science of the Day

This is a bit self-promotey, but it's totally still science SO IT COUNTS. My partner and I just released episode #2 of our new podcast (you can download/subscribe on iTunes here)! In this episode, we look at the myth that "Diet coke (and artificial sugar) gives you cancer". 
Does diet coke give you cancer?
We would love some suggestions of possible-science-myths to explore in future episodes, although we're already planning the next couple - number #3 will look at the podcast's namesake - the 10% of the brain myth, where it comes from and why it persists (as I don't think that many people actually believe in that one but it's interesting to know why its such a persistent myth!) and episode #4 is going to look at the notion that "redheads/blondes are going extinct".

Give episode #2 a listen, and if you do, we would super appreciate your feedback!

I wrote an article for Birdee where I slam some silly op-shopping misconceptions, and I also provide some thrifting tips! Have a read here if you haven't already!

That's it from me - I hope that you're all having a really lovely week,

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Saturday, 14 March 2015

Not Dressed Up For You: An Open Letter To Creepy Men

"Ok, I'm wearing my long figure-hugging blue dress, and I've been yelled at 3 times in the 5 minutes I've been waiting for the bus *thumbs down emoji*"

This was the message that I got from Katie as she was making her way over to my house to take outfit photos together in our current favourite clothes.

This, and the fact that we look super don't-fuck-with-me in the above photo, prompted me to write a short open letter to all the creepy men out there (and yeah yeah, #notallmen and all that - but cis-gendered men, you really do overrepresent yourselves in this domain, so I don't wanna hear it).

Dear creepy men:

We are not your property.
We do not exist for your eyes and your amusement.
And we will not put up with your judgements on our outfits and your comments on our bodies.

Believe it or not, but we're actually not dressing up for you. 
Sure, every woman's reason for dressing the way she does is different. But we dress up because we love fashion. We dress up because it feels good. We dress up for the sake of dressing up. Our outfits are an expression of our feelings and personalities. And we dress up because we want other cute, well-dressed women to admire our outfits.
Not for one second, while we were deciding what to wear this morning, did we think "golly I hope some creep screams at me out of their car! That'll validate my outfit choices/attractiveness/appearance and totally boost my self-confidence!"

Sorry, but it is NOT a compliment. In fact, it's the complete opposite. It's creepy, it's unwelcome, and it makes us extremely uncomfortable.

Because societally, historically, culturally - men hold power over women. Because structural misogyny is a thing and what a woman chooses to wear is still grounds for abuse and discrimination.
Because a woman's, and NOT a man's outfit choices are still used as grounds to dismiss her authority, experience and intelligence.
Because female victims of abuse are still blamed for their own assaults because of what they wear.
Because "boys will be boys" is still used as a legitimate excuse for aggressive behaviour.
Because most women still don't feel safe walking home alone at night.
Our choice to wear a tight skirt doesn't give you an invitation to beep at us with your car horn. Choosing not to wear a bra isn't an excuse to call obscenities at us out your car window. 

And yes, when we all live in a totally equal, utopian, sex-positive society where pay is equal, women have beards and men wear make up, then maybe, maybe screaming your approval of a woman's outfit out of your car window will be a completely acceptable form of admiration. But that world doesn't exist. So for the time being, creepy men: will you please shut your mouths. And if you witness this behaviour, please open your mouths and tell that person that what they're doing is wrong. And why. 

Because one day, we want to be able to wear whatever we want, and not feel unsafe or discriminated against because of that.
Outfit details:
Top is DIY
Necklace is c/o Eclectic Eccentricity
Skirt is c/o Choies (super old, and altered by me)
 Shoes are Naot (Kedma)
Socks are from Japan

p.s. Katie has turned her whole cat-calling experience into a kickass post, I highly recommend that you read it!

Much love,

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Thursday, 12 March 2015

Everything Pink, Gaining Weight & 25-Million-Year-Old Organisms

Today, I decided that everything must be pink. So I donned a pink top, this gorgeous stripey pink vintage skirt (with pockets!), subtle pink lipstick and a watermelon necklace to match!
I found Yoshimi's lab at my local markets on the weekend, a maker of the most incredible and realistic-looking food jewellery! I stood at Yoshimi's stall for a good 20 minutes trying to choose what to buy (I had to get something), probably totally freaking Yoshimi out because I couldn't stop gushing over how cool everything was. (IT'S ALL MADE OUT OF CLAY, TOO! SUCH WITCHCRAFT!) I settled on this watermelon necklace because it was really hot that day, and the watermelon looked so refreshing!
When I came back from Hong Kong, I was a little dismayed to find out that none of my clothes fit me anymore - I may have enjoyed the food in Hong Kong a little bit too much. However, this particular pink skirt that was several sizes too big for me when I left fit me perfectly on my return!
Any small amount of weight gain is treated so negatively in our culture - when I say to my friends "yeah, I gained heaps of weight in Hong Kong", their immediate response is "no you haven't!" But WHY? I mean, I can read what it says on my scales, my weight gain is an empirical fact. "Oh, but you don't look like you've put on weight". 

But why would this be a bad thing? It's not something I am unhappy about - it's only something that I've been told to be unhappy about, by advertisements and movies and TV.

But I'm really not. I'm curvier, and I've always wanted to be curvy. And, cool skirts like this one fit me perfectly now! I'm not going to feel bad about myself just because I've gained weight - instead, I'm going to enjoy recycling my wardrobe and shopping for new clothes to fit my new body!
Outfit details:
Top is thrifted
Skirt is vintage
Necklace is from Yoshimi's Lab (instagram page)
Shoes are Naot Kedmas

#SOTD (Science of the Day):
In 1995, scientists found a bee trapped in amber, and dated it to about 25 million years old.
As you would expect, the bee trapped inside was long dead, but these scientists decided to see if there was anything that might still be living inside.

And there was.
The scientists took a sample from the bee's gut, and put it onto a nutrient-rich plate too see if anything would grow. And 25-million-year-old bacteria that was inside the bee's gut was revived into a living culture.

So how the heck did it survive for so long??

Well, some bacteria are pretty freaky. There's these super tough type of bacteria which can form something called "endospores". Endospores are a hard shell which keeps all the important bits of the bacteria - DNA and ribosomes - safe inside. Endospores can then survive in a state of "suspended animation" when conditions are rough - conditions including being trapped in amber for millions of years and the cold vacuum of space - and then continue on as normal once their environment improves!

Apparently, this record has since been beaten by 250 million-year-old bacteria that were found inside salt crystals in a cave, and were able to be revived. Those bacteria were around at the same time as the dinosaurs, and they're still alive today somewhere in a lab!

I hope that you're all having a wonderful day,

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Sunday, 8 March 2015

DIY Lace Underwear


Making cute lace undies is my latest obsession. If I disappear for a while, it's probably because I'm off making at least 500 million pairs of these (that's seriously how easy they are to make!) Both beginners and people without sewing machines can give this one a go, too.

- Elasticated lace trim (you only need enough that you can wrap it once around your hips)
- A small piece of 100% cotton fabric, does not need to be stretchy (get it in a matching colour to your lace)
- Needle & thread OR a sewing machine & thread
- Scissors (fabric scissors are best)

Have a watch of my tutorial:
And don't forget to post pics using the hashtag #diyannika if you try this or any of my other tutorials.


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Friday, 6 March 2015

How To Make Your Own Underwear | Get Sewing With Me #2

YOU GUYS. I figured out how to make my own underwear, which brings me one step closer to having an entirely handmade wardrobe! (Next up is figuring out how to make bras!)

In this latest video, I'm going to show you how to make your own! You can make these out of any lightweight stretchy cotton jersey fabrics, including old t-shirts. 
If you try this or any of my other tutorials out, snap a picture and upload it to instagram using #diyannika.

I hope that you're all having a beautiful day!

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Thursday, 5 March 2015

It's autumn - time to break out the giant carrot scarves!

I am so happy that it's finally autumn. I am so done with the heat, and more than happy to relinquish summer over to the Northern hemisphere. You guys can have it. Because autumn means that I finally get to layer AND that I get to wear this amazing giant carrot scarf every day.
My giant carrot scarf is from Yummy You! If you haven't heard of Twinkie Chan before - what are you doing? Go and check her stuff out right this moment! Anyway, crocheting and crafting goddess Twinkie Chan recently started up her own brand and line of clothing called Yummy You, for which she designs food-themed crochet pieces and also features cool handmade jewellery brands like Fatally Feminine Designs!
Yummy You is a food-lovers, novelty-accessory-connoisseur's dream shop.

(The difference between Yummy You and Twinkie Chan's etsy store is that Twinkie Chan crochets all the items herself on her etsy store, but Yummy You is manufactured in China and therefore a cheaper alternative.)
My mum also found a bunch of Rugrats-themed badges that I used to own when I was about 10 years old. Who was your favourite Rugrats character? Mine were Kimi and Lilian, but Chuckie's colours matched my outfit perfectly (we totally have matching orange hair, aw yeah)!
Outfit details:
Scarf is c/o Yummy You
Skirt and top are thrifted
Shoes are from Naot (Kedma)
Socks are from Japan
Headband is from Hong Kong

Tomorrow I should be uploading a DIY-your-own-underwear video, so keep an eye out for that! I've made about 10 pairs of my own so far and they're the comfiest things in the world - I'm never buying underwear again ;)

Much love, 

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Sunday, 1 March 2015

DIY T-Shirt | "Get Sewing With Me" Episode #1

I have started a new Youtube Series called Get Sewing With Me - it's like "Get Ready With Me" videos but better ;) (and don't worry, Make Thrift Buy isn't going anywhere!)

In my spare time, I do a lot of sewing which I don't film either because I don't have a specific tutorial in mind, or it might require a bit of specialized equipment that most people don't own. But I thought that it would be cool to start filming some of these things that I make, because it could still help inspire your own sewing projects, show you some tips and tricks, or give you ideas for equipment you might want to get in the future! (And of course if you're a more intermediate-advanced sewer, then you could definitely use this as a tutorial!)

This tutorial will (hopefully!) teach you how to DIY a t-shirt from scratch, using an old top as a pattern. It can be used to make any kind of t-shirt.

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