Remember my sharpie'd shoes? Well, they kicked the bucket a while ago. I replaced them with a super comfy pair of Sanuk sandals. I don't consider them the most sustainable new pair of shoes, but I was on a tight schedule, and I hope they will last me for a very long time. The most important thing is that they are comfortable, which means that I will actually wear them, and that they aren't a waste of resources. There's only so much you can do to keep your shoes as long as possible. However, I did find more elegant ways to save two other pairs of shoes from an untimely demise.
Meet my black ballet flats. The insole was cushioned fabric, which got really nasty within the past four or so years. Originally, I wanted to buy a new pair of flats and toss these, but these have served me so well that I couldn't let go just yet. I decided to rip out the insole, and I bought a new insole. Ta-da! It fits perfectly, is ultra-comfy, and was an $8 fix. The easiest solution seems to be the best solution.
As for these guys, I bought them in Florence in 2013. Unfortunately, they are all leather (I no longer purchase leather). However, know that if you own a pair of high-quality, leather shoes, there's a high chance a cobbler will fix them up like new. And that's exactly what I did with these! Sixteen dollars later, and my shoes had restored heels and a nice polish that I had forgotten existed.
So give it a try! Take your old shoes to the cobbler, and if all seems lost, just start ripping things out. You'll learn something, one way or another. XD
I kind of wish I had a picture of how badly I mauled this dress, but I'm also kind of glad that there is no proof of how I destroyed it. I received this dress (NWT) from someone who didn't want it anymore. I tried it on, and amazingly, it was long enough. It was a bit too wide, but I figured that with my amazing sewing skills, I'd have it snug and flattering in no time.
Let's just say I overestimated my ability to sew. I won't go into details, but the night I tried to fix it ended in frustration, tears, and a vow to never alter anything ever again. The next morning I took the dress to the tailor, prepared to beg him to take drastic measures to save it. After sheepishly avoiding the hidden ripped seams and annihilated seam allowances, I was surprised when he said that I did a good job. His confidence in being able to fix it was reassuring, so before I left I showed him the true damage.
"You killed it!"
Yeah. I killed it. But I did a good job killing it! My tailor resurrected it, and now the dress fits me like a glove and even has a convenient zipper that hides some of the mutilation that it endured.
As for the vow to never alter anything myself ever again, it was broken the next day.
This project has been in my head for years. Literally, years. Back in the day when I didn't realize that shopping at fast fashion stores was socially irresponsible, I bought this little black dress. Super cute and super tiny (i.e. riding up way too high).
Unfortunately, this is the only picture I can find of the dress in its former state. (Hellooooo bathroom selfie.) I decided to cut the top off so that I could have a simple pencil skirt. Clearly, I forgot about the whole "riding up" thing, so the pencil skirt idea has been temporarily put on hold. I got to work on the other half (more like third) of the dress.
Now it's a super comfy crop top! The best part? The elastic I have in my sewing kit was way too wide, so I stole the elastic band from an old, worn out swimsuit. I knew it already fit me perfectly. All I had to do was cut it, insert it into the casing I made under the bust of the top, and sew it all up. Voila!
I've been all about that DIY life recently. I'm a very practical DIY-er. I only spend time creating something for a specific purpose, BUT I am also the kind of DIY-er that doesn't know when to stop. Which can lead to problems... XD
I figured I can share my DIY successes and disasters with you. It'll be fun! And pretty much everything I do is with materials I already have laying around, so probably nothing too fancy.
Let's start with the shoes.
I have a pair of sandals that are really well-loved, let's say. Really, I should probably throw them away, but I'm one of those people who uses things until they absolutely fall apart. So, I sharpie-d them. Yup. I literally took a sharpie, and colored in the straps and the edges while binge-watching Reign.
While I can't hide the fact that these guys are at the end of their life, I think I did a pretty darn good job. I'll probably be able to wear them out for another month or so. And that gives me time to find new favorite sandals either at a resale shop, or from a sustainable company. Perfetto!