this coral coil

If you’ve spent much time in the craft department of the internet, you’ve surely discovered the many uses for old T-shirts: bracelets, ruffles, and, um, underwear?  One of my favorites is the basic T-shirt scarf, the simplest hip creation I’ve discovered in–well, probably forever, now that I think about it.  I ask you: could one swipe with scissors create anything cooler than this?

You just take a T-shirt–the bigger the better–and hack it off under the arm holes.  (i.e. one horizontal cut across the chest)  The resulting loop of fabric makes a perfect jersey scarf, whether worn long or looped tighter as a cozy cowl.  If you want visuals, look here.  I made one by cutting the body of the shirt into strands that I pulled for a loopy look like the ones in the linked photos, but actually I prefer just using the large, unfringed piece as a scarf unto itself.

But what to do with the scraps?  I decided since this was such a sweet, girly color, and I have a sweet, girly new niece, I would make a diminutive headband.

coral-colored jersey material braided and knotted to form a circle

The only problem was deciding how to finish the ends.  They were a bit all over the place!

ends of jersey braid sticking out in different directions

A rosette would look cute there, I thought, but I didn’t know how to make a rosette…yet.  A quick search turned up this tutorial, and away I went, measuring…

scissors, ruler, and jersey material in front of laptop showing rosette tutorial

knotting…

long strip of jersey material folded in half and knotted at one end

and twisting my way to a little fabric flower.

jersey material rosette

There was only one problem.  It didn’t turn out as tiny as I expected!  Whoa, Nellie–that flower could bring the whole headband crashing down.  Not such a balanced look.

small braided circle of jersey material and rosette that's large in comparison

So I started over, made a much smaller version, and secured it in place.

circle of braided jersey material and small jersey rosette attached

In case you’re wondering how I managed the frayed ends, I folded them one at a time toward the center to create a little “platform” for the rosette.  Then I ran a threaded needle through all the layers of folded fabric to hold them in position.  This assured that the braid cannot come undone, and at the same time created a flat place to glue the flower.

frayed ends folded toward center with needle and thread going through all the layers

I don’t have a resident baby to try this on, so hopefully it works!  I think it would look sweet with the rosette positioned near her little ear, like she had the blossom tucked into her (non-existent) hair.  That’s it for now–I have to go scrounge up ideas for the rest of the remnants!

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make mine a double

Repetition creates impact.  Repetition creates impact.  Repeti–no, not in writing.  That’s not a thing.  Visually, though….  I love to see multiples used to create one big statement.  Whether we’re talking about…

…Gerbera daisies in 5-gallon buckets…

…votives in a centerpiece…

…or miniature pots lined up on shelves, several of the same thing in a group can create one impressive look.  Does it translate to fashion?

You may not think so but I’ll tell you one thing: it sure was cozy!  And I’d do it again.  While we’re doing the “multiple” thing, here are two outfits I wore recently, both based on one amazingly comfy pair of pants.  (Thanks to my friend Natalie for helping me finally find the black leggings I’ve been searching for.)

And a dressier take…

Anybody else have ideas for styling leggings?  I prefer to avoid the following:

1. Ugg boots  (They are called “ugg” for a reason, at least according to the last sentence of the second paragraph of the “History” section of this article on Wikipedia.)

2. Collegiate sweatshirts.

3. Showing my bum.

Now that I’ve taken away most of the culturally popular options, do you still have any suggestions?  We can take comfy and make it classy, right?  Please tell me I’m right.

feelin’ sassy

One thing I would like you to know about this photo is that the smile is 100% real.  While posing for my tripod, I listened to Tina Fey’s Bossypants on CD.  She reads it herself.  It wouldn’t have been nearly as funny if I read it from a page in my own interior voice.  There’s just something about Tina Fey’s delivery: her plosives…her parenthetical asides…they just wouldn’t be the same in my voice.  Anyway.  There’s the smile explanation.  (But fair warning: the book contains material that conservatives and children will find objectionable.)

Now for the outfit.  I started with the zebra scarf, found this fall at a consignment shop.  After that it was all about staying neutral and warm.  Hence the tank top (Charlotte Russe), sweater (Goodwill), skirt (Salvation Army), and leggings.  Flats would look dorky with these particular leggings, which are roomier than they seemed when I bought them.  Tall boots cover the baggy ankles just fine.

While black isn’t a very practical color for the flower shop, what with itty bitty bits of plant matter all over the place, by the end of the day this outfit hadn’t fared too badly.  It was warm and comfy.  That’s about all a girl could want, right?  At least I thought so.

Today’s reason for thanksgiving: My basic need for clothing is so far exceeded that instead of worrying about whether I have enough clothes for warmth, I can worry about whether my warmth looks stylish. What a luxury!