Monday, July 14, 2014

DIY Ombre Bleach/Dye Sweatshirt

     For this DIY project, I was inspired by these two pins: DIY Ombre Sweater and Grey Ombre Sweatshirt
     I really wanted to experiment with a bleach dip-dye, but neither of the tutorials gave directions for what I wanted.  So, I improvised.  Earlier in the winter, I bought 2 Hanes sweatshirts from Wal-Mart that were on clearance for only $2 each!  I figured I would end up doing something like this in the future.  Only now, I had  a plan.
     However, as I've mentioned in this blog before, blogging is NOT about being perfect. At all.  It's about doing what you love, sharing both your successes and your mistakes, and having fun.  Unfortunately, this DIY project did not turn out the way I'd hoped, but when I finished, I was very happy and excited with the outcome.  Art is about making something beautiful out of your mistakes.

Here's what you will need:

  • 1 solid color sweatshirt of your choice
  • bleach
  • dye of choice
  • salt (optional)
  • a bucket
  • plastic sheets (like for painting--also optional)
  • gloves (optional)
  • a stick or spoon (optional)

1. Pour about 3/4 of the bleach into your bucket, and fill with an equal amount of water.

2. Dip about 1/4 to 1/3 of the sweatshirt in bleach, and let it sit for 10-20 minutes.  (My mistake here, what that I let the first  and second layers sit too long, and it was just as white as the second. More on that later.)

3. Now dip the next 1/3 of fabric in the bleach and let it sit for just 2 minutes.
If you let it sit for a shorter period of time, it may turn out like this:

This was how my sweatshirt looked, after I wrung it out (with gloves on, of course).  I was pretty excited about the purple-pink ombre look, and if you bleach the sweatshirt for a short period of time like I recommended, you may still end up with this look.  
However, this is how my sweatshirt looked, once it dried:

     This is my sweatshirt, after it dried and I washed it.  This is where the art part comes in.  Since I still hadn't achieved that ombre/tye-dye look, I decided to put some real dye on it.

Although I would have preferred Rit dye, I used what I already had on hand.  I filled a bucket with the dye, hot water, and salt. (according to the instructions on the dye.)

With the dye, I used the same process as the bleach, leaving the bottom 1/4 in the dye longest, and the next 1/4 in for a shorter time.

Afterwards, I wrung it out again, with gloves, and hung it out to dry outside.  After washing, this was the finished product!

I'm actually really happy about the way it turned out.  

Also, you might have noticed that I changed the neckline, as well.  It's more obvious in the next pictures, but basically I cut a small triangle in front, and then snipped of about 1/2 of the neckline, leaving the seam intact. 

And here is the finished product!  I hope you find this tutorial useful, and feel free to improvise or change it however you want.

"Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own.  But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead..."
Phillippians 3:13 {ESV}

Friday, July 11, 2014

DIY Camera Strap Cover

     So I have this camera.  But it's not really my camera. It's actually my parents'.  And it's actually a pretty nice Camera (Canon Rebel T2i), and my parents let me use it just about as much as I want.  In fact, all of my photography posts on this blog so far have been with my parents' camera.  Although I would LOVE to own my own camera someday soon (time to start saving more $!), for now I'm blessed to at least be able to use such a nice camera.  When I saw that my friend had posted a DIY camera strap cover on her blog this past winter, we decided together that we would sew the covers as a project together.  Since I am not a seamstress at all, we went to her house to sew the camera straps.  My parents made sure that I didn't pick out any fabric that was too girly, but I ended up LOVING what I picked out anyway!
     So, you might be asking: why do I need a camera strap cover anyway? And why go to all the trouble to make one?  Well, if you've ever been on a long trip or just out-and-about taking a bunch of pictures, you know that camera straps can be uncomfortable.  Although there are plenty of already-made camera strap covers out there, with this tutorial, you have the option to customize it yourself, plus it's cheaper! The total for my fabric (and fleece) came out to the 'huge' sum of $8.50.  That's it. Now do you want to make your own? Of course you do!  Oh, and did I mention it's easy?

You will need:
  • A sewing machine (optional, but works and looks best with one)
  • 1/4 yard patterned fabric
  • 1/4 yard plain fabric
  • 1/4 yard pellon fusible light fleece interfacing
You will not need all of the fabric, but this is a good start, and it leaves room for mistakes.
  • scissors
  • iron/ironing board
  • camera (strap)
  • thread
  • marker/pencil/pen (optional)
  • ruler/tape measure

Begin by taking the strap off of your camera.

Next, measure the width of your camera strap, and add on about an inch to that number.  This will be the width of the fabric for your cover. Mine was 2 5/8 in.

Then measure the length of  your strap, adding about an inch to either side, which will be the length of the fabric for your strap.  I ended up cutting out 27 in. in length.

Now remove any excess fabric, and measure out your fabric, according to the measurements you just made. Mine was 2 5/8 x 27 in.

If you want, you can use your original measurements for the second strip of fabric, or you can just lay out the first strip over the second, and either pin it down, or just cut around it.  Then place the strips of fabric back-to-back, and begin pinning along one of the longer sides.

Now sew along the edge of the fabric where you pinned, taking out the pins as you go.  for the first side, it is safe to sew closer to the edge rather than father, so that you have room to adjust on the other side.

Now heat up that iron and get to work! At this stage, all you need to iron is the seam. Lay your fabric face-down on the ironing board, and spread out the seam. Iron the sides down.

Lay your fabric over-top of the fleece, and cut close to the edges.  Then place the fabric face-down onto the side of the fleece that is scratchy or bumpy.

Place the fleece onto your ironing board, and spritz with a little bit of water.

Then iron the entire surface a few times, pressing down instead of sliding.  Once your done, try to separate the fabric from the fleece.  If it comes off, then you need to iron it again, until it sticks.

Now for the edge.  Fold over the amount of fabric you want, depending on the desired width of the edge.  (If you want, you can fold this down twice, but it might end of being too thick.)  Pin the edge of the fabric, and sew close to the edge.  For a special touch, sew another straight line down the middle.
Repeat this process for the other end.

Fold the fabric on 1/2, long-ways, so that the fleece is on the outside.  Pin the open edge and sew along it.  This is where you get out your camera strap, and measure where you want to sew the edge.  Make sure you cut off any excess fabric when you are done.

Now comes the hardest part: turning it inside out.  You can use a pen or whatever works best for you.  Once you've done that, go ahead and 'thread' the strap through the cover.  {You know that feeling when you finish that last stitch or in this case, pull the camera strap through the cover? Yeah, that's a pretty nice feeling.}

Here is my completed cover! I absolutely love the way it turned out!  

And...ta da! Just attach your camera strap back onto your camera, and model for a few pictures! (Just kidding, you can skip the whole modeling part, but it is fun to show off your new project.)

By the way, you might have noticed that the t-shirt I am wearing is from another recent tutorial of mine.  See how to refashion this t-shirt here.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Photography: 21st Birthday

     I offered to take this girl's picture recently, one: so that I could practice more, and two: so that she could have her very own photo shoot and have fun being a model for the evening!  We spent the evening together, finding some fun and colorful backgrounds, eating at Culver's, and experimenting with her new extensions!  Chloe is a beautiful friend of mine, and her 21st birthday is in just a couple of Happy Birthday Chloe!

I had seen this fun mural a few days before when I went out for pizza with my parents. I couldn't wait to take some pictures with it!

You have no idea how excited I was to find this chalkboard just learning up against a wall.  I couldn't believe my luck!  Chalkboards are sort of my weakness right now.

Beautiful smile. Beautiful girl. Beautiful heart.

If your subjects that you are photographing are having trouble keeping a natural smile after smiling for so long, just go ahead and tell them to laugh--works every time!

{Notice how much a simple tilt of the camera adds to this photo (below)}

This picture was taken after I straightened her hair.  She recently had these cute, curly extensions put in, and when I found out that you could straighten them, I just had to try it for myself.  And since we were in the middle of a photo shoot, we took some pictures of her new 'do!

"Those who look to Him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed." {Psalm 34:5 ESV}

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Blog Name: Mystery Unveiled!

     In case you were wondering what the name of my blog means or the story behind it, I'm about to tell you!  All you have to do is follow my blog, and I will send you a private message explaining the whole thing.  Also...please spread the word about my blog! Although I love what I do, part of the reason for this blog is so that I can share my passions with other people.

1 Timothy 4: 11- 14 “Get the word out. Teach all these things. And don’t let anyone put you down because you’re young. Teach believers with your life: by word, by demeanor, by love, by faith, by integrity. {Message Bible}

DIY Lace Pocket T-shirt

     Ever since someone explained to me what "DIY" stands for ('do it yourself') and I discovered Pinterest, I have been wanting to do my own DIY craft and post it on my 'imaginary' blog.  Finally, this afternoon, I was having another relaxing (yet unproductive) day trying to read through another round of 10 books from the library. (It's sort of on my 'summer bucket list' to read a lot this summer). All of a sudden I had an urge to do something with my day.  So, I went on Pinterest, and got ideas for a DIY project.  And this is what I came up with.


  • 1 plain t-shirt with a small pocket
  • 1 piece of scrap lace fabric
  • sewing needle
  • thread to match the color of your t-shirt
  • pins
  • scissors

Start with your plain colored t-shirt.  Mine was a simple grey t-shirt from the men's section at Wal-Mart. I liked the thicker fabric, high v-neck, and looser fit.

  1. Lay your lace over the pocket and line up the top edge of the lace with the top edge of the pocket.
  2. Start pinning the lace to the edges of the pocket.
  3. Trim the lace to about 1/4 - 1/2 inch of the pocket.
  4. Fold the edges of the lace under to meet the edges of the pocket. Repin over the folds.

5. Next, thread your needle with a color that matches your t-shirt.  For this project, I tied the thread as if I were going to sew a button, because I was working with lace, which already has holes in it.  
6. Then, begin to sew a simple stitch all the way around the pocket, but be careful not to sew the pocket closed at the top!

7. Now for the sleeves.  Since it was a guy's shirt, I wanted to make my t-shirt look a bit more feminine. I rolled the sleeves twice and pinned them in place.
8.  Then I sewed the top edges of the fold to the t-shirt to keep them in place.

And here is the finished product!