Monday, March 27, 2017

Done with winter DIY!

The weather took a turn for the better this weekend, permitting me to wear this fantastical fish outfit! It was an unplanned last-minute DIY that made me really happy, even if the picture quality is kind of bad. Sorry, late night lighting combined with copious amounts of alcohol do not make for great photography!

I started with a fashion challenge. My mission was to come up with an outfit for a house party in the colors blue and red. The challenge was compounded by the fact that the weather forecast for the day was 74 degrees, but almost all my warm weather clothing is still in storage! Fortunately among the T-shirts that I kept out throughout the winter, I had thisT-shirt with a tattoo-style red koi fish on a blue background. I also had a pair of red pants.

When I tried on the shirt with the red pants, I wasn't impressed with the fit. The shirt had always been surprisingly big for a small and had an outrageously deep neckline. So I decided that, since I had a little time, I would lower the shoulder seam to bring up the neckline and shorten the sleeves.

I didn't think to take pictures of this quick and dirty alteration in progress, but essentially I just sewed a new shoulder seam and continued it down the sleeves so there is now a seam at the top of the sleeves.

This required me to remove part of the neckline binding, shorten it, and reattach the two parts of it at the new shoulder seam. It looks terribly messy from the inside, and not quite perfect from the outside, but beggars with a tomorrow-morning deadline can't be choosers!

In the morning, with about 2 hours before we were planning to leave the house for the rest of the day, I checked the forecast again—it had gone up to 77 degrees! The difference between 74 and 77, for me, is the difference between pants and shorts, so I was delighted to trade in my somewhat ill-fitting red pants for my sleek and shiny red satin shorts!

By a stroke of luck, I had, at the end of summer, decided to keep these shorts easily accessible, which I don't ordinarily do, usually reserving just a few plain black or denim pairs of shorts for my winter back-of-the-closet collection. I think I had planned to wear these red ones to a concert which I never actually attended. In any case, I was glad I'd kept them around, because I finally got to wear them, and turn my blue-and-red outfit from just an everyday frumpy getup to something much more flashy!

The problem was, the pants were too flashy. They outshone the rather muted fish and looked out of place. I decided I needed to bring the fish up to the level of the pants by adding some glitter!

I used Elmer's School Glue, so I could wash off the glitter if it turned out to be a total travesty, but fortunately it didn't! (Unfortunately, I still used Elmer's School Glue, so I can never wash this project!)

I put a plastic bag inside the shirt so I wouldn't accidentally glue the two halves of it together.

Then I put down glue on the curves of the fish's scales, along its back where it looked like light would reflect if it were 3-dimensional, then I sprinkled the shirt with glitter.

This photo is from a day later, after some of the glitter had had a chance to fall off

Then it was waiting time. Then it was time to leave, and still the glue wasn't dry enough. I brought the shirt with me, dangling it over the back of a car seat, while my boyfriend and I ran errands, and then finally, right before we arrived at the party, I changed into it.

The glitter was the perfect counterpoint to the shiny shorts!

I wore the outfit with red embroidered Chinese slippers, which, with the koi (favored subject of much traditional Chinese and Japanese art), ended up giving me a very Asian-inspired look. The Japanese chin sitting on the couch next to me certainly doesn't hurt.


  1. No mention of those amazing shoes?! They were my favorite part of the outfit.

  2. Ooooh! I noticed the glitter on your shirt. I didn't realize you put it there yourself!

  3. Once the rest of the glitter falls off or you remove it, you can replace it with red glitter fabric paint from Michael's. It's washable (though maybe by hand would be best).