DIY: Unraveled Dip-Dye T-shirt

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Hi! I’m Aurora Lady. I created a t-shirt company that focuses on feminism, DIY, and love. Yesterday Jen, Daisy, and I shared a photo shoot that we worked on together, featuring my “Girl Gang” t-shirt. Today, I’m thrilled to share with you a little DIY I put together. Think relaxed, loved, rock’n’roll…. even a little bit vintage-y. This one is a head turner, but it’s so easy to wear you might forget why people are looking at you with a slight smile.

​When I created my first t-shirt series, Feminasty, it was very important to me that it have the opportunity to reinvent itself in the hands of everyone that embraced it. DIY is my jam– it’s a way to give new life to something you love that might not be just perfect for you yet. The do-it-yourself ethos is something that radically empowered me as a young person, saddled with lack of funds and a lot of gumption. I thought very specifically about what sort of material the shirts would be printed on (ethically made in the USA), the shape (it had to work on folks of varying body types, from small to xxxlarge– I’m working towards even more sizes!), and the style (flowy, comfortable, dirty-living ready).

I wanted each shirt to not only be able to handle a DIY, but to inspire you to create a DIY!

What you’ll need:

  • a t-shirt, white or light colored. This particular DIY works better if you use a shirt sized larger than what is fitted. The more fabric you have to work with, the better! (Get the Girl Gang tee here)
  • Rit liquid dye in the color of your choice (I used fuchsia)
  • sewing needles (You really only need one, but I loose these babies like crazy and therefore would feel like a jerk not telling you to have a few on hand)
  • thread in the same color as your t-shirt
  • latex gloves (if you’re a DIY rebel, you don’t technically need these. The RIT dye will stain your hands though!)
  • small pearls with a hole straight through the middle (5-10, depending on your penchant for pearls)
  • large pearls with a hole straight through the middle (5-10, depending on your penchant for pearls)
  • butter knife
  • iron
  • 1-quart plastic cup (something you don’t mind getting stained by dye)
  • rhinestones with back clasps (I used some made by Bedazzler)

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Dip Dye-ing Your T-shirt:

Start in an area that you won’t mind getting color on. You can always lay out old towels or rags to catch whatever dye might get everywhere.

Fill your cup with warm water, about 3/4 of the way full.

Add a drop (and I mean ONE DROP!) of dye to your water. Be careful! It’s easy to go overboard. Your aim is to give the shirt a light coat of color. You don’t need much dye at all to make this happen.

Gather one edge of your t-shirt in your hand and run under faucet of clear water. You are wetting your shirt before you dip it in dye– this allows the dye to travel up the shirt, adding more of a gradient effect to the shirt, and not a hard delineation of color.

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Once wet, go ahead and dunk that corner of the t-shirt in your dye cup. Set a timer for about ten minutes, and then check on your t-shirt.

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Is it dark enough for your tastes? Leave it in longer if you want a richer color. Keep checking every five minutes and pull it out when your color is achieved. Heads up– your t-shirt color will be lighter when it dries.

Pop that t-shirt in the dryer (after 6pm, of course!) or hang it on a line for a few hours if it’s sunny. Dry that sucker out!

Unraveling Your T-shirt

Cut the bottom hem off from your shirt. Who needs hems? Not you, that’s for sure!

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Here’s where the magic happens. Start by picking at the bottom edge, where your hem used to be. Your threads with come loose with persistence. Do your best to pull out the threads from side to side, rather from top to bottom. This creates a longer stretch of unraveling.

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Eventually your unraveling will taper up to a point. You can keep unraveling til this finite point. And then start over in a new area.

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This unraveling technique is easy and fun, but it takes a LONG time. It’s great to do while waiting in a doctor’s office, in line at the grocery store, or marathoning episodes of Daria.

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I chose to unravel huge areas in the front of my tee, and in the back. I also made small areas of unraveling along the neckline and along the sleeves.

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Adding Pearls and Rhinestones to Your T-shirt:

I chose to add stones and pearls randomly all over the top of the shirt. I scattered them so that they were a bit denser towards my shoulders.

Attach these only in areas that HAVE NOT been unraveled. The unraveled areas of fabric are uber delicate.

These stones are the easiest thing ever! Just press the prongs through your fabric, so that they’re sticking out of the INSIDE of the fabric (basically, so that your jewel is on the outside).

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Press gently on the prongs, so that they lay flat against the fabric, using your butter knife.

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​ Ta-da!

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Pearls are your finishing touch! Simply thread your needle with thread (about 10 inches long) and create a knot at the end. Poke you needle where you’d like the pearl to be in the shirt, back to front, so that your knot is right up against the back of the fabric and your thread is fully out the front side of the fabric. Thread your pearl through and then poke your needle through the opposite way. Do this two times for each pearl, and then tie off your thread with a knot.

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You’re done! Wear your t-shirt everywhere! I’d love if you Instagrammed your creation– tag me at @auroralady and hashtag #feminasty. For more rad DIY tshirt ideas, check out our pinterest board!

My Girl Gang Is Magical. Is Yours?

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Hey friends! So a couple of weeks ago, this magical conversation started. My rad friend Aurora Lady asked me if I would be into modeling a DIY shirt from her Feminasty series and if I would be into my super friend Daisy Noemi photographing me in a pretty park. HI! How could I possibly say no? I already knew I wanted to tell you all about Aurora’s t-shirt series but this was above and beyond what I expected!

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Aurora and I met almost two years ago through the zine community in Los Angeles. She is a super talented artist and wrote the zine, Don’t Hide Behind Your Skirt. I immediately recognized that she was a super cool babe but she basically blew that out of the water when she told me last year about her plans to début a feminist clothing line. So far, there are four shirts in the Feminasty series and each one is fierce as fuck. I can’t wait to see what else she comes up with!

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And I’ve introduced my friend Daisy here on the blog before – I also met her through the Los Angeles zine community. She’s an incredible artist, zinester, and as you can see here, photographer. This was my second time working with her and I love it. She’s great at putting up with my awkwardness (haha!) and creates these dreamy gorgeous photos – all shot on film!

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One of the things I love about these shirts is that Aurora encourages you to go DIY on the shirts to make them unique to your Feminasty personality. She deconstructed this shirt with carefully crafted rips, some pink dye, some pearls and some rhinestones. Don’t you love how it came out?

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I know I post outfit photos often and while Aria used to take many of them, lately I’ve taken them all myself. This was completely different experience though! We were working as a small team of people to turn a vision into a reality. I’m in love with how Aurora styled my outfit. The t-shirt came out amazing and she made the skirt I’m wearing too. I don’t think it was intentional, but it totally matches my hair. Speaking of hair, Aurora also did my hair and make-up for the shoot – I felt like a Courtney Love princess, which is like the best thing ever!

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Since the zine community brought us all together, Aurora came up with the idea to have me reading from a bunch of floating zines. How fucking cool, right? I love how there are zines in this photo by friends that I love and some that were totally new to me. As nerdy as this sounds, it was like dancing around in a sea of floating zines. Total love.

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The entire day was amazing. I got to dress up and play around in a little pocket of nature with two of my dear friends. We chased the sun around, stomped through plants, and played in the dirt. I had glitter on my eyes and messy hair that exemplified my rough around the edges femme identity. I’m looking for the members of my girl gang – are you one of them?

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Thank you for letting me share this special project with you! You can get your own Feminasty shirt by going to Aurora’s shop. And if you order by May 2nd, you can get 20% off of the Girl Gang design featured here with the code “girlgangtwenty” – so don’t miss out on that! Get one for your badass mama for Mother’s Day?

Oh, and because we love you, stay tuned for a special DIY post tomorrow to learn how Aurora spruced up this already awesome shirt!

Which one of the Feminasty shirts is your favorite?

Photographer: Daisy Noemi | Stylist, Hair, Make-up: Aurora Lady | Model: Jen Venegas

Girl Gang t-shirt: Feminasty by Aurora Lady, deconstructed | Pink & black tulle rhinestone skirt: DIY by stylist | Red heart-shaped sunglasses: stylist’s own | Black combat boots: model’s own | Blue rock ring: Magpies for Moons

DIY: Citrus Mint Linen Spray

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Hi friends! You know I’m all about easy DIY projects and so I’m super excited to share this DIY linen spray that is not only easy but customizable. I’m using essential oils from InstaNatural and they smell fantastic. I have used linen sprays for years but have never though to make my own until recently. I appreciate how simple it is to make something that I normally pay a lot for and now i’m excited to use different essential oils make a bunch in different scents!

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I love how versatile essential oils are in general – you can use them for so many things! I am obsessed with linen sprays though especially because there are carpets and curtains in my home. And three indoor cats. I always have windows open to keep air circulating but I also like my home to smell super fresh and invigorating sometimes. That’s where linen sprays come in for me.

Even if you don’t have indoor pets though, this is great for freshening up your home or your car or any other space with linens, carpets, upholstery, etc.

Ready to learn how to make it?! Here’s how!

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Supplies:

  • Peppermint essential oil
  • Lemon essential oil
  • 1 ounce spray bottle
  • 1 ounce of distilled water or vodka
  • Funnel and/or measuring cup if needed

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Directions:

1. Add 1 ounce of distilled water, vodka, or a mix of the two into your spray bottle.

2. Add 8 drops of peppermint essential oil and 12 drops of lemon essential oil (or use a ratio that smells best to you!).

3. Put the sprayer top back on the bottle, give it a good shake, and you’ve made linen spray!

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Some useful tips:

  • You’ll want to shake it every time you use it just to make sure it’s mixed well (the essential oil will settle on top – this is normal).
  • If you want to make a bigger batch, in a larger spray bottle for example, just adjust your ratio of water/vodka to essential oil. We used 20 drops of essential oil per ounce of water/vodka.

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Where to use your new linen spray:

  • Spray it on your curtains, rugs or carpets to freshen the room.
  • Use it on your towels before you shower to get a nice pick me up when you get out.
  • Spray it on your hair scarves to freshen them up before or after wearing.

There are so many other uses for this around your home!

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You can also use different essential oils to create the linen spray of your dreams. InstaNatural has a good selection of essential oils and other products. I think lavender would make an amazing linen spray to spritz your bedding with before bedtime. Or spritz a towel with lavender spray to place over your face during shavasana when practicing yoga. I’m telling you – so many uses! And so easy!

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Which essential oils from InstaNatural would you mix together in your linen spray?

This post was sponsored by BrandBacker.

Fatshion: It’s Still Cold Somewhere, Right?

winterootdHi friends! So it’s officially spring and here I am posting a winter look. Lag-city! Really though, I love this outfit so much so even though I wore it back in like January or February, I still wanted to post it. Besides, it’s still cold somewhere right?!

wintercollarI am forever obsessed with faux fur collars. I found a bunch at Daiso a few months ago and because they were $1.50, snagged a couple. They are an easy way to add a cute touch of warmth to an outfit – especially if you’re not feeling a big scarf (although few things are more comforting than a big scarf if you ask me).

winterportraitA couple of winters ago, I became obsessed with cabled pullover sweaters. For years, well, just about my whole life, I have been loyal to the cardigan. I still am but part of that was because I liked how I could button them in different places to accentuate different parts of my body that I thought would be more flattering. In short, it was a way to visually cut my body up to “hide” my discomfort with it.

So pullovers to me are a lot of solid. And as I got more grounded in my recovery and my body and developed a general sense of “fuck flattering” (a concept I learned from Gisela Ramirez), I was like, “more pullovers please.” I really wanted a gray one but couldn’t find one in my price range that I wanted so I ended up with this white one. And wore it once and never again until this outfit.

This sweater, even though it’s just your basic pullover sweater, holds a special place in my heart because of what it represents to me. This sweater is a big block of white on my upper body and tummy, it’s a “fuck you” to the idea that white makes you look bigger (because who cares if it does?), and it’s me challenging that and myself.

winterbootsOver the winter, I was obsessed with wearing these little lacy socks (also from Daiso) with these boots. I love the little lace popping out of the top of them – it adds the perfect softness. I’ve had these boots forever and barely wore them for years. Being poor the last year though really made me evaluate my wardrobe and my hoarder tendencies. I realized I wanted (and needed) to use the things I had, especially since I wasn’t in a position to buy more.

wintersmileskirtThere’s a bit of fashion and class politics in this post, right?! I’ve talked about how fashion is political, especially on bodies that are oppressed and policed before. To be honest, that’s the primary reason I even post outfit posts, for the visibility of it – which has been complicated lately because of my weight fluctuating and becoming an even smaller fat person. But that’s important too I guess. But yes, ok, thank you for reading!

Outfit details:
Pink cat eye glasses: c/o Firmoo
Black faux fur collar: Daiso
White cabled sweater: Forever 21
Black polka dot skirt: Wet Seal Plus
Burgundy tights: Target
Black socks with white lace: Daiso
Black boots: thrifted

I’d love to talk about this! If you post outfits online do, why do you do it? If you don’t, what does fashion mean to you? ♥

When Your Labrador Puppy Is Not Actually a Labrador

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ProPlanPet #CollectiveBias

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Hi friends! I know you’ve met Chico before but I always love sharing my little terrier mix with all of you. He and I have had a real special bond ever since he was a tiny puppy and it’s always been important to me to look after his well-being and nutritional needs. We’ve been really into Purina® Pro Plan® lately – he loves the taste and I love feeling like I’m making a smart choice for my dog.

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One of the things I love the most about Purina® Pro Plan® is that it comes in a wide range of dry and wet foods, snacks, and supplement bars that can be found in five specialized platforms. Each one contains products formulated for a dog’s taste preferences, age/dietary considerations, or activity/lifestyle. They literally have something for every dog, helping them be energetic and resilient, and maintaining an ideal body condition, healthy skin, and a stunning coat.

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Speaking of dog bodies – I have a hilarious story to tell about how my family got Chico. My dog, Rocky had passed away a few months before my dad set his sights on having a Labrador Retriever. He wasn’t real big on “buying” dogs from breeders and someone at his work suggested Craigslist. My dad, not knowing much about Craigslist, ended up giving it a try. After browsing through listings for puppies for about a week, he found one with the Labrador Retriever of his dreams – a tiny ten week old little ball of fur.

After contacting the owners and forking out $300, my dad brought his new dog to my apartment in Los Angeles. My roommate and I nearly died from how adorable and cute he was! I fell in love with Chico immediately, begged my dad to let me have him, and when he told me no, I made every excuse to come over to their house to play with my little Chico.

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A couple of days later, my dad took Chico in for a check-up at our veterinarian. When asked for his breed, my dad proudly responded “Labrador Retriever,” to which the vet busted up laughing. As I’m sure you can see, Chico does not have a drop of Labrador blood in him. What he does have is a whole lot of terrier and possibly some other small dog breed in him! My dad was super duped by the sellers on Craigslist and was reminded of this on the daily as Chico “grew” into his adult body.

Luckily, two things happened. My dad had already fallen so deeply in love with Chico that it didn’t matter what breed he was and we adopted another dog, a Golden Retriever mix, Big Boy, to be a dog pal with Chico. So my dad got his big Retriever after all, just not in the dog he expected!

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So that’s Chico’s adoption story. Pretty great, right?  If you’ve got a special canine in your life, be sure to check out Purina® Pro Plan® – I bought mine at PetSmart which was super convenient because I go there to get essentials for my three cats too. Plus it looks like PetSmart had the full range of Purina® Pro Plan® formulas.

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Want to try Purina® Pro Plan® for free?

Visit the Purina® Pro Plan® MyPLAN website to get your dog’s MyPLAN recommendation and a rebate offer for a free bag of Purina® Pro Plan® Dry Dog Food (4-6lbs, up to $18.99.)
Good only in U.S.A. A.P.O’s, F.P.O’s. Void where taxed, prohibited, restricted. Allow 6-8 weeks for shipment. LIMIT ONE REQUEST PER INDIVIDUAL, ADDRESS, or EMAIL ADDRESS. Offer expires 04/30/2015. See full terms.