Thursday, April 23, 2009

It's Not Creepy If There Are Diamonds Involved

Call it macabre if you like, but this $24,000 bracelet/ring/skeleton is a good sort of ridiculous.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

It's Earth Day, Pimp Your Dreads


Earth Day comes but once a year and brings with it an overwhelming amount of pressure to make a show of caring about the environment. The thing is, I don't. Mime my mom and call it selfish between wringing your hands and yelling about "the fate of your grandchildren, oh god!" but yeah, it won't sway me. By the time the earth is going down in a great ball of flames, I'll be long dead and, if my life goes as planned*, I won't have any progeny to suffer the consequences of the water I waste and motors I leave running.

But like I said, it's Earth Day and I should at least look like I give a damn. For decency's sake and whatnot. So here's my plan: dreads. It's foolproof because everyone knows you don't have dreadlocks unless you're a full blown hippie with earth hugging tendencies the likes of which normal humans can barely comprehend. I found some instructions here and I've already gone weeks without washing my hair, so I'm basically half way there. Looks good, right?

*If my life goes as planned, I'll also be less of an ass someday, at which point I imagine I might care more about the environment.

DIY: No Sew Skirt

Enough with the accessories, this week's DIY is a no sew (well, minimal sew) skirt. You don't need a machine to make it and it's really not that hard. Let's start.
What You'll Need
  1. 1.5 to 2 yards of fabric with 60 inch widths. (Sizes 0 to 6 will be fine with 1.5 yards, larger than that should move up to 2, 2.5 for sizes above 10.) If you're new to clothes making, make this really easy on yourself by choosing a checked fabric that will give you lines to follow.
  2. An iron
  3. Scissor
  4. Straight pins
  5. 8 hook and eyes
  6. Needle and thread
  7. 1 large safety pin
  8. A paper towel
  9. Thick fusible interfacing.
  10. 3/4 to 1 inch thick elastic the length of your waist
Cut your fabric vertically into three pieces of decreasing lengths. The longest one-- your bottom layer-- should be an inch longer than you'd like your skirt to be. To find this length, hold the fabric at your waist and find the length you'd like. The other two pieces should be similar in length but one-- the top layer-- about two inches shorter than the other.
Now you're going to "hem" your pieces on the bottom and the sides of each. Start by ironing down a portion that's 1/2 to 1 inches. Use the checks to guide you. Once you've done this to the bottom and sides of all three layers (ignore the top side, doesn't need this), cut 1 inch strips of fusible interfacing, which becomes sticky on it's underside when heat is applied, and iron it over the folded area. This will bond your hems in place. In order to avoid ruining your iron with sticky refuse, cover the fusible with a paper towel and and iron over that. Use that steam button liberally, it will make the bond stronger.
Align your bottom two layers (the two longest). They should meet at the top. Your third layer goes on top of these two, but leave two inches overhanging the tops of the other two. Fold this excess over to create a loop wide enough to fit your elastic. Sew along this line, using the checks once again to give you a straight line.Your three layers of fabric should, at this point, be sewn together with something of a tunnel at the top. Cut your elastic to the length of your waist, attach a large safety pin to the end, and guide it through the tunnel. Sew down both sides to secure the elastic in place. Once it's secure, give the elastic one quick stretch and the gathers will arrange themselves evenly once it springs back into shape
It's hook and eye time. One or two at the very top of the skirt near the elastic, another right below the sewing line and the elastic, and the rest evenly space until you reach a couple inches above the bottom.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Marc by Marc Swimwear Fairly Adorable

I'm not generally a huge fan of Marc by Marc's particular brand of hipster chic, but his new swimsuits are cute enough to stifle the wannabe retro brand associations. The above is my favorite, probably due to residual nun-ly tendencies from Catholic school. You know, something about covering up for Jesus. Check out the rest of the collection here.

The Brooklyn Flea: A Few Good Finds In A Sea of Crap

Check out the only decent stuff amidst table after table of absolute crap at the Brooklyn Flea. I wrote about it for The Local.

The Mystery of the $25 Nail File

What makes a nail file worth $25? Well, there are crystals involved. And a fancy little carrying case. And also the air of superiority that you'll feel when you whip the thing out. But are crystal nail files like Nail Tek's $25 Swarovski-embellished model worth it when you can get a perfectly sturdy file for $1 or less?

Maybe.

The presentation-- from the crystal flowers to the carrying case-- is a little over the top. It's certainly not the nail file of the people, and not the sort of thing you'd use publicly. But the file itself, coated in finely ground crystal and supposedly impossible to wear out, is much gentler on your nails than a regular file. It's not good for heavy filing, but a great tool for shaping and refining. For those of you who consider biting your nails to a decent length maintenance, it's not worth the investment. Nail junkies might not regret the purchase though. The fact that it comes with ta lifetime guarantee also makes the blow of a double digit file a little easier to weather.

What's With the Padding?

Due to an apparent inability to grow up, buying bras still makes me wildly uncomfortable. Decided between the lace and the lycra, dodging over eager salespeople as they come uncomfortably close to your goods, tape measure in hand, the whole thing feels a tad traumatic. Rather than face the fear, I've moved my underwear shopping to the internet. The vast web, I assumed, would make my search so much easier.

Well, it did cut down on the embarrassed, squirmy factor, but it also resulted in a confusion so dense that I have yet to sort through it. No, it's not the myriad clasps and shapes and colors. That I get, even if I don't like it. Much less comprehensible is the padding.

Will someone please explain to me why anyone would wear a 34D padded bra? In what universe does that make any sense? It's like having a little too much ass going on and addressing the situation by eating a gallon of ice cream. It doesn't compute. And yet there they are, row after row of padded bras in sizes like 36DD.

I know plenty a small chested girl who's fallen back on the padding method and I suppose being born with boy chest does entitle you to a little futzing every now and again. But isn't all that padding false advertising? I mean, the assumption is that you're wearing the padded bra so that someone will want to see you naked. Then, the second that happens, the whole illusion falls to pieces. As a friend of mine so aptly put it when I misguidedly ranted at him about this: "by the time she's naked, trust me, no guy is going to care." Touche sir, but I still don't get it.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Look Less Homeless, Please

You know how you think that no one but you notices those nasty little fabric pills on your sweaters? You're wrong. Everyone sees them and at least half of the people looking are now wondering if you're homeless. Clearly, you can't be having that.

Now, it would be one thing if this weren't a fixable situation, if pills, once formed, could never be removed except one at a time by hand at the cost of your sanity. But that's not the case. Removing those icky little clumps of gathered fiber that make even the once-pretties of cashmere sweaters look like dish rags are easily disposed of.

Personally, I keep my knits fresh with a plain old shaving razor. It sounds ominous and potentially ruinous to clothing, but I've never had a ripping or snagging issue in years of using this method. All you do is pull the knit taut and run the razor over the pills gently, watching your old sweater emerge from the death grip of wear and tear. If you're still not convinced that your sweater won't end up as bloody as your legs after shaving, trying a fabric shaver instead. Travel size ones, which are good enough to tackle all but the most messed up of garments, will run you $10 to $25 and save you quite a lot more than that in sweater replacement costs. Just lay your knit flat and run the shaver over the surface, avoiding any embroidery.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Hippie Bullshit

We've all got that hippie-esque friend who insists that hair is best when unwashed and shaving your pits is for yuppies. We put up with them because they can not shave all they like and our legs are still stubble free. But having them around comes at a price: you'll probably end up trying some of their "awesome" hippie products at one point or another.

The thing is, chemicals suck and probably give us cancer, but the natural options usually leave us rubbing hippie bullshit all over our bodies and praying for a miracle. Know what? Your miracle's not coming because that's a crystal you just rubbed under your pits and that means you're going to continue smelling like day old ass. Sorry to bust your bubble, my dreadlocked friend.

I asked around and came up with some heinous hippie crap that is less beautifying than it is utterly useless and kind of funky smelling. Here goes...

(*Sorry about the pic. I know it's revolting, but I'm trying to prove a point.)
  • According to officemate Jess, "Burt's Bees Shea Butter Hand Repair Creme looks and feels like baby diarrhea! I just feel like I am smearing doo doo on my hands. It doesn't work as well as other hand creams, either." Yeah, we'll pass.
  • Dr. Bronner's "All in One" soap is definitively not magical, as the website claims. The company has been weaving that particular rug of BS for more than 60 years, meaning that your grandma's hippie friend probably used it to wash her car, hair and brush her teeth, too. Stop the cycle and insist on seperate products for your teeth and your fender, it's the decent thing to do.
  • Similarly lame and yet inexplicably popular is Tom's of Maine deodorant. Not only does it fail to keep away the stank, it also adds a little funky stench of its own and provokes nasty little rashes in sensitive skinned users. In short, the staff here at The Fetching universally opposes its us. And we spend way too much time thinking about beauty products, so you can totally trust us on this one.
  • While we're on the subject of smelling narsty, let's talk about crystal "deodorant." Actually, there's not much to say; it isn't deodorant andyou can rub it on all you like but you'll still be the weird smelling kid in the back of the bus.