From Useless to Useful – A Purse Refashion

 

Don’t you hate it when things start to wear out prematurely? Despite my best efforts I was having no luck repairing this grey purse. First the lining started to separate at the bottom seam. I stitched it up, no problem, but then it started coming apart on the side seams! Grrr. Then the zipper broke. After trying a couple quick fixes that didn’t last (I really didn’t want to replace the zipper) enough was enough and I was ready to toss it.

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What i made… Leather edged infinity scarf

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The inspiration for this infinity scarf came from one I saw in Le Chateau. It was all black and it looked pretty cool but I thought, I can do this for cheaper and use real leather not this fake looking stuff! Earlier I had seen a beautiful rose colored skull scarf in H&M for $12.95 that I was on the fence about. Now that I had a DIY project in mind this seemed like the perfect scarf to use. Sold!

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This is very simple and quick! First I sewed the two short ends of the scarf together to make it an infinity scarf. Since both ends are finished I placed one end on top of the other and stitched over the thread.  I re-purposed the leather from a long jacket that I never wore and cut it into 1 1/2 cm strips. The good thing about leather or suede is you don’t have to worry about finishing the edge. I just folded each strip in half, ironed it down, and sewed it all around both edges sandwiching the scarf edge between the folded leather strip. Test your leather first to see if you should use a pressing cloth overtop as the iron can sometimes make the leather shiny. Bias tape would also look great and it comes in every color! You can even make your own bias tape if you have some fabric that you like.

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conclusion

I’ve been wearing this a lot! I think the black edging adds more dimension. I like the colors and it’s perfect for chilly, but not too chilly, fall weather.

What I made today… Knit button ring

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Happy Victoria Day everyone! Fun fact: I was born on Victoria Day but since it’s always on a Monday my birthday doesn’t often fall on that day. This year my birthday’s on a Friday! Anyways, back to what I made. While I was looking at instagram one day I saw some photos of knitted rings. They’re made by Claire Ward who lives in Sydney, Australia. Her line is called Bless Your Cotton Socks and her nautical knitted rings are so cute! You should check them out on her Etsy page www.blessyourcottonsocks.etsy.com She loves cats too! Since I have yarn and lots of buttons I thought I’d make one of my own. I think it looks fab! Thanks Claire, for the inspiration for such a cool, creative accessory.

I’d love if you’d follow me on instagram! Click on the yellow camera button in the top right hand corner or find me on instagram. My user name is victoria_day.

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I also got to visit my hometown this weekend and spend time with my family and this lovable pooch!

conclusion

Sometimes bigger (buttons) is better. I love finding new ways to take things I already own and create something fun to wear!

Knitting With Pearls: A DIY Bracelet

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I haven’t knit in quite awhile even though I have a stash of yarn and plenty of needles. While perusing Pintrest the other day I saw a picture for a DIY of a Super Simple Knitted Bracelet, and inspiration struck! If you want to check out the bracelet I saw along with other fashion DIY’s on my Pintrest page click HERE.

I still kept it simple by only using the basic garter stitch, which is where you knit every row, but used 2 weights of yarn to add the pearls and added a buttonhole. The materials I used and directions are below.

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Materials

  • Yarn in 2 different weights, 1 thinner for the pearls and 1 chunkier
  • knitting needles size 3.75mm
  • pearls or beads
  • yarn or upholstery sewing needles
  • button

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Directions

When choosing your yarns it is important that the yarn you pick is thin enough to fit through the needle that also is thin enough to fit through the pearls or beads your using. If you can’t find thin enough yarn embroidery floss would also work well! This is key because you need to string all the pearls onto the yarn before you start knitting. It is better to add too many pearls instead of too little because in order to add more you would have to break your yarn or start all over, not fun. I threaded 40 pearls onto my yarn and pushed them down the length of yarn so I could have enough room to start knitting.

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Holding both pieces of yarn together cast on 40 stitches. If you feel like your wrist might be smaller or larger cast on what you think would fit. Remember that a button and buttonhole is being added so there will be some overlapping! Also when knitting with 2 threads of yarn I try to keep my tension a little looser then normal just to make it a bit easier on myself. You will always be holding the 2 strands together through this pattern.

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Row 1: knit.

Row 2: knit 5 stitches, slide a peal up the length of yarn till it is at the needle. Knit your 6th stitch and as you bring the yarn around the needle bring the pearl with it.

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The pearl should be knit into your piece. Continue down the row knitting in a pearl every 5 stitches or so. Add your last pearl on or before the 35th stitch and knit to the end. You need to leave 5 stitches at the beginning and end of each row without any pearls so you can add the buttonhole.

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Row 3: knit 10 stitches, add a pearl and continue to the end same as row 2. Doing this will stager the pearls so they are not all in a straight line.

Row 4: knit 3 stitches then bind off 3 stitches. This will be your buttonhole! Continue down the row adding pearls.

Row 5: knit like row 3 but when you get to the 3 stitches you bound off cast 3 on and knit to end.

Row 6: Knit like row 2.

Row 7: Knit, without any pearls.

Bind off and weave you loose yarn ends into the piece. Your bracelet is almost done!

If your buttonhole is a little wonky don’t worry! And if some of your pearls poked out the back you can just push them through to the other side, like I did. Here’s the back of the bracelet.

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Using some thread or the thinner yarn sew your button onto the side without the buttonhole.

Now your beautiful bracelet is complete!

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Here’s a little tip: Don’t do like I did and let one of your balls of yarn get all tangly. What a mess! I will definitely be rolling my yarn into a ball before the start of the next project. sheesh.

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conclusion:

This is my first knitting tutorial so hopefully it is easy to understand. There are so many variations for this project. just using different yarn and buttons would give it another look. You could also use sequins or small shells instead of pearls! I just might have to make another!

homemade apron loveliness

 

OMG! I knew I was guilty of being an absentee blogger but I didn’t realise I had gone sooo long without posting. Shame on me! Well let me tell you, this abominable behaviour stops TODAY!

I’ve been thinking of lots of fun, creative, and interesting blog posts. I want to share more of what I’m up to, as well as people and places around Calgary and Alberta. But first I want to show you something I made in September 2012.

My Grandma’s birthday is September 2nd and I wanted to make her something that is pretty and useful. I decided an apron would fit the criteria perfectly! I used a pattern from Amy Butler’s In Stitches. You might recall I also made my mom a Mothers Day gift from this book a few years back.

 

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I picked the flowered fabric first and then used that color pallet to help choose the coordinating fabrics. It’s a heavy cotton that I though would hold up well as I’m hoping it gets plenty of use.

 

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A shot of the supplies. The pinking shears (which I love) were used to cut the organza to deter fraying.

 

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These are all the pattern pieces and a close up of the gathering. The pattern has square pockets but I thought hearts were much cuter. Also I knew the pockets wouldn’t be used much anyway so these are really just for sweetness sake. It’s hard to see, but there’s also a handy loop just under the waistband for hanging a towel.

 

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Here’s the finished product! I’m so glad the trim came ruffled. Doing it by hand would have been a lot more work.

 

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I included a card that my sister drew and finished the box off with a star-spangley ribbon in my Grandma’s favourite color!

 

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We don’t live in the same town so many thanks to my cousin Chantelle for taking this picture of my Grandma Hilda modeling her apron. Great pose!

conclusion

Homemade presents are great! And so is NOT neglecting my blog. eep.

Velvet: devore etching and dying

I had such a great time at the Red Deer College Summer Series this July. I admit I was a bit lonely in the evenings, no T.V! gasp, but what I learned was definitely worth a little me time. I read two whole books! The other ladies in my course, transforming cloth, were all fantastic and the instructor, Lynn Pflueger, was amazing!

The technique used on this velvet scarf is called devore. Here is the definition from my booklet.

“Also known as “burn-out”, devore is a process whereby cellulose fibres are carbonised by acid and heat, then the burned-out fibres are removed by washing. This results in a partly translucent effect in poly/cotton blends, and “holes” in pure cotton.”                

-Lynn Pflueger

I’ll take you through the steps! After sketching my idea and finalizing the layout I pinned the scarf, fluffy side down, to a saran wrap/towel covered board and taped off sections to insure continuity. I learned a way to create stamps that makes it really easy to get the placement you want. Cut out craft foam and rubber cement it to Plexiglas! It’s the little things that really blow my mind! Lol.

Using P-4 thickened paste (the acid) I stamped my print on and painted the design on the ends of the scarf. Then I let it fully dry.

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The next step is to use an iron to heat the dried paste only until it achieves a cafe au late color. This can be tricky because you only want to “burn” the fibres enough so they fall off, not so you scorch the rest of the fabric.

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And now it’s magic time! Oooohhhh! Simply swish the scarf in water and… Voilà the print is revealed! Ok, it’s more like put the scarf in a jar and shake the crap out of it and rinse it lots to make the burnt fibres fall off. It’s not really magic, it’s science.

After immersing the scarf in a soda soak for 15 minutes it’s time to apply the fibre reactive dye. I had a lot of fun with this. I used an eye dropper, paint brush, and my fingers to rub the dye around. My fingers got a little stained but that’s the mark of a dedicated artist.

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I wrapped the scarf in plastic wrap and left it to “cure” overnight in our hotbox. The ideal temperature for this is 70 deg F. The next day I gave it a wash and then it went into a pot of weak acid dye solution for an hour. This process would only dye the background fabric, giving the scarf more depth and an interesting sheen. I choose red.

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I’m really happy with the end result! And now that it’s getting a little colder out I can wear it!

I have more projects I’m working on from the samples made during this course that I’m excited to share too.

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conclusion:

The week spent at RDC was very informative, eye-opening and above all fun! Yay for learning!

Giving my phone a little kawaii DIY

 

I cant remember where I came across Mr. Kate but I am so glad I did! Her website is www.mrkate.com and I highly recommend checking it out if, like me, you enjoy lifestyle blogs that are cute, quirky, and engaging.

that’s where I found this DIY tutorial for a Kawaii decoden Japanese inspired phone case. I was so excited to try it out I went right out and bought the supplies for it. And that’s about as far as I got till my old phone case started getting embarrassingly worn. The moment for crafting had arrived! This project turned out to be so quick and so fun I forgot to take pictures mid craft. ooops!

Mr. Kate has such a great tutorial and pictures on her site, as well as a list of supplies. If you take a look I’m sure you’ll be just as charmed with her as I am.  *View the tutorial* 

I thought I would share my DIY experience and maybe give a little inspiration if you want to make your own.

To get ready I got together buttons and other odd bits I already owned.

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I laid out the decorations first to get a rough idea of where I wanted them.

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The caulk is really easy to apply and a lot less messy then I thought it would be. I used a chopstick to swirl the silicone around and then applied the beads around the edge first. An old pair of tweezers made placing the smaller decorations a snap. Resting the case on a jar to dry helped it not stick to the newspaper.

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I let it dry overnight and here is the end result! Kind of a summer by the sea theme.

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That blingy bit on the top of my phone is a earphone port dust protector. I never even knew such a thing existed until I saw them at a kiosk on Stephens Ave. My phone sure is pretty now!

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Conclusion: This may not be practical for everyday use but it sure is a great conversation starter!