суббота, 21 мая 2011 г.

katarina sells sea shells

Easy-Fast-Fabulous: sweater with leather shoulders DIY

Haven't posted a tutorial in a while, especially a fashion related.
I've seen this kind of sweater somewhere somewhen, might have been on tv, a blog or (even) real life. I can't remember. But browsing the internet brought up similar styles very quickly:

left: sweater by American Retro (184$ on sale), right: Katy Perry

I like the soft knit against the leather. It reminds me a bit of a gun holster which is kind of cool, though also a bit confusing, too, as I don't like guns.
Anyways, it's a super simple DIY and can be varied quite a bit: use a heavy textured fabric e.g. corduroy, upholstery fabric, pleather, brocade, felt or a different kind of knit; whatever suits your fancy.

I got my sweater on ebay but I guess most people have it at home already. I'm very happy with it as it was brand new, I got it for 1€ and it's by Alternative Apparel- a brand I've heard nothing but good things about.
Mine has raglan sleeves which resulted in a style of the one by American Retro but if you have a sweater with regular sleeves you can go for a look like Katy Perrys sweater.


Material: sweater +  scrap leather

Tools: sewing machine +

1. Use the pencil to mark where you want the leather to meet the fabric of the sleeves.

2. Leave a bit of a seam allowance and cut parallel to the marked line from seam to seam. Use the seam ripper to unpic the seams all the way to the neckline. Do this to both sleeves.

This is how it should look like:

3. Use the pieces as a template to cut the same shape out of leather.

4. Unpic the seams of the sleeves a bit until you meet your marked line (the seam allowance should not be connected to the front or back, you want those 1-2cm to hang loose so to speak). Then sew the bottom edge of the leather to the sleeve so you'll end up with complete sleeves again.

5. Now sew the sides of the leather pieces to the front and the back pieces of your sweater and you are done!

Happy DIYing!

Tutorial: Leather vs. Pearls Brooch

This is the result of a too short freshwater pearls necklace and a boring evening. It felt kind of painful to cut up real jewelry cause I didn't know how my idea would turn out but I like the combination of masculine leather and feminine pearls.

I used some nylon thread to string the pearls and this template to create a cross-pendant.

I also pushed an eyepin through each beam of the cross to help it holding its shape.
Then I made the bow out of these two pieces of leather.

Simply gather it on the marked line and use some glue and piece 2 to hold it in place. I used a safety pin that I stuck under piece 2 as the brooch pin.
Then I attached the pendant to the bow using a jump ring and voila, it's done! It helps to poke the leather with a thicker needle so the jumpring will go through it more easily.
Like it?

Necklace Makeover

So a while ago I showed an agate-necklace I made. I still liked the idea but not how it turned out. Just looked too crafty, if that makes sense.

Being inspired by these agate harnesses by Brook&Lyn, who's designs have been featured on stylebubble.com and parkandcube.com, I decided to rework the necklace into a new one. I read that they crochet a frame around each slice and then sew the rope onto that frame. Sounded doable to me. 
Now I like how they used more round agathe slices and stones with more vibrant colors and layers with different textures that look way prettier than mine and also they are obviously way more tallented at crocheing than I am, but it was a good option to rework something I had at home anyway and wasn't happy with, without spending a lot of money. 

So I took some smooth purple yarn (I think emroidery floss would work as well or just use the special crochet yarn they sell at craft stores), a crochet hook (a medium size), needle and thread in a matching color (I had to redo some of my work because the black thread showed through the stones) and the agate slices.

I simply used chain stitches (2 rows) to create a yarn ring that would fit snugly around a slice and would then add one row on each side with fewer stitches so the slice wouldn't fall out to one side. It's a little bit fiddly. If you're a more advanced croche-er, you could go for fancy designs and maybe could do without the help of glue... my saviour.

Then I would secure the slice from the back through straining some thread between the yarn edges. I rather show you a picture because I'm not sure if the last sentence made any sense.

I did this to all my slices which I then arranged to my liking and sewed together.

Lastly I finished the necklace by sewing robe all around the pendant and finishing the ends with chain caps and adding a little monkey fist I made out of left over rope.

You can probably apply this technique to a variety of round objects: pictures glued to cardboard, any cabochon shape or just plain pebbles. I like it way better than before, now I just have to get an idea what to do with the chain from the first version. Any suggestions?

Tutorial: Gucci wrap belt- easy, fast, fabulous

Things that get exponentially better the more you have of them: chocolate, good friends and for me: tassels.

I just really like them. They are playful and rich looking at the same time. They instantly add charme to anything. They are still an unique accessory- at least where I'm living.

If you follow fashion, you might know that the pictures aren't as fresh as the morning dew, but Gucci isn't usually a brand I follow. BUT when I saw this picture recently- again I can't remember where, I knew that I wanted to give a belt a DIY-try.

picture via here
last two pictures via here
It's a simple thing to do that doesn't require a lot of material and doesn't take long to make. And it will set you apart from others on a small price... I got quite a lot of attention while wearing it from my fellow students who seemed to have a lot of fun playing with it. Though that might not be the reaction you'd hope for but hey, there's no fashion victim amongst them, so I don't mind that they thought it was great because they had fun instead of great because it is stylish.

You'll need: 8 pieces/ scraps of leather, at least 10cm x 20cm 
                   a couple of big decorative beads with a big hole
                   craft glue

1) Cut the leather scrap into a circular piece, as big as possible. Then cut the circle into a spiral to get a long leather strip. I cut mine ca. 0,5cm wide and 3m long (I wanted to be able to wrap the belt around my hips twice [ca. 2,5m long] plus added 0,5m because of the braid- you can always go shorter after braiding the belt). Repeat five times so you'll end up with six long strips. I used two strips per braid strand to make the belt thicker. Rather use more strips per strand than cutting the strips wider as they won't braid as nicely.

2) Make a knot into one end, ca. 15cm from the end. I attached my belt to a door knob and started braiding until 15cm before reaching the other end where I made another knot. A butterfly hairclip helps to keep the braid in place in case you need both of your hands to detangle the unbraided ends.

3) String the beads symmetrically to both ends. Add leather tassels to both ends following my leather tassel tutorial.

Tadaa. Like I promised, an easy one. 

If you don't love the leather but like the idea, you could always go for the fabric version. Maybe get some that are already attached to a rope from the home decor section and add a little clip or something to the back as a closure. That woulnd't technically be a wrap belt but I imagine it to look really pretty with the tassels in the front sitting on your waist worn over a LBT. I believe you can get away with that, especially during this time of the year. When, if not now?

I now have to eat dinner, I'm really hungry. Have a nice evening everybody.

Tutorial: Pilgrim necklace

I don't know if you are familiar with the danish jewelry designer brand Pilgrim. They make good quality costume jewelry, have whimsy designs and aren't too expensive. When I was browsing the Asos.com webside a while ago, I saw this necklace by Pilgrim:

I think it looks just so beautiful; delicate but still noticeabel. It wasn't terribly expensive but I tried ordering from Asos.com a while ago and I never recieved the package. I kow that that was probably an exception but it still makes me hesitate to order again. Also I had almost everything at home to make my own version of it and today I want to show you how I did it.

You'll need:
- crafts clay, color isn't important
- metallic powder in gold
- 9 rinestones, they have to be made out of glass as they have to be heat resistant, I used Swarovsky crystals (you can see that Pilgrim used different sizes, but I created an optical illusion of two different sized crystals by using different sized borderings), 4mm
- 5 grommets, 5mm
- chain/ necklace
- 8 jumprings, 4mm
- 5 eyepins
- clear laquer (I used a clear nail polish)

- crafts knife
- pliers/ tweezers
- brush
- riveting plier
- glass/ rolling pin
- 4 sewing pins (again no plastic ends, they have to make it through the oven)
- a few cotton buds

1) First crimp the grommets, roll out the clay.

2) Lay the five grommets onto the clay and push them down, remove excess clay.

3) Place one crystal in the centre of each grommet and push it into the clay so it will stick to it.

4) Cover every visible part of the clay (backside too) with the metallic powder.

5) Now repeat the steps using a jumpring as a boardering this time. Cut around the jumpring removing the excess clay with the craft knife but leave a little bit of excess at one side that will act as suspension. Make a tiny hole with a pin into it according to the picture and cover in metallic powder again.

6) Push a pin through each of the jumpring pendants. They will be helpful when brushing on the powder and ensure you that the hole will stay open while baking.

7) Bake the pendants according to the manufacturers advice. Let them cool off, remove the pins and the excess metallic powder with a cotton bud and some water and seal the pendants with clear laquer.

8) Take an eyepin and open the loop a little bit. Thread it through an opening on the grommet-pendants that formed through crimping the grommets.

9) Close the loop again, froms a second one that stands on the first one, being rotated through 90 degrees like shown in the picture. Cut off the excess.

10) Thread a jumpring through the holes on the jumpring-pendants. You should end up with this:

11) Connect the pendants to your chain, two of the jumpring pendants to each side and the five grommet-pendants in the middle, leaving ca 1 cm between each of them. And you're done!

As I have so much clay left after I made my DIY-House-of-Harlow-necklace, I've been experimenting with this material a lot. I have one more item up my sleeve that I will show you soon. I'm not sure if you aren't already sick of it but I promise that there will be another jewelry-tutorial soon, that doesn't involve clay at all. But that stuff is sooo versatile...

Easy, fast, fabulous: dahlia leather pin DIY

I try to keep my DIYs rather simple but this could be done by children. And it's great for using up scraps of non-fraying material.

All you need is a scrap of pleather/ leather/ felt/ whatever, a safety pin/ brooch pin and some glue.
As for tools, you need a pair of scissors, fabric marker, ruler, three round objects, pins.

Draw either three same sized circles using three different diameters- you should end up with nine circles. Take a ruler and devide the circles into eight sections as shown in the picture.

Cut out each section and trim the rounded edge of each piece as shown in the picture to create a barb.

Roll every piece into a cone and secure with some glue. I found it very helpful to pin the overlapping edges in place. Let it dry and snip off the bottom for a cleaner look.

Cut out a circular base for your dahlia. I prefer thick jersey or felt as those fabrics can absorb the glue and the result seems to be more durable.

Glue down the pedals, starting with the biggest ones. Use big and medium sized ones for the next row, medium sized for the third and small ones for the fourth row and the center. Use your scissors to adjust the lenght if neccessary.

As usual, I used a safety pin as my brooch pin with the help of a little jersey strip that I glued over the static part of the needle.

I really like the vintage look, paired with my red and white sixties cardigan.

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