Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Copper Ring Inspiration

Due to delivery delay and no weekend available to spend the day with my sewing machine I can only give a short but nevertheless worthwhile inspiration for your finger decoration. Lately I became a little frustrated that I have so few rings to wear, and since I am a friend of gold jewellery it is indeed difficult to find the right one for me (considering my taste the chance is diminished to a minimum). Inspired by Etsy's knot ring I paid a visit to my dad's garage and came back with copper wire (power cable) and several pliers. This is the result:

Try to make two nooses with the plier and wind another piece of wire around (this should be the knot). Through the little loop at the backside thread a third piece of wire and form it into a ring.

With a plier hold three pieces of copper wire and try to braid them (this takes a little time).

The knot ring. Easy as it sounds- try to make a knot into one larger piece of wire. Cut the ends in the desired length and form a ring.

I really like the copper's colour, it reminds me a bit of red gold. I hope you're insprired and try all sorts of forms with this material.

Friday, 25 May 2012

FAKE IT: Element inspired fake lace back top

or: MY lace experience.
I say: It's official now, lace is totally en vouge. Or you give me another reason why Michelle was able to read my thoughts about this week's post. Luckily she solved it differently than I did since I'm a little bit complicated about certain materials.

My grandmother was a dressmaker (not that she would teach me anything... too far away) and so my whole family cared about the right material, always the natural option was preferred so as wool, silk or cotton. Therefore I am also caring about this and in most cases that is not too bad. Coming to lace I have a kind of love-hate relationship with it. Firstly there is the one made of handmade cotton one, feeling nice, looking great and expensive the price just fits the product... even though you can get it on fleamarkets for a quite affordable amount of money its a rarely used material in my projects. On the other hand the polyester ace you can get for a smaller budget. My problem with this is not only the look (always thinking about certain women working at night since it looks (sorry dear lace) cheap) but also the feel on my skin, its itchy and not nice, so using this is also no real option.

So when I discovered a element top at a (crap) fashion/lifestyle market, I flipped... because pieces of leftover fabric are quite reachable...

What we need:

A vest top/tank top
a piece of fabric: cotton
thin paper
"vliselline" (brand does not matter) (optional)

scissors (fabric ones, small ones), chalk, etc

sewing machine

1. While wearing my top I marked the height of my bra since I do not like showing anything of it (even the straps and me ain't the best friends). I decided to set the seam quite a bit higher so I was on the safe side.
2. After laying the paper over the top I traced the area for the desired back part decorated with the lace so I had a basis for templates.

3. There is my ready "creative space" template...
4. And on basis of this I made another one showing the desired design...
5. Both of them together.

6. Now I copied the the design on the fabric.
7. After cutting it out on the outer lines I would trace them also on vlieseline because...
8. ... then I used a iron to fix it on the fabric since this will prevent the fabric from fraying.
9. Now I was able to cut the pattern part out, use your smaller scissors.

9. Use a leftover piece of fabric to test the seam of your sewing machine.
10. Start sewing by placing the fabric just like on the picture, frame all edges...
11. Ready! The whole piece is framed... was a hell lot of work and I was quite happy to have a pattered fabric so little mistakes are nearly invisible...

Now it comes to finishing of the top:
12. In order to do so you should draw your wished backline of your basic top and cut it out by leaving 1 cm seam allowance. Also cut the top at the straps.
13. Then sew along it after folding the seam in using a stretch stitch. Do the same at the straps.
14. Finally you can sew your "lace" to the prepared top.

And there it is: My element inspired fake lace back top... I kind of underestimated the time for all the seaming but in the end I really liked the result even though my "lace" piece looks a little bit like a bull...  phew. It's a wood patterned bull and he totally rocks^^

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

The Lace Experience

Inspired by the latest lace trend and my everlasting curiosity for Parisian fashion I lately decided to use this fabulous kind af fabric for my own purposes. Given the fact that lace embodies classic chic and has the ability to both give a hint of disclosed skin and simultaneously cover it it's the perfect partner for a glamorous appearance (and which woman wouldn't want that?).
This tutorial is quite easy, yet it requires a bit of sewing practice (it takes some time if you have no sewing machine), but as usual I say to you that it's worth the effort.

We need:

a black shirt

black lace (enough to cover your back)

needle and yarn (better: a sewing machine)

optional: tailor's chalk and dividers

1) Seperate the back of your tee from the front by detaching the old seams running along the back of
the shirt.
2) Optional: If you want to change the neckline of your shirt do it in the form you want. I marked the point how wide I wanted it to be and with the dividers drew two semi circles until I reached approximately a 4 centimetre space to the armpits. Then I drew a straight line to the shoulders, cut
it and sewed it.
3) Now take the back of the tee (the piece of fabric you just separated) and with fixing needles pin it onto the lace fabric.
4) Cut out the lace leaving some space at the top and bottom (the upper and lower part of your shirt). Sew these parts securing the hem.
5) Now the tricky part: Lay both your piece of lace and the front of your shirt with the right side onto   another and fix the lace to the exact place where the two pieces were before sewed together.
6) Carefully join the lace and the front part, I recommend securing the seams.
7) Now just turn the shirt and you're ready!

I'm really proud of this piece although the neckline shows a bit too much skin for my taste, I guess I need to secure it somehow. Apart from that this could really become one of my favourite garments for summer night parties.

Friday, 18 May 2012

VISIT Maastricht: Traders Pop

Since Maastricht is just around the corner from Cologne going there on a day-trip basis is a nice opportunity to spend a free day. But even though the city consists of really nice houses and offers amazing French fries at "Reitz Friture" (Market, next to McDonalds, just look for the queue), doing the thing a girl loves to do was not too attractive to me: Yes, there are many typical stores to shop in, but h&m, bershka and Zara can be easily found in Cologne, so why bother to drive 100 km one-way to visit them in the Netherlands.

Clothing and books

The reason why I have visited Maastricht even after realizing that where the few smaller shops at the other (eastern) side of the river Maas and my beloved Café in the bookshop located in a church -and (during Napoleon's invasion) horse stable. Especially the first are quite nice ones, offering especially home goods and interesting (expensive) objects. Nothing rocking my boot, but still nice.

Just on one of my last visits I discovered another part of Maastricht, and loved it. Don't ask me why I needed so much time to find it since it is quite close to the main streets, but I found the place to go to right after arriving in Maastricht: Traders Pop. This store is just perfect. It stocks women's and men's clothing ( this fact is important, so your boyfriend comes with you without any use of force) from brands with nice designs like Betit Bateaut, Cheap Monday, Nyümph.... Furthermore you will find several art and design books (I guess next time I will buy a "Fashionary" there... no shipping cost = win!), postcards with art prints aaaand ... Vintage clothing.

 The awesome Vintage section
Yes, you will roll your eyes, I know Vintage is a often used word for old, smelly stuff and every oh-so-amazing-hipster-or-whatever is wearing the stuff after buying it for really high prices, but still... some vintage items are quite nice. I'm not the biggest fan of vintage stores either, since I am the bargain hunter I am and my mum kept all her clothing, so I have a free vintage store. But Traders Pop does actually stock really nice pieces in good quality, so I can at least understand some of the prices. Another rarity they offer are also men's clothing in this section and I was quite jealous since their Burberry coats would not fit me. Furthermore they had quite funny things like a whole clothing rack dedicated to blue and white striped t-shirts and (I laughed really hard) leopard print overalls.... don't ask me who is supposed to wear them^^

 Spotting your prom dress there?
In addition to all the consume possibilities Traders Pop does also consists of the former Traders Pop Gallery, now called "Wild West active space", as far as I understood an interactive gallery/ meeting point / community thing / etc.

So this blogpost just wants to encourage you to visit Maastricht and run into this amazing place while I am chilling in London :). By the way the whole street/ area is quite nice, so just walk around there....

Heggenstraat 16
6211 GW Maastricht
Tel: 043 3210830

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Pimp Your Blouse II

So now here is the second tutorial on how to upgrade the white blouses in your wardrobe, and with this one I seem to follow the current trend of "gradient" fashion which I see everywhere. Believe me, these gradients have even infected my nails... The thing with dying is that it depends on so many elements, which fabric, which colour, which dying technique. Better read the prescription given in the package or you'll end up having a rose colour where you initially wanted white. Anyway, I am overall satisfied with the result, I really like the colour although it is not exactly as I wanted it to be.

 We need:

a white blouse

textile colour

a large bowl

a hanger

1. Weigh the content of the textile colour salt
    and divide it into four portions.
2. Mix the first portion with water and hang the
    blouse in the bowl until the mixture reaches
    the shoulder section (I'd recommend to build a
    contraption to secure the height of the blouse:
    Fix thread to the hanger and tie it to your
    shower head.)
3. Wait 15-20 Minutes and mix the next portion
    into the water, hanging the blouse a bit higher.
4. Repeat step 3 until your blouse is completely
    dyed (you might want to wait a little longer
    with the last two sections).
5. Now wash the blouse as described in the prescription and let it dry. Ready!

I must say that this was a comparatively easy project as I could just let the blouse hang in the shower while doing other things (except showering). I hope you got inspired to dye as many things as you can!

Friday, 11 May 2012

DIY Tassel belt

Tassels are "in", I know I'm not telling you anything new since this is the status at least since last autumn, but still... I really like them and you will have to cope with that: My today's project was inspired by the two black tassels I found at a flea market for 50 ct. each, quite a bargain compared with in-store prices.
And in addition to that I used a autumn color, but by knowing about one Australian will (maybe) read this: I'm even going with the season ^^

Don't ask me what happened to the image, blogger.com and me are on war right now (see other pictures)

What we need:
(Don't ask me why I didn't make the usual picture... and when I realized it was missing I wasn't able to recreate it... -.-)
piece of fabric (velvet rules) or leather 20 cm x 65 cm (length depends on your waist measurements)
cord (you see which type) ca. 120 -150 cm (see above)
2 tassels

paper for your template

1. Create your template. Length-wise your belt should have a small gap at the back when wearing it so measure your waist and subtract 3-5 cm
2. Copy your template on your fabric and cut it out, remember to add about 1.5 cm seam allowance.
3. Sew along the sides of your belt, outside on outside, besides the area I marked blue on each side.
4. Flip your belt over so your inside is now outside.

5. Push the end of your cord inside the left open ends and fix it by sewing on this area several times.
6. Since my cord tended to fringe and undo I used some ordinary sewing yard and wraped it several times around each end.
7. The trickiest part of the belt: Attach the tassels. I did it similar as point 6, but I'm not really happy with this solution, so I will probably just glue a piece of fabric around the ends so it will stay.

So, hope you still like the belt even though it is sooo "yesterday" and sorry for the oddly shaped pictures, don't know what happened there

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Pimp Your Blouse DIY I

It seems like a long time I already stare at the three white blouses in my closet, two of them being heirlooms of my grandma's. I now decided to reinvent two of them, summer very close to becoming reality (oh yes, I believe it is close).

We need:

a white blouse

needle and yarn (or a sewing machine)

textile colour

1. Cautiously seperate the arms from the rest of
    the blouse.
2. With fixing pins stake out the new seams and
    sew it by hand or with a sewing machine.

3. Mix a colour of your choice and after securing
    the borders with tape paint the button tap. I'd 
    recommend to paint part of the other side as
    well as it will be partly visible when wearing
    the blouse.
4. Do the same with the collar, painting only the
    outer border of it (both sides).
5. Iron the painted areas as prescribed on the
    paint (I did it with a kitchen towel between
    the fabric and the flat iron).

That's it! Now you're as good as ready for summer:

Friday, 4 May 2012

Selfmade advocaat or Mother's Day the second

Yes, it's not Easter anymore, but I do believe mothers and other ladies love this drink all year long: Advocaat or egg liqueur. A classic, often  bought, but easily homemade.
So look for a nice glass bottle and start doing your own right now, since most of the ingredients should be in any well-stocked household. But please buy fresh eggs, otherwise you can easily catch something.

You will see, your Mum will only want to drink your homemade advocaat after getting her bottle.

What we need:

250 ml whipped cream
1 vanilla bean
65 g sugar
4 really fresh egg yolks
65 g sugar
125 ml Cognac, Whiskey or Brandy, I also saw a few recipes with Vodka... no guarantee for that

1. Put your cream, the scratched out vanilla, the shell of the vanilla bean and the first portion of sugar in a pot and heat it till it boils, put it aside.
2. At the same time heat the egg yolks and your sugar in a bain-marie while whipping it with a blender or a whisk till its creamy and light yellow. This needs a few minutes.
3. Boil your cream-mixture again, so it's nice and hot when you add it to your egg-mixture while stirring it with something. Pour it through a sieve so the vanilla bean shell stays outside.

4.While stirring leave it quite a while in the bain-marie so it gets thicker.
5. Add your cognac (etc) and leave it for a while, so it cools down.
6. Fill it into a sterilized bottle.

1. You can easily freeze the egg white... or make macaroons

2. To sterilize your bottle you can either fill it with boiling water and wait a few minutes ( for shorter storage) or you put it into the oven for about 15 min by 130°C, let it cool down for a few minutes before filling it.

Enjoy it and *hicks*  Cheers!

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Pearl Statement Necklace

With so many pearls left from my collar necklace I decided to use them for a good cause. And with Mother's Day already knocking at the backdoor of my memory what better could I do than to make something for my mother and let her have a share in my works?
Okay, so this piece is really very easy and quick, but has a great effect on your wardrobe. All you need is two of my favourite materials as it seems and a bit of filament:

We need:

pearls in different sizes and shades

filament (gold or silver)

satin ribbon

needle and yarn

1. Cut five pieces of filament of the same length and twist them
    together at the end (leaving abot 3cm filament for later)
2. Thread a pearl on each strand taking different sizes, and carefully
    twist the strands together between each group of pearls.

3. Repeat step 2 until you have one strand of approximately 25
4. If you have some pearls left, try to weave them into the strand,
    filling out spaces.

5. The filament leftover is to be formed into a
    sort of longish loop.
6. Cut the satin ribbon into two pieces, thread it
    through the loops and sew the ends together.

That's it:

I hope you can get some inspiration out of this, of course you can take pearls in different colours as well.