DIY Restyle - Bagging a Man's Suit

Restyle - Bagging a Man's Suit
Handbags are made from just about anything you can think of. There is the recycling of what we consider throwaway materials such as plastic bags cut into strips and then crocheted into a bag or can tops clipped together to make a mesh fabric for totes.
Restyling is huge with belts made into barrel-shaped bags, jeans made into totes and what I found to be particularly interesting, men's suits.
It's a shame to see a good quality suit discarded, a common occurrence when fashion dictates its time for an update and the inevitable weight gain or loss makes it necessary to buy a new one.
All the more reason for a quality suit to be restyled and given a second life.
A variety of rich fabrics including banker's pin stripes are used to make these artistic bags. The Brazilian artist, Edson Raupp sells his impeccably made bags at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, a museum renowned for it's art and design.
Read further for more examples and ideas of how designers have been inspired to use suits in their designs. A French designer illustrates how she utilizes all the parts of a suit to make her bags.


Needlecrafts - Knit, Swonchos

Needlecrafts - Knit, Swonchos-ponchos with sleeves
What the heck is a Swoncho?
When I first came across this term, I nearly fell off my chair laughing. I guess morphing two words together and getting a new hybrid name makes "sweater poncho" easier to remember. Personally, I had to Google the word, finally got an image and had an AHA moment when I realized what the term meant.
You can see from the examples above that there are many kinds of sweater ponchos. Some are really capelets with sleeves. The raglan shaping in the top left one is very attractive and leaving the sleeves without cuffs makes it easier to layer underneath.
Tunic length would be my preference as it looks to be cosy and easy to wear instead of a jacket when it is cool.
Read further and get a free pattern for a tunic length sweater poncho.


Style Notes - Bright On Colour

Style Notes - Bright Spots
Top Left H&M ad | Top Right Gap Kids | Bottom Left Old Navy Kids | Bottom Right J.Crew Kids
One important lesson I learned very quickly (sales figures told me in black and white) was that kids loved colour. They weren't afraid of colour. Well, bright colours are here again, not that brights ever went away, at least not for kids.
Brights and neon brights used in total or just as accents have been popular a few seasons now. What is especially attractive are the brighter pastels, still potent, but not screaming.
Read on to see how you can rethink colour in knitting, add colourful 3D dimension to plain t-shirts and create bright accessories with your kids.


Needlecrafts - Knit, A Beginner's Sweater

Needlecrafts - A Beginner's Sweater
I've always loved this patternbook, which is why it's remained a constant in my knitting library. The simple idea of making garments from squares and rectangles has always fascinated me and was the perfect go-to pattern when teaching someone to knit. Not only does the beginner get to practise their knitting skills with an easy stitch like the garter stitch, but they are quickly knitting up the pieces for their garment.
The 4 rectangles that make up this garment also make it easy to design something that is personal and unique. Hopefully you will be inspired as I am and if you are an accomplished knitter maybe you would like a change.


DIY - Heartwarming Ideas

DIY - Gifts - Heartwarming Ideas
Valentine Gifts and Projects
The heart has always been a popular and appealing design element, but I've found that a lot of the designs were either too busy with patterns or in some cases, too juvenile.
The following projects are simple, fun to do and can be easily modified to suit your needs.
T-shirt Restyle
This is a very simple and attractive restyle. The colours here are neutral, but a black and white combination or neon and white would also be very current and stylish.
The heart cutout can be further embellished with crystals and pearls, giving the top a more dressy look.The heart can be have finished edges or left raw to fray.
Black lace heart on a white t-shirt, crochet heart for texture - it's all good.
Look beyond the jump for more "heartfelt" ideas.


Needlecrafts - Knit|Crochet Stitch Primer

Needlecrafts - Knit-Crochet Fur Stitch Pattern
Images | Pinterest
Fur Stitch pattern design
Fashion's recent love affair with fur has certainly caused the fur to fly. Whether or not you choose to agree or disagree on this issue, there are alternatives that give the illusion of fur pile.
One such alternative is the loop stitch pattern and working this stitch singly or double, using different yarn types and weights will produce a variety of textures. Loops may remain as loops or cut for a fringe-like effect. Felting the fringe will matt the strands causing yet another interesting texture.

Examples shown above and below the jump illustrate just how versatile this stitch is and how different a look the garment takes on.
Read further for more style ideas, stitch tutorials and video tutorials.


DIY - Adding Some Sparkle

DIY - Restyle - Getting Your Bling On
Top Row:
1. Sequin Trim Panel | This is a simple, effective update, layering rows of sequin trim.
2. Fancy Glass and Bugle Beads | The fancy glass beads are very inexpensive and rimmed in "gold". Bugle beads, sewn in a spray, add texture. Hello Prada!
Middle Row:
3. Beaded Rolled Denim Sleeve Cuffs | No written instructions but visual shows project well. Anything goes here, the more variety in size, colour and sparkle is good.
4. Bejewelled Purse Strap | easy and quick project gluing on flat jewel embellishments, encrusting the whole strap.
Bottom Row:
5. Jewelled Beanie | Large Swarovski crystals were used, read expensive. Any different sized pearls, beads or "jewels" can be substituted.
6. Star Studs and Stripes | No instruction for placement on elbow but project is pretty straight forward. Additionally, would highly recommend stitching a liner behind studs on elbow to eliminate scratchiness.
Bling! Bling!


Needlecrafts - Making It Personal

Needlecrafts - Modifying Patterns
Cable Capelet Free Pattern

First off I would like to mention that this is a free pattern and more importantly, a fairly simple pattern to modify.
The weight of yarn and tension can be important as it determines the finished size of your garment. In this case whether the capelet is an inch or two longer and wider is not a tragedy, but garments that are heavily cabled or have a specific sizing and structure are recommended only for knitters with strong stomachs and lots of patience.
I have neither, so this example is perfect.
Modifying in this case is really tweaking. We are making minor changes to stitches and measurements (hopefully, if your tension is not way off).

Things I Want To Change
  1. Not crazy about the bulky cable at the bottom of the capelet.
  2. Want a zipper or some kind of front closure - hate over the head turtlenecks.
  3. Love texture and easy, so I want a border of texture, but a relatively simple stitch.
Read further for changes and stitch pattern suggestions.


Needlecrafts - Knitting Stitch Primer

Needlecrafts - Trailing Leaves Stitch Pattern
Images | Pinterest
Leaf pattern design
I've always been fascinated with the trailing leaf design, how it puffed out giving a 3-dimensional effect. The weight of yarn also determined whether the pattern would be slightly flatter in a double knitting or totally blown out in a bulky weight.
Examples shown above show just how versatile this stitch is and how different it can look.
Read further for pattern stitches and free patterns.


DIY - T-shirt Makeovers

DIY - Restyle - Tshirt Makeovers-Art to a "T"
Top Row:
1. Bleach Pen Painting | love the painterly effects you get and really no "mistakes"
2. Stamp Printing | stamp rows, all over, in centre - it all works
3. Spray Paint | no tutorial, just a doily and fabric spray paint will do the trick.
Middle Row:
4. Ombre Dyeing | very effective on prints such as this striped tshirt
5. Marker Printing | using permanent markers to make bold graphic designs.
Bottom Row:
6. Painterly Flowers | no written tutorial, but images are easy to follow.
7. Sharpie Dyeing | bleeding Sharpie Pen ink marks with alcohol.
8. Potato Printing | great way to ease into stamping and printing with kids
We all have basic t-shirts in solid colours or at least black and white ones but sometimes you want to put your own stamp on the t-shirt you're wearing - literally.
There are so many creative ways to personalize your t-shirt with the methods shown here. Try one on, it can become addictive.


In Fashion - SpinExpo F/W '13 Knit Pattern Trends

Trendspotting - Graphicmania
Image and trend Info courtesy of Spinexpo New York
Happy New Year to everyone.
This time of year prompts me to think about all the new trends and the fresh possibilities they bring.
It's exciting to try something new, a stitch you've never encountered before or a colour combination you noted and liked. It's all good and gets the creative juices flowing.
One aspect of my job that I loved was attending the Colour Marketing Group Conferences. Groups from every industry and every department you could think of within each of the industries would sit down and collectively agree upon and determine the colour story and trends for the future. To my amazement, the story boards created in each group had similar themes. It was so much fun and you came back to work motivated and re-energized.
Graphicmania is a pattern trend of strong, graphic 70's patterns, particularly in black and white. We've already seen strong patterns highlighted in some collections this past fall. This trend continues into S/S '13 and F/W '13.
All Images |stylebistro.com
Look for more trend posts in the coming weeks