Thursday, 30 April 2015

Wool sweater to cardigan refashion

I just love wool sweaters. Last year I was give a large mans wool sweater. I originally planned to boil it and felt the wool, but on closer inspection it was actually in good contition.
I adore wearing cardigans, they are great for layering and fab for spring when a jacket is too heavy but it's still too cool to go with short sleeves.

I used the pattern from Gertie Sews Vintage Casual. It was my first make from the book, and it won't be the last! I cut a size 6. I kept the original hem and cuffs, but had to find a way of binding the neck edge.

In the end I cut a strip of the sweater and treated it like I would a jersey binding. the results were great.

To prevent the neck and front edges stretching out of shape I applied a thin strip of interfacing. I also used ribbon to form a button band.

Wisely I tested the buttonhole first on a scrap, and it's a good job I did, as the knit fabric jammed and got caught in the button hole foot on two tries. I ended up folding a piece of baking paper around the edge and sewing the button hole over the top. this worked very well. It stabilised the fabric and was easy to tear away afterwards.

It's actually quite a while since I made this and I have worn it LOADS. It's a good basic cardy and great for layering. I need to make more of these.

Sunday, 26 April 2015

New landscapes

Stormy Sea - £95
I'm so pleased to be able to share with you my most recent paintings. These were created earlier this year and recently exhibitied at Newbiggin Maritime Centre.

House on the hill - £95
I work with acrylic paint and other items on canvas to create my paintings. I have't created any landscapes for a while, which is why I wanted to capture some of the local views - in my own style of course.

East Sea - £95
East Sea - detail
All these works are approximately 45 x 100 x 4.5 cm - not a format I work in usually, but I really enjoyed the challenge of working in a more elongated format to my usual work.

The Bay - £95
If you are interested in buying any of these - do get in touch. Each painting is £95 plus postage and packing.

The Loch - Sold

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Dying for a new lease of life - how to dye leather shoes.

I just love Dr Martens Shoes. I have done since I was about 17. Several years ago I had these tan leather Mary Jane DM shoes, which I wore all the time. You can see from the photo that they had become scuffed and rather tatty, to the point of being unsuitable to wear and they ended up relegated to the backof the shoe cupboard. 

A few weeks ago I was clearing out, and wondered if there was anything I could do to breathe new life into these that wasn't going to cost the earth. After a little bit of research I discovered that dying leather shoes wasn't that difficult and relatively inexpensive.

Step 1. Clean the layers of polish off the shoe. you can buy special deglazer to do this, but I used nail polish remover and cotton pads. deeper scuffs could be sanded with fine sand paper.

 Step 2. The dye. I bought Fiebing's leather dye from Amazon, it cost about £5, but i had some gift vouchers so I used those. I also bought neutral wax shoe polish, this was only £1. You will also need something to apply the dye with. I used a sponge dabber, but a natural fabric cloth or paintbrush would also work well. Gloves are also a good ideas to keep your hands clean.

Step 3. Cover the surface you are using with Newspsper and stuff the shoes with paper too to support them while you apply the dye.

Step 4.  Apply the dye. I worked in sections, starting from  the heel so I could check it was going on ok. This dye did run a little, but that was becasue I put too much on the sponge. apply a thin even layer and allow to dry fully. Depending on the style of your shoe, you may need to mask some areas with tape. I just wiped spills away with damp cotton wool. After the first coat of dye the shoes had a pinky tinge. In total I applied three coats of dye, allowing the shoes to dry completely in between each one. In total I used less than 1/3 of the bottle of dye.

 Step 5. Polish. I applied wax polish and buffed to a shine. I used two layers of the clear polish to achieve a good finish. The colour darkens considerably when the polish is added, so bear that in mind. I'm really pleased with the outcome and feel that these shoes have a new lease of life. can't wait to wear them.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...