clothes

Diary of a Frugalista:Stamped Denim

Diary of a Frugalista:Stamped Denim

When it is gloomy and rainy outside, it is the perfect time to stay at home and start some DIY projects!

Today I will show a sequel of my  Bleached Denim post. Let’s stamp!

My inspiration was these bleached-n-painted jeans shorts. I loved the idea of combining a bold black and white design with the subtle denim texture. The problem was… I could not do it by hand because I am so bad at drawing! What could be the solution? Stamping! Stamping is perfect for me. It is very easy to do, and gives a greater uniqueness and personal touch than what you can find in stores.

To my surprise, it was not easy to find good stamping accessories in Montreal. Some stampers were available at the art store DeSerres. Stamping kits were there too, but they were paired with a regular paint that is not suitable for fabric. Even Dollarama failed to help: I was only able to find toy stampers for kids there.

Of course, I could have bought the accessories on the Internet. But I did not want to wait – it was time to get creative!

I made a stamping inkpad out of a dish sponge that I cut through the middle. Small air-tight plastic containers from Dollarama became inkpad cases. The fabric paint was bought at DeSerres. Also, I bought a few floral and heart-shaped stampers there and got a bag of toy finger stampers at Dollarama.

 

At first, I did some sample tests. I diluted the pink paint with a bit of water and poured it on the sponge.  Then, I stamped the fabric and realized that- surprise, surprise! – results are better when stamping is done on a flat surface.

After stamping is done, the design needs to become permanent! The paint gets fixed by ironing for 5 minutes in cotton selection. Once fixed, the design resists machine washing and dry cleaning.

After waiting for the paint to dry, I washed the samples. Woo-hoo, it looks so cool!

Floral stamps looked pretty too.

Although I liked the resulting floral pattern, I wanted to make a geometric ornament with circles and rectangles. To do that, I bought an eraser and used its wide side as a stamper. The circle was made out of a finger stamper with the shape part removed.

The result was not perfect enough for me. The surface of the eraser side was too large, and the paint got unevenly distributed across the surface. The same happened with the circles.

After experimenting more, I decided to use the most narrow side of the eraser. It greatly improved the quality of the prints. Hurray!

I liked the brick pattern the best. Instead of the circles, I decided to use the star finger stamper.

Ok! So the pattern and the technique was all set! It was the time to prepare the shorts.

I bought a pair of jeans at a thrift store.

Then I cut and bleached them using the instructions I have recently published.

Stamping time! Making the very first prints was so exciting!

The left part was stamped with stars. Some stamps turned out to be untidy, because the circular edge of the stamper left marks. Another hint: to get a good quality print, use good tools!

On the back, I only stamped the pockets.

Before fixing the design, I waited one hour to let the paint dry.

Fixing by ironing was long and inconvenient, so I decided to use a different method! I baked the shorts in the oven for 5 minutes with the temperature at 300F.

(OMG, my oven is so dirty! Have not noticed before!)

Here comes the result! I rolled up the trouser legs and sewed them underneath in a few places. After baking, the fabric got some yellowish tint. The tint was resistant and survived washing, so I decided to pretend it was by design!

The view from the back. The flaps need to be ironed after every washing.

Stamping is cool!

A few practical tips from my experience:

  • Quality of the print depends on the quality of the stamper, so it is worth to spend money on accessories.
  • Do stamping carefully on a flat surface; to make sure the fabric was  flat, I put a magazine inside the shorts.
  • The fabric should be stretched and secured with pins.
  • Whitebright paint will probably not be visible on a light cloth; while choosing the paint, pay attention to what fabric it is designed for (darklight).
  • It is much easier to dry the paint in the oven than doing so by ironing; of course, it will work only if the garment has no plastic details or buttons.

This is it! Happy stamping!

My blog: dushonok.com

Antonia seamstress extraordinaire at Take Off Your Clothes – Concordia Edition

At Take Off Your Clothes – Concordia Edition, we want to give you the best swapping experience!

This time, we have a special appearance from Antonia. She will be there at the swap to do your on-the-spot alterations for your newly swapped clothes.

Antonia seamstress extraordinaire and bookkeeper by trade who always found time to nurture her passion for clothes.  It all started while watching her mother, a professional seamstress sewing yards of fabric on their kitchen table.  She picked up sewing techniques that would allow her to make some extra money for her family.  At the ripe age of 12 she took on her first clients, making alterations for her friends’ mothers clothes!  After nearly 50 years of experience lovingly repairing clothes that needed TLC for her community, she will be offering her skills & passion for this Wednesday’s swappers. If you need a little repair or hem done she can do it on the spot, so you can bring home your newly acquired outfits to measure.

Simple alterations would be FREE and complex ones are offered at a very low student price!

Don’t miss out!

Diary of a Frugalista: Confession Of a Swapaholic

Hi, my name is Nadya, and I’m a swapaholic.

Unnamed cotton dress found at the first Mega Swap event. It always gets tons of compliments

Just about three years ago I was a regular girl who was spending up to half of her salary on clothes. My wardrobe had trouble swallowing up all the stuff I crammed into it. My storage room contained two big suitcases almost bursting open because of the stuff inside.

My then husband hated Thursdays and Fridays. On these days, the balance on our credit card suffered severe losses.

But I could not help it. My girlish nature demanded new clothes on a regular basis, period!

Vintage jeans dress from 80s found at the YMCA swap event last year

Then everything suddenly changed.
One day I met Aleece (the founder of The SWAP Team) who came to visit a friend working in my office. Aleece told me about The SWAP Team and their clothing swap events. Shortly after, I participated in my very first swap.

A whole new world opened up right in front of me!

I got to exchange the clothes I was bored of for new-to-me, cool ones. I even managed to find some pieces that would be impossible to buy in a regular store.

That fascinated me.

Vintage dress found at the last Mega Swap event

I loved the feeling that I had while going through the racks and looking for interesting pieces. It was the thrill of the hunt and the anticipation of surprise. I felt like a kid in front of a box full of chocolate eggs with toys inside!

Then I began to meet people who found the items I brought to the swaps. I was looking at the things that used to belong to me … and I felt kind of proud of myself! The choice I made the other day when decided to buy them was greatly appreciated by somebody else. In addition, it was interesting to see how the others blended my former belongings into their style.

Divided dress found at the last Mega Swap event

I realized that I had started helping to save the environment much more than before. Instead of participating in blind consumption, I took part in a nature-friendly exchange that produces no greenhouse gasses — only a lot of fun!

Vintage dress from 80s found at the last Mega Swap event

My suitcases became empty, so my husband was happy. I got a great new wardrobe and saved tons of money!

This all made me very much addicted to clothing swaps. I recognize my condition, and I am very happy about it!

Suede shorts found at the last Mega Swap event

Vintage dress from 80s brought by Aleece at the YMCA swap event last year and found by me

Interview with 4 elements

Interview with 4 elements

Dear Swappers,

Please give a warm welcome to Marie from 4 elements, who has kindly offered us her store as a drop-off point for clothing donations.

Boutique 4 Elements  is located on 4326 St-Denis (map) and clothing donations can be made during the following times up until July 22nd:

Mon – Wed: 11am – 6pm

Thurs – Friday: 11am – 8pm

Sat: 10am – 5pm Sun: 11am – 5pm

When would you say are the fashion world’s peak moments during the year?
The fashion world usually has 2 seasons, which in “fast fashion”, is then divided in two. But at 4 elements, the switch-overs are fall-winter into spring-summer, as we are based in a country where each season requires quite a different relationship to clothing in order to accommodate completely different climates.

What’s your definition of sustainable fashion?
Sustainable fashion starts with two ingredients: quality and style. We carefully select fashions according to their materials (certified organic cottons and low impact fabrics such as hemp, tencel, linen, wool, etc.) and review the story behind the clothing, where it is made and how. Styling also plays into our definition of sustainability, as we believe we should be able to wear garments over and over, season after season, not so much according to trends but according to fit. This changes our relationship to clothing in general: buying a piece of clothing that makes us feel great has more impact on people than buying a piece to follow a trend. It also changes our relationship to the products we choose to consume. We relate to each product, artist, and designer we represent, or as we put it: It’s conscious culture and fashion as storytelling.

Do you consider 4 Elements to be an Eco-friendly boutique? If so, how?
Ecological materials, brand stories, social involvement are highly sought traits by our buying team at 4 elements. Our mission is to offer only ecological quality products in order to create a healthier life and a more accountable one,  all while experiencing more enjoyment. Being smart and beautiful according to the ecologicalconcept is possible. We will attempt to convince everyone  of this, through our modern and unique selection, always according to our sustainable, ethical and eco-friendly guidelines. From organic cotton to hemp, recycled bike tubes or recycled pop bottle fabrics, there’s so much to discover. It is conscious culture and fashion as storytelling that makes being “green” feel great!

How would you like to see the fashion industry change over the next ten years? How do you think they should do it?
With stronger awareness about the environment, better education on the benefits of the global organic movement for both the earth and mankind, sustainability is starting to gain momentum with consumers. As Laure Waridel puts it, “Acheter, c’est voter”. Consumers have a voice and we want to support them in using it wisely.

We need to relate once again to what we wear and buy, we need to value the materials we take from our lands and the human resources used to transform them. This is not an overnight shift: our relationship to the goods we consume is key.

What’s a day In 4 Elements like?
At 4 elements, we not only strive to change the relationship to goods, but we have also created an environment where we encourage human connection. On a daily basis, we have sustainability conversations with our customers. Sometimes they are already aware; sometimes this information is completely new to them. Our one-of-a-kind boutique is an integral part of our distinctive character as we provide a shopping experience that is on a human level.

What designers do you sell in your boutique?
From Montreal, we carry clothing lines from Jennifer Glasgow, Pascale Viau, Advika, Musky, Kiitsch, Mademoiselle Valérie, Pas de ChiChi, Sugaristik, handbags we have Ressac, Deborah Adams, Sens Inverse, Lucie Bélanger and jewellery we do Otra, Arterre, Chikiboom, Z Créations, Estrella, Rose Pedals, Elk, Ada Jito, Vuela Vuela and much more to discover!

We do also carry other  Canadian designers  such as We3, Elroy, Lindsey M, Echo Verde, just to name a few!

What sales or deals do you have now?
We always have a great sale selection from 20% to 70% off but we are also helping locally made Soap to clear out their remaining line.

Tell us about the history of your boutique. How was it founded? What was the idea behind it? How did you start working here?
4 elements was founded in 2010 to follow the founder’s dream of an eco-friendly lifestyle boutique. Supporting sustainability and local flavours is first and foremost, but  we also offer different price points to reach to a wider audience. We provide basics that everyone can jazz up with style and unique accessories!

What plans do you have for the future?
We launched our online boutique on June 1st, as we want to showcase our local flavours and eco-fashion outside of our physical location. We continue to spread the eco conscious word and want to take part in this major shift towards sustainability. In the future, we would like to spread our wings and carry more goods, always keeping within our sustainable, ethical and eco-friendly guidelines.

If you had all the power of the world, how would you change the fashion world?
I would slow down the pace of fashion, design and production. “Fast fashion” terribly affects quality, durability and humanity. “Slow fashion” allows us to bring back more grounded values, such as the well-fitting piece in our boutique. We have a great selection of yoga clothes, mats and accessories because we are yogis. We’ve selected organic beauty and hair products that will amaze with their quality, their natural scents and other special properties. Last but not least, we carry home products for everyday use, from well designed mugs to reusable lunch packing solutions.

Diary of Frugalista: Items for the Mega Swap

Diary of Frugalista: Items for the Mega Swap

By Nadya Ershova

The Montreal Mega Swap is coming soon!
This time, I have prepared a big pile of clothes to swap!

I will show you some of my favorites. I like these items very much, but I have stopped wearing them for various reasons. The items have been hanging idle in my closet for a couple of years already, and now they are looking for new, appreciative owners!

As you may have noticed from my previous posts, I usually take a lot of pictures of my outfits, a habit that developed a while ago. As a result, I already have plenty of pictures of the items I am swapping. I will show you some photos to give an idea of how you can wear these pieces.

I’m giving away two items from this outfit.
Can you guess which ones?

The first one is the yellow BEDO sweater, medium size. The fact that it’s 30% alpaca makes it very warm and cozy. It is a great piece; unfortunately, yellow does not flatter my skin tone, so I am giving it away.

The second one is the blue Ben Sherman shirt, medium size. It was bought in England almost 10 years ago and since then, I’ve worn it only occasionally. The shirt has spent the last two years in the closet. Now it is surely time to find it a new owner who would appreciate it more than I!

One item from this outfit goes to the Mega Swap!
What do you think it is?

It’s the Nine West shoes, size 7.5. They are made of genuine leather, both inside and outside.
As you can see above, they make a perfect companion to a black-n-white look. Since I do not wear b-n-w outfits anymore, the shoes need to go to make some room in my tightly-packed closet.

Again one item of this outfit goes to the Mega Swap!
Can you guess which one it is?

It’s the Zara shoes, size 7. Since my wardrobe has lost most of its brown items, these shoes do not match anything anymore. A new owner is wanted!

I’m giving away two items from this look!
Try to guess which ones!

One is this great Trf Denim jacket, size Large. After I lost some weight, it became too big for me. It has spent two years hanging in my closet and now it is looking for a new loving owner! It simply deserves to be worn often.

The second is this stylish belt from L’Officiel, size Small. It will make a girl with a thin waist very happy. My waist is not thin enough, hehe.

Seen on a beach in San-Francisco…
One item from the beach outfit goes to the Mega Swap!

This time, it’s the Rocket Dog Converse sneakers, size 7.
The shoes are looking for a sporty yet stylish girl who is not afraid to look bold!

Come to our Mega Swap, and you will find these great items and many more!

Behind the scenes of The SWAP Team’s Spring/Summer 2012Look Book Photoshoot

By Flora Law

At The SWAP Team we have been super super busy making preparations to bring you the most fashion-tastic swap event on July 28th and 29th at the Place des Arts Montreal! We have been cooking up some pretty amazing stuff and pulled off quite a few great looks from the various swapped items from several donors and our awesome local and eco-friendly sponsors to put together a look book for spring & summer 2012!

We’ve even come across some rare gems, like a Christian Dior blouse, Gucci sweater and other unique pieces donated by our amazing local designers. We are not pulling your designer boot leg here. See for yourself:

Dress – Quartier Mode

Jean-François Brière, our very own talented photographer has managed to capture some really glamorously gorgeous shots! We went all out and gave our bloggers the fully-packaged star treatment, including hair styling and make-up by Martine Fillion (514-889-0001) and Susannah Rupnik (514-586-2656) and wardrobe styling by Caroline Alexander from Ludique with some help from Kimberly Maturo.

Oh, what fun the fashion bloggers had going through the various assortment of outfits and trying them on! Look at these hot poses below — it’s like they were born to be standing in front of a camera lens!

We couldn’t contain ourselves, so we decided to share with you some of the amazing behind-the-scenes shots we took:

Blazer – Cokluch
Pants – Ludique (Christian Chenail)

Kim Ninkuru, @FakionIshon of http://www.fakionishon.com/

Blazer – La Gaillarde (Jones New York)
Skirt – The SWAP Team
Bracelet – Cat, The SWAP Team
Necklace – Cat, The SWAP Team
Top – Annex Vintage

Lisa Kisber, @LKiSStyle of http://lkisstyle.blogspot.ca

We hope this inspires you to clean out your closets and get excited about the things you might find at the swap! You never know what treasures you will discover while updating your wardrobe in an environmentally and fiscally responsible way!

Special thanks to our sponsors BijoutiaQuartier ModeLudiqueCréations Encore, PwarkCokluch, ChikiboomAnnex Vintage, La Gaillarde, Tomate D’Épingles, Meemoza, Jennifer Glasgow Design, 4 Elements, Éthik BGC, Atelier Tri Cycle and Créations Compulsives.

Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter to get the look book delivered to your inbox!




City: 

Look forward to your likes, shares and comments! Sharing is GOOD 🙂

30 Swaps in 30 Days

By Caroline Alexander

30 swaps in 30 days – For the next 30 days, leading up to the SWAP Team’s 2012 Take Off Your Clothes event July 28 &29 2012, I will swap one piece of clothing a day with you! Become part of a swap chain and refresh your wardrobe. Would you like to be the new proud owner of my Max Studio skirt/dress (see below)? Then show me what you would like to swap for it! Post the picture of what you want to swap on The SWAP Team Facebook wall to see if at the end of the day you are the lucky one. Keep the swap chain going! Tomorrow your piece of clothing could be the next item to be exchanged in the swap chain, so choose something cool and funky without stains or holes. Let’s get the swap on together.

For those of you who do not know me, I am a Montreal based fashion stylist, co-owner of Ludique Personal Stylist and SWAP Team volunteer since 2010.  All of this to say I LOVE clothes.  I love dressing up, and dressing other people up.  I feel that clothing gives everyone the opportunity to delve in to the realm of the creative on a daily basis. Such clothing play does not mean endless shopping, but rather experimenting with what you already have, trying new combinations, and improvising. Swapping is a great way to extend the possibilities of one’s wardrobe, and change it up a little.

Swap Number 1: Black and white Max Studio maxi-skirt/dress.  Have I mentioned I love clothes? What I love even more than clothes are clothes that are multi-purposed – “wear me as a dress, wear me as a skirt, heck throw me over your bathing suit and look fabulous.” This particular item has a black bandeau waistband that can also be worn as a top.  It is a size small, but as it is made of a rayon jersey with 5% spandex, it stretches to fit anyone from size 2 to 8.  It measures: 28 inches at the bust or waist, but can stretch up to 38 inches, the hip is flat 44 inches, but can stretch to 52 inches.

Please note, on offer for Swapping is the Max Studio skirt/dress.  The white tank top and accessories are just styling suggestions.

Swap ’til you drop for 30 days! Join me for this great challenge! 

5 Spring Tendencies to Reinterpret

written by Marie-Ève

Hello! My name is Marie-Ève Laforte and it is with great pleasure that I am joining The SWAP Team as a guest blogger. I am a mother of two young kids, namely a 5-year-old boy and girl of one and a half. On my own time, I work as a florist for special events, as well as manage a personal blog along with another blog focusing on food for Sympatico Lifestyle.

Since I was little, I have always had a great liking for fashion and a soft spot for vintage, and consider myself a professional collector and inquisitor. Having children led me down a road with many questions that urged me to turn over a new leaf and maintain a healthier lifestyle, from nutrition to beauty products and even our impact on the environment. In short, this is who I am.

For my first entry, I thought of showing you guys five tendencies in fashion, this season, which could easily be found through hand-me-downs, second-hand clothes shops and swapping. Quite simply, these are pieces to be interpreted in your own way, since that is essentially what style is: to observe and acquire through personalization!

1. Oxford Shoes

Classics and yet casually chic with a wisp of androgyny, these oxfords can be found everywhere this season. Finding a pair that is used does nothing but adds to their charm: the leather becomes even more supple and fair through age, while the fitting is even more comfortable than a pair of slippers. But more stylish!

Image by etsy. These are for sale on the website

2. Colour!

Image : LOVELYish

3. Military-style vest

Image : Pure and Noble

While forgetting the total camouflage look, the vest inspired from the military is still the rage. The idea here is to find a vest that is rigid and adorned with a few sharp edges, yet with a structured silhouette, in hues of khaki and that could quite possibly have leather trimmings. The more it was used, the better.

4. Floral Prints

Image : Ruffled

The small ethereal dresses with romantic floral prints are usual quite easy to dig up. Think of vests or even pants as well. Whether a small cottage in the prairies or even the 70’s, the effect remains unchanged!

5. Colour blocking

Image : Parsimonia

Rather popular in the 60’s, this style offers us large blocks of colour in a fabulous contrast, usually quite bright, on the same piece of clothing. We can also create about the same look with a colourful belt on more neutral pieces, or with clothing of different hues.

Diary of Frugalista:DIY Safety Pin T-Shirt

written by Nadya

While browsing my favorite DIY blogs, I spotted this t-shirt. Old tee and safety pins, wow! I loved the idea from the very first glance. The project seemed to be super-easy to do, and I got too many basic boring t-shirts in my closet.

Here is the original boring t-shirt.

I bought two boxes of safety pins at Dollarama for the total price about $2.50.
I needed only the silver ones, so at first I had to become Cinderella to separate them!

Here is the result! The golden pins are sorted away, and the silver ones are sorted by size.

First comes the neckline.
Initially I wanted to use the medium ones to get a bolder effect, but there were too few of them. So, I took the small ones.
Attaching the small pins was the longest part of the process. After some experimenting, I decided to make the distance between the pins approximately 1 cm.

The biggest pins came in handy, too. I attached them to the pocket.
Then, I made two small cuts in the place around my waist line and attached the medium pins.

Safety pins!
In total the t-shirt now carries six big pins on the pocket, six medium pins on the cuts, and sixty-four small pins on the neckline.

Aaand….
Here comes the result!

I have worn it a few times already, and I can tell you that it is easy to look after.
Initially I intended to wash the t-shirt by hand, since the fabric might get damaged by the metal pins. However, by mistake, I put it in the washer with all my other clothes, and it survived! The pins and cuts and fabric were all intact. No need to bother with manual wash!
Another thing that worried me was that my long hair might get stuck in the pins. So far, no problems here either! The pins close well, and my hair does not get caught into them.

If you loved the project and want to repeat it, than I have a good news for you! Even if you do not have an appropriate t-shirt, you can always get one at our upcoming clothes swap event. I am sure you will find plenty of them!

Good luck with finds and with experimenting!

Snapshot: Secondhand Clothing Market in Amsterdam

Snapshot: Secondhand Clothing Market in Amsterdam

by Allison Gryski

On Amsterdam Clothing MarketMonday mornings in Amsterdam, the Noordermarkt has numerous stalls of secondhand clothing.  The popular display method seems to be heaps of clothing (or shoes) laid out on tarps or tables.  It’s bustling with people digging through these piles of clothes, looking for a stylish bargain.

clothing market in AmsterdamThe Dutch people are said to be very keen on bargains and the popularity of such markets seems to support that.  To give you further perspective, there was a recent grocery store ad campaign where the selling point was a savings of 21 cents (on a grocery bill of approximately 64 €) compared to the competitor.  This works out to just 0.3% cheaper.  I wouldn’t expect this to be a compelling difference in many places, but it apparently works for the Netherlands.  I think clothing swaps would be popular here, but so far I’ve only run across mentions of small scale, semi-private ones. (See more more pictures from the market).

clothing marketDo you know of any clothing swap events in the Netherlands?  Share them in the comments!  Are you interested in starting a chapter of The S.W.A.P. Team in the Netherlands (or anywhere else)?  Here’s how to Get Involved!

Allison Gryski is a Canadian living in Amsterdam. She describes herself as a bookish artist, exuberant baker, usability snob, discerning gourmandise, and occasional freelance dragon seeker. She’s also passionate about thrift store bargains, bicycles, and afternoon naps. http://allison.gryski.com

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