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:

Interview with Ethik BGC

Interview with Ethik BGC

Dear Swappers,


We’d like to present Sonia, of Ethik BGC, a big fan and supporter of the The SWAP Team.

“My ideal customer is interested in the story behind the fashion pieces she purchases” – Sonia from Ethik BGC

Ethik BGC  is located at 6050 St-Hubert (map) and clothing donations can be made during hours the store is open, until July 22nd.

Location: 6050 St-Hubert


Tues: 11am – 5pm

Wed: 11am – 5:30pm

Thurs: 11am – 8:30pm

Fri: 11am – 8:30pm

Sat: 11am – 5:30pm

Sun: 12pm – 5pm

When would you say are the fashion world’s peak moments during the year?
The events we find most interesting are Eco Fashion Week (Vancouver), Nolcha (New York), The Ethical Fashion Show (Paris), the Source Expo (London)… and of course Montreal’s ModEthik, held during Montreal Fashion Week!

What’s your definition of sustainable fashion?
Sustainable fashion is a discipline that addresses the challenges of a planet with finite resources, and considers apparel and accessories as tools that make the world a better place.

Do you consider Ethik-BGC to be an Eco-friendly boutique? If so, how?
Ethik-BGC is more than an eco-friendly boutique: it is an incubator for ethical fashion projects! As such, we provide training, organize events to raise awareness about the importance of ethical fashion, and sell the works of more than 40 designers that are committed toward the protection of the environment and/or who support social justice.

How would you like to see the fashion industry change over the next ten years?
The industry needs to increase the value given to a garment. It needs to create garments that will last longer, and value good craftsmanship and culture over fast-changing trends. It needs to respect all of its workers, from the cotton-pickers out in the field to the shipping crews who work at the docks, basically everyone involved in the production of a garment. It needs to develop eco-friendly alternatives that will make fashion production less devastating for the environment.

How do you think they should do it?
A lot of what they should do has to do with what consumers are already asking for:

-Fair Trade Fashion

-Fashion that supports communities and empowers women

-Fashion that preserves local knowledge, here and abroad

-Well-made garments made from eco-friendly fabrics (recycled or organic)

-Transparency of the production process and traceability of the suppliers

What’s a day In Ethik-BGC like?
Busy! While we’re having classes in the conference room in the morning, we’re receiving new merchandise for the store. A few designers will stop by to drop off their merchandise for our next collective fashion show, all while I’m helping customers find the perfect gift. Once we’ve ended our sales for the day, the contact we had with our customers, designers, members and partner organizations leaves us satisfied with  the knowledge that we’ve done something good.

What designers do you sell in your boutique?
We have many international projects such as Bendita Seas from Colombia, products from Mali that originate from an international cooperation project, beautiful alpaca knits from Bolivia and so much more. We also have many local designers like Elladora, Sugaristik, Noir Bonbon and rien ne se perd tout se crée that use eco friendly fabrics. We have a wide range of local designers that use recycled materials as well: Trézor Éco, Ressac and Natalubies are great examples…With more than 40 projects, we have something for everyone!

What sales or deals do you have now?
30% off the original price of many summer items and we have a little surprise if you like us on Facebook!

Tell us about the history of your boutique. How was it founded? What was the idea behind it? How did u start working here?
Ethik was founded in 2009 by Lis Suarez. The idea was to maximize the potential and efforts of all the participation designers by working collectively.

What plans do you have for the future?
We plan to create pop-up boutiques all over Canada and create more and more collective fashion shows in different countries to allow our eco designers to get more visibility for their great work. We plan to make a difference.

If you had all the power of the world, how would you change the fashion world?
I would make all the harmful chemicals involved in the production of fabric disappear and then make sure that all the workers receive enough money to ensure a great life for their family. I would only allow the production of fashion that gives back to the community.

What is your favorite fashion star? Who inspires you?
I adore the work of Alabama Chanin for all the details and quality of their craftsmanship. On a more theoretical note ,Hussein Chalayan and Issey Miyake have addressed interesting questions with their collections but overall, it is Fashion questioning culture that inspires me)

Describe your ideal customer. Who is your boutique for?
My ideal customer is interested in the story behind the fashion pieces she purchases. She seeks meaning and quality rather than trends. She likes to wear colours and brags about her last purchase because it is not only a pretty one-of-a-kind piece, it also has a positive impact on the world.

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.

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

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

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!


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

Interview with Quartier Mode

Dear swappers,

To thank our supporters for all of their help this year, we have offered to conduct interviews with them that we will post in the weeks prior to the event.  For our first interview, I’d like to introduce you to Tiffany from Quartier Mode, who has hosted a fundraiser for us and has offered us to use her shop as a drop off point for all of your donations.

" Everyday comes with its own challenges. But what I like best is the immediate reward, when a customer is really happy" - Tiffany from Quartier Mode

Quartier mode is located at 4276 St-Laurent, and dropoff hours up until July 22nd, are:

Mon – Wed: 12pm – 7pm
Thurs – Fri: 12pm – 8pm
Sat – Sun: 11am – 5pm

Quartier Mode is located at 4276 St-Laurent Blvd.

When would you say are the fashion world’s peak moments during the year?
I don’t follow too much the “fashion world” anymore. I’ve been mega focused on our own little local fashion community. I haven’t really been obeying the typical Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter calendar’s either. Some of our designers make items as they are inspired. I try to treat each month as its own different little fashion season. For me, every time I found a new, talented designer, or when they presented themselves to me,  or anytime a customer said, “Oh, I don’t know this one” and I could introduce them to something new in the local fashion world, those were big peak moments for me.

I did however feel like Jeannie Becker retiring was a big thing. I had been watching her since I was a child. I was inspired by designers and it helped me see outside my small town, making me think that being a designer was attainable. So that was big. I guess people have to retire sometime.

What’s your definition of sustainable fashion?
I think of it like this: If we lost all contact to the outside world, like outside Montreal, and we had to rely on only our own resources, would we be able to still make it? I think self-reliant structures are key to sustainability. We have all the talent we need here to produce everything, we should be using it. It employs our local people, makes our local economy stronger, and makes us masters on a global playing field.

Do you consider Quartier Mode to be an eco-friendly boutique? If so, how?
Yes I do.  A lot of our 37 designers tend to use eco fabrics anyhow. They maintain sustainable fashion practices by making their items locally. Our whole mission is to support the local designers and local production; so Yes, we are an eco-friendly boutique. Plus, they are all very friendly aside form being eco, so very eco-friendly.

How would you like to see the fashion industry change over the next ten years? How do you think they should do it?
I want more production done locally, so that more local designers are encouraged and supported to make it to the customers! I want consumers to realize the impact that their purchasing choices have on their community and how supporting local could help so much. I would like to see people move to quality, not quantity and being responsible for what they do with their clothing when it’s done, either by swapping it or recycling it instead of hucking it in a land fill. There is so much waste, with clothing being one of the top items filling up landfills since they are mass produced items that break in two weeks later, or fade quickly. It is so pointless and disappointing.

We should all learn how to take proper care of our garments too and learn how to mend them so they last longer. Our grandmothers can teach us these things or someone in our community who knows how to. It all has to do with buying local and supporting local businesses really, such as the tailor on the corner, the designer in our neighborhoods, etc. That is why I used Quartier Mode. They are the ladies riding by us on their bicycles on the street, or those who we pass in the grocery store, it’s neighborhood fashion.

What’s a day In Quartier Mode like?
I start by checking emails, filling on-line orders, and drinking a huge coffee then I open, and greet customers as they come in. I always have list of thing to do, but no matter it is always a wild card kind of day. I never really know who I will encounter or what styling challenges I will face. There is always something new to learn or someone new to meet.

I love finding a new talent and giving them valuable feedback from customers to designers. I also love talking to people and helping them find the right item based on their life, finding who they are, and making people feel beautiful. Everyday comes with its own challenges. But what I like best is the immediate rewards, when a customer is really happy. I love connecting with people and helping them define their personal style or helping someone overcome a personal issue with their body by putting them in the right fit. When I start to know a customer well enough to see new styles coming in and knowing the ones they will like, I get excited. I want people to be happy and I want to be apart of their happiness in some small way. I want to give the support I always wanted as a designer and as a shopper.

At night I stay late and re-stock and/or lately making patterns for clothing and think about the day. Knowing that I tried my best and was true to my morals and our mission makes me happy. Then, I drink Valerian tea and try to leave work at work.

What designers do you sell in your boutique?
To name a few, we had Meemoza, Remy & Mercy, Rififi, Camz, Sandrine Devost, Kollette, Mizdragonfly, Naike, Alice & Alishka, Les Enfants Sauvages, huard et associes, noujica, atelier b, Birds of North America, Dfly, Et isemerie Crea, Self made, cocolilly, pattern recognitions, preloved, Jennifer Glasgow, Hanami, atelier make, Genevieve savard, deborah adams, JJ louis, blank, sosiesosie, allison wonderland, ramonalisa, Les ballades de florence, Aria bijoux, Missy industry’s Black Light collection, Virginie Millefiori, and Noir de Mars. Plus in the Fall, we are launching a few new designers, such as Dawcy & Ella, Dear Dawcy, and we are also getting Paper People clothing, Broken Doll and more.

We opened in September with 13, now we have about 37 local designers and more from independent designers across Canada.

What sales or deals do you have now?
We have hand bag designer Noir de mars’ new collection and launch party coming up on June 28th! Also in the last weekend of august, we have discounts on local designer past season collections, and of course our spring/summer end of season sales. Every month we have different events!

Tell us about the history of your boutique. How was it founded? What was the idea behind it? How did u start working here? (if the interviewed person is not the owner/founder)
It was founded by myself and a co-worker day dreaming, we were both working in between jobs and making our designs at night. We both moved here over a decade ago and we’re still trying to make it. We knew a lot of designers who were struggling like us, unable to break in and find financing to make enough stock to supply stores to even get really started. So the name came from trying to find a name for some sort of event to promote local designers. We started doing pop-up shops in other people’s stores to promote local designers.

When I got laid off, I took it as a sign and I started the SAJE program, a business development program. The business plan took on many forms over that year. I spent a lot of time obsessing and researching. But in the end, based on all my research and thinking long and hard on how I wanted to spend my days and on how I wanted to spend the rest of my life, and what was really important to me, I came up with the store/web store/blog concept.

I must have presented to about 15 different organizations until I got enough financing to start the store and it has been go go go ever since. Since then my friend who helped come up with the original idea, finished her textile degree and will be launching her first big collection by the end of this month in the store. She also works here part time.

What plans do you have for the future?
Just building our customer base and selling more for the designers. I started working with a great team to make the web store huge; reaching international markets that will sell a lot more of our designers items and really get them out there. That is coming along. I aim to do bigger events in the future for our designers as well, and build the blog up more to promote them even better. I am also still working on my line of clothing slowly too, within that I have lots of things going on.

If you had all the power of the world how would you change the fashion world?
If I had all the money in the world to change it, I would keep doing what I am doing. The only thing I would like is to reach our goals more quickly by hiring on the right people for our team so that we could do a lot more in a quicker way and bring on a lot more designers! I would also start supporting new designers by funding their first production runs and offer mentoring to get them going! I would love that!

What is your favorite fashion star? Who inspires you?
My grandmother. She has such lady like elegant style and makes all her own clothing, she used to sing on CBC radio and has all sorts of elaborate pieces she made to her normal ensembles.

Also the ladies who come into the store. From their feedback, or what they have on, and how they wear items. I always keep a sketch book near by. They get my wheels turning. I am constantly thinking on how can I improve or build on this, looking at vintage fashion. I design based on construction and how to make cuts most flattering on the body. All the designers in the store also inspire me, they all have such unique styles of their own. It is nice to see the depth in which they delve into their concepts and how they will re-invent it every season or with each creation. No one can be anyone else, so I am so inspired by all their different evolutions too.

Describe us your ideal customer. Who is your boutique for?
All types of women. We have customers ranging from the age of 18 to 65. But also, a woman who enjoys quality and loves to feel beautiful.



Calgary Lookbook Sneak Peek #5-#11

Oh my God! I still have to clean out my closet for the swap! – Model Misty Nelson in a nice black outfit.

Hard to decide which dress is nicer! The one that model Chantel Goodrider is wearing…

… or the one from model Misty Nelson! They are both party burner for sure!

Let the business meeting begin: Model Chantel Goodrider in a worth-to-kill-for skirt/blazer combi.

Ready for summer! Model Natalka Lewis in a cute flower skirt.

What’s up? Model Chantel Goodrider went for a red dress and a jacket donated by Rewind Consignment Clothing.

Model Natalka Lewis simply fell in love with this elegant beige dress.

Photos: Mark Derry Photography
Hair and makeup: Maddpretty Makeover Studio
Styling: Feisty Consignment

Calgary Sneak Peek #3 Feat. Misty Nelson and Diva Direct

Hard to say who is the star in this shot – our model Misty Nelson or the spectacular purse from Diva Direct?

Photo: Mark Derry
Hair and makeup: Maddpretty
Styling:  Feisty Consignment

Come to our swap and you might be the lucky person who goes home with this bag!

Get your tickets now before they sell out:

Eventbrite - Take Off Your Clothes - Calgary's Biggest Clothing Swap!

Can’t wait and want to see all the fab looks up for grabs at once? SIGN UP now for our mailing list and we’ll send you the ENTIRE Calgary event lookbook!

See you at the swap!

Calgary Sneak Peek #2 Feat. Misty Nelson And Rewind Consignment

Calgary Sneak Peek #2 Feat. Misty Nelson And Rewind Consignment

Who would like to go for a walk and meet some friends for coffee in this spectacular top from Rewind Consignment? Model Misty Nelson would for sure!

Photo: Mark Derry
Hair and makeup: Maddpretty
Styling:  Feisty Consignment

Come to our swap and you might be the lucky person who goes home with this top!

Get your tickets now before they sell out:

Eventbrite - Take Off Your Clothes - Calgary's Biggest Clothing Swap!

Can’t wait and want to see all the fab looks up for grabs at once? SIGN UP now for our mailing list and we’ll send you the ENTIRE Calgary event lookbook!

See you at the swap!

Calgary Sneak Peek #1 Feat. Natalka Lewis and Eleven:Eleven

Calgary Sneak Peek #1 Feat. Natalka Lewis and Eleven:Eleven

It must be the dress! Our model Natalka Lewis is dream dancing away in this elegant summer dress donated by Eleven : Eleven!

Photo: Mark Derry
Hair and makeup: Maddpretty
Styling:  Feisty Consignment

Come to our swap and you might be the lucky person who goes home with this dress!
Get your ticket now before they sell out:

Eventbrite - Take Off Your Clothes - Calgary's Biggest Clothing Swap!

Can’t wait and want to see all the fab looks up for grabs at once? SIGN UP now for our mailing list and we’ll send you the ENTIRE Calgary event lookbook!

See you at the swap!

Diary of a Frugalista: DIY Collar

Diary of a Frugalista: DIY Collar

written by Nadya Ershova

Hey, guys, how are you! Feeling good? Spring is all around! It is time to wear high heels, pretty coats and decorate yourself with chic accessories! Speaking of which – what is your favorite one?

This spring my number one accessory is a detachable collar. It is also one of the hottest accessories of the season. You may see it on the pages of the Vogue magazine and around the necks of popular fashion bloggers. Being an outstanding piece on its own, the collar also helps to update an outfit or give it a new twist. But do you need to buy it in a regular store? And pay a pretty penny? Of course not! It is very easy to make one out of an outdated shirt or from a shirt from a thrift store!

I did one myself, and the whole process took me only one evening! It required as little as a blouse, scissors, and a thread with a needle!

First of all I spent some time searching for a proper blouse at Renaissance, my favorite second hand store. I was looking for an item with a laced collar without buttons. Look what I found, a perfect one!

It was easy to cut off the collar along the seam where it was attached to the blouse.
I took scissors with sharp ends and carefully poked the fabric. While cutting I followed the seam.

I also cut off two buttons from the blouse to make a collar fastener.

I attached one button on each end of the collar and sew a button loop.

And that’s it! The fancy lace collar is ready to wear – and it cost me as little as $5! If I bought one at a regular store, it would have cost me at least $35.

A friend of mine got really enthusiastic about DIY collars and made three of them! The first two are really fancy; they are embroidered with pearls which Marina got by taking apart old beads (check the collars out here and here). She also made a third minimalistic collar out of a man’s shirt which she bought at Village Des Valeurs. Marina decided not to decorate it and gave it to me as a present. I wear it with a beige coat.

Marina used the same approach that I described above.

As you can see it is very simple to make this trendy accessory!
The only limit is your imagination!

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