swap

Diary of a Frugalista: DIY Princess Crown

Want to look special this Christmas and stay on budget? Then this DIY tutorial is for you!

I will show you how to make a fun and sassy accessory: a wire crown. It will bring out your inner princess and will have all eyes on you at any party!

Originally I spotted this lovely DIY project in the Free People blog. I fell in love with the idea and decided to make a similar project with a few modifications.

What you will need for this project: wire, wire cutters, pliers,  and an old necklace.

I used Artistic Wire 18 Ga that I bought at an art supply store. To decorate the points of the crown, I used an old necklace which I found at a recent clothing swap.

Directions:

1. First, make a wire circle that will become the base of your crown. It should be a little bit bigger than your head. Before cutting the wire, try the circle on your head to make sure it fits properly on top of your head.

2. After cutting the wire, wrap the ends tightly around the base using the pliers. Make sure the ends point away from your head: It will prevent them from scratching your skin.

3. Then, cut eight pieces of wire of about 21cm in length. These will become the crown points.

4. Bend the wire pieces in the middle.

5. Decorate the points with some beads. Use the pliers to twist the tips of the points to fix the beads.

I wanted to use the big gray plastic “pearl” beads, but their holes were too small. The necklace had also smaller metal ones with bigger holes;  there were precisely eight of them!

6. Bend the ends of the points to prepare them for attaching to the crown base. Try to not make the bent ends too small; otherwise, it will be difficult to do the next step.

7. Arrange the points symmetrically along the base. Begin with two in 180 degrees from each other.
Hook the ends under the base wire. Using the pliers, wrap the ends around the base wire as tight as you can.
Then, place two other points  in 90 degrees from the attached ones and repeat the steps.
After completing you should have four points evenly attached as show on the picture. Attach the other four in between.

Again, try to point the ends of the wire towards the outside; it will prevent your head from getting scratched.

And here comes the crown!

Happy DIY-ing! Make this Christmas special!

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!

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: 

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Meet Your New DIY Couture Coach!

Have you been reading our blog and marvelling at the do-it-yourself (DIY) projects we’ve shared, but don’t know where to start?

Or maybe you want to learn how to sew that dress you’ve been dreaming of?

Today, we have some great news for you: we’ve got a DIY Couture Coach ready to assist you with your handmade fashion projects!

Introducing Nicole Picard, official Couture Coach for The SWAP Team! An accomplished independent fashion designer with over 20 years of experience in stitching and sewing, Nicole can help you to realize your creative dreams. She is an excellent teacher, so don’t be shy if you’ve never stitched before — you’ll be surprised how easy sewing can be!

If you live in Montreal, you’re in for a treat at Take Off Your Clothes on July 28th. Nicole will be at the swap from 12PM – 5:30PM and her Tailor Made Studio will be armed and ready with measuring tapes and sewing machines to alter YOUR newly swapped clothes to perfection!

If you don’t live in Montreal, don’t despair! You can email Nicole for advice and tips at: fairyesque.studio@gmail.com
Don’t forget to check out her website and facebook page for more info!

http://www.fairyesque.ca

www.facebook.com/TailorMadeStudio

VIDEO: Behind the scenes at our Montreal look book shoot!

We’re so excited to have our very first Montreal event look book underway! Come hang behind the scenes with us and check out some of the best looks up for grabs at our upcoming swap, modeled by some of Montreal’s most stylish bloggers (of course)!

Our look book is for our email subscribers only and will be ready next week — so make sure you sign up now to get it delivered to your inbox:





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

Calgary Swapped 4,000 Garments at the Hotel Arts!

Our spring event in Calgary was a huge success — looks like Calgarians can’t get enough of clothes swapping!

Maybe it was our amazing venue this year at the Hotel Arts? Or the wide variety of clothes? Whatever it was, Calgary hit a new record, swapping 3,990 items!

Local boutiques A Vintage AffairEleven:ElevenDiva Direct and Rewind Consigment donated items to the swap, some of which were featured as well in Calgary’s ultimate Spring 2012 Look Book.

Here’s a breakdown of the overall impact of the event:
3,990 garments swapped
1,172 garments given to charities
5,162 garments diverted from landfills
$79,800 saved by swapping!


A HUGE thanks to all of our partners, sponsors, volunteers and swappers who made this happen.

Let’s make it rain clothes again at the next swap!

The SWAP Team

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! 

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