March was a big month for sewing here in Victoria! Here are some of the things that you’ve been making!
If you have awesome projects that you would like to share, please send them by email to jenny(at)themakehouse.ca!
We love to see what you can do when you put your mind to it! Here are some of the last month’s student makes (in no particular order). The first photo features Emma in her first ever bamboo dress created during the Sewing with Knits Workshop using the Moneta dress pattern by Colette!
Cotton boxer shorts made at home after taking our Bamboo Boxers Workshop!
One of our students went home after our Sew a Tote Bag workshop and made 3 more!
Playful cotton knit Moneta dress sewn at the last Sewing with Knits Workshop.
This gorgeous stool was recovered in our Simple Upholstery Workshop by local textile artist Sharon Broadley!
This quilt was made by an eleven year old girl during Make Club. This was her second (and largest) quilt project!
Needle Felt Mushroom handmade at September Make Club.
This classy looking stool (mid progress) from our September Simple Upholstery Workshop.
Little colourful house pencil case made by 8 year old student at Make Club.
If you’ve made something awesome and would like to share, please email pics and a breif description to jenny(at)themakehouse.ca.
There’s a lot of posts out there about hosting a do-it-yourself wedding. Having just been a bride this past summer I thought I would share some of the things that we did for our big day!
My husband Patrick proposed in the summer of 2015 and we decided to marry the following summer on his home turf in Newfoundland. Our wedding took place on August 21st at The Bungalow in Bowring Park, St. John’s. We had gorgeous weather and we were able to hold our ceremony outside in front of the big willow tree.
There were many elements that we did ourselves in preparation for the big day and we did not hire a wedding planner! Patrick really took the lead in the planning, especially the ceremony and all of the live music. We wanted to write our own vows and our wonderful marriage commissioner Kathy Dicks-Peyton helped design an ideal ceremony that was deeply personal. We created our own wedding program and hired a friend to design an old fashioned poster as a memento (see below).
I’ve been sewing for many years, so naturally our wedding would involve a needle pulling thread. Initially I had outlined more tasks for myself than I was physically able to complete myself (a common trait among makers).
The main elements that I sewed included my dress, my niece’s flower girl dress and heaps of bunting flags. I also tailored my father, nephew and groom’s pants! I had envisioned sewing my sister (maid of honour and only bridesmaid) a dress as well, but she saved me from myself in early July recognizing that I was likely running out of time! Thanks Erica, you were right (and your dress was perfect)!
My mom and family friend Susan, who travelled from Saskatchewan created our flower arrangements and bouquets. I can only imagine what some folks pay for flowers, so we were grateful to have an in-house team! Susan also did a lovely job of putting my hair up. We used my 2 favourite vintage hair clips (something old) purchased at mega car boot sale in the South of England. I managed to find a pair of vintage earrings, which made a perfect set!
My dress was created by up-cycling the skirt of a gown that I acquired when I first moved into The Makehouse. The previous tenants at 833 1/2 Fort Street had been in the wedding business for nearly 20 years between them so there were boxes of fabrics and pieces of gowns left for me up in the loft. I was really enamoured by one particular piece and so put it aside in a bag with the mental note ‘maybe one day’…
I adapted a vintage Vogue pattern to create the bodice and the skirt was improvised working around the original cut. The original dress was designed with a very long train so there was a LOT of fabric to work with. I was able to cut my entire dress from the piece by removing a large skirt panel for the bodice. The best part was that there was a lot of beautiful embroidery and bead work already complete! I did have to remove some beads in order to create my seams, but the work was minimal in comparison to doing beadwork from scratch. I happened to have just the right lining in my stash, so in the end I only needed to purchase a zipper to complete my dress!
Duo Heather Kao and Steve Power played during our ceremony followed by a Traditional music session hosted by Fergus Brown-O’Byrne. The Bob MacDonald Band kicked off the dancing and many surprise musical guests took the stage throughout the night. The evening closed with a throwback set from DJ Neil Conway!
We married on Patrick’s birthday so we even got to have chocolate cake at our reception!
There are so many gorgeous moments captured (over 200 made the first cut!) Here’s just handful more to give you a flavour for the day.
One thing that was very important to us was hiring a great photographer. We enlisted the help of Chris LeDrew (photographer & musician) to capture our day and we’re over the moon with the photos! I especially love the photo below that was captured towards the end of the night.
There are so many ways that you can marry without breaking the bank or ruining your mental health. Think outside the box and don’t get pressured into all the expensive bells and whistles. Weddings are about family and friends and not expensive take home favours (most of which end up in the bin). We focused our budget on food and live music so that we could be sure our guests would have an entertaining and engaging day. Of course we did travel all the way to the opposite side of the country, but we would have traveled to St. John’s for summer holidays regardless!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post!
We love seeing what you and your kids can do when you put your mind to it! Here are just some of the awesome works created during the month July (in no particular order)!
WHAT WILL YOU MAKE?!
One of our most popular workshops is Simple Upholstery. This is a class we run regularly and spans four weeks, giving you the opportunity to reupholster a small item of furniture. If you are a fan of vintage chairs, this is a great opportunity to learn how to fix things up.
In the meantime, here is a round up of our favourite chair DIYs which you an find on our Upcycled Furniture Ideas Board.
The “Upholstered” Wooden Chair
Okay so this first one would probably horrify Miro, our upholstery teacher, and you couldn’t really do it to a better chair than the one used, but for a bottle of Mod Podge and some cute fabric, this is pretty cool. For the full how to, go to the blog, Designer trapped in a lawyer’s body.
The Mash Up
Take an old dining room chair, reupholster (come to our class to learn how) and then go all Frankenstein on it and attach it to an office swivel chair. We found this tutorial on MyMorningInspiration.
The Blah Office Chair
Again, this apartmenttherapy how to doesn’t require authentic upholstery skills, but instead calls for fabric and a nail gun. Looks pretty sassy for a blah chair!
The Belt Chair
Although this tutorial from EchoPaul Official doesn’t call for fabric, it does call for traditional furniture tacks, which we just love as they look so darn classy. The seat of this chair is made of belts.
The Vintage Webbed Chair
This tutorial from A Beautiful Mess might be a little more difficult than it looks, but we’d definitely give it a try. Keep your eyes peeled for frayed or seatless aluminum chairs and given them a new lease of life with coloured paracord.
The Burke Chair
Although you might have a hard time finding a good vintage version of the Burke, look out for a similar style. This chair we found on hellolidy.com is refurbished with a vintage blanket!
We hope our finds have inspired you. For more information about our traditional upholstery class, click here.
The girls at Used.ca (UsedVictoria.com) took our Simple Upholstery class and loved it, taking a cute vintage foot stool back to their office. Take a look at the video they made.
Is your recycling bin overflowing with glass bottles? Rather than contribute to the overflow at the local dumps and landfill sites, consider upcycling them. One of the unique features about jars is their ability to be used over and over again. So rather than throwing them away, consider using them for your next upcycling or decorative craft spree. You don’t need a whole lot to get started, you would be surprised at how a simple piece of string or even a touch of paint can turn even the dullest jar or bottle, into an incredible conversation piece. Interesting in learning more? Keep reading to see how a simple, mundane bottle can be transformed.
What you need to get started
- An overflowing recycling bin of glass bottles
- Copper wiring (optional)
- Wire cutters for the cutting the wiring
- Spool of Cord
- Yarn or para cord
Note: While this list isn’t conclusive, it’s the bare minimum to get started. Always check with your tutorial of choice for the materials needed.
How to remove labels from glass bottles
- An empty/clean sink
- Your craft bottle/s of choice
- ½ cup baking powder
- 1 tbsp. dish soap (Dawn works best)
- 2 cups white vinegar
Upon mixing all of the materials together, the concoction will fizz for a short while, but the end result will leave a clean canvas (void of sticky labels) for you to work with.
Wine bottle lantern
Chances are you have all the materials you need already lying around the house. You can get started with this project with a completely clean wine bottle, acrylic paint, a paintbrush (for the exterior design), and some string lights.
After you’ve cleaned your glass bottle, paint your chosen design/s on the exterior of the bottle. While our particular project example features a simple tree, you can paint more advanced designs.
If you have access to multiple acrylic paints, try alternating between splashes of colors and possibly gluing sequins with a hot glue gun. Not only is this wine bottle lantern easy to make, but if you make enough of them, they would look great as a set.
Glass bottle wind chime
Who doesn’t enjoy the sound of a wind chime on a warm summer day? The wind chime, like hummingbird feeders, have become the tell-tale sign that summer is near. If you enjoy the enchanting unique song of the wind chime and have tons of glass bottles lying around, the possibilities are endless.
While this particular craft might require some skill (mostly glass cutting), it’s still not overly advanced. See the image below for methods of cutting glass. There are a couple of incredible tutorials on YouTube showing viewers exactly how to do this. Once you know how to cut glass, the only decision left is to determine how you want to decorate your original wind chime.
The piece in the photograph features round loops and beads. Depending on your confidence in cutting glass, you could easily get creative and flatten various bottles and create varying shapes to feature on your wind chime. A strong string material (fishing line), along with beads and your bottle is all you need for this project.
Glass bottle flower vase
You can’t get any easier than this. However, the possibilities for this project vary depending on the creativity of the artist. You could paint designs on the outside of the bottle (like the first craft mentioned in this article), etch designs into the glass, or even wrap and paint the bottle itself. We love using Mod Podge and cool crafting paper. If you have a ton of bottles sitting around, you can experiment with designs and possibly give away the vases as gifts.
You can’t have wind chimes without a bird feeder. A bird feeder can vary in complexity, but hot gluing a pan like foundation to the opening of the bottle, will provide the perfect perch for your birds to rest as they consume their treats. A few minor adjustments would make this ideal for a hummingbird feeder.
Tiki torch made from wine bottles
Next time, before spending money on that Tiki torch setup you saw in that home decoration catalogue; consider making your own. Incredibly easy to make and even unique, you can proudly exclaim to your neighbours that you made it yourself, when they ask you where you got them.
How to cut glass bottles
Learning to cut glass is an important part of some wine bottle crafting, though not all. Cast a glance at the gallery below to learn more about the process and various other do it yourself projects.
About our guest author
Giuroiu Anton is the Founder of Homesthetics Magazine, an online architecture art and design resource. In the spare time he writes as a guest for several architecture websites like Freshome and Architecture`n`Design. He is currently studying Architecture and Urbanism at Ion Mincu University in Romania where he also graduated Tudor Vianu National Computer Science College, his educational background fuels his thirst for technology and design.
We are huge advocates of upcycling clothing and making the most of fabric scraps. If you can’t pass it on at one of our legendary clothing swaps, then turn it into something else.
You can follow us on Pinterest for a ton of upcycling ideas or attend one of our Wardrobe Surgery workshops to learn techniques and tips to turn clothing you can’t wear anymore into revived functional fashion pieces.
This blog post focuses on upcycling men’s shirts. Men’s formal shirts can be picked up cheaply in very good used condition and there are so many fun options for them.
Turn a man’s shirt into a summer skirt or dress
There is a really easy way to do this and that’s just to climb into a men’s shirt and wrap the sleeves around your waist. Or you could tailor something. This is a nice and easy skirt from men’s shirt pattern on RufflesandRosescrafts.com (image shown) whilst there are many links to dress patterns on our Pinterest board, from easy pinafores to structured peplum styles.
From men’s shirt to girl’s shirt
Boys can wear girl’s, who wear boy’s, who wear girl’s! But if you want something a little more feminine there are lots of great options. Our favourite is this cute tank style shirt because of the added bow.
Turn men’s shirts into kid’s clothes
Again, lots of options here but the love the classic pinafore style dress like this one from Pinaforesandpinwheels.com.
Turn men’s shirts into cute collars
Remember we have a large selection of patterns online and in-store that can help you on your way to upcycled clothing heaven!
With Valentine’s Day approaching, love is in the air, and now’s the time to start on your Valentine’s DIY projects. To help jumpstart your creativity, we’ve rounded up some adorable project ideas for all skill levels and time frames.
Here are a few Valentine’s Day projects for inspiration:
- Heart-shaped tea bags: A few years ago, I hand-stitched these tea bags using loose tea from Silk Road, and they were a huge hit! Highly recommended for the tea-lover in your life.
- Valentine’s Day Fabric Envelopes: These cute little fabric envelopes would be a great way to use up remnants of fabric from other projects. Fill them with love notes, candy or other small goodies, and it’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser!
- The Sweet Heart Wristlet: Here’s a pattern for sewing an adorable heart-shaped wristlet. This is another project where you could use fabric scraps, and it would make a great girl for a little girl or a project for mom (or aunt or grandma) and daughter to tackle together. If you have extra felt to use up, this zippered Sweet Heart pouch offers a different style option.
- Sweetheart Charms: How adorable are these little felt hearts? Yet another clever use for fabric scraps. Stick a little love note in the pouch, too. These would also work well as Christmas tree ornaments.
- “Two little lovebirds sitting in a tree”: This project would make an adorable Valentine’s Day, bridal shower or anniversary gift. Choose a song that has sentimental meaning (perhaps the song you danced to at your wedding or the song playing when you first noticed her?) and print it out in the shape of a tree.
- Seven days of love pillbox: This would be a great gift idea for a DIY novice, as it doesn’t require sewing or other skills. Use a seven-day pill box and put notes and/or candy in each day so your Valentine can enjoy a week’s worth of treats.
- Matchbox Valentines with Duct Tape: These would make great little favours for a Valentine’s Day party or for kids to give to friends. I’d use washi tape and leftover ribbon for some extra flair.
Or if you want a bit more guidance with your Valentine’s Day projects, why not register for a workshop here at The Makehouse? Here’s a look at our Valentine’s Day-themed workshops coming up:
- Jan. 31 – Hand Sewn Valentines – Stitch a special message for a loved one using needle and thread instead of pen and ink!
- Feb. 4 – Valentine’s Lingerie – Just in time for Valentine’s Day, sew a pair of French knickers out of silk.
- Feb. 6 – Bowties & Ties for Valentine’s – Use simple design, cutting and sewing to create a bowtie or tie for someone special.
- Feb. 7 – Victoria Tea Festival/Valentine Making
- Feb. 11 – Bamboo Boxers for Valentine’s – Learn to sew bamboo boxers for yourself or the special man in your life.
- Feb. 13 – Bamboo Underwear for Valentine’s – Learn to sew with knit fabrics as you make your own pair of underwear.
- Feb. 14 – Hand Sewn Valentines – Stitch a special message for a loved one using needle and thread instead of pen and ink!
Post by Susan Johnston