17 January 2008

Louis Vuitton "Knock Off" Fabric Bead Necklace

Yesterday was cotMC...code name for Craft of the Month Club...trust me..."this ain't your Mama's" craft club...this is a group of highly creative and talented artists that don't take things too seriously..there is no "Martha Stewart threat of perfection" we just like to get into the creative "flow" together and we always have lots of laughs while we are at it.

Yesterday was my turn to show up with a project and all the supplies. I had clipped this page from Style magazine a year ago that featured a cloth bead necklace by Louis Vuitton made with Liberty of London printed cottons. This lovely little necklace had a price tag of $850...seriously! The froo*gal has managed to recreate the original for under $15. The girls loved the project and we all made a fabulous necklace in about 2 hours and you don't even need to know how to sew! Supplies and instructions follow.

LV "Knock Off" Fabric Bead Necklace


20mm wood beads with large hole...I found these in the wood section not the bead section at JoAnn fabrics
selection of fabrics, light weight cottons work best
2 yards of twill tape or ribbon
toggle closure(optional)
glue stick
size 3 knitting needle
awl (optional but it helps)
steel yarn needle
cutting board and rotary cutter (optional)

*Cut 11 1.5 X 3 inch pieces of fabric.
*place 1 piece of fabric on a plain white sheet of printer paper and cover the fabric with glue
*place bead in the middle of the fabric and smooth the fabric facing you up and around the ball
*fold over a scant 1/4 inch on opposite short end of fabric and glue this edge
*wrap this side up and around the bead
*work each long end up and around the bead and stuff the raw ends into the hole using the awl and the knitting needle...this may take a little practice so if you mess up at first don't worry just rip the fabric off and start again with a new piece of fabric
*once all the balls are covered take the knitting needle and make sure that you can get it through the hole of each bead
*thread the yarn needle with the twill tape
*string first bead that will be at the end of the necklace 10 inches from the end of the tape and place a knot on the each side of the bead making sure that it is snug up against the bead...it helps if you put the needle into the knot and then push the knot down until it touches the bead
*move the needle to the right end of the tape put on your next bead
*when you have attached all the beads, cut the tape to the desired length and tie on toggle clasp...you could also eliminate the clasp and just leave enough tape to tie the necaklace around your neck

PS.......if you would like to purchase a kit or a completed necklace please visit Whimrose Projects Etsy shop

PSS......The comments continue to come in nearly 3 years later. Check out these great "how to" pictures http://www.erikajean.com/

09 January 2008

Salvation Army Pre-Couture

This is the remainder of my Salvation Army "pre-couture" pieces.

"Thrifting" at Salvation Army

Today I made my first trip to Bloomingdale's since I took my solemn oath. My sole purpose was actually a positive one....to return 2 items that I purchased before Christmas and was so consumed with guilt that they never left the bag in the bottom of my closet.

Bloomingdales....AHHHH! I knew this was going to be a difficult journey for me seeing the sale racks laden with goodies right now....hmmmm...how do I navigate into the store and up 4 floors through all that wonderfulness? There is only one answer..."the task master" better known as the husband...very impatient, no lolly gagging type A person...he gave me 20 minutes from drop off to pick up..."and I better not keep him waiting!" I made it with out even touching a garment...I did see some wonderful color combinations...this great yellowy green with gray....and a cute lemon yellow Juicy dress.

whew...got that over with....and now the good news...SALVATION ARMY!

Last week I hit the "big store" under the tracks....the place is breath taking...but not in a good way. You have never seen so much stuff in your life. This SA actually has 3 floors! It was mind boggling...but they do have shopping carts..and that is always a good thing.

How do you tackle this overwhelming mass of discarded apparel? It is no easy task.

Everything is crammed onto the racks..tight...if you are lucky you may see interesting stuff left on the end of the rack or pulled out and suspended between the other clothes...thats how I found the purple wool Vera Wang for Khol's skirt with the tags still attached..IN MY SIZE!...and I actually bought 5 pieces from this collection in the Fall that will match this skirt! That was my first score and then it went downhill for the next 30 minutes...but I stuck with it and devised a better method for my search....its the "feel for good fabric and look for interesting colors and prints" method.

Following is a list of my great finds that are pictured at the top of the post.

* vintage blue sweater...needs some repairs but that is something I want to address in my blog
* vintage red check wool skirt with great pockets...think Juliette Binoche in "Chocolat"
* brown floral puff sleeve blouse with ruffle bib front
* vintage green cotton men's shirt, new! never worn...I have great ideas for reworking this one!
* silver taffeta floor length skirt...this is going to be my first "revamp" project
* green and blue print silk long wrap skirt...great fabric
* DKNY shrunken sweater...I could not resist the ruffle...it will show up later on something
* gray pleated skirt..those pleats will also show up later
* black satin pouf sleeve blouse..this is still questionable but for $1...we'll see

I paid $26 for everything listed above and of course the money went to a good cause.

So there you have it. I am hoping to get started on the silver skirt in the next couple of days and I am also working on an interesting accessory piece that I will introduce to my "craft group" next week and will post the results...Please come back and join me!


04 January 2008


Today is the day I cut up the credit cards.

I woke up in the middle of the night thinking about the reality of no longer using credit cards...what a concept. I have spent years NOT paying cash...using credit is really just allowing yourself to believe that you can have something that you really cannot afford..it is really supports a false sense of riches.

Anyway my middle of the night thinking went to ..."what kind of art can you make out of cut up credit cards?"...this could be my next project...stay tuned!


03 January 2008

SKIRT 1.1.08

Despite all my stressing about bad lighting and a troublesome husband, I was really pleased with how the skirt turned out. Constructing the skirt went really quickly, what was so time consuming was figuring out the spacing of the pleats. The skirt could be gathered which would eliminate that problem, but the fabric was a bit too voluminous and needed to be more structured....so I was thinking that in my instructions at the point where you need to figure out the pleating...in the words of Tim Gunn of Project Runway..."make it work"...it helped that I had a dress form to work on.


* fold fabric in half matching selvedge and cut along fold

* these 2 pieces will become the front and back of the skirt and the selvedge will be at the top

* stitch one side seam using a basting stitch for the first 7 inches down from the top
* place zipper over the basted seam and pin in place
* sew zipper in place and remove basting stitches

* sew remaining side seam
* cut ribbon to waist measurement +3 inches
* fold ribbon in half, mark the fold pin inside the top of skirt matching the fold to side seam
without zipper. Extend ribbon 1.5 inches over each edge
* this is where I tell you to "make it work" by adjusting either by pleating or gathering to fit

* pin ribbon 1/4 inch from the frayed selvedge edge
* stitch along top and bottom edge of ribbon
* hem in whatever way you prefer (if you hem by hand it may take longer than an hour to
complete the skirt)

01 January 2008

Skirt Completed!...in One Hour?...no

although I think with some "tweakage" ...it could be.

To be honest...there was not a lot of joy happening at the sewing machine this afternoon...no one said this would be easy...if it was easy it would not be called a challenge!.... but maybe a challenge is what makes life more worthwhile.

I had some obstacles that had nothing to do with the skirt.
I have recently moved from a 5 bedroom home in Santa Fe, NM back to Chicago and into a 2 bedroom vintage high rise condo. I no longer have a dedicated studio space in which to create...tools and supplies have to be assembled, sewing machine put up...the space that I was working in seems cramped and the lighting is bad.

I have found in the past that making a new space work takes time...anyway there was a lot of frustration not least of which was my husband trying to cook a pot roast...he doesn't cook..and then slopping a saute pan with tomatoes unto my newly laid (by me) FLOR...I know I know.."who would put carpet in a kitchen?" ...well it is all part of the new FROO*GAL program...it was not in the budget to have the old floor ripped up..and the old floor was a wreck....I digress....

back to the skirt....I will publish photos and instructions tomorrow, right now there is a pot roast waiting made by the husband calling my name!