Tuesday, May 2, 2017

DIY from barrette to headband (crystals)

Hello, happy Beltane to those who observe it! Spring has arrived and the birds sing, the trees are in bloom and the flowers are beautiful.


So this DIY I'm sharing is something I tried and it worked. I simply had a big, bulky barrette with crystals on it and wanted a headband instead! You will need a piece of hair decoration that you want to transform into something else. I had the barrette and I also had a spare plain headband. You will need pliers and some jewelry wire for this as well. I used some ribbon at the end but that's optional. 

First step is to remove the crystals (or maybe you found one with beads) using the pliers. Place the removed paces aside - be careful to not poke yourself with exposed wire!

supplies all ready

remove pieces and set aside

Now with your crystals all removed, you can decide how you want them arranged on your headband. I simply laid my headband on the table and started to place the crystals how I liked them. They could be in order of size or shape, whatever you prefer.

place your pieces how you like

Now the jewelry wire comes into play. You will need to twist a end of the wire around the headband, then proceed to add a crystal. You add a crystal, twist wire around headband once, then add a crystal. You do this until all the pieces are attached to the headband.

crystals wired onto headband

The optional part is you can leave this with the wire exposed or you can cover it. I covered my wire with some ribbon that matched the headband (in this case, brown). I started at one end and I decided to glue the ribbon on with a dot of glue. I let it dry, then wrapped the ribbon over the exposed wire - all the way across the headband. I simply glued it again at the other end. An alternate is to stitch the ribbon on, wrap, then stitch again. 

I used E6000 glue

the ribbon is wrapped!

I am so pleased with how this came out! It's not bulky and uncomfortable as it was when the crystals where on the barrette. You can do this to many things, perhaps an old necklace with beads you'd like on a headband. 

my calico kitty approves

the finished piece


I hope you've enjoyed this DIY and want to try making some new things. It's fairly easy to make and doesn't require much in supplies. It stayed on well and I might try this again sometime. I hope you have a good start to May! Be sure to check out my photography, my Pinterest & Etsy shop!



Saturday, March 25, 2017

Altering a bought dress, Spring equinox

Hello everyone, I hope spring has found you! The weather is warming, birds are out daily and flowers are sprouting up everywhere. After a long harsh winter I think we could all use some sunshine. Thinking of sunny days ahead, I am going to share how I've been altering a bought dress.

I think like many women, you sometimes find a beautiful dress but it just doesn't fit quite right. It could be too big in one area but too tight in others. The straps could be too long or short. Maybe the hem line isn't what you hoped for but the rest is a perfect fit! So what do you do when this happens? You go about learning how to alter the dress.

I bought this lovely dress from a store and it had everything I wanted: a navy blue color, soft embossed print, cinch at the waist but... it was too large in the bust and the straps are far too long for me.

Yes, that says 'police box' on the waist band!

If you didn't know before you sure know now - I'm a nerdy kind of girl. I love Doctor Who and was beside myself upon finding this dress! It resembles the TARDIS and has this lovely tulle at the hem line. As you will see in my photos it has black piping on the bust and that is where I decided to pin the bust in some. 


I have a dress form, it's a way to size clothing to your exact measurements. It's very handy and they frequently go on sale at many craft supply stores. I placed my dress on the form and pinned it in areas that were too large or baggy. I then tried it on to make doubly sure it was just right. I am stitching this by hand with a curved needle, sometimes sold as an upholstery needle. But they do make small ones for working on clothing and they are about 1 1/2"s in length or more. Using a curved needle while your dress is on the dress form makes this project very easy. I am sewing it at the black piping and the new stitches are not visible.

You can apply this method for most any bought clothing that you need to fit your measurements correctly. If you do not have a dress form you can carefully pin the article of clothing while you wear it. And this can be easier if you have a helper to pin areas for you, so you can stand up straight while wearing it. To add width is a different post I'm afraid and I do plan to share how to someday. It's often not as difficult as it sounds. But to take in clothing, this can be done by a novice with just a bit of guidance and practice!


As spring has sprung so has my desire to decorate for the new season! I have a mantle above my fireplace and was so pleased to decorate for the spring equinox. I included two faux birds in their nest, tulips and other brightly colored flora to welcome the new season. 



I hope you have sunny days ahead and April showers soon ~ check back soon for some new posts. And be sure to pay my new photography page on Facebook a visit, it is: Bertha Bee Photography. Stop by to show your support for us small photographers & artisans. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Spring in my back yard

Unlike some of my friends and family, we did not get a massive amount of snow this winter. We certainly are not under a three foot pile of snow right now, and it's nearing the end of February! It is warmer this year at this very time then last year. Last year we had an ice storm and temperatures so cold it was below freezing wind chills. This year we have had.... several 55°F (12°C) days a week now. 
So this post I am sharing spring as it is showing up in my back yard. I have many wildflowers showing up and some I'm not certain about. 




The above are Snowdrop flowers. They are perennial plants and begin to flower after being under snow for sometime. The flower faces stay facing downward and are a bright white color with green centers. 



A few patches of purple Crocus have also shown up! Crocus are part of the Iris family of flowers. They are the signal that spring is coming and bring a parade of colorful flowers. You might see them show up in yellows, white, purples or pink colors. The spice saffron is derived from a type of crocus that blooms in the autumn. 


I hope spring finds you well and you are eager for green grass, flowers in bloom and chirping birds!




Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Update your clothes, DIY top

Happy new year everyone! I hope it finds you well and enjoying the winter days. A project I have done is great for beginners and a DIY. You don't need a sewing machine for this one, it is hand stitched. If you can not sew, you can use fabric glue (but buttons are best sewn on). My local library has a wonderful selection of crafting books. I found one all about vintage inspired alterations!


The cute book is called 'Chic on a shoestring' and has an array of DIY simple projects. Many can be done in a few hours or an afternoon, depending how quick a study you are. Now what I worked on was how to add to a shirt you already own. I decided on a plain stripe boat neck top that I love.
I wanted to add some embellishment for this simple top. I started by playing with some dark navy ribbon and adding buttons. I suggest hand stitching but you can try glue if you prefer.


I have these big octopus steampunk buttons and random vintage buttons. So I just stitched the ribbon and played with it some. I added the buttons last then stitched them in place. If it helps your embellishment to stay in place better, try adding a piece of felt behind it, so the whole thing is attached to something. 

Now my top had buttons already by the wrist of the sleeve. I removed the buttons and added navy ribbon. And if you wanted to add buttons here (as I did) you can after the ribbon is on. I wanted my top to have a whole new personality to it and played around some.


After my sleeve ribbon and buttons where in place, I had to decide on the embellishment (with the octopus button). I did pin this in various places to see what I liked best. I ended up with it on one side, almost as if it were a brooch. Once you pick the placement pin in place and hand stitch to your shirt. It's really that easy! Other alternative ideas is ribbon down the center of a top and buttons by the neck line. You honestly can not go wrong when adding to a top!


I am sure to be sharing more books on clothing and patterns in the coming new year. I hoep you feel inspired to give new life to some old clothes you may have.