Sunday, December 28, 2014

If the RSA did Dog Vests

I know it's been a while, all my stuff was packed up for the 1st half of the year because of being given notice to quit my accommodation.  The new place fell through on our move out date and we eventually got a place in July.  The rest of the year has flown by.

So back to the task at hand, I rescued a pooch and he's been the light of our lives, as well as a huge handful in the beginning.  Thankfully he's less like a wild dog and more a cuddly ball of fluff now.

I wanted to make a quick and easy coat for our winter walks.  I had a hi-visibility bag (which I think might be waterproof too), it was meant for shoes or gym kit, you know, the kind with drawstrings.

Basically I unpicked the stitches and removed one of the reflector strips, then cut it in half.  I drafted a basic pattern, by using a paper rectangle and putting in over the dog (much fun he thought).  I folded it in half lengthwise, cut out a U shape for the neck.  Tried it on again to see if the tips overlapped at the front.  Marked the tailed length and the depth.  Then laid the folded sheet on the floor, to draw another U shape from the tail to the front.  Tested it on the pooch to see if it was ok.

All looking good I cut out a piece of the bag and pinned cotton twill tape all the way around the edge.  As seen in the photo below.

As you can see it looks just like a bib vest.  After carefully sewing the tape, I added Velcro to the front closure. At this point I fitted onto the pooch (who still wasn't fed up) to locate the best place for the strap.  Using the cotton twill tape, I pinned it to one side and measured it under the  belly until it overlapped the hem on the other side by 2cm, I gave it an extra 2cm to fold over and sew on another bit of Velcro.

Ta-Da!! Here's the little rascal modelling his new vest. Note the bits of paper he was shredding while he was waiting.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Shoe Dye

Gosh it's been a long time since I posted.  Well am still waiting to move into my new pad and I've boxed up my creative side.
Well I decided to give some preloved shoes a bit of a makeover.  Now as gorgeous as these shoes are in red (which I adore) I don't really have anything to wear with them.  I love the style so much I decided to have a go at dying them black.......eeeekk!

I used Black Dylon Leather Shoe dye it comes in liquid form in a little bottle with brush. Now before you get all excited, this is like mixing paints, whatever colour your shoe is and whatever colour the dye is will determine the outcome.  So  in my case red + black = Brown (yellow + blue = green) get the idea....... wish it had said that on the outside of the darn box!  Anyway I was lucky.

You will need 
  1. a cloth 
  2. white spirit 
  3. newspaper or glossy mag/plastic sheet
  4. rubber gloves
  5. old plastic tub
  6. tissue
  7. Shoes
  8. Dylon Dye
  9. Shoe Polish (Kiwi is my fav)
So to prepare the shoe for painting, you have to clean them with white spirit thoroughly to remove any polish so the dye will absorb, I must have been a bit lazy or not as thorough as there was one patch that didn't take as well as the rest.  Once that's done you have to let them dry and stuff the shoe with newspaper.  Then you are ready to paint.
I recommend  using a glossy mag or plastic sheet to cover the surface you are going to work on as the dye if dripped/spilled will seep through newspaper.  Also a plastic apron as the paint can splatter if you're not careful.
Shake the dye bottle well and pour a little into the tub. Apply paint evenly all over the shoe (careful not to put too much on the brush as it will dribble all over the shoe and work surface) Now at this point it will look pretty rough and you might go into panic mode....... don't worry.  Let it dry and continue to paint the shoes paying particular attention to any spot that might be patchy, until you get an even look.  Now I saved a little in the bottle just in case, I need to do a touch up some time in the future.
At this point mine looked a minky brown/black and some patches had a sort of metallic hue to them.  To be honest I was a bit worried. 

I let them dry overnight (as we had fab weather and it was hot).  In the morning I had to decide which polish I was going for Black or Brown (either would have been lovely), I went for black as that is what would go with most of my wardrobe.  I applied the polish thoroughly to the shoe but did not buff.  Here is a photo of the shoes with the right one with polish applied.

I left them to soak up the shoe polish for the rest of the day, then buffed them to a shine in the evening.  The polish made them darker and almost jet black, and made the colour even getting rid of the patchy metallic bits, so I'm really pleased with the end result.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014