Improvised Life » textiles If you can't hunt with a dog, hunt with a cat... Mon, 20 Jul 2015 16:05:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Glue Gun Textiles and Couture Thu, 06 Nov 2014 22:37:33 +0000

Jonathan Leung

At Carnegie Mellon University’s yearly Lunar Gala Fashion Show, Industrial Designer Miriam Buchwald showcased COCOON, her line of dresses made totally of hot glue.

She didn’t hot glue fabric. She MADE the textiles out of hot-glue, which has expanded our view of hot glue’s possibility greatly, way beyond crafty Martha Stewart.  (more…)

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Make a Bathroom a ROOM with rugs, paintings, objects Wed, 08 Oct 2014 17:00:32 +0000

Ricardo Labougle

We recently stumbled across a couple of images from Decoracion, which features the work of Spanish interior designer Jaime Parladé.  We love Parladé’s use of the elements of a living room: a cotton rug, a shelf of objects, a painting, unexpected tiles, a basket trunk, to give a bathroom a more UNbathroom like feel.

Of all the elements in the room, the simple flat woven rug goes the farthest in making the bathroom feel more like a sitting room. Parladé also uses these textiles as wall coverings, to give an elemental, graphic feel.  (more…)

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Annals of Bad Design: COS Lightweight Backpack + Our FIX Thu, 24 Jul 2014 20:01:02 +0000

Sally Schneider

When we looked at images of the COS Lightweight Backpack online and read the product description we thought PERFECT. Just what we’re looking for:

Made from a lightweight technical fabric, this cotton-lined backpack has an all-over print and fastens using a magnet and wide drawstring. Multi-functional, it can also be worn as a tote bag using the two top handles.

We ordered one and the harsh realities set in. (more…)

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Closet Strategies with a Simple Piece of Fabric Mon, 21 Jul 2014 20:00:05 +0000

Since when is it hip, slick and cool to lie in bed and stare at your clothes and shoe racks––no matter how neatly organized––when you’re rustling up romance? I’m talking about a very particular theme of design porn these days: highly-styled, out-in-the-open clothes racks that make me wonder: What would happen in this uber-neuter scheme if one dared to own something scarlet, purple or orange!  Is it old school not to want to have all your clothes in your face 24/7?


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Find: HUGE 100% Cotton Dish Towels Have Many Uses Thu, 17 Jul 2014 17:00:53 +0000

We stumbled on these HUGE dish towels and ordered a set to check out, having learned the hard way that the real thing is often way different than pictures. We washed them and…they are great, 100% cotton, wonderful-looking and useful for many things. (more…)

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Slung Cloths: Simple Ways to Create Private Space Mon, 30 Jun 2014 17:00:58 +0000

The quest for a restful night’s sleep can feel like an impossible dream, particularly for urban apartment dwellers or those who share tight living quarters and a noisy town. How to shut off the world – and the kitchen – to grab some privacy and nourishing shut-eye to help maintain emotional and mental balance, can be an all-important challenge. (more…)

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Kilim Patchwork Rug to Buy or Maybe DIY Tue, 03 Jun 2014 20:00:45 +0000

Lina Ostling

Just as we’re on the verge of buying a sewing machine so we can actually MAKE some of the things we imagine, we’ve been seeing images of beautiful patchwork rugs made out of vintage kilim remnants. Wondering if it would be possible to DIY them ourselves, we went hunting for kilim remnants. 

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How to Salvage Stained Cloth: Embroider It! Thu, 29 May 2014 20:00:46 +0000

Sally Schneider

Recently we met Virginia del Giudice, a long-time Improvised Life reader who lives in Buenas Aires, and whose post about giving home-made lemon-scented olive oil as gifts (with a template to make the label) we published several years ago. Virginia is a photographer who is also co-owner of La Percalina, a shop that sells very fine vintage clothes. She was visiting our mutual friend, Maria Robledo. Virginia has both a wonderful eye AND, we discovered, a fine hand with fabrics.

When Maria told her she had taken down beautiful kitchen curtains because of the permanent oil stains on them, Virginia said, “Don’t worry, Maria, I can fix them.”

We spotted and admired Virginia’s beautiful “fix” halfway through the process: (more…)

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Cross-Layered Stripe-On-Stripe Table Cloths Mon, 24 Feb 2014 23:00:05 +0000

Spotted at Ikea’s Blog Livet Hemma, this a swell little idea for jazzing up a tabletop: stripe-on-stripe table cloths created with swathes of fabric.

via Livet Hemma

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Print All Over Me’s Custom Printing Service Wed, 22 Jan 2014 21:00:42 +0000

print all over me

Have a swell unique design you’d like to fashion into a one-of-a-kind gift? Print All Over Me will print your custom design — drawings, collages, photographs, signs — onto white tee-shirts, baseball hats, tote bags, pillows, scarfs or sweatpants. Print All Over Me also offers seasonal editions of different objects for you to print all over. In addition to ordering your own unique pieces, you may also sell your designs on their site and shop designs that other people have created. You’ll receive 20% of every sale.

We’re thinking how great this would be on a tee shirt or tote or cap: (more…)

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Find: Big, Stylish, French Striped Dish Towel / Napkin Mon, 13 Jan 2014 22:16:32 +0000

Over the holidays Ellen Silverman gave a dinner party for 14 and wanted a special napkin that guests could take away with them to remember the event. She found some inexpensive but wonderfully stylish big red striped cotton dish towels// that a friend machine-embroidered with a pretty design. They were in perfect keeping with the wonderful bistro-ish meal Ellen made featuring a pot au feu.  And, at 18-inch-by-28-inches, they are wonderfully ample, giving you that “tucked in” feeling when you place them across your lap at table. (more…)

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A Fab Fabric Room via Christopher Baker Thu, 14 Nov 2013 20:55:20 +0000

Christopher Baker

We were leafing through photographer Christopher Baker’s beautiful portfolio when we stumbled on this eccentric, charming  “room” made by hanging patterned textiles across a beam. The image is so clear, we felt like we could walk around in it, taking in its many ideas. (more…)

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construction foliage camouflage, a cool material for interiors? Wed, 13 Nov 2013 18:17:44 +0000

The other day, we passed a construction site made curiously beautiful by the addition of sheer mesh scrims displaying murals of leafy foliage and tulip fields (below). We love construction sites, but they do often present a rather bleak, harsh atmosphere. Although we could still make out the messy site behind the scrim, somehow the overlaid nature images transformed it into something oddly beautiful, and way softer. We thought:  Yay, someone has finally started applying a bright, aesthetic sensibility to these ugly spots.

Then we wondered if this scrim-like material could have applications inside a home. We found Camouflage, a Finnish company making delightful disguises out of sheets of die-stamped flowers. (more…)

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how to use fabric to disappear eyesores and clutter Wed, 02 Oct 2013 20:35:48 +0000 Sally Schneider

Sally Schneider

I frequently do Skype consultations with people who need clever, inexpensive fixes for their spaces and are having difficulty envisioning possibilities. Often, they are only able to describe the change in feeling that they’d like to achieve.

In the many spaces I’ve looked at, I’ve seen a common problem: there is a lot of visual clutter. Often it is as simple as open shelving displaying a mash-up of books, boxes, collectables,and essential items. Their numerous small disparate shapes present as clutter, even though everything may be useful and necessary to the client’s life. This is especially common with people who are renting their space, and don’t want —or have the where-with-all— to invest in proper storage.

There is an amazingly simple solution: (more…)

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