Archive of ‘My Threadbanger Posts’ category

What Happened to Threadbanger Pt. 2: Question

so what happened to meg, corrine and rob. they got fired? you never told us what happened. the new threadbanger is boring.
Sorry – I thought I answered that here:

Rob left to work on his own stuff awhile ago. I don’t know the specifics of Meg’s and Corinne’s interactions with the higher-ups at Next New Networks; all I know is that Lee and I got emails saying they would no longer be working for Threadbanger and neither of us needed to blog anymore for the TB blog since we wouldn’t be getting paid for it. That was it; no clarification, no response to my repeated emails and offers to continue to the blog regardless of pay. (Which I never received for all the blog posts I had done up until then anyway.)

Thus I cannot confirm or deny any rumors or conjecture as to what happened to them or why they left – you’d have to ask them directly about that.


What Happened to Threadbanger: Question


do you have any idea why corinne, rob, and meg stopped making videos for threadbanger?

I know it was not any of their decisions to leave – the choice was not theirs to make.  (Though Rob as far as I know did decide to leave the show earlier to work on his own projects.) Reading all the comments to their last video (above), I can see how the community is upset and infuriated with them leaving, and with the way it was handled (which also was not a decision any of them had the ability to make either). If people are really upset with the direction Threadbanger is heading, I urge you to write directly to its parent company, Next New Networks, to protest Corinne & Meg’s leaving (and Lee’s and mine too if you feel like it!:-) ) It was such a great, indie-oriented, subversive show, and apparently the owning company feels like taking it in a different direction now.

DIY: Laptop Sleeve from Leather Jacket

As you may recall from a previous project I posted, we still have the rest of the thrifted leather jacket leftover to something fantastic with!  So with my Hubby’s birthday quickly approaching, I decided to make him a homemade sleeve for his laptop computer.  Sure you can buy one from the store – and I did scrounge up a tutorial for using some neoprene from an old wetsuit [and here, too!] (like I have many of those laying around!)…but I wanted to try a different material.  Leather is cushioning and sleek – but if you prefer manmade leather or vinyl (or even fabric, corderuoy, or denim!) this project will work just as well.  I was inspired by those wraparound manila envelopes – but you can always use a strip of material and velcro as a closure, or fashion a long strip with a parachute buckle around the entire laptop, or extend one side of the outer material and use it as a closure flap, or even add a couple inches to each end and use a zipper as closure, turning this sleeve into a simple zippered bag.  The possibilities are endless!

You Need:


*leather jacket with lining (or leather/other material + lining fabric, if you are not repurposing a jacket)
*quilt batting (I used Low-Loft crib-sized batting, and had quite a bit left over)
*1 button
*black elastic cord
*marking chalk
*leather shears
*fabric scissors
*matching All Purpose thread
*sewing machine needle for leather
*sewing machine needle for wovens
*hand-sewing needle (not needed if your button is not shanked)
*leather/vinyl glue

*matching upholstery thread
*walking foot or Teflon foot for sewing machine
*clothespins or binder clips

How To:

Prep Your Parts 

 1. Place laptop on your sleeve material, right side up, front edge facing away from you.  Trace around laptop on all sides, adding 1″.


2. Lift and rotate laptop up on its back edge towards you, then wrong side up on top of the material.  (Front edge will be facing towards you.)  Keep drawing 1″ around all edges.  (I know this sounds somewhat confusing, so I included the diagram above to show how the material was measured.)

3. Cut the rectangle out of the material (cutting through both outer and lining if you are using a jacket), using leather shears.  If you do not have a lining, place this rectangle on top of your lining material, trace around, and cut using fabric scissors.


4. Cut a small piece of leather about 1″ square.


5. Unroll batting from package, and leave it doubled up as you flatten it out.  Place rectangle of material on top of the batting.  Cut a piece of batting the same size as the lining, then trim batting about 1/2″ on the sides only.

Time to Sew!


6. Fold material rectangle in half, and machine-stitch the edges together, using a needle for leather and upholstery thread.  (Upholstery thread is not a must-have…but it is a lot stronger that regular cotton/poly mercenized, and is more suited to sewing leather and taking the stress of repeat usage.  Also, f you have a walking foot or Teflon foot for your machine, it can help the leather from sticking.)

Clip corners and turn right side out.

7. Fold lining rectangle in half, and machine-stitch the edges together, using a needle for wovens and regular thread.  This will make the lining into a “pouch.” Do not turn right side out; the right side needs to remain on the inside.



8. Wrap batting around the outside of the lining pouch.  Fold upper edges of lining pouch down and overlap batting piece at top edges.  (Trim batting top edges if they are too bulky or long.)


Machine-stitch the lining edges down over the batting, at about a 3/8″ hem.

Closing It Up

9. Sew button to the material pouch you made in Step 6), about 2″ down from the top edge on the front of the pouch.


10. Slide the lining into the material pouch, and slip the laptop inside to check for sizing.  On the back side of the material pouch, tape one end of the elastic cord to the center, about 2″ down from the top edge.

11. Wrap elastic cord around button, and bring the other end to the back, cutting it and gluing it down next to the other end.  Make sure the cord is taut around the button and will keep the laptop from falling out.


12. Trim the cord to meet the taped-down end.

13. Re-tape cords down with the ends free.  Place a dab of glue under the ends and press them into it.


13. Remove tape and glue the small square over the ends of the cords.

14. Remove laptop and lining from the material pouch, and machine-sew the square over the elastic cord ends, first sewing a square around the edge, then an “X” shape in the center.



14. Spread glue on the inside of the outer pouch, close to the top edge.  Turn down top edge about 3/8″; clamp until dry.

15. Slip the lining back inside the outer pouch, pushing the corners all the way in.

Stitch around upper edge of laptop sleeve to secure the lining to the outer material, using a needle for leather and upholstery thread.

Et voila!

Finally, a homemade FUNCTIONAL accessory that my husband will actually use!  (And it’s unisex, so can be a great gift for a man or woman!)


Happy DIY’ing and Happy Birthday, Hub!

This is my last post for Threadbanger – wish I could do more! Hasta la vista, TB!

Have a DIY Mother’s Day! Flowers n Jars Round-Up

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, probably the biggest question on everyone’s mind is what to get for the mother in their lives.  DIY a lovely gift for a Mom of any age – using fabric and glass, two of the best materials known to the modern gal.  Here’s an internet roundup of some great projects to create flowers that last forever, and beautiful jars to display them in or use as knicknacks around the house:

Happy Together makes a beautiful bouquet out of multilayered fabric flowers by tracing the shapes of store-bought flowers to make a pattern.

If you’d like some patterns for making fabric flowers without having to sacrifice store-bought blooms, I’ve shared a few patterns for a camellia, carnation, dahlia, and lush camellia on my site Chic Steals.


If you’re looking for rose-making how-to’s, here’s a tutorial on DuhBe for a satin rose bloom, a Rolled Fabric Rose tutorial downloadable pdf from Portobello Pixie, and a Tattered Fabric Rose Tutorial from Everyday Chaos.

You can also buy small fabric gifts for Mom (decorative pouches, stockings, scarves, underwear * o * …) and roll them up tightly to make your own rolled rose bouquet, adding straws, wrapped wire, or takeout chopsticks for stems.  (Taking a leaf from Hanky Panky, seen above.)
Now as to what to put your lovely flowers in…

And if you want to go all-out and present in a beautiful vintage-style faux blue mason jar, Bridal Buzz has the how-to for ya.
To take a break from the “must give flowers for Mother’s Day” mantra…what not think a little out of the jar box?  If Mason jars are on your mind, maybe Mom would love this handcrafted terrarium that Craftzine can help you with?

The Home-Made Sun Jar from Instructables user cre8tor is another fabulous use of the jarred variety.

You could also make Freehand Etched Glass Votives, thanks to Instructables user Robyntheslug.
Or, you could make hand-poured candles in jars, courtesy of Centsational Girl.

 Bath Salt Oatmeal Milk and Honey from terrasecrets’ Etsy shop

Bath salts…bath fizzies..bath bombs…lotions…find every single recipe you could ever want for home-made bath & body products at, and present in a beautiful jar.

 (Nestle Toll House Oatmeal Chip Cookie Mix from

Or even a jar of a homemade cookie mix, granola, or hot cocoa might work well for a mother with a sweet tooth.  (Guilty!)  See RazzleDazzleRecipes for a ton of great cookie-mix-in-a-jar recipes.

And isn’t this ingenious?  Cupcake in a Jar recipe, courtesy of MyCakies.Hope that’s planted some seeds for some great DIY ideas for Mom…and if your Mom isn’t the type to swoon over flowers or decorate with jars and knicknacks…well, there’s always a gift card to, right?
Have a Happy Mother’s Day!
top image from 

as posted on Threadbanger

How to Make a Pair of Boot-Covers from a Leather Jacket

openingAfter spotting this editorial in Lucky Magazine back in winter, I decided I wanted a foldover-style boot too!  Scan2 1So chic – and it visually slims up your legs, working in both casual and more edgy ensembles.  But since I always make instead of buying new unless I absolutely must, I’m not going to plonk down 9 on a boot…especially when I already have a whole bunch of shorter boots that will work perfectly as the base (see below).beforeHere’s how to make your own version, using an old beat-up leather jacket: (more…)

How to Make a Ruffled Top from a Men’s Shirt

done3openingimg Tomorrow being Administrative Professionals’ Day I wanted to create something that’s fashionable yet doesn’t scream “look at me!” (and is totally appropo for the office!).  With Earth Day just around the corner as well, what could be more eco than upcycling?  Steal a button-down from your guy’s closet and give it a feminine makeover…that will make it a mainstay in yours.

You Need: (more…)

How To Make a Knotted Cord Belt

Summer is almost upon is, and style inspired by the African continent is in!  Bold prints, bright colors, beads, and lacing: we’re seeing it on the runways and on fashionable girls on the street.  Create this knotted belt out of satin cord and add jewelry findings for a fashion-forward Moroccan infusion of style!  (The lacing may look tricky, but once you get the hang of that, it’s a piece of cake!)
You Need:

*5 yd of satin cord (about 2.5 – 3 mm thick) *small amount of scrap fabric
*14 large crimp coil necklace ends (silver-tone)
*4 large silver-tone necklace end connectors
*1.5″ wide black elastic, cut to your waist circumference (we’ll be cutting it shorter below)
*2 snap fasteners

*wire-cutting pliers
*sewing machine
*regular to heavy-duty needle
*thread matching belt color
*snap-setting pliers or die & hammer
*iron & ironing board

How To:
Prep Your Parts

 1. Cut satin cord into the following pieces:
      *FOUR pieces 14″ long (to make outer loop)
      *FOUR pieces 18″ long (to make center knot)

 2. Use pliers to press down the end coils of the crimp ends.  Cut off the hangloops of the end connectors.

3. Cut 4 pieces from your fabric, measuring 4.25″ wide by 3″ high.  Start Weaving: Outer Loop First

4. Thread 2 crimp ends onto a 14″ piece of cord.  Loop it over and tape down the ends.

5. Tape down another 14″ piece of cord.  Thread it through the crimp coil from the previous piece of cord…and add a crimp coil onto the cord.

6. Add another crimp coil, and loop it around.

7. Thread it back through the remaining crimp coil on the first cord.  Tape down the end.

8. Secure the loop you just made with a piece of tape.
Keep Going: Inner Loop-and-Knot

 9. Put a crimp coil on one of the 18″ cord pieces and tape down the end, placing it in the center and directly below the cord from the previous step.

10. Thread it through the crimp coil on the adjacent cord and loop it around to the right, then back under the first two cords, headcing downwards.

 11. Thread it over itself, then downwards under the first two cords again.

 12. Loop it to the right, back over the first two cords, and then to the left under itself again.

13. Thread it back through the crimp coil on the adjacent cord.

14. Add another crimp coil, and tack down the end with tape.

15. Time for the final cord! Tape down the end of another 18″ piece of cord, and thread it to the right and through thr crimp coil on the adjacent cord.

 16. Add a crimp coil, and weave the cord around the center loop in the same manner as the previous piece.  (It will be to the outside of the previous cord.  Go under the previous piece, to the right, over the taped-down outer loop, up and around, under the outer loop cords, over the center loop cords and down…)

17. Keep following the center loop of the previous cord.  (Around and to the right, over the taped-down center loop, back to the left, under itself…) And finally, thread it back into the crimp coil you added to it in Step 15).

 18. Then tape its end down.

19. Shift the ends of all your cords together, re-tape, and push the crimp coils further to the right, closer to your center loop-and-knot. 

 20. Use pliers to add an end connector to the center cords just to the left of the taped-down loop. Smooth out your cords – and congratulate yourself on a job well done!
Other Side & Finish Lacing

21. Make one more group of looped cords in exactly the same manner. (See Steps 4) – 20)]

22. Place the two groups of cord side-by-side, matching up the centers.  Add 2 more end connectors to the center loops to connect one side to the other. Now you’re finished with all that lacing – which probably feels fabulous!
Make the Belt

  23. Tape both ends of the cord group on top of the ends of your piece of elastic.  Make sure your cords are centered and each side overlaps the elastic the same amount.

 24. Fold the elastic under itself, about 3/8″, and stitch the cords down on top.  (I went over the same area twice with a straight stitch, then zigzagged down it for strength.)  Stitch down both sides to the elastic.

 25. Trim off the cord ends on the other side of your stitching.

 26. Cut your elastic piece in half.

 27. Place 2 fabric pieces right sides together, on top of where you’ve stitched the cords to the elastic.  Trace the width of the elastic, and mark the width of the cords.  Then draw a “D” shape between the elastic piece, about 2″ long.

28. Do the same for the other 2 pieces of fabric.

 29. Sew around the “D” on each pair of fabric pieces, just outside you markings.  Leave a small area unsewn on the flat side in order to turn them right-side-out.

 30. Trim fabric around the sewing at about 1/4″.

Notch, then turn the pieces right side out.  Tuck the unsewn areas’ raw edges to the inside.  Press both pieces with an iron to flatten.

31. Place one D piece over where the cords are sewn to the elastic, in order to cover them.  (Rounded edge of D needs to cover the cords but hang off the edge of the elastic.) Topstitch around edge of D, about 1/8″ from edge, to secure it to the elastic and the cords.

32. Try on belt, and center the knotted cord at your center front.  Mark where the elastic meets at your center back.  Cut elastic at that measurement.

33. Fold each end of elastic under about 3/4″.  Sew down about 1/2″ from edge.

34. Set two sets of snaps in the elastic ends according to the instructions on your snap-setting pliers or die set.

 Ta da!  This tutorial looks complex, but doing it is incredibly rewarding – and the whole process is a lot faster than it looks!  Tip: If you want to make more of a statement piece, use thicker cord or rope, and thread it through large-hole beads instead of jewelry findings.  You could even wrap strips of embossing metal around the cords instead of threading them through beads at all!

Have fun and go tribal:-)

 It also doubles as a cute necklace at this size!

And check out my blog Chic Steals for more DIY tutorials and belt-making projects! Thanks for reading – and if you have any questions, ask them in the Comments section below and I’ll do my best to help you out:-)
Carly J. Cais

as posted on

How to Make a Button-Embellished Top

 Inspired by the original DIY’er, Martin Margiela, I’ve dipped into my overflowing stash of mismatched buttons to craft a fabulously avant-garde-style t-shirt.  The shirt I used was actually one of my husband’s that he discarded due to a couple tiny stains on the front.  But that’s what DIY’s for!  Cover up stains, patching, pilling, or a design you don’t like…or add interest to an otherwsie boring piece.  There’s a ton of great art and photos out on the internet – or you can create your own image and use it as a template for button placement.  I chose monochromatic buttons so that the image would appear “pixellated” when standing from afar – and though I chose to make an eye (in my own homage to Salvador Dali), you could make anything your heart desires.
You Need:

*t-shirt*large number of buttons in various sizes and shapes (preferably in shades of black, white, and gray)
*Jewel-It Embellishing Glue (or other glue for affizing plastic embellishments to fabric)
*piece of cardboard or t-shirt board

*printout, drawing, or photo
*sewing machine & needle for knits
*hand-sewing needle
*thread matching buttons

How To:
Prep Time

1. Pre-wash t-shirt if it hasn’t been washed already.  Place cardboard or t-shirt board inside t-shirt to flatten front.2. (Optional) If you are using a piece of artwork as a template, slide it inside your tee, just on top of the board. Secure with tape.

3. Now’s the time to channel your inner artiste!  Place tee on a flat surface and start covering it with buttons.  Start with the black outlines, then place the brightest white buttons on the brightest white parts of the eye.  (You’ll probably spend a lot of time squinting at your picture.)  Stand back every few minutes to see if you like the effect, and adjust your placement as necessary.

Make it Permanent

 4. When you’re pleased with your button artwork, now you need to take each button off and affix it to the t-shirt.  For the larger buttons add a daub of glue to its back; for the smaller dot glue onto the shirt itself.  If you plan to go back and sew your buttons for more security – be careful you don’t get any glue in the buttonholes.  (If you are using shanked buttons, you’ll have to hand-sew them on to the shirt.)

5. After you’ve glued all your buttons down, allow the glue to dry per the instructions.

6. (Optional) Remove board from tee, and proceed to sew all the buttons down to the front of your shirt.  (Drop the sewing machine’s feed dogs, and zigzag into 2 holes of each button – which should be secure to hold it on and allow you to machine-wash your shirt.)7. Wear and enjoy all the extra attention.  (If you have chosen not to sew your buttons down, follow the washing instructions on the glue.  Some glues are not fast when put in the wash, so be careful when choosing!)


Pair with black and white pieces to make your monochromatic look.  Here’s looking at you, kid!
And check out my blog Chic Steals for more DIY tutorials and fun embellishing projects!
Thanks for reading – and if you have any questions, ask them in the Comments section below and I’ll do my best to help you out!
Carly J. Cais

as posted on Threadbanger

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