DIY: Cut-out tee’s

It’s been awhile since we did a DIY post, and we were itching to get crafty again. After some poking around the Internet (seriously, what did people do before the Internet?) and a timely post from UrbaneBloc.com, we came across some cool cut-out t-shirts that we thought could be pretty easy to try our hand at. 


Some of our inspiration: 

Here’s what you need: 

– An oversized, slouchy t-shirt. Fitted will just look trashy here, not “I’m Coachella-ready”. Pick your colour! We chose tees from Joe Fresh for their punchy colours and solid value. *Protip: learn from our mistakes and pick a solid cotton shirt. The blends feel too flimsy after they’re cut.
– Sharp scissors with pointy tips. 
– Soft pencil or marker if you’re desperate (but a soft pencil works much better).
– Ruler.

We tried two different ideas, one more difficult than the other. There are tons more out there, so try these, then see what else inspires you.
DIY #1: Show Your Ribs
We loved the design of this one, reminiscent of a spine and ribs exposed down the back. Plus, we found a template online from the eternally-handy DIY Queen Martha Stewart that made our first attempt pretty simply. Difficulty factor: 2/10 (but it takes a long time. Have some wine and good tunes on hand while you’re cutting out all of those pesky ribs). 

Step 1: 
Print out the template. Fold the shirt in half to figure out where the centre line is (we like precision).



Step 2: 
Place beneath the shirt. If it’s moving around on you, tape it in place, because you gotta trace that bad boy. Trace the pattern with your soft pencil. Try and keep the pencil lines as light as you can, to make it easier to cut out without leaving any traces behind after.



Step 3:
Repeat above on the other side of the shirt, taking care to make sure the two sides line up. 


Step 4: 
Cut away! Cut out the parts that correspond with the black parts on the stencil – that is, the “spaces” in between the ribs. Take your time, but don’t worry about it being perfect. You are making a torn shirt, after all.


Step 5: 
Wear and collect admiring glances this summer. 

DIY #2: Woven V
This one looks super complicated, but it actually took less time than the one above. The cutting part is super speedy, while the woven effect is a bit trickier. Difficulty factor: 4/10 – we had to play around with weaving the back a few times, but once you get it, it’s a breeze. 

Step 1: 
Lay shirt out and fold *just the back* in half. If you fold the whole shirt in half, you’ll cut through the front. That’s a little too much exposed skin, in our opinion.


Step 2: 
Grab a rule or tape measure to use as a straight line to cut against. Lay it in a “V” along the edge of the shirt, up to the collar. The wider the V, the more exposed your back will be. Pick how much cut-out you’d like and grab your scissors.



Step 3:
Start cutting pinkly-width strips down the shirt, cutting all the way to the ruler. Again, don’t worry about jagged edges or crooked lines – they’ll just add to the effect.



Step 4:
Once you’re done cutting all the way down to the bottom of the V, grab each strip and stretch it out. This makes the cotton roll under, which hides the jagged edges and opens up the spaces between strips. 

Once you’re done stretching out the strips, your shirt should look like this.

Step 5:
This is where it was get a bit trickier. You can either leave it as is, or attempt to weave the back to add a little pizazz. 

To do this, you grab the top strip and the second strip. Pull the second strip under the first and over the top – the second strip should now be at the top of the shirt. Repeat this with the third strip – grab it and pull it under the second and over the top, so now the third strip is at the top of the shirt. Repeat all the way down; you will start to see a pattern forming on either side of the V. 


Step 6: 
Once you’re done weaving all the way to the bottom, cut the very last strip in half and use it to tie the weave off. Tie each half of the cut strip to the strip above to hold your weave in. 

We really liked the look of double weaving it, so we repeated steps 5 and 6 above. Then we realized our shirt looked a little business in the front, party in the back with the V-neck collar in place, so we cut that off to make the front a little edgier. This is the final result: 
Ta da! We’re excited to wear these to Field Trip this summer, to drink tall boys in Trinity Bellwoods, the beach off Toronto Island and backyard BBQ’s. Basically, to any event that involves sunshine and warm weather.

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City Living: Drinking with your dog


One of the mottos we live by is “work hard, play hard.” After a long day of emails, phone calls and meetings, we like to grab a glass of wine on a patio and unwind. But a long day at the office for us means an even longer day at home for our four-legged companions. Enter the best patios for you to enjoy a drink while hanging with your dog (or cat, if that’s your thing. We don’t judge). Here are our favourite establishments which are happy to offer water, treats or a smile to your furry pal while you imbibe and soak up the sun.


The Rhino
(1249 Queen St. W.)

If you reside in the west end, the Rhino is the spot for
you to hit up. The menu has more
than 200 bottled beers from more than 40 countries, as well as a long list of
local craft beer (Rhino Lager, anyone?). 
The menu consists of pub grub, so grab food while you enjoy a pint and the lovely May weather with your pup. 

Image source.

Whistler’s
(995 Broadview Ave.)

For east-enders, Whistler’s patio is a must.  When beer o’clock rolls around, stroll over
to their patio for pub food, daily specials, a great pint selection and live
music. 

One of our regular office visitors, Lupita, is seen here
enjoying a pint at Whistler’s.
 

Trinity Bellwoods Park

Although not technically legal, Trinity Bellwoods is the perfect
place to drink with your dog. Pack a thermos of your favourite
classic
cocktails
, a picnic blanket and a Frisbee, and you’re all set! Let your four-legged friend blow off some steam in the massive dog bowl, located in the centre of the park.

King and Lupita: “Take us to Trinity, yo.”
Boardwalk Pub (10 Ashbridges Bay)

While your dog does need to stay on the other side of the fence
here, there are a plethora of seats directly besides the patio fence along with shade for your pooch to chill in. Servers happily provide water and you can
toss your hound a few stray fries. 

Image source.

Williams Fresh Cafe (245
Queens Quay) 

Williams
Fresh Cafe, located in the PawsWay building, serves breakfast, lunch and
dinner. It has a pet-friendly eating area where you can enjoy a non-alcoholic
beverage with your dog.

Image source
Turns out today is a perfect day to enjoy one of the suggestions in our list. So, start your Friday early on one of these patios. We’ll see you there!





City Living: Spring sports in Toronto

It’s almost time to pack up those skis and skates, and dust off your tennis racquet, volleyball, and running shoes. For the competitive types out there, this is the time to sign up for leagues or join a club. There is no better way to meet new people and learn to master a sport. If competition is not your thing, there are plenty of courts, trails, and fields to hit up should you get the itch to be active.  

Team sports

A number of us have taken part in sports leagues around the city, and we can’t think of a more fun and productive way to spend our weekday nights. The Toronto Sport and Social Club and Not So Pro Toronto Sports are probably the most popular sports leagues in the city, offering everything from dodgeball to floor hockey to indoor and outdoor ultimate Frisbee. Whether you sign up with a group of friends or as an individual (prices vary depending on sport, venue, etc.), it’s guaranteed, cheap fun. Going for a couple beers with the team after never hurt anyone, either. 

Tennis

Depending on how picky you are when it comes to surface and court conditions, there is a huge range of options for playing tennis in Toronto. If you’re playing a casual game with a friend, there is no shortage of courts at public parks around the city. Sure, your court might be made of cement and the net made of metal, but there will always be space to be found. Trinity Bellwoods (Queen West), Ramsden (Rosedale) and Jimmy Simpson Park (Leslieville) are a few city parks where you can play tennis for free. 

If you’re looking for lessons, tournaments, a partner or simply some better quality courts, there are lots of tennis clubs around the city. Sir Winston Churchill Park Tennis Club (Spadina and St. Clair W.) and Kew Gardens Tennis Club (the Beaches) are both very affordable options. Mayfair Racquet and Fitness Club is popular as they have four locations around the city, and Greenwin Tennis Club (Mt. Pleasant and Davisville) is known for its great clinics.  

High five, sister.

Golf

So when we say golf, what we actually mean is the driving range. While we wish we could say we enjoy a good round of 18 holes, our skills and patience are not quite up to, um, par. Instead, we love a good afternoon working on our swing and going through as many baskets of balls as our wallets will allow. Our personal favourite is the two-level driving range at the Polson Pier, a.k.a. the Docks. While there’s nothing fancy about it, it’s easy to get to and has a lovely view of Lake Ontario. Other ranges in and around Toronto include the Beach Fairway Golf Range (Victoria Park Avenue just south of the Danforth) and Launch Golf Centre (Vaughan), which is conveniently open year round courtesy of the personal heaters in each stall. Memberships, lessons and private parties are also available, making this a pretty great golf destination if you’re willing to make the drive.

 Much harder than it looks.
Image source.

Running

One of the things we love most about the spring is being able to run outdoors again. Our personal go-to is The Beltline, which is a trail that spans 4.5 km from Mount Pleasant and Merton St. all the way up to the Allen. Ravines, the boardwalk in the beaches, and pretty much anywhere in the city with minimal pedestrian and vehicle traffic are great options as well. 

If you’re looking to get more serious, or for company while running, the Running Room offers great clinics. Most groups require a fee to participate, but we’ve found that there are a few sessions per week where you can tag along with running groups (usually groups training for a race) at no cost.

They look so happy.
Image source.
 

Whatever sport you choose, remember that exercise is key to a healthy heart, muscles, joints, and mind. Find something you love and it will be easier to stick with it.


 

Fave 5: Not-so-typical Valentine’s Day events

When it comes to Valentine’s Day, for most of us it’s a love-hate relationship. Some of us love it, some of us hate it (and some of us land firmly in the middle). 

For the lovers, a typical V-Day usually entails going out for a romantic dinner and maybe a movie or cocktail after. For the haters out there, (single or coupled up) staying home and pretending you forgot that it’s February 14 isn’t necessary. Embrace your warm fuzzy self, and somebody you love, and check out some unconventional events happening around the city that even the biggest cynic is sure to enjoy.

SPiN Toronto – 461 King St. W.
Singles, couples and groups are invited to SPiN Toronto’s first ever Valentine’s Day party, where fake blood is welcome, gory costumes are encouraged and bloody drinks are being served. There is also a killer photo booth and a prize to be won for goriest costume. Ping pong is free after 9 p.m. Not into Valentine’s Day? Just think of it as a Halloween party in February.
Casa Loma, 1 Austin Terrace
From the looks of it, horror and romance seem to be going hand in hand this year. If it’s not cheesy, typical love day plans you’re after (we’re not that kinda girls), then head to Casa Loma where the Brant Theatre is presenting Dracula, A Love Story, a play by Sharyl Hudson. The play takes you from room to room throughout Toronto’s own Gothic mansion, as the actors bring the famous Bram Stoker novel to life. The show starts at 8:30 p.m. and tickets are $34. 
Supermarket – 268 Augusta Avenue
WORN FASHION JOURNAL is hosting a karaoke night starting at 9 p.m. at Supermarket in Kensington. Tickets are $7, and just $5 if you wear red. Who doesn’t love belting out love songs and a cheap cover?

Oz Studio – 134 Ossington Ave.
If live music is your thing, then Love Near Bellewoods is the place to be. Dave Monks of Tokyo Police Club, Chris White of Bellewoods and Luke Laldone from Born Ruffians are all part of the lineup that may just serenade the crowd with love songs. Rumour has it that there will also be a few surprise guests. And because Valentine’s Day isn’t complete without DIY crafts, there will be a card making station with paper bag mail boxes for the first 50 people to arrive. The party starts at 10 p.m. and tickets are $7. 

Whistler’s Grille and Cafe, 995 Broadview Avenue
If you’re in the east end, The Cabbagetown Theatre Company is putting on No Sweetheart Required, a cabaret evening of short and sassy comedies and musical performances. Tickets are $20 and group rates are also available for 10 or more people (you’ll also be entered into a prize draw). The event starts at 8 p.m.