Before & After- Distressed Leather is the Best


I was excited to stumble upon this leather. It is rare to find a distressed leather jacket. This one had been broke in perfectly. I was only able to get one bag out of it but I have a little bit left that I am hoping to make a clutch with . Check out the SHOP for more pictures.

Winter Food- Roast Carrot & Fennel Soup




Soup is my go to winter food. It is easy to make, keeps you warm and most importantly it fills you up in the healthiest way. I made this Roast Carrot & Fennel Soup on my lunch break today.

Ingredients: Measuring is over rated, I just throw in what I have.

- carrots
- fennel
- garlic
- veggie stock
- salt
- pepper
- chilli fakes

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 450. Place carrots, fennel and onion on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast for 20 min, then add garlic cloves and roast for another 20 min or until vegetable are soft.

2. Remove the papery skin from the garlic and throw everything into a pot with vegetable stock. Add some salt, pepper and chilli flakes for a little warmth. Bring to a boil then blend until completely smooth.

3. Save the tops of the fennel plants to chop up and add right before you serve for a little extra fennel flavour.


Before & After- How many handbags can you get out of one jacket?




The answer is usually two. Working with a waist length leather jacket I was able to make 2 slouchy shoulder bags and one leather Bear. I have been trying to figure out what to do with all the scraps and bits and pieces I have been hoarding for the last 7 years. I have always held onto the bins of scraps because I feel like one day I will find them a purpose. The scrap experiments usually go to Winston who then carries them around the house.

Before & After- Slouchy Tote in Chesnut Brown







I could not sleep this morning. So instead of staring at the ceiling, I got out of bed at 3am, ate a mango and made this lady.  The jacket was older but well taken care of so the leather is soft with very few scuff marks.
Say hello to your new BFF.

Fold Over Clutch in Faux Leather & Real Canvas




Clutches do not need to be made of leather in order to be luxurious! This oversized, fold over clutch is made from repurposed faux leather. It used to be a VERY long jacket. Think Wesley Snipes in the movie Blade. It was time for an UPDATE.


CHA CHA Backpacks





Until recently, all of these backpacks had previous lives. A 90's leather jacket, a tweed cape, acid washed jeans, and a pair of Levis.
I worked my magic sewing tricks, took them all apart, and put them all back together. So I present to you…. Backpacks.

Before & After- From a Pile of Scraps to the Perfect Handbag





I had some bits and pieces of 2 different jackets left over and I wasn't sure if there was enough to make anything of it. But with a little creative pattern placing and fancy stitching, it came together beautifully. This slouchy leather bag has one exterior slip pocket, three interior pockets and is lined with  cha cha silkscreened canvas. Four hours ago this little lady was nothing but a pile of scraps, now she is ready for a NEW HOME!

Day Dreaming







Isla, you are so pretty.

Winter in Cha Cha Land





Winter in Canada. Hibernating and sewing. Changing things up over here at Cha Cha, nothing stays the same forever. Still sewing, still taking old to new. I will keep you posted.

FREESTYLE FRIDAY- 010814



I am so happy it is Friday! Some weeks just seem long for no reason in particular.
In week two of Freestyle Friday I bring you one of my all time favorite styles, The Clutch.
Clutches dress up any outfit and sometimes it just feels good to carry less. I can't tell you how many pens, extra t-shirts and random utensils I carry around in my larger everyday bag for no reason.
So in honour of out aching shoulders, let's love a clutch.

Freestyle Fridays- Handbag of the Week

Every Friday I will add a new handbag to the shop. This bag will be a one-off and will be the outcome of my weekly experiments and inspirations. I would LOVE some suggestions as well! If you have a handbag or accessory idea please let me know. If I choose your handbag design I will name the style after you and send you a little something as a token of appreciation! Send me an email if you have a style you would love to see.

This week is a dark cherry tote made of repurposed leather and hand painted canvas lining. This light weight slouchy tote is perfect for travel or as a roomy overnight bag. All stitching has been reinforced, you would never know this bag used to be a jacket. Click HERE for more pictures.

Before & After- Leather Shell Satchel



This jacket was ready for a new life and after a little cutting and sewing I gave it one. I found the decorative shell hardware years ago at a vintage shop. I have been holding onto it trying to find the perfect bag to pair it with. I think it adds just enough shine to this bag to make it unique. I only had one little shell, so just one bag made. More photos here.

Before & After- Denim Satchel


I have been trying to find a way to use denim without having the end product look like a D.I.Y gone horribly wrong. I wanted to use the fabric because its soft and durable but I did not want it to look like I sewed the leg a some jeans up and threw it over my shoulder. I'm not sure if you have browsed Etsy lately, but there are PLENTY!!  I think I managed to stay clear of that look. CHECK HERE for more pictures.

Summer Reads- The Good, The Bad & The Fantasy




This summer I have got myself into the bad habit of reading 80% of a book then abandoning it. I am not sure if it is because of my some what chaotic attention span or if it is because I simply loose interest in the book. While I do have a stack of partially read books, I have managed to finish a few.

1. Farm Sanctuary by Gene Baur
Over the years I have become increasingly interested in food production. From how the fruit and vegetables we eat have been grown to how the animals we eat are treated. Farm Sanctuary gives you an in-depth look into factory farms in North America without being shocking for the sake of sensationalism. This book is insightful, honest and really makes you think about the food we feed ourselves and our families. The days of cows grazing in the pastures are long gone for the animals that end up in most of our groceries stores today.
I think this book is a interesting read for everyone, vegan- meat lover. It's important and responsible to know how what we eat is effecting the planet. Highly recommend.

2. #Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso
I have watched Sophia's career sky rocket from her days as a vintage eBay retailer to an online super star in a very short time so I was very excited to see this book come out. She shares her rags to riches story in an easy to read, fun way that allows you to read this book in one sitting. It was enjoyable and I did jot down a few interesting tips or inspirational quotes as I read, but I would not call this a book a guide to success and I am not sure that was her goal anyway.
After reading her book I headed to her online store, like a sucker and did some shopping.  As soon as my order arrived I felt duped. The quality of the items I received was horrible, less then I would expect for your average fast fashion retailer at the mall and far more expensive. I quickly returned my purchase only to wait a month for a refund that happened after 3 phone calls to customer service. Not what I was expecting from a store owned by someone who wrote an entire book about how wonderful her product and customer service was. In the end I feel like I bought into the hype.
But the book was fun and had a few helpful tips for business owners. I would suggest borrowing it from the library and skip the online shop that made her famous.

3. Porter Magazine
This new magazine is powered by Net-A-Porter.com, the high end online retailer. To be honest, I like this magazine on a very simple level. It's pretty. The garments are all so far out of my budget that there is no room for jealousy, this one is straight up fantasy for me and I need a little of fantasy in my life.

What are you reading this summer????