Monday, February 28, 2011

No-Sew Fabric Flowers Week (#1) - Twisted Roses

As some of you may know, I've been a bit obsessed with paper and fabric flowers lately! I've been gathering inspiration left, right and centre, and have now created a few no-sew fabric flowers that I'm going to share with you! Well, at least no machine sewing. I'll do machine sewing ones a little later :)

Every day this week I will share a tutorial for one flower - sound good?

Today's tutorial is for Twisted Fabric Roses!
Actually, I'll share two variations :)

You'll notice that all of this week's flowers are in black and white, yum!

No-Sew Fabric Flower #1a - Plaited Roses

Acquire your materials:
  • 3 thin strips of your fabric (longer strips = larger flower)
  • 1 circle of your fabric (or matching felt if you wish)
  • Hot glue gun 

Tie your three strips of fabric together with a knot at one end. As close to the end as you can. 

  Plait your three strips of fabric and knot again at the other end. At one end, trim the excess fabric as close to the knot as you can.

Use your hot glue gun to stick some glue in the centre of your fabric circle.

Attach the trimmed knot end of the plait to the centre of the circle.

Spiral the plait around that central knot, a little bit at a time, working towards the outside. Pop down some glue, push the plait into place, and continue until you've spiralled around enough times to use up the plait. It should look like this:

Pop some glue on the side of your rosette, just before the knot. Press down the fabric.

Trim off the knot and press the end of the plait down.
If you need to, trim the edges of your fabric circle so they don't stick out around the edges of your rosette.

You're done! Now you can attach it to a brooch back, head band or other project!

No-Sew Fabric Flower #1b - Twisted Roses

Acquire your materials:
  • 1 thick strip of fabric (again, longer strip = larger flower)
  • 1 circle of your fabric (or matching felt)
  • Hot glue gun
  • Optional: Project to add your flower to!

Fold your fabric strip in half.

Roll the end around itself a couple of times, then glue it to the centre of your fabric circle.

Spiral the fabric strip around the centre, gluing and twisting the fabric as you do.

When you've used the entire strip, glue the end of the strip to the side of the rosette.

Trim off the excess from the fabric circle so that none shows around the edges of the rosette. You've made another rose! Stick it on one of your projects :)

Come back tomorrow for another no-sew fabric flower tutorial!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

A Few Of My Favourite Things - AussieJules

Remember these beaded earrings that I made for my MadeIt store?
(They're still available if you're interested ;))

Well, I just wanted to give a shout out to the lovely lady that made the beads - Julie Frahm of AussieJules! She makes her own flameworked beads in all sorts of different styles, even makes them from recycled materials like champagne and wine bottles. She also makes beautiful beaded jewellery!

Julie will do commissions - perhaps make a keepsake from the champagne bottle you drank from at your engagement or wedding? Sounds like a fantastic idea! Go and check out AussieJules!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Fabric and Wooden Bead Bracelet Tutorial

Here's a little bracelet I was playing around with the other day in an attempt to use up some scrap material ;) It turned out OK!

What you need:
  • Scrap fabric
  • Wooden beads
  • Embroidery thread and needle
  • Clasp
  • Short length of chain
  • Two jump rings

What to do:

First of all, sew a tube of fabric that is wide enough to slide your biggest bead through and long enough to go around your wrist. Check out Fabric and Bead Necklace Tutorial for how to do that bit.

Next, attach your clasp to a jump ring, and tie the jump ring onto the end of your embroidery thread.

Thread wooden beads onto your embroidery thread so that you have enough for the length of your fabric tube, leaving a largish gap between each bead. This actually ended up being too many beads - leave a bigger gap.

Add a bit of sticky tape to the other end of the embroidery thread so your beads don't slide off while you're doing the rest of the steps.

Slide the fabric tube over your beaded thread.

Using a running stitch to stitch embroidery thread around the end of the fabric tube. If you want the ends of the bracelet to look neater, fold the edge of the fabric tube inwards first. I don't mind the look of the raw fabric edge :) Of course, this won't last as long either.

Make sure the clasp is outside of the fabric tube and all the beads are inside, then pull the running stitch tight. Tie a knot to secure the end. A couple of knots if you want ;)

Push the first bead up to the clasp end of the tube as firmly to the end as you can. 

Now you have two options:

* Option One *
Don't snip the thread. Push the needle back into the fabric tube just below where you tied it off and push it back out just past the first bead.Wrap the thread around the outside of the fabric and knot it off. Repeat this for each bead in your bracelet.

* Option Two *
Snip the thread. Tie a knot just after the first bead. Knot it into place. Snip the thread and repeat for each bead in your bracelet.

Option two is pretty easy and fast, but you see the raw edges of the trimmed off knots. Option one is a neater finish. I kind of like the look of option two for this one, especially with the raw edges of the fabric showing.

To finish the bracelet, attach the short length of chain to the jump ring and tie the jump ring to the end of the beaded embroidery thread. 

Now repeat an earlier step - stitch a running stitch around the edge of the fabric tube, pull it tight and knot it off. Make sure the jump ring is outside of the fabric tube :) Trim all the loose threads and, if you want, attach a charm to the end of the extension chain.

Ta da!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Sassy Sites Header Competition

I'm going to join in the fun at Sassy Sites! 
Marni is looking for a new header graphic for her blog and is offering a pretty nice prize in return!

Check it out and join in!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Trash to Treasure - from Grandma's House!

Grandma has decided it's time to move from her two storey home, with a huge shed and yard, into a much smaller unit in a retirement village. She's also decided that the family can help her by raiding her house and taking the bits and pieces they want for themselves, so we had a bit of fun on Monday "adopting" things that she didn't have room for and was going to throw away. I thought I'd share my new treasures with you!

First are these gorgeous old books. Now those lovelies are mine, miiiine! :D In the first picture, there's also a little spinning wheel pencil sharpener and tiny jug that were too cute to pass up!

I know you'll all think I'm really sad, but I looooove chooks! So I had to have this cloisonné style plate. Love!

How the book shelf is looking now, after all it's new additions:

My OH couldn't keep himself away from some of Grandpa's old reference books, and we nabbed a sturdy wooden crate that for now is housing a lot of the new books (sitting under the printer right now, no better home for it at the moment but I couldn't pass it up!)

I found a great shadow box shelfy thing (oh I'm awesome at technical terminology!) and since no-one else laid claim, it's now organising my fabrics! I'll sand it back and paint it at some stage. I also nabbed some matt antique gold coloured chain, but I forgot to take a photo. It's very sturdy, the links are soldered together, and it's just beautiful! So will definitely be making some jewellery out of that!

We also inherited a lovely little side table made by my Great Grandfather. It's French polished and needs a little touch up, but I'm not brave enough to do anything to it just yet. I'm going to make a runner for the top of it to keep it protected. Excuse the candleless candle holder ;) The entire house is a work in progress!

Aaaaand I finally got around to putting those blue paper flowers in a vase!

Pride of place on top of the T.V. cabinet ;)

Paper Sunflowers

Just recently my Mum suggested I might make some crafty sunflowers for her work office. Tonight I had a play around with some paper sunflower ideas and thought I'd share the three I made!

I think I like the petals on the middle one best, and the scrunched paper centre on the first, but none feel quite "special" enough yet. Do you have any other ideas I could try out to make them a bit fancier? Or tutorials you know of? I'm going to try making some fabric ones next :)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Purple Paisley Buttoned Handbag for the Store!

The latest edition to the MadeIt store!

With pretty purple lining, yum!

Just FYI - anything in my MadeIt store can be listed in my Etsy store, just sing out if you're interested!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Arm Band Pouch

My OH found this Arm Band Pouch tutorial and asked me to make him one. He didn't want it quite like the one in that tutorial (of course not! ;)) but instead wanted it lined so it would be a bit sturdier. So, I thought I'd share how we made ours! It was a bit of a trial-and-error day ;)

What you'll need:
  • 2 coordinating fabrics (one for the outside, one for the lining)
  • Lightweight fusible interfacing
  • Elastic (thicker elastic works much better, we only had thin stuff lying around)
  • Velcro
  • Scissors, sewing machine, thread, etc..

What to do:
First, forgive me for the fabrics and embellishments I'm using here - the OH chose them himself! ;) I did question him with such beauties as "Are you sure?" and "You're really going to wear this out in public? You know, where people can see you?" and he was adamant!

Making the pouch
Work out how big you want your pouch to be. Probably not too big since it's going to be on your arm while you're walking or jogging, but at least make sure your phone or MP3 player or whatever you plan to carry will fit ;)

Cut out 2 rectangles from both fabrics and the interfacing (so you'll have 6 pieces total!) that are the intended size of your pouch PLUS seam allowance PLUS some extra width - we added about an inch extra on each side. The extra width is so you can make the pouch a bit "fatter" allowing it to expand better to hold your stuff, like in this picture:

Fuse your interfacing to your fabric. It doesn't matter much for this if you fuse it to the lining or the outside fabric. Most people fuse it to the lining, I seem to always fuse it to the outside fabric (just to be different ;)).

Work out how much elastic you need. To do this, I wrapped a strip firmly around my man's upper arm, then cut it off at that length and sewed the ends together so the elastic was in a loop. Because I only had thin elastic, I made three of these loops and ended up using two. It would be much much nicer to use thick elastic like in the original Make It and Love It tutorial.

Now, there are several steps that I would have done here but because I was making this trial-and-error style and I'm a bit of a wally, I actually sewed my lining and outer fabrics into tubes here. Mine worked out fine, but it was fiddly to sew! 

What I recommend is to sew your elastic to your outer fabric right now! Find the centre of one piece of your outer fabric, and pin your elastic so that the sewed end of your elastic loop is at that centre point. Sew lengthways up the elastic on either side of the centre (see the red lines in the image below). Do this for all of your elastic loops if you're using more than one (actually I didn't use all three, only two). 

To make this a little prettier and more comfortable, I used a strip of extra outer fabric with some interfacing fused on to cover the elastic. First, cut off the sewn middle section end of the elastic loops, these bits:

Then get your fabric strip and fold all the edges under slightly. Iron it down so the edges stay put! Then sew it on top of the elastic, like this:

Now, place your two pieces of outer fabric together, right sides facing in, and sew up both long edges so that you have a tube. Be careful not to sew over your elastic! Repeat for your lining fabric.

Turn your outer fabric tube right sides out. Put the lining fabric tube inside the outer fabric tube (now the fabrics should be facing the way you want them to end up) 

Roll the edge of the outer fabric tube inwards, and the lining fabric tube outwards, like the picture below. Basically, we're going to sew it together and we want it nice and neat, no raw edges showing.

Now is a good time to fold those edges in and iron them in place - do this before you sew the bottom up! (Sorry, I forgot to take a photo! But the photo below shows the effect we're going for here)

Once you've got the ends nicely lined up, sew along the outside to close the bottom end up. Remember to back sew both edges for strength. Forgive my wonky sewing, it wasn't my best day ;)

At the open end of your tube, fold the edges of the outer and lining fabrics towards each other again. When they're lined up nicely, sew around the edge, sewing the lining and outer fabrics together.

Attaching the lid
Cut out another rectangle from your lining and outer fabrics for the lid flap. This should be the width that your pouch is now, with the edges folded in, PLUS seam allowance all around. The length is up to you, but remember to allow for a seam.

Cut out a strip of your Velcro, about an inch is good but you can adjust this to suit yourself. Attach one piece to the right side of your lining fabric, centred and a few centimetres from the front edge (remember to take into account the seam allowance - it'll end up like the photo below). I like to sew around the entire edge plus a diagonally from corner to corner for extra strength. Set aside the matching piece of Velcro for now.

If you want to embellish the lid, do it now. Yup, my big grown-up man insisted on this owl.

Put your lining and outer fabrics right sides together and sew down both long sides and the front edge. You can go a little fancy and round off the front edge if you want. I angled the corners, you could also trace around a cup or something if you wanted a circular edge.

Turn your lid right side out and top stitch around the three sewn sides, close to the edge. Tuck the edges of the open end inside the lid. Iron it down so it stays in place when you sew the lid flap to the pouch.

(Sorry about the blurry picture)

Pin the matching piece of Velcro to the front centre of the pouch. Attach the lid flap via the Velcro, and pin the open end of the lid flap to the back of the pouch. When you are happy with how the lid is placed, sew the Velcro and the lid flap to their respective places.


TA DA! You are awesome! And for your trouble, you have a useful little arm band pouch to hold essentials when you exercise.


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