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Archive for the ‘felt’ Category

Every once in a while, that magic, life-changing event happens … you know the one I’m talking about.  The event where you have said to yourself, “I could make that”….and later on you ACTUALLY DO!  I haven’t experienced this sort of phenomenon much in my life, I admit, but how I cherish the memories (and the pieces) of when I have!!!

Let me tell you about this most recent happening …

We received a fabulous gift card to Crate & Barrel for Christmas.  I love this gift because it was the first time in a long time I didn’t feel like I was skipping school to roam around the store.  I was there LEGITIMATELY!  We had already purchased a rug online, so while I went to pick up my “ship free to store” purchase, I roamed around to figure out what to do with my remaining $60.

Isn’t it crazy how having NO money = I’M LICKING EVERYTHING IN THIS STORE BECAUSE I WANT IT SO BADLY.

Yet, having ACTUAL money = I CAN’T LET GO OF MY GIFTCARD. NOTHING IS GOOD ENOUGH FOR ME.

Well, among several things … my heart was divided between chalkboard placemats and these darling Napkin Rings:

These are regularly $4 each... on sale at this moment for $3.15 each.  Not expensive .. but say it with me, "I-can-make-that!"

These are regularly $4 each… on sale at this moment for $3.15 each. Not expensive .. but say it with me, “I-can-make-that!”

I mean really, aren’t these just so cute.  This photo from the store website doesn’t do them justice.  They’re large, burlap-looking, and so fresh and happy.  (I think these are actually hemp, but I like to pretend they’re burlap)

So, I took a picture, put it in my phone, bought some burlap.  Then I let 3 months pass by.  Then…. last night, the impossible happened.  I MADE THEM!

 

Here is mine.  I am completely smitten.  If it wasn't burlap, I'd lick it for sure!

Here is mine. I am completely smitten. If it wasn’t burlap, I’d lick it for sure!

Alrighty…for those of you who also like the looks of these, please read on for how to make them yourself!

Cut your strips.  Mine were approximately 3" and I cut across the full width of the burlap.  Remember - it's burlap!  Don't overthink it or try too hard.  Just cut that stuff up!

Cut your strips. Mine were approximately 3″ and I cut across the full width of the burlap. Remember – it’s burlap! Don’t overthink it or try too hard. Just cut that stuff up!

You'll also want to cut out felt circles whatever diameter you'd like your flowers to be.  Mine are probably about 3"-4" in diameter.  I used the lid to a container jar as my template.

You’ll also want to cut out felt circles whatever diameter you’d like your flowers to be. Mine are probably about 3″-4″ in diameter. I used the lid to a container jar as my template.

Now you're going to fold this in half and serge the two sides together.  If you don't have a serger, use your overcast stitch ... or, worst case, a zigzag stitch.  But come in closely ... you really should use a serger!  (good excuse to return that shirt you borrowed from your friend with a serger!)

Now you’re going to fold this in half and serge the two sides together. If you don’t have a serger, use your overcast stitch … or, worst case, a zigzag stitch. But come in closely … you really should use a serger! (good excuse to return that shirt you borrowed from your friend with a serger!)

Your strips will look something like this.

Your strips will look something like this.

Now you're going to start forming your rosette.  Have your glue gun ready, heated, and lots of extra glue sticks ready.  You'll use about 1 stick per rosette.  Start by tucking one end in just a bit and gluing.  Now fold that over again and glue.  Third, start tucking just a bit and glue.  Fourth, begin wrapping and glue as much as you can.

Now you’re going to start forming your rosette. Have your glue gun ready, heated, and lots of extra glue sticks ready. You’ll use about 1 stick per rosette. Start by tucking one end in just a bit and gluing. Now fold that over again and glue. Third, start tucking just a bit and glue. Fourth, begin wrapping and glue as much as you can.

Now, put a HUGE dollop of hot glue right in the center of your circle.  Place your rosette as it is right down in it an press.  Hold it for long enough for the glue to secure to the burlap.  From there, just place a line of glue, twist and stick the burlap.  repeat until you get to the end of your circle.

Now, put a HUGE dollop of hot glue right in the center of your circle. Place your rosette as it is right down in it an press. Hold it for long enough for the glue to secure to the burlap. From there, just place a line of glue, twist and stick the burlap. repeat until you get to the end of your circle.

Clip your burlap, leave about 2".

Clip your burlap, leave about 2″.

Fold the tail in and in again then glue to the back of the rosette.  All along the way, just glue glue glue.  Wherever it needs it, GLUE it!

Fold the tail in and in again then glue to the back of the rosette. All along the way, just glue glue glue. Wherever it needs it, GLUE it!

And here is what you end up with!  AAAHH.  dreamy.  Of course, you can do a million things with this... headbands, curtain tiebacks, wristbands, etc...but I'm making napkin rings, so keep reading for the rest.

And here is what you end up with! AAAHH. dreamy. Of course, you can do a million things with this… headbands, curtain tiebacks, wristbands, etc…but I’m making napkin rings, so keep reading for the rest.

Crate & Barrel used a small strip of hemp plus a dab of velcro for their version.  SHUH, as if!  That takes WAY too long.  So, I got some rick rack.  Cut it into 8 equal strips.  I think it looks nice and farmhousey, which is what I'm going for in my home.  You can use something fancier if you want.

Crate & Barrel used a small strip of hemp plus a dab of velcro for their version. SHUH, as if! That takes WAY too long. So, I got some rick rack. Cut it into 8 equal strips. I think it looks nice and farmhousey, which is what I’m going for in my home. You can use something fancier if you want.

Place a dab of glue right in the center of the back, then place the rick rack on it.  Top it off with a heavily glued small felt circle.  YOU'RE DONE!  Hug yourself.

Place a dab of glue right in the center of the back, then place the rick rack on it. Top it off with a heavily glued small felt circle. YOU’RE DONE! Hug yourself.

Here is your new place setting ... compliments of YOU!!!  Are you kidding me?!?  i love these!

Here is your new place setting … compliments of YOU!!! Are you kidding me?!? i love these!

I am speechless.  Okay, that's never true.  But if ever oh ever I were to be speechless, it would be now!

I am speechless. Okay, that’s never true. But if ever oh ever I were to be speechless, it would be now! (Did you notice that by making these myself, I was able to get BOTH the napkin rings AND the chalkboard placemats!?!  It’s good to be a sewer… in this case, a gluer!)

And see how the tiebacks don't even show.

And see how the tiebacks don’t even show.

I hope you’ll make these!  You won’t regret it!!!  And seriously… they’re on sale for cheap.  I won’t judge you for buying them as long as you make the napkins they will hold!  =)

Here’s the breakdown:

TIME: I got lost in a conversation with the young gal that lives with us … but I’m thinking about 10-15 minutes each.  I easily made 4 in an hour, so probably even less.

COST: $3/yd for the burlap.  I bought 1 yard.  About $2.50 for the rickrack and I got all 8 completed with one package. So total cost for all 8 napkin rings…. $5.50!  A great saving compared to the $32 I would’ve spent on these in January!

That’s all I’ve got for today y’all … I’m about to make dinner and let’s just say there’s a reason I don’t write a cooking blog!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I love decorating for Christmas.  If I could, I’d have a tree in every room, wreaths on each window, real-live garland hanging over every doorpost.  Christmas decorating is fun to me.  I am, however, not usually the mom who decorates for every season.  I have been perfectly content to let Valentines, Easter, Fourth of July and dare I say it …. even Halloween (GASP!) go by without much decorating.  I think it’s the exhaustion factor.  =)

This year I want to change that.  I want my kids to begin having memories of a house filled with anticipation for lots of holidays and special events.  So, I’m starting with Halloween.  And —- I’m starting by including the kids in the process.

Owen, Ellie and myself spend a few hours together a few Saturdays ago to make this really fun and happy Halloween Banner (or bunting, for you official types).

It really was easy – Owen is 6, Ellie is 4 – and they will vouch for me – it was easy and fun.  (Confession: the hardest part is for mom – it is very difficult to allow this to look like a kid project.  I resisted the temptation to erase all child-like evidence … and I’m glad I did!  Sometimes I have to remind myself of that, but mostly it’s true!)

Sorry for the blurry shot but kids are a little challenging to work with! ... Draw the 3 sections of a candy corn, and assign each child one to trace and cut out many times on felt pages. I think we cut out 22 of each.

Once you have all 3 sections cut out many times, begin placing them in order - this is the preparation for sewing. You could skip this step if you make this without kids ... but I liked letting the kids see what they had been making.

While it's true that working with kids can be a little, shall we say ... free form...

... a little snip with some scissors cleans it up a bit. (I simply sewed each layer onto the next. Then I trimmed the sides.)

Once again we laid them all out to admire our work. Then, I chose some black and white ribbon and attached the candy corns with my machine.

I didn't measure the distance between each candy corn - but I suppose, if you're crazy, you could. Regardless, you'll end up with something like this.

And then you'll hang the banner in a prominent spot for all to see and admire. I chose to hang our banner so that the "front" / more polished side is facing the door.

You can see here the other side - and all it's lovely and perfect imperfections - I chose to not erase or cover up all the ink marks, etc. I am, however, considering turning the banner around so that it does look more perfect to passers by ... who knows.

Regardless what side is facing where, I just love this project because I love the memories we made.  I can’t wait to do it again for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentines, Easter, blah blah blah.

Cost: About $4 – felt is so cheap.  I bought the ribbon on sale for $2.

Time: without kids – about an hour.  WITH KIDS – an eternity…I kid.  about 2 hours.

If you make your own – please do send photos – I’d love to see your little ones’ at work!!!

 

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I have a small sheet of paper in my handly little note pad where I mapped out all the things I wanted to post for So Celebrate National Sewing Month.  Needless, to say, I have not even come close to completing that list.  Sigh.

One of the things on that list, however, is Fabric YoYos!

I had totally overlooked this on my list until I attended a baby shower on Saturday morning.  Darling Sarah Brumit gave the most darling onesies to our friend Lindsey … one she handpainted the sweetest polka dot trail, and the other she sewed three fabric yoyos across the top.  I so wish I had taken a picture of these little wonders because they were SO cute!

I hadn’t originally planned on doing a tutorial for yoyos – I was just going to show a few ways that they can be used as sweet and sassy embellishments … BUT… when I asked Sarah if she made her yoyos herself, she said no.  What!?!  Could it be that Sarah doesn’t know how?  If that’s the case —- I really need to remedy that for her!  Hence, today’s post – How to Make a Fabric YoYo!

All you need is a circle of fabric, a needle & thread, and an iron.

Press the edges of the circle to the inside just a small little bit.

Take your needle & thread and sew a basting stitch all the way around the circle. When you get back to where you started, gently pull on the thread and the sides will pull themselves into the center!

Tie a knot with the thread, press flat. You're done. Hilarious how easy that is, huh!?!

I added a covered button in the center and attached it to a fast and easy headband for Ellie.

And I made a pin / brooch out of another one. Just cut a circle of felt, sew the pin to the circle and hot glue it onto the back.

Fabric YoYos...any YoYo can make 'em!

There’s today’s little ditty about sewing celebrating.  I hope to see you again tonight… to catch up!?!?

 

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Back in July, some friends of mine and myself got together to organize the very first Austin Craft Crowd event … a City-Wide Sewing Class. It was awesome!!!  After a full day of lessons, Austin added 22 ladies into their sewing pool – dreamy!  You can see the photos here.

Well, one of our goals was to make this sewing class more of a sewing EVENT – so we had tons of stuff to giveaway … including these pin cushions.  Each student arrived to class and found a “place setting” just like this:

fabric, pattern, and fabulous scrap pin cushion!

Well, tonight I’m at home waiting for my husband to return home from a business trip.  I’m trying to watch ACL but my hands get really fidgety just sitting still.  Soooooo, I remembered how fast and easy those pin cushions were to make.  Soooooo, I made one.  I thought you might like to see how to do it.  Truthfully, you already know how… you just may not have put the thoughts together yet.

There are juh-zillions of pin cushion patterns out there.  It’s actually a little bit crazy how much you can pay for a pin cushion pattern and/or the cushion itself.  It’s crazy because you can make a really darling pin cushion in about FOUR MINUTES and for FREE!!!  You know I don’t lie about this stuff!

In less than 4 minutes, you can make atleast one of these little darlings. (And don't I now look like a real blogger ... I've got butterfly straight pins!)

Head on over to your scrap fabric pile.

While you're watching yoru favorite band play on Austin City Limits, select two fabric for your cushion. The cushion looks really awesome and vintagey if you can convince yourself to choose two fabrics that don't necessarily match!

Put right sides together and cut out the shape of your pincushion. I cut out a large rectangle, you can do whatever you want. I will warn you: If you create a round/rounded pattern, it will be more difficult to sew up, so you'll need longer than 4 minutes.

Apply fusible interfacing to both sides. Sew around the cushion as you would a pillow, leaving a hole on one side for turning. Clip the corners and trim the seam allowances if necessary.

Turn right side out and stuff with fiberfill.

Close up the opening either by hand or machine, and now you have a darling pin cushion. Easy as pie!

I just love these. They are happy pieces. In fact, these would make great hostess or teacher's gifts... and I can see them now as place card holders!!!

So there you go – what to do with the last 4 minutes you have to yourself before going to bed!

see you soon

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As you may know, 2 weeks ago I participated in Sew, Mama, Sew’s Giveaway Day.  It was so much fun – I visited all kins of awesome blogs and won THREE things!!!

Well, I gave away 2 dresses.  One from my blog and one from my Etsy shop.

The blog winner chose a navy blue strapless dress with a yellow/white seersucker sash.  So that’s what I just finished for her.  I think it’s so cute and classy.  ….   ….   …. and a little bit boring.  So….. I added something.  Just the simplest, sweetest, nicest little flower pin. If I like it, I thought you might, too.  So, here’s a free tutorial on how to make these easy breezy things.  They DEFINITELY fall into the Under $5 and 15 minutes series!

Here's the pin attached at the bodice top. So sweet, right!?!

 

Okay… Let’s make ‘em!

As (almost) always - start with your scrap selections. For this pin, I chose 2 fabrics for the flower and a darker fabric for the covered button in the center. You can have as many layers as you want.

Determine how big you want the pin. Cut out 5 circles to that size. Then cut 4 circles a little bit smaller. Of course I didn't measure my smaller ones, I just cut them smaller. They're probably about an inch narrower, but just go with what feels right. These are meant to be slightly imperfect. That's the beauty of them!

Apply fusible interfacing to one of the Large circles. This is the back of the pin, so use the strongest interfacing you have. (Also, I forgot to photograph, but you'll need a circle of felt cut to this size as well)

Now, to begin assembling your flower, start with the 4 remaining large circles. Fold in half, right side out. Then fold in half again. You'll end up with 4 triangles instead of 4 circles.

Lay each of the 4 triangles on top of the interfaced circle as shown.

I suppose you could hand-sew this next step ... but yeah right. I just walk over to the machine and do the fastest, easiest little zig zag stitch. Nothing big or fancy, just enough to hold down each triangle in the center.

Now fold your small circles into the same triangle forms and place on top of the others. And yes, go do that ziggy zaggy thing again.

Cover a button, sew it in the center (yes, I did handsew it on! amazing!). Then, start digging through your stash to find that long lost pin attachment.

Now, find that felt circle that has fallen somewhere down around your workspace or into the kids' sandwiches. Keep tinkering with it until you have cut two snips for both ends to fit through nicely.

AND ... HOT GLUE that felt piece right onto the backside of the interfaced circle...make sure that you position it with the pin sticking out!

Pin it to something. Stand Back. Admire. Smile.

So that’s it.

It really is super easy and super fun.  I want a million of these.  You can attach them to elastic headbands, shirts, purses, shoes, even a dog collar!  Seriously y’all – go make some!

 

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Well, it appears to be sick-season here in Austin.  Almost every family we know has been wiped out for a week or so…but hey – no one’s said a word about Swine Flu so woohoo!  Let’s count our blessings!

For my family, so far it’s been tolerable AND productive!  Not something I can always say about a sick home, so I’m really pleased with this round!  (Gosh, I sound like a horrible mother!!!)

I’ve been meaning to make these placemats for a very long time…in fact, I’m pretty sure I bought the actual placemats last summer.  This is not surprising, I know.  Anyway, while the kids were sick, I took advantage of their low-key-ness and whipped out some felt to applique the placemats I’ve been holding onto.  I looked around for inspiration…what to applique…what to applique…OWLS!

I have 2 large “portraits” of birds in my living that I created out of scrapbook paper.  Since I’ve been wanting to “upscale” our dinners at home by setting a prettier table, I thought it would be nice if these placemats sort of coordinated with the rest of the home.  So, I went with an owl to coordinate with the owl portrait in the living room!

Here’s my process…it’s sort of a tutorial, but really just some shots along the way!

I freehanded my templates...one for the head, one for the body, one for the eyes and another template for the wings. I have 8 placemats, so I decided to make every owl black but use different colored wings and eyes for each. Somehow I ended up with 8 colors in my stash...hallelujah!

Grabbed my stash of emroidery needles and thread...

I assembled the bodies separate from the heads...I'm glad I did because I ended up putting mix-matched eye colors with wings for added color PIZAZZ!

Here's the family photo. I'm smitten!

Meanwhile, I'm managing to keep Owen and Ellie occupied with their own pairs of scissors, felt....and GLUE!

I took each owl and hand appliqued the owl heads and bodies to the placemats. Then, I took brown thread and whipped up little claws.

Ta-Da! I'm too lazy to set the whole table for a photo opp, but you get the point!

The summary of this project….

cost – CHEAP!

placemats – $1 each from Ikea.  Felt, I had it all in my stash, so FREE!  same with thread and needles.  If you purchased all the supplies from scratch, for 8 placemats I’m guessing your cost would be about $11.  Not too shabby!

Time – Not Fabulous but not forever either!

I forgot to notice how long I took on these, but it was certainly a more complicated process than making a dress.  That might sound silly to some of you, but sewing dresses is not near as tedious because I rarely do any handsewing.  This project is completely hand-sewn, so that sort of made me vomit, but I got over it!  Okay, getting to the point…

I am guessing this project took me about 2 1/2 hours.

I now have to somehow figure out how to keep the kids from getting food on these placemats!

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I have no idea whatsoever or howsoever I came across the blog Cluck Cluck Sew that held this idea…but it was love at first felt!  Seriously, it had me at “felt.”  It sunk me at “flower”, and I was a goner by “pillow”!

I’ll post my photos first, and then I’ll include a link to Cluck.Cluck.Sew’s tutorial.  She did a fabulous job with the tutorial, so there’s no sense reinventing the proverbial felt pillow!

I cut out 2 18" squares of Amy Butler fabric. Before creating the pillow, I added the half-circles of felt onto one of the sides.

You can see the pretty aquamarine blue on the fabric better in this photo...I have a really good camera. If I would figure out how to use it, maybe I could break away from my so 3G iphone!

A little glimpse into my world of rotating rows of felt half-circles...start with the outer row and work your way into the center!

I thought you'd like one more ridiculously low-tech photo.

You should know, this is how I spent my New Year’s Eve!  I can’t tell if I’m depressed about that or elated about that.  Now that January is well under way, I’m feeling more elated; however, NYE was pretty lame around here!

Anyway, I digress….

This was super fun AND super easy.  What’s even better….it was relatively FAST and….even better than that…IT WAS FREE!

Felt – I have a ton on hand.

Fabric – you know me well enough to know that I have a ton of that on hand too!

To be fair, if you had to purchase these supplies from scratch, the cost would be approximately:

Felt: $1, Fabric: 1 yard, so about $5-10 depending upon whether you choose designer or not.

Okay, enough of me already….here’s the link to the tutorial…send me photos of YOUR pillow!

Cluck.Cluck.Sew Fabric flower tutorial

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