Saturday, May 29, 2010

Arrrr..Hoist Yer Colors!

I've been meaning to post this project, but wanted to get it off to the new owner attending Scarby before I hoisted it here. My daughter waving the b-day gift:

It's a funny story. I actually ran out of black thread and went to a Wal-mart in another town not-so-near us to pick up some. (We don't have any place near us that sells sewing notions.) Of course, they were completely out of black thread. (Had every bizarre color you could ever want in all types, but no black! grumble, grumble! ) But as I shuffled away grumbling, I spotted a bolt of black light weight linen blend fabric in the bargain shelf (you know the one where they put a pile of bolts for $1-2 yd with no labels so you get to guess what it is?). I decided to buy up the 6 yds to make a chemise and/or shirt for $1.50 a yard. Then, I was also inspired and thought it would make a perfect flag for with a friend's new pirate insignia on it.

I traced mirror images of the design on two stencils made from freezer paper to get the design on both sides. I added dots to the corners of the stencil image before I printed it. This way I was able to poke a flat-headed pin through the layers to align the stencils. The freezer paper stencils are ironed on one at a time. Though it was time consuming cutting out the stencils, it worked really well with the acrylic paint.

My mom assisted in drawing the design for him. Here is one of the images that she drew:

In case you're wondering, I did happened upon a spool of black thread on the way home at our local thrift, which helped me to get the last minute flag done in time. I tried out the new vintage ziz-zag machine with it. So, I zig-zagged the hem instead of rolling it to keep it supple. I sewed the stitches 1/2" in from the edge; trimmed down to 1/4"; and frayed the edges by pulling out the threads.

For the casing, I used some scrap canvas along with some grommets I had around. You never know when you will need something, right? I keep EVERYTHING, you know!!

Now to get to making the chemise/shirt!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Super Quick and Easy DIY Hair Flowers Tutorial (No glue!!)

Ever buy or make hair flower accessories only to have them fall to pieces; the clips not stay in your hair; or worse yet the clips pull you hair out when removed? Well, that's what I've been battling with until the other day. I had a brainstorm and came up with the easiest and most secure hair flowers I've ever used to date. And, the best pluses are that they are cheap (being made from stuff around the house) and since no hot gluing is involved your kids can help you make them.

Here's what you'll need:

- Plain old buttons (At least one flat button and another shank or not)
- 3" long bendable hair pins (I used Sta-Rite brand from Sally's Beauty Supply)
- Artificial flowers (the kind that you can take apart)

I used cheap dollar store flowers for mine. What you'll be doing is taking the flower off the stem. Taking it apart by removing the plastic stud that holds the petals and other parts together. I took apart three different colored flowers (black, red and salmon-ish orange) and mixed up the petals. You can keep the parts in order or mix and match as I did. You can toss the studs. We won't be using them anymore.

Now we are ready to assemble our hair flower.

First, slip the shank or flat button onto the hairpin. Then, start sliding on all the flower parts from the top down. Add a flat button at the bottom and bend the prongs of the hairpin out to hold the button in place.

Lastly, curve the prongs with your fingers so that they resemble a fish silhouette. This will keep the flower parts on the pin while still allowing you to use the pins in your hair.

TIP: Depending on the placement of your hair flower, you may also want to bend the prongs to one side so that the flower faces out while the pin is flush against your scalp.

The pic above shows the center of the flower where I used a shank button. If your flowers are full enough, you won't really see this button while wearing it.

To secure the hair flower in your hair squeeze the prong tips together before poking into the your hairdo near the scalp in a side-to-side small zig-zagging motion. I was able to wear all six of mine the entire day from sun up to sun down without one falling out.

• The great thing about this particular type of hair pin is that if you are going to be dancing roughly or bending over you can bend the prongs even more once they are in your hair to secure them even better.

• With the bendable pins, you can even have fun taking your hair flowers apart again and again and rearranging your flowers endlessly!

• You could also add a couple drops of scented oils to the center of your flowers to make them smell good. Or, soak a wooden button in the oil.

Hope you have found this tutorial useful. Have fun creating hair flowers!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Scrap, the Cat

My daughter sewed her first doll today! She's very proud of it. His name is "Scrap", which suits him well.

It all started during the cleaning out and reorganizing of my craft room. Just yesterday I started gathering all those little bits of fabric that are too small for most projects into a bin. Then, I let the daughter loose in it to make her own doll clothes. She made a cat with some of the left over fabric and her toy sewing machine that she got for Christmas. I had to help out a lot only because the machine is more difficult to work on than a "real" machine, but she designed it, guided the machine and stuffed it all with a little help from mom.

She's all excited to make more dolls and clothes. I guess we have created not just a cat doll, but a new seamstress craftster, as well! YAY!!!