Accessories: January 2012 Archives
This is an exciting month for Blog of the Month because we are featuring Sew4Home.com. This site suffers a misnomer because it should more correctly be named "Sew everything for everyone/tutorials galore.com". This is a gorgeous blog full of projects that are specifically for your home but you can also find tote bags, outdoor cushions, and gift ideas. One important aspect that you will notice right away is that Sew4Home loves Minky. Many of the projects use it to add softness and great, low maintenance texture to your home. Here are some of my favorite Minky projects featured:
The creators over at Sew4Home whip up project after project that combine style with ease and functionality. There are no silly projects or create for the sake of creating with no real purpose besides being pretty. Their nursery projects rival Designsponge; I especially love their Michael Miller Citron and Grey series. It is a great inspiration for both baby girls and boys and I am willing to bet it is something both moms and dads can agree on. These animal pillows are seriously fun and so easy!
You can find something on this site that is your style or easily adapted to be perfectly your style. Any pillow, linen, cushion or home décor item that you can think of, they have it and you will love it. This site is also very easy to navigate. Their drop down menus at the top allow you to search by project, find tips, offer a shopping directory and features a glossary of terms to make everything easy and understandable. Sew4Home is a great resource for the Do It Yourselfers out there and is my new favorite website! Thank You Thank You Thank You
All pictures are property of Sew4Home.com. Please visit their website to find all the featured projects and more!
If you remember my embellished tank top with knit and crocheted doilies, you will know that I love to think of different ways to use classic motifs. Decorating your favorite ensemble is just one way to put a good doily to work, another is to put your creation to work in the kitchen and add some vintage modern style to your traditional tuna casserole. By working any doily pattern in a worsted or thicker gauge cotton (or wool) yarn you can turn a delightful lace doily into a glamorous trivet. When not in use hang your trivets on your back splash, cabinets or in an offset pattern on above your desk. Work several in different patterns, colors and sizes to accommodate all your needs. Choose colors to coordinate with your kitchen colors or servingwear or to bring in new colors.
Another eclectic idea is to crochet up 6-8 large doilies to use as placemats. When you use your matching trivets at your next big family meal, dinner party or coffee with the girls everyone will gush over your delicate and bold style. Doilies knit 15-17 in. can serve as chargers while doilies 12-14 in. are better placemats size. Since they are knit from cotton, they are washable and can be easily reblocked with a quick run of the iron.
You can create a traditional atmosphere by choosing a light neutral color like cream, white or yellow and sticking to the same doily pattern but adjusting the size by using a different hook size. If you are looking for a French bohemian style (think Anna Maria Horner) than choose many different colors from bright to mellow all mixed together. Pick all your favorite doily patterns to mix and match together. If you want a more modern manner (think Amy Butler) than choose 3-4 medium toned colors (not too bright but not too neutral) and 4-5 doily patterns. Mix up the colors and doily patterns and adjust the size as in the traditional style but don't get too crazy.
My crochet doily trivet was worked in Lily Sugar n' Cream Mod Green using the Mini Trellis Doily Pattern. Given that I am still a beginner this was a tricky pattern for me, mostly because it was in the round and there were a few stitches/ techniques I had not attempted yet. The outcome was more beautiful than I had anticipated and actually not as difficult. I love my trivet. While it is not as thick as I had hoped it will still protect my tables and counter tops and gives me just the look I was after in my kitchen.
When winter's crazy weather gets you down, what do you do? Hibernate? Zone out on the couch? This winter, to overcome the cold-weather doldrums, I am making ridiculous hats that keep me warm AND make me smile. I like to run in my hats, so I make skull-cap style fleece headgear that I then add ears and other details to. This ensures a snug fit that stays put when I'm in motion. Here's the how-to:
First, you need a salad plate to make your pattern. Mine is 8" in diameter. I trace half of the plate, ending at the widest part of the circle.
Then, extend the line from the semi-circle down 2" on either side from the widest point, and connect the two resulting dots. This is the pattern for the sides of your hat. Cut two so the fabric stretches along the straight bottom edge.
You'll also need to cut a strip 5" wide by 15.75" long, so the fabric stretches across the 5" width.
The assembly is quick! Just use the long strip to join the two curved side pieces together with a 1/2" seam allowance. Try it on to check for any needed adjustments and to see how deep you want your hem. I just use a simple fold-up hem, and stretch the fleece very slightly while I sew to give it a little stretch.
You now a basic skull cap.
If you're not into whimsical animal hats, you can call it done. (I have about a dozen of these plain hats rolling around my house, for the record.) But come on! You want animal fun!
I like to just start cutting animal ears freehand,
but if you want some help with shapes, check out our Halloween ears and tails post for a few sample ear patterns. Unlike some of the patterns made for headband use, you want to leave the bottom edge of the ears open for this project.
Once your ears are cut and assembled (just a matter of stitching them together right sides together and then turn them right side out), you may want to shape them a little and baste any folds into place before you stitch them into your hat.
To place your ears, put your hat on (or on your model) and see where you like your ears. I like to mark mine with a small dot or two using a permanent marker.
Once the hat is off your model or self, use the width of your animal ear at its base to mark out a cutting line.
Snip your hat open along the line, then make the same cut on the opposite side.
Insert each ear into its opening and stitch it into place. Make sure to taper the edges of your seam into the curve of the hat, and check your stitching to make sure your ear is securely in place.
Flip your hat right side out, and get ready to model your toasty, cozy animal side!
This is a very, very simple hat, which means it's great for experimenting. Add eyes and a nose if you want a full animal face on your hat. Make a dozen different animals so you have one to match any outfit. This version is for a medium-sized adult head, but this method of making a hat is so simple that you could easily scale it down for a child. Just start with a smaller semi-circle, and measure your resulting side pieces to determine the length of your center strip. You'll also want to adjust the width of the center strip for smaller heads.
Here are a few samples of variations on this hat:
Kermit, just for giggles.
This last example is a hat I made a while back to mimic a
character from a video game. It's a little more involved, but it's all fairly simple applique.
Recreating your favorite animal is as simple as looking at pictures to determine the right ear shape, and then experimenting with your scissors and your creativity. Have at it! It's cold outside!
I am still in love with the Fiskars' Circle Cutter and have not been able to stop playing with it or finding new ways to put circles together for fun projects and accessories. For this post I have created a graceful, stylish flower pin or hair clip. The base is a modified yo-yo technique and the petals are simply folded small circles stitched together topped with a vintage button. This pin is a quick project that can be modified to a smaller size for bouquets or made bigger to embellish bags.
Base: Fold the five in. circle in half and in half again and finger press to determine the center. Place a spool in the center and trace on WS. Use a running stitch and hand sew around the circle. Do not pull thread but leave a 6 in. tail and clip.
Petals: Fold each two in. circle and stitch together according to the pictures. Place petals over center of base and secure center of petals to center of base.
Pull base thread to draw in center of base, tucking in the center of the petals at the same time. Pull thread to gather tight and knot. Attach button to the center and pin backing.
My Circle Cutter flower pin is perfect to embellish a scoop neck t-shirt, border a pillow case or top a fold over elastic headband. Have fun making your own.
Check out Circle Cutter Part 1
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