Accessories: August 2012 Archives
I run a mobile library out of the back of my car. The book list is ever revolving and there always seems to be at least 10 books back there at a given time. My little one loves books and if I need to run errands, I need to have a constant supply. I designed this Back Seat Car Organizer to fit her mobile library but it can easily be used for art supplies, toys, diapering needs (for the babies) or whatever your child needs to get through a trip out and about. My organizer slips onto the back of a car seat and features 3 pockets, 2 big and 1 small. While looking for a great place to take pictures I discovered that this organizer is perfect for other locations in the house that need a space to store kid supplies. You can hang it on your stairs for the "you need to take this stuff upstairs" stuff, hang it from a coat hook for school supplies in the mud room or mount it by bunk beds for books or in a closet for hair and toiletries. The ideas are endless as long as you have a need. The finished Back Seat Car Organizer is 21'' h by 13.5'' w.
To make your own you will need:
1 yd of heavy canvas fabric for lining
1 yd of quilting cotton if making all pockets the same or
¼ yd for small pocket
¼ yd for medium pocket
½ yd for large pocket
Plus approx. 2 yd of 2.5'' bias trim for edging and strap
Instructions (all seams are ½'' unless stated otherwise):
From canvas cut:
Two 21''x13.5'' pieces for body
One 17''x13.5'' for large pocket
One 12''x13.5'' for medium pocket
One 6''x'13.5'' for small pocket
From Quilting Cotton cut (sub in various prints if you want a different print for each pocket)
One 17''x13.5'' for large pocket
One 12''x13.5'' for medium pocket
One 6''x'13.5'' for small pocket
With RS together, pin all pocket pieces together and stitch across the top (one of the 13.5'' sides). Press seam open then press WS together and pin 3 open sides together for all pockets. Topstitch across the top, finished edge.
Baste 2 body canvas pieces together. Pin Large Pocket in place, lining up bottom and side raw edges. On each side, mark 10'' down from top. Starting at top finished edge, stitch down one side, pivoting at the 10'' mark, stitching across to 2nd 10'' mark and back up to the top, back stitch at both ends. This shortens the pocket so it isn't a deep cavern that will eat your books.
Pin medium and small pockets in place, matching bottom and sides and baste in place. Square up everything with a ruler and a rotary cutter now if you want.
Apply bias trim, starting at the center bottom and working your way around the entire edge of the organizer.
To make your snap straps, you can either serge your straps like me or stitch up 15'' of your remaining double folded bias trim. Cut your strap into 2 pieces, one 7'' and one 8''. Double fold ½'' at one end of the 8'' strap and apply the female snap according to your package instructions (check out my post on snaps here for extra help). The snap will hold the double fold in place so you don't need to sew it first. Repeat for second strap with male snap and place a second male snap 1'' down from the first. Pin your snap straps 2.5'' in from each side on top of the organizer and stitch in place twice for extra durability.
Enjoy your new Back Seat Car Organizer. I have another on my cutting table already for baby #2. It will initially be used for wipes, pacifiers, bibs, diapers and burp cloths and hopefully evolve to books as well from there!
I love to decorate for Halloween but I dislike the appearance of many decorations during the day though they are amazing at night. I try to incorporate as many spectacles as possible that look great day and night. That is one reason I made these Halloween Votive Luminaries. They look super spooky at night when they are all lit up and just as festive during the day when the vinyl covered cotton print is the star. These vinyl luminaries are easy to make so you can whip up a dozen to line your sidewalk, sit in your windows or as a centerpiece for a party. You can make them for other holidays or any day just by your fabric choices. Try a Christmas print for a holiday open house. A solid in your little one's favorite color with his/her name cut out would be perfect for a birthday decoration. You can also try some burlap with ribbon trim to add some bohemian charm to a brunch. The vinyl covering makes it easier to cut out designs and adds stability so your luminaries will last well past the special occasion.
To make your own Halloween Luminary you will need:
Approx ¼ yd of fabric for 1 luminary (Check out our Halloween Quilting Cotton section)
Approx ¼ yd of Heat n Bond Vinyl
A votive holder or pint size mason jar (like I used)
Tea light or flameless small candle or LED light
Measure around the widest part of your votive and add 1'' for seam allowance for the width and make it about 4-5 taller than your votive. I cut my fabric to 12'' wide by 10'' tall to fit around my pint size mason jar.
Apply the vinyl to the RS of your fabric according to the directions. Use your paper back to draw your luminaries design and then cut it out using scissors or craft knife. Fold over the top and bottom ½'' and top stitch in place. This is not necessary to prevent fraying but does add stability to your luminaries. With RS together stitch up your 2 short sides to make a tube. Carefully turn your tube RS out and smooth out the vinyl covered cotton. Slip it over your votive, add a candle and enjoy your Halloween decoration in the day time or night.
You can even try using your paper punches for this project to create a lace effect or add polka dots all over with a hole punch. These luminaries are fast and fun and store flat as a bonus!
***If you want to use poly fabrics instead of cottons, make sure your use a press cloth when applying the vinyl and also use a flameless or LED light instead of a real candle.
WARNING: Extreme glitter ahead.
For my first shoes-periment, I decided to work with a pair of sport Mary Janes. I love these shoes -- so much that I bought several identical pair when they were available. So I can easily spare a pair for a crafty project.
After cleaning the shoes thoroughly with a wipe and some rubbing alcohol, I applied a generous amount of Mod Podge to one section of shoe at a time using a wide paint brush. Because of the sticky nature of this project, it's really best to only do a little at a time. The sectional nature of the design lines on this shoe made it a breeze to do so.
Once I had a section of glue applied, I doused that area with glitter. In the photo below, you'll notice that I did my glitter dousing over a large Glad Ware container. That way, I can collect all unused glitter and return it to its container. Once I had my gluey section thoroughly covered, I shook all stray glitter into my container.
I repeated the same application method, section by section, working all the way around both shoes. I let each of my sections set for 15 to 20 minutes before moving on to the next section, but if you are adept, you can probably move around the shoe without having to wait in between sections.
My new glitter shoes are ready to sparkle all over the place!
I will absolutely be wearing these under some of my witch costumes this year. In truth, I'll also wear them to work, to the movies, to the grocery store, to the park ... basically, everywhere.
The other trouble spot on these shoes was the heel cup. The fabric had worn away, and the rubber was exposed, and even cracking in some places. I first cut all this shaggy, raggy fabric away.
I used a tacky glue to apply the fleece to the interior of the shoes, also making sure any loose rubber was secured along the way. They key here is to make sure that all edges of the fleece are secure. As you slip your shoes on and off, any areas that are loose will pull.
Once my heels were in better shape, I started applying Mod Podge to the shoes in sections, just as I did with my Mary Janes. Working around the grommets with the paint brush is a little tricky, and my application definitely was NOT perfect. I wiped glue away when I got it onto the grommets, but I wasn't terribly worried about it. I figure all the sparkle will distract from little imperfections. For a little extra dimension on these, I used tinsel glitter. Whenever I sprinkled it onto the shoe, I actually patted it into place VERY LIGHTLY before shaking off my excess. As before, I worked my way around each shoe in sections. For the tongue, I only applied glue and glitter to the center; I left the edges alone to avoid unnecessary bulk.
To finish off my shiny new Chucks, I replaced the old laces with double-sided satin ribbon to make them extra girlie. (Because, you know, the glitter was not girlie enough. :p )
These are now ready for walks down yellow brick roads, Xmas elf duty, and even New Year's Eve dancing. One note: With fabric shoes like these, the glue does stiffen and tighten the fit a tiny bit. You make have to break your shoes in gently over a couple of wearings.
Of course, now I'm looking at other shoes in my closet with renewed interest and a madness for creation that might even rival Dr. Frankenstein. I'm going to need glitter in every color of the rainbow.
Halloween is fast approaching and I need to hurry up and get ready. This is my favorite holiday to decorate for because anything goes. This year I am going big and stuffed. It might be my nesting urge but I want to surround myself with large-eyed, soft items that are super cute and maybe a little spooky. To start my Halloween decorating off I created this giant, soft, stuffed spider that was an instant success among the 3 yr olds polled at my house. It also turned out really well according to me. I wanted something I could strap to my door, hang from the ceiling or pose on my table and it would be instantly noticed. With bigger items you need less so you can decorate faster and enjoy more. Also with small children, dogs or clumsy family members, stuffed decorations are prized over ceramic any day.
Here's how to make your own Giant Halloween Stuffed Spider.
1 bag of poly stuffing
Scraps of felt and 2 buttons for eyes
1 dinner plate for body template (no smaller than 9'' and no bigger than 12'')
1 thread spool for eye template
Cut eight (8) 4''x 24'' strips from your fabric for the legs. For the body trace your plate onto your fabric for the top body piece and then trace half the plate twice to make 2 semi-circles for the bottom of the body.
Fold the each leg in half along the length, RS together and stitch across on short end and down one long end. Clip corner and turn RS out. Repeat for 7 remaining legs. Stuff each leg, leaving a 1'' gap at the open end. Baste open ends closed.
Place a pin or mark top of head on top body piece and beginning pinning legs onto top body piece starting 1 1/2'' from this mark and spacing each leg ¾'' to 1'' apart, 4 legs on each side. Baste legs in place. Pin semi circles of bottom body pieces to top body piece lining up seam with top of head mark/pin. Stitch around body using a ½ seam allowance, letting the legs hang out of the opening left by the 2 semi-circles. Turn body RS out and stuff. Stitch bottom body opening closed with whipstitch.
Trace your spool twice onto your felt and cut out using pinking shears. Sew button onto each felt circle and then stitch felt circle onto spider's head using whipstitch.
With spider RS up, fold leg in half and ½'' down from the fold stitch the leg together to create a spidery bend in the leg, stitch at front and back of the leg. Repeat for 7 remaining legs.
You can opt to add more embellishments like embroidery, a red hourglass or a small loop in the seam at the backside for hanging. The possibilities are vast. Couple your spider with my knitted spider's web for the ultimate in spider Halloween decorations. Don't forget to share your pictures on our Facebook page!
So, to pick up where I left off ...
In last year's Ballgown Witch post, I shared my favorite way to make quick trim. I used it again for the next fascinator. It's easy as pie -- just start with a length of ribbon and use a running stitch to work diagonally back and forth down the length of it as shown in the diagram below. When you draw your thread so the ribbon gathers along it, it creates a scalloped trim.
This is the autumnal headpiece I created using this method. I used a striped grosgrain ribbon, and added two darling acorn buttons. Ready for fall fun!
To make a flower petal, I started with a length of pink grosgrain about 4 inches long. I looped it so the ends criss-crossed a little, and used a needle and thread to stitch it in place.
Once I had tightened my stitches to gather the base of my petal, I secured my stitches with a knot, and then picked up the next petal on the same needle and thread so they would be joined.
I did the same with three more petals, then I trimmed the tails off all at once.
I fanned the petals out to create a flower shape, and stitched things into place.
Once I got my flower shaped the way I wanted it, I added a hibiscus flower button to the center. I know, the center of a flower is not another flower, but I'm pushing science aside in the interest of artistic license on this one.
I glued the assembled flower to the leaf base.
Then I trimmed the ends of the green ribbon to look more leaf like, and slid my new flower onto my headband.
Now, I will share with you a secret about where to get tiny adorable hat bases for fascinators. I buy the tiny hats in craft stores that are intended for dolls and stuffed bears. The mini size is perfect, easy to embellish, and already built, which saves me the trouble of making one!
This next piece starts with a mini top hat. I first glued striped grosgrain ribbon around the hat.
Then, I added a puff of ostrich feathers that I had in my stash.
To add a little sparkle, I added a single silver blossom button.
In part one of this blog, I mentioned that I love to make a bunch of sleeves to go over headbands so I have them on hand while I'm creating. This is one of those times when I use them! I glued one to the bottom of the hat -- just on the ends where the sleeve makes contact with the underside of the brim. You want to be very careful to not let any glue seal your sleeve shut!
For me, this is a perfect New Year's hat -- fun, kicky, and a notch up from anything bought in a store.
My last fascinator is an easy quickie. I started with a simple doll hat from the craft store, made a bow out of grosgrain stripe (can you tell I love the stuff?), and then topped it off with another laser-cut flapper button, this time in red. I glued a sleeve to the underside, and I'm ready to celebrate.
What I really love about making these little concoctions is the fact that I can use a combination of new items and little bits of glitz from my stash to create really fun accent pieces.
If you've got a hats-required event coming up, or if you just want to add some new accessories to your style, I hope I've helped you with ideas. Be sure to share your creations with us on Facebook!
Making fascinators is always fun, because you can create a little piece of personal couture using only a few bits and bobs.
All of the fascinators featured in this post are meant to mount on a headband. I find I get irritated with clips because they don't always stay in place, and headbands will always work, no matter how long or short my hair is. That said, you can adapt almost any design to work on a clip or barrette if that's your preference -- the whole point is that it's just for you! My headband is 5/8" wide, but you can use any size -- you just might have to alter the width of some of the ribbons you work with to make sure it fits your headband.
The first two projects use Organza Rosette Ribbon. You can make a simple sleeve to fit over your headband using just a length of rosette and a matching length of grosgrain. As you can see, my grosgrain is narrower than my rosette. I still match up the edges, and the resulting bubbling of the rosette gives it a little added dimension.
I folded the ends of the ribbons in so there are no raw edges. Here it is with one side stitched:
For a little sparkle, I added two Theater Jewel buttons to the center two rosettes.
The next project used the same rosette ribbon in black, and I made it a little shorter -- just three rosettes instead of four:
Then, I slipped a feather I had in my stash into the loop of a black and white Flapper Button, and glued that into place on the headband sleeve. I am in LOVE with these buttons -- they're carved, not printed, so they have a beautiful, delicate dimension to them that feels very Art Deco.
Voila! Ready for a Roaring '20s party, or a snazzy day at the office.
To build this one, I started with a damask button. I have always thought these buttons are so cute, but it took me a while to think of them for something like this.
Then, I folded a scrap piece of satin ribbon into a V shape.
I added a few more feather bits from my bin of random fun. (See? THIS is why you buy little sparkly or fascinating things with no real plan. You're laying in stock for fascinator creation.)
Once the decorative portion was complete, I glued it to my felt circle base, and slid it onto my headband.
The next fascinator base is a long, tube-like sleeve that starts with two pieces of grosgrain ribbon wide enough to encase your headband. I pass the cut ends over a candle to seal them and prevent fraying. If you choose to do this, remember to be cautious! Flame is dangerous! (Duh.)
Stitch down either side of your ribbon layers to create the casing.
I like to make multiple casing bases at once so I can just play with the trimmings to my heart's content.
I found a ridiculously sparkly autumn leaf in the floral section of a local craft store recently and fell in love with it. So naturally, I want to wear it on my head. I carefully glued one of my prepared casings to the back of the leaf, making sure no glue got into the casing opening.
And now, I'm going to have to come up with some sort of Thankgiving dress to match this!
I also have a couple of feather and bell sprays that I have had in the stash for a while, and decided to glue one of them to a grosgrain casing to see if I liked it as a fascinator.
And I did! This is obviously not for every day, but would be great for a dress-up occasion when a more dramatic look is perfect.
This is the first batch -- I've got more to show you! You'll have to tune in next time for more fascinator fun. Including tiny hats! I hope this has sparked your creativity. I find that fascinators are like potato chips -- one is never enough! The more I make, the more I want.