Crafting: July 2011 Archives
Looking for a way to keep your pens from wandering off your desk? I have the perfect project for you! You can make your own flower pens and decorate an ordinary glass vase. This is a project that will take you a couple of hours if you have all the supplies on hand. Perfect to catch up on a couple Harry Potter DVDs.
You are going to need a roll of plain masking tape, brown
shoe polish and a glass vase. Although we don't sell these products at Fabric.com
(today), I have these items around my place.
Tear off strips of tape from the roll and start applying to
the outside of the vase. Do not place the tape inside of the vase. I tried to
have some overlap between pieces of tape - it will give you more of a textured
look at the end. I also covered the bottom of my vase with tape for one example
and did not cover for another.
Once you have covered the vase in tape strips, you are ready
to use the shoe polish. Start dabbing on the taped part of the vase. Do not rub
against the vase, because you will pull up the tape. All my vases have required
two coats of shoe polish to give it a darker look. Some of my other ideas to
use this for would be light color fabric and adhere the fabric to the glass or
acrylic paint on the vase instead of shoe polish - good luck!
You are going to need ball point pens, flowers, floral tape
and a hot glue gun. Again, although we don't sell these products at Fabric.com
except the hot glue gun, you can pick up at your local store.
Trim your flowers down to 2-3 inches of stem. This will be the length that you will use to insert into the pen. Go for a variety of colors and different types of flowers to give your bouquet more character.
Take the caps off your pen. You will also need to remove the
end of the pen. The BIC ballpoint pens that I use are awesome for this. I take
my wire cutters and pop the end right off the pen. Once you have removed the
end of the pen, you are ready to wrap the pen with floral tape. I start at the
tip of the pen, winding the floral wrap around the pen until I reach the end
and then pull to snap off the roll. You could cut the end to match it up
perfect, but I like the imperfections at the end.
Bust out your handy glue gun. Put hot glue on the stem of the flower before inserting into the end of the pen. Do not put glue in the pen! This will prevent the pen from working once you are done (I think the hot glue blocks the ink). Push the glued stem into the pen and you are done with your flower pen!
Before you start putting together your finished flowers and vase, do not forget to unplug your glue gun! Craft safety first! Look forward to hearing how things went for you!
If you read Friday's blog post you will know that today's project was inspired by a product spread in a popular magazine. The inspiration tunic costs $124 retail and is in the Ombre style. The shape of the shirt is nothing that sensational; it's a cool shirt and all but the Ombre is what makes it GOREGOUS! Ombre is a dye technique and comes from the French word meaning: Shaded. Ombre dye technique creates a graduated effect from light to dark or from one shade to another. The inspiration tunic shifts from dark blue to light. My tunic shifts from yellow to the natural linen of the original fabric. And it was so easy to do. I started with Hanky Weight Linen in Natural and Amy Butler's Anna Tunic (Tunic Length). Once the tunic was complete and before sewing on the buttons, I set up my Ombre dye. Working outside, I put down a clean drop cloth. Next, I took my jar of Jacquard Dye-na-flo fabric dye in Sun Yellow and poured it into a clean spray bottle. Having soaked my tunic in warm water until it was wet through, I then gentle squeezed out water until it was just damp (the dye is absorbed better by wet fabric). I laid my tunic down on the drop cloth and pulled all the wrinkles out and made sure it was nice and flat. Then I started spraying my tunic starting along the bottom and slowly working up, concentrating most of the dye at the bottom and less as I went up. The spray really helps you control the dye application and also creates an Ombre effect if you widen your spray area. Once I had the front covered nicely, I carefully flipped the tunic and repeated on the back. Be careful if you have dye on your fingers where you placed them when flipping your tunic. Repeat the same with the belt, just applying dye at the ends to match your tunic when tied.
DO NOT RINSE YOUR TUNIC. Allow your dye to dry completely. This is not like RIT where you let the dye sit for 30 min and then you rinse off. You must let your tunic dry completely. Then, turn your tunic inside out and with a hot iron (set to your fabric setting) press the inside of your tunic to set the paint on the other side. To set the belt, place a thin piece of cotton between the belt and your iron. Sew on your buttons and DONE! Doesn't it look Chic? I must say I feel great in my Tunic, edgy but classic at the same time. Try this dye technique with other natural fibers. You can even use it on cotton prints to give a neat peak-a-boo effect.
The Total Cost of my tunic was $ 43.93 not including tax (which varies) and includes 2 yds of Hanky weight Linen, one jar of Dye-na-Flo, and Amy Butler's Anna Tunic. You could make a similar Ombre tunic using your own pattern collection and your costs goes down to $27.95. Less than $30! That is a value of $100 from the cost of the inspiration top to your custom fit, custom colored to your exact liking, one of a kind Ombre Tunic. Guess which I would choose!
Last month I was enjoying a nice day at my parents' house. You know those rare days where the grandparents want nothing more than to take your child away so they can spoil her and you get to kick your feet up and relax without someone asking you questions so fast you are answering one asked 3 min before. Well, it was one of those days and I was reading Coastal Living, just a few pages in when I came across a product spread. As I sighed dreamily, thinking "Wow, I really like that $165 bikini and that $300 summer dress, but that will never happen," it occurred to me that I could or had already made these items. Well, not exactly like them but close enough that with some detail changes and fabric choices these coveted items could be in my closet and all the $ would still be in my bank account or spent at the toy store (I am a sucker). So I set about searching for fabric and details that would make my dreams come true.
Leather Detail Bikini: You guys have already seen my Kwik Sew bikini. Well, all we need to make it match our expensive bikini are some strips of leather or vinyl and some instructions for braiding leather. You can modify the bikini pattern by omitting the top straps, widening them and attaching the braided leather then the wider straps. You can modify the bottoms by adding the braided leather as a detail on the waist band. I love this so much better than the tiny leather detail and feel more confident of the bathing suit staying place.
Long, Ruffle Strapless Dress: This is the same as my modified project for Earth Day from Sewing Green by Betz White but with added length and floral fabric. We can get the same look by adding 20 in. to the length and using Liberty of London Poplin or Lawn. The colors and floral patterns used by Liberty of London perfectly mimic this look.
Blue & White Market Tote: This is a very simple bag to sew up because the seams are on the outside (use French Seams to give it a neat look) and so are the gussets. I recommend two 12 x 15 in. rectangles cut from Anna Maria Horner's Innocent Crush and then add some of our Leather Bag handles in dark brown for the perfect duplicate.
Ombre Tunic: Stay tuned on Monday for my blog post on doing your own Ombre Tunic. I made a linen tunic and using some Jacquard Dye-na-flo Fabric dye, I added a super easy and super chic Ombre effect to my tunic. It is too die for (no pun intended).
I have long been a fan of Chenille, so when I came across out Chenille-It Blooming Bias Tape, I got excited. It looked like a lot of fun. When it arrived I was even more excited, then I looked around and realized I had no idea what to put it on. I didn't have any quilt tops, yet, to add it to. I didn't have any pillows I could use the Chenille-It Tape to couch with.But wait! I had a jacket I purchased at a thrift store last year that just needed something. The Chenille-It Tape would be perfect. The jacket is a camo green in a military style, single breasted button up with lapels. I decided to embellish the button bands and lapels with the Chenille-It. It was so simple too! I used my walking foot and centered a medium length stitch with a size 14 sharp needle and stitched down the center of my Chenille-It Tape which was even with the edge of the jacket. I added the Chenille-It Tape to the right side of the button band, but added it to the wrongside of the lapels so the Chenille-It Tape would show all around. I didn't worry too much on the corners of the lapels. I just cut and overlapped on each point or corner (as shown above).
My Chenille-It Tape needed 2 washings to get good and fluffed. I haven't decided if I am done or if I will add more to the pockets and to the bottom of the jacket. I do recommend that you match your upper thread to your chenille-It Tape and your bobbin thread to the project you are adding your Chenille-It Tape to. I wish I had considered that before but I was blinded by excitement. I won't see my bobbin thread much since it is on the inside of my jacket and underneath the lapel but it is a detail I will consider next time.
The last of the Stocking Challenge is Scandinavia- granted this is not one country but several; however the style is too similar to attribute it to one. My husband is half Scandinavian and my geographical choice was inspired by him. I also love the style, the natural details and motifs really speak to me and my love of the outdoors. Plus the Scandi style is so "in your face" homemade which I also find really attractive. It is not too difficult to recreate the Scandi style though I took come liberties with color to make it my own. The Scandi style, as I see it, is very natural, incorporating animals and plants that are very important to the Scandinavian people, such as birds, reindeer, trees, flowers (particularly tulips) and vines. Most of these elements have found a home on my Scandi Stocking. My bird is of unknown origin just something inspired by a Google search for "Scandinavian Embroidery" with daisies, a pine tree, and other embroidery flourishes added to fill in and make it beautiful in a cream thread. I found a reindeer shape from a coloring page search and traced him onto my Moda Bella Broadcloth stocking pattern and outlined him in some navy thread. I filled in my reindeer with some deep red thread in a vine and leaf pattern that I free handed. The leaf is embroidered very similarly to a daisy petal. Lastly is my snowflake appliqué which is featured here.
I am of 2 minds whether or not I am done. Part of me says that Scandi style is also a minimal style and that my big embroidered animals are a bold statement and I should stop while I am ahead. My other half says that I should fill in the blank areas with more natural elements, like tulips which I neglected to add. I also like the contrast of the linen appliqué and maybe some more would look even better. But I think that is my American brain wanting to fill in the blank space. Should I stay true to the minimal Scandi Style or take more inspiration from my husband's heritage and meld the American with the Scandinavian. Well, I have 6 months to mull it over but feel free to give your input. Oh, and Gledelig Jul (Merry Christmas)!