Rabu, 29 September 2010

necklace thingy

So I made this little (noooooo – it’s quite big!) necklace thingy one day and thought that it might be fun to share the process with you.
My starting point was some leftovers of iridescent silk taffeta. I planned to use it as a top part of a summer dress, but I end up using just a little piece to it so I had plenty of leftovers. I also wanted to make the dress in simple everyday style… …but the idea of some sort of item that upgrades it (or any other plain dress) to more festive occassion just nagged on my brain.
The piece can be worn with long chain and it settles nicely on the chest. But you can shorten the chain until the ends of the fabric piece meet and voilĂ  – you have an extravagant collar. It reminds me vaguely for the prize rosettes from all kind of shows, hence the name of the post…
You need:
Iridescent silk taffeta. The warp on this particular fabric is mustard yellow and weft greenish turquoise, the resulting overall color is beautiful antique gold. You can use other fibers as well, but the iridescency (warp and weft in different colors) really contributes this piece. The edges are unfinished and you can even unravel them intentionally a bit, so the weft color gives a beautiful halo around the motifs. If you try different fibers, make sure that you can iron steel sharp pleats to the fabric. And of course you can combine colors and textures.
I did not measure the piece of fabric I used but I think that about 50 cm is more than enough.
A small piece of lightweight fusible fabric.
Fabric cutter and/or scissors plus some surface protection if you use cutter. I prefer cutter for round and smallish shapes, scissors for stripes, rectangular pieces and large shapes that are unpractical to cut with my cutter and smallish protective mat.
Some suitable thread and a needle.
2 large jump rings.
A piece of chain (or more jump rings to make a chain).
Add some beads, crystals or additional chains for your taste.
Pattern for the basic shape is coming really soon in PDF format, but this is really simple – you can probably figure it out from the pidtures!
Cut the basic shape from the folded taffeta 2 times. Trim about 6 mm from the pattern edges and cut the smaller piece from the fusible fabric once.
Cut four 10 x 30 cm pieces and four 8 1/2 x 30 cm pieces out of the taffeta, the long side was in the warp direction in my piece so I got the green out from the frayed edges.
Cut 2 about 2 cm ribbons, length of the whole fabric width.
Iron all pieces. Iron the fusible fabric to other side of another taffeta shape.
Now pleat the rosettes. A steam iron does a good job on this. Use a small piece of scrap fabric and gradually go up to the warmest setting your fabric can take without damaging using the steam all the time.
With silk there is at least two signs when you are close to burn the fabric. The silk has distinct smell and just before you are about to burn the fabric, this smell is accentuated. Don’t mix it to the smell to the smell of burning silk (the smell of burning hair). Smells are hard to describe, but I’d say that the smell of silk has some nutty aromas in it, it is not all pleasant but not disgusting either. The other sign is that the fabric stiffens a bit. It will relax back when it cools down.
When you find the right setting for your iron start to make small 7-8 mm pleats to the rectangular pieces. The setting is really good if your pleated pieces stay in a small nice packets like these.
Decently pleated rosettes should look like this:
tightly packed, not springing open.
Now it’s time to sit at your sewing machine for a while. Sew the taffeta pieces together from the short upper seams from the WS. Open the seams and turn the right side up. Now stitch around the base piece about 6 mm from the edge – the tubes for large jump rings are formed to the narrow upper edges. You can fray the unfinished edges of the main piece a bit.
This is the base piece, fusible fabric inbetween the pieces
gives it some body. Note that the seams and top stitching on the RS
form tubes for jump rings on the top.
Sew few stitches on the middle of the rosettes. If you use sewing machine to this, you probably need to be very careful and help from the wheel a bit, these babies are quite thick. Unravel the rosette edges a bit.
You can adjust almost everything in this project, but there is one rule.
Thou shalt plan your arrangement..
So open the rosettes and use pins to keep them open.
Roll the long fabric strips loosely around your hands so that you get few loops, larger than the diameter of the larger rosette and use a pin to attach the loops from the middle.
Here’s how to fold the long ribbons.
Now put the main piece to a working surface and plan how you are going to arrange the pieces to it. The fabric loops go under 2 rosettes and the rosettes should be nicely overlapping. I did not try to make a symmetric piece, but of course you can do that if you want to (then it might be a good idea to make on extra rosette for the center point). Mark the arrangement to the base piece with pins or lightly with fabric pen.
The pleated rosettes look like giant farfalles before sewing.
Now attach the rosettes to the base with few stitches. A good starting point is the middle – just take away the pins from the rosette when you are working with this. Use a few stitches to attach the rosette edges together – without these stitches your rosettes look like giant farfalles! For some rosettes it might be enough to attach them from the middle, for some you might prefer to add few additional stitches around to keep the rosette in place.
Here you can see the edges of the rosette stitched
together on the WS of the rosette.
For rosettes with fabric loops attach the fabric loop on the base piece first with few stitches.
You don’t need too many stitches to attach the embellishments.
Be gentle when working with rosettes. There is no way to iron or clean the piece when it’s finished, so don’t squeeze it or sweat on it!
And here’s the arrangement without the chain.
Now attach the jump rings to the main piece and the chain to another jump ring. You can attach the clasp to the end of the chain or to another jump ring. If you have another embellishments, now it’s time to attach them. I had to make the chain from 18 mm jump rings, my hometown crafts supplier did not have any chains…
So here you can see the jump rings, clasp and chain attached.
And this is the finished piece used as a collar, as a necklace and again as a collar!
And that’s pretty much it. Wear and enjoy!
Store the piece on a flat surface or hang it loosely (not squeezed between the clothes on a clothes rack).

Statement Necklace (on the runway)



Materials Needed:
1. Upholstery trim
2. Strand of pearls (or beads)
3. Suspender clips
4. Ribbon
5. Needle and thread

diy-embellished-necklace-2.jpgEnlarge Image 

How to:
1. Lay strand of pearls (or beads) on top of upholstery trim and use needle and thread to secure the pearls with small stitches. If you have a broken necklace lying around, this is a great project to re-use it for.
2. Attach suspender clips onto both ends of your necklace.
3. Loop ribbon through suspender opening.
4. Finish off necklace with a big statement bow knot.

A beaded fabric flower necklace tutorial

Lately, I've noticed both Etsy and Anthro featuring fabric beaded necklaces. I've also noticed a lot of fabric flowers. So, I decided to combine the two and make myself this necklace. I was going for a Halloween type vibe, but I think it can pass for a post Halloween necklace too. As a matter of fact, it would be a great Christmas gift. Scratch the Halloween theme! This is now my sisters Christmas present. Just joking Julz... unless you like it =)

Below is a tutorial on how to make the necklace.

  • Necklace fabric: 2" to 3" strip by width of fabric (43"). This is an estimate. You will likely shorten it, but it's best to have too much than too little. Also, light weight knits, gauze, and stretch fabrics work really well. I used Robert Kaufman's Black Panda Knit fabric (link).
  • Flower fabric: 3/4" wide strips of any type of fabric will do. I used scraps and a striped t shirt I no longer wore.
  • Beads: Any size will do; however, the smaller the bead the longer it will take to finish the necklace.
  • Matching thread and a needle
  • Fray check (optional)
  • felt scrap (optional)
  • pin back (optional)


Step 1. Make the casing

1) To determine how wide the casing should be, wrap the fabric around your bead and make note of how much fabric was used. Next add a 1/2" to the measurement. The 1/2" will account for the 1/4" seam allowance. Note: If you are sewing with a stretch knit fabric, only add about 1/4" for the seam allowance (fabric will stretch). Cut your strip. We will adjust the length of the strip later.
2) Fold the strip in half lengthwise (right sides together). Stitch along long edge of strip (opposite of fold) using a 1/4" seam allowance. Do not stitch short ends.
3) To determine the necklace's length, tie the fabric casing around your neck to length you want the necklace to hang. Be sure to tie a bow, because this is how you will attach your necklace. You want to account for the amount of fabric used in the bow. Cut off the excess fabric. You may find that you don't need to cut off any fabric

4) Dab the fabric ends with fray check. This step is optional. The fabric I used does not fray, so I didn't use fray check.

Step 2. Add the beads and tie off

1) Insert one bead at a time through the casing. How many beads is up to you. I used 10 beads. Make sure the beads are centered in the middle of the casing.

2) With matching thread, wrap and tie off the end of the right bead.

3) Insert your needle under the fabric and pull the thread through. Try to get the needle through the fabric to the space between the next bead. If you are unable to pull the thread through in one big stitch, simply insert the needle back into the area it came out and work your way to the space.

4) Once the needle and thread have reached the space between the 2 beads, wrap the thread around the space. Wrap it nice and tight, then tie a knot to secure. Do not cut the thread.

5) With the needle still threaded, repeat the last 2 steps (3 & 4) to the end of the necklace. If you run out of thread, tie a knot to secure the thread. Begin where you left off with a new threaded needle.

Next we'll make the flowers. Before we begin, I must mention that the flowers look best when they are not perfect. I like the frayed edges and awkward folds, so try not to be perfect about the flowers.

Step 1 Cut fabric strip
1) Cut a 3/4" by 22" strip of fabric. The strip doesn't have to be 22" long - it's just a starting point. How long the fabric is will determine the thickness of the flower.
2) Fold the strip in half lengthwise and press.

Step 2 Roll the fabric to make the flower
1) Roll one end of the strip a couple of times. Anchor the roll by stitching the edge of the fold.

Good news! I have removed the chipped glitter nail polish after taking this pic.

2) Fold the fabric strip down in a 90 degree angle and continue to roll the bud (fabric roll) over the 90 degree fold.

3) Take another stitch to secure the bud.

4) Continue to fold and roll, alternating the direction you fold, to the end of the strip, or until you feel the flower is thick enough. If your flower begins to distort and the bud starts to poke out, smoosh it flat.
5) Once you have achieved the desired thickness, tie off your thread.

6) Make 2 more flowers of various sizes.

Step 3 Attach flowers to necklace
1) You can hand stitch the flowers to the necklace or you can do the following:
Arrange the flower cluster on a piece of felt. Make sure the felt is smaller than the flower arrangement and the same color as the necklace. Glue each flower to the felt (or hand stitch). Add a pin back and pin it to the necklace.

Here is another version...

With this necklace, I used smaller beads and wrapped the fabric around the beads as opposed to sliding the beads in a casing. Here's a great tute for this method. Also, I didn't hide the thread by sliding the needle under the fabric. Instead, I wrapped and pulled the thread to the next space and wrapped again. As you can see, rather than tying it in the back, I added another strand of beads and then hand stitch the ends together. After stitching the ends together, I wrapped the stitching with floss to make it pretty.

Here are 3 links to other flowers you may want to use for the necklace.
Fabric rose and peony
Rolled Roses see her side bar for the PDF


P.S. Please feel free to share your necklaces at Pretty Ditty Show and Tell flickr group.

Melon necklaces - Organic jewelery

I have always been inspired by the lavish, ever-inspiring nature and its incredible power of taking care of its loved ones. In every sense of the word. Whether it regards providing food, clothes or decoration.

I would love to linger on the latter. The primal source of the ancient people to embellish their homes and garments. Back at uni I used to make myself necklaces by using these gifts of nature. So today I returned to the roots again and used the fruits of nature to create a series of organic jewelery. I am going to share my ideas here and the first to be introduced are

The Melon necklaces

Tips for using melon seeds:
If you want to make a necklace or something else, scoop the seeds with a spoon and wash them in warm water with mild washing detergent to take off the slimy fibers. Then, let them sun/air dry. I usually put them onto a cotton napkin so they wouldn't stick to it. It is great if the seeds are big because they are easier for manipulation.

Once dry I love to add a little colour. For my necklaces I used ordinary markers, (in the past I was more patient and used nail polish in different colours). I painted half of the seed because I like the effect they create when stringed together.

When piercing the seeds it is best if you do that in the middle. If you make a hole near the edges the seed might easily split.

Choose your favourite colours, string the seeds and make yourself some organic jewelery!

Wall Flowers Week - Too Much Teal Tuesday!

WFWbanner_02I bet you guys thought the color today was gonna be Tampico Punch Orange!  You are shocked beyond all belief that it's TEAL right!?!?  Frankly, I was a little surprised myself.
So here we go!
Today's Color:  Teal (Hello teal, this is Lolly...  I'll be right over for my daily dose of cupcakes and sunshine!) 
Today's Featured tutorials:
Julie - Inkcredible Stamping - Felt Flower
Make It. Do It. - Wire Ribbon Flowers
LollyChops - Flower Buttons
Let's get started with the felt flowers from Julie...
This is what we call a curve ball.  Julie left me a comment yesterday around 4:30 letting me know that she had posted some of her flower creations to the Wall Flowers Week Flickr group.  You can see her creations HERE.  So of course I went to go look and low and behold...  I knew I had to make one of them eeeeeemeediately!
TTT_02Without moving my computer even... I busted out my teal felt, my Sizzix Circles #2 die (the very one I used yesterday) and within 15 minutes I had a totally fabulous flower!  I don't even have it framed...  I just made it cause it was totally awesome and totally EASY!
If you don't have a Sizzix or this particular die...  the size of the circles you need are as follows:  2 inch, 1.5 inch and a 1 inch.  5 of each one. 
As my finishing center, I cut a 1 inch circle, beaded around the outside of it and glued two buttons (one on top of the other)... and KABOOM!
Helloooo Dolly!
I love it.
Just make one flower.  You won't be sorry!
So for the next tutorial we are going to do quick and easy wire ribbon flowers!
(remember... follow the link above to see the real tutorial...  this is just a fake tutorial)
Pull one side of the wire away from the ribbon (creating a mega gather).
Make sure you don't pull the wire out the other side.
I did that... ummm... a few times too many.
I also only used about 1 yard of ribbon for my flowers.
Sometimes a yard and a half... max.
You roll up the gathered side and sew as you go...
I made a few different ones using different colors of teal ribbon...
I tucked a few felt leaves from Felt-O-Rama in there too...
...and used some American Crafts patterned paper as my background
(Letterbox - Respectfully)
I glued everything down with hot glue and was all done quick as some cheese!
A few folks have asked me about the frames I am using...
...So I thought I would do a little demolition demonstration real quick...
Most of the time I use picture frames...
But every now and then I use decorative frames that are ready to hang...
Like this dollar store beauty here!
(how totally fitting that there was a rose picture in there right???)
I usually have to peel off the protective paper backing to get to the guts....
This is picture frame surgery folks.
Don your craft snorkel and dive right in!
This leaves me with a nice frame, mat board and glass if I need it.
I got this one for a dollar.
Not even kidding!!!
(there are candy bars that cost more than this frame!!!)
Nextly... let's check out some button crafts using that same frame...
These could NOT be easier.
I simply stack buttons, crocheted flowers, felt flowers, fabric, etc...
You name it and I'll stack it up and make it into a flower!
I like to tie off my buttons with #10 crochet thread (like this stuff HERE).
I leave the string kinda long so I can hold the smaller button by the string as I glue it into place.
Plus this helps tack down the string so it does not come loose....
...and it makes for tying the knot soooo much easier!
For this project I took some stiff floral wire...
...and wrapped it with some nice bright green floral tape.
I took the "stems" and simply tucked them into the recess in this particular frame.
Then I glued the button flowers I had made to the tops of the stems...
...and punched some leaves using THIS Martha Stewart leaf punch.
I inked the edges, curled them up some and glued them down.
There ya have it!
Simple and pretty framed flower picture!
Thanks so much for hanging out with me!  I hope you are enjoying the flowers and feeling inspired!
I'll be back tomorrow with another set of projects (any guesses on the color for tomorrow girls???)!!
TTT_16P.S.  Since you guys were so nice to leave me so many comments yesterday, I randomly picked one of you to win a little crocheted flower!  Marla from Sincerely Home is the lucky winner...  you never know what might happen around here during Wall Flowers Week...  you had better keep your eyeballs peeled girls!!!!


painted wallpaper {a tutorial}

August 5, 2010 | 97 Comments
When I first took over the front office, I knew I wanted to make it a lighter, more inspiring room to be in.  I thought about painting stripes because I really do love them, but I already have some thick ones painted in the boys’ room. Then I thought wallpaper would be nice. But here’s the thing about wallpaper: 1. I always like the most expensive one and 2. putting it up is a pain {although now that I think about it, it would probably be easier to hang wallpaper than to paintit. Oh well.}
So I decided that instead of looking for bargain wallpaper, I could just make my own.   I really like these curtains from Ballard Designs and decided to take the pattern as my inspiration.
Here are the steps:
1. Create a template {or download mine at the end of the post}
2. Trace the design onto the wall. Over and over again. Now it makes a lot of sense to use a level to make sure you are not drawing diagonally down the wall, but I didn’t go to such effort. I think I have a pretty good sense of straight {if that makes sense} so I was able to eyeball it.
No, Brady did not help me trace the pattern, he was just my model.
Check out those sweet grubby little four-year-old fingernails.
There were sections where the pattern got a little wonky, so I just improvised and figured once the entire pattern was up, you wouldn’t notice little imperfections.  The one thing I did try to do was to keep the pattern equal along the top & bottom of the wall {see photo}
3. Paint over the lines {I painted along the inside of the line}.  I used a small paint brush that was the width that I wanted the lines to be and white latex paint we had leftover from the kitchen.
It takes a long time. But if you try it, just keep going … it is so worth it!
Here it is again in it’s ‘after’ state.
And there you have it.
A project that was simple to do but just took lots of time and a steady hand.
To download the template that I used, click here.
If you try this out, please send me a photo … I’d love to see what you come up with!

DIY TUTORIAL and a giveaway!

Happy Monday everyone! Today I am going to show you how to make this necklace and introduce my first giveaway! Below are the steps to make this tulle necklace. And to win this necklace, just leave me a comment below! A winner will be announced on Friday.
Good luck! Hope you enjoy this little tutorial!
Step 1: Pick out your fabric and beads. I am using black tulle and marbles for the beads. Tulle as I found out is pretty hard to work with! I’ve also done this with lace which was a little easier to handle but you could use any fabric.
Step 2: Measure the fabric around a bead and then add an inch, this is where you will cut.
Step 3: Cut the fabric the long way.
Step 4: You should now have a long strip of fabric. Fold it in half.
Step 5: Sew the folded fabric at the open end.
Step 6: You should now have a tube.
Step 7: In order to turn the tube right side out, attach a safety pin to one end.
Step 8: Feed the safety pin through the tube.
Step 9: Once the tube is right side out, put a bead in the tube and center it.
Step 10: Make a knot at each end of the bead.
Step 11: Feed another bead into the tube and knot after the bead. Alternate sides each time you put a bead in. Repeat putting the bead in and knotting it until you reach a desired look.
Step 12: Sew the ends shut.
Step 13: Add flower by gathering strips of the fabric together and sewing the center together.
Step 14: Add a center to the flower with other beads by threading them through the center of the flower. Attach the flower to the necklace.
Finished Necklace! You can see other necklaces I made similar to this one here.
Now leave a comment for the chance to win this!!