Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A new toy! The silhouette

Been a bit busy around here with hubs new work schedule, 3 kiddos and a friend from 17 years ago visiting. Found a little time to be creative this morning but I had the right motivation. My Silhouette cameo came in the mail yesterday. Miss V asked if I could make her a giraffe pillow so I looked for a giraffe graphic, interfaced some fabric and made my very first Silhouette applique!

The machine is a little intimidating. My ultimate goal with this machine is to be able to make my own designs and be able to use the machine to transfer them to paper or fabric.  Just another step in the creative department! But I do have a lot to learn and I need to upgraded application to start that new venture. But for now, I'm just getting used to the machine and all of it's capabilities.

Here is the very first Silhouette creation!

♡ ąℓexąnʠяą

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Hand Prints

I'd like to start off by saying how heavy my heart is for what happened in Boston yesterday. I grew up just outside of Boston in a small town called North Andover. My parents, younger brother, Grandmother and Aunts and Uncles still live there. I called my parents and brother as soon as I heard the news yesterday, so thankful that I found them at home and well.  But my heart aches for those people who have been struck by this senseless tragedy.  My husband is a runner and I cannot imagine kissing him goodbye and good luck on his run and have the run met with tragedy.  So the event, though I'm thousands of miles away, hits close to home, too close to home in so many ways.  Because of this event, I decided it was most respectful to post very little yesterday.  I stayed glued to my live feed of Boston news channel:

However, that doesn't mean I didn't work. I had Little Mr. F attached at my hip for the afternoon after he snuggled with Daddy who has been working the very late night shift. I have to say, I know so many people have spouses who work the midnight shift and I feel for you. It's tough! It's just not normal to sleep during the day, if you can even sleep with 3 kids running around, and then having to work while the rest of the country sleeps.  Anyway, I hope this schedule works itself out, most importantly so my hubs can get some much needed rest.

So, back to what I did. I love repeat customers and my next creative project was for a repeat customer.  A while back, my youngest daughters 1st grade teacher was expecting and I wanted to do something sentimental and unique for her. As I wrapped my head around what I could possibly do that would be special and keepsake, I thought about my hand print pillows. But, being that there were 18 children in the class, I thought that would have to be a VERY big pillow but why not a blanket?  My idea of the hand-print blanket was formed. I am sure this idea exists out there, but just in case it's not, I thought it would be fun to share my idea for other crafty parents looking for a unique gift idea.  And if you aren't one of those crafty parents and just want to order a custom blanket, you can find me on Etsy

One of the things that I love, that I finally figured out, are the bindings that I make for my quilts. Sure, it is easier to buy binding from the store but that satin binding or not so whimsical cotton binding just isn't my thing. I like to take the fabric scraps of the blanket I've made and create my own. I think it's a nice little twist, brings everything together and can be whimsical.  To make the binding, I cut a bunch of 4" strips, I press the edges in, then fold again in half and attach to the blanket.  I love it.

Next up, I think, are some more wedding inspired ideas.  Did I mention I'm excited about my younger brother getting married in September?  :)

Until next time creative friends,

                                           ♡ ąℓexąnʠяą

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Newborn Tie headbands

Working on a new product here. Trying to get it just right. I have to decide between regular all purpose thread or stretchy stretch magic for these adorable little flowers. They make for gorgeous photo props. I am thinking of making a photographer's photo prop bundle and including a few of these tie backs as well as a flower filled blanket.

Can I have more hours in the day please?! There is so much I want to do!

Anyone want a tutorial on this flower once I figure out the best way to gather them in a pretty floral fold? Leave a comment if you do!! :)

♡ ąℓexąnʠяą

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Petal Flower tutorial

I had a nice request turn out for the flower I attached to the Hawaiian dress. So here is my quick tutorial. You can hand sew each petal on, which I did for the very first 2 petals...and then I became too impatient and reverted back to my trusty machine for a quicker job!

What you'll need:
  • scissors
  • scrap fabric (cotton works nicely for a "rustic chic" look)
  • coordinating thread/needle
  • scrap piece of felt fabric

First things first, cut a circle out of your fleece fabric. My circle came out to about 2 1/2 inches which I trimmed down at the very end. This is going to be the base of your flower.

Now, you'll cut the scrap fabric. I free form cut my petals but if you need to make a template cardboard is always good.  I like to make them in the shape of a fat heart with a flat bottom. Each petal was about 2 1/4" in length. I cut 17 petals for this flower.

Let's prepare the petals. You will want to fold/squeeze the bottom. It's what adds shape to the petals.  I tried taking pics of 2 different views.

Now it's time to attach the petals to the base.  You can hand sew each petal, but I wanted to finish up so I had to get on my machine to finish.

As you add each petal, make sure that it overlaps the petal before. Just repeat the scrunching of the fabric at the bottom of each petal, attach and repeat all the way around.

This is what your flower will look like when you've completed each petal.

I cut a circle from my scrap fabric to cover the stitching. You could also use a pic rhinestone to cover it or a button.

And finally, add a little bit of bling and your flower is ready to be attached to a pin, clip, headband or bag!

Have some flower power fun friends!! Add a little variation by making each petal out of satin with singed finish, or denim for a rustic look. Even lace for a shabby chic appeal.

♡ ąℓexąnʠяą

The Hawaiian Dress

Remember that pattern I made for Miss M based on one of her shirts? Well, I put it to use again today. This time though, I added some length to the pattern and I attempted my very first Hawaiian dress. I added a bit of a V cut in the neck since I used a cotton fabric without any stretch. The worse thing would be having a cute dress that you can't get over your head! LOL. I tried to avoid that.  We'll see when Miss M gets back from school, if I succeeded at this task.  I also figured out a new kind of flower. Anyone want a tutorial? It is VERY simple and you could probably get away with just hand sewing it. I used my machine because it is much faster.

Anyway, I'm not done. My machine has been neglected a bit and I want to continue giving it a work out today.  My creative spirits have been kind of down and I think this is just what it needs to get back into a creating routine.

Hope you are all having super creative days!

♡ ąℓexąnʠяą

Miss M came home and loves it!!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

More and more Clothes

I think it would be safe to say, I am on a clothing roll! I love when Little Miss M and Little Miss V look chic and adorable for school.  I'm glad that they aren't so much into the clothing for 8 & 9yr olds that look like clothing for 17 & 18yr old girls.  I want to teach them modest dressing is classy and beautiful no matter the age.

This morning I made another circle skirt, a sleeveless linen shirt with a ruffle and a dress. I took nice fitting tee's that the girls have and I used those as my guide for the dress and shirt.

I turn the tee's inside out and follow along the lines with about a 1/2" allowance which allows me room for error (which I make many of) and the finished product is not super fitted but has more give and flow-i-ness which the girls like.  After I cut the fabric, I trace it onto last weeks newspaper so I have made my own pattern for next time, if it turns out well enough.

For the circle skirt, I measure the girls waist I take their waist size, add 2 inches and divide by 6.28 to get the radius. Very simple! It has been about 1 year since I first tried the circle skirt so I'll need to research again to see if I can find the blog I learned my technique from.

♡ ąℓexąnʠяą

Here is Miss M's nice fitting shirt that I used as my template.

Traced the cut out on to old newpaper for use in the future.

Mr. F making his own pattern. Future fashion designer?? 

 The top of the dress is based off of the red shirt but I added a skirt to it to make it a dress and an elastic casing.

 The circle twirl skirt. LOVE the fabric from Girl Charlee

 The linen sleeveless shirt with an added ruffle and fancy stitching.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

A circle cutout

Needed to sew this morning! Hubs was off at a 8K race, and the kiddos were playing with their things so I pulled out some chevron knit fabric, my ruler and scissors and cut out a couple of circles, one for the waist one for the length and turned my piece of knit fabric into a fun circle skirt for Miss M.

This is such a simple skirt to make and it is a true twirl skirt. Any ballerina would love to have this as part of her wardrobe.

 The circles...

 The true twirl test!

In other creative news. Miss V wanted to be creative yesterday. She really wants this beanie boo called Safari. Safari is a plush 16" giraffe. She thought that if she made Safari a bed, we would be inclined to purchase it for her.  We are still holding off until all the chores get done though.  But I admire her creativity. Boxes are fun for hiding and fort building but they are also fun to cut apart and repurpose, even for a stuffed creatures bed.


And finally, Miss V had her open market at school. She went loaded with homemade goods and sold every piece she brought.  She was excited to be so successful and yet sad that someone of the stuff she really liked (i.e. the fabric box and wallet) were off to new homes. I think she secretly hoped that one of each would not sell so she could keep it.  But, I told her not to worry her pretty little head, I would make her more. I always love an excuse to work my machine! 

Hope to create a little more this weekend. So many things I want to do! Hubs is brewing again tomorrow so I might have the right excuse to sew too.

♡ ąℓexąnʠяą

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Open Market Ideas

Little Miss V has another open market at school tomorrow. The first one she experienced was her very first Friday at her new school. We were completely unprepared for it. Having no idea what it was all about, I sent her to school with chocolate chip cookies from Whole Foods.  After her day was over, she was so anxious to tell me all about Open Market at school.  It's a day when children in 3rd grade brings in home made goods, goodies, toys they no longer play with and other little knick knacks that they want to sell for "mula".  

They earn "Mula" at school for doing good on tests, good behavior, participating in class, etc. Then, every couple of months, the children host an Open Market where they get to spend their hard earned school money.  I think it's a great way to teach children value of money, encourage good behavior and give them a chance to understand a little bit about sales. 

So it's been 2 months and this time, Miss V is going to her Open Market completely prepared. She made her little boutique an "open" sign, we made up a name for her shop and created a sign for that and she's got a lot of home made goods to try to "sell" to her classmates.

I have a bunch of scrap fabrics, juvenile fabrics that no longer interest my girls so I decided to use some of them up to help create things for the Open Market. I am sharing because I think they are cute and quick projects for all to do. And pretty simple things to put together requiring only a straight stitch and the ability to measure correctly.

Until next time, my friends, have a wonderfully creative filled day (or night!)

♡ ąℓexąnʠяą

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Wedding Flower...mini tutorial

My younger brother and his long time love are getting married in September so weddings have been on my mind a lot lately.  It's been a while since I have creating anything with a wedding theme but I have wanted to give a large flower clutch a try.  Like most of my creations, I had a vision and wanted to see if I could make it reality.

After I had already cut and singed the first part I thought what a great opportunity to make another tutorial.  So, I'm just going to call this a mini-tut because I didn't get pictures of each step of the process but pretty much enough to get you on your way.

First off, I cut a long strip of satin fabric, about 70" long and about 3" wide.  On one of the cut sides, I cut in a sort of a rolling wave pattern since no flower is ever perfect in form.  I singed, VERY Carefully, both sides and the ends so that the satin does not fray.  Because I was using my bigger candle and because the winds picked up, I did get some black on my satin but later in the tutorial you'll see that I went back in, cut off the black and took a lighter to the fabric to singed it without the burn marks.  It's a much more aesthetically pleasing look without burn marks.

I hope the picture tutorial will get you on your way to make a large ornate flower to adorn a bag, a pillow or even a shirt!  If you make something using this tutorial, please feel free to share a picture. If creativity is not your thing but you like the final product, you can find it on my Etsy page as well.

♡ ąℓexąnʠяą

Here is my 70" long b 3" wide strip, already singed on the ends and sides.  Use a wide running stitch along the bottom. You will gather this to help make the flower gently ruffle by pulling one thread and pushing the ruffles down as you make them.

Which ever fabric you have decided to attach your flower to, make sure it is stiff enough to handle the work, turning, and stitching you will be doing. I started with a small circle first and worked my way out making sure not to get the already attached ruffles stuck in my stitch.  It would probably be easier to start this flower from the biggest point and circle in to the smallest point.

Here, I started stitching my flower to my main fabric.
I gently turn the fabric to continue stitching the ruffle on the bag in a circular pattern.

Here is how it looks all stitched. Cut the extra threads to make a nice neat appearance.

Next, your going to want to cut some satin circles, making each circle smaller than the one before. Make sure you base circle is large enough to cover the center.

Take those circles and carefully singe them. (please make sure you are very careful doing this!!) I use a small tea light candle, which I let burn for a few minutes before I take my fabric to it. I hold the fabric about 1 inch away from the flame, it takes longer but this process is better than burning the fabric.
Once you've singed all your circles, place them in the circle until they look nice to you. I had mine all stacked on top of one another but I didn't like the "perfect" look so I randomly placed them.

Sew them in place. I made a square to make sure I stitched all the petals down.
Now to get rid of those unsightly burn marks, I took my scissors and clipped away and I carefully used a lighter in the areas that were clipped to seal the fabric.

A much nice look to get rid of those burn marks!
Now the fun part, pick out some bling for the center.  I chose some silver tones and crystals.

 I used this strong beading thread to hand stitch each center bead.
 Here are my beads, hand stitched and ready to go.

I chose to make a wedding clutch, but you can use this flower technique for just about anything! Have fun. Can't wait to see what you create! 

Made another this afternoon as the bridal one sold pretty quick. Here it is on Etsy: