Oliver + S Felt Bow Scrapbuster Tutorial

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When you find a fabric you love it’s hard to part with the scraps, even if they are weirdly shaped and don’t seem usable. When sewing one of my favorite dresses, the Oliver + S family reunion dress (read about it here), I found this FREE felt bow tutorial on the Oliver + S website. Since I loved the fabric I used for the reunion dress so much, I used fusible heat ‘n bond to use up some of my scraps to make an adorable matching bow. And with some new favorite scraps from some recent projects, I decided to revisit the felt bow pattern and to write up a quick tutorial. To make a scrapbuster felt bow you’ll need…

felt scraps

fabric scraps

scissors

spray ‘n bond fusible adhesive or iron on double sided heat ‘n bond

tailor’s chalk or fabric marker

Oliver +S felt bow pattern & tutorial

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First, download and print the Oliver + S bow pattern. I printed the two sizes that were mentioned in the tutorial, 100% and 60%. Once you have your pattern cut out, find some felt and fabric scraps that are slightly larger than the pattern pieces.

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Spray the WRONG side of your fabric scraps following the directions on the spray can. If you are using fusible heat ‘n bond, same thing. Apply it to the WRONG side of your scraps following the directions on the packaging.

If you are using spray ‘n bond, be very careful and protect the surrounding area. I did it in the garage and placed the scraps on some broken down cardboard boxes. Glad I didn’t attempt this in the house! This was my first time using spray ‘n bond and it sprays much stronger and faster than I anticipated. I wasn’t sure how much to spray. I think I’ll have to experiment a little with this. And honestly, I think for this project the fusible kind might be better and provide a stronger bond.

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This is what the back side of my fabric looked like after I sprayed it and let it sit for a few minutes. It has a slightly textured look and feel. Once it’s dry, which is pretty immediate, place the fabric scrap WRONG side down onto your felt scrap.

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Use a press cloth to adhere the fabric scrap to the felt scrap following the directions on the spray ‘n bond can or the heat ‘n bond packaging.

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Once your fabric scraps are bonded to your felt scraps, use tailor’s chalk or a fabric pen (…or a ball point pen) to trace the pattern. If you plan to wrap the bow center around a headband or a clippie, you may want to make that piece slightly longer than the pattern to give yourself some leeway. You can always cut it shorter later on.

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Cut out your pieces…making sure to trim off any pen markings from tracing if you used a ball point pen. Once you have your pieces, follow the Oliver + S tutorial to assemble your bow.

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Attach to a headband or a clippie and enjoy! An adorable pattern, and even more adorable with your favorite fabric scraps!

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Happy Halloween 2012!

So…it’s been a very long time since I last posted. But I have very good reason to be neglectful. We are expecting our second child in March! I have been so so tired that I can barely manage any sewing, but with Halloween upon us, I luckily got a little bit of energy and inspiration.

When Hannah and I were perusing at Joann’s recently, we were looking at Halloween prints and Hannah absolutely fell in love with this purple Halloween kitties print. Since she was smiling and hugging the bolt of fabric, I figured I might as well whip up a little Halloween skirt for her. She’s actually worn it quite a few times since I made it a couple of weeks ago and seems pleased as can be every time she wears it. It’s just a simple elastic waistband skirt with a rolled hem ruffle.

The most important Halloween item is obviously the costume! This year was my turn to pick since last year my husband picked (so glad that we’ve moved beyond the receding hairline of last year, lol!). I decided on a poodle skirt getup, which is one of my all time favorite costumes. I’ve been dragging my feet on finally making it, having trouble deciding on a poodle silhouette, until my husband, in a very sweet way, finally told me to go with the one I had already cut out and be done with it. Thankfully I followed his advice or I’d be having a panic attack today still trying to decide!

I used Dana’s tutorial on Made to make a simple felt circle skirt (before attaching the elastic waistband, I put all of my embellishments on the skirt). I laid out my string of sequins, used a fabric marker to trace my layout for a guide while sewing, pinned in a few places, and then sewed the sequins on. Not as hard as you’d think! Finally, I fused the poodle onto the skirt and then glue gunned some rhinestones onto it for a collar.

For the glasses (which she wore for only a little while), I used some dollar toddler sunglasses from Target. I simply popped out the lenses and glue gunned three rhinestones onto each side. Gluing the rhinestones was actually the hardest part of the whole costume! They are so tiny and hard to handle while working with hot glue!

The onesie and shoes were awesome thrift store finds! I wasn’t sure what I’d find at the Goodwill up the street. It’s new and pretty small. I’ve never found anything good there before the few times I’ve popped in for a look, but this time I hit the jackpot! Originally I was really hoping to find a top with a peter pan collar for that classic, old fashioned look but I didn’t think I would be able to, so I was willing to settle for a plain white onesie from the closet…until I stumbled across this adorable and brand new, tags still on onesie. It’s a little big but works perfectly for her costume and she’ll have time to grow into it for future use. The shoes are practically brand new and for $3.99, you can’t beat it. I’m thinking they’ll get some use this holiday season as well.

And there you have it, a very easy and quick costume. Just the kind of thing this pregnant mommy needed!


Baby Doll Circle Skirts

Taking a break from Christmas sewing, which I promise to share soon, I sewed up some quick circle skirts for Hannah’s baby doll. I used a fat quarter from my fabric stash and a scrap piece of elastic and in something like 30 minutes, I had a new circle skirt! I used this tutorial from the amazing blog, Made.

This quickie project was actually a test run for Hannah’s Halloween costume. Last year she was Wonder Woman and this year she is going to be a 50’s girl. I absolutely adore poodle skirts! My mom made one for me to wear to my elementary sockhop dance and I’ve been in love ever since.

And since Hannah is going to be a 50’s girl, I figured it was entirely necessary to make her baby doll a cute little skirt as well. I used some felt from my stash and some fabric paint I also had on hand. (It’s my goal to start making a sizable dent in my sewing supplies. My little cart is already stuffed to the brim!)

Instead of cutting out and sewing on appliques (which I’ll do for Hannah’s skirt), I traced clipart images from Microsoft Word onto some cheap wrapping paper, cut it into a stencil, ironed it onto the skirt, and painted my design. So much easier than fiddling around with such small appliques! I’m going to touch up the black with a sharpie where it needs it. Now I just need to get started on Hannah’s outfit…oh yeah, and baby needs a shirt!!!


St. Patrick’s Day Skirt & Shamrock Headband

I’ve never really gotten into St. Patrick’s Day—for no particular reason, I just haven’t—but since it’s the little one’s first, a green getup of some sort was definitely a must. After all, we don’t want any pinching going on in this house!

I was originally going to make a pillowcase dress using my McCall’s 6058 pattern, but after I cut everything out and started putting the dress together, I just didn’t like it. I decided to cut off the top portion of the dress and turn it into a simple skirt instead. To add a fun detail, I trimmed the skirt with some white ric rac I had on hand.

For the headband, I used an idea I saw on Pinterest for making felt shamrocks. I spruced up the shamrock a bit by whip stitching around the edges of the leaves using a contrasting embroidery floss and then adding a button in the middle. I have been reusing the same white elastic headband for multiple outfits. Instead of sewing on flowers or bows, or in this case shamrocks, I just use a tiny safety pin and attach whichever accessory I need for a particular outfit. A time saver for sure!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!


Conversation Hearts Felt Garland Tutorial

This is my very first tutorial! I suppose it’s best to start off with something simple and it doesn’t get much easier than a felt garland.

Conversation hearts are such a fun part of Valentine’s Day, so I thought, why not turn them into a felt garland. What a fun and easy way to get into the Valentine’s Day spirit.

Supplies You’ll Need

felt blocks–I used white, light pink, purple, lime green, and bright yellow

heart stencil–I printed out a clip art heart from Microsoft Word

red fabric paint with an easy squeeze top

sewing machine, unless you want to hand stitch the hearts together

First decide how long you want your garland to be. Make sure to include some extra length so that it’s long enough to drape it. (When I made the circle felt garland for Christmas, I almost forgot to do this. A stick straight garland would have looked ridiculous!)

Once you know how long your garland should be (with extra length for draping!), create your stencil. I find that shapes that are about one inch x one inch work best for most felt garlands. This also makes it easy to figure out how many hearts you will need to make your felt garland the right length. To create my stencil, I used a clip art image from Microsoft Word and sized it to approximately one inch x one inch.

Trace your heart stencil onto your felt blocks. If your heart stencil is one inch x one inch, divide the length in inches of your felt garland by 5 (the number of colors) to find the number of hearts to trace onto each felt block.

Then cut out your shapes, keeping them separated by color.

(I used these blue hearts for my example since I forgot to take pics when I made my garland…oops)

Now it’s time to sew! Since I didn’t want to make a color pattern, I grabbed randomly from each of the color piles to until I had a new pile of hearts in random order. The only thing I avoided was putting two of the same color next to each other. To sew, you simply place one heart after another under the presser foot, sewing the length of each heart until you have no more hearts. Remember to backstitch on the first and last heart. And voila, you have a felt heart garland.

To turn your heart garland into a conversation hearts garland, you’ll need to whip out your handy dandy red fabric paint. I always call it puffy paint, although I’m not sure it technically is puffy paint. Anyway…

Lay out your garland on a long, flat surface so that your hearts are all facing in the right direction. Now it’s time to add the fun sayings. I looked up conversation hearts on google image search for ideas. Use your fabric paint to carefully write out your witty sayings. Make sure not to put the tip of your paint directly onto the felt. I found that when I did that, sometimes it would sort of catch on the felt fibers and was kind of a pain, so make sure you apply the paint just above the surface without touching the felt fibers.

Let it dry for a little while. It actually doesn’t take too long. Then, admire your adorable conversation hearts felt garland!


Circle Felt Garland

Christmas is my very favorite holiday! Every year my husband has to tell me to be patient and to wait until Thanksgiving is over before putting up the Christmas tree. I love everything Christmas. I even abandon all forms of music except Christmas music for the entire month of December. This year, though, has been a total change of pace for me. Instead of putting up all the decorations as soon as Thanksgiving dinner is over, or the next day if it’s a year where I’ve somehow mustered enough self control to wait, with a new baby, I’ve been putting things up a little at a time.

Lately I’ve seen so many variations on felt garlands in the blogs I follow, so I decided to give it a go with some extra red and green felt I’ve had lying around for years from a holiday project I completed long ago. It was super easy! All you do is cut out the shapes you want in the colors you want and start sewing, adding one shape after another until you reach the desired length. Luckily, I did a pretty good job eyeballing it and got the right length with my first attempt. I think it definitely dresses up the windows in our living room and adds some extra holiday spirit.

It was so easy, maybe I’ll make garlands for other holidays–hearts for Valentine’s day, shamrocks for St. Patricks day….the possibilities are endless. If I get inspired, I could even use a variety of shapes. A Halloween garland could have pumpkins, ghosts, black cats, etc. I wouldn’t ordinarily do this, but with a little one, holiday decorations are so much more fun!


Happy Halloween!

I can finally breathe a sigh of relief. The Wonder Woman costume is complete and Halloween pics were a success! Unfortunately when trying to put on her golden headband tiara, the little piece of elastic in the back broke and so she couldn’t wear it in the pics. Oh well, she looks completely adorable anyway!

 

The little one has yet to work on her first pumpkin but I think I’ll let her take a nap and rest up first. Listening to the Monster Mash with daddy really wore her out. Halloween is definitely more fun with a little one!