Saturday, August 29, 2009

The easiest craft project I've done recently was paper ornaments. I found a fun tutorial on Howaboutorange's blog. My friend Amber and I had a blast making a few samples from the tutorial. We are hooked and have decided to make these ornaments for every event, activity and holiday possible. They would be perfect for birthday parties, baby showers and even wedding showers. Check out the pictures below.

How they are made. Cut one sheet of paper into 1 inch strips. Stack the strips in a pile on top of one another and staple them together in the middle (long wise). Then fold the strips together to form a book of strips. Fold the strips toward the center and tape them down using double sided tape. The tutorial on Howaboutorange explains it better and with pictures.

Happy Craftin'
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Sunday, August 23, 2009

In Addition to the Bags

This weekend was very productive and fun. My husband went out of town, so my friend Amber came to stay and craft with me. I talked her into making two buttercup bags for her little nieces. They are two and four years old. In addition to the little bags I created fabric flowers from the lining fabric...the look was so cute I had to make a flower for the bigger buttercup bag I created last week.
I have tried making all sorts of fabric flowers. I love the Japanese Kanzashi flowers but have a very difficult time getting them to work out. Instead I tried a different approach. I researched fabric flower on the Internet looking for a tutorial that would produce the cutest little flower. I found it on pinkpaperpeppermints blog.http:// flowers are so much easier than the Kanzashi flowers and they turn out perfect every time, which is more than can be said for the uncooperative Japanese version.
I would like to thank the pink paper peppermints blog and the madebyrae blog for the great tutorial and the free bag pattern. Thanks ladies!

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During my summer break from classes at the University of North Florida, I wanted to sew my heart out. I started with this large bag for my friend Amber. I usually just sew simple bags from two rectangular shapes for the outer an inner pieces of the bag, a couple of square pockets and a simple strap. That is the sum of my sewing since I started five years ago.
I decided that I wanted to try something different, and since Amber likes over sized bags I had to find just the right pattern that incorporated her likes and my ability level. I found it all in McCall's 8705 pattern.
This bag was so much easier to make than I imagined. I attribute that to the wonderful directions in the pattern. I have tried to use other patterns that have very vague instructions and some that leave out certain steps completely. For a novice sewer that is bad news. I took my time making it and it took me a week of working between other obligations to finish it, and I am trilled with the results. This bag displays some of my best workmanship. I usually rush thru sewing to get to the end result. This time I purposefully made myself work at a snails pace and double check every step I took.
The only complaints I have are that the bag requires an enormous amount of fabric and a heavier interfacing than was suggested. Other than that this is a wonderful pattern for any beginner to attempt. I am confident that it will be successful.
Amber loves Halloween and skull and crossbones, and her favorite colors, which is no surprise, are orange and black. So I pick a black and white skull and crossbones outer fabric and an orange lining fabric. She loves the bag. This bag made us both happy. Success!

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Oh, I forgot to thank for the free Buttercup Bag pattern. I am a novice at sewing because I have had so little time in the past to do it, so when I saw all the cute bags I just knew I needed to try the pattern. It was my first time working with pleats, and I love it. Thanks again madebyrae!

Barefoot Sewing

Over the past five years, that is how long I've been trying to sew, I have realized that whenever I get up out of my sewing chair I have to search for my right shoe. It is eventually located somewhere under my sewing table. The funny thing is I don't ever remember consiously slipping it off. Apparently, I must use my bare foot on the presser pedal. I have recently tried to make an effort to keep my shoe on, and have found it impossible. Crazy? I think so. I wonder if I alone possess this quirky behavior. I have tried to figure out why this happens. I guess I just like the feel on the pedal on my bare foot.

Anyway, I have made five of the free buttercup bags recently and have done so barefooted. I noticed that when I fought the urge to slip my shoe off my stitching was crooked, not that it is ever perfect, but I had to rip out the stitching and start over. I give homemade purses to all my cousins every year at Christmas, and I can't give them gifts with crooked stitches, so I'll just keep sewing barefoot!
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