Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Hanging Decorations - Ladies in Ribbon and Lace


I wanted to recycle some of my large pile of ribbon scraps, and I had some lovely vintage lady prints.

I combined the two for a collection of hanging decorations of ladies in ribbons and lace.  They are just right for our cool winter temperatures in their warm collars and hats.

The construction was simple - images were backed with card and lacquered, ribbons and lace attached, and the back finished with a layer of felt.  I hope you enjoy them.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Craft Tutorial - Felt Flower Brooches

These felt flower brooches were designed to decorate collapsible fabric trays I have made for display (see my tutorial: http://sharlzndollz.blogspot.com.au/2012/06/craft-tutorial-make-reversible-fabric.html).  They are really fast to make a bunch especially if like me you have a bottle of pre-made yoyo's on standby.

Materials: for one flower

Felt sheets or scraps in 3 colours
small circle of fabric and yoyo maker, or a pre-made yoyo
Button for flower centre (one with a post on the back is best)
sharp 2B pencil
matching sewing thread and strong needle
Safety pin or brooch back

Make three templates for flowers (mine were so easy - just three sizes of a simple five petal shape - use the picture as a guide).  Using the templates, mark and cut one size of flower from each piece of felt.

Make up a fabric yo yo of medium size using a yoyo maker (if you don't have one, just run a gathering thread around the outer edge of a circle of fabric and pull tight)

Stack the three felt flower shapes, the yoyo and a button and stitch through the layers (I used a strong needle - it gets tough going through these layers).

Stitch either a safety pin or brooch back to the back of the flower pile.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Craft tutorial - make reversible fabric covered display trays that pack flat


I have designed a reversible display tray that is light and packs flat for easy carrying.  I created this tray to be ideal for market displays. Even better I have recycled old bed sheets to make the trays - an economical and eco friendly solution.

Finished size:   30cm wide by 30cm long by 12 cm deep

Materials (for one tray):

  • 2 panels cotton fabric 63cm square (I have used two contrasting bed sheet colours)
  • 1 panel box board or core flute 54cm square
  • varnish or PVA glue and paintbrush (optional)
  • Matching sewing thread
  • Cutting knife, metal ruler and cutting board
  • Sewing machine walking foot ( In this layout, I have left a 2.5cm width between panels when sewing in order to neatly fit my walking foot when sewing.  Please check your foot width before starting.  You may wish to slightly increase the total fabric width if your foot is wider)

Cut the five panels to make up the tray from either boxboard or core flute.  Cut the following sections: one square panel for base 30cm square; 4 side panels 12cm by 30cm. This is five panels laid out as one centre and four sides.  If you are using boxboard, you may wish to paint a coat of varnish or PVA to increase it's strength.

With right sides together, pin and stitch the two 63cm square fabric panels along three sides, with a 1.5cm seam allowance. Turn the fabric through.  This is now a large bag shape with a sealed bottom and open top.

Stitch the two long seam lines: Mark two lines from bag base to bag  top opening 14 cm in from each side seam using pins.  Using a walking foot and matching thread run two lines of stitching down the bag, stopping 2cm from the open end on both seams (to allow later turning in of the top).

The bag should now be an open top with three long pockets.  In the middle pocket, insert one of the box board side panels and move it right to the bag end. This will be one side of the finished tray.  Pin a row of pins 14cm in from this end to form a line.  Stitch along this pinned line, being careful of the box board panel in the bag.

You should now have a bag with a sealed end containing one side panel.  Now insert the three middle panels.  Insert the 30cm box board square base into the middle pocket, and insert one box board side each in  the two side pockets.  This now forms base and three sides.


Pin a row of pins 16cm in from the  top end of the bag.  Stitch this line, being careful of the three inserted panels. 

Insert the final box board side panel in the middle pocket at the top of the bag.  This forms the final of the four sides. Turn in the top of the bag, and pin and machine stitch closed. 

The finished tray is the five tray pieces with corners you can fold in to form the tray shape.  You can pull up the sides using pins or badges.  I have created fabric flowers pins to form the corners (I will be posting a tutorial for these in the future).  The tray is a little loose and really not for carrying lots of weight, but are a great way to match your display to your product.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Craft tutorial - Humbug denim pencil case from recycled jeans

I wanted to design a project to use the zipper section of old jeans.  I came this humbug pencil case.  It uses the top part of an old pair of jeans and is fast and easy to make. I have decorated the pencil case with belt loops in one seam and a couple of crocheted flowers taken from a recycled bed spread.

Finished size: 17cm long * 14cm wide


Old pair of jeans
decorations for the pencil case (I have used 2 crocheted flowers)
matching sewing thread

Unpick the waist band from your jeans, setting aside 3 belt loops for decoration.  Unpick the top of the jeans side seams to about the crotch level and unpick the inside leg seams up to a point where you can flatten the front to form a flat panel.

Cut a panel from the jeans front 20cm long and 27cm wide, centred over the jean zipper.

Stitch the crotch seam flat and sew up any part of the pockets remaining. 

Stitch on the decorations using zig zag stitch.

Fold the panel in half along the zip.  Fold 3 belt loops in half and tack them to right side of one edge of the panel side furthest from zipper top.

With right sides together, pin and stitch the bottom seam (containing the belt loops) and the side seam of the pencil case. Turn the pencil case through to the right side.

Now, to maintain the zipper opening for use, fold the top of the fly on a diagonal and catch it down using a zig zag stitch (refer to the picture).

Partly open the zipper.  Turn the pencil case back through to the wrong side out.  Pin the top seam together, making sure it's on the opposite angle to the bottom seam.  Stitch together. Neaten inside seams (I used pinking shears).  Turn through the pencil case.  It's ready for use.