Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Lorelei Apron and Simplicity 2492

Although I've made many aprons, I still having fun making aprons for friends and family. I think the book A Is for Aprons is great apron eye candy. I just wish the directions were better. A few weeks ago the Simplicity patterns were $1.99 at Joann's. As I was going through the pattern book, I found Simplicity 2492 which is a slight modification of the Lorelei apron from A Is for Aprons.
PLUS, the Simplicity pattern comes in adult and children's sizes. The book only has one size. Since the Lorelei was one of my favorites that I made as a Christmas gift, I wanted to make a matching set for me and lil' AC. I didn't mind spending $1.99 for the pattern and I hoped the Simplicity directions would fill in the gaps the book had. I'm looking for the right fabric to make those matching aprons. Even though I don't have the right fabric, that pattern was calling me! Turns out that my mom is the only one I hadn't made an apron for. (And she had actually asked for one for Christmas! I know. I know! Bad daughter!!) For mother's day, I decided to make her the Lorelei/Simplicity 2492. I used the pattern pieces from the book but used the Simplicity instructions. I took me about 2.5 hours to make the apron and I did not rip out one seam! The Simplicity instructions helped tremedously. Here's my mom's Mother's Day Apron.

The book instructions for adding the rick rack and bias tape where not clear to me. The Simplicity instructions were very straight forward to me. This is the portion I'm talking about

The neck area of the aprons are different from the book and the Simplicity pattern. I like the non-tie neck in the book.  Here's a close up of the back of the Simplicity pattern. You can see the pattern details a little better.

The Simplicity pattern also give you patterns for pot holders, sachet and some felt food (cookies).


Saturday, May 8, 2010

Flower Ribbon Corsage - quick Mother's Day gift

When I saw this at V and Co, I thought they were adorable. Plus, one would be perfect for my mom's new handbag. They are simple and quick to make. The 1st one took me about 15 minutes to complete. I thought they were pretty cute and took almost no time at all to put together. Good combination for me! So, I decided to make one for every mom I will be seeing on Mother's Day. The added bonus is that I had all the stuff on hand. V and Co, has excellent directions here. I only had satin wired ribbon on hand. Have you ever bought wired ribbon from Costco? You get a lot of yardage (50 yards, to be exact) for some where around 8 bucks. I have all kinds of Costco ribbon and that's what I used for all my flowers. The Costco ribbon I used were all 1.5" wide. I think I like the wired ribbon because I could shape the flower petal so that they curved up more and the petals held their shape fairly easily due to the wire. Here's a sample of how mine turned out:

I already had some pin backs and glued those on.

My favorite is probably the poka dot ribbon. I can see this not only as a corsage but since it has a pin back, I can put it on one of lil' ACs hair bands to dress it up. V and Co, had some great photos of different things you can do with your ribbon corsage. Be sure to check out her website here.


Friday, May 7, 2010

Simple method to hoop your fabric

I do love to use my embroidery feature on my Designer Diamond. My least favorite part is hooping the fabric and getting it perfectly aligned. Well... that was until I learned a hoop-less technique from a class I took from Michelle Griffith. Michelle taught us how to hoop using sticky stabilizer. Personally, I use Floriani Perfect Stick which has one sticky/adhesive side and I have always had good results. Here's how I "hoop" my fabric. Choose the hoop you want to use and take the inner ring out. Trace the inner ring onto the Perfect Stick stablilizer and then cut out. Remove a portion of the sticky back and place the hoop over the exposed adhesive so that the stabilizer adheres to the inner hoop. Once you are happy with the positioning, remove the rest of the stabilizer and adhere to the rest of the hoop. I like to adhere the top edge and 2 corners first. Once that's smooth, I will then remove the rest of the liner exposing the remaining adhesive and lightly stretch the stabilizer to cover the remaining hoop. Here's what the back of the hoop looks like:
The above photo shows the inner hoop already placed in the outter hoop. You can see that the Perfect Stick stabilizer does not cover every inch of the inner hoop. The other/front side has the sticky portion exposed. This allows the fabric to be placed onto the hoop and makes for aligning the fabric very easily. In fact, you can move the fabric around quite a bit without losing the tackiness on the stabilizer. Here's a "hooped" piece of fabric.

From the photo, you can see that my fabric doesn't even touch the sides of the inner hoop. It's just "floating" in the center of the sticky back adhesive. There is no sandwiching of fabric between the inner and out hoop. With fabric that is larger than the hoop, I just drape the fabric over the edges. Additionally, depending on the fabric, I have also slide another piece of tear away stabilizer under the hoop for added stability. I hope you find this hoop-less technique helpful. It would be great for velour or velvets where hoop burn maybe a concern. It's the only way I hoop these days.


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Trinket bags

Amazing Mae, made these awesome trinket bags for her boys. What young boy does not have a need to tote his treasures around in a special little trinket bag??  I remember big AC was always carting around his little collections in ziplock bags. Well, Traci did such a fabulous job on these little bags, I had to make some too. The tutorial was very clear and easy to follow. These bags are pretty addicting. I ended up making 5 when I was only going to make 3. They're that easy to put together! Of course, I didn't do any stenciling. Instead, I HAD to use my Designer Diamond to stritch out some personalization for those little bags. Here are what mine look like.

Sorry, looks like I forgot to take pictures of them AFTER I put the grommets in. Since these bags were gifts, it won't be easy to get a picture of the true finished product. But I hope you'll get the idea from these pictures...


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Drawstring Backpack

I really liked these functional but fun backpacks created by Ana over at Noodlehead. I love the zippered compartment in the front, the simplitcity of a drawstring bag and that she used an old pair of cargo pants to put it together! Love the recycle part. I wanted to make one of Ana's bags for an older boy. So, I choose not to use any kiddish fabric on the front. In fact, I couldn't decide what to use in the front. In the end, I just stuck w/the denim I purchased on clearance for $2 a yard and some football fabric for the linning (also on clearance for $2 a yard). I also made the bag slightly bigger, 15" wide by 18" tall (instead of 13"x16"). I also used bigger cording for the drawstring. I picked up 9/32" cable cording by the yard for $0.99/yard. I purchased 3 yards, as Ana suggested. Since my cording was bigger, I had to make my hole for the cording bigger and my casing a lot wider for the wide cording to run through it. I ended up having a casing that was probably an 1.25" wide. The larger casing made threading the cording much easier. Ana also suggests an 8" zipper but all I had was a 7" zipper and that worked just fine. Ana's tutorial was easy to follow and I hope you give it a try. Here's my bag.

When the bag was finished, I didn't like the lose ends of the cording. I thought they looked messy. To addres this, I cut a 2x4" piece of denim and made tabs for the end of the cording to encase those lose ends.

I was much happier with the encased cording ends. Looked better, to me.


Monday, May 3, 2010

A Rosary made out of Legos?

I was searching for something to make for my godson's 1st Holy Communion. He's been crazy about Lego's for quite some time but I had a feeling he's kind of growing out of the Lego stage. I decided to search the net and see what other creative people had done w/Legos. I found some great Lego bracelets and very cool cufflinks but I was smitten with this fabulous Rosary made out of Legos. I really liked the concept of snapping the Legos together to help keep track of where you are when praying the Rosary. I also like the fact that Legos are appealing to younger kids and if that encourages them to pray the Rosary, I'm all for it! Since there was no time to purchase one of these beauties, I had to make one myself. Luckily, my teenage son still has 2 huge tubs filled to the brim with Legos. I made mine slightly different based on the Legos I found and I used only one Lego to separate the Mysteries as I thought this would be more in keeping with traditional Catholic Rosaries. Here's my take on the Lego Rosary.

To keep the cross pieces together I used Gorilla Glue.

I also used 1mm imitation leather cording to string the Rosary together.
Since the Legos I chose to use were the round ones, there was no need for lots of drilling. I only had to drill holes in 2 Legos. I drilled the "4-pegged" grey Lego and the 1-pegged Lego which was the top of the cross.

The very best part was my godson's comment when he saw the Lego Rosary... "Wow! That's the coolest Rosary EVER!!" I think it was a hit! If you're in need of a Rosary, I do suggest getting one from Memento Moose. They are great!.