Sunday, May 29, 2011

A Little Before and After

Thread 11

I’ve got great intentions, but…

If you know me well, you know I am not exactly organized. And my sewing area proves it! But, thanks to a lucky Goodwill find, my thread is a little more organized and I LOVE the result. I feel happy every time I look at my sewing table now. You can find my little transformation {that is making a huge difference} at a fun blog called Reasons to Skip the Housework.

Be sure to go see the before and after pics—pretty fun!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Sew with Me Saturdays #9

Skirt 20

Every little girl’s dream right? I’m all about making those dreams come true—at least as much as I can for dress-up dreams!

Skirt 18Skirt 19

I’m sharing a tutorial on Not JUST A Housewife today to make this easy dress-up wedding skirt.

Skirt 17

Lots of layers and lots of twirl, but very easy to make!

Join me for Sew with Me Saturdays today to learn how to make this simple and quick dress-up wedding skirt without the usual hassles that you get when working with tulle.


Friday, May 27, 2011

Dress-Up Wedding Veil

Veil 22

Doesn’t every little girl dream of being a bride? Do you remember how many times you pulled your shirt over your head like a wedding veil? (Or was that just me??) I did that all of the time when I was a little girl!

Veil 21

My little girl loves to dress up so I made her a simple wedding veil that she can put on by herself and it actually stays on until she wants to take it off. It is almost no-sew and can be no-sew if you would like. Quick, easy and cheap—some of my favorite things!

Veil 18

You can find the full tutorial on I’m Topsy Turvy today where I am a guest.

Linking to Tatertots and Jello

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Where is Summer?

Sprinkler 16

It really isn’t summer yet--or even spring for that matter—but we are still wishing and hoping. On one of our weird warm and sunny days, we had the opportunity to play in this amazing homemade sprinkler. I know, I know—you can just buy one, right? Trust me, you cannot find one as wonderful and as inexpensive as this one. This is the absolute best sprinkler I have ever seen! And, I am not just saying that because I made it---it’s just amazing! So fun!

Sprinkler 13

FYI—I also use it to water the lawn (when it isn’t pouring cats and dogs like it has been for the last 2 weeks!) because it has a large area of coverage and is super light to move around the lawn. You can’t beat a toy that doubles as a worker bee!

Are you ready to make one of your own?

Head over to HomeSpun Threads for the instructions.
Aimee is sharing an entire month of fun summer activities you can make or do with your children at her Summer Soiree.  I’m hoping that we will actually have summer weather by the time the month is up.
I plan to try out a bunch of these great activities and projects!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Featured Guest: I'm Topsy Turvy

My name is Ashlee and I blog over at I'm Topsy Turvy. I craft, cook and decorate cakes. I am SO excited to be swaping with Tammy today!

I'm Topsy Turvy

I don't have an SLR, in fact I'm saving up for one, but I just raided the fund to get my silhouette, so it's going to be awhile. Anyway I don't have a big heavy camera hurting my neck, but I DO love dressing things up. And a camera strap is just that for me, dressing up my camera! And while there are a ton of amazing women out there making and selling camera straps I'm not one to pay for something I can make, call me crazy.

make your own ruffled camera strap finished

I love denim and I love red, so combining the two seemed like a happy place for me. It's not the fanciest of the camera straps I've seen out there, but I am SO in love with it, some ruffling, some color, denim... It doesn't get much better for me! And it took almost no time at all and I used fabric and supplies I had lying around! So it cost me nothing at all to make.

2 types of fabric, one for the main body and shape and the other a thinner fabric for the ruffle
matching thread
batting (optional)
ruffler foot (optional)
twin needles (optional)

make your own ruffled camera strap cut fabric

This is a GREAT project to use some long scraps for, really! I cut 2 pieces of the denim (2.75" x 27") and 2 pieces of the red and white checked pattern (3" x 33"). For me I measured my camera strap and used that as my reference. I wish I'd got just a BIT wider, but I'll save that for the SLR when I get one.

Then I sewed the two cotton pieces together lengthwise to create one LONG piece, this will be my ruffle.

make your own ruffled camera strap ruffling

Now I invested in a good ruffler foot last year, I LOVE it and use it ALL the time. But you can use ANY method you like for ruffling this piece. Personally I like using the ruffler foot because I DON'T like sewing twice (to baste and ruffle, then to attach it) something I can sew just once! But it does take a bit of getting used to so you don't fall short of material or have too much. Play with your ruffler foot a lot to perfect the settings you like to use.

Anyway I used my ruffler foot to attach and ruffle the cotton on top of ONE of the strips of denim.

make your own ruffled camera strap ironing adding ribbon

Next I ironed the ruffles. Now normally I skip this step, I don't even OWN an ironing board (I'm borrowing my mother-in-laws). I don't like to do things I don't HAVE to do, I like to cut corners where I can. But to get the right LOOK for this ironing it is important! I EVEN took the time to go upstairs, get the ironing board and bring it back down. That might not sound like much to you but I was in the beginning stages of morning sickness when I made this (and I'm JUST now making this tutorial). Of course looking at these pictures it's clear my next project should be a new COVER for the ironing board! HA!

Anyway, this will create creases in the ruffles that will help with the overall look of the strap as well as help the strap not look so poofy in the end.

Next I attached my ribbon down the center. My second favorite extra I like to use with my sewing machine (the first is the ruffler foot) is my twin needles. I LOVE the look a twin needle can make. And adding this ribbon was the perfect time to use it (and I only had to sew it once instead of twice, SCORE!). Sew your ribbon (or ribbons if you like the layered look) down the center covering your ruffling stitch!

make your own ruffled camera strap adding layers

Time to start laying. We're putting RIGHT sides together, so our ruffled layered strip is facing up and our extra denim strip is facing down and then then I added a strip of batting (this is optional- it just adds padding, but not all of us want the extra bulk). Sew down one side 1/4" in. Now if you happen to have a serger (I do, his name is Sergio!) a GREAT way to clean up the side is to use your serger on it. I am SO glad to finally have one!

make your own ruffled camera strap first side done

Instead of sewing down the other side at this point you want to open up your camera strap and do our edging now. I serged the ends then hemmed them, but again this is totally optional. Hem BOTH ends. The reason for this is if your sewing machine is anything like mine if you sew BOTH sides THEN try to hem it your going to have troubles getting such a tight circle to hem. How do I know this? I've totally made that mistake MORE than once.

NOW refold your project, and sew down the final side (serging to clean it up if you have one)

make your own ruffled camera strap turning it inside out

NOW come the hardest part of the WHOLE project! Seriously. Turning it inside out. This is when I realized I MIGHT have gone a BIT to narrow. I think it's because I sew like I cut hair, I take just a BIT too much off. I THINK I'm only sewing 1/4 in seams, but really I'm sewing just a bit more, and then it's too tight. (joke: what's the difference between a good and bad haircut??? Answer: 2 weeks.- I've totally found that to be true, after 2 weeks the cut that was just a bit too short is now perfect, the cut you can't figure out how to style all of a sudden just works)

Anyway it worked out just fine, the strap works GREAT and now, thanks to an amazing friend, I even have a camera to use it on!

make your own ruffled camera strap finished

Friday, May 20, 2011

Get Your Vote On

Picture 1
 I know, I know…contests, giveaways, so many different things that demand our action. But…I’d still love it if you headed over to Naptime Crafters HERE and vote for your favorite summer fun project. After mine (of course) I had a really hard time choosing 2 others. It gets harder and harder—such great ideas! I’d love it if you voted!
Voting is open through Sunday. Thanks!

My project is this juicy watermelon outfit. Yum! I love watermelon and it is so “summer” to me. I wasn’t sure how to put it to use for my project so I went with something I am most comfortable with—sewing. Actually, I made an entirely different project first, but I changed at the last minute. Once you put the word “competition” on your creativity, it is so stressful! In the end, I was so pleased with this outfit and so glad it is the project I submitted.

My only regret is that I didn’t make it in my size! {wink, wink!}

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Featured Guest: iCandy Handmade

Hey guys!  I'm Autie from over at iCandy handmade, and I am so honored to be asked to guest blog over here at She Wears Flowers today!  If you haven't had a chance to check out our new-ish blog, I hope you hop on over there to check out some of the other projects we have done.  I think we're pretty well-rounded and have many tutorials on everything from sewing to paper crafts to furniture refinishing...and everything in between.   

I had a hard time deciding on what project to share over here today, but when a friend was giving away a pair of empty 16" x 20" frames, I knew what I wanted to do with them, and I thought you guys might like to know how EASY it is to do, as well.  
I'm the mommy to 2 little kids, and with a pair of frames, I decided I needed to make them into our 
Fine Art Gallery display frames.  
I've seen a bunch of different ways to display children's art work, but this seemed like the best option for me in my space.  
I didn't realize how simple this was going to be, and I imagine some of you haven't done this yet because you didn't know either!
I didn't take a picture of my frames before, but they were a rusty/barn red color, and were in very good condition, so all I had to do to was give them a coat or two of my favorite...spray paint (sigh)
I used Rustoleum's Eden (I've been using that can for several projects that 2x coverage!)
The only thing I had to purchase was this:
 (A huge sheet of Galvanized Sheet Metal from Home Depot)
You can find this sucker in the Ducts aisle...and I brought a spare magnet with me, just to make sure it was stick-able.  
So, all I had to do was use a pair of Tin Snips, and cut that huge sheet down to size (a little smaller than 16 x 20) to fit within my frame.  I used a pair of gloves just in case I got a little crazy with the snips, and it was pretty slick.  
After I cut the sheet metal, I fit it into the back of the frame, but just being held with the few staples that were originally in the frame ( to hold the picture in with) left a few gaping spaces when I flipped the frames over.  So, I took some tiny wire hanging nails, and tapped them into place right against the sheet metal and into the side of the frame, as seen below (you can see the pre-existing staples, and then 2 of my nails.

When I finished tapping the nails in, in several places, I was happy with the backing, but for sure wanted to add my kids names...

I used my Cricut to cut my kids names with their white vinyl and stuck them on according to their instructions

I tied a couple of ribbons on to the clip magnets that I had from Wal-mart, and hung them up on our wall

 I love our 'fine art gallery' and my kids love to be able to have their art work up for longer periods of time!  
Thanks, She Wears Flowers for inviting me over to play today!  I hope you all have a great day!
Now, get busy!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Tutorial: Americana Flag Decor

Flag 1

I’ve had quite a few emails about this flag and I am thrilled that you like it as much as I do.  Just working on it brought back lots of memories and I am so glad to have it displayed on my wall again!

good quality wood
acrylic craft paints – red, cream, blue
wood stain
wood glaze
slender nails
picture hanger
electric sander or sand paper
wire cutters

Draw a pattern for the flag on large sheets of paper such as butcher paper or newspaper taped together.
This is the basic design (excuse the simplicity of this drawing!) but there should be one change. Because you are going to leave empty space between each stripe, you will want to make the blue field longer and wider than the stripes. I forgot this when I orginally made my flag and would definitely do it if I ever make another one. This way, you will be able to put more space between each stripe and between the blue field and the upper stripes.
Flag Diagram
Cut each piece of the flag out of wood and sand all surfaces smooth.
If you use plywood or another type of cheap wood, the edges won’t be as pretty which is why I wanted a quality wood. My uncle cut these for me and he used a super nice wood that I almost didn’t want to paint! If you are going for a more primitive look, though, the more banged up it is, the better!

Paint each piece.
I added black paint to both the red and the navy blue to get super dark colors.
To make the stars in a circle, I traced a bowl on the blue field. Then I cut my stars out of paper and placed them around the circle so they would be spaced the way I wanted. I traced around each star pattern and filled it in with cream paint.
Flag 4

For the American Crafter Contest, I knew I wanted to get my flag back on my walls, but it needed a major makeover. So this where the antiquing came in. 

Sand the edges and the face of the flag pieces to strip off some paint.
I had completely forgotten that I had done the stars 3 times, but when I started sanding, I uncovered a few of my mistakes and I was so in love with the way they looked for the new project!
Flag 5

The stripes got the same treatment with the sander:
Flag 3Flag 6

Next, add a glaze and stain combo to each piece and then wipe it off a bit.
I tried the premixed glaze first and liked it, but it didn’t have enough color for me, so I added a bit of stain to it. I bought the water-based stain at Lowe’s and they mixed it with a walnut color to make it. I just mixed the glaze with the stain in a cup until it looked about right to me. Who knows what right is, but it worked out perfectly!Flag 9

After doing several of the pieces, I could no longer see the difference between the stained ones and the non stained ones, so I placed them side by side just to be sure it was better with the stain—and it is definitely better!Flag 12

Lay the flag out on the floor the way you would like.
Flag 14

Unless you marked the wood as you cut it (mine wasn’t), you will need to play with it to get it just right. I actually wrote an L for left side because I was getting so confused. I added the number of the stripe from top down and an arrow pointing to the top. Kind of crazy, but I have been really grateful for these markings every time I have hung this flag! It gets really confusing otherwise. Flag 11

Put a picture hanger on the back of the blue field and hang it on the wall.
This is an excellent time to use a large piece of craft paper or newspaper to figure out where to hang the flag before you start hanging each piece. I always start with the blue field and then work on the stripes from the top down. I always end up moving several after I put them up and, frequently, move them again a few days later after walking past it several times and noticing little changes I want to make!Flag 15

Hammer 3 or 4 slender nails into each stripe.
Once they nails are in, use wire cutters to cut the heads off of the nails.

Because the nails are slender, they will be pointy enough to act like tacks and you can push the stripes into the wall easily. I’ve never had a stripe fall off so I think it is a pretty good method. Plus, the holes are tiny in the wall which is especially helpful for me because I have a tendency to move each stripe once or twice before I am completely happy with its placement!Flag 13

Hang the stripes by holding each in the right place and then gently pushing the tacks into the wall. Flag 16

And it is done!Flag 7

The colors, the style, all of it—probably not the trendiest piece of artwork, but I love it even more than I did when I made it way back when. Sometimes, it’s important to surround ourselves with the things we love simply because we love them!

I’m so glad I brought this flag back to life in my home!
Flag 10

This flag has a lot of meaning for me, on several levels, and I get a little surge of delight every time I walk past it.Flag 2

You may find this interesting, though…I took these pictures off of the wall to put my flag up. (And, really, they weren’t big enough for the space, but I like them so they were there.)
Flag 8

I went to bed late the night I finished hanging my flag, but that didn’t stop me from bolting upright, instantly awake, at 3:00 AM when we heard a crash and breaking glass. My husband raced downstairs to see what had happened while I sat with the phone in my hand ready to dial 911. I was sure someone had broken into our home through a window and I was terrified. It turns out one of the baby pictures had fallen off of the wall where I had re-hung them and glass shattered everywhere. Whewww!

I guess I was a bit hasty in putting those pictures up! I never did go back to sleep—I was still petrified. So glad my husband was home that night since he had been out of town for the previous 2 weeks. You know I would have taken anyone down though if I had to. I would have been shaking in my shoes, but would have protected my girls like a Mama Bear! I am pretty relieved it didn’t come to that, though!!

So, yep, that’s the new/old flag!

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