Friday, June 28, 2013

Straw Hat Restoration

I don't wear hats very often so I can't call myself a "hat person", but I'm all for restoring something to its former beauty (and adding some extra beauty while I'm at it!). This dishevelled 1990s straw hat needed some TLC, so I made a few repairs.
I removed the damaged ribbon around the edge and replaced it with some mustard seam binding.
Now it's all set for summer use, and can be embellished in many different ways!
Here I whipped up some fabric flowers to decorate it with a gingham ribbon.
This version is reminiscent of a boater hat.
And oh hey, look! Another use for the multipurpose sash! Versatility is a great thing!
Something old can almost always be made fresh again with a little time and creativity!

Monday, June 24, 2013

DIY Multipurpose Sash

When I am putting together an outfit I frequently find the need for some sort of colorful print embellishment in the form of a belt, bow, or whatever. Most ribbons don't come in floral prints, and are normally just solid or two color designs, so that is why I decided to whip up a fabric sash. Here is a tutorial for this useful multipurpose accessory that is quite quick and simple to make. 
Fabric of your choice (half of a meter will be more than enough)
Matching thread and a sewing machine OR matching thread and a needle if you prefer hand sewing
Sewing pins
Sewing scissors
An iron
Depending on what you plan to use the sash for you can make it whatever size you want, but I find that a 40 inch by 1.5 inch sash is a good general size.
Step 1: Measure out and cut a 41 inch long by 4 inch wide rectangle of fabric. Please note that this factors in half inch seam allowances.
Step 2: Fold the rectangle in half lengthwise with the wrong side showing (important!) so it is now 2 inches wide. Pin the strip so it stays folded.
Step 3: Sew a seam down the full length of the edge of the folded strip to create a tube.
Step 4: You have two open ends of the strip. Choose the scruffier one and sew it shut.
Step 5: Remove the pins.
Step 6: Turn the tube right side out.
Now you have a sash that is right side out with all but one end nicely sewn together. However it will likely be puffy and have a twisted seam at this point.
Step 7: Iron the sash so that the seam lays flat and straight along the side.
Step 8: Find the final open end and fold it into the tube to create a straight, clean edge.
Step 9: Sew the folded in end of the tube shut. You will have visible stiches here, so try to make them as neat as possible!
Now you're ready to use your versatile sash to liven up your outfits!
It makes a great belt...
...And headband...
...And bow tie...
...And sash tie...and whatever other use you can dream up!
You'll likely soon realize how useful theses sashes are and start to make a bunch out of all your favourite fabrics!
Enjoy accessorizing!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Daisy Crown

This is an extension of the theme from the previous post!
Making a daisy crown (or any flower crown, really!) is a summery activity I've done since I was very young.
But a daisy crown looks right at home in an even older decade with this authentic '60s fabric backdrop!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Retro Radiance

With warmer weather comes the influence of warmer hues.
This vibrant floral is from Irina Kurtz's Spoonflower shop Chulabird, and it reminds me of 1960s daisy prints.
Lately, with all sorts of cheery florals popping up everywhere, I've been developing a deeper appreciation for the style of the '60s.  
Twiggy was one of the leading faces of the bright '60s look.
I made a display of 1950s and 1960s inspired d├ęcor to highlight the eras' vivid colors and patterns. My mom made the circular painting on the bottom shelf, and the sides of the shelves are lined with decorative papers from Michael's. The cat-eye glasses were a $2 Value Village find, and would make a great pair of sunglasses with some new lenses! A $0.99 milk glass vase, also purchased at Value Village, appears to be a fountain spout in a pond of multicolored jewellery.
I picked up this 1961 grammar book, which cost less than a dollar, at a book sale specifically for its mod cover.
Here's a close up of the display's coordinating Graceful Card.
 These chunky necklaces look extra bold hanging in front of pop art lips, originally a page from a Joe flyer.
(Finally, here's my stab at '60s wallpaper, available in my Spoonflower shop!)

Sunday, June 09, 2013

DIY Rickrack Rose

If you love these Modcloth necklaces as much as I do, then you will be delighted by this tutorial!
Rickrack ribbon in the color of your choice
A needle and matching thread OR a hot glue gun 
Step 1: To make a rose that is 1 inch in diameter, cut a 30 inch length of rickrack. For a rose that is 0.5 inches in diameter, cut a 15 inch length of rickrack.
Step 2: Fold the length of rickrack in half.
Step 3: Starting from the folded end, weave the rickrack together, as pictured above. It will naturally start to twist, so you will have to flatten it out as you go.
Step 4: Pinch the folded end of the rickrack and start rolling it up.
Step 5: As you roll the rickrack, make sure you sew or hot glue it in place at frequent intervals.
Step 6: Sew or hot glue the end of the rickrack length to the bottom of the rose. If you'd like you can mount it to a fabric or metal backing to cover up any unattractive stitches or glue lumps.
Step 7: If you prefer the open petal look, unfurl the bottom edges of the rose.
Now your rose is complete and you just need to decide what to do with it! You could, for example, make it into a ring, a brooch, or a headband decoration. Or, you could make a matching rose for a pair of earrings, or several roses to sew onto a purse or a shirt. I decided to mimic the look of the Modcloth necklaces and create a rose cluster necklace.
I sewed two half inch roses to a 1 inch rose and attached a jump ring to each so the group would sit nicely on a chain. As you can see, I didn't bother to put a backing on the cluster.
Ta-da! It's amazing what you can make with a little bit of ribbon and time!

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

1920s Seashore

As promised, here is my rendition (titled 1920s Seashore) of an impressionist painting by Edward Cucuel. This painting is based off of the last image from my previous post, though I can't find the title of the original work by Cucuel anywhere. I reproduced the brushstroked landscape of the calming impressionist style, however in this version, to make it even more fanciful, the lady in blue is blowing bubbles.

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