Sunday, December 11, 2011

Leather Obi Belt with 3D Flower

When I was making the belt for my high school reunion outfit I was rushing that day to get it finished in time to wear to the reunion. It was a little rough so I wanted to give it another shot, this time with a bit of a variation (also made using pieces of a former leather jacket). I altered the pattern for the petals and made them into a 3D flower.

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I started out by making the petals of the flower. I altered the original petal design to be wider so I could fold it over and glue (using E6000 -- I'm sure there's some sort of leather glue that would be better, but I just wanted to stick with what I had on hand this time).

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I altered the direction of the fold so the petals wouldn't all be exactly the same. Hint: Only use a tiny bit of glue, using too much will interfere when sewing them on to the belt.

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I clamped them and let them dry overnight. Bonus = I finally found a use for the cute, tiny clamps I picked up on impulse one day -- I'm glad I did, they were exactly what I needed!

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I cut out the other pieces in the same way as the previous obi belt, except with wider ties and added seam allowance around the edges of the main belt pieces.

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I sewed a triangle piece to each side of the rectangular piece, making sure right sides were together, opened the seam allowance on the back side, top stitched on either side of the seam and clipped some of the excess away at the edges.

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I folded over 1/2" around the outer edges and top stitched.

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When transitioning from the triangular to the rectangular piece there was some excess bunched up, so I cut a small slit, close to, but not touching the edge, overlapped the sides and sewed.

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Then I sewed the ties to the ends of each triangular piece.

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I arranged the petals for the flower and secured them with just a tiny dab of glue. I used a spice jar (the perfect size!) to hold them down until they dried.

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After the glue was dry I sewed the inner corners of the petals onto the belt.

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And I had my new belt!

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I really love this version of the belt. I ended up breaking three leather needles making this one, but I think it was worth it!

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I'll be linking up to these fabulous link parties:

 Monday -  Craft o Maniac Monday -- Craftastic Monday -- Amaze Me Monday -- Make it Great Monday -- Polly Want 2 Party  --  Tuesday -  Get Your Craft On -- Sew Cute Tuesday -- Upcycled Awesome -- Tip Me Tuesday -- Tuesday Talent Show --  Wednesday -  Seven Thrity Three -- Wallet-Friendly Wednesday -- Create and Share -- Whatever Goes Wednesday --  Linkin’ with Lil’ Luna -- Thursday -  Strut your Stuff Thursday -- Transformation Thursday -- Thrilling Thursday -- House of Hepworths -- Friday -  Remodelaholic Friday -- Flaunt it Friday -- Frugal Friday -- Weekend Wander -- Show and Share Day -- It's Fun to Craft! -- Tickled Pink Fridays -- Weekend Wrap-up Party -- Catch as Catch Can -- Friday Flair -- Feature Yourself Friday -- Simply Link {Party} -- Pity Party -- Design Dazzle --  Saturday - Saturday Spotlight --  Sunday -  The DIY Showoff Project  Parade --  Sunday Showcase Party -- Creative Bloggers Party -- I Heart Naptime -- Think Pink Sundays

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Suede Flower Leather Obi Belt Tutorial

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday filled with gratitude, family, laughter and love!  I know mine was.  And now I'm fully embracing all the Christmas and holiday decorations, music, lights, projects, etc, etc.  Bring it on!  (Of course at the same time I'm kind of freaking out that I don't know what I'm going to do for gifts for everyone -- especially since our gift budget is basically non-existent.  I think most are going to involve some stash-liquidation on my part!)

Today I also realized that I never posted about the dress and belt I made for my 10 year high school reunion.  Here's the photo of the final product:

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Today I'm going to share the tutorial for the leather and suede obi belt.

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I started with a black leather jacket and a brown suede mini skirt I found at the thrift store on a 50% off day. (That's a great way to get leather at an affordable price, and reduce/reuse/recycle!) A while back I had cut out the lining, zippers, facings, etc and cut them into non-sewn-together pieces.

One of the things I love about leather is that it doesn't unravel or fray, so you can leave the edges raw. Of course folded and sewn edges have a more professional/finished look, but sometimes I'm just glad to be able to cut a corner here and there. :)

I started out by cutting the pieces using my quilting ruler and rotary cutter (I LOVE those things!).

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Main rectangle: 5" wide x 17.5" long
(I'm tall and have a long torso, so I would suggest about 4" wide for a woman of average height. Also the length was my waist circumference in inches, divided by two, adding two inches, and adding one inch for seam allowance.)
Triangle pieces: 5" wide for 1/2", then down to a point x 12" long
(I just estimated this one, but it ended up being about 3/4 of half of my waist circumference, plus 1" for seam allowance.)
Ties: 3/8" wide x 20" and 18" long
(I totally estimated and just used the longest piece of leather I had. This is how long they ended up. One side is longer because the flower is slightly to the side and the straps tie at the center of the flower.)
Flower petals:  I drew the shape of a flower petal and traced it with a fabric pencil onto the suede.  I flipped the pattern over for a couple of the petals so they all would not be exactly the same shape.  I cut them out on the inside of the pencil line so I wouldn't have to worry about trying to wash/rub it off. 

Be sure to use leather needles. They are stronger and sharper than regular needles. I would also recommend using a thicker, stronger thread. It will help it all hold together well, and look better, too. If you have one, use a teflon or roller presser foot as well, since the suede side of leather tends to grip as it's going through the sewing machine and one of those feet will help it glide smoothly. (I didn't have one, but it still worked out pretty well, with some concerted effort.)

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Start out by sewing the triangle pieces to the sides of the rectangle piece. Leather can't be pinned in the normal way, so I stuck pins straight in, inside the seam allowance (since once you put a hole in leather, even a tiny one, it won't go away).

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After that, top stitch the seam on either side, both to give it a finished look and to lay the seam allowance down flat.

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Then stitch all the way around the outer edge of the belt. For a more finished look you can simply fold over the edge and top stitch just like the other seam. Why didn't I do that? I have no idea... :) But if you do, be sure to add the extra width to the rectangle and triangle pieces to make sure your belt ends up the width that you want.

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For the ties, trim the point off the triangle pieces to make it 3/8". Place the tie under the point, overlapping about 3/4" and sew it on by stitching back and forth several times in a straight line.

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Visualize dividing the main rectangular part of the belt into thirds and place the flower petals on one of the dividing lines (so it's to one side, instead of in the middle). Glue them down with a small amount of glue (I used super glue since I needed something that would dry quickly) placed near the center of the petal, so the glue will not be in the way when you sew.  (I took this photo prior to sewing, since I was testing out how it would look, and I wanted to remember the placement of the petals when it came time to sew them on)

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Using a free-motion presser foot (so you can turn smoothly while sewing -- see below), sew the petals on by stitching along the inside of the edge for each one.

Source

And then you are done!

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I'll be linking up to these fabulous link parties:

 Monday -  Craft o Maniac Monday -- Craftastic Monday -- Amaze Me Monday -- Make it Great Monday -- Polly Want 2 Party  --  Tuesday -  Get Your Craft On -- Sew Cute Tuesday -- Upcycled Awesome -- Tip Me Tuesday -- Tuesday Talent Show --  Wednesday -  Seven Thrity Three -- Wallet-Friendly Wednesday -- Create and Share -- Whatever Goes Wednesday --  Linkin’ with Lil’ Luna -- Thursday -  Strut your Stuff Thursday -- Transformation Thursday -- Thrilling Thursday -- House of Hepworths -- Friday -  Remodelaholic Friday -- Flaunt it Friday -- Frugal Friday -- Weekend Wander -- Show and Share Day -- It's Fun to Craft! -- Tickled Pink Fridays -- Weekend Wrap-up Party -- Catch as Catch Can -- Friday Flair -- Feature Yourself Friday -- Simply Link {Party} -- Pity Party -- Design Dazzle --  Saturday - Saturday Spotlight --  Sunday -  The DIY Showoff Project  Parade --  Sunday Showcase Party -- Creative Bloggers Party -- I Heart Naptime -- Think Pink Sundays

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

How to Cut a Pineapple for Maximum Usability


Over the summer I went to visit my mom's church for a night of cooking / food prep tips from a professional caterer.  One of the things she talked about was cutting a pineapple so you are able to use the maximum amount of the fruit.  I thought it was a great idea and as a bonus it looks really cool.

Of course I had the idea to do a tutorial after I had already started.  So pardon my hands in the photos while I "reconstruct" the pineapple for the sake of the tutorial.  :)

Start with a ripe pineapple (not when they're green in the store, wait until they're a bit yellow).

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Cut off the top. (I heard you can plant this,it will root and grow a new pineapple! [I love Pinterest])

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Slice off the majority of the skin, but leave the little prickly dents.

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Start slicing next to one of the dents, angling the knife underneath, and continue in a cork-screw fashion.

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Slice on the other side of the dents, angling in towards the first cut, and remove the excess.

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Continue until you have done this to the whole pineapple.

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I just can't get over how awesome that looks!

At this point I cut the pineapple in vertical quarters and cut out the tough center.

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I cut the quarters into spears and we ate it as is. You can cut it into smaller pieces for fresh eating, fruit salad, pizza, etc. Or make yourself a piƱa colada with fresh pineapple. Mmmm.

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I'll be linking up to these fabulous link parties:

 Monday -  Craft o Maniac Monday -- Craftastic Monday -- Amaze Me Monday -- Polly Want 2 Party  --  Tuesday -  Get Your Craft On -- Sew Cute Tuesday -- Upcycled Awesome -- Tip Me Tuesday -- Tuesday Talent Show --  Wednesday -  Seven Thrity Three -- Wallet-Friendly Wednesday -- Create and Share -- Whatever Goes Wednesday --  Linkin’ with Lil’ Luna -- Thursday -  Strut your Stuff Thursday -- Transformation Thursday -- Thrilling Thursday -- House of Hepworths -- Friday -  Remodelaholic Friday -- Flaunt it Friday -- Frugal Friday -- Weekend Wander -- Show and Share Day -- It's Fun to Craft! -- Tickled Pink Fridays -- Weekend Wrap-up Party -- Catch as Catch Can -- Friday Flair -- Feature Yourself Friday -- Simply Link {Party} -- Pity Party -- Design Dazzle --  Saturday - Saturday Spotlight --  Sunday -  The DIY Showoff Project  Parade --  Sunday Showcase Party -- Creative Bloggers Party -- I Heart Naptime -- Think Pink Sundays

Sunday, November 13, 2011

MIA

Sorry I've been MIA for a while.  I feel like I've been away for months.  Probably because I haven't really been able to focus on my blog for some time now.  My mind has been divided between my son's schooling, my daughter, our financial situation (not good), trying to find work, my husband wanting to start a family blog, starting said blog, and of course all the other everyday things. 

I do have some projects that I haven't posted yet, which I hope to start posting tomorrow.   I also am going to add some items to my shops, including kits for the silky fairy wings and the tree carving embroidery.  I'll post an update as soon as I get those things up and running.

Thanks for being patient with me!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Tree Love Embroidery Pattern

A little while ago my family and I were invited to attend the wedding reception for my cousin's daughter.  The theme was country and their invitation stated "Cowboy boots encouraged".  When thinking about gifts I knew I wanted to give them something special and unique and immediately this project I found on Pinterest came to mind:


I loved the idea of the adorable initials and heart "carved" into the tree and there's actually a link to the pattern for this one as well.  You can click the photo to go to the pin, then click through to the website.

I wanted something just a little bit different, with a couple different colors, so I drew up this pattern:


You can download my pattern here -- Embroidery Pattern -- Alphabet Pattern

With a little bit of rustic-looking fabric and cotton embroidery thread I was able to complete the project in just a couple of hours.  I found the perfect frame at a local arts/crafts shop and had my gift ready far in advance (unlike my last wedding gift!).

I traced the pattern onto the fabric using a water-soluble marker.

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The stitches were very simple.  I used a running stitch for the two colors in the tree.

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And a backstitch for the heart, arrow, and initials. 

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When I was done with the stitching, I used a damp cloth to gently wipe/blot the ink off the fabric.


Here is the final result:

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In a few days I'll have some kits available for purchase in my Etsy shop. 

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I'll be linking up to these fabulous link parties:

 Monday -  Craft o Maniac Monday -- Craftastic Monday -- Amaze Me Monday -- Polly Want 2 Party  --  Tuesday -  Get Your Craft On -- Sew Cute Tuesday -- Upcycled Awesome -- Tip Me Tuesday -- Tuesday Talent Show --  Wednesday -  Seven Thrity Three -- Wallet-Friendly Wednesday -- Create and Share -- Whatever Goes Wednesday --  Linkin’ with Lil’ Luna -- Thursday -  Strut your Stuff Thursday -- Transformation Thursday -- Thrilling Thursday -- House of Hepworths -- Friday -  Remodelaholic Friday -- Flaunt it Friday -- Frugal Friday -- Weekend Wander -- Show and Share Day -- It's Fun to Craft! -- Tickled Pink Fridays -- Weekend Wrap-up Party -- Catch as Catch Can -- Friday Flair -- Feature Yourself Friday -- Simply Link {Party} -- Pity Party -- Design Dazzle --  Saturday - Saturday Spotlight --  Sunday -  The DIY Showoff Project  Parade --  Sunday Showcase Party -- Creative Bloggers Party -- I Heart Naptime -- Think Pink Sundays

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