Friday, May 25, 2012

Wedding Season - Clutch Edition

It's wedding season!!  So in my last post I blogged about my shoes for the upcoming wedding.  I also started making clutches.  I actually have made about 15 of these lately, but I think this is the one I will take for the wedding night (not sure which one yet I will take for rehearsal)
I ended up using the wrong side of a silky print, plain black as it had just the bit of texture (and I didn't end up wanting the shiny) for the outside and a silky print multi-color feather print for the inside.  Obviously with the flap up you see the pop of color, but when closed, all you see is a barely there hint of color.  
This clutch is an easy, afternoon project.  I'm including a tutorial for it - although I took process pics with a different set of fabrics.  I also ended up adding a magnet closure to the evening clutches, and I had not to the day clutches.  It stayed closed fairly well even without the magnet, so either way should work.

  • (2) coordinating fabrics.  Minimum is 10.5"x18", although I had a larger swatch of fabric so I ended up adding an optional pocket for the inside.
  • firm, iron-on stabilizer (I used decor-bond)
  • thick craft backing (honestly, I no longer have any idea what this actually is.  I bought it next to the stabilizer, but it is thick - like 1/8th inch thick.  It is fusible on one side, but I didn't use that property.) 
 Fuse firm, iron-on stabilizer (decor-bond) to the wrong side of each fabric.  Cut to 10.5"x18".  If you have any fabric left, you can cut a 4.25"x6" piece from each color for the inside pocket.  At one point I used the entire leftover piece and made a two inside pockets - up to you how much organization you will want.
 Inside pockets: If you are going to create pockets, fuse stabilizer to the back of these pieces too.  Layer the fabrics Face to Face (F2F - meaning right sides together).  Pin and sew using a 1/4" seam.  I left a three or so inch opening for turning the pocket.  I like to do this in the middle of the long side, but I know others have preferences such as leaving one entire side opening - up to you on that one.
Trim the corners being sure NOT to cut any actual thread (this will allow better corners when turning)
Turn right-side out through the opening, press with iron, turn in the 3" opening and press.  I didn't sew this separate (although you could), instead I pinned to the inside layer of clutch and sewed three sides (sewing closed the opening).

To get this to work out correctly, I centered pocket about 9" from the bottom.  Be sure one of the sewn edges is towards the top of the clutch so the pocket top will have a finished edge.  Attach sewing only the three sides to be sure you have a pocket and not just a swatch of color when you are done :)
 Layer the two big pieces of fabric F2F (right sides together).  I pin a section of this just to be sure.  I measured about 5" down from the top and used my square and triangle to cut an angle in the flap (this part is totally optional and you could also cut a rounded edge or even leave rectangular based on what finished look you were going for.)
 Pin the entire rectangular shape, leaving an opening for turning.  I again prefer the middle of one side and left an opening about 5" wide.  Sew using a 1/4" seam.  Trim corners and turn right-side out.  Iron wrinkles out and iron the 1/4" seam for the opening.
Before you sew anything closed, this is your chance to add in the thick stabilizer.  I cut a section to 6"x10" and slid it in through the opening.  I wanted the "back" of the clutch to be the sturdiest, so I added it to the middle section - just below the start of the angle.

Take the bottom of the clutch and fold onto itself until just below the angle of the flap.  Pin in place.

Sew (I used my walking foot - typically for quilting - as it handles bulkier items better).  I used about 1/8" seam on all sides except for the bottom fold.  Be sure to backstitch a few times on the points most prone to pulled stitches - where the bottom meets the top.

Iron one more time and you're all set!!

Carry with flap out or flap tucked in...Endless color combos...I'm addicted - of course!

Linky Party for Your 'Final'ly Friday projects.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Wedding Season - Shoe edition

So it's officially wedding season for me!  We had a crazy summer 2 years ago that included 9 weddings!! That seemed crazy.  While this summer isn't nearly that full, we do have several coming.  One (the fanciest of all of them) is this coming weekend.  In preparation, I have been crafting.

My hubby is in the wedding party for this one so we have a rehearsal AND black-tie optional reception that I needed to prepare for.  Both are pretty formal events for my neck of the woods.  I decided to wear a form-fitting, yet conservative sleeveless black number for the rehearsal.  I wanted to punch it up a bit, so I went and got some pinkish shoes.  I didn't like the brown wedge with the black dress, so I added the lace to the wedge (I used a glue stick to apply, so I am hoping it will come off later - I'll let you know how that goes).
 So I got the lace at JoAnn's.  I decided to get a floral lace, and it was a bit heavier on the "print" than some - which I thought would be darker coverage.  I used my tiny scissors and cut to the needed shape.  Then used a glue stick to attach the back center first then out from there.
The final product is fairly dark overall (which I was going for so it would match my black dress better.)  If I remember, I will try to get a pick with my shoes and dress at the event.

I made a clutch that I thought would coordinate, but as pink as I thought my shoes were, they seemed quite red in comparison to my fabric.  More on this in the next post.

I decided I didn't want to spend the money to buy a new black-tie-optional dress.  I had this black column dress from who knows when that I thought I would wear.  It was strapless and floor length.  HOWEVER, most of my friends are wearing cocktail dresses, so I decided to have mine altered to just below the knee length instead.  This made me think of shoes again.  I thought about buying new, but I don't do formal all that often and all the shoes I loved, I knew I would only wear once.  SO..... I decided to again alter a pair that I already have.  Again, I was trying to think of something that would be temporary.  Shoe clips!!!  Great!!  I looked around online for some inspiration, and found myself gravitating toward the peacock feathers.
 So there seem to be two options with shoe clips - on the toe area or side.  These ended up being fairly long, so I went with the side.  I got the various feathers from the local Michael's.  As you can see, I didn't have any actual shoe clips yet.  I ordered some online and hope to get them tomorrow and plan to glue the  feathers to the shoe clip (I used floral tape first to attach in layers until I liked the look - then glued the set of them together)
I added a bit of the same lace from the rehearsal shoes as I liked the background/texture it added to the mix.  Again, I used the binder clips for pics, but I promise, it should look nicer with the shoe clips.

I am thinking about adding a feather or two to a headband or hair piece for the evening to coordinate, but that all depends on what happens at my haircut on Thursday (I currently have shoulder-length dark brown hair, but am thinking of short and blonde).

Wish me luck!!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Letters, Letters, Letters

So I am organizing/hosting the ROGB fabric swap.  Red-orange, Green, and Blue is a great color combo.  Unusual in some respects, but coordinates well.  This color combo is called  "split-complimentary" as rather than using only two colors (opposite sides of color wheel), you use three colors (a Y shape - one from one side of color wheel, then split the difference on each side of the wheel.
I am addicted to fabric, but like scrappy looking quilts with a nice variety of fabrics.  One of the best ways to get a variety of fabrics is in a fabric swap.  Each person purchases X amount of fabric, cuts as determined by the swap host, then sends the cut fabric to the host.  The host collects all fabric, collates all prints so that each person receives some of every print, and sends the fabric sets back to each participant.
I decided to do a "double-charm" fabric swap (I found out after I named the swap that these 5"x10" pieces of fabric are sometimes called "bricks.")  oops - Next time I'll name it more appropriately.

1-yard of (3) fabrics: (1)red-orange print, (1)green, and (1) blue fabric.

I still have a few spots left on the swap.  I am going for 28 participants total (this will mean 1 brick each from each fabric to still total receiving bricks totaling 3 yards returned to you).  Click HERE for sign-ups. Or, click HERE or HERE for other posts about the swap.

So some time ago I had seen THIS tutorial by Angela Yosten for Moda.  It is a tutorial for an adorable ABC book.  I made them a couple of Christmases ago for my nieces.

I was addicted (go figure).  I ended up making a few more - using different background fabrics.  I have recently sold the last of them on my ETSY shop. I go making more.  You can still get this same Deb Strain fabric panel - but because it is older, from an independent, small online shop rather than the big ones (I had bought like 8 of them about a year ago knowing that I would want to make more.  I still have 6 remaining).  **to get this to fit on 5" charms, you have to get the panel that has the LOVE U thing in the middle.  The alphabet only panel has 5.5" blocks if I'm not mistaken.  I know that I have seen another alphabet panel (10 little things) that might be cute to make a book out of as an alternate.

I don't want to diminish Andrea's tutorial - so go check it out.  But, I do make a few adjustments when making my own.  For instance, rather than grommets, I make small button holes in the top corner, and use a piece of elastic or suede cording for the loop.  I feel like this makes it more baby friendly.  I'll update with pics as I get the new version completed.

Linky party below!!  Add a link to recent work(s) for the rest of us to enjoy.

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