July 29, 2011

Favorite Accessories Part 2

 I don't know about you, but I like fairly simple jewelry pieces. Generally, I like rings and necklaces, or maybe a beaded bracelet. Nothing drastic or too bling-bling. More often than not I can't find pieces that suit me. So when I saw these necklaces, I knew I had to try them.  Just a few items, and (not including drying time) twenty minutes later you are finished.

I used the evening blue and gave it about 12 minutes to dye.

Maybe it will go with my Anthropologie inspired skirt I am trying to make for an upcoming wedding. More on that soon.

July 23, 2011

How to Headband: Favorite Accessories Part One

For years I have been wearing headbands and ribbons in my hair. They are great for mornings when my wardrobe needs a little pick me up. Or bad hair days. Up until now I have been using unfinished fabric scraps which require several bobby pins to stay in my hair. Today I decided to come up with an alternative. No more bobby pins.

To make a headband of your own, you'll need a fabric scrap and a piece of elastic long enough to wrap around your head.

 The width will be determined by the width of elastic you are using. Mine was 1" wide. The headband will be folded in half, and have 1/2" seam allowances on both sides. So I cut my fabric 3" x 46" for my headband to be long enough to tie at the nape of my neck with extra length at the ends (see the photo).

After cutting your fabric, measure the length of elastic needed to wrap around your head. I cut my elastic 21" long. You will not need elastic for the ends.

Now grab your iron and ironing board. Lay your fabric right side down and fold over the outer edge 1/2" and press. Repeat along the other side so you have a folded edge on each side.

Fold the end up 1/2" and press. Repeat. Do the same on the other end for a finished edge.

 With the fabric still laying right side down, center the piece of elastic on the right-hand side of the fabric so that you have the elastic in the middle of the headband piece. Again, you will not need elastic in the ties, so for mine I had about 7" without elastic on each end.
Now fold the fabric in half so that the finished edges are on top of each other. Press and pin in place.

Last step! Simply top-stitch along the perimeter of the headband, close to the edge. Make sure to sew the elastic in place. You will have one long strip of fabric to tie in a double knot or small bow at the nape of your neck.

The elastic holds the headband securely without it being too tight. For varying widths, use different widths of elastic. You can also embellish your headbands for an unexpected touch of whimsy.

July 15, 2011

D.I.Y. Envelope Style Pillow Cover

It all started with this:

My friend made me this cute flower for my birthday. Bonus: she taught me how to make these flowers, not knowing that I have been wanting to learn since I saw this. I sewed the flower onto a pillow cover I made, and it currently resides in the living room. Perfect for summer.
The envelope style pillow cover is a great alternative for those of us without a zipper foot for their sewing machine (or for anyone wanting to make a quick change in decor). Just slide the cover off when the pillow gets a bit dirty and toss it in the wash. Easy. I simply grabbed an old pillow I have been wanting to recover. Then I headed to my fabric stash and found something to match the flower. 

This pillow measures 16" square. So to begin, I cut 1 pillow front 17x17"  (an extra inch to allow for my 1/2" seam.)

My next step was to cut out the pillow backs. This requires 2 pieces measuring 17x10" each.
For each 17x10"piece, press 1/2" seam onto the wrong side on the 17" edge. Repeat so that you have folded the edge over twice and pressed.

Topstitch along the inner fold of the finished edge.

To assemble the pieces for the cover, lay the front piece on a flat surface right side up. Lay one of the back pieces right side down, placing the raw edges together and the finished hem toward the middle of the pillow. Repeat with the second piece for the back. It will overlap the first piece in the center. Pin the pieces together around the edges of the pillow.

Using a 1/2" seam, sew the layers together around the entire pillow perimeter. Clip the corners, pull out the pins, and turn your handiwork right side out to admire. Insert the pillow and jazz up the living room with something homemade.

 Here's the back, and ta da! Here is the front in all her glory.

July 12, 2011

Oh Blogger

 I have joined the ranks. I am officially one of many experiencing technical difficulties with Blogger. My last post, I am told, has no pictures. Which is unfortunate because those tables I wanted to show you were stinkin' cute. Anyway, thanks for your patience and keep checking in. I'll be here as often as I can publish my posts. Or even 3/4 of a post.
 Meanwhile, today's post is a test to see how things are working. Can you see these photos? Just a couple of my favorite summer pastimes.

July 6, 2011

With the hot tub gone I am excited to use our patio for outdoor dining and relaxation. The requirements for an outdoor table include space for five plus, kid friendly chairs, budget conscious durable materials, and seats cozy enough to linger for hours over tea with friends and family.  While I plan and save, check out these inspiring spaces.

                                                                        friendly table