Sunday, October 15, 2017

Mini Banner Flags

Sunday, October 15, 2017
Mini Banner sewing tutorial
 I love making mini banners for accent pieces in my decor. They use a fairly small amount of fabric, can be customized for any style and they are a quick and satisfying project for an afternoon. Today I'm going to share with you the measurements and methods I use to make these mini banner flags.
make ornaments with mini banner flags

You can hang them individually with dowels and twine. They  make a great addition to a gallery wall. Or, use them as ornaments on a seasonal tree. **If you would like to embellish your banners with these badges, you can find the patterns Here on my contributor post for The Polka Dot Chair.
make a bunting with mini banner flags
Or, string them together to make a bunting.
Are you sold? Ready to make some?
Mini Banner Flag
Supplies:
Fabric- fat quarters or scraps, if buying yardage I recommend 1/3 yard for directional prints, 1/4 yard for non directional prints.
Finishing supplies: twine or ribbon for stringing, dowels and twine for individual hanging.
Felt for embellishments if desired.

Cutting:
cutting instructions for mini banners
 Cut a rectangle of fabric 4" wide by 10".
Fold in half along the length to create a 5" X 4" rectangle.
Fold in half again along the width to create a 5" X  2" rectangle. Now you will cut the angle to create the banner. Position your small rectangle so the fold on the short side is at the top.
 If you want one center point on the bottom:
  • measure up 1" on the side OPPOSITE the fold 
  • draw a line from that point to the opposite corner on the bottom.
  • Cut along that line
If you want two points on the sides on the bottom:
  • measure up 1" on the side WITH the fold 
  • draw a line from that point to the opposite corner on the bottom
  • cut along that line 
For both:
*If you want to embellish the flags, you can do it either before or after you sew the sides of the banner together. I like to do it after so that I can use more dimensional embellishments without it making it harder to sew the flags together, but if you don't want to see the stitching on the back, you may want to do it before.
  • Unfold the center fold to go back to your 5" X 4" rectangle, now with angles at the bottom.
  • Starting 1/2" down from the top fold, start sewing around the flag, using a 1/4" seam allowance.
  • Once you have sewn down 1 side and the bottom (the part with the angles) sew up the last side, leaving a 2" opening for turning before finishing the side 1/2" from the top.
  • Clip the bottom angles
  • turn right side out and press
  • topstitch around the flag, leaving 1/2" opening from top on both sides to create a channel for stringing or dowels, making sure to close the opening left for turning.
  • Repeat for as many flags as you'd like
 If you are making individual banners, cut your dowel down to 4 1/2" long and string through top channel on flag. Tie twine or ribbon on both sides of dowel to create hanger.
If you are making a bunting, arrange the flags in your desired order then string onto twine or ribbon.
sew mini bunting for seasonal decor
Let me know if you have any questions!
xoxo,
Amy
 

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Spider Swarm Pillow

Thursday, October 12, 2017
This is a sponsored post. I was given a Cricut Easy Press to use and review. All opinions and projects are my own.
Use EasyPress to create fun halloween decoration

I love having the ability to customize my projects and Iron on is such a fun way to do it. My problem with using iron on is getting it to adhere well to my projects. It always seemed to lift and peel. I have discovered that the problem wasn't the vinyl I was using- it was me. Not only was I using an iron, I wasn't heating the vinyl nearly long enough. Enter the Easy Press. The large heating surface heats evenly across the entire plate and a built in timer makes sure I don't stop before it's ready. It's so easy now to create projects that use iron on vinyl with confidence. Enter: The Spider Swarm pillow!!
I'm definitely one who prefers cute over creepy when it comes to Halloween decorations, but I don't mind a bit of skin crawling fun here and there. This spider swarm pillow fits my style perfectly.
Want to make one of your own? Read on:
Spider Swarm Pillow How-to
Supplies:
fabric for pillow cover: 1/2 yard white fabric
black iron on vinyl
trim (optional)
sewing supplies and vinyl cutting tool
16" X 16" pillow form

Cutting:
1- 16" X 16" square white fabric
2- 12" X 16" rectangles white fabric for back

Using your Cricut Maker, or other cutting machine, cut spiders out of black iron on vinyl- I used 4 different spiders, resized them and turned many of them different directions to create the swarm. One thing I didn't do, was make sure the spiders weren't touching each other- something I would definitely change next time. Using the Bright Pad made the weeding process much easier- it takes a while, but it's worth it (I think!) Since you can only cut 12" wide on the mat, I made the swarm fit within the 12" and then cut a few more spiders on another mat to individually scatter around the white edges.

Pressing:
Use Easy Press to adhere vinyl to pillow front. A couple of things to note- when placing your swarm, remember to leave room for your seam allowance (1/4"). I also left a bit of room on the bottom and sides because often pillow forms are squishy and you don't see that part of the pillow and I wanted to make sure you saw ALL the spiders. ;) This project would be a million times faster if you just created the swarm and then pressed it onto a premade pillow cover- like ones you can find at Ikea. But, the envelope closure of this pillow makes it a fairly straightforward sew- which lets you customize both the background fabric and add any trim or embellishments you might want.

Take one of the pillow back pieces and press one 16" side over 1", then again another 1" to create a finished edge. Top stitch down hem. Repeat for second back piece **Tip: If fabric is directional, make sure the sides you create hems on will overlap once placed on pillow back.



Assembly:
add vintage trim to pillow front by basting in place

If adding trim to edge of pillow, baste the trim down on the pillow front
back of pillow with envelope closure
Take your first pillow back piece and lay on the top of the pillow front, right side down. Line up the raw 16" edge with the side of the pillow and line up the top and bottom. Place the second pillow back piece, right side down, on top, lining up the opposite 16" side from the first piece. The two back pieces should overlap. Pin well, especially where the pieces overlap. Sew around all four sides of pillow using a 1/4" seam allowance.
Turn right side out and add a pillow form. Just like that, you have a new pillow!
halloween is much creepier with a spider swarm pillow

Making spider swarm pillow is easy with Cricut Easy Press
Now all that is left is to enjoy your creepy new decoration!
Happy Halloween!!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Sew a Bunny Softie with the new Cricut Maker

Thursday, September 28, 2017
cut softie pattern with Cricut Maker
I was given a Cricut Maker to review and this post contains affiliate links.

You have probably realized by now that my current crafting mostly involves fabric. I love all the new fabric prints and the fun things you can sew. I love that things last longer when made with fabric than with paper. What I don't love is all the prep work that goes into getting ready to sew. Preparing your fabric, cutting out the pattern pieces- it's a lot of effort that goes into getting ready to do the thing I really want to do, which is sew. That's where my love for the Cricut Maker runs deep! All the steps of printing or cutting out the pattern, pinning or tracing the pattern and then cutting out the fabric- they are all gone with this awesome machine! When I started looking for a pattern to try out this fun feature with, I couldn't resist these darling bunnies- and the best part is that the pattern is free if you have a Cricut Access membership!
All the pattern pieces were cut out with the Cricut Maker
Once I made one, my girls all decided they needed their own, so I ended up making three! I have a few tips for you if you decide to make this pattern that will hopefully help you out! Read all the directions for the project first- they will give you all the steps for assembly, but here are some of the things that worked for me:

baste bunny limbs closed before attaching to body
The first tip is to baste the limbs closed before attaching them to the body. I like my softies nice and firm since the batting tends to break down over time and I want them to have a nice feel for a long time. But, firm limbs are hard to attach since they don't have a lot of room for seam allowances. If you are new to sewing, I would leave a bit more space at the top of each limb so you have more room to work with. Basting will hold the sides of the limbs together and make them easier to attach.
adding limbs to the bunny can be tricky
The second tip is to baste the limbs to the body before adding the back. You can see that once you add arms, legs and ears, it's a bit crazy looking. Trying to keep everything pinned neatly in place can be tough, so go ahead and use a long stitch, and a scant (just smaller than) 1/4" seam allowance to stitch them all in place. Also, note the position of the ears on this bunny. I like them a bit to the sides so they don't always hang over the bunnies' face.
pin the bunny back on
Once you have the limbs sewn down, start at one of the notches on the body and line up the back. Normally when you pin two pieces together, you like them to be flat and even, but with so much bulk in the middle, you have to rely on the notches, and the seams to guide you when pinning. I start just below the notch on one side and pin that side in place, you can see that I leave the legs out of the bunny for now. It makes it much easier to sew the neck if you do the bottom last. Pin up the side and make sure the neck seams line up. Go around the head, pinning more than you normally do and down the other side. Again, check to make sure the neck and notch seams line up. Sew around the bunny where you have pinned- *tip: I like to back stitch a couple of times on places that will get a lot of stress- if your bunny will be loved (and if you give it to a child- it will!!) the limbs and ears will all get pulled on, so, I back stitch whenever I get to the beginning or end of a limb as I go around.
Now it's time to do the bottom. Feed your legs up and into the body of the bunny. It might take a bit of manipulation to get the feet through the neck. Get the bottom as neat as you can and pin from the inside of each leg and around the corner to where your stitching stops. Sew the two legs in, leaving the space between the legs open for stuffing. Make sure to back stitch when starting and stopping- especially the opening where you will turn the softie right side out and stuff it!!
**The biggest tip I have is to go slow and watch your seams. You want to make sure you are catching the front, back and both sides of each limb and ear so they are securely stitched into the bunny. Use a smallish stitch length and lift your presser foot often through the curves.
bunny softies
** Before you turn your softie right side out use pinking shears or sharp scissors to notch your curves. You will get a much smoother shape to your softie if you do!
dress for bunny softie
This is how I ended up making the dress. Cut out the pocket pieces and the dress pieces- skip the straps.
  •  Sew the pocket pieces right sides together, leaving 1-2" on the top straight edge for turning.
  • Clip seam on curves and turn right side out, press.
  • Edge stitch along the top of pocket to close the hole. 
  • Center the pocket on the front dress piece and sew around the bottom curve, back stitch at the beginning and end of pocket to secure. 
  •  Press the top of each dress piece down 1/4", then again 1/2". Press the bottom of each dress piece up 1/4" then again 1/4". 
  • Unfold the pressed hem pieces and put the two dress pieces right sides together. Sew down  both sides of dress (with notches)
  • Fold hems back up and top stitch down.
  • turn arm curves under 1/4" and top stitch
  • fold top hems back down and stitch at just under 1/2" to create a channel for the elastic.
  • Take a 7" piece of decorative elastic and thread it through the front and back channel of top of dress. Sew ends together and turn the elastic so the seam of the elastic is in the casing.
    elastic makes easy straps
The elastic allows the dress to easily come off and on.
sweet bunny softie
 I had so much fun making these bunnies. My three youngest girls have all claimed their favorites and are having so much fun playing with them.
fun bunnies to play with
I even used scraps and my Cricut Maker to create the little bunting in the background. I can't wait to use my Maker machine for all the crafting I want to do!

As always, let me know if you have any questions- I'm happy to help!
xoxo,
Amy

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

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