Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Ruffle Tissue Holder Tutorial

Wow, where did November go!?!? Ok, so I planned on 4 tutorials this month and only got around to doing 3, but I've just been swamped with Christmas orders. That's a good thing, I'm certainly not complaining!

So a while back I promised a tutorial for tissue holders with RUFFLES! I love these, anything with layers and ruffles playing peekaboo just makes me smile. So, let's get started, shall we? (Apologies in advance for fuzzy pics, it was a race against the setting sun, lol, so my light wasn't great.)

Here is what you'll need:

  • 2 or 3 coordinatings fabrics

  • Heat 'n Bond Lite (you'll be sewing through this) or some double sided fusible interfacing or adhesive, not too heavy

  • Double Fold bias tape

  • rotary cutter and cutting mat

  • scissors for trimming

  • iron

Alright, to start you're going to need to cut your exterior and interior fabrics, which will be 6" x 7". You need 2 of these per tissue holder. You could use the same fabric inside and out, but I just love to see a surprise fabric when I peek inside, so I always use two different fabrics!

Next, you'll cut out the fabric for the ruffle, which is going to be 2" x 9". This could be a 3rd coordinating fabric, or it can match the inside. You do want it to contrast against the exterior fabric for a nice pop of color, so keep that in mind when choosing.

I typically make tissue holders in batches, so usually I'll cut a long 2" strip...

fold it in half and press...

and then cut it into 9" strips.

Next, cut your adhesive or interfacing, you need one 6" x 7" piece per tissue holder.

Now you should have all the pieces read to go.

Next, press the pieces so they are wrinkle free, and then take your interior fabric and iron on the adhesive side to the WRONG side of the fabric.

Once it has cooled, peel off the paper...

and then place the exterior fabric on top of the adhesive side of the interior fabric, wrong sides facing. Fuse the two pieces together with your iron.

Now, you should have a double sided piece of fabric.

Next, cut two 6" pieces of bias tape, these will give a nice finish to the edges.

Take one of the pices of bias tape, and sew it onto one of the 6" edges.

To create the ruffle, run a gathering stitch along the long raw edge of the ruffle fabric, about a 1/4" from the edge.

Take your fused fabric pieces, exterior side up, and gather the ruffle until it fits exactly on the 6" side of the fabric that doesn't have bias tape. You may want to keep most of the ruffle towards the center, leaving the fabric flat on either end as you'll be stitching over it, like this.

You can pin the ruffle, or if you're lazy like me just kind of hold it as you go, making sure to line it all up well in the process. I did pin it here, mostly because I needed my free hand for the camera. ;-)

Next you'll sew the ruffle to the exterior side of the fused fabric. I usually stitch about half way in between the gathering stitch and the edge, just make sure to catch all your fabric in there!

Once you've done that, trim as close as you can to the stitches, and pull out the gathering threads.

Now you're going to sew on the other piece of bias tape onto the raw edge, over the ruffle and the fabric. It will be a little thick, just try to make sure to cover your stitches with the bias tape (that's why it was trimmed closely). You can pin the bias tape on if you'd like, but I find that more cumbersome than going without, personally.

Stitch the bias tape along the edge.

And you should have something like this!

We're almost done! :-) Now, take the edge WITHOUT the ruffle and fold it in about 1 3/4".

Then, take the edge WITH the ruffle and fold it on top, so that it overlaps about 1/4" - 1/2".

I usually take a peek inside to see if I have it lined up like I want.

I like the top edge to be as close to centered as possible. Feel free to do it differently, that's just my preference. Once you have it lined up how you want, again you can pin or not, I never do, you're just going to stitch over your whole fabric sandwhich on one side.

I typically go over the corners and center part (where you'll have a hump) 2 or 3 times just to make sure it doesn't come undone.

Since I usually do these in batches, most of the time I make a chain and just do one side of several at once, then start at the other end of the chain and do the other side. It goes much more quickly than doing one at a time!

Alright, once you've stitched both sides, trim the edges...

and then, my FAVORITE part!! You're going to turn it right side out, I usually do one side...

then poke the corners out a bit (but not too hard, you don't want to make a hole!)...

And then I flip the other side, do the same to the corners, et voila!

Stick a pack of tissues inside, and you're all done!

Admire your handiwork. Wasn't that fun? :-)

These make GREAT little gifts for secret santa exchanges, stocking stuffers, or just as a little something special for yourself. ;-)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Flower Magnet Tutorial

Welcome to another fun tutorial! Last time we made magnet boards, this time we're going to make something you can put on a magnet board...some flower magnets!

Normally I'd just make some fabric covered button magnets to use with the magnet boards.

These are so easy, you just use the fabric covered button kits from your local craft store, break off the metal loop on the back, and glue a magnet there instead.

But I got a request from someone on Etsy to make flower magnets, and we both loved the result!

So, here is what you'll need...

*Fabric (these are perfect for using up tiny scraps!)
*Needle and thread
(I just used some round ceramic magnets, on the package the strength says 6 out of 10...they are pretty strong!)
(I used Krazy glue, but hot glue would likely work just as well)
*Flower template (I just drew a 6 petal flower, about 2 inches wide, on some cardstock and cut it out. Doesn't need to be perfect!If that scares you though, you can always find some clipart that will work as a template, something like this.)

First you'll want to iron your fabrics so they're nice and crisp. I pretty heavily starched mine as well, makes them much easier to handle while cutting.

Then, take your flower template

and trace onto the back of your fabric.

Yes, I'm bad and use a regular old pen, but when I have a working fabric pen close by I'll use that too. ;-)

I usually trace once, and then try to fold the fabric as much as I can so that one cut yields several flowers. Here I folded it once...

and then twice.

Cut your flowers out.

You'll need 5 flowers per magnet, one will be the base, and the other 4 are going to be folded on top to create some texture. The 4 folded ones I usually cut every two "petals" so that there is a bit more movement.

The base one is left uncut.

You'll see that with the pink flowers, I'm using two different fabrics to add a little bit of depth, one for the base and then two of each fabric for the folded part.

For the yellow flowers, I just used the same fabric, so feel free to play around and see what you like. :-)

Fold each flower in half, and place two of them side by side, like so:

Place these on top of your base flower.

Then take another folded flower, and slip it under one of them.

Take the other folded flower, and slip it under the other one on the opposite side.

This is your basic flower, now you just need to sew it together. You're going to take your needle and thread, and make sure you grab onto each petal with it.

Side note: I saw a great tip somewhere on how to start a thread easily without having to manually tie a knot, and I wish I could find it again but I can't! Basically, just wrap the thread a few times around the needle, kind of grab the wrapped needle with the fabric, push the needle through, squeezing the looped thread with your fingers, and when you pull the thread tight that should give you a nice knot on the back to start your sewing job. It's much easier to understand with pics, but hopefully that helps a little.

Alright, so make sure to sew through each petal.

Once you're sure the petals are secure, add a button...

or two. :-)

Secure your thread on the back

and you're done sewing! You should have a lovely little flower.

Now all that is left is gluing it to a magnet. I used krazy glue, because I'm not so great with the glue gun!

I just put a good amount on the magnet

and then applied pressure for a good 20-30 seconds.

Once I could see it was sticking well, I stuck it on a metal surface, flower side down, so that the magnet is kind of helping to apply pressure to the glue while it dries. Leave it there so the glue sets nicely while you make other flowers. ;-)

And that's it, you're done! :-)

These went on a lovely floral magnet board, I think they make the flowers look like they are popping off the print!

Soooo many possibilities for scraps! These are fast and easy, and oh so pretty. Hope you enjoy making them as much as I do, go wild! :-)