Wednesday, September 30, 2009

How to Make a Fabric Scrap Collage Tutorial

~This is a super fun and very easy project. This project can be useful and adapted to all levels. It can be a no- sew project if you prefer, but I love "drawing with the sewing machine. I think this is a great way to jump start your creative juices and also practice different stitches and practice using fusible interfacing and other fusible products. The possibilities are endless. You can keep the design very simple and just have one image fused to one background, or you can use this project as a practice for design and composition. I started making these as the back panel for clutches that I had been making. The idea to frame the collage came about when I liked the design too much to fold it over into a clutch, so I decided to work several at once. ~This way I could make a few framed pieces(which had been requested ) and work on my applique' design ideas for my upcoming fall and winter skirts. Thisproject is a great way to use up lots of scraps too! It is easy to work on 3 or 4 at once while working through your design ideas. For these three I used my sketches from photos I had taken from my spring garden as inspiration for some of the compositions, colors, and design elements. After you have finished you can frame them as I show here, or turn it into a patch or pocket for a purse jacket or skirt.

Fabric scraps
Fusible interface
Wonder under
(or some other double sided fusible webbing)
Picture Frame
Sewing machine(optional)


1. Make a pile of scraps that look good together. Make sure you have some big and little pieces to work with. Think about colors you like together or patterns that echo and compliment one another. Start trying to visualize a focal point fabric; one that you would like to showcase.

2. Choose the size for your final piece. I made these all 8.5 X11. This size was suitable for my clutch pattern, an apron bib or a standard size frame. If you have the frame you will be using you can do some preliminary designing using it .
3. Create the back ground field back it with fusible interface. For two of these examples I used one piece of fabric for the back ground. On the third I used two pieces sewn together. In either case iron the one sided interface to the back.This is going to be your blank paper that will be in the final frame. Keep in mind as you create your collage you want the edges to be under the frame
4. Create a focal point. Often times this is what inspires and dictates most of my art piece.I will really love one scrap of fabric and then work my colors and design around that scrap.
5. Adhere the wonderunder to your collage pieces. I usually pick a few pieces that I think will work into my design and put some wonder under on them (smallish).(Make sure you follow the manufacturer's directions for your fusible backing. there are lots of double sided fusible webbing's out there. I just like working with the wonder under although honestly I have not tried too many brands.) Then I cut out my shapes with the wonder under attached. I don't take the paper backing off until it is time to iron the piece to the project. If you have scraps left just keep them in a small bag or box so when you need a small scrap it is ready to go.
6. Stitch as you go. Again if this is a purely decorative art piece you do not need to stitch. I never know what I am going to attach a collage panel to so I like to stitch them and also As I said before, I love drawing with my sewing machine. This a great way to get comfortable with your machine and learn all about the different stitches. You can use the stitch lines to create subtlety in your composition and help move the eye around your art piece.
7. Iron and spray starch(optional)your final image . This makes it nice and smooth. I iron throughout the whole process. One helpful thing to think about when ironing is to lift and move your iron when you are pressing. Try not to push the fabric around just press and lift and move to the next area.
8. Frame and hang your art work. These hanging pieces make great gifts or it is an inexpensive and easy way to decorate a room.
Use leftover upholstery scraps to create pieces that will go with your furnishings. Use fun kid friendly prints to decorates the Lil' ones rooms. I pick up pretty and unusual frames from thrift stores and yard sales. I also buy frames from the dollar store or target when they are cheap and stash the away for gift giving. I usually paint or modge podge some fabric to these plainer frames.

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Friday, September 18, 2009

Feels a little like fall

~I made this custom apron last week and decided to dive into my desire for fall. ~I recently relocated and reorganized my work space, and as I was doing that I was loving all my fall colored fabrics. This apron was made from all stash fabric. The floral panel pocket was once a pillow sham. ~The bib was pieced from a linen table cloth an old eyelet doily ....and various new and recycled scraps. ~It is fully lined ...and has an extra long tie for a pretty front bowOr you can tie it in the back
...and here it is wrapped and ready to be sent on its merry way!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Turn an Old Sheet into a Ironing Board Cover

~If your like me your ironing board winds up dealing with some dirty deeds during your crafty multi tasking. I love crafty ironing tactics like Wonderunder and fusible webbing but I hate the gooey residue it leaves on my ironing board cover(I know I should be more careful, but who can be careful when your creative genius has taken over). So needless to ironing board cover will not suffice( and 2 irons is not a bad idea either, pick up your extra one at the thrift or a yard sale). It just seems silly to spend $10-15 for an ironing board cover for gooey messes when I always have old full size sheets stock piled. I have been meaning to make another cover for about a year. I even had a pattern for it but, that too seemed a little tedious when I wanted to be making clothes or anything else . I recently relocated and reorganized my studio and it just seemed wrong not to give my board a new cover( since my old cover is just a mess). During the last few weeks of trying to sew in a disheveled studio I laid one of my sheets on the board , to protect from the messes. I broke down last night and turned that sheet into a super quick and easy cover. And then I made another one to show you how.The full fitted sheet has the perfect amount of elastic to stretch around the standard sized ironing board. Now I recommend using the cover you make as the catch all the gooey stuff one. Then you can just pull it off when you need a crisp clean ironing surface.( I learned this one the hard way))


1 full size fitted sheet
sewing machine
your ironing board


1.cut elastic off sheet, Just leave the sheet remnants There should be two pieces of elastic

2. cut sheet. lay sheet on ironing board put a few books on top to keep it in place and cut around the entire board leaving about 3 1/2" over the edge. 3. Sew elastic to cover. I started at the mid point of the front leaving 1 3/4 " seam allowance. Using a wide zigzag stitch, start sewing a little to attach the elastic and then fully stretch the elastic as you sew. I like the elastic on top of the fabric but you could do It under too.For the second piece I start at the back end of the cover and sew it the same way . 4 . Cover your board. You can take your other cover off if you like but I just put it over the other cover

Friday, September 4, 2009

Skirts for the ladies

~So I added all the skirts I had lingering in my stock closet to the online sale at long last. I was happily surprised to find several are actually perfect fall pieces. Like this dusty blue corduroy skirt, that I lovingly refer to as the down on the farm skirt.This A line elastic waist skirt is made out of skinny blue Chord that has a little stretch to it. It is a size 6. The Patchwork pocket has some great vintage scraps displayed. The farm image is from a 60's era apron and the pearl snaps are from a loved and lost ladies blouse. The pocket is fully lined and double stitched. The dusty blue color looks good paired with almost any shirt and boots( or loafers). The skirt is linked here if you want to look at in the online store.

Another sweet little skirt is this sized 2 Field of greens. ...This is the last of this lovely cotton fabric that I made many well loved pieces from this summer. This one is only $15.
This sweet little A- line skirt is a size 2 and made from 100% quilter's cotton skirt . The elastic waist is finished with lovely pale yellow FOE(fold over elastic). The hem line falls just above the knee .Link to skirt in online store

~Another sweet floral printed skirt is this Pretty in Pink one. This skirt is sized 12-14Made from 100% quilter's fabric this floral printed skirt is a size 12-14 and sweet as pie. The elastic waist is finished with pink FOE(fold over elastic) and the hem hits right above the knee. The appliqued flower is made from a vintage quilt piece from the 40's.

~Another sweet cotton summer skirt on sale for just $15 is this lil chic picnic skirt sized 4.
This little red A-line Gingham skirt is made from deadstock vintage shirting fabric. The little chic applique is made from a 1940's vintage quilt piece. The waist is 1/2" elastic. It is a small size 4. It falls right above the knee. Link to skirt online store

~I also thought thePolka dot honey skirt sized 12-14 would be perfect for fall layered over tights with boots or strappy shoes with knee socks. .This A line elastic waist skirt is made from 100% quilters cotton and is a size 12-14. Nice alone or layered over tights for cooler weather, This skirt falls just above the knee and would look fabulous with those boots you have dying to get back into all summer. The Fabric is a field of varying sized dots in honey, rust, honey,and dark brown all on a lighter brown background. The patchwork pocket is fully lined and has an appliqued flower on it. Link to skirt in shop

~The Houndstooth Slip skirt would look lovely over tights or knee boots for a cool fall look.This full flowing houndstooth skirt is inspired by simple half slips that I love. It is a size 8 with an elastic waistthat is finished with black FOE(fold over elastic). It is a rayon blend that is soft and smooth.The hem is a rolled serged hem in black,very pretty and delicate looking. Link to skirt in store

...So I think that is about all for the belle and burger "I wish the summer was over" sale...and you know I think it helped it has not reached 100 all week in central texas!!