Friday, May 14, 2010

Tutorial: T-shirt Flowers

Hmm...what to do with those old t-shirts...why cut them up and make them into cute flowers, of course! Here's one of a million ways to do it. This is a hand-sewn method.

You'll need:
  • T-shirt knit fabric cut into soft heart or oval shapes, roughly the size of your finished petals
    (I used scraps cut from an old crib sheet for this particular flower)
  • Scrap of fabric for the back, or something to sew the flower to (like another t-shirt)
  • Thread to match your flower (here I am using contrasting thread so you can see what I am doing)
  • Hand sewing supplies

  1. Start by choosing your largest hearts or ovals and folding them haphazardly. Take one and position the petals where the outside edge of your finished flower will be. Stitch into place (see my orange stitching? You may want to use more and smaller stitches. I made mine large for visibility.)

  2. Layer another petal piece on top of the other, stitch down. Work your way around until you have the lowest "tier" of petals.

  3. Add more layers, stitching as you go. Fold the petals in different directions and be sure to sew through all layers. Make each tier a little smaller than the last.

  4. When your flower looks almost finished, fold a very small petal into a cone shape. Pinch the pointed end and sew through it by itself first, then attach in the center very securely.

  5. Fluff and enjoy!

A few tips about these types of flowers:
  • Washing will make t-shirt fabric curl but not fray.
  • If you machine-dry the flower, it will curl more. It's a cute look (kind of like an old rose), but make sure you add enough layers to keep your flower looking full if you plan to tumble dry.
  • You can attach the flower to a scrap of fabric as shown above, then machine or hand stitch really tiny in a circle around the base of the flower to attach it to a garment. Trim around the edge of the circle to hide the base fabric.

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Monday, May 3, 2010

Tutorial: Seat Stuff Stasher, Part 4

Here we are! So close to the end! Let's finish this thing up.

  1. Grab the back piece with the Velcro on it and your elastic strap. On the RIGHT SIDE of the back piece, pin your elastic strap about 1" up from the bottom edge as shown. (You do not see the bottom edge of my fabric because I used a long folded piece for my back fabric.)
    Your strap end will hang off the edge. Stitch into place 3/8" from edge of fabric. Do this on the other side too.

  2. Place your pocket layer on top of the other back piece, just as it will look when the bag is finished. If you would like to add a binding to the bottom edge later, then line up the raw bottom edges of these pieces for now. If you don't want a binding, then turn under the bottom edges 1/2" and press. (Do the same on the other back piece while you are at it.) Now pin your pocket and top back layers together, but keep the pins toward the middle of the fabric and away from the side edges.

  3. Take your pinned pocket/top back layer and align with the back piece with the straps, right sides together. Pin both side edges. Make sure your long elastic strap is tucked between the layers. Now sew down both sides, using a 1/2" seam allowance, and zig-zag or serge the raw edges. Turn right side out and press the seams. (You can topstitch if you feel like it, or you could do French seams, or whatever floats your boat. I didn't bother because it's a trash bag holder, after all.)

  4. (OPTIONAL BINDING) If you left your bottom edges raw, you need a binding. Cut a 2" wide strip 2" longer than the width of your bag. Put it wrong side down on the BACK bottom edge of your bag, centered. Stitch along edge with 3/8" seam allowance. Turn over, tuck in the ends.

    Turn under the remaining raw long edge of the binding. Fold over the end of the bag to cover the seam line. Pin and stitch 1/8" inside the binding, on both sides as well. This should encase your raw edges and give you a nice strong bottom to your bag.

  5. You are SOOOO close to done, my friends! Take your bag and a couple of pins out to the car and get it into place. You will remember that we didn't attach the headrest strap to the bag. Tuck under the raw end of the strap and pin it into place so the bag hangs exactly where you like. The Velcro will allow you to adjust it slightly as it may hang higher or lower depending on how much stuff is in it. (Don't forget, the Velcro also means that the bag will not rip when your preschooler decides to use it as a stepstool.)

    Now quick! Take it down again just for a minute and dash inside to sew that strap into place. VOILA! You are done! Well, except for one more thing...

  6. Grab your kids and a trash bag and clean up that car!

If you use my tutorial, be sure to comment and post a photo on my Facebook page!! Thanks for reading!!

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