Etsy Love: Things that are Blue

Spring is the best season to shop around on Etsy. Today the color of the Mason Ball jars inspired me. You have to love aqua blue!

Anthropologie Inspired Tablecloth

I don’t shop at Anthropologie often, because let’s face it, who can afford it? But goodness, do I love that store. My roommate one day pulled out a napkin from the store that someone gave her as a gift, and it sparked my inspiration – a tablecloth made up of cloth napkins. So I went online and found these. The napkins come in a set of 6 for only $32.

With the napkins, I wanted to make a table clothe. My game plan was simple – to sew together the 20×20 inch napkins into a large square and then cut out a circle. With only 6 napkins, I had to do some planning, but first I wanted to make sure I could use every inch of fabric. So I took out the hem, adding about an inch of fabric on each side.

Once I removed the hem, I needed to secure the edges so they wouldn’t continue to fray. This is how I discovered the overcasting stitch feature on my sewing machine (I know this is probably something really basic, but you’ll have to bear with me. I’m relatively new to a sewing machine.)

Once I had stitched over all the edges, I began to lay everything out. I needed to make a 50×50 inch square. So I kept 4 napkins whole and cut 2 napkins in half, placing those on the outer edge. If you notice, that leaves a 10×10 inch square missing, but I’ll come back to that later.

So I got to sewing each piece into place. The napkins’ corners were cut off, which caused a few hole to appear when sewing them all together. But I just decided to embrace the patchwork-ness of it all, and I simply hand sewed it together.

And then using the technique I learned on my last table cloth, I marked the fabric to cut out a circle.

I found this fabric rather difficult to measure and cut. And as you can see, I was unable to cut a perfect circle. But since this is inspired by Anthropologie, why not accept their homemade philosophy. It’s homemade; it doesn’t have to be perfect. (It just has to look adorable!)

Now, back to one of my original problem – the 10×10 inch missing square. Well once the circle was cut out, the missing piece was easy to fix. I simply took  a piece of the scraps leftover from cutting out the circle and patchworked it into place using a simple straight stitch.

For the finishing touch, I decided not to hem the tablecloth, but instead to use the overcasting stitch again. I liked how it makes the fabric look raw, like it’s a scrap piece from another project.

And that’s it. I’ve learned you don’t have to shell out a lot of money for Anthopologie products. You just have to buy the cheaper, simpler ones and make them into something extraordinary.

Barrette flashback

I was digging through some stuff when I stumble across these fabric flowers I had made a long time ago. It got me thinking – I had seen this article in the Wall Street Journal about how barrettes are now back in fashion. So I pulled out some adhesive glue and a barrette and got to work.

First, to make the flowers, I cut out circles in the white, cotton fabric I had (but really any fabric works. I once made the same thing out of toile and it turned out great!)

Then I folded the circle in half, and then in half again (see picture above). Then I took a needle and thread and sewed the bottom point in place.

Repeat that step, sewing each new piece to the others. Pay attention to how each piece is arranged because sometime it can just look like a stack of fabric and not really a flower.

Finally, I used my adhesive glue to attach the flowers to the barrette. The whole thing gives me a flashback to the 90s  – scrunchies, tights and outrageous hair bows – but it looks cutes nonetheless.

Embroidery from the Heart

I stumbled across this quote in a conversation one day with my Mom. I naturally wrote it down, saving it for a raining day, and then 2 weeks ago, I found myself during a lazy evening picking out fabric and embroidery floss. The whole thing is really simple. I uses an embroidery ring, but as you can see, I made the mistake of not having the fabric tight enough. And I added some simple felt hearts to bring it all together.

And then, to mount the finished piece, I took a canvas that had been lying around for awhile and stapled it all in place.

And there, you did it!

DIY: Throw pillow with Piping

Last week I ran into JoAnn Fabrics to buy something and found myself spending an hour in the store after I stumbled across this fabric. I finally decided that I wanted to make some pillows, so I purchased two 18×18 inch pillow form, a half yard of the floral fabric and a basic blue fabric to match, and cord to make the piping edge.

Before cutting the fabric, I made a game plan. For the 18X18 pillow, I planned to cut a 19×19 inch square (in the floral fabric) and then two 19×12 inch rectangles for the back (in the blue fabric). And then for the piping, I calculated I would need it to be 72″ long.

Making the piping edge was actually a lot easier than I thought it would be. I purchased the cheapest craft cord I could find. And for the fabric, I cut a long 2″ wide rectangle. I knew it had to be 72″ long, so with the scraps I had leftover I made two 36″ long rectangles.

I then folded the fabric over the chord, and using my zipper foot, I sewed the chord in place. Back to the fabric of the pillow, I took the the 19×19″ square and used a cup to round off the edges.

I did the same with the blue rectangles, but only on one of the long sides. The other long side I hemmed in place (about 1/2 inch).

Then it is time to assemble it all together. I ending up making two pillows. On the first pillow, I assembled each layer, pinned it down and sewed it all together. The second time, I sewed in parts, and it produced a much better pillow. So with the right (floral) side up, I pinned the piping in place (clean edge facing inwards). And I used the zipped foot again to sew in place.

Then I pinned down the two rectangle pieces, alining them with the rounded corners.

Sew it all together, flip it inside out and insert the pillow form – and you have yourself a pretty adorable throw pillow.

Paint Party Benefitting Relay for Life

I have very crafty friends. Exhibit A – Who else would spend their Saturday night hosting a Painting Party to raise money for Relay for Life?

With supplies already purchased and a array of paintings set out to provide inspiration, the Painting Party was a genius idea for a Saturday evening (especially a raining one like it was). We all pulled chairs up to a ping pong table and got to work. And like I said, my friends are pretty darn talented.