I often get inspiration for accessories from clothing construction. I like to think of the handle casings for the Britta Hoopster Basket as little collars folded over embroidery hoops. Here's a close-up of how they're constructed:
the handle casing lining is hand-sewn to the basket lining.
You can add your own special details to the Anya Apron Dress with ribbon or embroidery.
Use a machine embroidery stitch in a contrasting thread color on the front stitching line (above). I used a small scalloped stitch that looks like it could be hand embroidery.
Or sew 1/8'' grosgrain ribbon in a contrasting color along the stitching line, tacking the ends on the wrong side (below).
I made this super-easy bouquet out of fat quarters for my booth at Quilt Market and it was a huge hit! If you're looking for a quick project with a lot of impact here's how to do it:
- fat quarters (I used all 16 prints from the "sundborn garden" by Hemma Design fabric collection for Red Rooster Fabrics)
- floral wire ( I used a raffia covered wire, but you can use any style you wish) cut into approximately 20'' lengths
- wire cutter
Step 1. Fold each fat quarter lengthwise with the raw edges to the center.
Step 2. Fold in half again with the edges slightly uneven and the raw edges to the inside.
Step 3. Bunch together the fabric with the raw edges to the inside.
Step 4. Wrap one end of the floral wire tightly around the fabric a couple of times. Bend the wire to make a stem.
Step 5. Bend the end of the stem into a loop to your desired length.
Step 6. Pull the fabric folds apart to shape the flower.
Step 7. Arrange fat quarter flowers in a vase.
I recently made an Ilsa Handlebar Basket with my new "sundborn garden" fabric as the lining. I decided to take photos of the handlebar steps because I thought it might be a nice mini-tutorial.
Here's a step-by-step photo guide to folding and gluing the handlebar straps for the Ilsa Strappy Handlebar Basket (the version with the front straps). The Basic Ilsa Handlebar Basket and the Lilla Handlebar Basket are made in a similar manner.
When cutting out the straps remember to flip the pattern over in order to mirror the 2 straps so that you have a right and a left side strap (follow the cutting layout illustration).
You might also want to read up on "Oilcloth and Glue" - remember to use only a little bit of glue. Fabric-Tac glue is recommended.
That being said, people ask me on a regular basis what I use on specific patterns. So here's the lowdown:
Marta Studio Bin Pattern: Pellon Extra Firm Stabilizer ( I have also seen this labeled Extra or Ultra Firm Craft Stabilizer). This is a sew-in product, but you can also use the fusible option for added stability. Do not iron it in, just follow the instructions as written. 16 ounce polyester batting: this is a heavier, thicker batting that when quilted gives you a nice, firm lining. Find it by the roll or ask for a heavier, thicker poly batting.
Sigrid Oilcloth Market Bag Pattern: Same Pellon Extra Firm Craft Stabilizer as Marta or you can also use a stiff piece of buckram.
Eva Sewing Basket Pattern: Pellon Double-Sided Fusible Ultra Firm Stabilizer. This is tha same as the sew-in version, but you can iron fabric to both sides. Very handy for shaping the handle on Eva. Fusible heavy weight interfacing: this is the same stuff you would use on garment construction; used to give thickness to the pockets.
Ilsa & Lilla Handlebar Basket Patterns: Pellon Extra Firm Stabilizer ( I have also seen this labeled Extra or Ultra Firm Craft Stabilizer). This is a sew-in product, but you can also use the fusible option for added stability. Do not iron it in, just follow the instructions as written.
Britta Hoopster Basket Pattern: I use a thick, lofty poly batting to give the Britta Basket some "puff" and shape. If you can find 12 oz. poly batting by the roll I would recommend using it. Otherwise, brands like Fairfield, Hobbs, and Mountain Mist all make lofty poly batting. I used a regular non-fusible Pellon interfacing for the featherweight interfacing.
Ingrid Convertible Canisters Pattern: I like a fusible fleece such as Pellon Thermolam Plus for this project. If you want to use a non-fusible fleece and baste it you can also do that. Some other batting ideas to try would be basting cotton batting or Annie's Soft & Stable.
Louisa Garden Quilt Pattern: As you might have noticed I like projects with some "puff" and thickness to them so I used 2 layers of 80/20 batting for the Louisa Garden Quilt. When the flowers are quilted around the center it makes the petals really pop out.
Sonja Backpack-to-Bag Pattern: I made this pattern with 2 options for interfacing because I know it's not always easy to find some products or you may already have some on hand that you want to use. You can use either 2-layers of Pellon Thermolan Plus fusible fleece or 1-layer of ByAnnie's Soft & Stable (www.byannie.com).
I like to "baste" my oilcloth projects together with glue before sewing. This is helpful because you don't want to put pin holes in your oilcloth and you don't want to rip out mistakes because it will also leave holes.
I admit I haven't tried every fabric glue out there, but I have found that some work better than others on oilcloth. I like Fabri-TacTM because it's tacky and dries pretty quickly. I have found that white, tacky fabric glues do not work or take up to 24 hours to dry.
Only use a scant amount of glue. You only need enough to hold your pieces together until you sew it. Too much glue will make the oilcloth soft and bubbly, and when dry, lumpy. The glue will not hold your project together permanently, so remember to sew it!
If you're sewing simple, straight seams it's not neccessary to glue pieces together. Use small binding clips (available in the quilting notions department) to hold the pieces together.
Can't find the perfect color of webbing for straps on your Sigrid Oilcloth Market Bag? You can cover the webbing with the same fabric as the cotton binding!
How to Embroider a Running Stitch
An easy way to add a simple, yet decorative embroidery to your project is to use a running stitch. We used it on the Annika Market Bag pocket embroidery - closely spaced stitches for the stem & leaves and more widely spaced stitches for the pocket outline. The petals are done in the lazy daisy stitch.
Use 2 strands of #8 purl cotton or 1 strand of #5 purl cotton.
Working from right to left:
Step 1 Come up at 1.
Step 2 Insert needle at 2 and come at up at 3.
Step 3 Continue moving ahead keeping stitches uniform and even.
Tips for a Tight Fitting, Well-Padded Ironing Board Cover
1. Put your new ironing board cover on over the old cover. This is a tip I learned from my mother, an ironer extraordinaire. Over the years her ironing board has accumulated so many layers of covers that it's become an exceptionally padded, tightly covered ironing board.
2. If your ironing board is brand new create more padding by adding layers of cotton quilt batting. Trim to fit top of board. Do not use polyester or synthetic batting.
3. Of course we recommend using our Karin Laundry Room Ultimate Ironing Board Cover Pattern to make a well-padded, tight ironing board cover. You can customize the amount of padding you want and our fitting system makes for one tight cover.
How to Embroider a Leaf Border using the Backstitch
Use this leaf border on placemats, tablecloths, curtains - wherever your imagination takes you!
Step 1 Download & print out embroidery pattern. Use a fabric transfer pencil or fabric transfer paper to copy the backstitch onto your fabric (follow manufacturer's instructions).
Step 2 Make border as long as you like by tiling pattern on fabric.
Step 3 Use 2 strands of #8 purl cotton or 1 strand of #5 purl cotton. Stitch stems and embroidered leaves following diagram. Do not embroider aplliqued leaves yet.
Working from right to left:
A. Come up at 1.
B. Take a stitch back 1/8" at 2.
C. Come up at 3, an 1/8" from 1.
D. Continue moving ahead, keeping stitches even.
Step 4 Apply fusible adhesive to the back of leaf fabrics following manufacturer's instructions. Cut out leaves and press in place following pattern.
Step 5 Embroider appliqued leaves.