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Accessories

  • Quick and Easy Button Crafts

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    So; let’s talk buttons! Here’s a question for all of you casual button-enthusiasts out there: where do you most often use buttons? On a shirt? Pants? Usually closures, right? Maybe a pillow? Have you ever considered decorating with buttons? There are plenty of big and small projects that can be improved with just a few buttons! Working with buttons is a great and refreshing way to shift your mind and design in a different perspective! Sometimes it might help to think outside the box, but it might be better for others to think inside the box! You can focus on the big or the small details—buttons can go either way, and both methods produce different results!

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    Getting interested? Then you might want to consider trying out a Bag o' Buttons to get you started! These bags always provide an amazing assortment of button types, colors, and shapes. I was so impressed when I opened up a bag and saw how many different types poured out! These are available in both small and large sizes, so you can get the amount that suits your needs! So grab yourself a bag, check out some ideas below, and get ready to button up!  

    Button Brooch

    This is a cute idea that just involves stacking a few buttons on top of each other and sewing them together with a bit of complimentary embroidery thread! These come out best when using different sized buttons, and you can play with the color combinations all you want! Attach with a safety pin or brooch pin! DSC_1133

    Holiday Wreath Button Embellishment

    Embellishments on holiday wreaths look beautiful in any season! Since buttons come in all colors and designs, it’s easy to find buttons for every occasion and holiday. Add some buttons for a pop of color or to finish off seasonal motifs!

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    Button Pendent

    This is similar to the Button Brooch, but worn in a different spot! Buttons that are ornate and stand out proud on their own can take a center stage over a shirt pocket or dress hem!

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    Button Napkin Tie

    Another idea that’s simple, tying some buttons together with a little more embroidery thread can make for an adorable and colorful napkin tie! Use them for dinner parties and other special occasions you need a fresh dinner set for!

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    Button Flower Bouquet

    Button flower bouquets are beautiful and elegant pieces that can be wonderful setting pieces for the coming fall season! Use colors and flower designs reminiscent of mums, sunflowers, and harvest-time flora and set them in a decorative cornucopia to liven up a dining room or coffee table!

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    Button Bookmark

    Button bookmarks are vintage little clips that are safe on your wallet and your books! Take a paper clip, attach a button to each side on the end, and you’re done! You can use them for your favorite novel, marking important pages in textbooks, or for organizing your planner!

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    Button Pushpins

    Bored of your corkboard’s push pins? Don’t want to spend money on those pretty ones from the store? Decorate them yourself! Use some hot glue to spruce up any bland pins you have. These will give a cute and quirky touch to your corkboard!

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      These are just a handful of button DIY ideas, but it’s something to get you started! Have you done a button project that wasn’t listed here? Or maybe you thought of another project idea from looking at these? Share your comments and photos with us—we’d love to see more ways to use buttons!
  • Mood DIY: How to Make a Giant Bow

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    Mood DIY: How to Make a Giant Bow The big holidays and celebrations are coming up soon and fast, and you know what that means! It's time for bows and ribbons! I love decorating for seasons, and learning new ways to work with ribbon has made me even more enthusiastic for the cause. One of my favorite bows to see are those big, gathered, looping bows that they always show in car commercials. They're a great decorative choice since they always look so full and grand. You can make them any size. And what's great is that, even though this type of bow seems complicated, it actually takes little time to put together. Here’s what you’ll need:

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    Materials Wide Ribbon | 2.75” French Green Metallic Gold Wired Edge Ribbon—3 yards (Item #311945) Ribbon or Floral Wire | Gold Metallic Wire Cord—1 yard (Item #17778) Scissors For this bow, I used wired ribbon, but you don't need to use wired ribbon. However, the bigger the bow, the wider the width you'll want to work with. Tutorial Starts Here!

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    To begin, hold your ribbon with the wrong side facing towards you and curl the edge of the ribbon towards you. Tuck the edge underneath this loop. This loop is going to be the center of the bow.

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    From here, fold and twist the ribbon underneath the loop so that the right side of the ribbon faces towards you. Make sure to hide the twist underneath the first loop.

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    Next, fold the ribbon below the first loop to start the second layer. From the picture above, the center loop will rest on that fold, so that it looks like this:

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    You will have to twist and fold the ribbon again to make the right side stay visible for the other half of this second layer. It should look like this when you have a full layer completed:

    DSC_0509 Using these steps, repeat until you have 3-5 layers of loops. To ensure that your loops are equal in length, you can hook your finger into each of the loops (on a layer) and press your fingers together. If one is longer or shorter than the other, pull the loops gently until they're even. Make sure not to make the loops too big, though.

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    I went with three layers for mine.

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    Your bow will be a "straight line" of loops once you have as many layers as you'd like

    It's important that you do not use the entire 3 yards of fabric to make loops for your bow! Leave about a yard of your ribbon hanging from your loops. We will be using this as the two tails for the ribbon, but not right now.

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    From here, you'll need to take your ribbon or floral wire and feed it through the center loop. Fold it towards the back, but don't twist it closed just yet.

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    Flip your bow over, still pinching the middle to keep the pieces and wire together, and turn and fold the tail end  of your bow so that it's perpendicular to your loop layers and the right side of the fabric faces front with the rest of the bow.

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    Now you can go ahead and twist the wire closed, but do not trim it yet!

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    Instead, trim the tail end of your bow to length you'd like it to be. This will be the first tail for the bow. I trimmed my bow to where the scissors are laying in the photo. You can cut the ribbon so the edge is squared off or at an angle. I went with an angle.

    Now, with that extra piece of ribbon left from trimming the first tail, slide it through the center loop of your bow, making sure the right side of the bow is facing out and showing.

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    Pull the ribbon through until the edge is about as long as loops of your bow.

    From here, you need to take your wire again and feed both ends through the center loop and around to the back again. Flip your bow over and twist the wire closed tightly to help secure this new piece of ribbon we just slid through the center loop.

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    Once your wire is tight and secure, trim the ends with your scissors and flatten the trimmed wires against the underside of the bow.

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    After, turn your bow back over and adjust the length of the newly added second tail piece to make sure the small tail at the top is the same length as the bow's loops. Then, take your scissors again and trim the end of the second tail to match the length of the first one.

    Lastly, adjust your bow's loops into a circular shape if you'd like and fluff the loops' shapes a bit to look fuller and bigger. I decided that this bow looked nicer with the straight ends instead of the circular shape, but you could do either!

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    And now it's done!

    What kinds of things would you like to decorate with these types of bows? There are plenty of holidays and occasions besides Christmas to use a bow for, so experiment and go wild! You could even make strips of fabric to use for making a bow like this, too! Like a dress, a coat maybe? What do you think would look best with it? The options are limitless.

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  • Mood DIY: How to Make a Velvet Ribbon Choker Necklace

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    Need a cute and quick idea for a gift? This DIY can help! Choker necklaces are great gifts, and they can be made with any trim. Plus, you can easily add your own touch to them to make them especially unique for yourself or your giftee!

    On the Runway, chokers have made a comeback this season, too.

    Oscar de la Renta | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear Oscar de la Renta | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear
    Alexander Wang | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear Alexander Wang | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear
    Designers like Oscar de la Renta and Louis Vuitton sported high-energy styles with bright metals and shining leathers. Chokers are so versatile; they really do look good no matter what they're made with.

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    In addition, choker necklaces are super easy and flexible to make. You can use trims with or without elastic so long as you use a closure for it, and so they can be made for any size wearer.

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    The types of trims we decided to use will be listed below. The amount of trim you need should be determined by measuring the circumference of where you want it to sit on your neck.

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    Make sure when you measure it that it fits comfortably; do not make it tight! When you breathe, your throat expands a little, and so it’s important to put a little breathing room into your necklace design. The trim should fit snuggly around your neck, but you need to be able to fit at least one finger underneath the trim easily, or two fingers underneath the trim snuggly.

    Once you’ve measured, add an extra inch and cut the trim. You can add any extra things like lace or other embellishments like beading here.

    Next, fold the edges underneath about half an inch so that the ends look smooth, and using a hand sewing needle, sew one half of a hook-and-eye closure onto each end. It’s important to check that the hook-and-eyes line up!

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    If you make a thicker necklace like this one, use two hook-and-eye closures to make sure the necklace stays on securely.

    After that, you have the option of using some hot glue to help reinforce the hook-and-eyes and the ends. I used hot glue on the ends I folded over to keep them from rising up.

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    And that’s it; you’re all done!

    Here’s a list of the items that we used:

    Hand Sewing Needle Black 250m Gutermann Sew All Thread Black Double Face Velvet Ribbon (0.75 yards) 1.5" Black Single Face Velvet Ribbon (0.75 yards) 0.5" Navy Stretch Velvet with Sheer Gathered Trim (0.75 yards) Wine Velvet and Lace Trimming (0.75 yards) 1.5" Teal Single Face Velvet Ribbon (0.75 yards) 1.5" Black Venise Lace Trim (0.75 yards) Gold Aluminum Metal Chain (0.75 yards) 20 mm Pearl Plastic Pendant Dritz Size 1 Nickel Hook & Eyes

    Have you ever thought about wearing choker necklaces before? What kinds of trims do you think would look nice in a style like this?

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  • Trend Report: Handbags for Fall 2016

    Handbags were everywhere on the Fall runway this season with a wide variety in texture and shape. The biggest trend, however, was functionality and purpose. Here are some of our favorite styles from this season’s top trends! Fur Bags Fur-covered handbags were a huge hit with the runway, and we couldn’t agree more! There’s something so vintage and nostalgic about a nice fur covered purse, and they always give off an elegant and classy appearance.
    Salvartore Ferragamo | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear Salvartore Ferragamo | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear
    Michael Kors | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear Michael Kors | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear
    Whether sporting something like a bucket purse or a boxy handbag, fur designs can be a great statement piece. Soft to the touch and usually easy on the eyes, it’s hard not to appreciate their unique image (even if you go with faux fur!). If you’re looking to make a fur-covered bag of your own, consider some of these fabrics for your design!
     Black/Pale Gray Solid Faux Fur Black/Pale Gray Solid Faux Fur
     Black Grooved Faux Beaver Fur Black Grooved Faux Beaver Fur
     Silver Faux Wolverine Fur Silver Faux Wolverine Fur
    For the straps, these furs pair well with:
     Platinum Fashion-Weight Faux Leather Platinum Fashion-Weight Faux Leather
    Drawstring Bags Drawstring bags are a great staple of handbag fashion, mostly because of how easy they are to work with! You can make them as big as you'd like it to be, and they close easily, so you never have to worry about your belongings falling out.
    Alexander Wang | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear Alexander Wang | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear
    Lanvin | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear Lanvin | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear
    They look great no matter what size they are. And since the design is simple and interchangeable, you have a lot of choices to consider if you're making one. If you would like to make one, we actually have a DIY article about making one with leather here! Here are some of the materials we suggest if you're looking to make one of your own!
     Copper Fashion-Weight Faux Leather Copper Fashion-Weight Faux Leather
    You don't have to go with just leather, though!
    Natural Solid Canvas Natural Solid Canvas
    Black Waxed Cotton Canvas Black Waxed Cotton Canvas
    And for the drawstrings, you can use drawcords or metal chain! Tasseled and Long-Fringed Bags Fan of the Western look? Tassels and long fringes often bring a sense of down-to-earthness, and adding fringe to a piece is also a great way to play with the illusion of body and flow.
    Altuzarra | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear Altuzarra | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear
    Roberto Cavalli | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear Roberto Cavalli | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear
    Usually made of some kind of leather or leather look-alike, tassels and fringe can draw the eye with their fluid movements, which is what makes them a popular item. Even small additions of fringe can pay off! Check out our DIY using fringe to spruce up a pair of heels by Brandhyze here! If you’re interested in a fringed purse of your own, consider these fabrics for your design!
     Mint Stretch Faux Leather/Vinyl Mint Stretch Faux Leather/Vinyl
    4" Light Brown Suede Fringe 4" Light Brown Suede Fringe
    2 2" Safe Basic Tassel
    Revamped Fanny Packs Revamped fanny packs were huge in the 90s, and they’re back again! Designed for ease of comfort and functionality, these hands-free designs are now trendy and versatile!
    Prada | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear Prada | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear
    Chanel | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear Chanel | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear
    While the photos provided here show off a very chic styles, revamped fanny packs are flexible in what designs look good for and with them. If you need some inspiration, take a look as some of these ideas!
    Brown Fashion-Weight Faux Leather Brown Fashion-Weight Faux Leather
     Silver Solid Faux Suede Silver Solid Faux Suede
    Along with these fabrics, you can do a little embellishment with a chain strap, sequin or beaded trims, and clasps!   Halfmoon Bags Halfmoon bags are super cute and in-season now! The curved shape of their silhouette is simply graceful and like no other style.
    Celine | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear Celine | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear
    Loewe| Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear Loewe | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear
    Any color fits well with them, and so long as you have a sturdy fabric to help keep its shape, you can go with almost anything! If you’d like to see some fabric ideas for halfmoon bags, consider some of these!
     Fudge Backed Faux Leather/Vinyl Fudge Backed Faux Leather/Vinyl
    Rag & Bone Coated Port Royale Laminate/Vinyl Rag & Bone Coated Port Royale Laminate/Vinyl
    Turkish Purple/White Floral Water-Resistant Vinyl Turkish Purple/White Floral Water-Resistant Vinyl
    And some notions--like grommets, trims for straps, and a zipper for closure--to help finish the look! Small Backpacks And lastly, small backpacks! This fashion has flitted around through the years, but they got a particular amount of attention by designers for this season.
    Versace | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear Versace | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear
    Michael Kors | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear Michael Kors | Fall 2016 Ready-to-Wear
    As with the halfmoon bags, their shape is one of the features that stands out most, and like the revamped fanny packs, their functional purpose makes them a great choice for on the go!
    Off-White/Maize/Sky Blue Geometric Canvas Off-White/Maize/Sky Blue Geometric Canvas
    Rag & Bone Italian Vertiver Vinyl Rag & Bone Italian Vertiver Vinyl
    And finish it off with a zipper!
    Black Chain Separating Zipper 26 Black Chain Separating Zipper 26"
      Which of these handbag designs is your favorite? Have you seen others aside from these that you loved, too? Can you think of any fabrics that we didn't listen that you would like to use for one of these styles? Let us know! Save Save Save Save
  • Mood DIY: Book Clutch - Free Pattern

    To celebrate back to school season, the Sewciety would like to present its inaugural free PDF pattern! This versatile and stylish book clutch is perfect for lighter course materials or for organizing papers and notebooks on trips to the library or studio. It is designed to fit an 11 x 14 sketchpad and has pockets to fit standard 8.5 x 1 1 notebooks as well as smaller 8 x 6 notebooks (such as the small Fashionary). It also features a pocket for pens & pencils and other small items, such as erasers or your ID cards or keys. Carry it alone when you want to give your back a break, or throw it in a larger tote to keep your things organized.

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    This pattern is easily customized to suit your storage needs or design choices. You can add exterior pockets, or reconfigure the interior pockets to desired size and layout. The instructions are for a clutch that zips around 3 sides, but you may easily alter it to zip around 2 sides or only on the top. You could also use two zippers so that it will zip in both directions, like luggage. The pattern includes a simple rounded grip, but as you can see, we got creative with ours. (The shape mirrors the art nouveau flowers of our lining print. Minus the center spout, our fancy grip is the same size as the simple grip piece included in the pattern.) Materials used: Exterior: Metallic silver crackled vinyl Grip: Textured vinyl Lining: Liberty of London "Kate" voile Interfacing: Orsnaburg Handle/strap: 1.5" elastic A few notes on our materials: the exterior silver vinyl is heavy and stiff and an ideal bag material. We still used orsnaburg (the stiffest interfacing we have available) to interface it for reinforcement. The vinyl used for the grip is plain plastic with no woven backing, which makes it great for this kind of applique. It's durable but easy to cut and sew. For the lining, I had my heart set on this Liberty design. Voile is a light fabric and, honestly, not ideal for bag lining, so I applied medium weight fusible interfacing to it, in order to make it more durable. This is a print-and-tape pattern, but don't worry, it's really quick and easy to assemble.

    DOWNLOAD PATTERN HERE

    I had such fun picking fabrics for this that I put together a few swatch sets to show you some possibilities:

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    swatches row 2

    swatches row 1

    (Fabrics, row 1: Main, Grip, Lining | Main, Grip, Lining | Main, Grip, Lining) (Fabrics, row 2: Main, Grip, Lining | Main, Grip, Lining | Main, Grip, Lining) (Fabrics, row 3: Main, Grip, Lining | Main, Grip, Lining | Main, Grip, Lining)

    Sewing Tips

    This clutch goes together pretty easily, but you may refer to the photographs below if you need assistance with the instructions.

    Cutting

    If using a vinyl such as ours that can't be pinned, we recommend using pattern weights (*any handy objects) to hold the pattern in place and then trace it.

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     Sewing

    IMG_0188 Likewise, some kind of adhesive is useful when sewing the grip piece. I used cellophane tape, because it is safe to swab the black vinyl with alcohol to remove any residue.
    IMG_0203 Completed, flat-lined exterior.
    IMG_0210 Attaching the elastic strap.
    Supervision optional but useful. Supervision is optional but useful.
    IMG_0183 Topstitching the pockets onto the lining.
     
    IMG_0198 Fully assembled lining, with pockets and side inserts.
    Creating the bottom corners. Open the seam allowance and pinch the seam against the bottom fold. Creating the bottom corners. Open the seam allowance and pinch the seam against the bottom fold.
    Finished corner. Finished corner, right side out.
    Assembling the lining and exterior. (You may note that I have not yet sewing the bottom corners. I did mine in reverse order by mistake. It is easier to sew the corners, then sew the lining to the exterior.) Assembling the lining and exterior. (You may note that I have not yet sewn the bottom corners. I did mine in reverse order by mistake. It is easier to sew the corners, then sew the lining and exterior together)
    After topstitching. Almost done! Completed topstitching. Almost done!
    Inserting the zipper. No real trick here. Inserting the zipper. No real trick here.

    Voila!

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  • Mood DIY: How to Make a Lace Kimono in 10 Minutes

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    Layering is one of the best things, even in the summer. Often I'll want to bring something with me when I go out in case the air conditioning is blasting. Plus, as September rolls nearer, I can never have too many  shawls. And so, I made a new one! In under 15 minutes, too!

    Since Mood put up this geometric lace I've been absolutely in love with it, so I knew right away what I'd be using for this project.

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    Since this lace had scalloped edges, I decided to use them for the sleeves. This meant folding the fabric in half, with the scallops on either side, and cutting up the center of the top layer to create the neckline/front opening. A simple rolled hem finished it perfectly.

    To create "sleeves" I stitched about 2/3 up the sides, stopping roughly 10" from the top fold. And just like that, I had a new shawl! 2 yards of Black Shell Fringe along the bottom brought the whole look together.

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    So what lace will you be using to try out this project?

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  • Mood DIY: How to Sew a Watermelon Purse

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    Fruit prints and accessories have been one of the cutest trends this summer, so today I made the shiniest watermelon purse on Earth. I love it.

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    Items used:

    The first thing I did was cut 2 semi-circles from each color of vinyl, with the following dimesions:
    1. Green: 12"x7"
    2. White: 9.75"x5"
    3. Red: 9"x4.5"
    I also cut out a strip of green vinyl for the base of the purse. This piece was 19" long, 2" at each end, and about 4.5" toward the center.

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    Once all the pieces were cut, I had to create the front and back panels of the purse, which meant making it look like a watermelon! The white semi-circle was top-stitched onto the green, followed by the red. One of the best things about these vinyls was the ease with which they went through the sewing machine.

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    For the seeds, I sewed 9 shank buttons in an evenly spaced pyramid pattern - 4 across the top, then 3 and 2 respectively. I chose to keep them just on the front panel, since the other one would constantly be bouncing against my leg while I walk anyway. No sense in wasting buttons!

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    Before adding the base, I attached the two panels to the zipper. Since I used a fairly long one, I shortened it about three inches from the vinyl and sewed a little cotton tag on the end so it wouldn't come apart or scratch anything in my purse.

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    The ends of the base were folded down slightly and a small length of red vinyl was used to add rings to each end so I could attach a chain for the purse strap.

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    The last step was to finally add the base! It was sewn to the bottom of  each panel, with right sides together, then turned right-side out through the zipper opening.

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  • Summer Lovin' Happened So Fast: Sewing with Scuba and Neoprene

    Necessity is the mother of invention; isn't that what they say? As a mom, it seems I'm always inventing or, at the very least, creating something, and usually that something involves my four-year old daughter, Lane. It's funny how differently you view childhood through a pair of 'mom eyes.' As a kid growing up in Florida, I think I spent the entirety of summer in a bathing suit. I lived in the pool, and if I wasn't swimming I was zipping down a slip-and-slide or jumping through a sprinkler or even drinking out of my mom's garden hose (Yuck!). IMG_0613I can remember that feeling of summer so vividly. But what I can't recall is ever having something on over my swimsuit. I remember going to dozens of pool parties, and it amuses me now, but I'm pretty sure I just showed up on the doorstep in my bikini and a bath towel and said 'Let's party!' Maybe it's because I was the youngest of three girls and such a frivolous garment as a sarong wasn't a priority for my mom to spend some of our clothing budget on, or maybe I just refused to wear one. Of course, nowadays finding terrycloth cover-ups with a wide variety of characters printed on them can be done blindfolded. We have things like water shoes to keep our children's feet protected from hot concrete while they're playing in the local splash pad, and I'm totally guilty of purchasing my preschooler sunglasses to match specific outfits in her wardrobe. So I guess it isn't totally unexpected that as a mom who sews for my little one that I find summer time and swimwear to be incredibly inspiring. However, I also feel I am meeting a need -- and not one of simply just swimwear. IMG_0587Not far from our house is this great little town square which features a host of restaurants, small stores and dessert shops. It's a great place to visit in the evening when the sun sets late, and it's a fun area to bring our daughter. On weekends there's a great farmer's market with live music. There are swings and a small theater, but my daughter's favorite part is the splash pad with synchronized sprinklers. One thing my husband and I have always found tricky is how to do what we enjoy while visiting the area (dine at the pizzeria and window shop) while letting our daughter have some fun splashing in the sprinklers. I love dressing my daughter up when we go out, and she enjoys dresses, especially the kind she can twirl in, and of course that's not always the most practical thing. When I saw the chocolate chip digital print neoprene (scuba knit) from Mood, I fell instantly in love. I knew Lane would love it -- she could give Cookie Monster a run for his money when it comes to a love for chocolate chip cookies -- and I was excited to sew something I've never worked with before. I've been challenging myself lately by working with stretch fabrics, and wanted to create something fun and summery that was also practical. I started by creating a one-piece bathing suit patterned from a leotard Lane has recently outgrew. I lined the front of the suit with a nude colored swimwear lining, though the scuba knit is a nice weight and not really sheer at all, I like the quality feel a lined swimsuit creates. The cut of the swimsuit is modest with two simple straps, and I think it looks charming on Lane. I wanted to elevate it slightly beyond a simple swimsuit, though I think the digital print fabric takes a simple swimsuit to a special place. IMG_0576Thinking about what a summer evening or a Saturday afternoon might entail for our family -- dinner out with a stop by the splash pad afterwards, or a birthday party involving water balloons and sprinklers -- I decided to create a swimsuit cover-up that could double as a cute and stylish summer dress. Playing with the scuba knit, which has an amazing drape and feel, I decided to go with a classic circle skirt enabling Lane to twirl to her heart's content. What's more fun to a four-year old little girl than twirling? I gave the skirt a wide elastic waistband covered in the cookie print, and finished with a rolled/lettuce edge. When worn together, the suit and skirt appear as though they're a one-piece dress, and are great to attend a pool party or to wear out to dinner. In seconds she can slip off the skirt and be ready to splash and play in the water on a hot summer day (or night) and I don't have to worry about finding some public bathroom to change her into a bathing suit on the spot. IMG_0210After my experience with the chocolate chip cookie neoprene (scuba knit) I decided to also experiment with a thicker neoprene, and the coral rose color was too beautiful to resist. Feeling inspired, I chose the matching wonder mesh, and brainstormed how I could marry the two. Upon receiving the fabric, I was in love and wish I had purchased it in every color. The body it has is so much fun and my mind raced with ideas for implementing this unique material into the costume creations I make for my daughter. The way it holds pleats is so inspiring and I can see this being a go-to material for me in the future. Given the stretch it has, it's incredibly forgiving and it's liberating to think you don't have to hem or worry too much about seam finishing (though fold over elastic worked like a charm for this project.) Again, with summer in mind, I opted for a classic box pleat skirt with a simple bodice which features a racer back. I love how the skirt holds it shape, (no need for layers of petticoat netting) and the material lends itself to a sporty vibe. I also love how Lane can wear this to a water themed summer party and I don't have to worry about her getting wet -- actually, I encourage it. IMG_0208Since I'm all about accessories, I decided to use the mesh to create a fun and floppy hat, and edged it with the neoprene. I also used some scraps to create a large flower which adds a bit of whimsy to the entire ensemble. Next, I'll be whipping up one of those neoprene sleeves for frozen ice pops. Have you seen those? No more freezing fingers like we had back in the day. Plus, every girl needs a summer snack holder to match her dress, right? Years ago, if you had told me I'd be sewing with scuba and neoprene to create swimwear for my daughter, I would have thought you were crazy. I didn't believe either fabric would be so easy to sew with and never did I think they would be appropriate for children's wear. Adjusting the pressure of my presser foot, using clips instead of pins and of course a ball point needle made construction easy, and both of these projects made me fall in love with my serger even more. I'm excited as I think about the fun projects that lie ahead, and am glad I challenged myself to use materials that were new to me. So, as a wise man once said, “Thank you, Mood!" Jennifer Rouch is a stay at home mom and sewist who creates clothing and costumes for her cosplaying daughter, Lane. You can see more of her creations on her Instagram page, Ferdalump, or watch her adventures on her YouTube channel.
  • Mood DIY: How to Sew Candy Pillows

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    To celebrate National Lollipop Day tomorrow, I thought I'd make some throw pillows that are cute enough to eat!

    Items used:

    Candy Pillows

    The first step is to make your pattern. I started with two different sized circles ( 14" and 18"), and then cut them down into quarters. My larger pillow had 5 different prints, so I divided each quarter into 2.5 triangles. Each print would then be featured twice within the circle.

    I took one of these triangles, drew a curve like you see in the third photo above, and cut the curved section off. I then taped that curved piece to the opposite side and I had my pattern to create the perfect pinwheel!

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    Since I used each print twice and the pillows would be double sided, I cut out 4 of each fabric.

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    I matched up each panel and the center corners and stitched. To avoid puckering, each seam allowance was clipped, like you see below.

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    A 3" strip of cotton was sewn between the front and back of the pillows, to give it a little more depth.

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    I left the side panel open several inches to stuff the pillows with Poly-Fil. A simple slip-stitch closed it seamlessly afterwards.

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    To finish off the center and to give the center of the pillows a little less volume, I covered some buttons with spare fabric and added them where the pinwheel corners all met.

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    And lastly, candies need wrappers! Some bunched up tulle and some thread ties at the end created the perfect look. I'm ready to make a few more of these and throw them on my futon! What print will you be making some candy pillows out of?

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  • Mood DIY: How to Paint on Fabric

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    If you've never painted on fabric before, it can probably seem a little intimidating. You may be asking what type of fabric is best, is there a specific type of paint, are there any extra steps -- but let me tell you, it's so incredibly easy!

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    When adding your own designs, you'll want to stay away from basic acrylic paint. Instead, look for Jacquard textile paints! They'll move and stretch with your fabric, without cracking or drying out. Or, if you're looking to customize some shoes or leather, Mood sells Angelus paint at their NYC store if you call and ask for it!

    To showcase the paint in this DIY, I decided to make a "Thank you, Mood" pillow, so I went with an opaque white and a metallic gold.

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    Step one is creating your design. This can mean free-handing it right on your fabric, or designing it on paper and transferring it. I free handed the "Thank you" and a little Swatch face onto a black cotton twill with chalk. For the logo, I used some handy tracing paper to create a stencil.

    The "super opaque" white paint was true to its name, went on super thick, and only needed one coat. The metallic needed two coats, as expected, but looks flawless once it's dry!

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    The main thing that makes fabric painting different from regular painting is the need to iron! Once the paint has dried, iron both sides of your fabric for 30 seconds.

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    After that, your newly customized fabric is ready to be transformed into something new. Like this adorable throw pillow! All you need to do it add an invisible zipper to the bottom of two squares and sew the last three edges with right sides together.

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    Lastly, clip the corners of your squares and turn your pillow casing right side out before inserting a pillow form. And just like that you'll have a unique new pillow for your couch or armchair!

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