a little plaster goes a long way

Here’s the deal:  I love sewing and fabric and making things, but I also love painting and decorating and making my house beautiful too.  After a while of contemplating starting a new blog it hit me that maybe this space doesn’t have to be just about sewing.  Novel idea, right!?! So after a long absence I’m ready, really ready, to climb back up into the saddle and share the many things I’m working on!

First up, is transitioning our “play room”  into more of a teen hangout area.  Don’t tell M though, she’s annoyed and says her pet shops aren’t going anywhere, which means I’ll need to get a little creative with storage.  When I asked the kids what kind of feeling they wanted in the room J said DARK, separately G said DARK, and O won’t be happy with anything other than pink… which on a side bar makes me think of a “perfectly pink wedding of blush and bashful”!  One of my all time fav movies!

Back on track I’m plastering the walls BLACK!  It doesn’t really get any darker than that and is pretty much the opposite of pink, but hey I’m going for it!  and after all it’s not ALL black; I’m hand mixing the black paint with plaster for a totally unique look that is both dark and not dark.  The ceilings slant upward at 7″ and I think that’ll end up with a glossy white to pop against the chalky walls.  Again with the dark and not dark.

mixing plaster + paint

This is just the first stage and I’m not yet done but thought I’d throw up a link up to #cwts2014 This wall treatment is pretty messy but also pretty forgiving, I had my 12 year old at home today helping me make a giant plaster mess, and it was great fun! She’s thrilled that she helped make the room special and I’m thrilled to spend that one-on-one time with her doing something fun! Win-win.

I’m back!!! YAY!-C

 

give a little twirl

My girl was selected to give a tour at school.  Which means the girl needs a new outfit, not really but I’ll take any excuse to put needle and thread to fabric.  In the spirit of “sew what you know when you’re in a time crunch” I went with the tried and true and AWESOME laguna skirt.laguna twirl

In the spirit of make what you want, even if you never have, I tried my hand at free motion applique.  I’m certain 2 a.m. is not the best time to try a new technique when it’s due in the morning, so I went over all my free motion with a regular straight stitch to make sure it didn’t fall apart during the day. :-)

free motion applique

sharing a little love

love string artI had originally planned on making this post after my NEXT giant string art was done.  But the next one is still in the works and this one has a message that I felt was needed, especially this week.  So I’ll jump the gun a little bit today and  wait to show version 2, which is completely different from this one, some other day.

mustache love

When I saw this I knew it would be perfect for my tween-aged, peace, love, and rock and roll, girls’ room.  She loves pink so the walls are still okay, if a little light, there’s the raspberry door and a big black and what dotted, lighted, peace sign over the bed so I thought this piece was a great fit for both her room ‘theme’ and her personality.

ribbon trim on string wall art

The plywood is 3/4″ thick and the helpful lowes employee cut it into a 3′ square so we didn’t have to break out the saw.

I thought it’d be much easier to trace a giant symmetrical heart than freehand one so I found a heart clipart, resized it to just under 3′, and opened it in paint.  I selected to print on multi papers and it spit out about 20 sheets for me to tape together.

Using small nails I tacked them in about 1/2″ apart around the heart and love word. Then ripped off all the papers!  Now it’s time to spray paint the whole kit and kaboodle.

Next came the fun part:  stringing.  I went along the edges with the string, to add definition to the design and also so the kids could go to town and not worry about covering up the words that are meant to stay empty,.  The kids had a fun, this is an easy come and go project that only took a couple of hours.

ribbon fixes almost anything

I painted the edges the same raspberry color as the door to tie it in with the room.  My edging was clearly not perfect, despite using the roll of tape to seal it down.  But all was not lost, this mishap led to a creative solution, ribbon!  Since mustaches are so popular right now and my girl thinks they rock, I took out the super stinky glue and stuck the ribbon down.

picture haning system

I sent T out for big d-hook hangers and he came home with this contraption, which works GREAT.  I feel totally good about the weight that it’s holding and it was a snap to make level!

And there you have it!  I big piece of personalized art, that shares a little love every day ;-)

me sending you a little love

-C

 

 

 

ruching around the Christmas Tree

Less “traditional” and more sugar plum fairy-ish describes our holiday decorating style and a new tree skirt was top on the list for a decorating spruce up this year.  I am pleased as spiked punch at how this baby turned out.

ruched christmas tree skirt

Why use less fabric when you can turn this project into a stash buster and use 3-4 times the amount you would by making a ‘simple’ skirt?  I don’t go for simple very often, so while pondering the design plan I  came up with this ‘ruched’ version — ruffled at both the top and bottom – using a mix of quilting cottons and extra wide European poplins and topped off with fun trims.  Can you see me grinning like a kid in a candy shop?  I am!

ruched tree skirt

This skirt is 60″, so I cut the pieces 7″ wide to account for 1/2″ seam allowances on both ends and left a 6″ opening in the center.

cutting the fabric, all pieces are 7″ wide x the width of fabric.  If you’re using 44″ wide for all the number in () will give you a close approximate.

row 1:  1.5 strips of 55″ wide (2)

row 2:  3 strips of 44″ wide

row 3:  4 strips of 55″ wide (5)

row 4: 5 strips of 55″ wide (7)

row 5:  8 strips of 44″ wide

join strips, short ends together,  to form long swaths of 7″ wide fabric.  Use the basting stitch to gather both top and bottom of the strips of fabric.  I like using different colored thread in the bobbin to help keep track of which is which.  Once they are gathered you may want tighter gathers, I sure did!,  and will pull the bobbin thread until it reaches the desired length.

On the first round pull the top or center of the skirt until it’s roughly 18″ long.. Once joined into a circle this should leave an opening of about 6″.  I *DID* join the first round, to help keep the circle shape as I formed the skirt.  Even though this means unpicking it in the end I still think it’s a good idea.

Once the second row has been gathered and pulled in to the desired length insert any embellishments (crochet trim, ric rac and pom poms were all used on this skirt) and pin it right sides together with the 1st row.  Secure the seam.  Now lay it flat and make sure the bottom layer of gathers lays nice and flat.

Secure each row in the same manor.

Unpick the first circle and finish the edges of the entire skirt.  I had a smaller piece of bias on hand and used it for the opening and center of the skirt.  Then used a giant piece for the outside.  Add whatever buttons, ties or fancy pins to keep your skirt together under the tree.

Finally , stand back and admire your handiwork!

rocking the ruching

Happy Holidays!

Corie

 

ear muff stuff

It’s not the giant super fluffy ear muff that she wants but it just right for soccer on a chilly day.  This was a pretty easy project that didn’t take much time at all.

I used a french terry knit (black gingham) and a red/white cotton lycra coordinate.  These are the colors for her team so she’s all matchey matchey at practice and games.

M is 8 and her head, around where I wanted the band to go, was 20″.  I cut both pieces 20″ x 3″ wide. Then I cut a piece 6″ long x 2″ wide for the joining band.

For the headband put the pieces right sides together and stitch the 2 long edges leaving the short ends open.  Turn it right sides out and sew a super close edge stitch.

The short joining band gets stitched (right sides together) along the long edge.

Back to the main band; bring the unstiched short edges together and overlap them by about 1/2″, wrap the joining band around the headband and fold one of the short edge under so you’ve got a nice clean and not too bulky seam.  Pin this in place and edge stitch down the long ends and across the middle where they join.  If everything is lined up just so you’ll have caught both sides of the joining band in one pass.  I made a couple of passes just for re-enforcement.

Voila!

P.S.  I haven’t really got the hang of this new wp setup and haven’t had the time to figure it out, so there are all the pictures hanging out up top and not throughout the post.  *shrug*  there’s something to figure out another day ;-)

 

sick craftyness

It was perfect timing, that is, if having a sick day could be perfect. M was home sick the day these ribbons arrived from Germany. “Color Your Own” ribbon are a genius way to have a totally custom, great quality ribbon, and you’ll get in some craft time, to boot!

This ribbon is all cotton and nice and smooth, the background is pink or blue and all the artwork is left blank, so that you can whip out your fabric markers and customize it. Lucky, I had some markers on hand, so we sat right down and went to work. My only suggestion would be to have some fine or super fine tip markers available, mine are all kind of a medium tip and, well this is a pretty narrow ribbon, sometimes smaller is better. ;-)

What a fun way to end what started out as a really un-fun day.

-C

 

Newsletter, July 12

The best kind of junk food has arrived at Banberry Place!  This is the zero calorie, printed on cotton knit, and easily made into something scrumptious kind of junk food!  Blue cotton candy, burgers and fries, doughnuts and more.  I can’t wait to see what you make from it.

Speaking of seeing what you make; our new Gallery is up and running!  We have a link to it on the main page, or go here:  We can’t wait to see what you create!

junk foot knit fabric

We’ve been doing work on our categories, which will hopefully make your shopping experience better.  The knit and woven fabrics are separated out and then diveyed up based on look, content and designers.  Don’t’ be shy, check it out and then feel free to tell us what you think, either by email or Facebook – whatever you prefer!  For an extra incentive to come check out what we’ve got, use coupon code GREATFABRIC for 15% off all fabrics, valid now through Sunday July 15th.


New

It’s a virtual rainbow in the striped knit category!  Narrow rainbow colors on white cotton jersey and grey with primary colors alternating are just some of the new striped knits ready to add the finishing touches on your next creation.

Small scale flowers seem to be popping up everywhere this summer!  The great thing about going small is that they can stand alone or are easy to piece into a design with more already going on.  These little beauties can certainly hold their own.

mini flowers rule!

We’ve added lots more colors of fold over elastic and narrow decorative edge elastics.  Are there any specific colors that you’re still looking for?  Let me know and I’ll keep my eyes out for it.  These are a quick and easy way to finish off your hems or use in your crafty endeavors.

The Autumn issue of Ottobre Design is here, all pre orders have shipped and we have re-stocked back issues too.

Autumn Ottobre pattern magazine


Coming Soon

More roses, some abstract flowers, argyle and a great plaid or two are getting ready to make an appearance along with this awesome humpty dumpty knit, stay tuned.

 


On Sale

Quilting cotton are a steal at $6.29 ($5.34 with the coupon mentioned above) per yard.  There is still have good yardage on lots of great lines including Joel Dewberry’s Modern Meadow and Tonya Whelan’s  Dolce.

 

-Corie

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Newsletter, June 5

Have you visited our shop lately?  Please say yes!  We are so over the moon with the new look and feel of the shop and hope you are too.  There are still minor tweaks being made here and there;  if you notice something hinkey or have a comment about how things are working (or not) we’d love to hear about it. 

One thing I’d like to take just a second to talk about is the ‘fly out’ menu.  If you like you can just hover until you get where you want to click.  If fly-outs make you crazy then you can click on the pink box at any time and be taken to that sub category


New this week 

bobby jack knit fabrics

That funny monkey, Bobby Jack, makes an appearance on jersey knit.  These are great prints for any age.  With peace signs and monkey/cross bones you can sew this fabric for older kids and tweens without a hitch. And I don’t know a toddler that would like a monkey blowing bubble gum bubbles!

The highly anticipated cow hide print and vintage flowers are both in stock and moving quickly.

cow hide knit fabric

cotton lycra striped knits

 

 

We also recently added some fabulous cotton lycra jersey stripes.  These are sample rolls for next spring so you’re sure to get lots of mileage out of the great peacock blue, greens and pinks!  These fabrics lean to the heavy side on weight, and have great stretch and recovery.  They are perfect for leggings or to use for the top part of a bodice with a lighter knits flowing below!

 

Christmas and winter knits are here! There are only 202 days left until the big day and here’s no time like the present to start planning your winter sewing.  I wonder if sewing winter themed items in the heat of summer will keep you cool? ;-)

 

 

Check THIS out: I found the most amazing double sided voile and SILVER denim!  My girls are chomping at the bit for something completely amazing to be sew them!. 

silver denim and voile


Coming Soon

A sweet little fairy knit is about to sprinkle some magic dust around here; I only hope she knows the spell for ‘tidy up’ I could really use some help!  In addition, there are mini-dinosaurs, more star fabric, all kinds of Halloween and even some colorful stripes.

Available for pre-order is this totally radical, groovy, cotton poly jersey.  It’s expected to be here by Thursday, be the first to get this funky fabric by pre-ordering it today.

groovy knit fabric

Stenzo fabrics are also in route, we’ve got a smattering of delightful knits and poplins ordered and can’t wait until they get here!

Hilco

Fresh from Europe we have replenished our supply of Campan knit and added some funky retro poplins.  Guys, this stuff is simply the best!


On Sale

European knits     

Speaking of Euro imports, we have some on sale right now!  You must experience the awesomeness that is European Fabrics!  These are the same high quality fabrics that Hilco offers.  The knits are all 95% cotton 5% lycra and are the best weight – not to heavy not too light- and oh so soft!  This week only you can try them for only $12.49 a yard!  Poplins, linen and also seersucker are also included in the sale, at great savings. 

Quilting cottons for $6.29?  That’s right, we’ve got great selections of lines like Flora and Fauna and Nicey Jane at this low price. Check them out!

Happy Stitching,

Corie and Terry

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gotta keep ‘um up … in style

RTW  jeans, at least on my girls (and me if I'm telling the whole story), have a tendancy to travel south.  Does everyone have this problem?  I mean I KNOW I don't have enough butt to keep my pants up, but between the three girls you'd think one of them would have a butt that could do the job.  Maiah's in the best shape and that's only because her pants still come with an elasticasized back. 

All this to say that it was high time for some cute belts!

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With the girls all 2 years apart I wanted the belts to be interchangable.  This means that M has a fair amount of extra tail and O has a little less than optimal.  It's a trade-off I'm happy to have made,  since as it turns out the pink skulls are the clear choice for 2 girls and there's one dog lover that's not giving that one up for anything. 

The process to make these is pretty straight-forward but I did learn a few things along the way so I thought I'd share my process and tips.

Gather up your supplies:

  • webbing
  • ribbon
  • jeans needle
  • heat n bond, ultrahold
  • iron and thread
  • D-rings

Measure the waist (or to be more precise the waist/hip area path that the belt will follow).  I measured the waist and ended up a little tight on extra length.  Add 8" to this measurement.  This is the amount of webbing and ribbon you'll need.  The webbing I used was 1" wide, found at hobby lobby or hancocks as well as a myriad of online shops. 

I tried several options for securing my ribbon to the webbing before sewing.  This is an important step because you don't want your ribbon sliding around your webbing while your trying to sew it. 

Double sided special scrap-booking tape (it's a little more narrow than standard DS tape) was suggested to me.  I picked up some at Michael's and while it would, sort-of, stick to the woven backside of the ribbon it refused to stick to the textured nylon webbing. 

Next idea.  I had some stitch witchery on hand and I've had good luck using it to secure ribbon to fabric by blasting it with heat.  But since I'm working with nylon and didn't really want it melting on me, I tried a medium heat setting.  No workey. 

For me the heat n bond was, hands down, the product of choice for this project.

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First:  Iron the heat n bond to the back side of the ribbon then secure the ribbon to the webbing by ironing on med-med high heat and a light weight pressing cloth. 

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Using your jeans needle, sewing machine, and whichever thread you like (on some I used regular thread, on this dog one I used embroidery thread that's more shiny).  Secure the ribbon to the webbing.  When using a straight stitch I like to lengthen it a little to a 3.

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Be adventurous and go for a decorative stitch sometimes :-)

I used a match to heat seal all the ends, you could choose to use fray check if you want.  I knew I was short on length and also didn't want the extra bullk that turning it under would make. 

On the left side on the belt thread it through 2 D-rings, fold down and stitch a square.  I made 2 passes for extra security.  IMPORTANT:  for 1" webbing use 1 1/4" rings, you'll want a little extra room so your belt can move.  I tried the 1" rings and felt it was too snug. 

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On the right hand side of the belt turn the end under and secure with a line of stitching (again I went over it a few times for strength).  You can see this in the very top picture.  You may also notice that I didn't match my bobbin to the webbing.  This is less apparent on the straight stitched belts and more apparent on the thicker, fancier stitches. 

One note about using decorative stitches; the pink skull belt was secured with a hemstitch stitch that passes over the same x shape several times.  I noticed that my ribbon got a little bunchy in places with all the back and forth.  If this bothers you I recommend a 'lighter' decorative stitch.

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It’s Rodeo Time, y’all

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Our family doesn't normally go out for the Rodeo and usually my kids barely squeek by with a bandana from the dress up box on Rodeo Day at school.  Lucky me that I've had this shirt in the hopper for a while.  It would have been done sooner but after starting construction (with the intent of using the brown/black stripe for the neckband) I didn't think it had enough stretch to make a good band and that was that, it sat.  All the while this great rib, Ringel, kept staring at me yelling "use me for that neck", and I just didn't.  I'm happy that I finally did.

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I took a bunch of close-ups of the hems and neckband so you can see how they look.  I used the coverstitch for hemming and as you can see when switching from mid-weight jersey to lighter weight thermal and all those serged seams on the side there was a little bit of wobble, but not too bad.  To sew the neckband I stitched my piece into a circle, folded it in half, marked each quarter, made the same markings on the shirt neck pinning them together and stretched as I sewed.  I debated about top stitching and didn't.  Mainly, I was running out of light and wanted to get the pictures done.  I might go back and add topstitching, but then again I might not.  I'm already buzzing through another project :-)

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coverstitched hem on thermal and jersey knit

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hemming knit fabrics

and one just because she's beautiful

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