Do you see what I cut out with my Silhouette... and not scissors?
Do you love to cut with scissors? Yeah. Me neither. Run with scissors... maybe... ;) When I learned that the Silhouette will cut fabric I swooned a bit and maybe drooled. I dreamed and dreamed and eventually I purchased my Silhouette.
Do you see what I cut out with my Silhouette... and not scissors?
This summer I had a couple customers whom live in humid climates tell me that their flowers were losing shape. It's frustrating for your hard work to melt a bit so I decided to go on a journey to find a better recipe! Sure, you can purchase millinery flower stiffener, but it is toxic and not conducive for most people who love the craft in their own homes. I am happy to report that I found something new that I like better!
Disclaimer: there are countless combinations and ways to make millinery flower solution. There might be something better but there is no way I could try them all. These are my findings. Also, these findings are specific to my techniques as I shape my petals differently then most milliners but may also be applicable to their techniques.
I began studying other Millinery Flower Stiffener Recipes and found some common ingredients that I thought I would mix up. The ingredients include PVA glue (such as Elmer's), Elmer's Glue All, Gelatin, Corn Starch, & Fabric Starch.
I began by cutting out circles of yellow satin fabric & numbering them with a permanent marker:
I then began to cook! Here's list of the recipes I tried:
1. 1 c water & 1/2 c PVA glue (like Elmers)
2. 1 c water & 1/4 c PVA glue
3. 1 c water & 1/2 c Elmer's Glue All
4. 1 c water & 1/4 c Elmer's Glue All
5. 1 c water & 1 tsp cornstarch mixed with 2 tsp water (Directions: bring water to boiling and slowly whisk in the cornstarch/ water combination)
6. 1 c water & 2 TBS cornstarch mixed with 2 TBS water (see directions for #5)
7. 1 c water & 1 tsp gelatin (heat water on medium heat, making sure not to boil then sprinkle in the gelatin. Stir constantly until the gelatin is completely dissolved.)
8. Full Strength liquid starch
9. Full strength hairspray (This was my own wild card. I used Rave 4X Mega for the experiment.)
10. 1 c water, 1 tsp gelatin, 1/4 c liquid starch (Directions: heat the water to medium high heat but do not boil. Sprinkle and stir the mixture until the gelatin is well dissolved. Take off heat and stir in the liquid starch.)
11. 1 c water, 1 TBS corn starch mixed with 1 TBS water, 2 TBS PVA glue (Directions: Bring water to boil & slowly add the cornstarch/ water combination. Take off heat and mix in the glue.)
12. 1 c water, 1tsp gelatin, 1 TBS cornstarch mixed with 1 TBS water (Directions: Bring water to boil then slowly add the gelatin, then cornstarch mixtures while stirring constantly.)
13. 1 c water, 1 tsp gelatin, 1 TBS cornstarch mixed with 1 TBS water & 1 TBS PVA glue (Follow directions for #12 then take the mixture off the heat and stir in the glue.)
14. 1 c water & 2 tsp gelatin (Follow directions for # 7)
15. 1 c water, 2 tsp gelatin & 1/4 c PVA glue (Follow directions for # 7 then take the mixture off the heat and stir in the glue.)
I treated the circles (recipes correspond with the numbers) and set them out flat to dry. This is after they have dried & I peeled them off the plastic:
Here's where my techniques differ from other millinery techniques. I teach my students to heat the fabric, not the tools. I also want people to create beautiful flowers without lots of expense so use basic household things that people usually own. I do realize that this is out of the box thinking, but it works!!!
I started by heating my iron to the highest setting the fabric could handle. I ironed my fabric circles then I quickly moved my circle to a pillow and pressed the ball into the fabric, holding it there until the fabric cooled completely. Note: I would normally use a smooth ball but this worked for my experiment.
Here's what they looked like afterwards:
I live in a dry climate so wanted to add some humidity, thus I unplugged my dryer vent for a cycle. The windows in my laundry room were mighty steamy & even started to drip a bit! Here's the result AFTER some humidity:
Narrowing Down & the Winner: There were some obvious winners & losers. I did not find much success with recipes that use gelatin. Period. It seems that numbers 1,2, 3 & 4 held pretty well but here's the kicker: #9 held the shape the very best!!! What was #9? Full strength, un-scented, aerosol 4X Mega Rave hairspray! Easy peasy!! While doing the experiment I asked my little boy to grab his dad's hairspray on a hunch. I guess it paid off!
I decided to further my experiment & see what other types of hairspray might work so I did a mini experiment with some of the less expensive brands. Apparently, not all hairsprays are equal in the millinery department. ;)
WARNING: Hairspray makes fabric flammable & may have dangerous chemicals. It should not be used on products for children. Never allow fabric treated with hairspray to be near an open flame. You should check the laws of your state and/or country to know whether or not items treated with hairspray are legal to sell, etc. You should also make certain that the areas you are using hairspray are well ventilated.
The winners of this mini experiment are Rave 4X Mega & Suave Extreme Hold #10.
I am so busy snuggling babies (I have a 5 month old and 16 month old) that I have not released a flower pattern in a while but I have one in the works that I am loving!!!
Here's one I made using my Enchanted pattern (yes it's upside down but it's still soooooo cute!!) Dandelions and Dungarees will be releasing the pattern for the dress (Retro Frock) soon so stay tuuuuuuned!!! Photo is courtesy of the amazing Amber Rust of Two Color Photography.
I'd love to see what you are making with flower stiffening recipes!
When seamstresses see ruffles they sometimes shy away from a pattern. They think, "Ugh! Cute, but time consuming." I understand this thinking for sure! That's why I want to show everyone my all time mega SUPER duper favorite ruffling/ gathering technique that can be done on most ANY sewing machine WITHOUT a ruffling foot. Mmm hmmm.(Note: there are sadly a few machines that will break the thread when using this method.)
It is the highest tension/ longest stitch method. It's as easy as it sounds. You set your machine to the highest tension and then the longest stitch length. Here's what that looks like on my sewing machine:
After that it is all down hill! Leave a long thread length & then just sew. Your machine should ruffle the fabric for you:
Leave a long thread length at the end as well. You can adjust the fullness/ length of your ruffle by stretching out the fabric on the thread to make it longer or holding on to the thread and scrunching your ruffle towards the center. Easy. peasy. Just be careful to not break the thread.
Now you don't have to hate ruffles! Go gather some fabric and turn it from plain to fantastic!!
BTW, my cute new "Charmed" skirt pattern might be a great place to practice your ruffling skilz! Just saying.... ;)
Today I am thrilled to release my new "Charmed" Bustle Skirt Pattern in sizes 2T- 6! (Sizes 7- 12 are coming soon.) Do you remember my saying that I have a love/ hate relationship with my seam ripper? It's still true, but I still loooove to design.
The "Charmed" skirt can be elegant...
Oh my! I had so much fun w/ this skirt pattern! Here's a couple of glances at the back:
Let me tell you, to get the pictures in the ornate building was... AAAAAAAh! Never mind. I'll just say that it was quite an adventure w/ 4 cute kiddos, but I think it was worth it.
When I would ask this cute model to do something she would say, "That's more professional, huh mom?" That girl cracks me up! She was a trooper for sure.
Believe it or not, the "Charmed" bustle skirt pattern is not as intimidating as one might think, although I would say that it is for a seamstress with intermediate skills and higher. The pattern pieces are all rectangles & I provide a chart to cut them out or pattern pieces to be printed should you prefer.
Have you seen those adorable candy jars that have a vintage spin to them? Super cute, right?
I'll show you my tricks so you can make your own!
First step: Have fun shopping thrift stores (I have seen some that use pieces from Dollar Stores as well). You are looking for fun objects whose base's are similar in size. Mine ended up being all glass, but you can use milk glass, metal, etc. The top should have a lid so you can store treats and the bottom should be heavier then the top so they are sturdy. Wash all pieces in hot soapy water, rinse and repeat.
"Glass primer?" you ask. Got it! Here's my trick:
Rustoleum Frosted Glass. Buy it. You'll luv it. It is made to stick to glass and paint sticks to it. <3
Next, paint your base. I highly recommend spray paint so you do not have lines. Here's some of my fave Krylon colors:
Spray another coat of the Rustoleum Frosted Glass or use a clear coat spray to protect the paint.
Epoxy the top piece to the base.
Embellish it up a bit, add pretty candy (of COURSE!) and enjoy. You might be so impressed with your creation that you have a photo-op. Luckily you don't have to tell candy to sit still.
Here's one last glance:
A yummy Easter craft? Maybe you have some other season in mind, or perhaps you just want to match a room's decor. What ever you do be sure to let me see!
I recently began selling a kit to make this golden Pouting Princess flower. While my Pouting Princess tutorial teaches you how to make the flower, there is nothing in it about attaching the lace trim. Truth be told, this is the same way to attach Russsian Netting and most any trim!
Materials you will need include:
-Flower (I am using a 3.5" Pouting Princess fabric flower)
- Lace Trim or Russian Netting (My length is 12")
-Hot glue gun & all-purpose hot glue
-Needle and Thread (optional if you are crazy like me)
-A Circle of felt or fleece for a neat finished appearance
-A brooch pin, hair clip or both
Step 1: Thread your needle and knot the end then sew a few stitches in one of your short end. Wrap thread around the end of your lace. Put the needle back through the lace and tie a knot. Do not cut your thread.
*Note: I do not personally use a needle and thread. I am known to be crazy with hot glue and just hot glue the trim to the base of the flower. If you are not experienced at doing this I recommend using a needle and thread to get a consistent look.
Step 3: Stitch the remaining small end closed and pull your thread until you like your edge. Wrap your thread around the small end, put your needle through the end of your lace and tie off your thread. (Just like Step 1.)
Cut the remaining thread.
Step 5: Hot glue your felt/ fleece circle over the lace back (for a neat appearance). Hot glue the hair clip and/or brooch bar to the back side of your flower.
I like to hot glue a small rectangle of matching felt/ fleece to cover the inside of the brooch bar as it offers a bit of stability and gives a neater appearance.
Which one do you like better? I hope you love trimming your flowers with lace/ Russian Netting!
I am celebrating today. Celebrating the decision of a very special 8 year old niece who has chosen to be baptized. To match my mood I made her a fabric flower "Dazzle" headband. Here's the flower:
What about you? Are you celebrating anything in particular? Couldn't your life use a little more "Dazzle"?
I have so many things to be grateful for! At the top of my list are my Savior, Jesus Christ, and family. Do you ever feel like time stands still and you take a mental picture of something? I recently experienced a day such as this and thought I might share a few pics from a mostly perfect day:
Such a wonderful day! I mostly remember lots of smiles and that time. stood. still.
I enjoyed decorating the tree and used what seems like a million Festive Fabric (Pouting Princess) flowers! (In the Festive Flower workshop there is a section on how to make the flower into an ornament.) These ornaments will be used for a few years to come because to make so many took F.O.R.E.V.E.R. but I think they were worth every second. Of course we have a flowing Angel on top who was able to do then what I desire to do now: proclaim the joyous news of His miraculous birth!
Ah! and of course, the reason for the season:
I have decided to give my Savior a gift this year. Mine is a gift of more time to my precious, priceless children. What is your gift to the King?
Yes, a lovely day when time stood still. May you have such a day this holy Christmas season. May I wish you and your loved ones a very merry Christmas!
NEW Bliss Flower Pattern! The art of millinery fabric flowers has long been regarded as an artisan craft until now! With the "Bliss" flower pattern you will learn how to make beautiful millinery flowers with household supplies!
Bliss can be small or LARGE. I even show you how to make a large bliss flower in to an elegant single flower bouquet:
Guess what? No flame is involved. You get beautifully shaped petals without a lighter, candle, match, torch....or whatever! I'll show you how.
Don't you think your life needs a little enjoyment? Perhaps a little Bliss?
It's official: I now have the sweetest, cuddliest, floppiest bundle of joy that I could have ever wished for.
I could basically hold him all day long and not accomplish much else. Come to think of it, that's about what I've done for the last 8 days. I have been anxiously awaiting his arrival and now I feel like I am gleefully playing house. (Although I don't remember so much exhaustion in the youthful version of the game.)
For months now I have been dreaming about the kind of nursery I would like him to have. My 2 boys will be sharing a room so I mostly have a wall to work with but I really wanted to make it special. My first obstacle was how to distract from the carpet? The carpet is a dated blue and because we currently rent, it cannot be changed, but I thought I would draw eyes elsewhere.
DISCLAIMER: I am not a professional carpet layer! There are possibly easier ways of doing a project like this. :)
Here's the rug we'll be making:
Start by having 2 bath rugs in contrasting colors. Nothing updates blue carpet like brown so I chose brown and creamy white bath mats.
Turn your carpets face side down and use a sharpie to draw squares on the back of the mats. My squares were 15" each, but most any size of squares will work. It just depends how large you would like your rug. Cut out your squares:
NOTE: Be prepared for a MESS of carpet fibers. Also, I recommend using a shop vac or broom to clean most of the carpet fibers as my vacuum ended up clogged. Additionally, make certain that the carpets you purchase are large enough for what ever size squares you decide on. You will need 6 squares of one color and 2 squares of the contrasting color.
Continue to cover each seam with the adhesive strip.
Next, glue the seams together:
Trim the canvas backing off the rug.
ALMOST DONE! :) This is where my professional carpet laying skills will likely come in to question. ;) For a nice, finished edge I used double folded bias tape and... hot glued it on? Oh yes I did:
And we're FINISHED!
If exhaustion doesn't ware me down next week, I will post a tutorial for the valance. Or maybe I will show you how I made the crib skirt? Hmmmm.... Stay tuned!!