Tuesday, May 17, 2016

HAIR ACCESSORY DIY: Olyfun Desert Flowers and Succulents Headband

Get into this trend with your own Olyfun Desert Flowers and Succulents Headband. If wacky headbands aren't your thing, these flowers and succulents would be great for other decor, weddings, and hair accessories. I spent several hours of trial and error to make the easiest and prettiest faux succulents using OlyFun and hot glue! These can be made with the OlyFun in 18 colors and 4 metallics. You could probably make them gigantic, if that pleases you. Head over to Fairfield world to make your own Olyfun Desert Flowers and Succulents Headband.

I'm a Master Maker for Fairfield World. They supplied me with the OlyFun for this project. They paid me to create this project. Adhesive Technologies supplied me with the hot glue gun and hot glue sticks for this project.

PARTY DECOR DIY: Silver OlyFun Letter Party Balloons

These Silver OlyFun Letter Party Balloons are a great forever option to fancy balloons that deflate. This is a no-sew project, using Silver Metallic OlyFun, Poly-Fil and a low-temp hot glue gun. The letters can be any size or shape. I made this custom set to update my daughter's bedroom decor. These are great for parties, weddings, special events, gifts, and room decor. Head over to Fairfield World to make your own custom faux balloons!

I'm a Master Maker for Fairfield World. They supplied me with the OlyFun and Poly-Fil for this project. They paid me to create this project. Adhesive Technologies supplied me with the hot glue gun and hot glue sticks for this project.

Friday, May 13, 2016

BAG DIY: OlyFun Daisy Cross Body Purse

This OlyFun Daisy Cross Body Purse is the perfect retro 90s bag. This bag would be fabulous at all the upcoming festivals. OlyFun doesn't fray and cuts like paper, making it great for a daisy design purse. I used a classic daisy bag color combo of a white daisy with a yellow center, on a black background. OlyFun comes in 18 colors and 4 metallics, allowing for a custom color combo. This bag is made with 3 packs of OlyFun craft sheets, making it an affordable project. The sheets are 12" x 12", which I accounted for, in all my measurements, so the bag is at maximum size. If cross body purses aren't your preferred bag style, shorten the strap for handbag length, or add a wristlet strap instead. Head over to Fairfield World to create your own OlyFun Daisy Cross Body Purse.

I'm a Master Maker for Fairfield World. They supplied me with the OlyFun for this project. Fairfield World paid me to create this project.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

HOME DECOR DIY: Modern Canvas Ottoman Makeover

I've had a Todd Oldham ottoman that I bought many years ago, before Alex existed. It's been worn out by a messy kid and scratch happy cats. With the help of Fairfield World products, Robert Kaufman canvas fabric, and a Dritz staple gun, I was able to give this ottoman a modern update. So far, the cats have enjoyed laying on it, but haven't clawed it. I think the lack of texture is helping, as the previous fabric was a corduroy. You can recover many types of upholstery, using my instructions. I have some more furniture makeover and home decor projects planned over the next few months. You'll be amazed at the makeover results from what I'm starting with. Head to Fairfield World to see this Modern Canvas Ottoman Makeover. Need some more decorating inspiration? Check out my other Home Decor Tutorials, including this Chair Foam and Fabric Update.

I'm a Master Maker for Fairfield World. Dritz, Robert Kaufman and Fairfield World provided me with supplies for this project. Fairfield World paid me to create this tutorial.

HAIR ACCESSORY DIY: OlyFun Ice Cream Cone Headband

Neat something quirky to wear to your next warm weather party? Perhaps this OlyFun Ice Cream Cone Headband is exactly what you or your kid needs. At this point of my headband creations, my daughter has a growing stash of headbands for school. Her birthday is coming up, so I've been in party mode. This decadent headband would be perfect for a birthday party. I used Olyfun, because it doesn't fray, cuts like paper, and bonds well with hot glue. This is a no-sew project, assembled completely with hot glue. OlyFun comes in 18 colors, so you can create a custom array of ice creams. I prefer these sherbet and mint colors. The silver, gold, and white add delicate simplistic details without being distracting. Head over to Fairfield World to make your own headbandIf you dig this project, check out the other hair accessories I've created. 

I'm a Master Maker for Fairfield World. They supplied me with the OlyFun for this project. Ad Tech supplied me with the hot glue gun and hot glue for this project, as a partnership with Fairfield World. Fairfield World paid me to create this project. 

Friday, April 15, 2016

HOME DIY: Floral Embroidered Floor Pouf

I love experimenting with incorporating florals into my projects when I can. When Fairfield World challenged us Master Makers to create something with their foam tuffet, I immediately thought of those fancy embroidered floor poufs. I could have done this with fabric paint, but that wouldn't be a challenge for me. Instead I opted to create a floral motif using free motion embroidery and bright thread. I used black canvas that Robert Kaufman graciously sent me. I could have done this in white or grey, but felt black would show less dirt and have better contrast with the bright colors.

CRAFT LEVEL: Intermediate to Expert. You must be an experienced sewing machine user.

This list includes Amazon Affiliate links. Any purchases made using the Amazon links, will result in Amazon paying me a small commision. I linked to the exact thread colors I used. Fairfield World and Robert Kaufman provided me with their products to create this project. Fairfield World paid me to create this tutorial.


1) Cut the canvas in half, creating two half yard sections. Set one half aside. Cut the other half in half again, along the fold, creating two large squares.

2) Cut two squares of Smooth interfacing, matching the canvas squares. At the ironing board, turn the iron to cotton. Iron the canvas flat. Lay an interfacing square, glue side up, on the ironing board. Lay a canvas square on top. Iron the canvas slowly, fusing the interfacing to the back. Repeat with the 2nd squares. This interfacing helps keep the embroidery from warping the fabric a lot, and gives the fabric more durability.

3) Lay the foam tuffet onto a black canvas square. Trace around the tuffet, with the white pencil, for the top piece. Set one square aside, for the bottom. Using the white pencil and clear ruler, segment the circle into 1/8" sections. These are guidelines.

4) Add the free motion embroidery foot and yellow thread to the sewing machine. Lower the feed dogs. Make some test stitches at the corner of a square, guiding the fabric in swirls. Adjust the tension as needed. The stitches should look normal, despite being curvy. The tension will stay the same for all the free motion embroidery, but go back to default for sewing the pieces together. Practice having stitch length consistency. My machine has a speed adjustment. I picked a medium speed that I was comfortable using and created consistent stitch length.

5) Start in the circle middle. Unlike normal stitching along curves, you don't turn the fabric for free motion embroidery. You move it around, as if the needle is a pencil that you're drawing with. Stitch in looping circles, working out until you're satisfied with the width and density. You can overlap the stitches, to created a denser yellow circle. The edges don't need to be perfect.

6) Switch to purple thread. Using the white pencil, draw the petals if desired. I didn't draw them 1st, for this round. Stitch around the yellow edge, multiple times, creating a purple circle. Created petals by looping the stitching in tear drop shapes. The multiple passes, give the stitching a sketching appearance. This is what you want. This isn't about perfection, but layers.

7) Switch to pink thread. Using the white pencil, draw the petals if desired. I didn't draw them 1st, for this round. Add petals between and above the purple petals. These are the same shape as the previous row. Outline all the petals. Then, start filling them in. This round is more dense, due to having more petals.

8) Switch to turquoise thread. Using the white pencil, draw the petals if desired. I did draw the petals this time, because they were much larger than previous rounds. For these petals, I made the stitching arch in layers, like a rainbow. Outline all the petals. Then, start filling them in.

9) Switch to bright orange thread. Using the white pencil, draw the petals, as these are more intricate than previous rounds. Outline all the petals, along the drawn lines. Stitch along the turquoise petals, making multiple passes. Then, start filling the petals in. The fill for these is in a spiral.

10) The last row is leaves. Switch to mint green thread. Using the white pencil, draw the leaves. Stitch along the drawn leaves and previous petals, in several passes. To fill, make zig zags, mimicking real leaves. Set this finished embroidery aside with the pouf bottom piece.

11) The circumference of the foam tuffet is 56.5" but we need a little extra for seam allowance and overlap. From the canvas and interfacing, using the ruler and white pencil, create 2 rectangles each, 7" wide by at least 30" long...longer is fine. Cut the rectangles out. Fuse the rectangle interfacing to the canvas, as done with the squares. Trim away any excess interfacing.

12) Put the canvas rectangles canvas sides together. At the sewing machine, Straight stitch two short sides together. Open the pieces, and hand press the seam to one side. Top stitch 1/8" from the seam. Switch back to the normal sewing machine foot, if you aren't comfortable doing this step with the free motion embroidery foot. Now you'll have one long strip.

13) You could draw this part, or do like I did, make up the design as you go along. Load the sewing machine with green thread. Working in small sections, stitch a curving vine, going over the design in multiple passes. Continue stitching the vine in sections, from one end to the other. When you are done with the vine, switch to mint green thread. Stitch along one vine side, stopping every few inches to create a leaf. Keep the leaves about 1/2"-1" away from the canvas edge, accounting for seam allowance.

14) Back to the squares. With the white pencil, draw a circle 1/2" around the previous circle, on the embroidered square. This adds seam allowance. Cut along that new bigger circle. Trace the new circle onto the 2nd square, for the backing circle.

15) Switch back to the normal sewing machine foot. Switch to black thread. Place the top circle and side rectangle, right sides facing. Fold the  rectangle short end back 1". Stitch the two pieces together 1/2" from the edge, following the circle shape. Stop when you reach the beginning. With the scissors, clip the curved edge every 1/2", making sure not to cut the thread. Turn the pieces right side out, shaping the circle.

16) At the ironing board, press the seam, so the edges, are towards the sides. Press This looks better later. Also, press the other long edge in 1/2" for easier hand sewing later. This is hindsight, that I wish I'd figured out before sewing this thing together. Hey, I'm making this easier for YOU...not me.

17) Stuff the foam tuffet into the case. Lay the bottom piece onto the exposed tuffet. Pull the sides up, to overlap the circle edge. Using straight pins, secure the seam in place.

18) Thread a hand sewing needle with black thread. Match up the ends and double knot them. Stitch the bottom seam using an invisible stitch. If you're not awesome at an invisible stitch, don't fret. This is the BOTTOM. A normal person isn't going to inspect it for perfection. The top and the sides are good distractions from any wonky hand sewing. Here's a good video tutorial if you need some instructions. Visuals are great for this tricky stitch. If you're running low on thread, knot it off, and clip the excess. Repeat rethreading your needle as needed.

19) When you get back to the side seam, fold in the excess fabric for the side panel about 2" under the beginning fold. Cut off any excess fabric beyond that 2". Straight pin this seam closed. Hand sew it shut with invisible stitches. Unfortunately, my vine doesn't match up on that side, but it looks swell on that machine sewed seam! If you were to plan better, you might be able to measure closer to accurate and match up the vine.

20) If there are any pencil lines left, using a damp towel to remove them.

That's all for this tutorial. You can change up the colors to better fit your decor. I'll definitely be revisiting free motion embroidery in the future, as I enjoy using it to make my artwork more textural. If this seems too intricate for you, create a simpler design with less rounds and detail. This idea would also be great for a pillow, of which Fairfield World has many different pillow inserts. Whatever you decide to make, have fun with it! Happy Makery.

Monday, April 11, 2016

BAG DIY: OlyFun Oversized Donut Tote Bag

Something you may not know about me is my love of donuts. We have an odd tradition of getting Vietnamese food, followed by Krispy Kreme donuts, because they're located close to each other. Richmond, like many cities, has a booming donut economy. That's a thing right? Must be! I love making wacky bags, which has been MUCH easier to achieve with Fairfield OlyFun, because it doesn't fray. I've been looking for a donut bag...you know a bag that LOOKS like a donut, not a bag full of donuts. I know where to get that fix. I found either small dinky bags, and printed tote bags, but nothing big enough for my needs that was donut shaped. This project had been floating around my head for a few months, while I pondered how to make my donut bag dreams possible. It was while actually dreaming...the asleep vs daydreaming sort...I suddenly realized that the new gold OlyFun was the perfect glistening Hot 'N Ready donut color. I decided on icing and sprinkle colors. I was going to add a zipper, but decided an open bag was much easier to make, because circles were tricky enough for most folks. Me not included, but zippers are my arch nemesis. Anywho, by now you should be enticed enough to want to make the bag, but stop reading my rambling story. Head to Fairfield World to make this delicious looking OlyFun Oversized Donut Tote Bag.

I'm a Master Maker for Fairfield World. They provided me with the OlyFun for this bag, and paid me to create this project tutorial. They love my bizarre creations, and I love working for them, so it's the perfect relationship. I have a big list of bag, furniture, housewares, wearable, and whatnot projects coming. I'm also teaching twice a week, so I'm like a frantic mouse looking for cheese most days. Speaking of food, time for DINNA!

Thursday, March 31, 2016

SHOE DIY: Polka Dot Ankle Wraps Dritz Espadrilles

Dritz created a new espadrille shoe line, and offered the Fairfield World Master Makers a set of supplies to create our own espadrille shoes. Our challenge was to add to or alter the shoe design, using a Fairfield World supply. I love espadrilles and sandals that wrap around my leg. There is something seductive and secure about having straps that wrap. I used Fairfield World Soften Fusible Interfacing on black with white polka dot cotton to create soft flexible straps. I chose black with white polka dots for my outer and straps, and black for my lining fabric , but the Dritz outer fashion and lining fabrics come in other colors and patterns. You're welcome to chose other fabrics, that suit your style. I know I'll get more wear out of black and white shoes than any colors.

CRAFT LEVEL: Intermediate to expert in both machine sewing and blanket stitch hand sewing

TIPS: I've been hand sewing since I was 4, with an emphasis on embroidery, so the blanket stitch around the edge wasn't technically hard. It does require some patience and hand strength to get the needle and waxed yarn through the jute and canvas layers. The machine sewing is basic. You need to be confident sewing around curves, corners and keeping your edge spacing even. The soles come with instructions on how to make your espadrilles. There is a How to Make Espadrilles by Dritz video tutorial, to help you see exactly how the shoes are put together. I'm a visual learner, so I found the video very helpful.

These are Amazon Affiliate links. Any purchases made using these links, Amazon will pay me a small commision. Both Fairfield World and Dritz provided me with their products, to create this tutorial. Fairfield World paid me to create the tutorial, because I'm part of their Master Makers team.

1) Turn your iron to the cotton setting, which is the highest on my iron. Make sure the steam is on. Iron the polka dot cotton fabric, Dritz fashion fabric outer and lining, flat, so they're easy to work with. Do not iron the stabilizer! That's backed with a glue. Set the Dritz fabric aside.

2) Flip the polka dot cotton over. With your quilting ruler and pencil, draw 4 strips, 2" high by the fabric width. With fabric scissors, cut out the strips panel. Don't cut the strips apart yet.

3) Lay the Soften Fusible Interfacing, on the ironing board, glue side up. Lay the strips rectangle onto the interfacing, right side up. Smooth them together. Iron on the fabric, making sure it's fused well.

4) Using fabric scissors, cut away the excess Soften Fusible Interfacing. Flip the fused fabric over. You should be able to see the drawn lines. Cut the strips apart, following those lines. Iron them flat, to make sure the interfacing is fused well.

5) Fold in one strip end about 1/2". Iron in place.

6) Fold the strip in half, ironing the fold flat. This photo shows the crease, after the strip has been reopened.

7) Fold in the edges to the middle. Iron in place. Fold the strip in half again, with those edges inside. Iron flat.

8) At the sewing machine, set your stitch length a little longer, for top stitching. Using white thread, top stitch the folded edges of the strips together. You'll have 4 ties when you're finished. Set the ties aside.

9) With paper scissors, cut out the pattern pieces, according to the size of the sole. However, Dritz recommends going up a size for wide feet and down a size for skinny feet. I kept it a size 8, because my feet are medium width.

10) Trace the heel and toe onto the outer and lining fabrics, using the Dritz dressmaker's marking pencil in white. Use a few straight pins to hold the pattern pieces in place, if needed. Using fabric scissors, cut out the pieces. Set the pieces aside.

11) Trace the heel and toe stabilizer pieces onto the stabilizer fabric right side, using a pencil. Using fabric scissors, cut out the pieces. Set the pieces aside.

12) At the ironing board, iron the heel and toe stabilizers in place on the lining pieces. The toe pieces are self explanatory on placement. The heel ones are a little tricky, but this is the correct placement. Dritz recommend the wool setting for these. They did fine on the cotton setting too.

13) Lay the heel pieces together right sides together. Insert one strap's raw end about 2" in from each side, along the top. They should angle in a bit. The remainder of the strap will hang out of the bottom, which is the turn opening.

14) Put the sewing machine back to the default stitch length. I used white thread, so it would show better in the photos. Use thread that matches your fabric for the seams. Stitch around the heel, about 3/8" from the edge. Leave a 2" opening where you see the ties hanging out. Backstitch where the ties are attached, for added strength.

15) Trim the corners and edges to about 1/8" from the stitch line. At the opening, leave the fabric width intact,. This makes hiding the opening easier later.

16) With the right sides together, stitch around the toe pieces, leaving a 2" opening along a side.

17) Turn all the pieces right side out. Use the Dritz point turner to help shape the corners and curves. Fold in the opening fabric, to be even with the seamline. At the ironing board, iron all the pieces flat.

18) Topstitch around the heel pieces, about 1/8" from the edge.

19) Line up the heel with the toe. This is where to adjust the fit of the shoe to your foot. I found for me, it fit best with the edges slightly overlapped. Where you see the straight pins, is where the heel ends meet the toe. Topstitch around the toes, attaching the heel sides.

20) Fold the shoe uppers in half. Use straight pins to mark the center front and back.

21) Line up the heel with the back of the sole. Press the glass head straight pins through the canvas upper into the jute sole. Place them every 1/4"-1/2", shaping the upper to the sole.

22) Dritz recommends to cut a piece of yarn 90" long. I cut a piece about half that length, which is a length I'm comfortable working with. The yarn must be waxed before using, for easy sewing. Place the yarn over a yarn wax slit. With your fingers holding the yarn in place against the yarn wax case, pull the yarn. Wax will attach to the yarn. Repeat a 2nd time. I found the wax started wearing off after several stitches, so the shorter length was a good call. You can rewax a section if needed, while it's still in use.

23) Roll the ties up and stuff them inside the shoe, to keep them out of the way.

24) Tie a double knot in one waxed yarn end. Start at the seam where the heel and toe connect. Insert the needle up through the jute and through the canvas at the topstitching seam. Trim the knot tail, close to the knot. It's long in this photo. Sewing through the jute and canvas can be difficult. The Dritz needle pullers fit over your thumb and forefinger. I found them to be helpful for better grip on the needle through thick sections. I didn't need to wear them the entire time though.

25) To sew the upper to the sole, Dritz instructs to use a blanket stitch. To make this stitch, insert the needle up through the jute and canvas, about 1/4" from the previous stitch. Put the yarn behind the needle. Finish pulling the needle up. Pull tight to lock the stitch. Continue like this until your yarn gets about 6" long. I used the longest straight needle for the sewing. In the assorted pack, are two long, two medium, and two curved needles. Use what works best for you.

26) When your yarn gets about 6" long. Insert the needle back down through the canvas and jute, behind your last stitch. Double knot the tail through the stitch bar. Remove the yarn from the straight needle. Insert it though the curved needle eye. Push the curved needle through the jute where you double knotted, to about 5 previous stitches away. Press it through less stitches at a time if that is easier. Pull the yarn tight. Cut off any excess.

REPEAT STEPS 22-26, until the both uppers are sewn to their soles.

I've been wearing espadrilles for over 15 years, every summer. I have a lot of ones with heels that get a lot of wear, but aren't practical for lots of walking. I have a few flat espadrilles that don't fit correctly, because they use flimsy fabric that rubs and causes blisters. They're sitting in a donate basket right now, but after I made these Dritz Espadrilles, I plan on reusing the soles to make more flat espadrilles with better fabrics and construction. You can use denim and other canvas colors for the outer fabric. Any thin cotton will work for the lining. You need about a fat quarter sized piece. You can add embroidery, monograms, quilting, painting, and other decorations onto the outer fabric, before construction. Use a combination of thread, fabric, and yarn colors to create unique espadrille shoes. The jute soles have rubber bottoms, making them durable for many years of use. However you choose to create your custom espadrille shoes, have fun with it. Happy Makery!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

COSTUME DIY: OlyFun Dress Up Rainbow Bustle

My friend's daughter turned 3 today. Her dad & I are in League of Space Pirates together. She'd nicely requested a version of my Chroma costume. She's too young to understand that my costume it's child appropriate. The word "chroma" has to do with the brightness or pureness of a color. While I always related it to colorfulness, it doesn't exactly mean that. However, to combine that definition with the actual character, I chose to make a rainbow version of my favorite tiered bustle, that is definitely kid friendly. I used 6 colors of Fairfield World OlyFun, which doesn't fray, making it perfect for quickly made dress up clothing, among other uses. You can certainly pick other colors...or metallics, or neutrals...and make it for a grown up. Head over Fairfield World to make this OlyFun Dress Up Rainbow Bustle.

I'm a Master Maker for Fairfield World. You can see my creations for them, on their site and my blog, at least three times a month. They provided me with their products, and pay me to create projects and tutorials. It's a lot of fun. I mean hey, I got to make this sweet rainbow bustle, which had been rattling around in my brain for a few months and just needed a 3 year old for motivation. I know she'll enjoy it for years. I don't often make birthday gifts, but I couldn't resist making this for a special birthday girl.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

HOLIDAY DIY: Gold Easter Bunny Rabbit Ears Headband

There might be a theme forming with my Easter projects. It might be bunnylicious. That's a word that Google spell check approved...why, I'm not sure. Over on Fairfield World, I created a tutorial for a Gold Easter Bunny Rabbit Ears Headband. I used Gold and Bubble Gum OlyFun. These would look smashing with Silver, Rose Gold, Orchid, Blue SkySea Green, Kiwi, Lemon Drop or Orange Crush. Those are my preferred colors at the moment, as I'm deep in Spring cheer mode. It's finally 70 today! So excited to enjoy the outdoors. I have to stop my possible rambling and go work outdoors on painting a glider, before heading to a school to teach kids how to paint patterns...you know like this polka dots. We're making pop art portraits. It's spiffy, the kids like it, and my assistant is a local painter artist, so that makes me happy. We all could use more happiness in our lives!

I'm a Master Maker for Fairfield World. This means they pay me to come up with these wacky tutorials using their products. My favorite is their OlyFun fabric, which cuts like paper and doesn't fray, making it great for so many wacky projects. My list is long and that's great, because I'm on my third term with them, so yeah expect more projects collaborating with Fairfield World. They're awesome people who make awesome things. Can't get much better than that really!


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