Monday, August 31, 2009

Tutorial: Headband

So, this is a tutorial for a regular headband (aka nothing special about it). There are probably a thousand of these out there, and I've used quite a few of them. When I made a headband from other tutorials however, they never ended up fitting exactly how I wanted them to. I'm going to give you the measurements that I used for my adult head, and I'm assuming that they'll work on most adult heads. However, you may want to measure your head or do a trial run with an unimportant piece of fabric just to make sure.


Fabric - 20"x4.5"
Elastic - 4.5"

Step One: Hem

Lay the fabric right side down on your work service. Sew a 1" hem into both of the 4.5" sides of your fabric, as pictured above.

Step Two: Measuring

Starting at one of your corners, you're going to want to measure 4" up on the long side (20"side) of your fabric. Mark that spot.

On the short side of your fabric (4.5" side), measure 1" over and mark that spot.

Step Three: Cutting

Get a straight edge of some sort and draw a line that connects the two marks that you just made.

Cut along that line, saving the piece that you cut off.

Step Four: Shaping

Using the piece that you cut off as a guide, cut off all four corners of your fabric, as shown in the picture above.

This is the shape that your rectangle should now resemble. Basically what you're doing is cutting the fabric so that it will comfortably fit behind your ears. I've made headbands from rectangles before without doing all of this, but they don't tend to lay very nicely because they just don't go behind your ears very well.

Step Five: Stitching

Fold the fabric in half long ways placing right sides together and pin in place.

Stitch along the long side of your fabric making sure to leave both of your short ends open. Notice that the stitching in the picture above does not close up the short ends.

Step Six: Top Stitching

Turn your headband right side out and iron flat. At this point the headband should have a boomerang kind of shape to it. Top stitch the long sides once again making sure to leave the short sides open.

Step Seven: Attaching Elastic

Attach the elastic to the headband by placing approximately 1" of it inside one of the openings. While holding the elastic in place, stitch across the opening closing it up with the elastic inside. You'll want to stitch over the elastic at least two or three times to make sure that it doesn't pull out.

Place the other end of the elastic in the other opening and repeat.

Step Eight: Enjoy

Wear your headband with pride!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Hair Accessories

Well, it's Saturday, and I'm being rather lazy today. I have a list of school work a mile long, but I'm just not feeling motivated. For some reason though, hair accessories are motivating me. Over the past week, I've been making tons of headbands, barrettes, bobby pins, bows, ect. I have no idea what has gotten into me especially since I won't even wear most of what I'm making! It's really rather sad. However, if you need a way to use up scraps of fabric, those last few beads, that lonely button, or that ribbon that just won't match anything, hair accessories are the way to go. I may have to get some tutorials going on these before long. They would actually make cute and cheap Christmas presents, and with the economy the way it is this year, who doesn't like cute and cheap!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Tutorial: Large Zippered Travel Pouch

I've spent quite a bit of time traveling over the past year, and because of the airline fees for luggage, I've pretty much confined myself to traveling with just a carry on. One trick that I have learned to make packing more efficient is to use tons of pouches to keep things such as pajama sets, socks, underwear, and electronics organized. This also makes things easier when you get pulled for a security check, or have to hunt something out of the bottom of the bag. Most of the pouches at the store though are either too small or too expensive so I have resorted to making my own. These pouches are rather large (13x8) and would also be great for organizing or hiding stuff in a bathroom or craft room.

You Will Need:

~Quarter Yard of fabric
~9" Zipper

Step One:
~Cut two 14.5" by 9" rectangles
~Cut two 2.5" long strips of fabric that are the same width as your zipper (the simplest way to do this is lay the zipper on top of the fabric and use it as your pattern as I did in the picture below)

Step Two:

~On your work surface, lay your zipper right side up and unzip it half way. Then, on each end of your zipper pin one of your 2.5" strips so that it is right side down.
~Sew the strips onto the zipper getting as close as you can to where the teeth begin and end. It should look like the picture below when you are finished.

Step Three:

~On your work surface, lay one of the 14.5" rectangles right side up.
~Line up the zipper face down along the top edge of the rectangle and pin in place.
~Stitch the zipper to the fabric making sure that your stitches don't get too close to the zipper teeth. You may have to stop stitching half way through and unzip the zipper partially in order to get the zipper pull out of your way. See picture below.

Step Four:

~Now lay the zipper face up again.
~Place the other 14.5" retangle face down on top of zipper making sure to line the top edges up, and pin in place.
~Sew along the top edge once again making sure to stay as close as you can to the teeth. When your finished it should look like the picture below.

Step Five:

It is now time to topstitch on either side of the zipper. Make sure that the zipper is laying flat though so that your stitches catch the zipper underneath the fabric. For this project, the top stitching accomplishes two things. It gives the pouch a more finished look, and it holds down the fabric inside of the pouch so that it doesn't get caught up in the zipper later on.

Step Six:

~Unzip the zipper. Trust me, this is important. If you don't do it now, you won't be able to turn the pouch later.
~With the unzipped zipper at the top, fold the fabric in half with right sides together and pin in place.

Step Seven:

Sew along the three sides that you pinned together.

Step Seven:

Now to create the bottom of the pouch.

~First stand your pouch up with one corner facing you.

~Now, squish the side seam and the bottom seam together until they flatten out forming a triangle. Notice in the picture that the pouch is still standing up.

~Measure three inches across and mark that line with a marker.
~Sew across the line that you just drew.

~Flip the bag around and do the same thing with the other corner.

Step Eight:

Cut off the excess fabric at the corners.

Step Nine:

Now turn it inside out, and enjoy!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Tutorial: Another Handbag

This is a very basic handbag tutorial, but I enjoyed using it to get my placement just right for a ribbon that I wanted to wrap around the bottom of my bag. This is actually how I usually use tutorials. I pick the tutorials that I personally use based on the fact that there is some aspect of them that I want to learn. I used the tutorial link that I posted right before this one as a way to learn how to add the rounded corners. As long as I am learning something new or perfecting my skills, I feel like I am accomplishing something since I can use that knowledge later on on my own tutorials/patterns.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Tutorial: Tote Bag

I found this free tutorial today for a tote bag. While I haven't made it yet, I thought that I would pass on the information. It looks like a great pattern!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Pattern Review

No, I'm not dead, and yes, I am still working on the diaper bag. I actually did find the time to finish the first prototype a few weeks ago, and it's far from perfect. However, progress is being made, and one day I will post the tutorial.

Until then though, I wanted to let ya'll know about a pattern that I have gotten a ton of use out of lately. You can find it here. I actually wasn't too crazy about it from the pictures, but I needed a pattern that I could put a long strap on so I thought that I would try it. Once I tried it, I was hooked. It's both fast and easy to put together once you get the hang of it, and with some embellishments, such as the flowers that I mentioned in a previous post, they turn out quite cute.