Friday, June 14, 2013

Vintage Pillowcase and Crochet Apron

Vintage Pillowcase and Crochet Apron

One day I picked up a copy of Apronology published by Somerset Publications and I was hooked.  I was so impressed by the incredible talent and imagination displayed between its' pages.  So many pretty aprons, so many different takes on a common  place piece of apparel.

I decided I needed to jump in.  I sew and make aprons and have repurposed men's dress shirts into aprons but not a pillowcase and a piece of vintage handmade crochet.

This apron was made by opening up the pillowcase at it's seam.  The finished hem is the hem of the apron.  The pillowcase was about 28" in length so I cut the apron skirt at 20 inches which left me with 8 inches to make the ties and the waistband.  The waistband and ties are 4 inches wide. 

The raw edges on the sides of the apron were folded over pressed then folded over again and stitched to conceal the raw edges.  At the top of the apron, I sewed a gathering stitch and gently pulled it so the finished width was about 20".  Then I cut one of the remaining 4 inch wide pieces to the width of the skirt for the waistband.  I added the vintage crochet piece over the skirt, pinned the waistband piece to the skirt and stitched them all together.  I cut the other 4" wide piece of fabric into two equal lengths and also the remaining piece from the waistband, joined them to make the apron ties. 
These were folded right sides together, stitched on one short side and open side, turned right side out and pressed.  Then the waistband part was folded over, the two ties pinned into the waistband with raw edges pressed and turned in and then sewn together. 

Those of you who know how to sew probably get my explanation.  Should have taken pics during construction but I'm not very good at it and didn't think I was going to use it for the blog.

If you have questions, let me know.

I thought it turned out pretty nice, planning my next combo of vintage pieces for another apron.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Gift Tags from Photo Dividers

I am always in the need of organization . . . craftaholics at least the ones that I know tend to have excesses of supplies and finished projects.  My jewelry inventory was growing due to the upcoming show season and I needed storage for my pieces.   But I'm the type of person that looks for items that will do double duty.
Michael's had a sale and cardboard storage boxes where on sale - 5 for $10.00.  I thought they would be perfect for storing my pieces in, affordable and they would be great for adding height in our displays at the shows.  I bought several in black and tan for storage and the neutral colors would be perfect for the booth. 
Each box comes with a set of  cardstock weight dividers which I didn't need but rather than toss them - I decided to make gift tags with them.  I used my Cuttlebug, a die from Sizzix (?) and red satin ribbon.   Perfect!  Even has dotted lines to write a little note on. 
 The remains of the dividers will go in the recycle bin.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Repurposed Vintage Earrings and Button Bracelet

Vintage Earrings and Button Bracelet
I love vintage earrings and buttons.  I'm a hoarder of these.   This bracelet is really easy to make.
Purchased the bracelet blank from Fire Mountain (is it one word or two?) and used E6000 glue to attached earrings and buttons to bracelet blank.  The bracelet blank is links with flat disks between links so glue the baubles to the flat piece.  Remove any shanks, clips, etc. for the earring and button backs.  Sometimes the earrings are wired to another flat piece and you may wish to remove this piece also.  But be careful - it may destabilize the earring itself.
Arrange your pieces in a composition that pleases you and then glue.  It may require that you glue one - let each piece dry before you add the next one.  And there you go.  Be sure to do this in a well ventilated room as the fumes are a bit strong from the glue.


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Bullet Casing Earrings - A Birthday Gift for A Friend

38 Bullet Casing Earrings
Ever since I saw bullet casings used to make jewelry, I've wanted to make some.  But, the problem was not getting the casings but drilling them.  I tried using my handy dandy Dremol tool but the bit was too small and the casing got hot.
Desperate to make earrings for a girlfriend's birthday gift, I implored my husband to help me.  And, he came through.  Not only did he do these two but several more so that I have them ready for my next project.  He used his regular heavy duty hand drill and a metal drill bit - 3/32nd.  The casings were wrapped in a piece of cloth and he held it steady with a pair of pliers to drill.
I used 18 gauge silverplated wire formed duplicate links and hammered them on my anvil with a regular claw hammer.  I wire wrapped several faceted glass beads and hung them on the hammered links and then wirewrapped the tops with another piece of wire this time 22 gauge, threaded it through the hole in the casing and added more faceted glass beads, wire wrapped a loop, hammered it then attached the sterling silver ear wires.  Ta dah! Birthday gift complete. 
Skip To My Lou

Friday, May 17, 2013

Bold Button Bracelet - What To Do With Buttons

Button Bracelets
You probably have seen these all over the internet and at craft shows.  Button bracelets are a fun way to repurpose vintage and not so vintage buttons.  It's not hard really,  just takes time - a few hours.
I used a wide elastic band for the base.  I took a piece of 1 inch wide elastic and wrapped it around my wrist - loosely.  Allow for some give so that it will fit different wrist sizes.  Then I cut the elastic and sewed the two ends together securely with my sewing machine.  Since the elastic will get stretched when the bracelet is put on and taken off make sure that the ends are secure.
I used a dark brown elastic to coordinate with the buttons that I chose to use.   You want the elastic to blend in  with the buttons in case there are gaps.
I preselected some buttons that I knew I wanted to use as focal points.  Then I picked through my button stash and found smaller buttons to be fillers.   I used coordinating thread also so that it doesn't stand out against the brown elastic.  There's lots of stitches and you don't want to see them on the backside of the bracelet. 
I start sewing buttons on the elastic band  - the smaller ones first - usually at the edge of the band.  I like to have them extend beyond the edges of the band. 
Keep sewing them on and try the bracelet on every so often.  You will notice where there are gaps, etc.  Just fill them in with a button.  Stack flat buttons  and sew together or use a flat button and one with a short shank sewed together.  The fun part is you never know what your bracelet will turn out like but guarantee, it will be gorgeous!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Upcycled Leather Cuff Bracelet with Conchos

Leather Cuff Bracelet with Conchos
I've played with old belts and used them for purse handles before.   Found 3 different belts, one was a mens' worn out belt and two were ladies belts with metal conchos.  One was black faux leather and the other was turquoise faux snakeskin. 
I cut the mens' belt to a length that fit my wrist, strung the conchos on a piece of scrap leather and layered it over the belt.  Then I punched holes in both pieces to add the clasp.  Wire-wrapped the claps to the ends of both pieces and clasp.  

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Handmade Cards from Childrens' Books

Handmade Cards from Childrens' Books
I love books,  I really love books.  Going to the library was one of the highlights of the week when I was growing up.  I loved to study in the library too - so quiet and relaxing.
So, it's no surprise that I have amassed a lot of books.  Some are in good condition, some in not so good condition.  I love vintage childrens' books, the illustrations are sweet and nostalgic.  So when I come across a book that has been scribbled in, pages torn, or simply worn out from countless bedtime stories, I like to salvage the illustrations.    The illustrations are cut into a size that fits on a card blank or on a hand cut tag.  Then they are ready to send to a friend or attached to a gift.

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Friday, May 10, 2013

Peter Rabbit Reinvented

Peter Rabbit Gift Tags or Bookmarks
Beatrix Potter's illustrations are timeless.   I found an old  Peter Rabbit datebook that was given to a child as a birthday present.  A few of the pages had notations on for a friend's birthday, school date, etc.   It was eventually discarded as the year passed.
These darling illustrations were rescued from the datebook and repurposed into tags. I used some cream colored cardstock, cut out the illustrations and inked the edges of the both the illustrations and cardstock.
Chocolate brown satin ribbon was added.  A great way to salvage a discarded datebook.  The rest of the book went into the recycle bin.