Friday, December 27, 2013

Tutorial: How to make a fabric rosette

How to make a fabric rosette

If you want to make an elegant-looking fabric rosette, with no raw edges showing, first sew a long tube (maybe 30" or so) of fabric, about 3/4" to 1" wide. (The length of your tube will determine the size of the finished rosette -- err on the long side if you are unsure.) Press the seam allowance open, the turn the tube right side out and press it flat, with the seam along one edge.

1. Tie a single knot near one end. With needle and thread, stitch the knot, from beneath, to a scrap of buckram or heavy-duty interfacing (not the iron-on kind), at least as wide and tall as you want the final rosette to be.
2. Take the long tail and pull it upwards, then take two securing stitches through the inside edge of the tail, near the knot.
3. Working around the knot, pull the tail around again and take two more securing stitches, near the knot.
4. Twist the tail -- or don't, this is an organic process and really just based on how it looks as you go. Take more securing stitches.
5-7. Work your way around, twisting or flipping the fabric as you wish, taking more stitches through the buckram or interfacing, to secure the rosette. Keep going around in a spiral, trying to keep the shape roughly circular, until you are satisfied with the size of the rosette.
8. Flip the rosette over and trim the buckram as close as possible to the stitches you've made.
9. Tuck the end of the fabric tail underneath the rose, secure with stitches, and trim.
10. A lovely finished rosette!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Lavinia's Christmas dress

Christmas dress 2013

Lavinia wore her Christmas dress to church today so I was able to snap a few photos. She is proving to be a difficult age to photograph (19 months) so here's a shot of the dress on a hanger, below.


The dress is my own design and pattern, so it was challenging at times but I'm pleased with how it turned out. I love ballet-inspired Christmas dresses (all those years of attending performances of "The Nutcracker"), so I was aiming for that sort of look. I liked the raglan-sleeve party dresses for girls being sold at Boden this season, so that was my model for the bodice. The skirt is a circle skirt, with four layers of tulle over that.

Christmas dress 2013

My goal was to spend as little as possible on this dress. The bodice is made from a polyester peau de soie I bought years ago at Denver Fabrics. It is just the color of ballet shoes! It is self-lined, which makes it a little bulkier than I would have liked, but like I said, I didn't want to have to buy matching lining. The underskirt is cut from silk ivory duchess satin left over from my wedding gown. I made the rosettes from the peau de soie and the little ivory leaves are made from silk charmeuse scraps from another project, and the pearl beads in the centers of the roses are also left over from my wedding gown. The only thing I purchased new for this project was the sparkly ivory tulle, which was $1.37/yard at Walmart! So all in all, not too bad.


My mom had some perfect vintage buttons in her stash. They probably belonged to my great-grandmother, who was a minister's wife and did a great deal of sewing, for her own family and for others.

Christmas dress 2013

I'm trying to cherish these last few weeks of Lavinia being the baby of the family. I'm so proud of my beautiful little daughter!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Christmas vignettes

Christmas vignette

This is our first year having a real, live Christmas tree. It's an absolutely gorgeous Frasier fir tree that is so tall and full and smells wonderful!

Christmas vignette

Douglas had to snip a few of the lowest branches off, so I have been using the extra greenery for decorating around the house. I bought an advent wreath frame on clearance last year after Christmas, and this year I've been able to fill it in with fir branches, dried orange slices, and pinecones.

Christmas vignette

A little Nutcracker vignette. It's the only use my poor pointe shoes are getting these days!

Christmas vignette

A Jesse tree in our dining room, decorated by little hands.

Christmas vignette

Winter-y/Christmas books for reading. I love the vintage Little Golden book I found at a used bookstore for a dollar!

Christmas vignette

Douglas, the resident gardener, is forcing some narcissus bulbs. I don't think they'll be quite ready by Christmas Day, but they'll be a welcome whiff of spring come January. (EDIT: I was totally wrong. They were blooming by Christmas! Those flowers grow fast!)

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Toddler totes

toddler totes

I recently finished up these simple toddler-sized tote bags for two handsome little men I know. The chevron fabric comes from Hobby Lobby and I used plain muslin from my stash for lining. I personalized the totes with the fancy-shmancy embroidery function on my mom's sewing machine, then used matching thread for the topstitching on the handles and around the tops of the bags. These are very quick to make (assuming your embroidery attempts don't give you conniption fits, ahem) and would make a lovely Christmas gift for any small children in your life! I made one for Edmund earlier in the year and it's his "church bag" that we fill with items to keep him occupied during church.

Just follow this tutorial but modify your measurements a little bit. I cut out my main bag pieces to be 13" x 11.75" (I didn't have a fold at the bottom as in the tutorial, but a seam), and the straps were 2" by 19" (they end up being 1" wide by 17" long). I used 1/2" seam allowances.