Tutorial: Ruffled Fabric Streamers

Ready for another Ultimate Scrap Buster? Good. Me too. My scrap box is thanking me.

Last year I saw these on one of my favourite blogs, MADE:

Ruffled Streamers by MADE

I was instantly in love, although it took me a while to get around to making them. But I finally got myself organised and whipped up a few for Christmas. They are so quick and easy! In fact, the longest part was cutting strips of crepe paper as the only colours I could find in the little rolls weren’t what I wanted. If you are looking for a way to make some fast and gorgeous crepe paper decorations, check out Dana’s tutorial. Actually, go check it out anyway because it will really help you follow my steps a little better. And plus, she just writes the cutest posts!

But after ruffling up some crepe paper I got to thinking, what else can I ruffle? FABRIC! I’m starting to think that fabric is the answer to all of my problems. Quite possibly.

And so, just in time for Valentine’s Day decor, I had a go at ruffling up some fabric in red, white, silver and black. I’m going to be honest, we Kiwi’s don’t go crazy with decorating the house at every opportunity (although I am totally envious of the awesome decorating ideas I keep seeing on my favourite blogs), but I thought these might help me get into the spirit.

They didn’t turn out quite as cute as I hoped, as some of the fabrics didn’t ruffle as well as the others. It seems as though the thinner the fabric, the better the ruffles. But anyway, I’ll talk you through the process and offer my suggestions later.

Now, after all of that waffling, I give you another Ultimate Scrap Buster:

Ruffles!

A little close up action.

Oh, and I also did a little pink and green. Cute right?

I know the strips aren’t all perfectly straight but I think that just adds to the charm, don’t you think? I think the scrappiness of it is cute.

Ready to do-a-lil-ruffling? Great.

Get out that scrap box/bag/pile and gather yourself a pile of coordinating strips. You want some wide, approx. 5cm wide, for your bottom ruffle layer, and some thinner than that (it really doesn’t matter how thin, as long as they are thinner than your bottom pieces) for your top ruffle layer. Don’t be afraid of the funny shaped ones. Here’s my pile:

See? All kinds of shapes in there. No problem.

Now, before you get into sewing, change the settings on your machine so that it is on the longest stitch length and highest tension. Did you read Dana’s tutorial? I hope so.

Layer a smaller piece on top of a bigger piece to start. Back stitch to secure, then start sewing and watch those ruffles suddenly appear.

 

When a layer runs out, just shove another piece right in there. My top layer ran out first, so I just stopped with the needle down, lifted the presser foot and slid in another piece.

 

When your bottom layer runs out, just add in another piece in the same way.

Keep on adding in new pieces until you have a beautiful ruffled streamer to decorate whatever you want to decorate.

Unfortunately, as I mentioned before there were problems. The thicker fabrics and the stretchy fabrics didn’t work very well at all. Stick with lightweight cottons and you should be fine. Also, if you wanted you could do a third layer at the bottom facing down so that it was double-sided. That was my original plan but I got a little lazy.

A lil more pink and green for you. I love this colour combo.

Now go and make a whole bunch in whatever colour combos you like!

Happy Valentine’s! And happy ruffling!

Nicola x

The things I rely on.

Over the last few weeks there have been a couple of occasions where we have been without a car for a few days at a time. And in a few days I’m going to lose my laptop for a bit because it’s been having issues and needs to be sent away (naughty laptop!). Don’t worry about me though, I’ll just boot my husband off of his computer :)

It’s got me thinking about how much I rely on things. I definitely rely on having a car. I totally take for granted the fact that I (usually) have a car sitting in the garage ready for us to use whenever we need it. Lots of people don’t have a car or don’t drive and they get along just fine, but it has been a bit of a challenge for me. Although I’ve realised that it’s actually not that hard to find other ways of getting around, it’s just that it was too easy not to.

But since losing one big thing that I relied heavily on, I’ve had to rely on several other things: friends allowing me to borrow their umbrella stroller so that we can get on and off the train more easily, trains running on time (and just having to deal with being late when they are not!), other friends ferrying us to and from the airport, the weather (since I’m not walking around in the rain!).

I guess if I never had a car to use my life would be organised differently and I would be worrying about losing something else that I relied on. No point thinking about that.

I’m not sure that I’ve ever mentioned that I have never had my own sewing machine. I used to rely on the fact that I could borrow our sewing machine from work whenever I wanted (I used to work in an after school programme, we had a machine to teach the kids how to sew). I now have my mother-in-law’s machine, and am relying on her to continue to be happy for me to use it. I think I’ve had it for 2 or 3 yrs now! Thanks Tricia! One day I’ll get my own shiny new sewing machine, and overlocker, and a big sewing/craft room…

I’ve also been thinking about how fortunate I am. I have a gorgeous, healthy little girl and a wonderful husband who works his butt off to take care of us all and to allow me to spend my time sewing and crafting and then blogging about it! I definitely rely on him to continue to take care of us, I hope he realises how much we appreciate it. What more could you really need?

What do you rely on? Family to help out with the care of your children? A friend to drive you to work? Your 50 yr old sewing machine to just keep on going?

Nicola xx

Refashion: Kids pants to shorts

The offending pants

These lovely pants are another find from the Freecycle bag of treats that was desperately needing a restyle. The pants themselves are in really good condition, but kid’s TV programme logos on clothes aren’t really my thing.

My first thought, SCISSORS! Cut the legs off and get rid of the logos! But that pesky one on the right leg was too far up. So, I decided to cut them off into shorts anyway and add a band made from the leg fabric to lengthen them.

Voila!

For anyone that may have pants that need a little change-up, here’s what I did:

I cut the legs off just above the logo. Ignore the fact the I had already made a cut lower down, I thought I may have been able to do it differently.

I cut two strips approx. 5cm wide to make the bands from the bottom of the pant legs so that I didn't have to finish the edges again.

I then pinned the bands to the shorts, right sides together.

Next, ironing the seams flat towards the bottom of the shorts.

And that’s it! A brand new pair of shorts, without the tacky Hi5 logo. Brilliant, and simple!

Squish better start growing faster so that she can fit into her growing pile of new clothes!

Nicola

Refashion: Dress to Skirt

A long time ago I found this dress at an opshop for $16 I think:

Not exactly a bargain, but I was in love. Well, I used to love this dress pre-baby, but things are ahem… shall we say, not quite where they used to be? And it just doesn’t fit the same anymore. It has been sitting in my “to refashion” pile for ages. The other day I got organised and started cutting because I finally decided what I wanted to do with it.

Cute, no? And really comfortable. I haven’t had a chance to wear it out yet, but I’m sure it’s going to be one of my favourites.

In case you have a similar problem, a dress that needs skirtifying, here’s how it went:

I put the dress on and worked out where the top of the skirt should sit and then added 5cm for the waistband. I cut straight across, right through the zip (after making sure that the zip was down!).

I unpicked the top 5cm of the zip, then cut off about 4cm of it, just enough to be able to fold under in the next step.

I folded the zip bit in and the fabric down on top of it, creating a zip sandwich.

Using my zipper foot (for the first time! Didn't even know there was one in there) I sewed up the sandwich, nice and close to the edge. Now, don't be like me and forget to finish the edge of the waistband before you do this step. Or undo any pintucks that need undoing. So unpick those tucks, then overlock, zigzag, whatever you like along the cut edge of the waistband before sewing your sandwich. I then repeated these 3 steps on the other side of the zip.

 

Since this dress was angled a lot at the sides, I needed to unpick the side seams so that when the waistband was folded over it would sit flat. So another 5cm unpick on each side here too.

I cut strips of interfacing and slipped them under the hem before ironing it down. I can't tell you what type it was. The only interfacing I have at the moment is a whole pile that my Nana gave me, all unlabelled and I'm not experienced enough with it to be able to tell the difference between them all. The best I can do is tell you that it was iron-on interfacing, and I tried to go for the one that felt thick and that I thought would be good for a waistband.

I ironed the waistband down, then sewed all the way around the top and bottom of the band.

That’s it! It was so much faster than I thought it was going to be. I can’t believe it has taken me this long to get onto it. I could have been wearing a cute new skirt this whole time!

Oh well. There is bound to still be a few more sunny days left this summer, I hope.

Nicola xx