Friday, May 4, 2012

a tisket a tasket......lalalaaa.
My coil baskets !
Most importantly...Grandma's buttons....along with new ones too
I see things that just make me want to use all my brain cells (mostly) at one time and  work my creative gene pool into a real Olympic whirlpool of ideas !( some people call it 'motivation'....)
buttons are so much fun to 'play' with and just add more emotional spark to any (my) I've got this endless supply of old random buttons ~ but you know, when I start digging through them they may look unimpressive but after two or three passes they start to take on certain qualities when paired with other forgotten them together and  "Oh very cool"..... I love the 'music ' I hear when my designs come together and actually 'sing'....pure sweetness and sugar.....aaaaahhhhh
these baskets are made with the basic 'coiling' technique.....I'm sure there are instructions somewhere out in space but like most projects I just limp along till I like what I see...I use fabric that makes me smile and cut it with my rotary cutter ( have band aids close by) into 1" strips and about 12" long....or they get snaggeled ( it's a word) all up around the bottom  part of the rope whilest you are working on the top ...
**oh, stick glue is helpful to hold the ends down along with a clothes pin or clippy thing
my theory is if you can make one design then there are usually a bunch (technical term) of others to be had....'just go with the flow'
stuff you need; fun cotton or cotton blend fabric,  soft clothes line (not the plastic), glue stick , clippy thingy, thread, sewing machine that does the 'zig zag' stitch (important !)
* there are many choices for the rope, including a product the fabric stores sell, but being a penny pincher (really a 'sqweezer') I go for the less expensive product because I tend to get a bit carried away and make hundreds of things so I need to keep costs down so I don't end up homeless with my sewing machine and a really long extension cord(s).........
you can use most rope that is soft enough to sew on, like clothesline...I found this at WalMart in the hardware/boating section with other rope choices
start coiling the fabric at a slight angle and tack some glue on it to secure...note; the little clippy thingy
* clippy thingy is used on your very last fabric wrap because when you decide where your end is going to be you have to unwrap it
about an 1"' and cut the rope on the diagonal and wrap over it to cover....

after gluing end of one strip you can easily start another, at the same angle and also in the same direction (!)  oh (!) it is most fun to combine patterns cause you never know what it will look like when it's done ~ really, I've used the most ridiculous patterns but kept the colors alike and it worked just fine !  My fav is Christmas colors cause you can add some fun doodads (aka; all the little stuff your husband keeps asking "what are keeping that crap for ?") to  each basket

aaaaaaahhhhh...the tricky part is to NOT to sew your fingers....
and always have the end on the left with the rest of the rope length along the right
start your zig zag at a width that will attach the two sides evenly and while you sew (which tends to make my eyes cross....a lot ) you have to keep the line on the presser foot lined up the the space between your coils......always ...this gives you equal space on both sides of coil ...and it looks professional when you are done.

ok so no one is here to photograph me so make believe my right hand is still holding the right side firmly so that my left hand is putting constant pressure (like your left pointer/index finger is your 'guide' ) to make sure your basket has a bit of  'stiffness' to it when it's finished....floppy baskets are just not cute
you can coil till your hearts desire and make loopy loops or handles ~ ahhhh the possibilities are endless (well not really there is a number of them)
to end your endless rows you pick a spot on the basket that's not so obvious that it shows ....then stitch over the fabric, back and forth ( and forth and back) to secure it all so there is no 'unraveling' ~   ( best left to us humans)

the fun begins ; decorate as the mood strikes !!!
* tip:  I ALWAYS sew my embellishments on..... I never use glue because it is so unreliable ( oh, and looks yucky too)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Temporary Insanity
* * * I am shopping (in the Clearance Rack , what else) and stumble upon a  ' Groovy ' Beatles T !!!   Love it....but not so much as a mind is a hummin'..(people start noticing the smoke around my head) ...ah ha !!! I will make a 'hippy bag' ! well it was only $4.80 so I HAD to get it (!)

cut out a shape for the base/bottom....I used leather first then thought...."uuugghh...well now I can't throw it in the wash!" I made the bottom with a piece (without that red sqiggle I would not know about the "i" / "e" debacle )
Alas, no photo....

cut and sew
leaving bottom open to attach to .....the bottom....(?)

sewing sides to bottom
*note; sewing on T shirt knit type fabric is a bit tricky for the really need a ball point needle so it won't cut into the fabric and leave adjusting your machine for the stretch stitch is usually a good idea

lining fabric
whatever you have around, even a pillow case or another old shirt you ( or someone that won't notice that their shirt is gone) don't wear anymore works really well...but NOT  another stretchy knit ...2 stretchy fabrics together just gets out of control !
cut same size as shirt/bag/purse

OOOHH....Pockets are fun !!

sew lining to pocket piece and turn right side out leaving opening on the bottom  so it will get stitched  closed when  sewn to lining fabric
I turned to the top edge down a bit....cause I can
*** IMPORTANT SAFETY NOTE; sew sides of lining together AFTER sewing pockets on
cut a bottom pce. (hehe)...same size as before,  to sew to the ....bottom.....

pin lining to inside
important to gather/stretch as needed to fit....NEVER EVER is the lining and the  outside the same size  !!!  I don't care if you cut them the same time ...use the same pattern....TRUST ME... I've been doing this forever and it is NEVER THE SAME SIZE..... you will always have to 'finese' the pieces(ha spelled it right the first try) together

the top side, what used to be the shoulders, is now the part to fold around your  handle
I just happen to have this handle from old and forgotten ideas that I shoved into the closet
this gets stitched in a tight 'zig/zag' pattern for strength

or a grommet type button/snap thingy can be used BUT needs to be reinforced with facings and stabilizers or the fabric with stretch and pull away from the snap thing and your bag with fall onto the floor while you are walking (from what I have heard...not that I have found out the hard usual

almost finished !  hhhmmm....looks better in person
add a bit 'o beads and what not

wheeee....all done in a few hours of 'happy time'
the best part of this is that it cost so little that if I didn't like the end results I wouldn't have to beat myself up over wasting my hard earned really only took my time...and I that I have
thinking 'outside the box' is what really makes the world go 'round
where would we all be if we all followed the 'rules' place that  I would want to be that's for sure !  = please come see my shop !