Sunday, March 25, 2012

Flower Barrettes {tutorial}

Hello Everyone,

As I said on my last post I was really inspired while making the charm party tote,  and I promised a tutorial.

And so here it is.......Flower Hair Barrettes

I've been wanting to make hair clips for my little daughter, who has massive amounts of hair (you'll see a picture of her wearing the clips down a little further) for a while now.  And making the tote gave me the idea to use the Pellon so the flowers would have some shape to them.  

Let's begin......

You will need:
manila paper for your pattern (I used an old folder)
       *you can use the flower pattern I provided at the end or you can make your own.
Pellon fusible fleece
favorite fabrics/scrap fabrics
sewing machine
complementary thread
spaghetti strap turner
nickel hair barrettes (that's what I used)
a little girl with massive amounts of hair (optional)

1.  Draw out and cut out your floral pattern on manilla paper.  It makes it easier to trace the pattern on to your fabric.  You can cut a manilla folder 8.5" X 11" and print out the pattern at the end of the tutorial. 

2.  Collect all your Materials.

3.  Trace your patterns onto the back of your fabric and the Pellon.  Note you will need to trace and cut 2 flowers from your fabric and 1 flower from your Pellon.  The Pellon flower pieces will be slightly smaller than the fabric flower pieces.

4.  Cut your pieces out.

5.  Place the Pellon with the shiny side toward the back of the fabric on your flowers and using the iron press the Pellon onto the fabric.  Make sure you read the instructions on how to use the Pellon just to make sure you have your temperature correct.  

6.  Sandwich the flower with the wrong sides together and the Pellon in the middle and pin them together at the center so you will have minimal moving while you sew.  

7.  Carefully and slowly sew around the petals of the flower at 1/8 inch seam allowance.  You will need to lift your sewing foot to pivot your flower as you go around the petal.  I started sewing between the petals at the "V" area.  Go ahead and back stitch unless you want to tie off your thread at the end.  When you come around to the beginning, go ahead and back stitch again to hold your stitch.  Clip your thread.   

8.  When you are done sewing all your flowers you'll want to layer and position them.  See picture below.

9.  Sew the two layers together using your sewing machine make a few stitches and back stitch.  See picture below.  

This cool tool is a spaghetti strap turner.  It makes it easy to turn the fabric inside out.

10.  Measure the area of the barrette above the convex curve of the shank.  My measurement was 1/2".  Cut and sew a piece of fabric to fit that area.  I cut out a 1 1/4" X 1" (about).  I folded the 1 1/4" side in half, right sides together, and sewed on the non folded long side and one short side, leaving the other short sides open.  Turn your small strap inside out  and iron.

11.  Attach your strap to the back of your flower, making sure you fold the small top flower away from the area you will be sewing your strap on to.  Fold the open, not sewn closed, side under and sew that side and back stitch.  Feed the strap through the barrette in the area you measured.  Again, folding the top flower away from the sewing area, sew down your strap to lock the barrette in place, back stitch to hold your seem.  You will not have to fold this side under because you have a finished edge.  You can use a little dab of hot glue if you do not want your barrette to move around. 

 12.  Attach your decorative buttons to the center of your flower.  I found it easier to wait until the end due to having to fold the smaller top flower away from the sewing area when attaching your strap crating more bulk.
And.... TADA! You are finished.  

Here is my beautiful little 2 year old girl with the massive amounts of hair.  And not all of her hair is shown here.  When she was born, at the hospital all the nurses called her "the one with the hair".  

She insisted on wearing both barrettes.  
 Really..... she insisted.  

Here is the floral patterns.  
I only ask that you please only use it for personal use.
Thank you! Much appreciated. 

Mamita's Next Thing:

I'm still trying to get over this cold.  I've had great fun working on these barrettes.  I want to make more of them in different colors, sense I have tons of scrap fabric lying around.  I'm very into making bags right now, but I do have an Easter project That I hope to share very soon.

Hope you all had a great Weekend!


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Charm Party Tote

Hi Every One,

It's been about a week sense I've been able to post anything, maybe longer. 

Like I mentioned on my last post, my little daughter was sick and only wanted mommy, and with that, mommy became sick as well.  But not too sick to work on something.

Last week I started this Charm Party Tote pattern designed by Penny Sturges of  I got the pattern as a gift from my Sweet Mother-in-law when I was venturing on my idea of making totes for friends.  Well needless to say those didn't get made, but I did finish this tote yesterday (for me, that was on Wednesday).  I was so excited, my first tote ever.  I think it turned out pretty good. 
If I do say so myself.(smiley face)

If you'd like to see more of Penny's designs click here

It was nice and relaxing for me to make this tote.  The instructions were easy to follow.  You use a charm pack to make it.  I didn't have a charm packet so I cut my own squares, which was meditation time for me, never forgetting the measure twice cut once rule.  It was my first time working with fusible Pellon fleece, and let me tell you..... I love it.     

I can't wait to make my next tote or bag or.......the possibilities. 

If you are thinking of making something new and different for you, I say go for it!  You'll have that much more experience making it.

Have a great Weekend!


Mamita's Next Thing:
I was very inspired by making this tote, and I will show you what I made on my next post.  It will be a tutorial......... (Monday) 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Cake Inspiration

 I hope you become inspired to give cake decorating a try. 

How did I get into cake decorating?  
Well,  I wanted to make birthday cakes for my children (at the time I just had my son) and I needed a challenge.  I had stopped working and was a full time mom. 

In June of 2007 I started to think "How cool would it be if I could make my son's 1st birthday cake".  Unfortunately I didn't make his first birthday cake, my timing was too late, his birthday is July 1.  I didn't even think of making him a simple cake.  I wanted something big for his first cake (that's me always thinking big, sometimes part of my down fall).  I thought that I had to take special classes to do so (you really don't, really).  Lucky for me his aunt had taken culinary classes and was in town.

Classes are really not needed.

He got his special cake, full of wonderful memories.  I can still see his aunt piping all those stars on the cake in the shape of a tractor.  If I knew, at that time, what it took to pipe all those stars, I would have done something different.  HA HA HA!!!

Go simple. 

Anyway, after that, I still went ahead with my plan of learning to cake decorate.  I thought "Maybe I wasn't able to make his first cake but I can make them from now on, and not to mention I'll have more experience".   So I signed up to take those Wilton Classes.  I was hooked form the very beginning.  I started to realize it was a new medium for me to express my self with.  I took all four classes that was offered at the time, and took three sugar flower making classes.

Now a days with the internet you can find how to make just about anything. 

Here are some of the cakes I made for the classes.  
The rainbow cake would be great for St. Patrick's day. just add a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

After taking classes I had to keep my skills up and started to crate my own designs.  Here are a few pictures of cakes I made beyond cake classes.  I started making cakes for family and friends birthdays.  I would sign up to make desserts for other events,  anything, just to get the practice.

 If you add bunnies and Easter eggs, the carrot cake would be cute for Easter.   

I started to go further into exploring the cake decorating world.  I went the next step and used cake as a sculpture medium and created 3D objects.  

Lighting McQueen was my first sculpted cake.  I almost pulled my hair out, but it didn't stop me from continuing my exploration. 

I did get to make my son's 2nd year birthday cake.  The brown and yellow Curious George cake ( a three tier cake) below, was for him.  The blue cake in the middle was for my daughter's 2nd birthday.

When asked, I'll make wedding cakes, the swan cake below is one of those.  The red cake with the chocolate leaves was for a live auction fund raiser, it sold for $175.  The beehive cake was for a teacher appreciation luncheon.

I don't know if I want to pursue cake making as a career, but I sure do have fun making them. 

I hope you give cake decorating a try.  You can be as crazy as you want, or as simple as you want.  If it doesn't turn out you can eat it and try again.

I bet your thinking how much did she gain making these cakes.  Well, let me tell you,  at the beginning I probably did gain a few pounds.  My husband gained 10 lb.  But we eventually got tired of eating so much cake.  Oh, and my husband was getting his doctorate degree so he was able to take cake to the college students.  Also, I become comfortable with just throwing the cake away (crazy, I know), because there was a period of two years where I also became an instructor in cake decorating I had to put it in the waset .
In the future I will be posting some cake making tutorials, but for now you can go to my Strawberry cupcake post, and find a tutorial on piping with chocolate.  You can use any stencil you want, you can even make your own on the computer. 

Mamita's Next Thing:

It's been a week,  with my 5 year old on spring break and my 2 year old being sick, it's a wonder I was able to get this post done.  Although I've had lots of fun figuring out Photoshop and laying out pictures differently.  I'm still working on those ideas floating in my head.  Being a newbie at posting, I don't have much to show you yet.  Please stay tuned though, I'll have things coming.  It'll be a surprise.  Also, with my 2 year old being sick there's a possibility I will be too.  Keeping my fingers crossed that I don't.    

Any body got some vitamin C!!!

Have a great weekend!


Sunday, March 11, 2012

Part 3 Cloth Napkins

Here's Part #3 of Napkin Making. 

What you will need:
cutting board  with measurements
long quilt ruler
rotary cutter
sewing machine

1.  Decide what size you want your napkin to be when it's finished.   Because we are going to fold in the edges we need to create room for a seam allowance.   OK, so for the last two napkin tutorials, I used the measurement of 15" X 17", and because I want my finished seam to be 1/4" I need to add 1" to each measurement (I'll be folding and ironing twice, 1/4"once + 1/4" twice = 1/2" on both sides = 1").  So I am going to cut my fabric at 16" X 18".    If you want your seam to be larger, lets say you want the seam to be 1/2", instead of 1/4", from the finished edge you want to add 2"(folding and ironing 1/2" once + 1/2" twice = 1" on both sides = 2")  to the finished napkin measurements. 

OK enough math, Stay with me....

Choose your measurement and add 1" inch to each number

2.  Prepare to hem your napkin by folding and ironing 1/4" first time toward the wrong side of the fabric.  Then fold and iron 1/4" one more time.  See picture in step 3. 

Fold and iron 1/4"

By the way that handy ruler I'm using to measure my seam allowance is a hemming ruler.  They work great for hemming pants or anything else you'd like to hem.  It works by moving the little blue handle (witch I circled and pointed with an arrow in the above picture) and the blue triangles mark the measurement you want.  Then you make a mark at the top of your ruler on your fabric.  Or when you want to iron a perfect measurement. 

3.  Do the same as in step 2 to the opposite side.  If you prepare two opposite sides first the back of your napkin will look more uniform and neat.   

4.  Repeat step 2 on the other two sides.   

5.  When sewing the sides,  you want to sew on the wrong side of the fabric as close to the fold as possible.  You can use the inside of the presser foot for your guide.  See picture below.  Like the napkin in part 2, you want to sew continuously around the napkin pivoting at the corners (make sure you tuck in the edges of the folded corners, when folding fabric like this sometimes those corners tend to pop out).  Don't forget to back stitch when you start stitching. 

*tip- when you start sewing don't start on the corner, start in the middle of one of the sides.  It will be easier to start sewing. 

Use the inside of the presser foot for your guide

6.  When you are done, back stitch, clip your thread, iron, fold and go on to your next napkin. 
Finished napkin

To make things easier if you are making multiple napkins you can first cut all your napkins out. Second, iron in preparation to hem your napkins.  Third,  hem (sew) all your napkins. And finally Iron and fold your napkins. 

I hope I have inspired you to make some cloth napkins.  By the way, the kind of fabric I used was 100% woven cotton fabric.  The kind of fabric typically used for quilting. 

If you have any questions let me know.  
Happy Sewing!
Good Night, Sweet Dreams!
Mamita's Next Thing:
So many projects I want to do, but so little time.  I keep thinking of Mothers Day and how it would be wonderful to make kitchen kits that include napkins, place mats and oven mittens.  So I will be working on that, but I will be sharing a little bit more about me in the next coming weeks.  Like cakes I've done, in hope to inspire you to decorate one for a future special date.  
Come back to see the next thing.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Part 2 Cloth Napkins

#2 Cloth Napkins

What you need:
cutting board  with measurements
long quilt ruler
rotary cutter
sewing machine

1. Cut your fabric to desired size.  I cut mine 15" X 17".  Or you can use the first way of cutting your fabric by ripping.  Refer to my first post on cloth napkin making.   

2.  Once you have your fabric cut you are going to sew around the fabric at 1/4 inch.  To start sewing place your sewing needle 1/4 inch from each end.  See picture below.

3.  Sew forward 3 stitches then back stitch 3 stitches.  This is usually just called back stitching and it's done to stabilize the stitch.    
Start at 1/4 inch from each end
 4.  Sew around the fabric continually, pivoting 1/4 inch before reaching the end at each corner.
Pivot fabric 1/4 inch before the end.

 5. When you come around to the beginning back stitch to hold your stitch and clip your threads.   At this point you can iron the napkin, fold it and go on to your next napkin, which is what I did.  Or you can fray your ends. 

Fraying your ends

I had touched a little on fraying in my first post on napkin making.  Fabric naturally frays and this happens when your fabric isn't finished with a seam of some sort, which I will go through on Part 3 of Napkin making.  When you let your fabric fray naturally you'll get long threads coming out of your fabric.  You can do two things, 1) clip the threads with some scissors or your rotary cutter. 2) gently pull the threads until they break off.  I usually cut them off.  
Natural fraying on fabric
If you want to create they fraying your self, all you have to do is gently pull the threads.  Go as far as a couple of threads just above your seam.  The seam gives the fabric strength.    

And this is what your napkin will look like. 

My little stack of napkins.  I want to have a bigger stack so I can have enough for the week. 

I hope I have inspired you to turn to cloth napkins.  
Have a great night!


Mamita's Next Thing:

Part 3 of napkin making.  These next napkins I will be showing will be a little more advanced.  I hope you will give it a try.  They can be good for gifts.  And thinking about it, you can give the first two as gifts also.  I'm thinking mothers day gift.     

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Making Easy Cloth Napkins (no sewing required)

I've been talking to my husband about making cloth napkins, and why not show you all what I will be doing.  We want to cut down on the usage of paper napkins, and sense we have two very active kids that means a lot of paper napkin usage.  Not to mention it can end up costing more than you want it too.  

I will be posting 3 ways of making napkins in the next few days.  

Yes, there are many ways of making napkins.

But just to start your creative juices going......

#1:  No Sew Cloth Napkins

What you'll need:

Measuring tool

A little info about the fabric.  

Length grain :  
Threads parallel the selvage edge (the very end of the fabric, the part that looks different form the rest of the fabric, sometimes it's a different color.  See second picture)
  • It's the strongest part of the fabric.
  • It falls easily along the lines of the body.  
  • It has the least amount of stretch.

Cross Grain: 
It's the perpendicular threads to the selvage edge.
  • It has just a little more give than the length grain
  • It can be weaker in some fabrics  
Bias Grain:   
It's the diagonal line across the weave of the fabric. 45 degree angle to the length and cross grains.   
  • It's where the maximum stretch of the fabric is. 
  • It will give you the best drape on the body. 

 Ok, so now we start.

I found that Fat Quarter size fabric pieces work the best, but you can use any woven cotton fabric you want. You can even use old shirts you don't want to use any more. 

1.  Choose the size you want your napkin to be.  I chose 15" X 17", no real reason it just looked good for me.  

2.  Make a notch, no bigger that 1/4 inch, with your scissors near the edge or next to the selvage edge and rip.  

Yes, rip.  Don't be afraid.      
This will be the straightest cut you can make on fabric, because you are letting the fabric follow it's own thread.   

3. Iron your fabric so it wont have any wrinkles and it will allow you to measure better.  

4. On the side you just ripped and ironed, make another notch near the edge, and repeat steps 2 and 3. This will give you a squared corner.  Use this side to make you measurement.  

Rip near the edge or next to the Selvage edge

Make a small notch

Rip to make a straight cut

5.  Measure your fabric using your squared corner edges.
6.  Make a notch at your measurement and rip your fabric again.
7. Iron your fabric.  

Iron and measure

 8. repeat steps 5-7 one more time. 

You'll find that the fabric naturally frays.  I will give more information on fraying on part 2 of Cloth Napkin making. 

And here you have your nice, no sew cloth napkin.  I've seen this type of fabric in a popular restaurant in town. 

 Have a Great Day!


Mamita's Next Thing:

Part #2 Cloth Napkins. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Curtains are up

Hi Everyone,

It's been a busy day.  Could it be Tuesday?  Why yes, the busiest day of the week for us.  Which means laundry tomorrow.  Oh Goody!

So, as you can see I got curtains up.  And my hubby was able to get some of the insulation covered.  We used only 3 small nails to hold them up.  The board on the far left is just holding on with pressure.  We are trying not to make it permanent because we are renting and want to be able to make it easy to take things down.  Also, I am working on my next project.  
 All that fabric lying around is going to be made into something.

 So my awesome handy hubby is going to have to work some magic to get around these pipes.  But I think the insulation will be covered this weekend.  

Oh, did I say two weeks.  My bad.

I'm really excited.  The basement is almost complete.  But I got to say, it's been a dream to work down there.  

Well that's all for now.  I hope you all have a wonderful night!


Mamita's Next Thing:

I have some projects going.  I hope to share how to make easy cloth napkins on my next post.  

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Vision almost complete

 Well, It's been a few busy days trying to get the basement in order, and I think we finally got it to a place where I can actually CREATE. 


There are still things to do, but it's at a place where I can be happy.  I can wait on getting the installation covered.......

but the curtain has to go up.  Should be an easy thing. (ha ha ha, famous last words)
Any body need some thread?
 I have lots and lots.  There are 7 more cones behind the jar.  I can't use having no thread as my excuse to sew something.  he he he! 

So when will the insulation be covered?  My husband says, "After the garage gets organized".  I say, " Oh, Brother.  Two more weeks."  Oh well,  at least I can use my stuff. 

 Future Project
I have plans for this wall.  But for now I am going to leave it just as it is. 

Mamita's Next Thing:

I've been talking to my husband about making cloth napkins for us to use everyday.  They don't have to all match, but I will be making some that do match so we can use those for company.  Although, there is a restaurant here in town that has cute clothe napkins that don't match.  I was so inspired by all the fabric that I have (which I didn't show in the pictures). I think I have somewhere between 7 to 10 tubs full.   And yes, I still have projects dancing in my head. 

Have a great Sunday!


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