Saturday, November 24, 2012

Paper Napkin bunting tutorial

Well this is it.  My first tutorial. 

My son was having a pirate party for his 3rd birthday and I looked everywhere for pirate party decorations but couldn't find anything.  Then at the last minute I found some pirate paper napkins and next thing you know we have some party decorations that took no time at all.  Now I'm not saying this hasn't been done before, but this is how I did it and who knows, someone out there may find it helpful.

It is my daughter's 6th birthday this friday and I've talked her into a fairy party so I can make some more pretty bunting! (Much better than the Hotel Transylvania party she originally wanted).

So if you'd like to make some bunting of your own, all you need is some paper napkins and a roll of crepe paper streamer.  Oh and a sewing machine of course!  I actually used two packs of 20 napkins as I needed lots of bunting.
Now you need to cut the napkins into flags.  Take the folded napkin and making sure the fold is at the top, line it up on your cutting mat to find the middle of the napkin.  Then cut from the bottom middle of the napkin to the top of one side.  Do the same on the other side.  Your napkin should look like this.
Now unfold the napkin and separate the two halves.  (Anybody have any good tips for cleaning cutting mats??)

Repeat this step with all your remaining napkins.  I usually cut 3 or 4 at once to save time.  Then fold each separated diamond back in half so you have some lovely little penants.

Now comes the sewing part.  You will need a tail left on either end of the bunting so you can tie it up.  I left about a metre of streamer at the start before I began to sew the flags.  Start by folding the streamer in half lengthways just far enough so you can insert the first flag and sew it in between the two sides of the streamer.  Drop the rest of the roll of crepe paper on the floor and it easily unrolls as you sew.  I also increased my stitch length to 4 on my machine just to make it sew up a bit quicker. 
I found it helpful to stretch the crepe paper as I sewed and this stopped it puckering and also helped to fold the streamer in half ready for the next flag.  Now insert the next flag right next to the last one and continue sewing. 
Repeat this step until you have used all the flags.  Make sure to leave another long tail at the other end.  And you should end up with something like this.

Two packs of napkins made approximately 13metres of bunting (with 80 flags) plus the metre we left on each end.  You could also use less flags and leave a gap between each one and it would still look great.  So for a grand total of $6.00 - $2.50 for each pack of napkins and $1 for the streamer - you have some fabulous party decorations.  And it's super fast too.  I think it only took about a half hour to make.

Here's a few photos of the pirate bunting I made in July.  These ones were even easier as I just unfolded the napkin and cut it in half so I didn't lose any of the picture.  I also left a space between each flag as I only had one pack of napkins.

So if you ever need some super quick, last minute party decorations this may be your answer.  And best of all they can be used again and again.

Linking up to Plum and June Let's Get Acquainted Monday Link-up.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

W.i.P. Wednesday - a Mini and some Hexies

I actually thought I had accomplished nothing this week but I had forgotten about this.  I'm calling it my Colour Palette Mini.
I was visiting Beth's blog and she makes little mini quilts to practice her free motion quilting.  Great idea and why have I not thought of it??  So I did a little raw edge applique and now it's ready to be quilted.  And the best news is the postman finally delivered my Free Motion Quilting with Angela Walters book yesterday so now I can fmq to my heart's content once I actually decide on a design.
Oh and I also have been working on this.
I'm pretty excited as it's my first ever attempt at EPP.  (Please disregard my really disgusting cutting mat!)  It probably would have been a really good idea to use a thread colour that blended as I can see some lovely black stitching showing up on my white hexies.  But there's always next time i guess. 

And a little something that made me laugh.  My 3 year old son comes running up to me and says, "Mummy guess what? I have a tampon!"  And I say "YOU'VE GOT A WHAT?" absolutely horrified that he could actually say the word and seemed to know what one was.  "I've got a tampon!" he says excitedly as he shows me his hand.  "See a tampon!"  So it finally dawned on me that he was saying he had a STAMP ON.  He has a bit of trouble with 'S' at the beginning of some words.  I got a good chuckle out of it and he thought it was pretty hilarious that Mummy thought he was so funny.

Linking up with W.i.P. Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Weekender bag finished!

A finish!  The sweetest words ever uttered in reference to a sewing project!  
The lining is done and as it is bright yellow I will never lose anything in my bag.  I now wish I had of added a few pockets on the inside as some other bloggers have but I just wanted to finish it and I was too lazy.  I neglected to take a photo of the inside as we were in our way to the coast and I just didn't get time.  The one thing I don't like about the lining is that it is very floppy and despite using a 3/4 inch seam allowance as it says in the pattern it still seems like there is still too much fabric.  If I did it again I would interface the lining too.
Just a quick post today as I wanted to link up to The Long Weekend Blog Hop at Lori H. Designs.  For more pics please check out this post.  I can't wait to see what everyone else has made.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Wonder Woman Weekender

I have finished my Wonder Woman (insert appropriate Wonder Woman tv show theme song lyrics) Weekender.  Well blog finished anyway as I still have to sew in the lining. 

I had originally planned to use a red and yellow spot fabric but thought I didn't have enough.  But I mulled over it for a bit and with a little scrimping it worked!  I ended up sewing the handles differently and used a red solid on the inside of the handle so I would have enough of the spot for the piping.  I had to piece a lot of short bias strips together to make it long enough for the piping.  But I'm so excited that I got to use this fabric as I think it gives it a more retro comic feel and I absolutely love my bag!!
This is the front.  I cut the pocket so it had the big picture of wonder woman and the picture of batgirl, supergirl and wonder woman together.
The back
Batgirl on one side pocket
Other side

The zipper went in great, although my top stitching was slightly wonky so I had to unpick part of it and restitch it.  I never used to unpick anything but I must be getting anal in my old age.  The piping now that was another story.  I have sewn in piping before on dresses but it was quite a challenge sewing it into the bag with all the layers on fabric, peltex and interfacing.  I think if I ever make another one I may skip the piping part.  The size 16 jeans needle made most of it a breeze to stitch.  I only broke one needle which I though was pretty amazing.

Now I just need a good movie or tv show to sit and watch while I sew in the lining.

One tip though:

Don't let your 3 year old sit under the table while you are trying to stitch really slow through the multiple bag layers!  Mine was.  He said 'what's this Mummy?' and leans on the presser foot and I almost sew my fingers into my bag as the machine takes off!  I thought my machine had gone mental until I realized what he had done. 

Linking up to Plum and June

 Plum and June

Thursday, November 8, 2012

W.i.P. Wednesday - whoops I mean thursday :)

Ok so no progress on the Santa Sacks or my flower quilt :(  I felt like I had lost my sewjo at the beginning of the week, perhaps due starting the Atkins diet and my lack of sugar leading to headaches and major tiredness!

I have made a start on my Wonder Woman Weekender.  I was in a bit of a tizz over the bag too.  I was so excited about it to begin with and then realized that I didn't have enough of the fabric I had chosen to use for the piping and handles (a super cool retro red and yellow spot).  I only had a half metre so not enough and of course it was all gone from my fabric shop and I couldn't find any online either.  Major bummer!

Anyway I don't know about everybody else but If you're like me when I have an idea of what I want to use it's so hard to find something else that looks right.  I found a red and white spot which I don't like as much so I'm hoping I won't be disappointed when I finish (and considering I paid $28 a metre for it, I want it to look fanatstic!).

Here is the bag cut out with the handle/piping fabric.  Would love any feedback on the fabric choice.

Oh and a little something I actually finished!  Probably because they took no time at all.  Some cute little tags from stiffened felt and twine.

Linkin up to W.i.P. Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Long Weekend Blog hop

I am joining in the Long Weekend Blog Hop to make Amy Butler's Weekender Bag.  
Despite having Style Stitches and In Stitches and a number of her patterns I have never made anything (just drooled over them), so I thought I'd jump right in with the weekender as I'm sure I need one!  I was thinking of doing a patchwork one as I have seen some awesome ones but then I found the coolest Wonder Woman fabric and now I am pretty sure I need a Wonder Woman bag!
I'm still toying with the idea of a pieced bag.  I bought the fabric to make my little wonder woman a dress and now I will have to go back and check out the rest of the super heroes just in case I need to buy those too to complete my Super bag!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Union Jack dress

My daughter's school celebrated Universal Children's Day yesterday.  Originally she was going to wear a Fijian grass skirt complete with coconuts but I couldn't find it anywhere.  I think I may have, in a fit of madness, thrown it out.  So after copious amounts of tears we decided that I was going  to make a flag dress.  This is the result.

I think it turned out pretty well and she actually liked it and has said she 'may wear it again' which is high praise indeed.  Hearing that made it worth the effort and now my son wants a flag dress too so I'm sure I will see him parading around in it at some stage.