How to Make a Flower Crown

 

 

Crown leadI have been dreaming about flowers lately. They find their way into my dreams, my shopping cart, my home and garden. I just can’t get enough of them. Recently, I attended a party at the SNAP Conference where we made Floral Crowns from faux flowers. They were nice, but I am a sucker for the real thing.

supplies

I found these flowers at the market the other day and on a whim, I decided to give the Floral Crown a try. The flowers weren’t all that expensive, about $15.00 for all.

I was not disappointed.

supplies2

Here’s how to make your own Floral Crown:

Supplies:

Floral Wire

Floral Tape

Wire Cutters

Pruning sheers

1 bouquet Baby’s Breath or other small flowers

1 Mixed flower bouquet with Daisies and Chrysanthemums

6 spools 1/8″ craft ribbon in various colors (white, blue, pink, purple, magenta, green)

scissors

measuring tape

cut to size

 

The first step, is to cut 20 pieces of wire, about 6″ long.

I attached my measuring tape to the table with Scotch tape to make it easy to measure.

I also cut 9 pieces of 3″ wire.

Then I measured the circumference of my head, mine was 21″.

in process

 

Starting with the small baby’s breath branches, I wired several of them together with the 6″ wire pieces. I trimmed the ends of the flowers to about 8″ in length. When they were firmly attached, I grabbed another spray of them and wired them to the stems first ones, making a chain.

baby's breath

I continued this same process until my chain measured 23″. This was slightly longer than my head circumference, but I wanted to have enough room to attached the chain together at the end.

Notice how the flowers are all facing one direction, it is best to keep the back side flat so it will fit against your head.

flower with wire

 

The next step was to trim the Mums to a 2″ stem. Using a 3″ piece of wire, I poked it up through the middle of the flower, hooking it slightly at the end with the needle nose end of the wire cutters. PULL the hook gently back through the center of the flower until it’s secure, it will disappear in the center of the flower.

adding flowers

Add your flowers to the baby’s breath chain, wiring them to the base at even intervals.

joining the ends

 

Join the ends by overlapping the first strand of baby’s breath and the opposite ends of the chain. Wire in place. I also used floral tape to cover the wire ends to keep them from being sharp. I left a small space between the ends to attach some ribbons.

adding the ribbons

 

I cut 3 pieces of each different colored ribbon (18 pieces total) at 24″ long. Putting them all in a pile, I attached them to the flowers by making a loop halfway up the ribbon length, then pulling the ends back through the loop, leaving the cut ends free.

finished This Flower Crown reminds me of the ones that they sell at the Renaissance Faire each summer. I think I will be making another one for the trip to the Faire! I can imagine how darling this crown would look on bridesmaids, or even for a special event like a birthday party or bridal shower. The possibilities are endless!

on the fence

 

If you are walking by my house and see this crown hanging on the picket fence, you are welcome to take it home with you.

Have a beautiful day!

Arm Knitted Scarf

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I admit defeat. I have given up on my 31 Days of Sewing Series from the month of October. If you want to read what I did accomplish during this series, click here. I will post more updates in the future.

I was eager to finish another sewing project, but my sewing machine has broken and needs repairs.

The last time I took it in for repair, it was a 3 month wait. Yup.

Apparently, fixing sewing machines is a lost art. At least around here it is.

Ridiculous.

So, I admit that I have once again started something that I am not able to finish. Big surprise, right? I bet you have NEVER DONE THAT.

My husband loves to remind me that I struggle in this area.

In my defeat, I sat down in front of the TV to watch the Hallmark channel’s Christmas movie marathon and I conquered the Arm Knit Scarf that you see here.

It’s super easy and only takes two balls of yarn.

It is completely knit on your arms, no needles or hooks involved.

If I can do it, so can you.

It takes less than 30 minutes, even if you have never knitted in your life.

I love how it turned out.

Makes up for my lack of success in other areas.

 

 

 

I found this great video with step by step instructions. This gal has very clear pictures and it is easy to follow. I love that she calls it “Arm Knitting for the Clueless“. I definitely fit into that category!

Give it a try, you’ll love it!

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I had so much fun making the first scarf, that I had to make a second one. I envision this scarf with my favorite blue jeans and a comfortable sweater. Cozy!

It would also make a great gift. Christmas is just around the corner!

Yikes!

Speaking of Christmas, I have to sit down and do some planning. I normally have planned out my holiday decor, food and such by this time of year but this year, I am struggling for direction.

I don’t like struggling. I don’t function well without a plan. Direction normally comes rather easily to me.

Not having it makes me stressed out, and it shouldn’t. Life is complicated enough without having to worry about the simple things.

Tomorrow is another day!

How do you find your direction and inspiration?

Sewing with Lace: Part 2

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31 Days of Sewing: Day 11

This is the third day of working on this simple lace blouse, Vogue pattern #V8927.

There is something about trying to finish a project on a deadline. I remember being up all night sewing when I had a design project due while in college.

There were always uncontrollable factors.

For example, thread getting caught in the machine that ruins a seam. It must be ripped out and re-sewn. Sometimes more than once.

Unexplained mistakes were also a hazard, such as extra fabric getting caught in the seam on the wrong side, an iron that scorches your fabric, or even accidentally cutting a small hole in your finished work.

This is the nature of sewing. There are only so many things you can control. The rest is left to the mercy of the universe.

Sewing at home doesn’t give you as many outs as a design show room does. In the show room, it’s easy to just recut a garment and start over. At home, you can’t just recut a garment that is messed up, no one can afford to do that.

When you sew for yourself you have to just go with the flow of things, and figure out how to minimize the damage.

Like today, I was determined to finish this blouse.

I had to run to the fabric store for more fabric (this would be the second time) because I forgot to cut two of the facing pieces.

Fortunately, they still had the fabric I needed.

I got home and began to sew, sew, sew.

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The facings on this blouse are pretty straight forward, but there is a trick to making them flat and straight.

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I like to under stitch everything as I go along. This technique of sewing the trimmed seam allowance to the facing keeps the fabric straight and flat.

It also gives you a nice guideline for topstitching on the right side.

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On the right side, topstitch directly over the rows of under stitching. No one will be the wiser, and you will achieve a nice straight seam.

I also don’t bother with slip stitching any of the seam allowances, if you under stitch and topstitch it’s not really necessary and you get a better finish.

The hardest thing about sewing this garment is trying not to get the lace stuck in the feed dog of the sewing machine. I did alright to the very end, then I went to rip out the basting (the lace and the under pieces are basted together), and I cut a little hole in the lace.

Fortunately, it’s not really noticeable.

A dab of Fray Check keeps the hole from expanding.

I love that stuff, I can’t imagine sewing without it.

After my hole disaster, I only had the button holes left to complete. Two button holes into the project and I ran out of thread.

This is ridiculous, I haven’t run out of white thread since 1996.

Another trip to the fabric store is in order, this will be the third time for this project alone. Argggh!

Somethings have to be left up to the sewing universe to understand.

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I persevered and finished the blouse. I do like the contrasting placket, collar and cuffs. The lace turned out quite nicely even with the tiny hole in it.

I look forward to starting my next project despite the odds.

Sewing with Lace

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31 Days of Sewing: Day 10

This sewing project has taken me more than 3 days. So much for my 31 day sewing goal. I think I need to rename this series 31 posts of sewing.

Every time I think I am getting ahead, something comes up and I end up being behind again.

My days revolve around doing our home school, making meals, doing laundry, dishes, etc.

Then there are the trips to soccer practice, the grocery store, the post office.

Not to mention trips to see colleges, going to church, and of course, the fabric store.

After all that, it’s time to sit down and get some actual sewing done.

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First, I make a fire on the porch (my “studio”). Have I mentioned it’s cold out there?

Then I can get down to the days work, cutting out the garment of the day. Sometimes I cut out two at a time.

After making a cup of tea, I can sit and sew.

By this time, it’s typically about 3:00pm. I have a working window of opportunity until about 4:30pm when it’s time to start dinner.

By 6:00pm it’s too dark and cold to work on the porch any more.

That means there is only about an hour or so of actual work time.

Humm…..this could be why I am not accomplishing much these days.

V8927

This pattern is Vogue #V8927. I loved it the minute I saw it.

Something about the combination of the black lace and white crepe made me swoon.

I also swooned when I found some ivory crepe on the clearance table for $2.00 a yard.

I swooned even more when I got a 50% off coupon in the mail to use on the Chantilly lace I bought.

Yup.

Sewing with lace is actually easier than you might think.

The best part about this pattern is that the scalloped edge of the lace is used at the hem. Less work to sew, and looks great.

The rest of this pattern is quite easy. The lace pieces are sewn at the same time with the body of the garment, so it sews really fast. Lace doesn’t unravel, but you should probably finish the seam edges just to be sure.

Assuming you don’t have a million other things going on and can actually get some sewing done.

I am happy to say this pattern also has a great sleeve, no issues with the sleeve cap here.

Yeah!

I was working away on this project, trying to get it done before dark, when I realized I only cut two of the front facing pieces instead of 4.

Not again! Seriously???

Time for another trip to the fabric store.

Guess you will have to wait to see the finished product tomorrow.

Sewing with Peach Skin

Sewing with peach skin is something that many people shy away from.  Peach skin is unique because it has a slightly brushed texture to it that gives it a time worn appearance. Kind of like your favorite faded blue jeans. It just looks like something you have had in your closet forever.

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31 Days of Sewing: Day 9

It’s been great to experiment with all new fabrics on the market. Right now there is a wonderful choice of fabrics in the fabric store.

There are even more choices online, it can be hard to choose.

I prefer buying things in person, I like to touch everything. If it’s coarse or stiff, it’s just not for me. I am super sensitive when it comes having fabric against my skin.

The other day I came across a bolt of peach skin fabric in the clearance section at the fabric store. It is so soft, it feels like butter.

Sewing with Peach Skin

It also feels like something you would wear forever, until it falls apart.

I do a washing test before choosing my fabric for cutting. I always wash the fabric to shrink it before I cut (fabrics can shrink as much as 10% the first time in the laundry). Some fabrics pass the wash test, and some don’t. Because I haven’t cut the garment yet, I am not so concerned about shrinkage, but I do like to see how well it will hold up after washing.

I have a couple of cotton broad cloth pieces that I bought to make blouses out of, they looked good and felt nice in the store but they came out of the washer in a wrinkled mess. They also unraveled quite a bit on the cut edge, making me realize how important it will be to clean finish the cut seam edges.

I am not so sure if I want to even make them up, I don’t like the idea of ironing anymore than the next person.

Do you iron? Probably not, most people don’t anymore.

The peach skin, washes really well and doesn’t shrink. It passed my test with flying colors.

This cowl blouse is the long sleeve version of Vogue Pattern #V9771. I made the sleeveless version yesterday and loved it. You can read more about that here.

The peach skin is similar to the feel of silk, but it is manmade, and has an incredibly soft hand.

I love the way it drapes in the front.

Sewing with Peach Skin

The fabric has a slight stripe in it, which shows the bias cut. I like the texture that the stripe adds to this garment. I made the mistake of not using a new needle on this item, and I should have. The peach skin is rather tough to puncture, so a sharp needle is essential. It’s also rather slick to sew on, probably due to the bias cut of this garment. Pins don’t go through it very easily, so use them sparingly. Over all I liked the fabric and would use it again.

I do have issues with this sleeve pattern though. This is the second Vogue pattern sleeve that I have had trouble easing into the armhole. The directions call for two rows of basting at the sleeve cap which helps to gather the sleeve enough to fit in the armhole. This is a rather standard procedure and usually it’s not a problem to set the sleeves without getting any wrinkles in the sleeve cap.

I couldn’t get the sleeve on this garment set the way I wanted it. Some fabrics just ease better than others. For example, cottons and wools are quite flexible (shrink easily with steam) and work well in sleeves. The polyester peach skin is so dense and doesn’t shrink, it didn’t work well at all. If I was to make this pattern again, I would take out some of the fullness at the sleeve cap in order to get a really smooth fit.

I hate to say it, but this sleeve reminds me of the 1990’s when all blouses had shoulder pads. The sleeve cap had to be larger in order to make room for the shoulder pad. I would venture to guess that originally this was designed with a shoulder pad and the pattern was never updated to work without one.

Things like this happen all the time in the sewing industry, it’s easier to just change the pattern directions than to re-work the pattern.

Just my two cents.

It’s not a huge deal for this blouse, I will probably wear it with a sweater or a jacket most of the time, but those little puckers bothers me, easing shouldn’t be that difficult.

The blouse was made without the neck facing as before (did I tell you I hate neck facings?), this time I just turned down the back neck and made a 1/4″ rolled hem. I also opted for a rolled hem at the bottom of the blouse instead of the 2″ hem in the pattern directions.

Just so you know, right now the Vogue website has great deals on their patterns, only $4.99 each. Super bargain! They also have some beautiful new styles for the holidays. Now is the time to stock up!

Not sure what to make? Check out my other projects in this 31 Day Sewing Series.

Need inspiration? Consult my Pintrest board for a peek at what I will be working on next!

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