felt + fabric crowns

A few weeks ago, I gave you guys a little peek of what’s been keeping me busy these days.

And I’m here today to show you more!

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I’ve been into all things floral lately for some reason.  And I love a good felt project.

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And Ellery’s birthday is this week….(our theme is garden-chic.  Okay, I just made that up)….

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So I combined all those things and came up with these sweet crowns to be given as favors at the beginning of the party so the girls can have fun wearing them together.

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They are pretty quick to make, fairly inexpensive, and something that hopefully will get worn over and over again!

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I’m really loving them (so is Ellery), and I thought you might too!

So, read on for a step-by-step tutorial:

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First you’ll need some fabric strips.  Obviously, you can use any type of print you like… I used anything in my stash that was floral, including some vintage pillowcases.  This strip below was cut from the edge of a pillowcase.  I love the subtle colors.

Anyway, your strip should be about 4 1/2 ” wide and about 18″ long.

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Cut a piece of lightweight or medium-weight interfacing and iron onto the wrong side of your fabric strip.

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Make a little crown template on a piece of paper.  Mine is 4 1/2″ wide and 9″ long… this will be cut on the fold, fyi.  See below.

Draw any type of crown shape you like.  I made my center point right on the fold, slightly taller than the other 3 points.

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Trace the shape onto your folded fabric strip.

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Cut it out.

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Lay your fabric onto your felt strip. (I’m using a wool felt blend from Ohma- it has a nice weight to it and I highly recommend that you steer clear of the acrylic stuff for this project.  It’s too flimsy for this.  This yellow felt came in a large square so I was able to get a nice long strip from it.  Oh, and the color is called ‘Butter’… It was meant for me.

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Stitch the points to the felt.  Leave the sides and bottom open for now….

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 Now, I did not get all crazy-good with my top-stitching, and that does not bother me for this project…or, any project for that matter.  I’ve realized that I’m just not a perfectionist no matter how hard I try.  ;)

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Cut the excess felt away, but leave about a 1/8″ border.  Makes everything pop!

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Play around with any trims, lace, ribbon, etc… that you like for the bottom edge.  I’d say about 1 1/2″ high of embellishment is good.  I used 1″ grosgrain ribbon, and some lace.  Just stitch it on however you like, leaving a little overhang at each edge. **i love the look of gold thread, so if you have some, use it!

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I added some skinny ivory ribbon too….

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Cut an 8″ long strip of 1/4″ elastic- that’s a good length for 3-5 year olds I’d say, but if your kid’s noggin is handy, maybe do a little measuring and adjust that by 1/2″ or so either way.  For projects that have thin elastic that is visible, like for a button and loop closure here, or on a bag or the back of a dress, I usually buy swimwear elastic from Joann becuase it’s softer than regualr elastic and it’s not stark white.  It just looks a little more natural.

But, use whatever you have.

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Fold the elastic in half and slip the raw edges into one of the sides between the felt and fabric.

**If you only have wide elastic, like 3/4 or 1″, maybe just use one 4″ long piece instead of folding it in half… and don’t use a button.  Just insert the elastic and both ends and stitch.**

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Go ahead and fold your ribbon trim edges to the underside of the felt.

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Stich the edge down, and stitch the elastic in place.  I’m leaving the fabric edge raw all over.  If you are worried about fraying, dab a little Fray Check on the edges.

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Your crown shold look like this.  Minus the baby-photobomb!

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Next, find a medium to large button that you like.

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Sew it onto the other edge of your crown, so it sits just slightly above the ribbon.

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Almost done!  You can stop there or you can add a cute little ribbon rosebud right to the center.  Or a little bow.  Or whatever strikes your fancy.

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Try it on your kid!  Ellery would not look at me for these photos.  She loves to play hard-to-get.

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Grant wanted in on the action…. I’ve got to make him a boy version ASAP.

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Here’s Ellery “organzing” the crowns and choosing which ones her friends should have.  SUCH a first-born!

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This girl will be FIVE in a week!  No one is more excited than her.  She asks me at least 20 times a day who is younger than her… and squeals with delight when she gets to a kid who has a May or June or July birthday.  Seriously, I’ll be in the other room and I’ll hear her say, “Mommy?” and I’ll start mouthing the words she’s about to say:  “Am I turning 5 before _______ ?”

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“YES, ELLERY.  YOU ARE TURNING FIVE BEFORE ______.”

“heheheeeee yyyeeeeesssss!!  weeeeeee!!!”  :::happy dance::::

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Let me know if you decide to make one- don’t let my long tutorial fool you… they are so fast to make if you have everything on hand!

And I hope all of you KCW -sewing Mamas have fun this week and don’t putter out before the week is over!  I simply cannot get my act together to participate this time around…I am here cheering you on though and can’t wait to see what everyone makes!

Ciao!

-Erin

vintage floral crowns

Hey y’all!

Just popping in to share with you what’s been consuming my evening sewing sessions lately….I’m not sure what inspired these crowns, but once the idea came to me there was no stopping the production!

vintage floral pillowcases + wool felt = soft, sweet, and subtle crowns perfect for Spring.

(side note- no matter how much you wash a vintage sheet, it still smells OLD.  or, seasoned as i like to say….)

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The above fabric is from the same pillowcase that this dress was made from.

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These are going to be for a certain special girl’s 5th birthday party coming up in April.  I am making one for each of her little guests.  Hence the production line!  We’ll be having a little girl’s luncheon in our backyard garden and I’m excited to plan for it- I’m usually not big on birthday hoopla for little kiddos (a ton of work/stress/money- plus all three of my babies have birthdays within a month of each other!) but, now that Ellery is old enough to help me with ideas and planning, it’s actually something I’m looking forward to!  Except that every day she tells me EXACTLY what she’d like her cake to look like… different every day of course!

I like that these crowns (which they can wear for the party AND take home…) don’t cost a lot, but are made with a lot of love.

More to come!

-Erin

Sweet Clarice Stocking + tutorial

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This stocking has been a long time coming… it’s been floating around in my head ever since last year’s Abominable Snowman was created.

I know I’m not alone in my love for Clarice…. she is pretty, pure, so kind, and has one of the lovliest voices in show biz.  It’s no question that my favorite scene in the Rudolph movie is when Rudolph and Clarice meet… and then when he flies and says “she said i’m cuuuuuuute!”  and then his fake nose falls off.  It’s classic.  I wanted to pay homage to my favorite leading doe, by making this felt stocking for one of my girls (I think Ellery is calling dibs on this one.  Corinne will have to settle for Hermie next year!  Or the misfit doll maybe?).

Do you love Clarice too?  Or do you know someone who would appreciate their very own Clarice Christmas stocking?

Here’s a step-by-step tutorial for ya…..

First, go here to download and print this little Clarice pattern I drew up.

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You’ll need wool or wool blend felt.  I love the felt I’ve gotten from Ohma in the past- I used it here for Clarice and for the snowy ground… The main part of the stocking is felt from my local fabric shop, Les Fabriques- it’s not quite as high in quality as the Ohma stuff, but it’s perfectly fine for this project, and it came in a large piece.

  I used Oatmeal-colored felt for Clarice and an off-white felt for the snow.  Bright white for the main part of the stocking- but any backround color would be nice here…. I just wanted to keep it mostly white.  I also used some little bits of white velour for the white parts on her chest and belly and ears, and some white fur for the fluff on her tail.  I used a teensy bit of black felt for her nose, but you can also use a little black craft paint ( which is what i used for the hoofs).

Okay, here we go.  Cut your pattern pieces out and trace them onto your felt with a disappearing marker, or just get crazy and use a sharpie like me- just make sure to cut away black away.

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**note: when you are cutting the legs that are in the background, extend the piece at the top by about 1/4″  since you’ll need to tuck those pieces under the body and then glue them.)**

I started putting Clarice’s head together first- I shaped the eye by going back and forth between many photos of her on the iPad. Glue (using basic craft or fabric glue) the white of her eye down to the head piece, and then glue the back part on top of that.  Using a few strands of black thread, hand-stitch around her eye…and then stitch a few long eyelashes at the top corner.  Her lashes are her best feature, don’t you think?

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Okay, next glue the little white part of her mouth to her head, and then using a tiny piece of black felt, glue on a little nose for her (or paint one on).

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I had used her head as a gauge of how big the rest of her body should be… and then made up the rest of my pattern.  I think she’s fairly proportionate.

Okay, next you need to cut the front piece of your stocking.  You can trace a stocking you already have, or draw one up freehand.  Finished, mine is about 15″ tall, 6″ wide at the center (where Clarice’s body will be), and 10″ wide at the foot.  I cut mine slightly larger at first so I had some room to modify the design later on if I wanted to.

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Next you need to make a blanket of snow for Clarice to stand on.  I cut long wavy shapes and just placed them all across the foot of the stocking.  Just use a bit of glue to keep them in place, then topstitch them along the waves.  (You’ll cut the excess off later.)

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I used gold thread, but you can barely see it.  Oh well…We’ll add some bling later.

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Once the snow was on there, I used my disappearing ink marker to re-draw the bottom shape of the stocking.  Now you can start to glue the deer in place wherever you’d like her to be.  Play around with how you want things placed, how you want the head tilted, etc…

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Using some small pieces of white flannel, felt or velour, glue a bit to her neck, and her belly, and both ears.  Just use these pictures as a general guide for that.

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Then, use a small amount of white fur if you have it to make a little fluff at the end of her tail.  You could probably even use a little bit of a cotton ball if you didn’t have fur.

Check out what my kiddos did to my embroidery floss while I was engrossed in my project!!  ARGH!

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Okay, next… use some skinny red ribbon (with white polkda dots if you can find it- i lucked out and found some at Michael’s in the clearance Xmas section) to make a small bow.  Glue it right in between the ears.  Then use a Q-tip and brush on a little blush below her eye…

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Purty….  :)

Next, you can sew in some snowflakes using a few strands of thread- I used metallic gold… yep, you heard me.  Gold snow.  Er…stars?

You can also use embroidery floss.  Make a cross going one way, then a smaller one going the other way.  Make as many or as few as you want.

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Next up, pin your stocking to your back piece of felt.

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Sew your stocking together, staying close to the edge of your design.  Stitch along the marking on the foot you made, and then cut away the excess….

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Lookin’ good!

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Make a little loop to hang your stocking by sewing 2 rectangular pieces of felt together- finished, you want it about 9″ by 1/2″-3/4″.  Just sew up each side and trim the excess away…

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Bring the ends together and hand stitch them to the back piece of your stocking, at the top right corner.

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You can fancy up your stocking any way you’d like.  Pom pom trim would be super cute…. But I found that icy blue fringe trim at my local shop and knew right away it was meant for Clarice.  I thought it had a little old school charm…

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Hand-sew your trim (beginning at the back somewhere) all around the top edge of your stocking.

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AAAAANNNDDDD… you’re DONE!

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And enjoy having “There’s always tomorrow…. ” stuck in you head for about 3 days after….

Happy Holidays!

-Erin

Lately

There may have been a shortage of blogging last month, but certainly no shortage of things made.

Ellery’s BFF “friend Caroline” and her nothing-short-of-amazing mother, moved all the way to Colorado.  We are so sad they moved away but wish them all the best and promise to skype as much as possible!

I suggested to Ellery that we make Caroline some stationary so she can write letters to us.  It didn’t feel like *enough* though, for such a dear friend… I mean, we’re crafters, aren’t we?  So, we whipped up a little felt case (i get my felt from Ohma) in no time.  We didn’t measure anything, just cut from random pieces in my stash.  Caroline and Ellery loooove princesses, so we made a little crown for the front- stitched with gold thread, and some silver embroidery floss knots for a little bling.

Ellery sat on my lap the entire time and helped me keep my lines straight ;)… I love how this has a 4 year old touch.

On the way to Caroline’s house, we stopped and got some special twistable colored pencils (not shown)- perfect for her…she is a fabulous artiste!

I made some couch pillows….

….and some bed pillows….

…and a super quick and easy “faux” roman shade for my kitchen sink window.  (two tension rods and some fabric. done.)

Finally got around to sewing up some cloth napkins.  I’m 32.  It’s time I stopped using paper towels at every meal.

This ruffle-less Pierrot  with elastic casings in the sleeves (previous pierrots here and here) came off as quickly as it went on.

boo.

I am told that Ellery’s “back-to-school” dress, a purply corduroy jumper, will be worn “When I turn 5.”  Check back with me in 7 months…

I dunno…. maybe the mustard lining threw her off???

And finally, I got this crazy notion to spray paint my fireplace screen yellow, but when I got to Lowe’s, Avocado spoke to me.  So, there you have it… you can spray paint over spray paint, right?

Gotta say I’m a little bummed that E won’t wear my dresses…. So, for a while I’m going to concentrate on sewing for ME!

Next up…. WASHI!

-Erin

We have mice!

My Mom made one these for each of her 6 grandkids.  Isn’t it the cutest?

I’m imagining a nice little stash of these with all different little critters inside.

Perfect to keep in your bag for those what-was-i-thinking-taking-my-kids-to-a-restaurant moments.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering…. my Mom has curiously strong minty breath these days. :)

-Erin

felt patch baby books

I thought I’d share with you my favorite baby gift ever. 

We have some good friends who have given us these darling felt patch photo albums for each one of our children.  They have become so special to us, and I was super excited the other day when a box arrived on our doorstep.  I smiled as soon as I saw the return address- knowing there would be another sweet book for our little lamb, Corinne.

The patch is made from hand-dyed wool felt, and the book is covered in canvas.  It’s quality.  The books come from here.  I urge you to visit Kata’s site and take a look at all she offers… so inspiring (well, to me anyway… i seriously love felt!).

Here is Grant’s- I just finished putting photos in his book a few weeks ago- just in time for his 2nd birthday (go me!).

And Ellery’s.  I wrote a little something under each photo in her book, almost so it would read like a story. 

She loves to find it on the bookshelf and have us look at it with her.  Often. :)

And check this out- no packing peanuts here!  These felt scraps kept my little ones busy for a solid 20 minutes.

So, keep these cute books in mind if you know a special little one is coming! 

OR… Get crafty! 

You can buy Kata Golda’s book, Hand-Stitched Felt and learn how to make tons of cute things.  I’ve made the finger puppets (shown above) twice, and they were so fun to make and personalize for each baby. 

My first experience with sewing ANYTHING was when I made things from this book.  Learning to hand-stitch inspired me to learn how to use a sewing machine… but looking back at these books, I’m getting the itch to sit on the couch and work a new project from this book- you know, once things get settled in around here.

-Erin

Felt Stockings

Thought I’d share the stockings I made last year for Christmas.  I’m an eager beaver and have had my box o’ christmas stuff out for a week now waiting to be rifled through… 

These stockings came together in a couple of mornings.  I stole borrowed the book Fa la la la Felt from my Mom (sorry- i’ll get that back to you soon!) and was inspired immediately to make a couple for the kids.  For Ellery’s, I pretty much copied a design in the book for this white bear holding 3 stacked snowballs…

Felt might be my favorite material to work with.  I bought some good quality felt a couple years ago from OhMa Felt- it’s a big difference working with quality wool felt, and say, the stuff you find at Michael’s… Another book that I LOVE is Kata Golda’s book.   Check it out if you like felt! 

Onto Grant’s stocking… I got so into this project, you have no idea.  I spent some time googling images of my favorite Christmas character, the Abominable Snowman and just went at it piecing together scraps of white felt and some faux fur for his belly.  He’s just the right mix of scary and cute I think!

  I might make a couple more for me and Dean, but I need some suggestions… Rudolph and Clarice maybe?

-Erin