Karlene's Workshop

My sewing, refashioning and upcycling projects revealed
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Handbag for Rylee

  • 23/08/2009 3:14 pm

I made this bag for my niece Rylee a little while ago. She just turned six, so when we celebrate I am giving her this along her quilt that I have been working on for the last year. My other nieces will get their bags too.
This one is a slightly shaped tote style bag with a flat oval base.

Rylee's bag

I used vintage floral cotton from Nana’s stash for the outer, and some orange floral/stripey cotton for the lining. I think this fabric was from my mother- in-law who kindly donated me some of her scraps a few years ago.

Inside Rylee's bag

The flower brooch is made from a vintage floral fabric, I have seen at least two dresses that my Nana made with it. I have always liked the bright colours in it and only managed to get a small scrap, just big enough to make a gathered fabric rose.

Fabric flower brooch

I attached the flower to a brooch finding and pinned it around one of the handles. This is so Rylee can move it or use it to close the bag, or wear it if she wants to. Or just take it off if she doesn’t like it!

Pinned on

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Hand bag for Briana

  • 08/08/2009 1:47 pm

When my 5 year old niece Briana saw her sister designing a bag to be made by me, of course she wanted one too. Her design was not as detailed as Alyssa’s, but she was very certain that it was to be pink. The drawing she did was hard to see so I haven’t posted it. She said “I want it a pink square bag, with one handle and lots of flowers like Nan’s (referring to a bag I made for my Mother), all pink”.

I just so happened to have a pinkish denim skirt with a ruffled hem that I got from an op shop with the intention of turning it into skirt, so I used that as the base and rifled through my scrap stash – I keep everything – for pink bits for the flowers.

Here is the finished bag.

Bag for Briana

I cut out 2 rectangle shapes as big as I could fit into the skirt panels, sorry I didn’t take any before pics :-( it was a straight paneled skirt with a shaped hem.

I stitched these together and boxed out the bottom by sewing a triangle across the the corners ( I promise to take lots of pictures next time and do a tutorial!) and used the ruffle on the hem to trim the top edge.

I used the reverse side of the skirt fabric to cut 3 of the applique flower shapes and some pink cotton to do the other 3. For the floating flowers, I made 3 from floral cotton scraps and 3 from very special pink taffeta lining and pink floral nylon scraps, saved from a dress that my Nana made and wore to a wedding. I stitched beads in the centre to secure the flowers, this is the same technique I used on my denim jeans skirt.

All pink

I cut the strap as long as I could get it but it was still a little short, so I lengthened it by adding two strips to each end in lieu of a D ring. This left a funny looking gap. As I was wondering what I could do to fix this, I saw some pink and purple feathers in my pile of ‘pink stuff’ and remembered something Gok had done to a bag with feathers and beads. Ah ha!

I stitched the feathers to the back of the strap and used a hot glue gun to secure them properly, with a piece of ribbon over the top to look pretty. Glue is pretty ugly even on the back of something. Then I added some beads on the front side.

Beads and feathers

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How to make flowers from fairy skirt circles

  • 04/08/2009 8:31 pm

I was inspired by these gorgeous felt flowers made by Koala Brains
and it gave me an idea of how to use up all those leftover circles you get after cutting out circular/fairy skirts.
Circles

I will show you how I did mine, with 5 petals. My method is a little different, after having a play around I found this was the best way with larger circles, in flimsy fabrics. The size of flower you end up with depends on the size of your circle.

1. Find centre of circle by folding in half, then in half again. Mark with chalk on the wrong side of fabric.
Folded

2. Mark a line from the centre of circle to the outer edge.
1st line marked

3. Mark 4 more lines from the centre evenly spaced around the circle. This will involve some maths.
360 degrees divided by 5 petals = 72 degrees.
I used a protractor to measure 72 degrees between each line.
Measuring angles

5. Cut thread at least 20cm longer than the width of your circle and thread onto a needle. Secure thread at the edge of circle and sew/tack along line to the centre.
1st line stiched

6. Leave a tail approx 10cm long, or if you have 5 needles available to use, just leave the needle on.

7. Repeat with other 4 lines.
Lines stitched

8. Pull threads one at a time and stitch to secure in the centre with a knot. Be careful not to tangle the needles!
Gather

9. Secure and cut threads, turn over to right side. Ta da!
Front of flower

Now you can have fun with them by cutting some circles smaller and layering the flowers.
Layered

Make a fairy hair clip/barrette by attaching a hair clip finding, or a brooch by attaching to a pin-back or…

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