Make: DIY Ribbon Belts

Fresh notebooks, long pencils with sharpened tips, uncreased shoes on polished floors–I love the possibility implied by the start of a school year.

And what evokes school in its pressed, preppy essence more than the ribbon belt?

I made these for myself, and was surprised when the white-and-blue belt was nabbed by my teenage son. So, make enough for everyone!

Materials

grosgrain ribbon (your waist measurement plus about 10 inches)

webbing (to match and back your ribbon)

D-rings

thread to match

Step one: Pin the ribbon to the webbing, making sure to fold 6-8″ of ribbon over the back of the belt. (This bit will be visible when the belt is looped through the D-ring.)

ribbon belt by homemadecity.com

Step two: Sew in place.

ribbon belt by homemade city

Step three: At the other end of your belt, add the D-ring and fold over once. (The webbing was too thick for me to fold over twice).

ribbon belt by homemadecity.com

Step three: Sew the D-ring in place. And . . . wear!

Make: Table Runner

This runner was crazy easy to make–a fabric sandwich edged with bias tape. Sadly, I couldn’t be bothered with photographing each step because as I was sewing, I was binge-listening to all 12 of the Serial podcasts. (Which further illustrates just how beautifully mindless this project is: you can devote your whole brain to murder courtroom drama while you work).

Materials: 1 yard cotton canvas (this print is from the Outside Oslo Collection by Jessica Jones), 2 packages of extra wide, double fold bias tape (3 yards in each package), matching thread.

1. Cut two rectangles to desired length (mine were 55″ long, the width of the canvas).

2. Sandwich the two pieces, bad sides together and sew a 1/4″ seam allowance along each side.

3. Sew on bias tape. As a self-taught seamstress, I didn’t go to bias tape school so I followed these helpful directions from oliver + s.

That’s it. As I mentioned, it’s so simple, you can annex your mind toward more worthy goals, like gobbling up whodunit podcasts.

Make: Snow Day Embroidery

How many ways can I sew a quilt without actually sewing a quilt? My ingenuity at procrastinating finishing my quilt project (yeah, it’s been 2 years–why are you bugging me about it?) is impressive even to me. About a year ago I tried to trick you (who, really?) by making a dollhouse-sized quilt. 

This time I’m inspired by LUCKY JACKSON, an illustrator and artist who created & embroidered an art work every day for a year (see her fantastic 365 Project). This image of 2 pairs of feet sneaking out from under a quilt comes from her work. 

Lucky’s original is far more charming than my pale copy–I love how she uses vintage bed sheets and fabrics. Also, I’m noticing her stitches are lighter and sketchier. I outlined with a stem stitch, which, in retrospect, I realize is too heavy. I may have to try again with an original image or with one of Lucky’s patterns, but it was a good challenge and a small-enough project for a blizzard-bound snow day. Stay warm!

Pinterest Round-up: Setting the Table

Thanksgiving approaches, and with it, thoughts of a long, sumptuous meal set on a beautiful table.

Notice I didn’t say, “thoughts of planning and preparing a meal.” Are you kidding? I wouldn’t be rhapsodizing if work were involved. But if you’re up to it, here are some great projects to inspire your Thanksgiving table.

Top row:

Stenciled runner by Lotta Jansdotter (Lotta Prints)

Running stitch napkins from the Purl Bee

Middle row:

DIY foxy rubber stamp by Zana

Table cloth from the Alabama Stitch Book

Bottom image:

Linen napkins from the Purl Bee

House: DIY namesake pillow

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My daughter has a common/uncommon name and it’s a rare day when her name appears on any souvenirs worth bringing home. A Betty spoon rest is pretty easy to find, but anything an eleven-year-old would actually want not so much. So while she was away at camp (a.k.a. the greatest place on earth) I made her this little pillow for her newly designed bedroom. I followed the cottage magpie tutorial that I use for all my cushions. This pillow is a “small boudoir” (oh la la) size (12×16 “). Here are the steps to make your own namesake pillow.

Materials: About half a yard of main fabric (I used yarn dyed Essex) and a small piece of a printed fabric. About half a yard of unbleached muslin. Embroidery thread. Pillow insert. Fun button.

1. Front panel. Cut one piece of the printed fabric 17 x 5.5″ and one piece of your main fabric 17 x 8.5″. Sew the two pieces together along the long edge using a quarter inch seam. Press the seam toward your main fabric.

2. Use a washable marker to draw your design. I made a straight line one inch above the seam and then scripted betty on the line about two-thirds along the line.

3. Embroider the design using a back stitch.

4. Cut your muslin lining and back panels. Cut the front muslin lining 13 x 17″. Cut two pieces of your main fabric 11 x 13″ and two muslin pieces of the same measure.

5. Place your back panel and lining right sides together and stitch along the 13″ edge using a half inch seam. Turn right side out and press the seam. Pin then tack around the three other sides. Tacking the lining to the fabric makes assembling the cushion much easier.

6. Make a button hole in the center of one back panel half an inch below the seam.

7. Pin then tack the muslin to the main panel (wrong sides together)  one quarter inch from the edge.

8. Next put your pieces together as follows: Front panel right side up; back panel with buttonhole wrong side up; back panel without buttonhole wrong side up, overlapping the other back panel .

9. Align all the edges, pin, and stitch together using a half inch seam.

10. Trim the corners then over stitch around the edge to prevent fraying.

11. Turn the pillow cover right side out and poke out the corners.

12. Sew on your button and put the insert inside the cover.

13. Step back and enjoy your handiwork.

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