I just added new inventory to the shoppe! See them all by clicking on the Umbrella Ave. link in the left hand sidebar. 😀

Since temporarily closing my Etsy shoppe, I’ve been busy working on new inventory. Here is a preview of what will be hitting my shoppe later on this month (hopefully).

Hello everyone and welcome to my first tutorial. The idea for this tutorial just popped into my head as I was thinking about my many friends who are new to crafting and blogging, etc., and I thought it would be fun to make a how-to. So if you like crafting, fabric, sewing, shabby chic, or all of the above…..I hope you’ll give it a try. And if you have any questions, please ask! Or comments or revisions…….since I’ve never done this before and I may have left something out. So please shoot me a message!

First you’ll need to print my pattern:Headband Template

Be sure to print with scaling set to “none” and paper setting on the “legal” size. Also, make sure you really do use the legal sized paper, otherwise part of your pattern will get cut off in the printing process. After your pattern has printed, cut out both pieces and trace the base onto card stock. Cut out the card stock pattern and discard the paper one. You should be left with one paper flower pattern and one card stock base pattern.

The materials that you’ll need: (plus a sewing machine if you have one)

Step #1. Cut 9 flower pieces from various colored/printed cottons. Be sure to lay your pattern out on the bias, aka at an angle to the edges of your fabric. This will ensure that your flowers do not unravel too much, and will give them a much neater appearance.

Step #2. Lay your base pattern on the felt and trace around it with an air-soluble marker. Mine ran out of juice, so I had to use a fine-tip permanent fabric marker. You can use whatever you want, as long as it leaves a fine line and won’t be too visible after cutting out. Trace once, and then flip the pattern over horizontally and trace again. The piece is not completely symmetrical, so this will ensure that you have two pieces that fit together correctly. Draw a line or write “wrong side” at the top edge of each piece, so that you can sandwich them together correctly during the last steps.

Note: Felt does not have a definite “right” or “wrong” side, so just go with your preference!

Here I have my base pieces and 4 flower pieces cut out.

Step #3. Once your pieces are all cut, sew two gathering stitches along one long edge of each flower piece. Make sure it’s the end with the curves, and back stitch or knot the threads at one end. You can do the gathering stitch on a sewing machine, which is a lot faster, ( you don’t need a very loose stitch for these; I used a 2.5 on my brother machine, which is the normal stitch length ) or you can do it by hand.

Here you can see the gathering stitches on one of my darker flower pieces. My first stitching line is about 1/8 – 1/4″ away from the edge.

Now gather the flowers up snugly and knot the end. Trim threads, leaving a tiny tail.

Step #4. After your flower is gathered, thread your needle, knot the end, and pull it through the gathering at one end of the strip. Now begin rolling the strip in on itself, making sure that the right side of the fabric is facing out. After rolling the strip once, insert your needle directly above the uppermost gathering stitch…………

……………………pulling it through to the other side, coming out directly above the uppermost gathering stitch. Continue rolling and sewing through all layers in this way, until you reach the other end of the strip.

Once you’ve reached the end, wrap your thread around the base of the flower 2-3 times, insert your needle through the threads and pull out to the other side.

Knot and trim threads and any pieces of fabric that stick up higher than the rest.

Step #5. Hold the flower so that the longer end is facing upwards, with your index fingers supporting the bottom, and your thumbs inserted inside of the flower. Now, spread your thumbs apart, turning the entire flower inside out and smoothing the shorter layers down over the longer ones. It should look like this.

Turn over, and voila!

Step #6. After all of your flowers are finished, it’s time to attach them to the base. I like to sew mine, but you can use glue if you prefer. If you want to sew them like I did, the instructions are as follows:

Arrange your flowers on the headband base in whatever order you’d like. I used three flowers on each of the 3 oval-shaped sections. And be sure that the markings on your headband base are facing DOWN, so that you are attaching the flowers to the unmarked side.

Take all of the flowers off, except for one, keeping them in the same general positions, so that you don’t forget where they go.

Thread your needle and knot the end. Now turn over your first flower and secure your thread as follows: slip your needle through the top layer, making a small stitch. Before pulling all the way through, slide your needle between the threads near your knot. Now pull snugly to secure.

It should look like this:

Make a small stitch out to the edge where you’d like to begin sewing.

Position your flower on the base and hold securely with one hand while you sew with the other. Take a small, horizontal stitch through the top layer of felt, near the spot where your thread exits the flower, and pull through.

Now take a small stitch through the flower, starting at the point where the thread exits the felt.

Take another stitch through the top layer of felt. Continue in this way until you have sewn all the way around your flower. Be sure you don’t pull the threads too tightly as you stitch, or else it will pull and warp your felt base. Just pull the threads snugly enough that the stitches don’t show.

Once you’ve made it all the way around, insert your needle through the felt at the base of your flower……………..

………………..and through to the other side.

Knot the end and trim.

After your flower is secure, you can smooth the petals down toward the felt, to give it a nice, puffy shape.

Attach each flower in the same manner…………..

………..until they are all secure.

Step #7. Now it’s time to attach the headband. I was planning to use a skinny store-bought band, but it turns out that I only had one left and I didn’t like the color for this project.

So I used a piece of colored lingerie elastic instead, cutting it to the same length as the store-bought band.

Spread an even layer of tacky glue all over the back of the base, making sure that it reaches clear to the edge. Then lay your headband across the back, centering it, and spread another layer of glue over the band. (I spread the line of glue out with a paint brush before the next step)

Take your other base piece and place it over the top, making sure that the markings match up on both pieces and are facing to the INSIDE where they cannot be seen. Your first piece will be somewhat smaller because of the slight warping that occurs while sewing the flowers on, so you will have to do a bit of smoothing, scrunching and manipulating to get all of the edges to match up correctly.

Tacky glue dries quickly, but I would suggest giving it about 12-24 hours before wearing, to be sure the headband will not come undone when it is stretched.

Ta-da! The finished product!!!!

I’ll try to post some photos of me wearing my headband soon………….and if you make one using my tutorial, I would love to post a photo of it here for everyone else to see!

Thanks a bunch for looking,

My featured seller for the week is dragonhouseofyuen. What funky, fabric animal sculptures! They would be so retro/mod hanging from a Christmas tree, strung on a piece of twine and hung around a window, or just sitting on your dresser. Btw……I just love how the artist community calls these “sculptures” now instead of plain old stuffed animals. It fits them better, since these really are pieces of art and not cheap children’s toys.

My favorite sculptures here are the squirrels, but there are so many different styles and patterns to choose from, that you’ll have to stop by the shop and decide for yourself. 🙂
Excerpt from dragonhouseofyuen’s profile page:
“Annette Tait of Dragon House of Yuen
I grew up in Zambia, the Highlands of Scotland and Outback Australia surrounded by animals. I am inspired by nature and have a great love of all animals. My art is animal oriented and comes from the heart. All my work is originals and has been designed and created by me. (Please see)My fine art website: www.dragonhouseofyuen.co.uk

Well, I finally broke down and bought an adorable pair of handmade shoes from Etsy. I’ve been eyeing the shoes at three different shops for a while now, although the one I ended up purchasing from was actually a very recent find via the front page. 😉 I started admiring and thinking about the unique shoes from HydraHeart first, but after reading some of the feedback, I wasn’t quite confident enough to buy a pair. Also, the toes on their shoes are SO short…….which would be adorable if you have a smaller foot/toe area than I do. 😉
The shoes from SmartFish are really cool, and some of them are even embellished, but they are too far out of my price range.
So I decided to buy a pair from TheGeneration, my newest find. The shoes were reasonably priced, even if it is more than I normally spend, and they are SO cute! They had great feedback saying how comfortable and cute the shoes were, and how well they fit. I can’t wait until mine come, but it will probably take a month or so before they’re finished and on their way. That’s alright…..it will give me something to look forward to. Once they come I can blog my own photos and give a full report. So far I give TheGeneration an A+ for cuteness, perfect communication, and reasonable price. Plus she was even willing to work with me for a different size than is normally offered; I wear a size 11. 😉

This is the style I purchased:

And this is the color: pretty, muted lime green. 🙂 I think this color will go well with most of my outfits.

Etsian of the Week: paperhill

In honor of paperhill’s 2 year anniversary, each order will be refunded 15% of the total purchase price; limited time only! There are so many pretty finds here that I’m sure you won’t walk away empty-handed. 🙂
Reconstructed rings

Vintage flocked notecards

Pocket mirrors covered in vintage wallpaper

Vintage wallpaper notecards
Simply gorgeous cuffs!

I’m pleased to present some new additions to my UmbrellaAve. Etsy shoppe : Fabric gift tags. They’re made from layers of coordinating fabrics and a middle layer of wool felt to give it thickness. They have neat fraying edges and stamped “To & From” sections on the backs. I’ve handwritten “A gift for you” on each of them. Check these out in my Etsy shoppe! They make the perfect addition to any gift. And……….they’re “green”, too!

Why did these turn out sideways? Who knows?! My computer has been doing weird things to me lately.

Here are some little lovelies just listed on my Etsy Shoppe.
#1 & #2 in my new “Aggie Anne” series of artwork. My nickname is Aggie (given to me by my youngest sister when she was really young) and I was sometimes called Alexan(drea) as a kid……….so there you go!
I drew each little girl onto unbleached muslin using colored pencils. Their clothes are made from fabric scraps, and the cookies are Re-Ment miniatures. I mounted the muslin blocks onto pieces of matching scrapbook paper, and they’re ready to be framed! I think these turned out pretty cute, and hopefully I’ll get some more of them made soon. 🙂 There are some other nifty additions to my Etsy shoppe as well, so stop over if you have the time!

Etsian of the Week
During my recent Etsy browsing, I came across this simply lovely and quaint little shop. I ADORE her designs, incorporating old hankies, laces and fabrics into precious little things for home or yourself. These few photos have inspired me to go make a placemat for my bedside table! Hope you all enjoy these as much as I do, and that you check out her shop where you’ll find many more lovely treasures.

“rita summer apron wrap”
nellie wake up and love me” placemat

“do you know what I’m thinking” placemat

“flossie face me” cushion
I really love this photo! Look at all of the neat laces hanging behind, as well as the collage box? underneath.

“mabel might I have a moment” cushion

“celia should but she won’t” slip

“ada pesky squirrel” dishtowel in green

Neat pic 🙂