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,

I bought an amazing new book+cd at Barnes and Noble a couple of months ago. It’s called Twinkle Sews, and is basically a selection of clothing patterns (and artsy photographs) from the designer of the Twinkle line of clothing. I don’t know much about the clothing line, so whether or not these are the actual deigns from the line, I don’t know. But I do know this much: I. Love. It. Immediately, I wanted to make almost every outfit in the book, but I finally chose an easy-looking skirt called Skyline Skirt. It’s a simple style with clean lines and I had the perfect fabrics for it.
I took photos every step of the way to document my very first Twinkle Sews project and to give a little review of sorts. For the most part I love the book and the patterns are easy to follow. I did find a few mistakes that could lead to trouble with your design, especially if you’re not very experienced, but I’ll point them out along the way. Enjoy!

Each pattern in this book is presented in pdf format on the included cd. You just insert it into the computer, open the file and print the pattern you want (8X11.5 paper). For example, I wanted the Skyline Skirt, size 16. So I printed the file SkylineSkirt_16.pdf. Easy! That particular pattern didn’t have too many pieces, but my second one sure does! I don’t remember how many off-hand, but it seems like it was somewhere between 30 and 60. These don’t take very long to piece together, though, and then it’s just the matter of cutting them out, which has to be done no matter what pattern you’re using. 😉

I don’t think the book has a section telling you how to cut the paper patterns and piece them together, so I’ll include a little info about it here. Sorry if this is getting too long and drawn-out!

First, cut along the dotted lines. These usually run parallel along two or more sides of the paper, sometimes less. Once these are cut off, piece the papers together using tape. There will be a partial circle with a number in each corner of the paper (usually). These match to the other three partials with the same number on the other papers. It’s not difficult to get the hang of, and goes fairly quick once you get started.

The book, cd, 3 pattern pieces for “Skyline Skirt” and the un-pieced, uncut paper for my next project: the Dark Secrets top.

(In this pic)I like the skirt……..the sweater? Not so much……. It reminds me of the sweater Lizzie McGuire’s grandma gave her. Please tell me that I WON’T think that this is a cute top in a couple of months or years from now! The way my taste in clothing has changed recently…..I’m afraid. lol

There are only 8 “steps” for the Skyline Skirt, but some of these, in turn, have more than one step to them. This pattern calls for a zipper which is not my area of expertise. The last(and first) zipper I sewed, caused me grief, so I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.

In the instructions for each pattern, they do assume that you know what you’re doing in the sewing world, and that you have at least a basic knowledge of sewing techniques. But no fear: there is a whole chapter at the beginning that takes you through terms and instructions that you’ll need for the patterns and any other sewing you may do in the future. Honestly, I’ve been sewing for several years and, in some cases, making my own patterns, so it’s always a bit hard for me to say whether or not a real beginner would understand the instructions as well as I do. They seemed very thorough, though, at least in the beginning chapter. The steps for each individual pattern are a little more vague, assuming that you remember techniques from the beginning of the book. You may have to reference back from time to time.

Also, the sizing is a bit difficult to understand, or at least it was for me. In the beginning chapter it explains how to do some simple calculating of your measurement + given amount for ease + given amount for seam allowance. The amounts for each of the last two are actually given right there in the first chapter. Once you know this number you are supposed to match it up to the included sizing chart. Sounds simple, right? Well, at the beginning of each pattern, it tells you whether to use your bust, waist, or other measurement to figure your size for that particular article of clothing. In addition to that, it will sometimes say “use such-and-such amount for ease, plus such-and-such amount for seam allowance”. And those amounts will be different than in the beginning chapter. Or sometimes it will only give you the ease amount before the instructions. Sometimes neither. I just found it a bit contradictory, but when in doubt, go with your instincts and maybe choose a larger size just to be safe. It’s much easier to reduce it down by using large seam allowances or cutting some off, than it would be to make it larger once the outfit has already been partially sewn. I used a size 16 for this skirt, but had to make it smaller…….more on that later.

The instruction pages

Cutting out my fabric pieces

I used an applique-look cotton paired with a medium-weight red linen. I’ve had the linen for years, and more recently bought the cotton thinking it would make a cute skirt. I am so glad that I hadn’t sewn anything with it yet! 🙂

My main skirt pieces:

The one BIG mistake with this pattern

Okay, see how I cut the pieces out? With the numbers, words, etc. facing up when I pinned them to the fabric. That is the usual way, right? Well, not here……just look how the paper and fabric pieces slant down from right to left. The photo shows them slanting from left to right. What’s with that? Ggggrrrrrr…….. :-S So after cutting 16 pieces out one-by-one, I had to re-do all of the green cotton pieces by flipping the paper pattern over when I cut them out. Fortunately I was able to turn the red pieces over and use them the opposite way. That’s another thing to watch out for. The book doesn’t say anything about whether to cut the patterns out with the fabric folded in two, or laid out flat. Normally I cut with my fabric folded, so as to get two pieces done at once. But thankfully I realized before cutting, that you need each piece of this pattern to be cut exactly the same…in other words, if I cut them on folded fabric, I would end up with two peices, one the mirror image of the other a.k.a flipped. For this design, each piece needs to be an exact duplicate of the one before. No room for flipped pieces here! That’s something to definitely watch out for.

More on the skirt project later…….