Bracelet Tutorial

Because She’s Loved

Ahem…Class, we will now make a bracelet.  No…Here’s my ver-r-r-y first tutorial and I know it’s just terrible. No…Friends and family, we are gathered here together. No..Oh, bother, here goes.

To make a simple fabric cuff pictured above, just sandwich two scraps of fabric wrong sides together, run a topstitch around the border and trim with pinking shears. Sew a big button on one side and a big buttonhole on the other.  Wear. Glow in the knowledge that you are loved, even if just by yourself.

Starting out with 10" widths, each of these is comfortable on my slightly large wrist.

However, if you would like to make a slightly more durable version to show another woman that she is loved, here are some guidelines. (As opposed to directions, which are to be followed to the letter.)

Why are we doing this? See Andrea’s post at http://www.thetraintocrazy.com/2013/02/more-bracelet-tutorials.html.

Cut out a 10″ X 2.5″ rectangle on paper. The slimmer “Loved”  bracelet was cut out of a 9″ by 1.75″ rectangle but when I tried to turn the fabric inside out I had to make use of a bodkin and some unladylike language.

Betty the Bodkin

Betty the Bodkin

I got that sucker turned but then I had to come up with another closure option because closing a bracelet with a small button and buttonhole seemed like poor design.  More on that later. Suffice to say I’ll be making my bracelets in the larger size, but you are free to follow your own inner bodkin.

Since I mostly sew garments, I would have cut out little rectangles all day and then used some bodkinesque language as I tried to center the embroidery on the bracelet. But instead of cutting the fabric around my rectangular pattern,  I followed my sewing teacher’s advice and ended up cutting the fabric around the embroidery. First, I  marked  the fabric where the embroidery would go.  Then I moved the paper down and did the same thing again.

But I did cut the backs of the bracelets and heavyweight embroidery stabilizer from the paper patterns.  (Okay, only the “Hope” bracelet has heavyweight stabilizer. )

Then I embroidered, conveyor belt style, since I was in this terribly efficient mode anyway. Embroider; lift presser foot, move to next spot. Embroider, lift presser foot, move to next spot. Then and only then did I cut out each rectangle around the pattern, centering the lettering appropriately. Thank you, Rose. I’ll be on time for class this week, really. Really.

BTW,  I created more “Hope” bracelets than I have pictured here. And I made the “Loved” bracelets yesterday. I hope you’re not too confused by the fact that I have two days of production pictures with directions for only one day. Imagine how I feel.

Each embroidered front was then sewn right sides together with a back cut from the 10″ X 2.5″ paper pattern. I sewed down the long sides and then turned inside out and pressed. I tucked the short sides to the inside and used Steam-A-Seam to hold them in place while I finished the closures. You could also topstitch. Or both.

I hope the recipients like color as much as I do! I used contrast backings for each  bracelet.  I embroidered the back of one  in lime green just because it was too boring in black and white.  Or because I have no taste whatsoever. I’ve never been entirely sure.

Bracelets 025

My “Hope” cuff with the navy blue backing sports a blue/lime green button hole and a lime green button to fasten at the wrist.  Because the “Loved” bracelet is skinnier, I used a ponytail elastic as a loop.  I tucked it inside the unfinished short end and machine tacked over it and finished with a yellow button on the other side.

So:

1. Make a paper pattern.

2. Cut out the backing and embroidery stabilizer from your pattern.

3. Mark your front fabric for embroidery, embroider it, then cut it out, centering the embroidery.

4. Sew the front and back at long side seams. Tuck short seams in on the end, press, use fabric glue, Steam-A-Seam or Stitch Witchery to hold the short side. And/or topstitch.

5. Put loop or buttonhole on one end of bracelet. Sew button on other end.

So if I can make up a bracelet you can, too. Sure would love to have a picture of it if you do!  Make one for yourself  and one for the “She’s Worth It Campaign.”

Power Bracelets

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Sewing Class

I did something yesterday I’ve never done. I attended an actual sewing class presented by human teacher in a classroom setting. I bought a Bernina in large part because I have a local dealer six miles from my house; since I’m a rural person, the nearest city, which has Husquevarna and Brother dealers, is more than 30 minutes away. Yesterday, as I drove the ten minutes to Pohlar Fabrics, I was glad I’d made the local choice.

The class came with my purchase of a Bernina B580. This is my last machine, my retirement machine, my dream machine. To be precise, it’s a sewing computer with a touch screen (that can be set to different pretty colors!) and a USB port. And more.

Never one to shun a learning opportunity, I’m really excited to learn all this instrument can do. I’ve been treating it as a workhorse since I got it in November and it’s been purring along, doing whatever I ask of it: sewing suede, gliding over five layers of denim, embroidering silk and blind hemming. Yesterday we got from a basic zig-zag to automatic buttonholes. I had done all of that but picked up more than a few tips and tricks to make things more efficient.

I did check with my teacher and found that it doesn’t do any other kind of housework. I asked when I bought it, but I’m going to keep checking to see if it gets a housework update through that little USB port. Because it never hurts to ask.

Doll Derriere

I used a Liberty Jane pattern to make these jeans. I added the monogram on the back pocket for my granddaughter Rose’s doll. (Now I wonder if there might be a market for monogrammed jeans!)  They have regular front and back working pockets, are made with new denim (this isn’t a recycling project) and they’re have the deep gold colored double needle topstitching in all the expected places. You can see that line of single topstitching in the rear view that suggests a little of the yoke that distinguishes jeans from plain denim pants. The jeans are actually held up by elastic so little hands can pull them on and off.  And oh my gosh, they’re just so cute!

*A Person Who Will Remain Nameless was checking out my new camera and wanted to know why I had taken so many pictures of an American Girl doll’s butt. Didn’t notice the darling jeans I had sewn, just thought I had turned into some kind of doll pervert. Good grief.

Full fashion seams and construction

Full fashion seams and construction

Erin

Erin

Working pocket

Working pocket

Election Day project

After I voted, here’s what I workied on: New Look pattern A6306 includes a view featuring decorative buttons .  It was a no-brainer to use this trim little classic vest as a a  stashbuster for my collection. Delicious chocolately brown satin for the lining and back will make for a neutral yet tactile piece that I’ll wear a lot!

I cut, lined and sewed the buttons on the vest before Election Day and finished up just in time to do my civic duty.

I’m using medium weight Pellon interfacing to anchor those buttons and keep the cotton/lycra ponte from being too drapey.

Hand-sewing 33 buttons was the hardest part of this easy pattern.

Next, I invite you to visit a wonderful blog  at http://www.afashionablestitch.com. 

She’s got great ideas on how to get your wardrobe working for you!

Just realized I never got a finished view posted here. Ta-da! Craft as Therapy Button Vest CroppedThis is where I either go into a long blather about all the mistakes I made or just shut up and let you enjoy the peek! The sequin-collar chiffon blouse came from Lane Bryant.