Pay It Forward is finally done! I really did procrastinate until the last minute on this one. Since speedy knitting is not my forte, I decided to copy Zarafa and make sewn projects for everyone.
I went online hunting for free patterns and tutorials on making wristlets and clutches, and managed to collect quite a bunch of them! There's a great thread on Craftster with huge list of free tutorials, just type in "tutorial". For mine, I ended up combining features I liked out of each pattern and sort of made it up as I went along.
The green one went to Zarafa, the red one to Lorah, and the black one was intended for another recipient but unfortunately I never heard anything when I tried to contact her. So, I ended up gifting it to someone else (Nuttnbunny, if you're reading this, please get in touch with me if you want to receive something.
These were a lot of fun to make - it'd been a long time since I'd done any sewing, and I'm glad I got back into it. There were lots of little mistakes as I went along, and I learned something about working with different decorating fabrics. See the green fabric? I thought it would be easy to sew because it was nice and thick, but it ended up being incredibly slippery and frayed like mad. What I should have done was either cut the pattern pieces extra big, or iron on some interfacing to hold the whole thing in place. The red and black fabrics (both from Ikea) were easier to work with, more of a canvas with a fine grain.
The flower and the bird were cut from other fabrics and appliqued. There are many ways to do applique, and I tried two different ways for the bird and the flower. For the flower, I ironed lightweight interfacing on the back and cut it out just like that (it stops the fraying), and pinned it to the black material and sewed it on with a close zigzag stitch. The bird, on the otherhand, used a double-sided fusible webbing which I will explain below.
1. First, choose a pattern from the list below as well as Craftster threads for your inspiration:
Amy Butler's Clutch with Antique Pin Closure
Foldover Clutch Purse
U-handblog Wristlet Clutch
2. Cut out all your pattern pieces, including interfacing and lining, and a wrist strap if you're using one. Make sure you've got all the snaps and buttons and things you need.
3. Pick your image to applique. You can cut out something from an existing piece of fabric, or find a picture online (google images is great). I typed in 'bird' and found this little guy. You'll probably need to enlarge the image, which you can do in something as basic as Paint, and then print it out (econo mode is just fine - why waste the ink). If you're picky about which was the image goes, remember to do a mirror image of it. I just forgot so my bird was flipped in the final product. Now, trace the shape with a pen.
4. Next, trace the image onto one side of the double-sided fusible web (It comes with two pieces of translucent paper stuck to either side). Cut around the bird roughly so you're working with a small shape and not the whole sheet. Remove one paper side of the webbing and stick it to your fabric. You may or may not need to iron at this point, just make sure to read the instructions carefully. Mine was just a straight paste-on while you're positioning it. Now you can cut the bird out with some sharp fabric scissors.
5. You're ready to iron your applique on! Position your bird just so, and iron according to the package instructions. Next, thread your machine with your applique thread colour, and set it so that it's stitching very close together on a zig-zag mode (you can practice this on some scrap first if you're worried about messing up). Working slowly, stitch all the way around all the edges.
6. Now you're ready to go back to the pattern directions and attach things like the magnetic snap, the wrist strap, and turn the whole thing out!
Ta da! You're all done. Now run around town, parading your handiwork with pride. Ok, so that wasn't much of a tutorial, but at least I tried to explain how to do the applique part. Have fun!