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31  multistrand necklace in Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General by trufflegirl on: June 13, 2004 02:32:32 PM
I'm slowly getting ready for my wedding (next Sept.) and I wanted to make a necklace to wear on the big day. My grandmother's pearls looked too traditional with my dress, so...

I saw ads for multistrand necklaces like these in several wedding magazines, so I decided to make my own. Using glass beads in white, ivory, cream, and clear/irridescent, plus some Swarovsky crystals and freshwater pearls as accents, I threaded about fourteen strands onto a pretty clasp. (This clasp is designed with two rings on each side, so each ring holds seven strands of beads --- that way, it lies flatter against my neck than it would if all the strands were bunched on one ring.)

I varied each strand's length slightly, and sort of wove them together as I beaded them, so that the strands all jumble together and don't look too "organized". To spread out my small supply of pearls and crystals, I put them mainly in the front of the necklace, and used the cheaper glass beads for the rest.

I liked that I could vary the colour of the entire piece with each new strand --- if it was too white (my dress is a bone colour) I could add more ivory or cream to the next strand, and the whole effect would be corrected.

Note: this picture is NOT my dress! (Just in case my fiance sees this...  Wink)
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32  Re: more fabric flowers! and tutorials! yeah! in Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General by trufflegirl on: June 13, 2004 02:23:16 PM
I did promise flowers, not just a flower, didn't I?

Here's one that my sister made for me:

To make it, she chose three coordinating fabrics (in this case, a greeny-blue shot organza, a green silk, and a brown-with-green-flowers rayon) and laid them all out together. She cut out a series of flower-shapes, cutting all three layers at once. Each set of shapes should be larger than the last. Stack them, largest-to-smallest, and turn the flowers so that the layers all show nicely. Sew them together at the centre, add a bead or a button, and sew a pin onto the back. Hey presto!

This design is nice and flat, so it can go under a jacket and not get crushed...
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33  more fabric flowers! and tutorials! yeah! in Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General by trufflegirl on: June 13, 2004 02:19:01 PM
I wanted to make my little sister a special something for her birthday, and I know she's been admiring the fabric flower brooches in the shops lately, so rather than shell out the $30 CDN for a mass-market piece, I decided to make my own. This is loosely based on a design for a tulle hairpin that I found in (EEK) Martha Stewart Weddings magazine, but because I was working with organza instead of tulle, I couldn't do the folds quite the same way...

To make the petals, cut out a number of rectangles (about 2x4") of fabric. (I made about 24 petals for this flower, but you could make more or less, depending on the look you want.) Trim the top edge into a point, removing the upper corners --- basically, you want the shape of a gothic arch. Then, on each petal, fold the sides to the centre, and to the centre again, until you've gathered the fabric into a little scroll. Sew the bottom tightly together, and trim off any excess fabric. (I tried to take pictures of this process, but it's too fiddly to shop up well, especially with transparent fabric!) If you want the petals to be more curved than tubular, try folding the top edges in to the centre, and then folding the sides in --- the top will unfurl somewhat, but you get a more natural petal-like shape in the end.

Cut a small circle of fabric (something sturdy) and then start sewing the petals to it, one by one. Sew one at each compass poiint (quarters), and then fill in the gaps (eighths), and fill in the gaps again (sixteenths) until the circle is filled out. Then, repeat the process again to create a second tier of petals --- for best results, use slightly smaller petals for the second tier. If you like, add more tiers, until your flower looks full.

Sew a bead or button or whatever you like to the centre, to finish it off and to hide the stiching. I used a plain white glass bead, and then painted it with nail polish to match my fabric (white looked too cheap against the silver).

Sew a safety pin or brooch back to the back of the fabric circle. (Or, if you made a smaller flower, you could sew it to a bobby pin... Or you could attach the flower to a skirt or dress or whatever...)

(Apologies for the blurriness, I didn't want to use a flash because the organza was too reflective.)

I used the flower as a decoration on the rest of my gift to my sister, in coordinating silvery fabrics, but once they're unwrapped she can take off the flower and wear it!

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34  purses from pant legs! in Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: Reconstructed by trufflegirl on: June 13, 2004 01:37:52 PM
If you're fond of making old jeans into cutoffs or reconstructing them into skirts, then you know that when you're done, you end up with the bottoms of pant legs lying around. I decided to take the bottom of a pair of jeans and turn it into a purse!

It's about as easy as you can get, since the side seams are already sewn, and the bottom (which becomes the top of the purse) is already hemmed. Basically, all you need to do is sew up the one raw edge (which becomes the bottom of the purse), add a handle, and decorate! I added a couple of other pieces of denim, frayed slightly to give a worn effect, and a collection of buttons as decoration, all sewn on by hand with contrasting thread. For the handle, I used an old belt that I wore as a kid, which was basically just cotton webbing with a sliding buckle that I left on because I thought it looked fun --- but you could use almost anything.
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