sewing

Advanced Geometry

After a brief hiatus, FOLKLORE is back on the grid and ready to craft in the Windy City. So… let’s get to it!

If you recall, I made a simple triangle bag back in January and it was instant love. With a fold here and a seam there, I turned a single piece of fabric into a large, utilitarian bag that was perfect for toting around my belongings. Loved my creation so much that I decided to sew another one before we moved in March. This time around, I made things a little more complicated.

Pattern Side 1Et voila! Advanced Geometry, if you will.

In an effort to use up some of my fabric stash before the big move, I created a patchwork of springy prints and paired it with a delicate cream and denim floral to tie it all together. It’s a really sturdy piece and totally reversible – bonus points! I can’t wait to take this bag out for chilly mornings at farmers’ markets and sunny afternoons spent thrift shopping.Pattern Side 2

Why, those are some nice seams! I have to say, those sun-washed hues are very much in line with Pantone’s Spring 2014 Fashion Color Report.lining

Basic Geometry

Recently, I became painfully aware that my reusable shopping bags do not match my winter coats. Those crinkled, off-white cloth bags – while ever useful – clash horrendously with tailored black wool. Fortunately, I stumbled upon a DIY solution – the triangle bag. With basic geometry and some imagination, you can turn a simple fabric rectangle into a cheap and oh, so chic tote of your dreams!

I recommend using Between the Lines‘s tutorial, the original source of my inspiration. I put a personal spin on the directions by doubling the height and sewing a tube (18″ x 54″) for added durability. Once complete, my tote measured approximately 24″ x 20.5″. Like I said, it’s roomy. For the finishing touches, I wrapped the handle in charcoal wool and slipped on an antique gold ring for visual interest. Double bonus: I can add charms later!

triangle bag on floorwool wrapped handlelinen close up

While I love the black, pinstriped linen, it was the colorful raw edge that really won me over. It’s perfectly imperfect and brings a hint of color to my dark winter wardrobe.

I’ve already taken her out for a spin and was wholly satisfied. A simple project with big impact… I will certainly be making more of these in the future. Summer farmers’ markets, anyone?triangle bag on door vert

Beaded Peter Pan Collar Tutorial

2013-08-18 10.13.28 HDRTurning a boring ol’ t-shirt into an embellished masterpiece is as easy as draw, outline, and fill! Let’s get to it.

WHAT YOU WILL NEED
Crew-neck or scoop neck t-shirt
Thread to match t-shirt
Thread to contrast t-shirt
Needle
Beads (I used three tubes of 6/0 e-beads in Onxy)
Fabric chalk

Before starting, I recommend giving the shirt one last machine wash. You’ll probably want to handwash your top once the collar is complete.

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Outline1. DRAW THE COLLAR
Draw an outline of your collar directly onto the t-shirt using your fabric chalk. I free-handed mine, but tracing a pattern is always an option.

Don’t be afraid to try out different sizes and shapes until you find something you like. A damp cloth will erase the outline if you want to make adjustments or completely start over. I drew a smaller collar in the beginning, but ultimately decided on something more substantial.

Once I was happy with my sketched-on collar, I used the contrasting thread to sew on an outline. I figured that as I beaded, the chalk would rub off (which totally happened). While this step might seem redundant, it will save you from re-drawing your outline over and over as you begin to sew on the beads.

2. BEAD THE OUTLINE
Your collar is outlined and your beads are assembled, so it’s time to start sewing. Pick a point to begin beading and just go for it! I doubled my thread for extra hold and sewed on one bead at a time.

Make sure your knots are nice and secure, and every so often, gently tug on the fabric to make sure that the beading will stretch. I had this nightmarish vision of pulling the t-shirt over my head, hearing a pop, then watching helplessly as beads tumbled to and bounced all over the floor. Kinda like this.

Once I had beaded around the entire collar in the front, I sewed a single row around the back of the neck. It’s totally optional, but I’m a fan of even the smallest details.

fill in

3. FILL IN THE COLLAR
The final, but most time-consuming step is simply filling in the collar. Just as you did for the outline, sew on one bead at a time and stretch the fabric every once in a while. I took the opportunity to add a bead or two to the outline itself, creating a smoother and more polished edge.

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Like I said, it’s a very simple project and totally worth the time spent. If you use this tutorial, please send pics to folklorecraft (at) gmail (dot) com! I would be honored if you shared your creativity with me!on table