Summer

Late Summer Brights

I typically gravitate toward muted cool tones and deep jewel hues, but I’ve found that as summer begins to wind down, I’m suddenly drawn to bright, saturated colors mixed in with black and white geometric prints. Whether it’s friendship bracelets stacked high on your wrist or a quirky pillow tossed irreverently onto a couch, there is just something about that crisp, cheery contrast that’s hard to resist!latesummercollage

1. DIY Harlequin Crocheted Cushion (Sarita Creative)

2. Wrap Bracelet (Felt Like Paper, $21)

3. Ian Archive Prism Tunic (Equipment, $258)

4. Geometric Art Print (Andy Gilmore)

5. DIY Cactus Pillow (Everything Emily)

I need to make that cactus pillow. How fun would it be to experiment with different shapes and subtly patterned fabric?

 

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If you’re in the mood for late summer brights, too, check out DEARBORN & ELM’s Elastic Hair Ties on Etsy. We’ve got beautiful colors that are perfect for transitioning from steamy August afternoons to breezy September evenings. Our SANGRIA set is available for $7.25!

D&E_Sangria_TieCrop

 

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

A Star-Studded Post

Every August, the Perseid meteor shower puts on a dazzling display. In fact, the celestial event will hit its peak this week, so it’s not too late to wrap yourself up in a cozy blanket and catch a glimpse of shooting stars as they race across the Summer sky.

Like so many of us, I’ve always had a deep fascination with space. Nebulas, galaxies, constellations – the universe is a stunningly beautiful and truly curious place. While taking stock of my craft supplies this week, I realized that stars have not only worked their way in to my collection of beads and ribbons, but they have begun to influence my overall design aesthetic.

Behold!

Stars Display

I found these delightful Cära pavé star earrings at Target and I wear them constantly. Since I much prefer studs over dangling earrings or hoops, I’m thrilled when I discover a quirky post earring.

The sheer ribbon with the gold stars was an impulse buy. I’ll admit that I have no idea what I’m going to make out of it, so in the meantime I’ll just enjoy the ribbon’s delicate beauty. If you have a suggestion for a craft idea send it my way!

The beaded bracelets are a product of recent late-night downtime. DJ has just returned from his six-week Berlin adventure (see Sarahrulu’s blog post for more details ), and we’ve been enjoying quiet evenings at home. In about an hour, I created two bracelets adorned with handmade tassels, gold stars, and shimmery seed beads. The thread tassels remind me of comets! Worn alone or as a celestial pair, they’ll be perfect to toss on with a pile of bangles.

StarsCollageMaybe there will be some time for star gazing tonight… after Breaking Bad, of course.

Foulard Tassel Bracelet

I must admit that I cannot wait for Fall. Every single year upon the arrival of August, I give myself full license to obsess about all things Autumn. It’s the layers of jackets and scarves, moody grey skies and crisp wind. I realize that Summer is not over, but one can dream, no? Or you could just go to the craft store.

Foulard TasselLast week, I stumbled upon some beads that appealed to my Fall state of mind. They were so perfect that I had no choice but to buy them and whip up a bracelet. Really, I didn’t.

Those glossy, crimson discs have a geometric pattern reminiscent of foulard silk ties – the right amount of luxe menswear with a dash of folk (a fashion trend for Fall/Winter, by the way). I paired those beauties with gold-lined seed beads, medium black matte beads, and a small embroidery floss tassel. The saturated colors work for late summer, but I think this bracelet will achieve its full glory once September rolls around.

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The Bugle Garland

I have an obsession with paper garlands. Every occasion, every season has its own. Halloween – Garland. New apartment – Garland. Finally stopped raining – Garland. They’re an inexpensive way to personalize your home or decorate for a celebration, and you can whip one up in an hour or less. Basically, garlands are wonderful little creatures and you should make some. Or many.

This particular garland I have dubbed the Bugle. I have to admit, my husband chose the name, and yes, that is indeed a reference to the cone-shaped snack. I’m thinking more of a bugle bead…

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The Bugle Garland is made by sewing together long, skinny strips of card stock. Super easy. I wanted saturated summer colors, so I went with a bold but slightly-off rainbow scheme. Simply measure, cut, stack, and sew. The strips were 1/2″ by 6″ and I repeated the color progression twenty-four times. Don’t worry about cutting perfect rectangles, or lining the strips up exactly down the middle. Imperfections add visual interest!

Bugle Garland

In case you were wondering, I used Tim Holtz Kraft-Core Nostalgic Collection card stock. It’s my go-to for solid colors. The craft paper tones down the brightness of the garland while also drawing attention to the way it spins.

I’d love to see your take on the Bugle Garland! Email pictures of your version(s) to folklorecraft@gmail.com, and I’ll happily post them for all to see. Creativity makes the world go ’round – metaphorically of course.

Florence Mini Tutorial

This tutorial is for the Florence Mini, a slimmer and shorter version of the Florence skirt that I unveiled last week. It’s lightweight, has pockets for stashing small items, and will show off those legs!

Florence MiniWHAT YOU WILL NEED
Scissors
Pins
Yard stick
Large safety pin or double-sided knitting needle
Iron and ironing board
Sewing machine
1.25 yards of fabric
18″ x 22″ of contrasting fabric for pockets
3/4″ or 1″ non-roll elastic

HELPFUL EXTRAS
Seam ripper (just in case)
Fabric chalk

Today’s skirt is for my little sister – a 5’10” stunning and über-talented Amazon/photographer. She might be 2″ taller, but we have the same waist (26.5″) so I was able to use my own measurements as a guide. The final product was 17.5″ long and 26″ wide (or 52″ around). If you desire a longer and fuller skirt, simply increase the measurements I have provided.

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Florence Project Prep

PROJECT PREP
After pre-washing and ironing the fabric, I cut two identical rectangles that were 20.5″ long and 28″ wide. That leaves plenty of room for the seam allowance at the sides, the elastic casing at the top, and the hem at the bottom. Once sewn together, these rectangles will form the front and back of the skirt.

You will also need a pair of pockets, which I cut out after loosely tracing around my hand on contrasting fabric. In total, you will have two matching rectangles and four matching, mitt-shaped pocket pieces. Assemble your other materials, brew some tea, and then you are ready to go!

Florence Pockets & Side Seam

1. ATTACH POCKETS
Measure 5.5″ from the top of the first rectangle and pin one piece of a pocket. The fabric’s right-side (RS) should face the RS of the skirt. Measure 5.5″ on the other side of the rectangle, and pin another pocket piece. Repeat for the second rectangle. Before proceeding, make sure that the pockets will line-up!

Sew the four pocket sides to the rectangles and press the seams open.

2. SEW SIDE SEAMS
Line-up the two rectangles, RS together, with the pockets pressed to the outside. Pin in place. Your skirt should basically look like a tube with elephant ears.

Sew along the outer edge of the skirt while being careful not to sew the pockets closed. Press the seams open and turn the skirt inside out.

Florence Elastic Casing3. CREATE ELASTIC CASING
Beginning at a side seam, fold the top down 1/4″ and iron all the way around. This will create a nice finished edge for the waistband. The height of your casing all depends on the size of your elastic. Mine is 3/4″, so I folded down 1.25″ and pinned, leaving space for my seam and allowing the elastic to lie flat.

Sew the casing along the bottom but leave  an opening approximately 2″ long. This is for placing the elastic.

Florence Elastic4. MEASURE & PLACE ELASTIC
Measure the elastic by pulling it snuggly, but comfortably around your waist where you would like your skirt to sit. Note how much you need and cut a little extra (1.5″ – 2″ will do).

Anchor one end of the elastic to the skirt, just under the opening at the top. Taking the other end, attach a large safety pin so you can pull the elastic through the casing. I like to use a double-sided knitting needle, which I liberally tape to the free end of the elastic. I find it easier to hold, but to each her/his own!

Pull the elastic through the casing, being careful not to let it twist. Once out the other side, pin both ends together with some overlap. Feel free to try to skirt on at this point.

If it fits, use a zig-zag stitch (it’s stretchy) and sew the elastic. I like to make a rectangle, securing all sides. Switch back to a regular straight stitch and close up the opening at the casing.

Florence Hem Sew

5. HEM BOTTOM
Now you are in the home stretch! Hem the skirt to whatever length you desire. I rolled the bottom twice, creating a neat 1/4″ edge all the way around.

Sew and press the hem.

6. ENJOY
Try on your new Florence Mini and enjoy your creation!

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Today’s skirt took a bit of patience, some tea, and a lot of Queens of the Stone Age to complete. Overall, I am very happy with it and I can’t wait to ship it off to Chicago!