Tips for Stamping with Foam Rubber

bird printFor my first home project for the new appartement I did some experiments in stamping with foam rubber. I really like this technique, because it’s easy and cheap.

Basically, you just cut out the desired shape from the foam rubber, glue it onto a piece of cardboard and use this as a stamp.
I printed quite big pieces of fabric with a bird pattern, so I had some time to practise and figure out what works and what doesn’t.Here are a few tips for stamping with foam rubber:bird print1

  • Use a rather thick and sturdy kind of cardboard to glue the foam rubber on. It won’t bend as much and you will have less smudging.
  • Carefully lay the stamp onto the fabric and roll over the cardboard with a roller. This way you can evenly apply pressure and the print will turn out more even, too.
  • Take your time to find the perfect amount of colour to put on the stamp. If you apply to much it will smudge, if you take too little, your print won’t be bold.
  • Clean the cardboard arround the foam rubber from time to time or let it dry to avoid smudging.
  • You can always touch up the prints with a brush.
  • Don’t be worked up if it doesn’t turn out perfect. An a little bit messy look makes half the charm of printing.bird print2

I will share the project I used the fabric for, soon. If you have any questions or tips, please let me know!

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Projects: Fabric Baskets

stoffkörbeWhile I was separating out my things during the last days, I thought a lot about ways to organise all the small stuff. What works best for me is gathering small things in boxes, baskets or else – so even if its chaos inside, at least  it looks tidy from the outside.

One of my favourites are these little fabric baskets. I made them for my mom some time ago, but will surely make some for myself as soon as we have moved.
I chose different patterned fabrics in red and white, alternating the patterns between the outside and the inside of one basket and between the baskets.
I sewed a big, a small and a little one, if they aren’t used they can be stacked inside each other or they can be folded together.stoffkörbe5

stoffkörbe2 stoffkörbe4I found the pattern or more specifically instructions how to construct the pattern somewhere on the internet, but I just can’t remember where. But there are lots of tutorial on the internet for these.stoffkörbe3

How do you organize your small stuff to keep the room tidy?

Projects: Placemats

setsThese placemats were also a present I made for my parents. On the upper side I made a patchwork, it’s slightly different on each placemat.

sets1  The back is all in red and white polka dots. I doubled the back with iron on interfacing (is this the right term?) to make it more sturdy. To create the border I folded the margins of the back piece twice and over the front piece. I remember this to be the hardest part, because the corners just wouldn’t fit exactly and I had to redo it several times.

sets2

This is also another great project to use fabric remnants for, as you can see some of the fabrics I also used for the fabric flower brooch I showed you last week. The dark blue one actually is from a shirt. It was an XXXL shirt I sewed into a dress and there were some scraps left. I still have the dress. Perhaps I will post about it some day.

What do you use fabric remnants for? I would love to hear your ideas!

Projects: Sixties Dress

kleidvornehintenI finally finished the sixties dress I showed you while in progress. It took quite a while since it includes a lot of pattern pieces and has lining underneath. Obviously I don’t feel comfortable posing and being photographed…And by the way – it’s not the dress that’s uneven, it’s my posture.I did some changes to the original pattern. First I fitted it at the waist – I like baggy clothes and dresses but this was too much even for my taste. It looked like a children’s dress. The border at the sleeves was originally some centimetres wider, I reduced the width to about one centimetre.aermel I also changed the position of the pockets. They were sitting completely in the patterned part, which looked a little bit strange in my opinion and was impractical,too. So I moved them up a few centimetres. taschenI really like how the collar turned out. Here it is in the front…kragen-vorne…and here’s the back view.kragenhintenLuckily today’s the first nice day in weeks, so I actually am able to wear the dress today. And since I don’t like to feel too dressy I’ll pair it with my oldest shoes.

How would you wear it?

First two images by fabyphotography.

Projects: Fabric Flower Brooch

broscheA lot of the things I made in the past years were gifts for my Mum. So when I last visited my parents, I took the chance to take pictures from all the self-made stuff to share it with you. Among others I  photographed the fabric flower brooch I told you about in this post. In my opinion it was one of the most successful gifts I gave her, I love how the different blue-shaded fabrics match and how the checked red leave adds a little pop of colour.

brooch1I saw something similar in a book, but they sewed the flowers directly on a shirt. But since I wanted to make it a little more practical and flexible, I sewed the individual flowers, stems and leaves onto a piece of fabric, which I adhered to a brooch needle. It took some time to complete it, but I think it was totally worth it. The flowers were made a little bit different from the ones I shared a tutorial for, so if you want to learn how to make this kind of flowers, leave me a comment!

By the way, I finally finished the sixties dress – I’m just waiting for better weather to take some pictures.

Projects: Work in Progress – Sixties Dress

dress1Currently I am sewing a sixties dress, I wanted to do so for a long time, so when I discovered this dress in the autumn 2012 issue of Burda easy fashion, I decided to give it a shot. I really like the pattern, especially the collar, but I don’t like the fabric they chose. I bought two simple cotton fabrics, one in plain blue and the other one with little circles.

DSC00031Although the pattern is from an easy fashion magazine, I have to admit that I found some parts to be rather difficult. But the advantage is, that you don’t have to copy the pattern pieces onto tissue paper and that they provide  step-by-step instructions. Also there’s no zipper, which makes it easier since zippers can be tricky some time. By now I have learned to sew in zippers quite well, so it wouldn’t have been a problem, but I like that it’s a dress you just can slip on.

dress2Today I worked on my least favourite part, inserting the sleeves. Although I have sewn clothes with sleeves quite a few times by now, I always struggle to get it right. So far I have sewn in one sleeve and it turned out surprisingly well, although it was a challenge to include the lining, because I haven’t sewn something with both sleeves and lining before.  All in all I’m quite pleased how the dress turned out so far. I will show you pictures of the finished dress as soon as it’s complete.

Which is the part you struggle most with when sewing clothes? Any tips for inserting sleeves?

You can make this! Fabric Flower Tutorial

fabric-flower-tut-1Maybe you saw my post about the fabric flowers I made. If you want to make some, too, here’s a tutorial. A sewing machine can be helpful  but is not necessarily needed.

You need:fabric-flower-tut-2

  • Two kinds of fabric that go well together ( you can use every kind of fabric, for this one I used cotton fabric and needlecord, but jersey for example works well, too)
  • Sewing machine or needle and thread
  • Tailor’s chalk
  • Scissors
  • Something round like a cup, twice as much in diameter than the finished inner part of the flower (I used a glass with about 5 cm in diameter)
  • Ruler
  • Optional: a little bit of stuffing
  • Not pictured: iron
  1. Before cutting the pieces, remember to add about 0,5 cm of seam allowance to the size you want the finished pieces to be. Cut a stripe of the fabric you want to use for the outer part. Mine was about 6 cm x 40 cm plus seam allowance, but you can adjust the size to your like. Use the cup or whatever you’ve got and tailor’s chalk to draw a circle onto the fabric you want to use for the inner part. Cut out.fabric-flower-tut-4
  2. Turn the seam allowance down to the wrong side (the “ugly” side of the fabric) and press.fabric-flower-tut-5
  3. Fold the stripe lengthwise in half, press.fabric-flower-tut-6
  4. Sew along both the long sides of the stripe, either using needle and thread or a sewing machine. If you use a sewing machine, set a straight stitch that is a little bit longer than the stitch you set for usual seams. If you work with needle and thread just do a running stitch. Whatever method you choose, it’s important not to secure or knot the ends of the thread and not to cut the ends too short! fabric-flower-tut-7
  5. Carefully pull the under thread to gather the fabric at one of the long sides. Pull at both ends until the fabric is gathered as much as possible, than knot the under thread and the upper thread on both ends together. Don’t yet cut the ends!fabric-flower-tut-8
  6. Repeat at the other long side, but don’t gather the fabric as much as before, just a little bit.
  7. Arrange the stripe into a spiral to form the outer part of the flower.fabric-flower-tut-9
  8. Press the seam allowance of the fabric circle into the wrong side of the fabric.
  9. Sew along the outer edge of the circle, using the same stitch as described before. Again, dont knot, secure or cut the ends.fabric-flower-tut-10
  10. Start to gather the fabric as described before. When the fabric is forming a little pouch, add the stuffing if you have some. If you don’t, just continue.
  11. Continue gathering as much as possible. Knot both the upper threads and both the under threads together.fabric-flower-tut-12
  12. Secure the spiral you formed before with a few stitches, using the ends of the thread you didn’t cut before.
  13. Sew the little ball forming the inner part of the flower into the middle of the spiral, the gathered part facing down.
  14. Cut all threads and you’re done!fabric-flower-tut-13

You could sew the flowers onto a headband, onto a shirt, add a pin…the possibilities are endless!
If you have any questions or tips, let me know! What would you use the flowers for?

Projects: Fabric Flowers

fabric-flowers-allFabric flowers can easily be made of scratches and single buttons. I think single ones look cute, but I especially like to make several of them with matching colours or patterns, like the ones pictured below.

fabric-flowers-2My favourite project using fabric flowers was a brooch for which I combined several of the flowers, leaves and stems in plaid and striped fabric in different shades of blue, but it was a gift and I gave it away without taking a photo.
Another project I used fabric flowers for was a headband, onto which I sewed two fabric flowers next to a few buttons.

fabric-flower-4 The next one was actually made by my mother. I made several of this kind, too, but again, I gave them away and didn’t take any photos before.

fabric-flowers-4This one is made a little different from the ones above, but the basic technique is the same.

Fabric flowers can be used for a lot of different things. Next to brooches and headbands they would look cute along the neckline of a shirt or a dress, you could add them to barettes or hair ties and  they would spice up a plain bag or even shoes!

On Wednesday I will show you how you can make some of them, too!

What would you use them for and what kind of fabric would you choose?