Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Countdown with Crafts: Ruffles and Ribbon

Continuing our countdown with crafts today, looking at the ads and giving you ideas for what to do with all the great deals out there before the holidays arrive. On SALE this week!!!

At Jo-Ann's:

50% off Holiday Inspirations Christmas Ribbon

At Hobby Lobby:

50% off all holiday ribbon by the roll 50% all ribbon and trim spools

At Michaels:
50% off Celebrate It! Holiday ribbon 30% off Celebrate It! Holiday velvet ribbon

At Roberts Crafts:
35% off all ribbon

So ribbon...is on sale this week and ruffles are hot right now.
I decided to make a tree skirt using both. Yay!
This tree skirt project is a good beginner sewing project. Perfection isn't necessary. Measurements won't need to be exact. The stitching can be erratic. It's going to turn out great!
The ribbon I used is a sheer but textured, wired, white nylon ribbon, 5" wide, with silvery trim border on right and left sides. I also used a 45"x45" piece of inexpensive white muslin for the base of my tree skirt.
Now, a brief tutorial on making a tree skirt shape out of a square piece of paper:
First, take a square piece of cloth (again, mine is 45" x 45") and fold it into a triangle, matching the 'A' points and folding on the dotted line.Next, take the triangle you made, without moving the the cloth anywhere, match up the 'A' points again, folding on the dotted line.Same thing here, 'A's and the fold line.This one is slightly different. Fold as shown and you'll end up with the next image.
The dotted lines are now cutting lines. Cut a rounded line in both places. The upper line represents what will be the outer circle, the lower line will create the hole where the trunk of the tree will fit. You can cut it with a rotary blade or fabric scissors. If this is reminding you of folding paper for snowflakes, it's exactly the same concept.
Open up your cloth and it'll look like this. Cut on this dotted line to create an entry way for your tree trunk. It doesn't matter if the edges look a little uneven because we're going to cover them up.
I took my ribbon and ran a basting stitch (the longest stitch setting on your sewing machine) down the middle of my ribbon. Since I am doing a very lengthy amount of ribbon, I sew a couple of feet, stop, clip my threads and begin sewing half an inch from the stopping spot and repeat.
By holding onto the bobbin thread and gently guiding the ribbon along, the ribbon will begin to gather into ruffles. You need to be gentle so the thread doesn't break. Spread the ruffles along the length of the ribbon (I didn't cut it, just unwound a bit at a time and sewed) and then pin it along the edge of the muslin skirt base. I pinned it using the center line down the ribbon as a guide. I placed that line over the cloth somewhere between 3/4" to 1" away from the edge.
After you get this first layer pinned (the pinning is the worst part), just re-sew along that center line, no need to follow the guides on the machine. I sew it using a slightly wider than straight stitch.
With this volume of cloth, just be careful not to catch extra muslin under the needle and sew where you don't want stitches.
As you can see, the way the ruffles hang over the skirt edge, there is no need for perfectly cut circles with hemmed edges.
You can continue to add more rows of ruffles or keep them just on the edge. I'm really glad I chose the white on white on white as it is very forgiving, but this would work with just about any cotton cloth base and any ribbon that was wide enough to ruffle.
I'm adding more rows, just pinning away...
Other things to do with ribbon, ruffles or both! (all pictures have links to the original pages)
Clothing re-do at My Mama Made ItMore holiday decor Home decorA High-Waisted Corset Skirt (tutorial here)Scrapbooking embellishments!!!
Have fun! -C