Archive for August, 2007

* flower garden skirt instructions

Posted on August 29th, 2007 by maitreya. Filed under Cross Stitch/Embroidery, Projects with Instructions.

Ok, the last of the old button projects.






sewing machine

green thread in various shades

wool felt (craft felt will also work, but does not stand up to repeated washing as well, though futuregirl’s done the experiment and this isn’t necessarily true.)

decorative edge scissors

time required: several hours, depending on how many flowers you choose to include

Sketch the garden and decide how many flowers to include and how tall they will be.

If desired, draw the pattern on the skirt with chalk or a wash-out pen.

Use the color of the skirt as your bobbin thread. Since it won’t show, you don’t need to match it to the different colors of top thread.

Using a reinforced straight stitch, sew the stems.

Using the plain straight stitch, sew the grass, either by following your drawing or by randomly zig-zagging. One line of grass looks fine, or you can sew multiple layers in different shades of green.

Choose buttons to use as the flowers.

Choose coordinating colors of felt for the flowers.

Using the decorative edging scissors, cut out circles to fit behind the buttons. Play with different patterns, or try cutting your own designs with embroidery scissors.

Stack the button and felt and sew on to the skirt.

Wash in cold water. Handwashing is probably best, but it should be fine in the washing machine. Hang dry.


* buttoning belt instructions

Posted on August 28th, 2007 by maitreya. Filed under Projects with Instructions, Sewing/Fabric Crafts.


original post



cotton print

large button

sewing machine with button-hole function

time required: 30 minutes

Measure your waist and add 6 inches or measure a belt you know fits.

Cut a strip each of canvas and cotton 2 inches wide and as long as your measurement.

Wrong sides together, sew along each long side using a quarter inch seam allowance.

Turn right side out. It helps to use a bodkin or a large safety pin attached to one end.
Iron flat.

Turn the open ends inside, trimming if desired to make a slanted end.

Topstitch ends closed an eighth of an inch from the edge.

Continue topstitching along the entire length of the belt.

Sew large button to one end of the belt.

Try the belt on. Mark the position for the button hole.

Make one or more button holes parallel to the long dimension of the belt.


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* doll button necklace instructions

Posted on August 27th, 2007 by maitreya. Filed under Jewelry, Projects with Instructions.


original post


5 doll-size buttons

4 small jumprings

1 larger jumpring

needlenose pliers


time required: 15 minutes

Using the pliers, twist open a small jumpring.

Place two buttons on the jumpring.

Twist closed.

Twist open another small jumpring.

Thread through the empty hole in one of two connected buttons.

Add another button.

Twist closed.

Continue adding the remaining buttons.

Add larger jumpring to the top button.

String on chain.


* button medals and ribbons instructions

Posted on August 26th, 2007 by maitreya. Filed under Jewelry, Projects with Instructions.


gold and silver shank buttons





fabric glue

pinback or clip

time required: 30 minutes, plus glue-drying time


Cut a piece of striped ribbon 3 or 4 inches long.

String the button on a piece of cord with a knot at the bottom. If the button hangs straight, you can attach it this way (otherwise read down a few steps).

Fold back the corners of the end of the ribbon.

Stitch through the corners and the cord.

If the button won’t hang straight, cut a small X in the ribbon and push the shank through. Use fabric glue to secure. (This is also the method for the blue and green striped variation.)

Once the glue is set, fold back the ribbon corners and sew or glue down.

Fold back the top edge of the ribbon and make a crease. Unfold.

Sew a pinback or clip right above the crease.

Refold and glue in place.


alternate versions

Pick out a button to serve as the center of the ribbon. Choose a matching ribbon.

Cut 1 foot length of ribbon.

Sew a large running stitch about 1/8 inch from one long edge of the ribbon.

Pull on stitch to gather the ribbon.

Alternatively, pleat the ribbon by folding (works best with wire-edged ribbon).

Shape into a medallion. You may need to trim the ribbon to make a nice ruffle. Knot the thread ends to keep the gather.

Overlap the ribbon ends and sew in place with a couple of stitches near the gather.

Cut short pieces of coordinating ribbon for streamers. Trim if desired by gluing on other ribbons or edging.

Sew button, ruffle, streamers, and pinback together through all layers.


* gradient button necklace instructions

Posted on August 25th, 2007 by maitreya. Filed under Jewelry, Projects with Instructions.


alternate version


buttons of varying sizes but the same color or material

embroidery thread

chain if desired

time required: 45 minutes

Arrange the buttons in order of size. Match buttons of the same size to make it symmetric.

Cut a 2 foot length of contrasting or matching embroidery thread as desired.

Stagger buttons with one layer on the bottom and another layer on top.

Thread through the buttons, alternating top and bottom.

Arrange the buttons along the thread until they are distributed in a nice silhouette.

Knot the thread at each end to keep the buttons from slipping.

Necklace can be worn as is by tying the embroidery thread around neck.

Lengths of chain can also be tied to each side of the necklace if desired. Cut off excess thread and tuck ends under.


* Stacked button ring instructions

Posted on August 24th, 2007 by maitreya. Filed under Jewelry, Projects with Instructions.

About a year ago I posted some button projects for a book proposal someone solicited. Well, I sent in a set of sample projects and the instructions and a preliminary table of contents, then never heard anything back. Well. I don’t have time to write a book anyway (I have plenty of writing to do at lab lately), so I was actually kind of relieved. But it just occurred to me that maybe somebody would actually like to use the instructions I wrote up. You could probably figure most of them out yourself, but I have them, so I might as well post them. Here’s the first one, for this stacked button ring:


ring base
quick-set epoxy

time required: 20 minutes plus glue-drying time

Find a button that fits the ring base.
Arrange a stack of buttons of different sizes and colors. Buttons with ridges around the edge work nicely. Doll buttons make a nice top layer.
Sew together the stack.
Glue it into the ring base using epoxy. Make sure it’s centered all around and hold it until the epoxy is set. (Go watch this Bat for Lashes video so you’re not bored.) Try to prop it level while the epoxy cures.


* Martha’s craft room

Posted on August 22nd, 2007 by maitreya. Filed under Martha.

Take a look at Martha’s craft room in this month’s MSL, and on her website. It makes me want to paint a whole room Martha green. And drawers. I want a bunch of shallow drawers to store stuff. And matching little cubbies for papers and stuff. And a cutting table.


Though the article has what has to be the most disingenuous pull quote ever, regarding some custom napkins made on Martha’s smancy embroidery machine, “My guests can’t believe that I made them myself!” Martha, I would believe you built the whole damn house with you own two hands. C’mon!


* spirograph patch

Posted on August 21st, 2007 by maitreya. Filed under Cross Stitch/Embroidery.

Home sick today. :/ Playing with my new toys from a Japanese dollar store we randomly found in Flushing makes me feel a little bit better, though. I got some chalk pencils with brushes on the ends, a clever drawstring-threader-thingy, a Hello Kitty paint palette (the fondue plate I’d been using finally got knocked off my desk by the cats), aaaand a spirograph, yay. I still am on the hunt for an old school giant spirograph set with all the accessories, but this little ruler version will do for now. After a few paper trials, I wondered how it would work on fabric. It was too hard on muslin (kept moving around), but iron-on backing gave it enough heft to work like a charm. I’m thinking it would look cute ironed to my jeans back pocket.


I imagine using iron-on interfacing would also work, then I could just remove it and use like normal fabric. Hmmm. That’s not a bad idea. Sudden desire for spirograph trimmed skirt.

Or embroidery! I could embroider over a spirograph. OK, that sounds like the perfect thing to try while watching Enduring Love on DVD. BRB

[fast forward a few hours]




* geeky tshirts ftw

Posted on August 20th, 2007 by maitreya. Filed under Sewing/Fabric Crafts.

More fun with fuzzy iron-on letters. Though it’s not as lol-worthy as Mark’s iron-on ORLY owl.



* 3-pocket wall hanging for baby

Posted on August 10th, 2007 by becket. Filed under Sewing/Fabric Crafts.

Hi, Becket here again. After I made the baby quilt, I still felt the need to sew something cute but practical for our future baby’s room. I realized that I would benefit from some decorative storage – and that’s when a pocket wall hanging sprung to mind. I had been squirreling away some precious vintage fabric for a project such as this. But, even still, it was hard to cut into these fabrics!! (Anyone out there have this problem??) I practically had to hold my breath while I did it…the two vintage fabrics that I used were the mushroom print (that I love so much and have so little left!) and the sweet owl print that makes the bottom pocket.

I envisioned the wall hanging to have three pockets and that the main color would be yellow – but I didn’t know of the best way to construct the pockets. Then, Maitreya came up with a great, simple way to make the pockets – just fold in the sides (create a crease) and sew along the bottom. That worked out nicely. Each pocket is lined in yellow cotton fabric (to match the backing) and has heavy interfacing between the layers to give the pocket heft. To finish each pocket, I sewed bias tape along the top. On the yellow wall hanging backing, I topstiched many parallel lines in white thread to give a quilted appearance (this took forever). Then I sewed seam binding along the sides. I also folded over the top in order to eventually feed a wooden dowel through it to hang it. At the last minute I decided to sew a line down one of the pockets (the one with the lemons) in order to create two smaller pockets – I really liked the effect and smaller baby items won’t get lost. I can’t wait to move into a place where we have a separate baby’s room (someday soon, I hope!) and I’ll be able to hang this prominently on the wall next to the crib. Hope you like it!




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