Friday, December 7, 2012

Bands Away - tidy up those headbands!

I have been doing the Design: Creation of Artifacts in Society at Coursera and our homework has been to design and make an artifact to fix something that bugs us. I chose to work on finding a better way of storing my daughter's headbands. Bands Away (yes, it was also part of the assignment to name it!) is what I came up with...

It's deep hanging fabric pockets which are tapered to hold the headbands snugly and to allow the pockets to overlap so that it can fit lots of headbands in.  Each pocket can hold several headbands depending on how wide they are. Flowers, bows, tiaras all fit in beautifully. There is a hidden wooden dowel in the top to keep it rigid, and the ribbons at the top can be tied in lots of different ways to allow it to be hung almost anywhere.

It can be hung from a hook, or a door handle, or a towel rail...

...or even from a closet rail.

If you have the same problem with headband clutter that we did and would like to make your own, then there here's how I made it. Please use this information for personal use only. If you would like to make these to sell then I would appreciate it if you contact me first. (And please don't look too closely at my wonky sewing!).


Fabric for pockets. 
I used furnishing weight cotton from Ikea. It needs to be fairly heavyweight, something like denim would work well, I think quilting cotton would be too thin without some reinforcement.

30" x 9" Fabric for backing, same weight as pockets. 
I used plain white cotton canvas. It can be the same fabric as the pockets but note that the reverse will be seen when the edges are turned to hem them.

Grosgrain ribbon 48"long

Thin wooden dowel 6" long

Click here to download Pocket Pattern pdf file.

1. Print out pocket pattern and check it has printed to the correct scale using a ruler. Cut out 8 pocket pieces. I found it easiest to cut out rectangles 8" x 5.75" first then trim the bottom edge. Mark where the corner of the darts is.

2. Zigzag around all edges then turn top over by 0.25" and hem inwards. Sew darts.

3. Cut a rectangle 9" by 30" from the backing fabric. It is helpful to mark a guideline along each long edge 1" from the edge. With the top edge 4" from the top of the backing fabric align the sides of the pocket parallel to the edge of the fabric (using this guide line). Pin sides and bottom edge.

4. Straight stitch down one edge, across the bottom, up other edge, then along the diagonal lines marked on pattern piece. This creates the tapered shape of the pocket which allows them to be overlapped.

5. Pin next pocket 2.75" from the top of the first and sew as before.

6. Repeat until all pockets are sewn on. As you go it is helpful to check that the tops of the pockets are equally spaced from the top edge, as well as the pocket above, just in case something has moved along the way.

7. Cut a piece of dowel 6" long. Fold top edge of fabric over and stitch to make pocket wide enough for the dowel to slot into. Insert dowel in fully.

8. Fold the edge of the backing over twice and pin so that it covers the edges of the pockets but does not cover the diagonal stitching. Trim the corners to remove excess fabric before folding.

9. Cut ribbon into two pieces, each 24" long. Fold the end in half and pin one piece each side where the backing folds over at the ends of the dowel. Sew around the whole piece as close to the pockets as possible.

10. Your Bands Away is now finished, fill it with headbands and hang it somewhere!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Silver Danish Heart Necklace

It was the last day of my metalwork course today and I managed to finish off my sterling silver version of a Danish heart. The silver was a bit harder to weave than the copper was, even after annealing, but I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. I made couple of changes to how I made it from doing the copper practice piece, and I like the shape of this one a bit better. For scale it is 3.5cm across.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Copper Danish Heart

This is the second piece I have made in my metalwork class at Shelburne Craft School. I made it in copper to test out the design for my final piece which will be made from silver, it's better to make mistakes with the cheaper metal!

It is based on a Danish heart but it is single-sided. Making the test gave me a chance to work out the dimensions I need to get this to work in metal, and how to weave the strips together. The beads are threaded onto a wire which hangs independently on the jump ring, it was fun to make the little ball on the end by heating the wire up until it melted.

I've got a few tweaks to make now for making the silver piece, which I started on this morning.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A little metal owl

It's been almost exactly a year since I've posted on here and that's been mainly because I haven't been doing very much crafty stuff since then. We moved house from Ohio to Vermont in March and most of this year has been taken up with getting us ready to move and then all settled here. Anyway, we're finally pretty much sorted in the new house, the kids are back in school and I have designated a space in the basement as my craft area. It is still to be unpacked properly, I'm saving it until last as a reward for getting the other stuff done, but it's there!

Even though I'm not doing much stuff at home I have signed up for a beginner metalworking course at the wonderful Shelburne Craft School just down the road from us. The ultimate aim is for me to re-make my husband's wedding ring, which I originally made for him in London through Wedding Ring Workshops, and is now somewhere at the bottom of the Port St Lucie river in Florida.

This little copper owl is my first piece and I decided to make him so I could experiment with all the different techniques we're learning such as texturing, soldering and riveting. I'm quite pleased with how he turned out for a first attempt, I think he will be adopted by a certain 6-year-old girl. Now I need to decide what I want to make next; my next piece will be a practice piece for a final piece made from sterling silver.