Monday, October 31, 2011

Suede Flower Detail

     This was originally posted on Blooms and Bugs.  Anshu and I did a blog swap, my first!  Here's my post,  I didn't change a thing:

     Hello!  My name is Rikka J. and I am visiting from the blog Ricochet and Away!  I am a small town girl from rural Montana who loves to sew handbags.  I first met Anshu when I came across her cute Military and Lace Dress.  Anshu has a real handle on sewing knits--something I've always shied away from.  But she was very helpful and suggested a using a walking foot on my sewing machine.  I'm going to try it out.  Fingers crossed because my last attempts at sewing jersey were abysmal!  Anshu and I are swapping blogs for a day.  How exciting!  So be sure to head over to Ricochet and Away! and check out what she is posting today.   

     For my post today, I tried to come up with an idea that would compliment and not duplicate any of the terrific projects Anshu has already created.  So I thought I'd share with you all a simple flower embellishment tutorial.  I placed the flower on a purse, but I think it would be great as a broach or added to a headband. I hope you like it!  (Remember you can click on any photo to see it larger.)
     My cousin was married last month in a beautiful outdoor ceremony in rural Montana.  I bought this obnoxious fun zebra print dress to wear, but didn't have the right purse to go with it.  Some ladies fret over what shoes to wear, but I'm not one of them.  I'm a bag lady through and through!  To solve my handbag dilemma, I headed over to my local thrift store and found a purple leather purse with a thin shoulder strap.  Perfect!

     Here's a look at the thrifted purse "before". It was in perfect condition.  I loved the structured design, and the size was just right.  I could fit my wallet, keys, cell, lip gloss, AND a pair of those disposable slippers for my aching feet.  (I've never conditioned my body for wearing heels so every time I dress up, I pay for it!)  The price on the purse was $2.99, but I dickered it down to $1.25.  Well, the dickering consisted of me saying I'd take 4 purses for $5.  Another example of how buying in bulk saves you money!

     Problems with the purse?  Well, upon bringing it home, I discovered it's not the correct shade of purple to match my dress.  And of course, there was the ugly interesting button on the flap that needed to be dealt with.  

     Leather is so expensive, but I love to use it in my crafts. To make
it more affordable, I turn to thrift stores and garage sales.  For this
project I used some green suede that came from a garage sale, a 
lavender suede that was from a thrifted skirt, and some darker purple 
suede that came from a pair of thrifted trousers.  Now who would give up a perfectly decent pair of purple suede pants to a charity shop?
LOL, lucky for me they did!  If leather isn't an option for you, 
I suggest felt or vinyl because they have a stiff quality and
 you won't have to worry about fraying.

List of Supplies:
  • Suede, micro-suede,  felt, or vinyl       
  • Fabric glue
  • Clothes pins
  • Scissors
  • Button(s) or beads
  • Thin wire and pliers or needle and thread

  • The first step was to cut out 5 pf each color of suede teardrops.  I did this by using my die cutter, but scissors would work just as well.  
  • The next step was to glue a little fold or pleat into the pointed end of each teardrop.  I held the pleat down with a clothes pin while the glue dried.  
  • Then, I used a piece of suede as a base and glued the leaves/petals to it.  I used Tacky Glue. It dries clear and is still holding very well.  

  • I used my die cutter again to cut out a small daisy-like shape to cover all the pleated points of the teardrops.  The die cutter made this pretty easy, but again I think scissors would work just as well.
  • I found this shiny faceted button in my stash to use for the center of my flower.  Suede is hard to push a needle through so I opted to sew the button onto this daisy shape rather than through all the layers of the entire flower.  
  • Actually, I didn't technically "sew" it on.  I used one of my sturdy upholstery needles to poke a couple of holes in the center of the daisy.  Then, I used a length of craft wire to attach the button.

The next step was to glue the daisy onto the rest of the flower.  Here's a good look at the front and back.

The original button popped right off and I glued the suede flower right on the flap.

And here it is all finished.  I love it!
     I hope you all were inspired to try out this simple technique.  And while I'm here, I hope you don't mind if I shamelessly plug the Retro Pillow Challenge.  The challenge is in it's voting stage this month (Oct 2011) and I'm sure all 12 of the participants would love for you to check out their creations and vote for your favorite:  

After you vote, come and check out our newest sewing challenge:

Sign-ups for the Tote Challenge have already begun!

Happy Crafting and Big Hugs from Montana,

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