Showing posts with label ribbon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ribbon. Show all posts

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Gift Wrap Transition

I'm in the midst of trying to transition from expensive wrapping paper and ribbon to less expensive options, preferably reusable.  That is not as easy as it sounds beginning with the fact that it is hard to know what size packages one is going to have for gifting.  This year was a mix of old and new wrapping options.  It was a combination of regular wrapping paper, brown craft paper, cloth, wire-edged ribbon, satin and grosgrain ribbon, tulle as ribbon, and decorative holiday picks.  Here's what worked and did not work.

The brown craft paper that many said would be less expensive was okay.  I couldn't find any great buys on it, though.  So, while it was less expensive than the stupid-expensive wrapping paper I had to buy, it was not nearly the deal I was expecting. The craft paper is also harder to fold around packages and required more tape.  I guess it could be reusable to some extent as wrapping paper or for pattern tracing, but that would be a pain.  I did like that I could write on it eliminating the need for a gift tag. I guess another plus would be that it can go in the paper recycle bin.  In the end, however, I have decided I will not use it again.  Other options are easier, cheaper, and more environmentally friendly.

The tulle as ribbon was a win.  I bought it by the bolt and cut strips.  Can't beat the price which comes down to about a dollar a yard without a coupon.  It's 54 inches wide at Joann's.  That makes lots and lots of easy-to-cut tulle strips.  It was a fun look and easy to use.  Since it doesn't hold the wrinkles, it can be reused.  Downsides will be storing it and keeping track of the different lengths.

I've used picks before and love them.  They are easy to tuck into the ribbon (or tulle) on the package and give a nice pop.  After unwrapping gifts,  I poke them onto the tree as a decoration.  The picks get packed away with the ornaments for use the next year.  They can be bought for a pittance either close to Christmas or right after.

I love how the wire-edged ribbon looks and the ease of use.  Downsides are that it isn't as forgiving with the wrinkles as tulle and saving it for reuse has the problem of keeping track of the different sizes.

Using plain old fabric worked well.  It's a bit hard to see in the above photo, but I wrapped that rectangular package up like a piece of candy--bunching each end and using grosgrain ribbons to tie the ends up. That was one of my favorites.  Sometimes I fold the fabric to hide the unfinished edges.  Sometimes I serge it.

I like the simplicity of using squares of fabric.  Not one of my giftees sews, so all the fabric goes right back into my stash--another plus.  Only downside is that I sometimes have to cut the fabric.  I don't think I'm the only sewer who has trouble cutting into a piece of fabric.  I might want to use it for something else someday that will require a large piece of fabric, right?  I have somewhat solved this problem by buying fabric remnants at Joann's. 

One last things that worked out this year was buying little inexpensive name ornaments that I used in place of gift cards.  LOVE this idea.  It's a gift on a gift cuz they get to keep it for their own tree.  I picked up a few of these when they were down to 70% off just before Christmas.

I am slowly heading in the right direction with this wrapping stuff.  We shall have to see what next year brings.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Agnes' Baby Quilt

Wanted to share a quilt I made for my son Kyle's goddaughter, Agnes.

The basic design is a combination of two ideas I saw online. I made a few changes, of course.  My over-sized pinwheel has soft interfacing to give the pieces body which helped with the name embroidery, too.   Look at those fun flaps!

The center circle has a quote from Shakespeare:  "Though she be but little, she is fierce."  Why?  Because I like the idea of raising daughters to be independent and fierce.

 I found "Agnes" ribbon on eBay--what??? Can you believe that?  What are the chances of finding that name on anything?

 Rather than wrap the quilt, I just tied on the ribbon.

Best part:  I actually got photos of the lovely lady on her quilt.  With all the baby stuff I've made over the years, this is the first time someone has sent a photo of the item in use.  Here's the lovely little lady sitting on her new blanket.

Love those little fingers and toes.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Belt Tips for Home-made Webbing Belts

Look what I found on eBay!  Belt tips to make your home-made belts look just a bit more like store-bought. 
These were quite inexpensive, just a few dollars for a packet of gunmetal black and silver ones, and they were easy to put on.  I'm going to test these out on zipper ends instead of sewing up the little squares of fabric, too.  Shall let you know how that goes.

Ribbon Storage Solution

While some of my ribbons come on nice spools that are easy to store like these,

ribbon bought by the yard just gets folded up and taped.  I've been buying a lot of ribbon by the yard lately (because Sandra of Sandra Sews is a bad influence on me.)

I was hanging the by-the-yard ribbon over regular hangers, but trying to get one out usually resulted a more than a few others cascading to the floor.  Enter these pants hangers with those nice holes on each side for organizing!  By the way, if you need to separate ribbon by food groups--cupcakes, lollipops, mushrooms, orange slices, and ice cream, in addition to dots, stripes, sports, chevrons, animals, baby stuff, flowers, solids, Fleur de lis, and miscellaneous, you might be a hoarder.  Not that I have any PERSONAL experience with that kind of thing.
See those lovely holes--five on each side.
While the sides on these hangers close tight, the center doesn't.  They do close enough to keep the center ribbon from moving about too much, though.   Perfection would be having these holes and whole length of the hanger clamping tight when closed. If you find those hangers, let me know.  

In case you are wondering, yes, I do think I may have gotten a little carried away buying ribbon, but I am USING the ribbon up.   My rubber ducks, on the other hand, now they might be a problem.   

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Still Making Belts

So the other day I wanted a purple belt to match my shirt, and twenty minutes later I had one.  This newest crafting obsession actually has some worth. The purple one even has a hook to hold my keys or that cute little Chapstick holder that I've been meaning to make for the last two years.
I thought sewing this loop for the swivel hook would be a pain, but it was quite easy.  I sewed the webbing loop with the hook on it and then twisted it around so that the seam would be on the inside.  Next time I shall try it with the matching ribbon on top. 

I'm still experimenting with these belts.  For the one below, I put ribbon on both sides which worked out well. 

In keeping with my new year's resolution to use up the stash, I've also been trying to make do with the hardware I have on hand.  I used up all the one-inch d-rings like the ones on this belt:
and rummaged through the stash to come up with two different pieces I had purchased for bag-making. I think I may like both these even more than the d-rings for the belts.  Never could figure how to use the first ones below for bag handles, but they work really well for a belt.
I sewed the webbing around the two lower loops and use the outer loops for closing the belt.  The second one, below, is the same basic design except that the center piece moves. 
You can loop the belt end to the inside which gives a nice flat, clean look without that belt end waving about. I'm not a big fan of that end piece hanging out.  Depending on the pants you are wearing you might be able to get that end to tuck into a belt loop but sometimes not.   Looping to the inside will always keep the end out of the way. 
Belt looped to the inside--nice look IMHO
I also decided to spruce up the two store-bought cloth belts I had hanging around with some ribbon.
I think Brian is getting a bit fearful that I may start embellishing his belts with polka dots or boats, so I'm moving on to something else tomorrow.  I have a ruler to make circular quilts (Jaybird Quilts maybe?) that's been sitting around for a couple of years.  Time to put it to work!   

  I shall leave you with a few things learned from all this ribbon belt sewing:
  • I  have stopped using any Wonder Under or Steam-a-Seam.  I found it easier to just guide the ribbon as I sew it on.  It is especially easy when the ribbon is the same width as the webbing.  The iron-on stuff also creates small puckers at times.  The puckers aren't significant and don't show when the belt is bent around your waist, but why add to the cost of making these if you can avoid it.
  • While I usually use a long stitch when sewing on ribbons and such, I shorted them up on these to a 2.5 or 3 setting on my Brother machine.  It looks better and seems sturdier to me.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Ribbon Belts

In wandering about the internet looking for ways to use of the massive amount of ribbon I have purchased, I found this link for webbing belts with ribbon sewn on top.  They used military buckles which are nice but more expensive than my d-rings and square rings. 

They also put on belt tips. Love the look, and I have some on order.  However, I used nylon webbing and just singed the edges with a lighter to prevent fraying.  In fact I singed the edges of the ribbon to prevent them from fraying as well.  The site suggests sewing close zig-zag stitching if you don't use belt tips, but the one store-bought cotton webbing belt I have like this just has the end folded over and sewn.. 

For one of mine, I put ribbon on top of ribbon to get the look I wanted. Love it!

Whether using a tip or not, you can start the ribbon on the reverse side by a few inches like this:

so that you will have the same ribbon showing when you have the belt "buckled" as you can see below.

I started this project with the idea of just using d-ring and only used the square ones on the black belt because I didn't have any black d-rings.  I found I kind of like the square rings better because of the straight line it gives rather than the slightly scrunched effect of the d-rings.

These would make great kid's gifts for both boys and girls.  With girls you get to make some fancy hair bows to match.   Did I say I had too much ribbon?  What was I thinking!  I may not have enough.