January 26, 2011

Versatile buttonhole shawl

Filed under: daily life,Sewing projects — Cristina de Prada @ 11:04 am

Hi there everyone,

Although this is not hat related I thought you might enjoy it. I made a beautiful (if I may say so myself) shawl as a christmas gift for my sister in law, and I posted a tutorial on the Burda Style website. Today it has hit 1000 views and because of that I’ve decided it deserves to be on my blog!

Kimono versatile cape

It is made using gorgeous kimono silk, and I suspect it looks particularly nice because my sister in law Helena is a pretty good model!


September 28, 2008

A top hat for a little boy

Filed under: millinery techniques and cheats,Sewing projects,Top hat for a little boy — Cristina de Prada @ 10:31 pm

Little boy with the top hat Having had a couple of  friends telling me recently that they  don’t dare to wear hats, hearing my little nephew of five telling me that he really really wanted a top hat, a real one, was a boost for my morale.

I made him a cardboard top hat, but somehow that was not good enough and he persistently asked for a real one. What can I say. I like the boy.

Although the idea is to eventually  make him a felt hat, I thought I’d wait a little bit for that and try a go at making a pattern hat.

The wool coat fabric I used worked nicely, and the hat turned out great.

I made it up as I went along, so the following explanation is not necessarily  the best way to do it!

Here follow some details of the process:

1. I made a 6 section crown, and to make the pattern I divided the head measurement by six, and added two extra centimeters to cover for the thickness of the fabric (with hindsight I should have added one extra centimeter, so 3 in total).

2. I wanted the hat to curve inward on the sides, and for that I adjusted the pattern. Starting with a rectangle 14 cm high by 9 cm wide, I’ved curved it inward 0.5 cm on each side, which results in a very visible curve on the finished hat.

Tracing the pattern - brim has already been sewn

3. The brim pattern is flat (a doughnut), but the polyester sew-on interfacing (non-woven) that I have used on the brim (not the crown) can be shaped while hot from the iron (although it doesn’t stretch), which helped give it the cute roll on the sides despite having a nylon wire on the outer edge of the rim.

Sew on rigid interfacing 

3. After sewing the 6 side crown sections I used corset boning (rigilene, sold by the meter) cut to size and zigzagged onto the allowance, only on one side of each vertical seam. It’s better to cut it a little bit short, because otherwise it might bulk or poke up on the top. Just that bit of boning made the crown stand up like a real top hat.

4. I zigzagged a nylon wire to the top crown with a decent overlap to avoid it getting lose, and then sewed the sides to the top. I used a beading foot on my sewing machine to sew the wire, and it worked really nice.

Using beading feet to sew wire

5. I made a lining using the same pattern but cutting it slightly smaller. I left the back seam open. Next time I will iron some interfacing to the lining fabric to give it some more structure.

Lining ready to be sewn

6. I sewed the grosgrain headsize ribbon to the brim before attaching it to the crown. I stitched an elastic on the back of the ribbon so the hat wouldn’t be too big. I might do it differently next time, but this time I attached the crown and the brim as if the crown was made of buckram, finishing the crown bottom and stab stitching the two parts together through the tabs of the brim.

 Pieces before assembly Crown with lining sewn on... not sure it's the best idea!

Here are some two more pictures:

Mimi wearing the almost finished hat The little boy and his hat

August 5, 2008

Ribbon memo board – easy project for a nice gift

Filed under: Sewing projects — Cristina de Prada @ 5:14 pm

Memo board

I’ve made this old fashion ribbon memo board for my brother Joaquin’s birthday.

I’m very happy with the result, although my idea was to put decorative upholstery nails on the intersections but I couldn’t because the MDF board that I got (kindly donated by master woodworker friend, Esteban) was so dense that I found it impossible to hammer the nails on. I even had to hammer down the staples because they didn’t go all the way down!

If you want to see how I made it, you can check the pictures and comments on my flickr following this link.

If you have any questions, just let me know!

P.S. Yes I’m also working on hats… more on that soon!

March 12, 2008

Japanese Easy Hat Templates from Clover

Clover hat patternsApparently something that has existed for years, I discovered today some fun looking hat templates made by the Japanese brand Clover.

I came across these while I was (as tends to happen) looking for something else. My current project is a sewn fabric trilby hat from a Japanese book (Stylish Cloches – スタイリッシュクロッシュ) that I’m doing at the same time as Jane, from Glorious Hats. She bought the book because she saw it here, in my blog, and then we decided to try one project together (although we’re in opposite sides of the planet). One doubt we had was whether the patterns came with seam allowance, but I was pretty convinced (after doing some research) that all Japanese patterns come without the allowance, that has to be added later on.

Well, now I have my doubts about that, as I’ve already made the lining for the hat and it seems huge! I wish I could read Japanese!!

Anyway, I started a search on Internet trying to find a Japanese milliner that might be willing to help us with this dilemma. I’ve posted comments on a couple of blogs and I hope something comes out of it. While doing all that I have found these fun looking templates. The beauty of them is that they are made of hard plastic, and come with a little wheel to mark the seam allowance. So you trace the stitching line first, and them roll the wheel around the template to mark the allowance… pretty clever!

Take a look at the promotional video. Alright, it’s in Japanese, but it’s really fun to watch!

If only we could buy this stuff… anyone for a trip to Japan?

By the way, this is the hat we’re going to make:

Trilby from Japanese book

February 16, 2008

Knitting bag I’ve designed and made for my Mom – Bolso para el punto que he hecho para mi madre

Filed under: Sewing projects — Cristina de Prada @ 4:07 pm

He añadido el texto en Español, está después de las fotos!!

By popular demand I have added a Spanish translation to this post, which you will find under the pictures.  

Knitting bag I've made for my mom

This bag has been my gift for my mom on her birthday.

She had all her knitting stuff in a big plastic shopper bag. Not nice at all. And when she saw the tote bag I made she kind of hinted that it would be nice to have a fabric knitting bag, and so I made one.

I’m happy (very) with the results. I made my own pattern (big headaches, a lot of number crunching and mistake making/fixing), and since I don’t knit I had to guess what would be good to have.

I’ve used this gorgeous Amy Butler fabric from the Lotus series that I found (much to my surprise) at a patchwork shop that I have at walking distance from home . As always with anything that comes from abroad, I had to pay premium prices (15.83 euros a meter, yikes!), but I was in a hurry and there was no time to order fabric from the US.

Button detail, bag can open up for better accessibility to inside.My mom made it clear that she didn’t want one of those narrow sausage shaped bags. She wanted a big tall one, so in order to make the whole thing accessible I decided to put buttons on the sides (three on each side) so the whole thing can open up to almost half its height. This was a pretty daunting prospect because as you know I just got my sewing machine this Christmas and my experience sewing is almost zero, but the one-step button hole system worked beautifully, and the flaps for the buttons worked out the way I imagined they would.

The inside goodies are pretty neat. You can see my comments on all the details if you click here. There’s a place for all the needles (with a neat flap that protects the ends), big pockets, place for the stitch holders, and a neat invention to hold in place the project one is currently working on.

My mom is really happy with the bag, and even took it along with her when she went to the supermarket, just to show it off!! 🙂

When looking around in Flickr for pictures of other stuff made with Amy Butler fabric I saw that there’s an ongoing contest for Amy Butler inspired bags, so I’ve submitted mine… who knows!

Here are some more pictures, but you can see all the pictures of the bag by clicking on this link:

Charm that doubles as pushpin Lateral view of the bag Peak inside the bag -not a very good picture though!- Protective flap for the needles

Follows text in Spanish – Sigue el texto en español: 

Este bolso ha sido el regalo para mi madre en el día de su cumpleaños.

Tenía todas sus cosas de punto en una bolsa grande del Corte Inglés. Un asco. Así que cuando vió el bolso que me hice me soltó la indirectá de que estaría bien tener una bolsa de tela para el punto, así que le he hecho una.

Estoy contenta (mucho) con el resultado. He hecho yo misma el patrón (con muchos dolores de cabeza, calculadora en mano y haciendo/arreglando errores), y como no hago punto he tenido que adivinar lo que estaría bien que incluyera.

He usado esta maravillosa tela de  Amy Butler de la serie Lotus que he encontrado (menuda sorpresa) en la  tienda de patchwork que tengo muy cerquita de casa. Como siempre pasa con lo que viene de fuera, me ha tocado pagarla carísima (a 15,83 euros el metro, hay!), lo que yo llamo “plus por Hispanidad” pero la necesitaba con urgencia y no había tiempo para pedirla por internet en Estados Unidos.

Mi madre dejó claro que no quería una de esas bolsas estrechas en forma de salchicha. Quería una bolsa grande y alta, así que para que se pudiera acceder fácil al interior decidí poner botones a los lados (tres a casa lado) para que el bolso se pudiera abrir hasta casi la mitad. La idea me ponía los pelos de punta porque como sabéis Peter me regaló mi maquina de coser por Navidades y mi experiencia cosiendo es casi cero, pero el sistema de hacer ojales con un solo paso ha funcionado de maravilla y las “pestañas” que he hecho a los lados para acomodar botones y ojales han salido como yo me imaginaba.

El interior es muy chulo. Puedes ver los comentarios que he hecho sobre los detalles (en inglés) si aprietas aqui. Hay sitio para poner las agujas (con una solapa para protegerlas), bolsillos grandes, una anilla para fijar las agujas “coge puntos” y un invento divertido para fijar el trabajo en curso (un minibolsillo abajo y una cinta arriba para fijar las agujas).

 Mi madre está feliz con el bolso e incluso se lo llevó al supermercado para poder lucirlo delante de todo el mundo!! 🙂

Mientras buscaba por Flickr fotos de otros proyectos hechos con tela de Amy Butler me di cuenta de que hay ahora un concurso de bolsos inspirados por Amy Butler, así que me he apuntado… quien sabe!

Si apretais en este link podréis ver todas las fotos del proyecto.

February 5, 2008

Tote bag – getting aquainted with my sewing machine and straying from the hatty path

Filed under: Sewing projects — Cristina de Prada @ 7:51 pm

Tote bag I've made... cute aint it?I found this colorful thick cotton on sale at Ribes y Casals (an old fashioned big fabric shop in Barcelona), I love the wild colors and although the pattern is too big to work on a hat (I think), I thought it would look great as a tote bag and it would help me to get some practice on my sewing machine.

I did some research on how to make a tote bag, and I must say it’s surprisingly simple. There are tons of tutorials out there, the one on this link, for example.

I love the way the whole thing comes together when you pull the ouside of the bag through the hole on the lining… you will have to read one of the tutorials to understand what I’m talking about.

 This other tutorial seems like a project to do in the future, perhaps this time with a matching fabric hat.

For my bag I made my own pattern which explains why the whole thing is too long and narrow, although it seems to work after all.

I’ve added a few extras on the interior, a semi circular pocket, a strip of fabric with a swivel ring to keep the keys under control (I’m always losing my keys within my handbag, rummaging and moving everything about to find them -feels as if I’m trying to choose a winning ticket for a raffle-).

The magnetic snap closure is easy to set and adds a nice touch. The pocket took some time to make but looks cool 🙂

I’ve used a non-woven quite rigid interfacing on the handles, “mouth” and base of the bag, otherwise it’s just the cotton fabric outside and inside (the one inside is quite heavy).

Inside of the bag No more lost keys Making the pocket 

In the process of buying the stuff for the bag I revisited a wonderful shop in the old quarters of Barcelona. The good thing about living in and old city is that you can look for wonderful stuff not only in the new shops but mainly in the old ones, the ones that have been there forever and that hold treasures within their doors.

If you visit Barcelona there are a few shopping streets that are worth visiting (well, more than a few, you can ask Kate about it) if you want to buy hardware for jewelry or bags, two of them are Call street (carrer del Call) and Hospital street (carrer Hospital). On this last street is where you will find CURTIDOS GARCIA a wonderful old shop where they sell all sorts of hardware aswell as leathers and fur, they’re very friendly and have unbelievable stuff, and there is where I got my magnetic snap and the swivel ring (sorry Kate I didn’t take you there!).

Hope you like it! My next project will be a sewn fabric hat from the japanese book. Stay tuned!

February 3, 2008

Pin cushion madness!

Filed under: Beautiful things,Other things I love,Sewing projects — Cristina de Prada @ 12:14 am

After the success of my first two pin cushions and due to public demand I’ve made a whole new bunch, here pictured (click on the image to see more pictures), some of which have already found a loving new home. Before I give up on pincushions I will try a cute square one following this detailed tutorial from the blog Stephanie sews.

My pin cushions - click to link to all pictures of my pin cushions!

18-february-2008: I’ve included this post under the “sewing projects” category.

January 23, 2008

Little project: pin cushions

Filed under: Beautiful things,Other things I love,Sewing projects — Cristina de Prada @ 10:54 am

Picture of the two pin cushions I've made

 I saw this wonderful tutorial on the internet for a super easy pin cushion and I could not resist.  I’ve used a little scrap of vintage fabric that I found at my mom’s house which is nice and colorful.

I wish I had found nicer buttons, but even so the pin cushions look nice (probably not so if you look too closely!).

I also want to tell you about my cheap but chic woven labels that I’ve ordered for my little projects (these are not for the hats). I almost forgot to sew them in! They are actually “school labels” and cost below 8 euros (less than 12 USD) for 72 labels (includding shipping). I’ve always liked ladybugs and that being one of the drawings available I thought it would be fun. Check out the labels on the blog of my cousin, just perfect for her knitting projects.

Business side of the pin cushion My cheap woven labels for little projects Other view of the pincushions

18-february-2008: I’ve included this post under the “sewing projects” category.

Powered by WordPress