Posts Tagged ‘challenge’

Putting rhinestones on a dress. Hmmm, well there are flatbacks, which definitely helps. Flatback crystals, like the name implies have a flat back to sit flush on the fabric, but have a faceted topside – making the crystals look like they’ve been imbedded into the fabric. There are glue-on and sew-on flatbacks. Glue-ons are used most frequently – think BeDazzler; but I didn’t think that would suit my beauty queen customer. What if they start popping off while she’s walking onstage! Or just as bad, what if all those dots of hot glue stiffen up the satin – booo! So I went with the sew-on kind. They one tiny hole in the center vertically. I got some transparent thread, which looks very much like thin fishing line, and an embroidery hoop and began the task at hand (pun intended!):

sewing on rhinestones

Each one has to be handsewn twice, backward and forward, so the thread creates a bracket the rhinestone can’t escape from. Since the design is a starburst, I kept them in a line so I wouldn’t have 200 knots on the backside of the fabric. Several hours later, the starburst was complete. I was quite taken with the finished effect and wouldn’t have a problem working with sew-on flatbacks again in the future.

completed rhinestone starburst

Putting it all together coming soon….


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A bag! I would make a bag. A highly structured bag. I’ve had a stash of rigid stabilizer on hand for months because I’ve dying to try a bag that holds its own shape. So I’d settled on the idea and would actually get to challenge myself on two fronts – new technique and new medium.

I created an envelope bucket bag with a magnetic snap closure. The handle is two foliage stems formed, wrapped, and bound with brown ribbon and attached to the bag with D-rings. I think it not says nature, but really captures my essence as well. For those who don’t know me, Autumn is the time of year I live for. I constantly lament that there isn’t anywhere in the world that has perpetual Autumn (otherwise I’d live there). Crisp air, pumpkin pie, cinnamon, spice, squash soup, fires in the fireplace, lit candles everywhere – this is my comfort.

So here is my challenge submission: Autumn Delight

fall purse

It is a one-of-a-kind creation and is for sale in my Etsy shop. Voting will be open to the public on September 2nd for one week on the team blog. Please view all the submissions and if you truly like mine – vote for me! It was a pleasure participating in this challenge and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about it.

fall purse 2

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What could I do with that fabric? The jacket idea was really tempting, but I couldn’t think of a way to add a detail or technique that would challenge. And of course, there was that money issue too. Running around, too many red fabrics and can’t figure out which the customer would like better. Max is giving me the look. Just to sort of get him off my back, I asked to go find out if the store had a floral department – you know, fake stems. He walked off, or maybe I should say “stalked” off. And I continued searching, and then it hit me! Flowers! NO, not flowers – foliage! That gorgeous fabric and fake stems – working with fake stems would DEFINITELY be a challenge for me. I’ve never done it! But what to make? Something small – not much money, so less than a yard of fabric would be good. Something fairly simply in design – not much time left before the challenge submission deadline, and the fabric really speaks for itself.

fall swatch

Tomorrow, the finished project!

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I’ve participated for the first time ever in a team challenge! The eSMARTS team decided to start having a monthly challenge as a way to showcase our talents. This month’s theme was “nature/natural”. Since this is my first challenge, I was really trying to challenge myself and do something a little out of the ordinary for me. I spent the majority of August racking my brain trying to figure out what that would be. Should I make a blouse or a jacket? Some sort of headband? Maybe a bag? What would I do that was different? Of course, I would have to use either nature print fabric or at least hues that reflect nature. What aspect of nature? Ocean/sky? Animals? Plants? Forest? Flowers? Oh goodness, I couldn’t think of anything spectacular.

Then last week, I was at the fabric store looking for red fabric for a dress I’ve been commissioned to make. Max was with me and does NOT like to be my fabric store buddy, but the lure of driving won out. So, I’m trying to hurry before his exasperation wears me down. I’m touching every solid red fabric they have in stock and sort of racing around doing it. That’s when something very colorful caught my eye. “Mmmm, ” I thought. “That would make a gorgeous jacket.” But it was a little pricey during a week with not much money and so I moved on. I kept looking for red fabric, but that one fabric was stuck in my mind…..

….Tune in tomorrow to find out more!

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