Friday, August 19, 2011

Gifts for the girls in yellow.

And we're back to the wedding. I put together little boxes of goodies for the bridesmaids. And yes, before even discussing the contents, I was ecstatic with my "wrapping". Just a plain brown box, wrapped in baker's twine with a tag attached. You'll see both the twine and tags again in a future post! I'll pause while you gag on the matchy-ness of it all.

Quick note before I dig in ~ This post is heavy in pictures and links to some of the fantastic Etsy shops I used for supplies. One of the things that really made me happy while planning the wedding was searching out the artists and local or small shops for supplies.

Inside were a combination of purchased and handmade gifts. Each girl received a different botanical necklace from Elizabeth Scott Designs. I love her shop, and she was so patient as I deliberated on my choices! Since you never know what the weather will be like, and since the dresses were sleeveless, I included a white pashmina scarf. And then... I wanted to take the time to make something special for inside the boxes.

I've always wanted to make clutches with the metal frame opening, and thought the wedding was a perfect excuse to give it a shot. I was also hoping that the little purses could come in handy the day of the wedding for storing any odds and ends that the ladies were carrying around. These were made using the pattern and hardware for 5 inch clutches from this shop.

Inspired by the bee and honeycomb touches that we were incorporating in to the invites and wedding decor, I began the process looking for some sort of modern-honeycomb fabric. I started this project in January, and at the time, I wasn't excited about any of the designs I found. That said, I did a quick google search this afternoon and found a few nice options. I thought about designing something myself and getting it printed by Spoonflower, but, as it usually happens with projects like this.... inspiration struck, and I went in yet another direction.

Using the hexagons from our save-the-dates, I embroidered a honeycomb design and each girls' initial on the front of the purses.

Here were my key supplies {minus the needle and thread}::

The following was done before sewing the pieces of the purses together::
~ Using an exacto knife I cut out hexagons in three different sizes from the card. In the end only the two larger sizes were used for this design.
~ With the magic disappearing ink pen, I traced one large hexagon and surrounded it by a hive of the medium hexagons, making the hive slightly different on each one. The pen really is magic ~ staying long enough for you to embroider but then completely disappearing in a couple of days {sometimes sooner if you really agitate the fabric}.
~ I used the backstitch to trace the honeycombs.
~ I then found a font that I liked and printed out the four initials that I needed. I used these as a guide to free-hand the letters with the magic pen and then used the stem stitch to embroider them, going back and making two lines of stem stitch where I wanted a thicker line.

PS. ::
~ This is my first embroidery project, so maybe there's a more standard method for embroidering letters? I did a few quick searches and some test runs, and then I winged it.
~ Many of these purse frames require you to glue the fabric into the frame. Everywhere I looked, people recommend Gutermann Glue. I had a hard time finding it in the typical craft shops, but was able to order some from this seller.
~ I think I drank a lot of coffee while working on this project. How I managed to get it all over the paper with the initials but not on the bags is a mystery.

Since the big design went smoothly, I wanted to add a touch of design to the back side of the purses. At first I thought it'd be fun to trace three medium hexagons, filling in one of them like so::

But my test runs looked a bit sloppy and came with the "wah wah" soundtrack of disappointment. So, back at the drawing board I came up with this:: I cut out a hexagon shape from the fabric I was going to use for the lining and using a zig-zag stitch on the sewing machine I attached it to the back of the bag. It might look a bit wonky in that picture due to the folds in the fabric.

The lining was made up of two fabrics. The top half was the flowered fabric::

And the bottom half was made from the same satin that was used to make my sash {more on that soon!}. You can see a snippet of the two fabrics in this photo::

I'm so happy with how these turned out and am a bit bummed that I didn't make more for the mothers, flower girls, and myself!

In addition to the clutches, there was another little project that I'd been wanting to make. Hairpins with little flowers:: A big thanks to my sisters for modeling/photographing these at the beach last week. I think everyone wore them the day of the wedding, and yet I can't find a bit of photographic evidence!

Of course these are unbelievably simple. Buy the flower cabochons and pins, glue one to the other and you're done! I purchased my flowers and hairpins from the Snapcrafty Etsy Shop. I used a jewelry glue that I picked up from Michaels that's meant to glue plastic to metal, and it worked really well.

Assembly tip :: Slide the pins onto a piece of card stock to hold them steady while applying the glue and flowers::

Quick confession :: I was inspired to make my own after I paid $12 to buy a set of two from a little shop in Boston. That was a few years ago before I knew where to find the flower and pin resources. Never again my friends, now you can make 10 for under $10. winning!

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