Saturday, February 1, 2014

Crafting: A Valentine's Pincushion Bracelet

Hiya! It's approaching that time of year, again... You either dread it, or you love it... or you're like me and you remain fairly indifferent to it. Valentine's Day!

Still, despite my indifference, this is a great excuse to work on cute projects that are shaped like hearts. I was working on draping a blouse the other day and the constant turn-bend-turn-pin motions were making me seasick. Obviously I needed a pincushion bracelet! 

You can make this one of two ways. In my photographs, I show you how I made mine with little pleats in the polkadotted fabric to make it poof out extra. If you find this too tedious, you can simply sew the inlaid fabric in flat and it will still poof up enough to make a fine pin cushion. 

First, you're going to want to sketch yourself a nice plump heart shape on a piece of paper. You can find heart graphics online, or draw your own. I cut mine out and folded it in half to make sure it was symmetrical before I used it. 

Once you have a heart you're happy with, cut it out, pin it to your fabric and cut out one heart from your inlay fabric and two hearts from your felt. I used wool felt for my project, but synthetic felt works just fine (perhaps even better, honestly). 

Then, fold one of your felt hearts in half and cut out a smaller heart shape to create a window.

The next part is the most difficult, in my opinion. If you want the inlay to "poof" out, you need to pin small pleats along the edge. I did three pleats along each edge of the heart, making six pleats total. This takes some careful pinning! Once the pleats themselves are pinned, you're going to pin the inlay fabric into the felt window heart that you've made. 

Now... before you start to panic, let me tell you that YES, it going to look a bit like the guy from Hellraiser for a while. There are more pins than fabric on this poor thing! Still, this is one of those instants in sewing and crafting where you have to take a deep breath and look a little closer. Are all of your edges pinned to the window edge? Is nothing gaping? Good. Continue. (Breathe...)

You're going to sew – slowly – with your sewing machine (or by hand!) once around your felt window edge. If you go quickly, you're more likely to bunch fabric, hit a pin or get lost in your own stitches (seriously folks, it happens). Once you've gone around once, pull out your pins and check your work. I used very tiny stitches here and I'm not particularly happy with it. I should've used more standard stitches, but I thought I'd see what happened. Live and learn. 

If at this point you see that you have a spot where you missed the inlay edge or have made a mistake, you're in luck! If you're using contrasting thread, you can simply re-pin the area that's giving you trouble and do a second time around, all the while telling yourself that it's a decorative edge. 

Next you're going to cut two or three strips from your felt that are long enough to go around your wrists and pin them flat together so their edges are even. Also cut your velcro pieces and lay them out on your band (remember, the go on opposite sides of the band! I had a derpy moment and stitched them to the same side of the band. Heehee.) Stitch a couple of times across them (be creative here!) to create a more sturdy felt wrist band. While you're doing this, stitch your velcro into place as well. 

Once you're happy with the stitching on your band, place and pin it over the rear heart and stitch it in place. 

Finally, stitch the window heart onto the rear heart and leave a small section open so you can stuff it (another totally derpy moment here - I stitched mine closed! I admit it, I was watching Doctor Who and got distracted...). You can stuff this with pretty much anything... I used torn up quilt batting scraps, but you can you fabric, wool, dog hair, dryer lint... Haha. This is another chance to be creative!

Once the heart is stuffed full, pin it closed, finish the edge, and stick some pins in it! Ya know, while this is totally adorable and heart-shaped, I'm beginning to see a bit of irony in the whole giving-someone-a-heart-to-stick-pins-in thing. Ah well! Enjoy!

xoxo Emily