Thursday, December 31, 2009

the evolution of a Christmas gift

There are some people that I have a really hard time shopping for. Billy's oldest sister is one of those people, I don't know why but every year I struggle. This year I was hoping something would just jump off the shelf at me with her name on it, crazy, I know. I saw this super soft, comfy, cozy looking cowl neck scarf and thought, this totally looks like her! At the same time I thought, hmm, maybe I could make some cute accessory to go with it, a pin or broach or something...maybe.

For those of you who don't know me well, I am a very indecisive person. I knew I wanted to do some sort of pin/or set of pins for her to wear on the scarf. But, oh man, to narrow it down. There are just too many good ideas out there!

I came across this really cool, not so traditional, wreath. I loved the stacked circles, random stitches, and groups of buttons. I figured I'd try this concept as a set of 3 pins that could be worn together, or individually.
This is what I came up with (before buttons)

I actually kinda like them, although I wasn't in love with my stitching pattern on the largest one. My problem came in trying to group buttons, ugh. I just couldn't seem to get it right, or to the point where I liked it enough to give it as a gift.

On to my next concept. I had seen this tutorial and thought maybe one big flower would be cute.
Attempt #2:

Blah. The colors, the fabric, it just didn't work for me. So I took it apart, added some cream and dark blue tulle and a new button.
Attempt #3:

Ok, this one was better. Definitely an improvement, but still not good enough. I had a hard time with the gathering(?) on the back and it didn't seem to have enough oomph. Have I mentioned that I tend to be my own worst critic?

It was the week before Christmas and I was getting a little discouraged, my grand idea was turning out to be a bit of a dud. I picked up some simple black gloves at Target in hopes that I could come up with something to coordinate the two, but I really didn't know how.

Then I came across a tutorial for a simple pleated flower and I LOVED it! This might work! The first I did was a large flower with a pin on the back for the scarf. Ok, a moment of honesty here. I don't always get along with my glue gun. I'm either too slow and the glue dries before I'm done, or I can't stop burning myself. Apparently that day burnt fingers were the ticket. I got the pin done and wanted to make two smaller, matching flowers for the gloves, only this time I got out my trusty needle and thread. It may have taken a little longer but I felt like I could take my time with the placement of the pleats and I was more confident that it would hold up together. This time I was THRILLED with the results!
Attempt #4:

I was so glad I kept going because in the end I loved it all, the fabrics, the buttons, how it all coordinated! Yay! I think my sister-in-law liked it too because she put on the scarf when she opened the gift and still hadn't taken it off when we left.

I liked it so much that I decided I need new(er) gloves too! I had two old, rather boring pairs of gloves sitting in my pile of winter gear so I grabbed a few fabric scraps, buttons and let myself go!
Here is what I came up with for myself

For the black gloves I simple ruffled a small strip of white jersey and stitched a black button on top of it. For the cream I wanted to use all similar tones. I used some taffeta(?) to create my first ever yoyo some, added a little tulle and button.

I thought the yoyo flowers turned out too small so I cut another strip of the taffeta and tulle and stitched a quick ruffle about half way around each flower. I think it turned out pretty cute!

Two pairs of old gloves, not so boring anymore!

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