Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Annabella's Pretty!

First off, I call any cute little hair decor a "pretty". I began using the term when I would try to get my baby girl to let me do her hair. We all know how they are so cooperative when it comes to that! To entice her into the idea, I would say, "Let's go do your pretties!" and then I would put all sorts of bows in it. Any hair bow will now be forever known in my house as a pretty, or pretties if you use more than one.

This special little pretty is known as the "Annabella pretty", named after the sweet, little baby girl who inspired it!
So, here's the story...When I offered to make these as a party favor for baby shower, my perception was a bit askew. I seriously thought I could make 13 of these beauties in just a couple of hours. NOT!!! Six hours later I was still not done and my deadline was drawing near. When the time came to leave and only 11 were done I gave up. 11 it was and 11 it had to be! Not to scare you off, but these require quite a few steps. So...let's get started! I dare you!

Materials: 15"x 9" satin fabric (color of your choice), 7" x 7" chiffon fabric, one pearl, thread and a heat gun, if you want to burn your edges.
Cutting requirements:
1.5" x 15" satin strip
4 satin circles 3" in diameter
4 chiffon circles 3" in diameter

Here are the satin circles, unburned. Obviously, I'm missing one, but you know what I meant!

The Chiffon circles! Also, these do not need to be perfect. They actually look better if they're not.

Here are examples of two unburned strips and one burned strip. My personal opinion, the burned edges look so, so much better!

Once you have your strip and circles cut, you need to attempt to burn the edges of your satin pieces with your heat gun. Two words of caution: BE CAREFUL! I must admit that on more than one occasion my fingers became just a tad toasty. Let me just say, it doesn't feel too hot! Well yes, that's exactly how it feels. Yowzers!

If you're not sure what a heat gun is, here it is. You just plug it in, turn it on and watch your fingers. Just hold your fabric somewhat close to the gun and watch it curl. It's quite fascinating! I really don't know how to explain it better without actually showing you. If you need a demo, maybe try youtube. That's where I always look (for craft tutorials).

This is how the edges curl on you satin after you've burned them. It really does add so much. It creates such a delicate looking flower.

Now that you've burned your edges of your satin, (do not try the chiffon, that could be messy, or stinky, or both) you need to sew a running stitch down the edge of your satin strip. If you don't know how to do a running stitch you should just give up now. I'm totally teasing! Just tie a knot at the end of your thread and copy the pictures below.

Easy peasy, lemon squeezy! Right?!!

After you have sewn your running stitch, you need to begin to gather your strip. You do this by holding onto your thread at the end where the needle is, and then slide your fabric down the thread towards the knotted end. Got it? As you gather your strip, begin to spiral the piece as shown below.

I hope this is making sense! If not, I'm really sorry. I'm kind of new at this tutorial thing. Anyways, create a circle shape with this piece. This will be the top of your flower. Once you have the circle looking how you like it, tack it down with a couple of stitches through the middle. Bring your thread to the back of the gathered piece so you can add your next element to your flower. Set this piece to the side for a sec.

Next pick up one chiffon piece and fold it in half.

Half it again so it looks like a triangle with a cute rounded bottom, like so!

Pick up your gathered piece and poke your needle into the tip of your triangle. Slide the triangle down the thread to the back of your gathered circle. Repeat process with remaining three pieces. When all of your pieces have been added, adjust them so the points all come to the center with the edges fanning out, almost creating another circle behind the gathered piece.

Now, pick up a satin circle and fold in half.

Once you have folded the piece in half, poke your needle into the middle of the straight edge and slide down thread to the chiffon triangles. Repeat with remaining satin circles.

Once you have overlapped your satin pieces so they are placed right where you want them, go ahead and run a couple of stitches through the entire piece just to make sure everything is securely in place. When you flip the flower over it should look something like this...

Phew, we're almost done! You may now add your pearl to the top of your flower. It doesn't have to be a pearl, but come on, who doesn't love a pearl? Just stitch the pearl on with your needle that is still attached to your piece. Once the pearl is on, you may take your thread to the back of the flower and tie it off. I went ahead and stitched a little tab to the back of my piece so I could slide it onto a thin headband or slide a clip onto the flower. Whatever floats your boat. You could also just hot glue it to a clip. There you have it! Your sweet, finished, Annabella Pretty!