Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Bags of fun!

Today is a complete change of direction from last week, I wanted to do something 'off the page' as they say. 

I love using recycled materials wherever possible and I can often be found haunting the local charity shops for things to die-cut or decorate. 

I have been working with fabrics recently, and I'm forever picking the brains of Angela, our in-house textile guru asking increasingly ridiculous questions about various fabrics and their properties thinking that one day I can put all this knowledge to some good use (don't hold your breath!)

I am using another of those stunning Sizzix Bigz flower dies. I love the contemporary feel of the shapes and the leaf is just gorgeous as you will see. The die in question is called Flower Layers & Leaf #2 by the clever people at Doodlebug Design.

I raided the local charity shops and left with a grey clutch bag, two pairs of jeans and some lace fabric (I get the funniest looks!!). I cut away the seams in the legs of the jeans and layered two strips of denim back to back, I put a sheet of Bondaweb in between the strips and applied a hot iron. Having that double thickness will give my flowers more spring or body, and another advantage of using the heat fusible web stops the fabric from fraying when die-cut. 

I die-cut four large denim flowers and four lace flowers before laying a lace flower over each denim flower.

I folded the flowers in half and half again before securing with a a few stitches where the flowers come to a point. I recommend a good strong thread for fabric of this thickness. I repeated the process with the other three sets of flowers and placed them point to point. At this stage you can stitch them onto a circle of fabric to keep them together ready to mount onto your project. 

I die-cut one of the smaller flowers from a single layer of darker denim backed with bondaweb to stop any fraying. Next, i used a needle and thread to add a few stitches down the centre of each individual petal to give the flower some added dimension before dipping into my bling box which is a treasure trove of recovered costume jewellery including bracelets, necklaces and earrings etc. I came up with a rather lovely diamante gem which, if memory serves, came from a hair band! I added the gem to the centre of the flower before mounting this into the centre of our assembled denim/lace flower. I die-cut the leaf from the same dark denim before attaching both to the rear of the flower.

I attached the flower by stitching through the bag, any unsightly stitching can be covered with a button if preferred. Not bad for recycled materials? You can use this flower as a broach or to decorate a hat too if preferred.

Here is a card made using the same die to show the oval centre and retro star shape which are part of the design. I love the versatility of these shapes and this is another in a long list of dies that I could not be without.

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