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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Advent Garland Tutorial

Because some of you asked, and apparently I've got nothing better to do with 4 kids and a very messy house.

Keep in mind that I started my advent on Dec 1st. If you wanted to do "The 12 Days of Christmas, you've still got time. The directions are for for 24 flags on the garland. You could easily start and complete this project in an hour (for a savvy seamstress) or 2 (for someone with very little experience.)

Things to keep in mind: I'm a very lazy sewer. My mom will probably call me and scold me for my lazy ways!

Supplies:
1 yard of fabric (I purchased 2 one half yard pieces in matching fabrics, you could easily do it with more fabrics or less, as long as they add up to 1 yard.
Rotary Cutter, Mat, Ruler (You COULD do this with scissors, a rotary cutter is much easier).
Thread that matches
Two packages of Extra WIDE double fold bias tape (or just one pkg for 12 days).

Step One: You COULD wash your fabric first. But I didn't, because I don't plan on wearing it, and couldn't care less, so let's just skip this step. Look at that! You're already 1/9th of the way done!

Step Two: Cut your fabric into 4" by 5" rectangles. You'll need 48 rectangles for 24 days. Or 24 for 12.

Step Three: Set aside half of your rectangles (half of each color fabric). Take the other half and turn under (to the wrong side of the fabric) about 1/4 inch. I don't measure, I just eyeball it. Now I ran all my pieces through my machine strung together much like a quilter would (if this makes no sense ignore it, but basically, you're stitching down that rough edge so you won't see it when the project is finished. Once you've sewn down your rough edge (selvedge) on 24 rectangles, you can move on to the next step.



Step Four: Place one turned edge piece, right sides together with one non-turned edge piece, aligning the bottom corners (the non turned-edge corners). Is this making any sense? Are you lost? Does this picture help?



Step Five: Now you're going to sew a V into your rectangle. This picture should help you understand.



You'll be starting and stopping where the two fabrics meet on your finished edge. You can find the middle of your rectangle quickly by folding your fabric in half. You could also (what I did) mark it quickly with a water soluble marking pen or dressmaker's chalk. Or heck, even a pencil or ballpoint pen. Whatever helps you keep track of your center (where the point of the V will be.)

Step Six: Once you sewn all your V's onto the rectangles, you're going to trim them into triangles. You could feasibly keep all these scraps, but I'm not a quilter. So I didn't.



Then turn your triangles. I like to use a crochet hook to make the point a little pointier. Don't push too hard, or you'll push through your stitches, and it'll piss you off.



Step Seven:
Now, go find your Extra Wide Double Fold Bias Tape. Hope your children aren't using it as a jumprope.



This will be located in the store next to the thread and zippers. Hopefully.

Step Eight (AKA the tricky part): After grounding your children for using your bias tape as a collar for their dogbrother, Miles, you're going to create a unfinished edge sandwich. Does this picture help?



You'll be sandwiching the unfinished edge of the top of the penant in the middle of the bias tape. I had to sew two packages of bias tape together for my 24 days. If you have to do this, be sure to open up the bias tape completely when sewing it together, or else you will not be able to sandwich at the seam.

** I tried drawing a picture of the sandwiching, and it just came out looking dirty. If you need further explanation, I can email you my dirty picture.**

Another note about bias tape. It has a wider side and a narrower side. You'll want to sew with the narrower side up so that you catch both sides. I hope that makes sense. If it doesn't, I can try to explain better.

I placed my pennants three inches apart (three inches from the end of one to beginning of the next. I also left about 6 inches at the beginning. Once you've pinned all the pennants on, making sure not to catch the finished edge, you're ready to sew.



(Um, please ignore the fact that this pennant isn't attached to any others on the bias tape. I didn't have any longer lengths of bias tape left.)

Step Nine: Sew. Start at the end of the bias tape and simply sew as close to the opened edge as you dare. Try not to run over your pins. Also your fingers. My mom says that hurts.



Ta-Da. You're done.

Some ideas for altering.
* Make your own bias tape with a coordinating fabric
* Add some pretty beads at the point of each penant
* Use freezer paper and fabric paint to add numbers to each penant for the days.

I hope you'll show me yours, if you decide to make one!

5 comments:

Char said...

Nicely done!

Kermit~the~Frog said...

It's super cute. I got lost at the sandwiching part, but if I try this, I am TOTALLY spitmarking those rectangles like kooky Elise on Project Runway. That will give the project my earth essence, heh.

Alissa said...

darnit! now i have to go look up spitmarking... (i'm pretty sure it's what i think it is.)

Michelle said...

That will help, thanks!

stACEy said...

i just love your pictures so much I lurk here but need to view your entire blog.....

so there is a challenge for you/me on my blog if you'd like

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