Oct 29, 2011

"SpaNGle*" snap facebook giveaway!

We all LOVE a giveaway don't we? 

Well head over to my facebook page... 
... NOW... 
and become a 'liker' and then be sure to pop back here and leave a comment telling me so....
because in about 1 hour....
 you can take part in my facebook giveaway and take home this gorgeous pillowcase dress:

Open WORLDWIDE to anyone who is a 'liker' of my facebook page....
PLUS if you want an extra entry, follow my blog and again leave a separate comment letting me know!

The winner will be decided using Random.com to select a number (which will correspond to the comments) and will be posted here once decided!

And the winner....
as decided by Random.org...

Comment 27... JODESS,


And the winner of the VIP Shopping Pass to SpaNGle*s next sale night...
is comment 7

Dafina Rexha... Congratulations - you have won a pass to shop and choose to purchase ONE item from SpaNGle*s next market night sale on Facebook PRIOR to the sale opening!!!

Oct 28, 2011

Hmmm... I kind of let my one year 'blogoversary' just slip right by! Not much ado... no fanfare...

I guess I've never been much for one on my birthdays (for the kiddo's its different - nothing beats an awesome cake and the delight of the littlies opening their presents and blowing out the candles and all round just feeling that little bit extra special!)

I've been super busy with... life, children, sewing - you name it... oh and trying to convince the hubby that we NEED to paint the house while the weather is good and he's got leave from work (I know it doesn't seem fair that I load him up with house renovation type things on this work break... but when else can I do it?)

Okay... change of subject (I'll keep you posted on the house painting situation as it *hopefully* progresses)...

Here's just a few things I've fallen for lately:

Upcycled dresses and fashion from the lovely Bec from See-Sam. Check out here FB page and say g'day... here's my two lovelies in their See-Sam dresses (and they've another two custom makes on the way!)

Oh Pinterest... I think I'll always be a fan!

The most recent project I undertook via some pinspiration, was these super easy cupcake wrappers...

Source: Intimate Weddings
Here's the link to the fabulously easy and ridiculously cheap tutorial.... I managed to make 30 from a packet of ten 12" paper doilies - so happy... they look just as good as the expensive bought ones only better because they don't cost a fortune (and you don't cringe or mentally calculate the costs when someone rips it from the cupcake and discards the wrapper without a second thought)!

And my most favourite brand new kitchen gadget/utensil...
I happened across this amazing, non stick, mini-cheesecake and pudding tray at a discount kitchen supply store on a recent trip to the city! Needless to say I have been churning out the cheesecake creations... this tray makes achieving perfectly professional looking mini cheesecakes a breeze! I love how the bottoms pop out... so far every cheesecake I've made with the tray has come out perfectly - I'll photograph one for you all if I can manage it before they get gobbled up. Not so good for my waistline perhaps...

Oh and while your here, why not take a moment to pop by my facebook page... I'll be running a giveaway on Saturday at 8PM (Australian Eastern Daylight Savings Time)... 

Hope to see you over there! So what pinterest project has taken your fancy lately? Do you have a most favourite kitchen gadget or utensil you just cannot live without? Or who is your favourite handmade label at the moment? I'd love to know!

Cheers xo

Oct 9, 2011

When moons align, the wind is right and the world conspires WITH you...

Rolled hems and I...  (or rolled hems and me - as I'm told is correct grammar these days???) we have a relationship that is often tempestuous! I like to tuck the rolled hem foot away and pretend it doesn't exist but at the same time I just love the finished look of the neat little hem that it can create (when the moons align, the wind is right, the world is conspiring with me and it all works as it should, that is!)

Well people... today was one of those days!

Gorgeous, little and neat rolled hems! Bliss!

I heard about a little hint of snipping the start corner on a 45degree angle to help it feed onto the foot. Sounds easy enough... and it seemed to work too! I was on a ROLL!!! (heehee... really sad pun I know, but I just had to!)

UNTIL... it seemed my new found confidence with the rolled hems was short lived as then my machine began to skip threads, bunch up the bobbin thread and generally give me grief!

Time to inspect... and look what I found:

How disgracefully, lint filled is my bobbin holder? Kind of embarrassing. I'm not sure when I last cleaned it out - and I know, I know, I should be cleaning it after each use... but really, how many of us do that? What, you do? Okay, I'm off today to buy a can of compressed air... I believe that I should be cleaning the serger EVERY time too - I'm not even going to let you get a look in that baby!

Anyhow, my poor dusty machine got a bit of a dust out and she was back to giving me perfectly rolled hems. I wonder how much better she'll perform once I start giving her a burst of compressed air every day!

Oh, and did you notice the new blog header? Do you remember the old one? I thought it needed an update... what do you think? I'm not sure on it yet - it might grow on me though, we'll see.

Hope you're having a day where all your moons are aligning, the wind is right and that the world is conspiring with you - whatever you're doing!

Cheers xx

Oct 8, 2011

A spot of sewing...

Time sometimes seems to just disappear... I look at the clock and its early afternoon and before I know it, in the blink of an eye the afternoon is fading into evening - and that's even though we've just started daylight savings time here less than a week ago!

It's been school holiday's for the past couple of weeks but they're over come Monday and Spring began at the start of the month... warmer weather is on its way!!! I love summer - I pine all winter long for more warmth (even though I absolutely love the snow - but only if I'm skiing). 

I've actually managed to fit a little sewing in over the last couple of days and here's a peek at some of it:

A gorgeous A-line with a really quirky, vintage looking owl and cat print... I wasn't sure about the dress design at first but when I popped it on Little Miss M I fell in love... it kind of helps that she really turns it on for the camera (even if it's a little over the top at times ☺)

Ooh... and this gorgeous vintage style romper - I'm seeing some of these pop up all over the place at the moment. This outfit makes me want another little bub (even more)... I think I'll be making more of the kanzashi style brooches too, I really like how they look and they are super quick to make.

So, are you following my facebook page, SpaNGle yet? Check it out, follow along and say hi - it really makes my day! The above two items will be for sale on my page at 8pm (AEST) on the 25th October 2010... plus more gorgeous outfits that will be previewed over the coming weeks. (Oh and while I'm at it - why not follow my pinterest boards too... ... I promise I'll check out your pins and boards to see what goodies and projects have caught your eye!)

And just because I love how they turned out here's a few more photo's of my two little ladies...

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend! Pop by again... leave a comment if you like - because I'd love to hear from you! It'll send a smile my way.

Oct 2, 2011

Tutorial: Turn your vintage paper dolls into durable Fabric 'n' Felt Paper Dolls

Did you play with and dress paper dolls when you were a little girl? I did and I loved them... in fact I still have quite a nostalgic affection for them.

What I never loved about paper dolls was how I always managed to tear the most loved outfit... or a paper tab would fall off from being folded and unfolded one too many times.

My two girls, Big Little and Little Little Miss M are only 4 and 2 but I've really wanted to share more of the things I loved as a child with them... they both are somewhat innocently heavy handed with toys - as kids their age are entitled to be. So I always thought paper dolls would have to wait a few more years yet... but...

...a few months back Big Little Miss M was given a felt board as a gift. It had a felt cut out doll and felt clothing and accessories - she LOVED it! I pondered buying more for her and her sister but they were a tad expensive and really basic looking - they were pretty much just plain felt shapes etc... plus I thought I could make some up myself!

So that's how the "Printed, Fused, Fabric 'n' Felt Paper Dolls" came to be... I have been meaning to do this project for months... I've seen felt paper dolls online but they are quite different to what I've done here.   I haven't seen them made like this online, but the web is wide and vast and it's very likely it may have been done before but anyhow, here's how I created my durable and (biased opinion) very gorgeous fabric 'n' felt paper dolls. The tutorial may look a little daunting and like there's lots and lots of steps, but it really is a single afternoon project that comes together really easily.


Original paper doll set (or printable download)
White Cotton Fabric (enough to cover 3x A4 pages)
Freezer Paper (1x A4 sized page)
Heat 'n' Bond Iron on Adhesive (3x A4 sized paged)
White Felt (3x A4 sized paged)
Couple of extra felt squares
A4 paper 
Baking paper
Scotch tape
& scissors (for fabric and for paper)

Here's the original vintage/retro paper doll set (which I bought from this fabulous little Etsy store that has a gorgeous and eclectic range of vintage goods, EmmyLucy)

I loved that it came with a backdrop scene, accessories and quite a few super cute outfits for 'Sarah' - 6 dresses, 2 hats, 2 head scarves, wheelbarrow, pitchfork, cat and even a chook!

The paper doll set being as old as I am, it - like me - has acquired some wear and tear over the years, but - and again, hopefully like me - has weathered the prior years rather well. 

1. If you are not using a paper doll download that is already on your computer you will need to scan your paper pieces in. Try to position them so they won't take up the whole A4 page - you will at least a 1/4 to 1/2 inch border... you will see why later.

2. Once you have the images selected and scanned on, mark one corner of the first page in your printer (to enable you to easily work out which way you will later feed your material and paper through). 

3. Then print off a draft of each page in greyscale to be used as a guide in the following steps.

4. Cut your white cotton - it needs to be nice and wrinkle free, so take the time to iron it if needed... trust me, if you don't you'll just find yourself needing to redo the prints and possibly also struggling to unjam your printer... and no, not learned from experience but I will not be held responsible for damaged printers... lol.

Your cotton should be cut to be a little smaller than the A4 paper size - check though to make sure all of your printing area is covered by fabric. 

5. Now for the freezer paper, fabric printing - you can find tutorials all over the internet for how to print on fabric... this is how I do it and my preferred method of doing so. If you have another method choose whichever works best for you.

Cut your freezer paper (remember NOT to use your fabric scissors for this) so that it is roughly the same size as your cotton sheets... doesn't need to be exact but try to keep both the fabric and freezer paper edges fairly smooth, you're going to want your printer to feed it through without snagging.

6. Using a hot iron on the steam free setting, place your cotton sheet on the ironing board and then lay the freezer paper on top with the glossy side down and iron over the paper. This will cause your fabric to adhere to the freezer paper... don't worry about any overhang onto the ironing board it lifts off without leaving any residue as it doesn't really melt, it just gets tacky enough to hold the fabric.

Allow it to cool before proceeding... only takes seconds.

7. Then using just a little scotch tape on the edge that will feed into the printer first, attach the fabric (with the freezer paper attached) to the draft sheet with the fabric facing up. You want to make sure there's no curled corners or fabric hanging over the A4 paper edge as you want it to feed through your printer without jamming - so don't go overboard on the tape either... just enough to hold it together at the top edge.

Then place the sheet (which should consist of three layers - A4 draft page, freezer paper & cotton fabric) into your printers paper feed using the earlier marking on the draft to figure out which way it should go in so that it will print on the fabric.

Carefully separate all layers and use your iron (again without steam) to set the print onto the fabric. I do this the first time with the print face down and then again a second time face up.

Repeat this step for however many pages you have.

I re-used the same freezer paper for each print out, it looses it's glossiness after the first print but still sticks the fabric just fine - why waste it if you don't have to?

8. Now to apply the heat 'n' bond to the printed fabric... 

...follow the first steps on the product to use your iron to attach the heat'n'bond to the wrong side of the cotton prints. For this step I put a little extra baking paper under the cotton as the heat'n'bond will melt onto your ironing board if it overhangs the cotton... and it is a nightmare to remove - this one.... I know from prior experience :P 

9. Now here you deviate from the regular instructions for creating fusible appliqu├ęs as detailed on the heat'n'bond packet... DO NOT cut your shapes out yet!

Once the heat'n'bond has cooled remove the paper backing and place the fabric onto the felt... I put the background print onto a blue felt square whilst all the clothing, accessories and 'Sara' - the paper doll - were placed onto the white felt.

Use your baking paper and bond the felt to the fabric using your hot iron.

10. Now you can cut out your 'paper' (felt) doll and all the accessories... can be a little time consuming but not hard to do - use sharp fabric scissor for this to keep your edges nice and clean.

I also used a craft, kind of scalpel thingy (some one tell me what it's called - I have a major mental block... I've been looking at the said thingy for a while now and it's not coming to me... grrr) to easily cut out the face hole on the head scarves and to cut some slits into the hats for easy felt doll wearing.

How cute is she looking?

I LOVE the detail and texture that can be achieved printing onto a nice cotton fabric... this is why you took the time earlier to iron your fabric nice and smooth - any wrinkle would effect the print quality.

12. Then I decided at the last minute to make it into a felt book of sorts by sewing another square of felt to the background square... I will make up a cover print for the front tomorrow using the original box outer as the scan image and probably put either a couple plastic snaps, a button or velcro onto the outer corners to hold it closed when not in use.

And there you have it... it's been a long time between dances but it is definitely time for a victory dance, because your done... you now have a gorgeous printed and fused, felt paper doll that will withstand most typical toddler abuse!

My girls are going to love me in the morning for this.... heheh, they so wanted to get their hands on the paper set when they watched me begin this project, but now it's all packed away to hopefully see another generation of play - it surely would of struggled to last 2 minutes in the hands of my two... but the fabric and felt? Almost untearable! 

Such a handy bonus... they will get the love and joy of a classic and educational toy, whilst I will have the quiet satisfaction of knowing they'd have a hard time destroying my felt version and that the original is safely stowed away... it's truly a WIN-WIN!

So now here's a look at all 'Sarah of The Ginghams' in all her outfits: 

You will notice the felt cut outs have no tabs like the traditional paper dolls, this is because the felt will hold sufficiently on its own.

I hope you enjoyed the tutorial... enough perhaps that you'll give it a go. Printing on fabric is really so easy and opens up so many crafty possibilities... and I just love heat'n'bond - no need for sewing and no fear of fraying!

Don't be shy, leave a comment, give me some feedback, ask a question or show off your own attempt at the felt paper dolls or just say hi - I love reader comments... and as a SAHM adult interaction is nice too!

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