Thursday, March 27, 2014

Felt Blossom Spring Wreath with Moss Letter

I am hereby ushering in spring by updating my front door wreath.  Take THAT Mother Nature....time to get your act together.

So my front door wreath has been through three season now:  football, winter, and now SPRING!


When I purchased the supplies back in August for my Alabama Football Wreath, I was a little shocked at the price.  I think with the form, roll of burlap, my letter B, and some houndstoothy ribbon, the total project cost was about $40.  But now, this bad boy has been updated for the third time and I'm starting to feel that $40 for a year's worth of wreathy goodness might be worth it.  Even more so that I notice Pottery Barn is selling wreaths anywhere from $60 to $90.  AND, for the second time, I bought NO extra supplies to create the updated look.  I used all things I had laying around, just like I did for my Winter Wreath Update.

My favorite part?  These little no sew felt blossoms:


Here's how I made them.  You need felt and straight pins with a pretty head (these are quilting pins from JoAnn's that I have a TON of).  Don't worry, you can reclaim them when you update your wreath again.  I had a GIANT container, so I'm not going to be missing the handful I used.

For one blossom, you need 4 felt circles.  I made mine about 1.25" in diameter.  I did NOT measure, nor did I use a template as they do not have to be perfect.  No flower in nature is perfect and a little wonkiness here and there makes the petals interesting and creates some size difference and texture.

Once you have your four circles, you're going to fold them in half once, then in half again and pin them down onto your foam wreath.  Do this with all four circles to create one bigger circle and then stick a pin in the middle for the center.  Fluff and TAH DAH!

Here's a little graphic to help you:


For the burlap leaves, I just cut rough leaf shapes and folded them on one end and pinned them in place all the way around.  Easy peasy.


And my letter needed a little updating.  So using just some hot glue and a bag of moss I had laying around (available in the fake floral section of your local crafty goodness store), I covered my letter with moss!  NATUUUUURRRRRRRE!


There you have it...one full spring wreath update.  Go ahead...buy the foam form for $12 and a roll of burlap for $10.  You won't be sorry and it will update every season so your front door always looks happy and welcoming!


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Oh So (Sew) Lilly: Fabric by the Yard Alternatives for Lilly Lovers

I'm increasingly more Southern.  The older I get, the less I like the cold.  I have started drinking tea...and not the hot kind in the pot.  And I want to be outside, day drinking in a cute and colorful shift dress every damn day.  Every day!  With the promise of more snow in Virginia, the spring weather seems so very far away and this makes me quite sad.  In order to beat down these ridiculous spring but still feels like winter blues, I wanted to do a little shopping.  I thought maybe it was time to finally own a Lilly dress to brighten up my day and get mentally ready for the impending spring.  Maybe even throw in a pair of scallop hem shorts!  Then I remembered...Lilly Pulitzer offers a very small range of sizes.  None of which my chubby self would ever hope to squeeze into.  Le sigh.

And so, I shall make my own Lilly inspired gear this weekend!  I thought I might be able to buy Lilly Pulitzer fabric by the yard.  But, after some research, I learned something very, very important:

Lilly Pulitzer fabric is not sold by the yard.  

And if you're buying it by the yard (via ebay or whatever truck you found in a back alley on Canal Street), you're buying copyright infringed merchandise.  And that is not cool.  I have a soft spot in my heart for artists who work diligently to create something and while imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, straight up stealing designs for your own profit is NOT okay.  And supporting those who are copyright infringing their little tails off is also not cool.

What's a gal to do?  How about amass a collection of retail available fabric by the yard that LOOKS like it could belong to the same person who shops and sports Lilly Pulitzer.  Inspired, not ripped off.

I waded through a lot of overly country, overly floral, overly juvenille, and overly obnoxious fabric swatches to present the following.  Of course, fabric is only half the battle and a lot will depend on the silhouette of anything I make (I am SO IN LOVE with all things Lisette right now and I have had some major luck with that line of patterns and the fit).  If you can't help but be drawn to cute, bright, pinky, girly, crittery goodness, I hope you'll find the following fabric options equally appealing and inspiring.

Lilly prints tend to fall into six main categories (that I noticed....suggestions are welcome!)

-Floral
-Paisley
-Geometric
-Nautical
-Critters (my personal fav)
-Scenic

So here they are...individually adorable.  Together it's like a HUGE EXPLOSION of Lilly-like goodness.  Most are available on fabric.com, but I'm sure you can find them elsewhere.  I have tried to include the name of the fabric, the name of the designer and/or the name of the manufacturer.  Generally, these are designer quilting cottons.  Those are always high quality and give you a nice drape for clothing.

FLORAL
Top Row, Left to Right:  Kaufman Surf N' Sand Tropicals Large Floral Tangerine; Amy Butler Love Tumble Roses Pink; Blend Fabrics, LLC Field Day Large Floral Green; Jennifer Paganelli Lucky Girl Marcella Green
Second Row, Left to Right:  Amy Butler Hapi Heart Bloom Rose; Amy Butler Soul Blossoms Joy Buttercups Spearmint; Moda Daydreams Wonder Jade; Michael Miller Delightful Summer Heather Raspberry
Third Row, Left to Right:  Amy Butler Love Bliss Bouquet Emerald; Heather Bailey Nicey Jane Lindy Leaf Pink; Nel Whatmore Memory Lane Agapanthus Teal; Alexander Henry Stachi Floral Yellow
Fourth Row, Left to Right:  Amy Butler Lark Glamour Floral Couture Mandarin Orange; Moda Daydreams Wonder Pale Ink; Benartex Kanvas Sakura Metallic Blossoms Multi; Camelot Fabrics Paisley Please Tapestry White

PAISLEY
Top Row, Left to Right:  Amy Butler Lark Dreamer Kasbah Midnight Blue; A.E. Nathan Ikat Lattice Tan; Michael Miller Sultana Jewel; Michael Miller Coco Cabana Palace Paisley Citron
Second Row, Left to Right:  Amy Butler Belle French Wallpaper Duck Egg; P & B Textiles Meridian Medallions Blue; Michael Miller Christmas Tonal Kaleidoscope Lawn Green; Riley Blake Star Spangled Stripes Fireworks Blue
Third Row, Left to Right:  Michael Miller Single Border Kasbah Yasmin Indigo; Richloom Carravagio Paisley Melon; Kaffe Fassett Dancing Paisley Water Blue; Jennifer Paganelli Circa Lauren Blue
Fourth Row, Left to Right:  Blend Fabrics, LLC Clementine Blossom Blue; Michael Miller Sultana Teal; Premier Prints Feathers Slub Canal; Michael Miller Christmas Large Whimsy Doozie Lawn Green

GEOMETRIC
Top Row, Left to Right:  Moda Hubba Hubba Hypnotic Hubba Blue; Michael Miller Cynthia Rowley Paintbox Wicker Citrus; Joel Dewberry Modern Meadow Herringbone Lake; Michael Miller Waterfront Park Union Station Navy
Second Row, Left to Right:  Michael Miller Indigo Ikat Tika Night; Large Abstract Seagulls White Blue; Camelot Fabrics Mint to Be Ikat Navy; Premier Prints Sherpa Costal
Third Row, Left to Right:  Andover Pearl Bracelets Navy; Michael Miller Coco Cabana Moroccan Lattice Orange; Amy Butler Lark Glamour Chinese Lanterns Grass Green; Michael Miller Indigo Ikat Tika Indigo
Fourth Row, Left to Right:  Michael Miller Midnite Gems Lauren Jewel; Kaufman Cheers Cocktail Glasses Caribbean; Dena Designs Kumari Garden Tarika Blue; Amy Butler Hapi Camel Blanket Blush


NAUTICAL
Top Row, Left to Right:  Timeless Treasures Sea Starfish Navy; Michael Miller the Littles Little Sailboats Coral; Premier Prints Anchor Candy Pink; Michael Miller Out to Sea Sea Flowers Navy
Second Row, Left to Right:  Michael Miller Shore Thing Madras Patch Seaside Multi; Michael Miller Out to Sea Sail Away Double Border Strip Bloom Pink; Andover High Tide Waves Light Blue; Newport Anchors White
Third Row, Left to Right:  Free Spirit Beach Bubbles Bay Turquoise; Michael Miller By the Sea Marine Aqua; Westminster/Rowan Salt Water Ocean Peonies Coral; Free Spirit Salt Water Bubble Shells Aqua
Fourth Row, Left to Right:  Michael Miller By the Sea Nautical Netting Coral, Michael Miller Ahoy Matey Point of Sail Navy, Premier Prints Indoor/Outdoor Sea Friends Ocean; Michael Miller Ahoy Matey Rigging Navy


CRITTERS
Top Row, Left to Right:  Andover Zaza Zoo Zebras Purple; Tina Givens Dovecote Garden Room Carne Pink; Andover Zaza Zoo Giraffe Stripe Purple; Cloud 9 Fabrics Tsuru Making Tracks Indigo
Second Row, Left to Right:  Premier Prints Lobster Slub Coastal; Michael Miller Rouge et Noir Weiner Dot Ebony; Valori Wells Karavan Marrakech Peacock; Andover Zaza Zoo Monkeys Lime
Third Row, Left to Right:  Dear Stella Tigerlily Elephants Pink; Michael Miller Lagoon Mod Fish Blue; Andover Savanna Bop Rhinoceros Green; Alexander Henry Zahara Zebra Face Hot Pink
Fourth Row, Left to Right:  Camelot Fabrics Imaginarium Tigers Turquoise; Michael Miller Little Elephants in Pink; Timeless Treasures Mini Flamingos Aqua; Anna Marie Horner Field Study Fine Feathered Denim Blue


SCENIC
Top Row, Left to Right:  Amanda Murphy by Blend Fabrics Topiary Gazebo Green; Riley Blake Pepe in Paris Buildings Grey; Tina Givens Riddles and Rhymes Castle Row Pink; Michael Miller Paris Prepsters Gay Paree Red
Second Row, Left to Right:  De Leon Design Group for Alexander Henry Black and White Smoke Stack City Black White Yellow; Westminster/Rowan Fabrics Misaki House and Garden Slavic Green; Michael Miller Midnite Gems Maison Jewel; Michael Miller Midnite Gems Nite
Third Row, Left to Right:  Blend Fabrics, LLC Home Grown Bike Ride Purple; Robert Kaufman Perfectly Perched Chairs Steel; Benartex The Big Apple City Street Multi; Michael Miller Paris Prepsters Gay Paree Green
Fourth Row, Left to Right:  Andover Fabrics Hot House Flowers Pearl Strands Green; Riley Blake Union Jack 24 Panel Orange; Michael Miller Jug or Not Retro Kryptonite; Tina Givens Riddles and Rhymes Elephant Flight Royal


I hope that inspires you other crafty preppies out there!  I'm excited to create some fabulous looks from these bright, fun, and high quality fabrics.

And Lilly, if you could just extend your sizes a bit, I would just buy right from you....in the meantime, my summer wardrobe make-a-thon awaits!  First order of business:  Simplicity 1887 shorts, maybe with a scallop hem!