Saturday, August 18, 2012

Mom's Birthday Gift

At our first Christmas as a married couple (Christmas '11) I was all excited about decorating.  We needed everything.  Goodness gracious... Decorating can be expensive!  We inherited a small tree from my parents, and had a few ornaments to hang, but we didn't have so many of the things that makes the house feel "Christmas-y"  I went to the craft store to buy stockings and so many things only to find that we could either have stockings and decorations OR we could have Christmas presents for each other and the ones we loved.  $20 for a mediocre Christmas stocking... really?  That is really why all of this sewing stuff has started.  A friend from a small group invited me to make stockings with her.  (It was their first Christmas together too).  I was able to make both of our stockings with our own personality for much cheaper. 

The next task was a tree skirt.  Following directions from a Pintrest idea. I made a skirt.  I followed these instructions: No Sew Tree Skirt

When my mom saw what I had done, she made a comment "Wow, I'm impressed!  I have been married for 30 years and don't even have a tree skirt"  **Mental Note**  My Mom needs a tree skirt!  What a great B-Day gift....  :)

So when all of this crafty stuff started this summer I started keeping a look out for Christmas fabric to use.  However, in the Fabric store's small selection in June, I decided to wait for her birthday in August, and tell her about the project and that we could go pick out the fabric together.  This way, she would have a say in the color scheme. 

However the week before her birthday (and the week of Jessica's baby shower...)  I was in the fabric store with a sale and coupon combination that I couldn't pass up!  (The fabric was 1/2 off and then I got an additional 25% off my entire purchase.... a girl's got to do what a girl's got to do!) I picked out out fabric and brought it home :)  On the drive home I had the sudden realization that because my mom's birthday was in 5 days and we were no longer going to have to go get the fabric together... I had to get this done before her birthday and get ready to host a baby shower.   YIKES!

I blocked off Thursday morning/afternoon for this project.  I hope you enjoy!  My advice... buy A LOT of hot glue, and cut all of the fabric at once (don't cut a piece and glue and then cut another one)

Start with your supplies.  You will need:
Fabric (I used 1 yard of 3 different fabrics)
1 yard a canvas material
fabric scissors
hot glue gun
lots of hot glue

Start by cutting the fabric into 2 1/2-3 inch strips

When you have all of your strips cut, put out your canvas material.  You will want to cut a square out of the material.  Mine was about 4 ft x 4 ft.  (obviously, the larger the square, the larger the finished product)

Fold the square in half (a long rectangle)

Fold the rectangle in half (back into a square)

Take the bottom left corner, and fold it over to touch the top right corner.

Using a curved line, cut off the left side as shown below.  Then using the same curve, cut the bottom right corner too.  Looking at the picture, imagine the semicircle folded in half-- it came undone for the picture.

When you unfold the canvas, it should look like a donut (or as in the picture, half a donut).

Cut down one of the folds to make the opening for the Christmas tree.

Here's the "donut" ready to be decorated!  You will start at the slit up top.

Start by taking your first strip, fold and glue the edge to the back of the canvas at the slit.  Glue about 1/2 an inch on the backside.  You want the strip of fabric to hang mostly past the canvas. Glue the front side of strip to the canvas to start making your ruffle. 

You will start to make your ruffle by gluing the fabric on.  For each ruffle, I would have to use 3 dots of glue.  Maybe you can do it with less, but I had to glue the fabric to the canvas, then I would put a dot of glue where I had glued the canvas but on top of the fabric, pull the fabric back so it would glue to itself and then glue the underside of that down as well.  Does that make sense?  3 dots of glue = 1 ruffle.  You can imagine how much glue I used....

Continue working your way around the edge of the canvas making sure you stay pretty even as you go.

When you get to the end of a strip of fabric, you will start the next one by folding over 1/2 an inch or so.

Lay it flat onto the end of the strip and continue gluing. 

** Note:  Be sure to glue the strip so that the outside lines up, not the inside.  If your strips are not the same size--mine often were not-- the other ruffles will cover this.  You want it to look like one continuous ruffle. **

**Below is what you do not want!  Be sure to adjust as you go.**

When you finish your first layer of ruffles, change fabric and start the process over again.

You will want to set it up so that the glued portion of the fabric is covered by the next layer.  You will have to be cautious of this as you go because of the different size slips of fabric.  Don't be afraid to adjust as you go.

As you work your way around, when you get to the end, it is very likely that you will have extra.  Cut it off so that you have only 2-3 inches left.  You can use the portion that you cut to start the next round when you get there.

Pull it around the the bottom and glue it.  It should look similar to how you started the fabric.  Be sure to double check the look of the last ruffle on the front before you glue it down.  You also want to make sure that the bottom of the fabric matches up with the other side evenly.

See the even part?

When you get to the top, don't worry about trying to make the row you are on stretch to the top.  I tried... it didn't work.  But you do want to make sure that the canvas showing is close to the same width all the way around. 

For the final round, you want it to hang off the canvas about half way.  This level might be the most tricky.

Start it off the same way but with the top half hanging off. 

When you get it all the way around, don't put the glue gun up yet!

Fold the top layer over and start gluing it to the back. Make sure you are satisfied with how the front looks... this is what you will see :)

The back of the skirt should look ugly... like this.  But it doesn't matter because it is not the side you see when it is on display.

Flip it over to admire your work!