Momtastic's Whimsey #3: Decorate Your Hair

Day 292 Have you received your Whimseybox of craftiness or want to know more about what it is?  Click here to check out Whimseybox's website. 

 I am a member of the Whimseybox Design Team and will be putting together weekly crafts and projects based on the items that come in the monthly boxes.  What I am going to try to do for my participation in the project is A. use primarily what comes in the box and B. not buy new supplies to enhance those projects but use what I have around the house.  I am proud to be a part of a group of extraordinarily crafty people.  If you want more ideas check out Whimseybox's Portfolio of projects.

I could not resist that dark purple ribbon that decorated May's box.  Seeing ribbon makes me think of historical times when ribbons were the jewels of the sewing world, cheaper than lace and they added a bit of color or shine to an outfit.  I love the idea of wearing it in my hair to add a simple decoration of color to brighten the day.

DO NOT let the fact that this uses hand embroidery intimidate you, you CAN do this!  Remember to have fun!

Supplies from the April Whimseybox:
various buttons

Supplies from the March Whimseybox:
Ultra Fine Point Sharpie

Supplies from the May Whimseybox:
J&P Coats Embroidery Floss in Imperial Blue
Purple Ribbon

Other Supplies:
Hand Embroidery Sewing Needle
Scratch paper or sketch pad
Dreams & Imagination
UPDATE: Ribbon action shots

The finished hand embroidered ribbon headband.

Supplies that arrived in the May Whimseybox with the marker and buttons added from previous boxes.
The ribbon is about the width of this ruler which made it easier to draw lines to test  my designs.

First onto your sketch pad or scratch paper trace a line in pencil on either side of the ribbon.  Use the ruler to keep it straight. Do a few of them if you want to try some different designs for embroidery.

Pencil lines sketched to the width of the ribbon.
This will allow you to use the size of the ribbon to sketch out some embroidery ideas.

Sketches for the ribbon embroidery.
I sketched out a few designs before it coming down to these two.  I was going for pebbles or cobblestones scattered across the ribbon or chains linking the buttons.  I ended up deciding on the chains.

Choosing the thread and buttons.
 I chose 3 green flat buttons (ones with shanks might poke too much) and while I was going to work with the Violet Dark thread I felt I wanted more contrast instead and went with the Imperial Blue color.

Preparing to trace the design onto the ribbon.
Since the ribbon is too dark to really effectively transfer your design placing the ribbon next to the design on your paper will make it easier to free hand the image.  Using your fine line Sharpie marker draw the 3 circles where you buttons will go first in the same location as your design centered on the ribbon.

Design is ready for embroidery.
Using the Fine Line Sharpie again draw 4 'smiley face' lines (in place of the chains on my sketch) connecting the buttons.  You can see the 'smiley faces' in the image below.  I went almost to where the buttons would be going but you can even connect the lines if that works better for you. 

Needle is threaded and ready to embroider.
Cut off approximately 12" of your embroidery thread.  There are 6 strands in your thread, separate them into  2's, so that you will end up with 3 lengths of 2 strands each. 

Did your threads tangle and snarl when you tried to separate them?
Let's try again.  Either cut another length or smooth the snarled threads back into a line.  Hold the strand in between your fingers and let it hang down.  Look close, you should be able to see the tops of the 6 threads, pull on them one at a time, SLOWLY, and pull them up and away from the rest of the threads.  Once you have them all separated take 2 of them and smooth them back together leaving the others in a safe pet and child free/proof zone for you to come back too.  

Now thread your needle!! Here is how I personally do this:  
needle in left fingers with eye visible on top
smooth end of thread with fingers or wet it a touch by 'kissing' it between your lips
then thread it into the eye and pull about 3" through
(Bad eyes or unsteady hands? There are needles with slots in the eye that help you place the thread in them or use a needle threader.)
set your needle and thread down on the table
for this project make a small knot in about 1" from the end of your thread length so that it won't come through the fabric
Now you are ready to sew!

Tip:  Are your loose threads suddenly missing and you SWEAR you put them on the table in front of you?  Don't fret just look on the floor, your pants or generally your elbow where they usually hide, thread likes to cling especially to other fabrics!

Make a tiny knot in the end of your thread length.
Starting at the left side of the 'smiley face' furthest to the left we are going to make Chain Stitches using the line as your center.  (AHA NOW you see why I drew a line instead of chains to follow!)

Chain Stitch
No really its EASY just breath and have confidence!
To make the first chain stitch in your chains.
Start at the tip of the furthest line to the left.
Bring your needle (with thread) up through the fabric until it hits the knot.
Bring the needle back down right next to, nearly on top of the first stitch.
Slowly pull the needle and string through the underneath part of the fabric leaving enough for a tiny (appx. 1/4") loop.
Now bring your needle up on the line approximately 1/4" away from the first entry point.
Make sure the needle is at the tip of the loop on the inside.
Your subsequent stitches will start approximately 1/4" away from each other on the line with each one forming the next loop and holding the previous loop down.

To finish instead of making another loop you just come down on the other side of your last loop and make a knot on the underside of your fabric.

You probably have enough length along the 12" to do an entire 'smiley' of chain stitches.

Your stitches might not be perfect and they might wobble a little but each stitch is a learning experience and NO ONE but you will notice that you messed up.  If it really bothers you, you can snip it out and start again but with this type of fabric the holes will show and it tears easily so be careful.  You can see in the image below my stitches were not perfect because it has been a while since I have worked this stitch and I was not paying attention as closely to the sizing and wobbled a bit but NONE of this is noticeable unless you look up close and know what you are looking for!

Here is a great video at one of my favorite hand embroidery and stitching websites, Needle N Thread

My sort of wobbly chain stitches.
Last you get to add the buttons.  This is a little tricky just because the fabric is slippery but there are only 3 and no holes to make so easier than buttons for clothing!

Find the center of where each button will go and place a tiny dot with your Fine Line Sharpie.
Using 2 strands approximately 8" in length with a knot in the end poke the tip of your needle at the dot just far enough through the fabric so that you can place your button on the top of it.
Holding your button in place with your thumb pull the needle up through the hole and then back again down through another hole in the button.
Alternating buttonholes continue on this pattern until the button feels secure.
When you are finished, on the backside of the fabric, thread the needle through the back threads of your button and knot to secure.
You will need to do each button individually.

Remember this is not couture, everyone sews their button threads differently so side to side or criss cross is NOT important to this project.

Tip: DO NOT pull the thread too tight or it will pucker behind the button.

The finished beautiful ribbon for my hair.

Sneak peek at next week's Whimsey
Using the sketch pad and the fine line marker!

What will you create today?

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