Monday, April 30, 2012

bangled beauty tutorial


i've decided to throw my hat into the MMM ring.  zo commands: no panic sewing.  i like that rule.  but really my closet is mostly made up of fancy frocks.  so, instead of finishing off a few casual items this weekend, what did i do?  i made some bangles.  and a tutorial on how to make some bangles.

bangles!! i love them so!! and i had to leave so many of them behind in new york!  most of my bracelets are of the thick and chunky tree trunk variety, not travel friendly when you're trying to stay under the weight limit and still get half your home across the country.  as i stitched up my version of an everyday dress, i pondered my choice of facing: this orange dye job from my self drafted dress.  why did i choose to put it on the inside?  what happened to my pattern matching penchant?  was there not enough whiskey in my sunday coffee?

then... eureka!  i could wear it on my wrist.

you will need:
medium to heavy weight fabric (i used quilting cotton)
medium to heavy weight interfacing (lies! i used light weight)
thread, scissors, ruler, marking pen
an irish coffee


this is a GREAT way to use up those scraps of special fabric and bits of interfacing that you can't bear to throw out.

first, decide on the circumference of your bangle-to-be.  you could tie a string in a loop and practice getting it on and off, or loosely wrap fabric round your wrist, or have a nice long swig of that coffee and then dunk your hand in the mug and measure the circumference of that.  (actually, that works.) remember, you don't want it too wide or it'll fall right off your mitts.  add 3/8s inch for your seam allowance... my circle came out to 9 inches total, but i have gorilla hands.

(i guess you could also measure an existing bracelet and add 3/8s inch, but where is the fun in that.)

you can cut it to any width you like.  for this tute, i just used my invisible ruler to measure out a perfect 9 x 2 inch rectangle.  lay your fabric wrong side UP on your ironing board.


press & fold over one long end 1/4 inch.  then eyeball fold the other long edge in and press, so that when you fold that 1/4 inch edge down, you will make...


an envelope!  give it a good press job.  this is the final width of your bracelet.


now lay that pressed strip down on your interfacing.  cut 2 strips of interfacing to match this width & length.


open up your bracelet (wrong side is still UP) and lay one piece of interfacing down the middle, "glue side" touching the wrong side of the fabric.  carefully steam press the interfacing onto the fabric, keeping it straight. don't press your 1/4 fold out, you'll need it in a minute!


now take your second piece of interfacing and place it "glue side" UP, right on top of the strip you just pressed.


fold those long edges back up to make your envelope, and give it a good steam press to seal it up.  this is the inside of your bracelet.



at this point, the envelope is not completely sealed.  the little 1/4 fold nicely hides any raw edges, but it isn't fully touched by the interfacing.  head on over to Ye Olde Sewing Machine and sew, inside up, along that folded edge to close it.  yes, that's magic tape on my 221 featherweight.  WHAT.  izzie is a bit of a punk, she can take it.

you may now have another swig of spiked coffee.  what, you drank it all already?!  GOOD GIRL.  go pour yourself some more, i'll wait.

turn that jammy right side up and go to town with some topstitching. i just went with straight lines back and forth but it's all up to you and your level of inebriation.  the topstitching will help your finished bracelet keep its shape, but if you're going with a heavy weight fabric/interfacing, you may not need it.



we'll seal the deal with a little french seam action... right sides together, sew at 1/8 inch. then clip the corners at an angle.



turn it to wrong sides together, and sew at 1/4 of an inch.  with the tip of your iron, give the seam a press to one side and topstitch it down.



DONE.  now you have a bangle that won't break the bank or the weight limit on that weekender bag, and you've used up those scraps ya love so very much!



here they are lounging by the fabric for my casual dress... you'll be seeing these lovers in action later this week as i document my me-made-may (my personal pledge coming up later today... i'm working out the kinks).

happy monday y'all!  

25 comments:

  1. love this idea! i always have fabric scraps i just... can't... throw... out...

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  2. Please tell me you aren't doing this poolside in Vegas.

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  3. OOoh, I love me a good bangle! What a fun tute!

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  4. awesome sauce, something to do with the sackful of scraps I hoard! and these would make nice easy presents (should one be feeling generous that is)

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  5. Nice these are adorable, bracelets are so popular right now!
    I think I would add some studs to mine!
    I have some, watch out!

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    1. I LOVE THAT IDEA.... *scampers off to steal it*

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  6. What a great idea! I wouldn't mind trying this out with some soft leather scraps I have.

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  7. Such a good idea! And an easy way to add MORE COLOR to outfits. Thank you, Ms. Oona.

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  8. Cute idea, oona. :) MMM should be a lot of fun.

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  9. very nice! I almost wish I wore bangles, because that it too fun.

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  10. Love, love, love! My scrap bins could yield many dozens of these. And I've got the varied and miscellaneous interfacings scraps, too! Bangles coming up the instant I get through two deadlines and head back into the sewing room...

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  11. i love this! such a great idea to use scraps. i'm into making friendship bracelets, i have to add this to my diy bracelet collection:)

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  12. @ alla y'all: hope you try it! i made 3 in about 20 minutes :)

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  13. Ooh, ooh, ooh SOFT bangles! (Bouncing up and down in office chair like a happy chimpanzee.) That would eliminate the annoying clanking sound that keeps me from wearing bangle bracelets ... wait, aren't they called "bangle" because of the noise? Hmmm. Will have to investigate at an online etymology site. Will still totally whip up some of these accessories for self and other deserving female acquaintances. Thanks for the tute.

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    1. lin, you genius, i didn't even THINK of that! i always end up putting my bangles on the corner of the table because they knock around as i gesticulate!

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  14. These are too cool. More reasons to save scraps. Ooh, I think I might take this idea and make some belts. Speaking of which, I finally just looked at your ex-Etsy store and man, wow. I love those crazy belts! You are a leather genius. Have you done any other leather stuff lately?

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    1. ha! thanks :) i felt like a mad sewintist with that shop. i had bags of leather remnants, what i thought would be a never ending supply... but it ended. actually i'd like to do more things like your purse of awesomeness. i loved doing the belts, but never wore a single one!

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  15. Really a wonderfull idea!!! thank you for sharing!!!

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  16. I LOVE this idea!! I just recently realized that I could make super awesome matchy-matchy belts out of my scraps, and now this - wonderful!! Thanks!!!! :D

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  17. What a cool idea, they look lovely!

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  18. I just made up a set for my sister. The cloth bangles make perfect "mommy bracelets" since the toddlers cannot really break them by tugging.

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