Tuesday, June 21, 2011

How to Make an Easy Tutu without Sewing Part 2

Last time I presented part 1 of making an easy no-sew tutuThis is the second half.  

Next I added strips of tulle from the 6 inch wide roles.  My strips were about 2 feet long for the blue.  I added them with the same kind of knots I described in part 1.  Then, I added 1.5 foot strips of white tulle.  In each case, I equally distributed the strips around the waist.
Notice how my strips keep getting shorter on each round.  The layering creates a nice rounded skirt shape.  At this point, I decided I didn't like the look of the blunt ends.  So I cut the corners into points like in my Doceri drawing.
This photo shows most, but not all, of the blunts ends cut off.  I definitely prefer the look of the pointy ends.
Next I cut strips of ribbons.  For the ribbons, I cut off corners or I folded the ends to cut notches in the ends of the ribbons. Here is my Doceri drawing showing my method for cutting notches.

I knotted strips of the various ribbons to the grosgrain waistband, just as I'd done with the strips of fabric.  The thinner the ribbons, the longer I cut them.  I pulled the ribbons down into the skirt so that they would hang from the inside.  Here is the finished tutu and headpiece.
Here is the bridal nymph in her natural habitat.  Isn't she beautiful!  This was Day 1 of our bridal shower weekend.
On Day 2, the bridal nymph ditched the silly headpiece I made her in favor of sunglasses, but still wore the tutu on our daylong hike.   
Yes, tutus are suitable for hiking, as long as there's no serious rock climbing.  The netting might catch a few bugs, however.  Fortunately, this is a pretty bug-friendly group of nymphs.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

How to Make an Easy Tutu without Sewing Part 1

A good friend of mine is getting married next month, and we decided to throw her a bachellorette party.  In celebration of her love and life, and with an excuse to single her out in a foofy fairy princess costume, I made her a tutu and matching veil.  Here's how I made the tutu.

Step 1: Buy a boatload of tulle and organza ribbon and fabric in a variety of blues, aquas, and white.   I got two cuts of fabric from the bolt: 1 yard and 1.5 yards of brighter blues to add color.  I also included 5/8" grosgrain ribbon for the waistband.  Grosgrain is stronger than other types of ribbon and will hold up better to repeated tying and untying. Lastly, I also bought a fabric covered hairband for the headpiece/veil.  I spent $29.90 on everything.  I went a little nuts. I could have bought about a third less to make this work, but I wanted the large combination of colors.
Step 2: Cut a piece of grosgrain long enough to fit around you waist (or lower) plus enough extra for a generous bow.  I used 8 feed 3 inches.
Step 3: Cut fabric into strips.  My fabric pieces were 1 yard and 1.5 yard cuts, but I never measured the bolt width.  To cut the fabric, I held up each large rectangle to determine which side was shorter, and cut them like I show in this Doceri drawing. 
My strips measured about 2.5 feet by 0.5 feet, but I didn't worry about them all being exactly the same size as I cut the fabric.  I used light blue organza and dark blue tulle.  I cut the strips a few at a time as I added them to the waistband, and I decided to save some for the headpiece and maybe other projects later.

Step 4: With strips in hand, I was ready to tie knots.  First, fold a strip in half to make a loop.  Slip the loop under the grosgrain waistband from the top side.  Always push the loop under from the top or the knot will be upside down.
Pull ends through loop.
I pulled tighter, but not too tight.
I decided to tighten later when I knew what I was doing, but I eventually learned that you could tighten the knots pretty tight at this point.  They will still slide easily along the grosgrain, which is mostly what I was worried about.

After tying a few knots, I decided that small tidy knots would be a good thing so as not to have too much puffiness around the waist.  So, I improved my technique for making smaller knots by twisting the organza a bit before folding it in half for the loop.  Just a few twists right where the knot will be makes for a smaller knot.  See how the left knot is smaller than the puffy one on the right.
 I added more than a dozen strips of organza around the grosgrain.  The "scarf" is my leftovers.
I learned that the puff was only a problem with the organza fabric.  The tulle didn't really require the extra twist to make small, tidy knots. In the photo below, you can see the darker tulle knot between the organza knots.  Notice the second layer is a bit shorter than the first.
Also notice how poorly the shirt matches the tutu.  Egads.  Click ahead for part 2: the exciting conclusion of "How to Make an Easy Tutu without Sewing."  Not only do I show you how cute the finished tutu and headpiece looked on the beautiful bachellorette, I will find a better shirt to go on the dress form.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

More Beaded DNA Earrings

I've had a few people point out to me that the base pair coding on DNA actually happens on the rungs of the ladder and not on the edge, as I did in my beaded DNA video.  So, I found this image and came up with the version below. 
Notice that I removed the bugle beads on the rungs of the ladder and replaced them with a row of 3 beads.  I used two size 8/0 for A and G, and one 3mm fire-polished crystal for T and C.  Now the color coding is on the rungs where it's supposed to be.
You can see from these photos that this new version is wider.  The design in the video is shown below.
Personally, I prefer the more delicate look of the original, patterned design, but conceptually, I like the move towards scientific accuracy in this new version.  Which do you prefer?

Click the photos to go to my Etsy listings for these earrings.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Mini Ionic Cubes Beaded Bead Earrings

Continuing with my series on mini beaded beads, today I present some Mini Ionic Cube Earrings.
Here you can see that they are quite long but still light... another inch and they'd be shoulder dusters. 
This long pair of blue earrings is for sale in my Etsy shop.  Click the above photos to go to the listing.  Below you can see the relative size of the Mini Ionic Cube beaded bead.  It's the top left one.  Its longest diameter is 17mm and it contains 144 beads.  Gross.  A gross of beads, that is.
The color scheme above is part of a kit we sell for the Ionic Polyhedra.  So you can see it in another color scheme, below is an older pair of Mini Ionic Cube earrings I made last Fall, in fall colors.  I never seem to tire of fall color schemes.  I have a ridiculous number of green and brown beads.  Seriously.

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