Monday, February 28, 2011

Yo Yo's

Don't buy me. I will suck the life out of you.

While waiting for my animals to receive their annual shots, I decided to visit the craft store. My daughter has taken an interest in crafting - sewing in particular - as of late, so I decided to help that seed grow. I found a simple sewing machine which I thought would be great for a beginner. Not too many bells and whistles, just the basics.

This thing made me want to whip out the old needle and thread, hand sew what we were working on, then climb to the top of a 30 story building, throw this "sewing machine" over the edge and watch it plummet to its death. We spent more time re-threading this thing than we actually did sewing. You can't even use normal thread with it. You have to buy special small spools with poor-quality thread. It is the worst possible investment ever! Maybe I just got a lemon, but if you are considering purchasing the purple Pixie machine (made by Singer), save yourself the $40 and pay someone to make your project instead.

Adorable yo yo's!
Anyway, now that I've done my consumer report, I wanted to tell you about a fabulous new discovery I made over the weekend. I learned about Yo Yo's!

I know, they've been around forever and I can't believe I'm just now hearing about them, but these things are capital-A dorable. My daughter and I made some simple children-sized aprons and attached some of these little delights. They make a world of difference to the overall appearance and detail. They're also easy to make while sitting around. I bought a couple of plastic yo yo makers at the craft store. I think this is probably the easiest way to make them, but I also found some instructions on how to make them without the plastic forms (see below).

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Things You'll Need:
Circle Template
Small scraps of fabric
Strong sewing or quilting thread

Fabric Yo-Yo Making SuppliesGather your supplies. If you are working on a specific project you might want to coordinate your fabrics. I like to sew a bunch of these up while watching NCIS or Burn Notice so I just grab whatever fabric scraps I have, whip up the yo-yos and pop them in a storage container for a "rainy day".

Trace Around Your TemplateTrace around your circle template on the "wrong" side of your fabric. Remember that this circle will be come quite a bit smaller when you make it into a yo-yo. If you want a specific size keep these measurements in mind:
1 1/2" circle makes a 3/4" finished yo-yo
2" circle makes a 1" finished yo-yo
3" circle makes a 1 1/2" finished yo-yo

Cuting Out Circles of FabricFollowing the line you've drawn with your template, cute out the fabric circles.

Start SewingThread your needle and tie a knot at the end of the thread. With the "wrong" side of the fabric facing up, turn over 1/4" of fabric toward the center. Push your needle up the the wrong side of this little bit of turned fabric so the knot is in the fold.

Running StitchWork a running stitch around the circle turning the fabric over 1/4" as you go. Try to make your stitches about 1/4" apart. Any smaller and the hole of the yo-yo will be too big.

Stitch Around the Circle
Sew all the way around the circle until you come back to where you started. The yo-yo will starts to curl up a bit.

Gathering Your Fabric Yo-YoHold the fabric circle at the knotted end of your thread and pull the needle firmly to gather up the stitches. Your flat circle will bunch up and become a 3D yo-yo. Take a couple little stitches where the thread comes out to secure your yo-yo in place.

Once you make a fabric yo-yo and see how simple it is to whip up a bunch you'll look at your scrap fabrics in a whole new way. Glue them to a hair clip or barrette, cover a pillow, layer different colors and sizes and make into a pin; the possibilities are endless!

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