Birdsong Bows: August 2011

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hair Bow Challenge 4: Let's go to the movies!

Image of invitation by Pink Pickle Studios

The theme for our fourth challenge is "Let's go to the movies!" You may make a boutique bow or bow set, a headband, a bowband, a funky loopy bow, a fascinator, a hair flower -- basically, anything you've fashioned out of ribbon or fabric -- following this theme. The hair bow or flower must be made from a Birdsong tutorial or pattern. Are you a fan of Gone with the Wind, or do you prefer cartoons and comedies you can watch with the kids? You can base your accessory on any movie you like. Or are you inspired by popcorn and candy - the "ambience" surrounding the event of going to the movies? You can make an accessory based on your favorite movie snack as well!
There will be two prizes again! The first will be a RANDOM drawing completed through The winner of the random drawing will receive a $15 gift certificate from The Ribbon Retreat!
The second way to win a prize is through "Voter's Choice." I'll put all the bows on the blog and will host a poll in the sidebar on Friday, Sept. 9. Invite your friends and relatives to vote for your bow! The winner of the Voter's Choice Award will receive a FREE e-book from Birdsong Bows and Patterns.
To enter, E-mail your best photograph of your finished product (either on a model or not) to me at deanna [at] by 2:59 a.m Pacific time (11:59 p.m. Eastern) on Wednesday, September 7 (so, basically before you go to bed Wednesday night). Please keep your photos around 600 pixels wide, so that they're neither too big nor too small. And remember: They must be recognizably made using at least one Birdsong tutorial or pattern. No more than one entry/photo per contestant, please. If you're on Flickr, feel free to post a photo to the Birdsong Flickr Photo Group as well, for all to see!
Good luck! I can't wait to see your entries. :)


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Free Fabric Flower Tutorial - How to make a simple gathered fabric flower

My girls are starting school tomorrow, and because of a school consolidation, the uniform colors changed from navy, khaki and white last year to purple, gold, white, black and khaki now. My youngest is entering kindergarten (sob!!). I planned to "pass down" the bows and flowers from my older daughter, but they now both need hair accessories in a different color! I wanted something quick to make today, since we're spending at least part of the time gearing up for school.

This flower is a simple strip-work piece that I've created out of just a portion of a fat quarter of silk dupioni, and is very easy to make. It helps if you have a sewing machine, but you can hand-stitch if necessary.

Other supplies needed:
* 1 fat quarter of fabric
* Basic sewing supplies (needle, thread, scissors, iron/ironing board)
* Rotary cutter, mat with markings, and acrylic ruler (not completely necessary, but very, very helpful)
* Hot glue gun and glue
* Fancy button
* Barrette or pinch clip (or pinback, if preferred, to add to a purse, coat or shirt)

First, press your fabric. Then lay it on your cutting mat with the edges squarely against the guide marks. Position your ruler along the 45-degree diagonal line, and make the first cut.

Move over 2 inches, and cut your first strip. Cut another 2-inch strip, also on the bias. When you add your strips together, they should measure about 36 inches, but this is approximate - if you've got a lot less than 36 inches, cut a third strip. If you've got more, don't worry about it.

Place your fabric strips together with the ends nestled as shown below, with 1/4" overhanging on EACH side. If you have a right and a wrong side, be sure to place your fabric right sides together. Pin.

Take this to your machine, and sew 1/4" from the edge. If you don't have a machine, be sure to stitch by hand with very small stitches!

Press your strip with the seams going to one side. You can press the seams open if you wish, but since I have a quilting background, I usually just press to one side.

Once you've pressed your seam, cut off the little triangle that sticks out on the one side, so that you have a smooth, clean strip (below). I couldn't show the cutting because I didn't have an assistant here today to hold my projects, like I usually do when I photograph my ebooks, lol.

Trim your ends into gentle curves. I've shown it below with the fabric layered on top of itself, so you can see how both ends are curved (sort of like a really long, skinny boat!).

Using your needle and thread, make long running stitches about 1/4" in from the edge, starting at the curve (below), and stitching all the way to the other end of the strip. Finish after you've gone up the second curve. Do not stitch along the other long side (the second photo is showing the stitching and is "flipped over" from the picture above; you will not stitch along both sides).

Pull your thread gently to gather your fabric strip. You don't need to gather it overly tight, but tight enough to create some flattering "ruffles." It will start to wind in on itself as you pull (second photo, below).

Cut a 3 1/2" inch square out of matching fabric. Find the center by folding it along both diagonals, and then unfolding it.

Thread your needle, and stitch the gathered fabric strip onto the square. Position it over the middle point. Wind the strip into a corkscrew as you move inward, stitching as you go along.

Trim the square away, leaving a smaller circle (below).

Sew and hot-glue a button onto the front.

You can add a piece of felt to the back for more stability, but because I was aiming for a super quick project, I decided to simply hot-glue the barrette to the back.

Enjoy your finished fabric flower! :)

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

2,500 Facebook Fan Giveaway!

The comment period is now closed.

And the winner, chosen by, out of 22 eligible entries, is Number 11, Annemarie! Annemarie, please contact me a birdsongbows [at] gmail [dot] com so I can send you the tutorial of your choice!

Birdsong has reached 2,500 fans on Facebook! To celebrate, I'm having a pattern giveaway today. To enter, just write a comment, below, about what you like best about Birdsong patterns OR why you would like to try one! Only one (1) entry per person.
The winner can choose any pattern for free from the Birdsong Patterns Etsy shop. This giveaway will close at 5 p.m. Eastern time (so, 2 p.m. Pacific) TODAY, so enter early!
In addition, I'm offering 25% off on the Birdsong Patterns website, also today ONLY, through 3 a.m. Eastern time (midnight Pacific). Use code "Facebook25" at checkout. The discount is only available on my website, not on Etsy.
Enjoy today's specials! :) I'll post the winner shortly after 5 p.m. Eastern this evening. The winner will be chosen through


Friday, August 12, 2011

And the winners are....

Congratulations to the winners of the hair bow challenge this month!!!

The Voter's Choice award goes to Lesley, with her fabulous funky loopy bow (above)!!! She wins a tutorial of her choice from Birdsong Bows and Patterns or a supply of ribbons and notions from me (her choice)!

And the winner of the Judge's Choice award goes to Theresa! Judge Jen of Tie Dye Diva said that Theresa's bow really reminded her of a fair...and even of buttery popcorn! Theresa wins a $15 gift certificate from The Ribbon Retreat.

Thanks so much to everyone for entering! Both winners can contact me at birdsongbows [at] gmail [dot] com. I'll host another contest within 2-3 weeks. :)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Giveaway: A pattern by Yards and Yards!

This giveaway is closed! And the winner is Number 4, Samantha! Samantha, please contact me at birdsongbows [at] gmail [dot] com and I'll put you in touch with Anna, or you may contact her directly!

Anna, of Yards and Yards, has a cute shop where she creates PDF sewing patterns for quilts, bags, totes and other accessories! You can also pick up some fabric or even some of her awesome pattern samples.

Anna and I are doing a "Giveaway Swap" that continues through Friday night. As a quilter, I'm really happy to introduce you to Anna (who shares a first name with my oldest daughter, so she's got to be a fab gal in her right). She loves to find simple ways to use fabric that still make a BIG impact. Her blog, Yards and Yards, has free tutorials that show you how to make everything from her "Easy Peasy Skirt" to a fabric notebook cover.

Here are a few items from her shop:

You can enter the Yards and Yards giveaway here, and feel free to stop by the Yards and Yards blog to win a pattern of your choice from Birdsong!

For a chance to win a wonderful pattern from Yards and Yards, comment below for each of the following that you do:

1. Visit Yards and Yards, and comment here on something you like from her shop!

2. LIKE Yards and Yards on Facebook

3. Follow the Yards and Yards blog

4. Follow Birdsong blog, here

5. LIKE Birdsong on Facebook

Each task counts as an entry!! Good luck! I'll announce the winner on Saturday, chosen through :)


Friday, August 5, 2011

Off to the State Fair hair bow contest entries

Thanks to the 6 women who sent photos for our third challenge! The theme of this challenge is "Off to the State Fair," and I asked participants to send a photo of a bow, hair flower, or other hair accessory that reminds them of a state or county fair!

There will be two awards! Jen of Tie Dye Diva will select a "Judge's Award Winner." The winner will receive a $15 gift certificate from The Ribbon Retreat.

But there's another prize! The second way to win is to have your friends, family, Facebook friends, etc., vote for you! There's a poll in the upper right corner of my blog (in the sidebar). Voting will continue until noon Eastern time on Friday, Aug 12. The winner will receive either a choice of ribbon and trim (unused) from my personal stash OR a hair bow, hair flower or tutu tutorial of her choice from Birdsong Bows! :)

Enjoy the entries! And thanks again for participating. I will post the winner here on either Aug. 12 or 13! Please check back here and on the Birdsong Facebook page for an announcement of the winners.

By Theresa:

By Casey:

By Ashley:

By Angela:

By Amy:

By Lesley: