Embellishments (3) – Attaching fabric-covered buttons to hexies

<< Overview       << previous: Day 9

Day 10

Top: Pinwheel Hexie with whip-stitched flat button *** Left: Flower Hexie with fabric-covered four-hole button *** Right: Flower Hexie with button-decorated, rimmed one-hole button
Top: Pinwheel Hexie with whip-stitched flat button *** Left: Flower Hexie with fabric-covered four-hole button *** Right: Flower Hexie with button-decorated, rimmed one-hole button


Embellishing the centers of our hexies is not only about making them pretty, but also about securing and protecting them. Without adequate embellishment, they might easily fray and tear apart. Just like couching, sewing on buttons is ideal.

On this page:
Materials and tools today
Sewing on a button – the quick way 🙂
Sewing on the fabric-covered four-hole button
Sewing on a fabric-covered button – invisibly
Sewing on a fabric-covered button – very visibly 😉
For you to do
Next time

Materials and tools today

  • some hexies, ready to have their centers embellished
  • the buttons you made
  • sewing/embroidery material and tools (a thimble might be helpful)
  • scissors
  • if you have some, small buttons or beads for decoration

Click on images for larger view

Sewing on a button – the quick way

To begin with, I’ll sew on a normal plastic button – with thick crochet yarn, but you can also use embroidery yarns.

The advantage is that I need to go only once through the holes and still have multiple threads holding the button securely on the fabric. The most important part is tying a really tight knot (= two half knots; a half knot is what you start with when tying your shoelaces).

And yes, that’s also how I often sew buttons onto garments or other textiles 🙂 The thick thread also gives the button that little extra space it needs to sit nicely on top of the buttonhole.

Sewing on the fabric covered four-hole button

I do it exactly as if it were a normal button. Here I used stranded cotton; the crochet yarn would have been too thick to pass through the fabric.

It can take a bit of probing and patience to find the first hole in the hidden plastic base, but once you got that, you can estimate where the others are.

Sewing on a fabric-covered button – invisibly

I’m using the one-hole button with a rim. I want to emphasize the rim by tying the fabric down at the center of the button, for instance with a small button (or a bead or sequin) or a little cross stitch.

As this is only decoration (and actually can be done beforehand), the button needs to be attached securely and invisibly in a different way, with small Ladder Stitches (as shown) or Whip Stitches.

Sewing on a fabric covered button – very visibly

Instead of using sewing thread and hiding the stitches, I’m using embroidery thread. You can do this with different stitches (for instance Whip Stitch, Herringbone, Buttonhole) but need to adapt them a bit – it’s not possible the normal way because of the plastic base. You’ll see what I mean.

For you to do

Try, test, play around and see how you can get the buttons onto your hexies!

Next time

On Friday Saturday = Day 11 I’ll show you how to make the last one-and-a-half  – the Plain Hexies.

You don’t need to pre-cut anything (I’ll show you a different method), but you’ll need the Large or Small Plain Hexie Template. If you only want to make a large Plain Hexie, you can also use the small Flower Hexie template.

Else:

  • fabric (two scraps for one hexie – any colour or pattern, or different, we’re not going to embroider it)
  • marking pen or pencil/sharpener
  • sewing thread and needle
  • scissors for cardboard and fabric
  • pins or safety pins

If you have any questions, please post them in the comments 🙂

Maria

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Embellishments (2) – How to Make Fabric Covered Buttons From Scratch

<< Overview       << previous: Day 7

Day 8

Of course you can decorate the centers of the hexies simply with a button, but what if you haven’t quite got one that fits? Or if you’d rather have a nice round piece of fabric in the center? I’ll show you a few alternatives for you to choose from.

By the way: These buttons are washable and sturdy enough for use with garments and pillows.

On this page:
Materials and tools today
How to cut the base
How to prepare the fabric
How to make a flat button
Alternatives: Padded, Four-hole and One-hole Buttons
For you to do
Next time

Materials and tools today

  • a button big enough to cover the center of your hexies – one side of the button should lie flat; we’re going to use it as a template
  • a piece of not-too-thick packaging plastic
  • a pen, pencil or permanent marker (should write on but not wipe off the plastic)
  • sewing pins
  • something thicker than a pin, to poke holes with (push pin, darning needle, skewer)
  • something to poke holes in (piece of polystyrene, cork board, a double layer of corrugated cardboard)
  • a few scraps of fabric, at least twice as big as the button
  • sewing needle and thread
  • tiny leftovers of batting (if you have got some), else some yarn or thread leftovers – for padding the button
  • glue stick
  • scissors, one for cutting the plastic, one for the fabric

Click on images for larger view

I don’t know why (just some of!) the photos turned out in different colours and blueish – but if I adjust them, the post will be uploaded even later… 😦

How to cut the base

How to prepare the fabric

I roughly cut the fabric as octagons (or whatever shape they turn out to be) because it’s good enough – and way faster than cutting precise circles 😉

How to make a flat button

Alternatives: Padded, Four-hole and One-hole Buttons

The procedure is the same as shown above, with the following alterations:

Padded buttons

Four-hole button

One-hole button with rim

For you to do

Make at least one flat button and one padded button. Decorate them as you like with embroidery or beads, or leave them plain – you can always add something after you’ve attached them to the hexie. For small buttons that’s actually what I prefer.

If you have time, test the four-hole button and the one-hole button (with rim or not) as well.

Next time

On Day 9 = Monday I’m not going to show you yet how to sew on these buttons, but how to make a Flower (or Star) Hexie.

I hope these very plain pictures will tickle your imagination 🙂 What fabric could you use? How could you embroider them? What kind of buttons (decorated or not) would look good? For what projects could you use them?

 

Flower Hexie
Flower Hexie
Flower Hexie
Flower Hexie

Please prepare for Monday the Large Flower Hexie template from page 2 of the pdf (as you’re at it, you can also cut the small one which we’ll need in any case for the last hexie) and the Large or Small Star template, depending on whether you are making large or small hexies.

Cut at least one Large Flower Hexie – even if you prefer the small ones. For starters, the large ones are easier to make.

You’ll also need sewing needle with thread, fabric scissors and a marking pen or pencil.

If you have any questions, please post them in the comments.

Maria

Embroidery Stitches (3) – Couching the Center With Embroidery Thread or Yarn

<< Overview       << previous: Day 4

Day 5

Today we’ll finish a Trefoil Hexie by decorating its center with a couched spiral.

On this page:
Materials and tools today
Couching the center with embroidery thread or yarn
Your task today
Next time
Preview

Materials and tools today

  • a Hexie
  • to be couched: embroidery thread – you can also use thick crochet yarn
  • for couching: contrasting embroidery thread & needle – or sewing needle & thread matching the embroidery thread (= for invisible stitches)
  • scissors

Click on images for larger view

Couching the center with embroidery thread or yarn

 

Your task today

Couch the centers of 1 or 2 Trefoil Hexies.

Next time

On Day 6 = Wednesday I’ll show you how to make a Pinwheel Hexie.

In the meantime, please cut 3 or 4 hexies using the same template as last week.

Preview

This week I’ll start showing you some ways of using buttons, sequins and beads in various sizes (you won’t need many – whatever you’ve got).

When you’re using small “seed beads”, test whether your sewing needle goes through all the way. If it doesn’t, find a thinner needle. (We’ll only pick up a bead at a time, so you won’t need a special fine and long beading needle – but if you got one, you can of course use it).

You’ll also need a bit of packaging plastic, not too thick – the lid of a margarine tub is perfect.

If you have any questions, please post them in the comments.

Have a good weekend 🙂

Maria

Embellishments (1) – Making a Rosette

<< Overview       << previous: Day 3

Day 4

Today I’ll show you how turn the ribbon into a rosette and how to insert it into the Trefoil Hexie.

On this page:
Materials and tools today
Gathering the ribbon
Inserting the rosette
Your task today
Next time

Materials and tools today

  • a Trefoil Hexie
  • a ribbon or the prepared strip
  • sewing needle with thread (any colour)
  • scissors

Click on images for larger view

Gathering the ribbon

Inserting the rosette

Your task today

Embellish a Trefoil Hexie with a rosette.

Next time

Saturdays and Sundays are for catching up – “Day 5” will therefore be on Monday. I’ll show you then the first alternative for the center of your hexies. This is what it looks like – not pale at all 🙂

trefoil finished

In the sample above I used Pearl Cotton Nr. 5 both as material for the center (dark green) and for the stitches that hold it together (red). You can use any kind of embroidery thread for the center, but also thick crochet yarn like for potholders. If you prefer invisible stitches for holding it together, take sewing thread in the same colour.

In the meantime, your “homework” will be to sew and to embroider – as much as you want – all 3 or 4 hexies you cut on the first day and to embellish them with ribbons, or strips, or not, whatever you prefer 😉

If you have any questions, please post them in the comments.

{Note: This Sunday I won’t be near any internet access, which means I’ll reply to comments on Monday.}

Have a good weekend 🙂

Maria