Saturday, November 5, 2011

Orchid Fabric Belt

1 Draw around the petal and leaf templates onto the cardstock. Cut them out with the paper scissors. Place  the cardstock templates on the suede scraps and draw around them with the pencil to produce seven of each of the four petal shapes in pink, purple, and mauve suede and seven leaves in aqua and green suede. Cut out all the shapes with the embroidery scissors.

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2 Wind the embroidery or buttonhole thread onto the bobbin . Thread the sewing machine with the embroidery thread on the bobbin and the toning polyester thread on the top. Set the machine o a long, straight stitch and replace the ordinary needle with the leather needle. Practice the embroidery technique on some scrap pieces before starting the projects as you may need to alter the tension on the top or bobbin threads: consult your manual on how to do this. Working on the back of each suede petal, sew lines in pink thread. In the same way, sew lines up and down the leaf shapes using green and aqua threads.  

3 Use the hole-punch to make holes in the petals in the positions shown on the templates.   

4 Assemble seven flowers using one of each shape of petal. Lay petal 2 on top of petal 1, aligning the holes, then lay on petals 3 and 4, again aligning all the holes. The orchids work well if petal 3 is a different color to the other petals. Push a brad through the holes in all four layers, turn the orchid over and split the brad using your fingers, pushing the posts back flat. As you work, make sure you assemble flowers using different shades of suede so they form a good balance of colors across the belt.  

5 Measure your hips about 2 in. (5 cm) below your waist. Cut the suede tape to length, allowing at least an extra 39 in. (1 m) for tying. Arrange the orchids face-down and slightly angled in a line that is equal in length to your hip measurement. Lay the suede tapes across the center of the flowers, close together and making sure 20 in. (50 cm) is left at each end for tying. On the right side of each leaf, evenly spread strong fabric glue across the center section. Stick a leaf to the back of each orchid, covering the suede tape, and press firmly. Allow the glue to dry completely before tying the belt around your hips. 


Single suede flower motifs can be used to make a brooch. Simply make one flower from either the Orchid Belt or Flower Choker projects. Turn over the flower and cut a circle of suede approx V: in (12 mm) across. Place the brooch pin onto the back of the flower and stick the suede circle over the mount firmly with some strong fabric glue. Allow to dry thoroughly before wearing. 

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