Sunday, January 31, 2010

Spring Fling Fabric Pinwheels - Tutorial

Finally, the fhubby is home for 6 wks Holiday...WhoRah!
That means a lot of Spring cleaning and organizing can finally get done around my place! Ummmm...yes dear I will move out of the living room, dining room and oh ya...what are those buttons doing in the kitchen?! hehe...uh hehehe oops hehe!

So I thought it was a good time to take a wee break and focus on some Family fun, and the not so fun...cleanup time.
However, I didn't want to leave you all empty handed with nothing to do or read. So I thought I'd venture into my first tutorial, and leave you all something to do whilst I'm out gallivanting with my family.
So in Honor of Spring (I'm trying to coax it out!!!) I decided to make some fabric pinwheels. I just adore pinwheels in the breeze, So after seeing some really cute ones that Sandi Henderson put together for her wall displays at the design fair; I decided to give it a go and make some wee ones for hair clips, hair bands and elastics. Soooo Adorable and pretty quick once you get the finicky sewing figured out.

So just for you here is my quick pic. 20 min tutorial so that you can make your own lovely little tribute to Spring.

Now Scissors up...It's time to work!

First...choose 2 coordinating scraps of Fabric
Cut squares (we'll use 3.5" for starters, which makes a good sized hairband pinwheel)
Cut 1 front, 1 back and 1 piece fusible webbing (eg: wonder under®)

Now Iron (no steam) your fusible webbing to the wrong side of one of your pieces, allow to cool.

Peel the paper backing off and line up your other fabric square exactly.
(both good sides should be showing)

Iron the 2 pieces together.
Eh Voila...your pieces are now glued together.

Trim your edges if they look a bit scruffy.
Now decide which side you would like as front and which as back.
On the 'front' side, using a fabric pen or faint pencil, draw a line from corner to corner.
Starting from the corner and measuring towards the middle, mark 5cm along each of these lines. (ignore my ruler markings as I seem to have an aversion to doing anything the right way!)

Cut along these lines, stopping at the 5 cm mark. (If you forget to stop...just pretend you're making sailboats, go back to the beginning and try again!..Who's gonna know)

And now the sewing...
Use a straight stitch with a coordinating thread.

Just go slow, (I hand turn the wheel on most corners and always keep my needle down when turning around the points) Try to sew as close to the edge as possible.

Begin just below and on the inside of one of the cuts (guess that would be the right side)
Sew up...across...and down one wing, cross the next cut and begin your next wing.
Don't forget to back stitch at the beginning and end to secure your stitches and snip off your threads.

Whew...that is probably harder to write and explain than it is to do!
But with that part out of the way it is time to choose your button!
Yay...I Love Buttons!

Okay...onto the hand sewing.
I'm using 3 strands of embroidery thread, but anything with strength will do fine.
I also like to tie my knot in the middle of my thread, leaving a good length of 'tail'

Push your needle up from the back, however do not pull though.
This will make layering your wheel points much easier.

Which is what you're going to do now...

The pics are pretty self explanatory for this part...
and since you haven't pulled your needle through...
now is your best chance to change your mind about which side is front and which is back!

Add your buttons, pull your thread through to the knot and secure all (I like to go through the button holes at least 2 or 3 times)

Tie off at the back

You should now have a six strand tail which is ready to be sewn, or tied to whatever your heart desires!
Now make heaps more...
I made several in different sizes and really liked the Itsy Bitsy ones

Hurricane Head Jax liked it so much she insisted I sew it immediately to one of her piggles so we could hold her hair in one place!
Unfortunately it couldn't hold her in one place long enough to get a this will have to do!

I'd love to hear some feedback, if this was helpful and or constructive tips.
And if you've chosen to follow it I'd love to see your creations. I will be getting a public flickr group up on my return, however until then you can email me at

Hasta La Vista Invierno!!!

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Tan Family said...

Fabulous tutorial! Can't wait to try them. :)

carmel said...

great tutorial!!

Megan said...

I just finished making a handful of these babies...thanks so much for sharing this project. It was really easy (I cheated and skipped the sewing step) and almost addictive. I'm a pinwheel-making-machine lately!

SewMisadventurous said...

Great tutorial, Thank You, I got a bit stumped by the sewing the sails bit, but your arrow picture sorted that right out! Thanks
p.s. I'm not a robot. lol

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