July 14, 2012

Belly Sash - A Tutorial!

Isn't that adorable?  Seriously, so much squee-ing over here.  I made this sash for my upcoming maternity photos with CNicholl Photography (here is her Facebook fan page).  I wanted to do something to show off the belly, since it still looks pretty decent, besides all of my new-found belly hair...

To make your own cute belly sash like this one, you'll need the following:

  • Fabric scraps [I used purple knit from a failed dress and some cottony muslin]
  • Lacey trim/ribbon or equivilant [Seriously, use anything you want!]
  • 2 inch ribbon for the actual sash
  • Yarn
  • Hot glue gun and a couple hot glue sticks
  • Scissors
  • Beads
  • Felt Sheet
  • Button(s)
  • Lighter

To get started, decide the basic shapes of your flowers and how many you'd like.  I chose to do one large focal flower, one lacey flower, two pom flowers, and two crochet rose flowers.  This project is infinitely personalizable, so have fun deciding what you'd like to do and the colors you are using!  For my sash, I used a printed ribbon that wasn't overly girly, since we aren't finding out the gender.  You could absolutely use a soft satin ribbon for this and it would look a little less busy, plus you could incorporate patterned fabric/ribbon into your flowers without clashing.

To start, make your big focal flower. I used a great tutorial over at The House of Smiths to make my focal flower.  I didn't follow her tutorial exactly, but pretty darn close.  You can find it here.  I used my purple knit on six 5 inch circles to make the base and five 3 inch circles in the cotton muslin to make the top petals.  I ended up hot gluing a star button in there, but you could use just about anything with a flat-ish bottom.

Next, I did my little pom flowers in the same purple knit.  I used another tutorial for these, found at Sew Chatty.  These were craaaaazy easy and I want to put them on everything!  I used ten 3 inch circles of the knit per flower and a 2 inch circle of the felt.  Once I was done, I went to town fluffing them up, they are friggin' precious!

Next I did the "crochet" roses.  I use the term crochet loosely because you are actually braiding them!  If I had the time, I probably would have whipped out my crochet hooks and just done a chain stitch instead.  For these, I took 3 pieces of yarn in chartreuse that were roughly 18 inches long.  I did an overhand knot at one end and stuck that under my clipboard.  Then you just braid braid braid.  Get it however long you want and overhand knot the opposite end.  Clip off the extra yarn on either side and set your felt circle ready.  Mine was about 2 inches in diameter, you want it as big as your rose.  Put a nice dab of hot glue in the center and put your knot on it.  Then just wind it around in a spiral - I twisted mine from time to time.  Hot glue regularly so it doesn't come undone.  At the end, you should have the knot and a little bit of braid left, this is the time to trim your felt circle if it was too big.  You'll want to tuck the knot on the underside of the felt circle and hot glue in place.  Repeat this process if you are doing more than one of these flowers!

Finally, I made my lacey 5 petal flower.  This was by far the easiest one.  I took some buy-the-spool lace trim and cut out a petal shape that I liked.  Then I just did 4 more.  Cut a small circle out of your felt, like 1/2 inch or so, and hot glue your petals on.  I decided that they needed something so I hot glued 3 vintage glass pearls into the center.  

At this point, decide how long your sash ribbon should be.  If you are making this for yourself, wrap the ribbon at the point you want it on your belly and add 10 - 12 inches.  If you are making this for a friend, I would say a 40 inch length of ribbon would be fine.  Once your ribbon is cut, don't forget to singe the edges with a lighter so you don't get fraying strings.

I then laid my ribbon on the floor and put out all of my flowers.  I took a few tries to find a design that I liked best but once you do, simply hot glue each piece directly on the ribbon.  Let it dry for 5 - 10 minutes and you have an adorable belly sash for maternity pictures!  This could also be used as a hairband, just cut your base ribbon shorter.  OR you could do this as a bridal sash, I'd love to see ivory and white flowers with pearls and little blue accents!

Sorry about the lack of progress shots but I hope you have fun with this tutorial!  Now go forth and make cute things, you deserve it!

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