Fabric Flowers

If you know me in person you know I frequently wear a flower pin on a plain t-shirt. It started a few years ago when I got a brand new bright yellow shirt that fit perfectly and was the perfect shade of yellow.

After I wore if a few times I noticed a tiny pinprick hole near the neckline binding on the left side. Arrgggghh! But I was determined to continue wearing it and I came across a scrap, a very small scrap of vintage yellow fabric with strawberries on it. After I mulled it over awhile I gathered it into a circle, topped it with some red, and found some vintage buttons to layer on the top.
Vintage Fabric Flower on JanMadeIt

Now that I describe the process, I really should take it apart and feature the vintage fabric that inspired me.

But a new hobby was born (like I needed another). Here’s how I used another very small scrap of vintage fabric. I stitched this one into little pleats to form the circle.

Vintage Black and Bright Fabric Flower on JanMadeIt

The fabric had a looser weave, so I added a little blanket stitch to keep it from fraying too much. I don’t think the buttons are vintage, but they were the right size and color.

Since my wardrobe is primarily jeans and a t-shirt, I went a little nuts making these fabric flowers the last few years. This morning I took pictures of just the ones that are handy and ended up with over forty images.

I get lots of comments and questions about how I make them. I’ll just pick up a scrap, and grab a needle and thread and start doing something with it. I’m halfway done by the time I think to take a picture to show how I do it.

I wear them on a pin back, but they can easily be applied to a hair clip, a headband, ponytail holder, a hat… anywhere you want some embellishment.

This one is trimmed with baby rick rack, and centered with a scrap of lace and vintage buttons. Vintage Buttons and Lace on JanMadeIt

I made several with this same black and ivory calico.  Here’s another vintage button and some lace. I think this one went through the wash with the shirt I wore it on. The frayed edges are a little wrinkled.

Calico, vintage button and lace on JanMadeIt

Here I continued with the lace and twisted the black calico and a strip of ivory into this rosette. Looks like I need to clip some stray threads off this one.

Black and Ivory Calico Rosette on JanMadeItI think you get the idea. There are literally dozens more where these came from. I’ll try to share more of them in the coming weeks.

Anyone else out there make flowers?  Mine are all ad lib, but there are some really nice specific patterns and techniques I’d like to try. Let me know what you think.


Vintage Ripple Scarf

I bought some Sweet Roll yarn by Premier recently and made it into a Vintage Rippling Scarf.

Vintage Ripple Stitch on JanMadeIt.wordpress.com

It turned out to be pretty easy, as promised in the instructions, but it’s confusing when you’re figuring it out. I looked around and found a Vintage Ripple Stitch and between the two sets of instructions, I figured it out.

Each row is a series of six clusters with a change of direction halfway across. Each cluster is made of chains and double crochets. See, simple.

Vintage Ripple Scarf on JanMadeIt.wordpress.com

I used one skein of yarn and came up with a scarf about 60 inches long and five inches wide. Because of the V shape of the rows it made sense to connect the ends and make it an infinity scarf. It was a simple matter to fasten the final stitch and then weave in the ends by stitching the two ends together. The way the clusters turn at the end of each row creates a smooth edge along the sides.

Vintage Ripple Scarf on JanMadeIt.wordpress.com

I used Peaches and Cream Pop, a combination of peach, pink and cream colors. I’ve purchased about 10 skeins of Sweet Roll, all in different colors. The challenge is finding a pattern that will show off all three colors.

Vintage Ripple Scarf on JanMadeIt.wordpress.com

I found some chevron patterned afghans which used this stitch but if you search for ripple stitch, you’ll come up with a lot of wavy patterned afghans. I think it’s a generic description for a variety of stitches. I found a Vintage Rippling Block which seems to match this particular stitch.

What do you think? Anyone else used this stitch for anything? And how about the Sweet Roll Yarn.  How are you using these yummy colors?


Not So Junky Jewelry

Saturday at the flea market I’d just finished hemming this coral jean skirt—it will be in my etsy shop, The Little Blue Trunk, later today—and I was making a flower out of the scraps. I wanted a button or bead to put in the center of it.


I wandered over to a friend’s space. Larry frequently buys estate sale leftovers and I knew he had about four tables filled with jewelry. I was hoping he had an orphaned earring or broken necklace of the right color and I could finagle a couple of beads from him. He’s a nice guy like that.

When I told him what I was after he pulled the leftover jewelry from under the table. As you can see, it’s a tangled mess and he said he wasn’t going to fool with it anymore.

Box of Jewelry on JanMadeIt.wordpress.com

I didn’t see exactly what I was looking for but I wanted to prowl through it some more so I asked what he wanted for all of it.

He shrugged.

He’d already made over $100 on the jewelry he had out and there was plenty left. I wasn’t surprised. He had it priced at 50 cents for earrings and bracelets and $1 or $2 for necklaces. Such a bargain.

“What ‘dya give me for it?” he asked.

I said I only had $4. It was obviously worth more than that, but he was tired of sorting jewelry so I was delighted when he said, “Bring me the four dollars and it’s yours.”

I’m still untangling, but I will start taking pictures as soon as I publish this and plan to have a “Vintage Jewelry” section in my Little Blue Trunk by tomorrow.

It will be September before the Flea Market is back in business, but in the meantime, I’ll be busy sewing and sorting and listing and selling online.

Follow me on facebook, and favorite my etsy store, so you can see what I find.

What are you looking for?


Really Cute Rescued and Recycled Sun Hats

I LOVE hats. I wear a hat every opportunity I get. I always wore an Easter bonnet on Easter Sunday, usually made over to match my Easter dress and new patent leather shoes.

I found a perfectly good straw sun hat recently and it had a slash across the crown. It hadn’t been worn so the slash was invisible, but would fray if it wasn’t repaired or patched. It was the perfect opportunity to experiment.

Rescued Sun Hat by Jan on JanMadeIt

What do you think?


How about that cute little flower?

Rescued Sun Hat by Jan on JanMadeIt

I braided some bright variegated cord to tie around the crown and used the same for a chin strap.


How about hot pink and turquoise?


Wish I could wear one everyday, but it’s been cold(ish) and cloudy, so they’re a little out-of-place right now.


What about this lavender straw hat?


This was a boring little hat, kind of a flat-topped boater style. The crown was caved in, and the straw was kind of limp. When I painted it the crown perked up and it became much less floppy.


I picked the color to match the vintage cotton I came across in my stash. After I cut out those little bouquets, I had some curvy edges left on the main piece of fabric. Instead of wasting a scallop, I cut the curves into sections, gathered them into “petals” and stitched them along the hat band. Twisted fabric rosettes covered the raw edges.


I glued a fabric band around the brim for several reasons.

  1. Comfort. A piece of fabric is more wearable than scratchy straw.
  2. To absorb sweat.
  3. To attach the chin strap. I originally thought I’d use grommets, but it’s practically impossible to do that one-handed. (That’s a totally ‘nother story I’ll share later.)

The additional fabric bouquets hide—and secure—the thread used to attach the hat band and flowers on the brim.

All of the hats have ribbon or fabric inside the brim, and a chin lanyard. Practically a requirement in forever-windy Oklahoma.

I have more rescued hats in the works. A cute little white bucket hat (yes, that’s the name of a hat) with a black and yellow daisy makeover; an “up-brim” sun hat going from dull dark straw to a lively garden green; and a hot pink straw cowboy hat, which will feature a hot pink snake-skin adornment on the crown… any idea how hard it is to find hot pink snakes? …

I’ll take some measurements and list these in my etsy shop. I’ll update this post with a shopping link when I get them online. Be sure you’re a subscriber so you won’t miss what’s coming next!




Crushed Velvet Headbands From Fabric Scraps

After I finished updating a lampshade (I’ll post about that soon) I had leftover strips of dark red crushed velvet and this is what I did with that little pile of scraps.

Crushed Velvet Headbands on JanMadeIt

I’ve been snagging plastic headbands for pennies apiece at garage sales over the past year and finally upcycled a few of them. The dark red with creamy white buttons and beads will fun to wear as the holidays approach.

Crushed Velvet Headbands on JanMadeIt

To make one of these you’ll need

  • A plastic headband, any shape.
  • Torn fabric strips, about an inch wide.
  • Buttons, beads or baubles.
  • Thread. I used cotton pearl embroidery thread #5. The shiny finish will slide through the fabric with few knots and it’s heavy enough you won’t have to worry about broken threads.

Note: Tearing the fabric into strips makes a neater edge than cutting it. After you pull out a few threads on each side there will be a small tidy fringe that won’t be shedding strings all over the place.

Crushed Velvet Headbands on JanMadeIt

I wrapped the fabric around the starting “tail” to hide it. I continued wrapping on a slight diagonal to the other end of the headband where I hand-stitched the loose ends to finish it off. After you wrap the headband and make your flower, try it on to position the flower. A small single item looks best on the side. You might want it at the part in your hair, or maybe down further to sit above your ear.

Crushed Velvet Headbands on JanMadeIt

To make the flowers and other doo-dahs, I basted a line of stitching down the center or along the edge of the fabric. At the ends, fold the raw edge back to create a point. When you attach it to the headband you can use these points as part of the design or tack them out of sight.

Crushed Velvet Headbands on JanMadeIt

After basting about an inch, pull the thread to gather it up and made a little back-stitch (not shown) to secure it. A center stitching line will make a caterpillar shape, or stitch along the edge to make a flower.

Crushed Velvet Headbands on JanMadeIt

To make this little gizmo, I stitched down the center of a strip about 12 inches long. When it was gathered from end to end it was about five inches long. I tacked it to the headband creating little “S” curves along the way compressing it down to about three inches. Then I embellished it with groups of glass beads to make it look like a cluster of small flowers.

Crushed Velvet Headbands on JanMadeIt

I made this little flower by stitching along the edge of the fabric. As the fabric gathers on one side it naturally turns into a circle and it’s easy to tack it into place. I used a single layer and topped it with a 60s era earring. I only had one, so I removed the earring back and stitched it into place.

Crushed Velvet Headbands on JanMadeIt

I used a broken necklace with Wilma Flintstone irregular shaped pearly beads for another.

Crushed Velvet Headbands on JanMadeIt

More glass beads decorate another scrunched up caterpillar shape.

Crushed Velvet Headbands on JanMadeIt

When I made a poufy flower with several layers I used a simple vintage button.

Crushed Velvet Headbands on JanMadeIt

You can make these out of any fabric, but the crushed velvet was very forgiving and easy to work with. The crumpled surface and exact color match with the thread makes the stitches disappear. If you don’t have any crushed velvet on hand, it’s not expensive and you’ll only need a few inches. Find a remnant if you can.

After you get started, you’ll come up with all sorts of things you can use to make a headband special.

What do you think? What are your ideas for something special?


Vinyl Variations of a Tote

I happened to come across a boatload of vinyl posters last weekend and couldn’t wait to make something else out of them.

I’ve made about two dozen different bags so far. I’m just beginning to visualize the extras: pockets inside and out, loops for key chains, long and short straps, really huge and very tiny, fleece lined, zippers, more comfortable shoulder straps…

Vinyl Variatons of a Tote Bag

Vinyl is super easy to cut and sew.

And it makes them perfect for summer outings. Take two to the pool,  lake or beach; one to keep things dry and the other for wet suits and towels on the way home.

Vinyl Variatons of a Tote Bag

I started making huge bags, using the size of banner as a starting point.

Vinyl Variatons of a Tote Bag

Then I utilized the scraps into small bags. This little one is made out of a tall “D” shaped scrap and closed with a bit of Velcro under the button.

Vinyl Variatons of a Tote Bag

Here’s a similar style with an outside pocket for a cell phone again with the button for decoration applied over the Velcro tab closure.

Vinyl Variatons of a Tote Bag

This large tote is similar to a messenger bag.

Vinyl Variatons of a Tote Bag

This huge bag, made of scraps from another bag, is the perfect size to hold my Mac laptop and is roomy enough for the mouse and power cord as well.

Vinyl Variatons of a Tote Bag

This smaller flat bag is about the size to hold a Kindle, iPad, Nook or other similar product. It’s open at the top with a Velcro tab closure.

Vinyl Variatons of a Tote Bag

This boxy tote is about the size of a vinyl lunch box. It’s open at the top. Stock it with drinks and snacks for the kiddos for easy access. Other versions will have tabs or flaps for privacy if you want to use it as a purse or camera bag.

Come check them out at Main Street Memorables in Norman, Oklahoma. Prices range up and down from around $20 depending on the size and the extras.

What are your ideas for these durable bags? How would you and your family use them?


Just Peachy Grannie Scarf

If you’re one of those who enjoys a nice warm wrap around the neck when the cold winds blow you might be interested in this crocheted winter scarf.

I made a batch of these brick-shaped grannie squares some time back intending to make an afghan. I never quite settled on how I wanted to put them together so they’ve been languishing in a plastic bin for awhile. Last week I decided to do something about it and put the two peachy shades together to come up with this cozy scarf.

If you like this you can grab it at MerryBelle’s on Main Street here in Norman. MerryBelle’s is at 230 East Main. As you drive east down Main street start looking for a parking spot on the south side of the street as soon as you pass Arvest Bank on the corner. MerryBelle’s is at the east end of the block.

I have more blocks in a couple of shades of teal, sunshine yellow and fire engine red. I’ll mix and match those into at least one more scarf.

I didn’t think to measure this before I dropped it off, but it’s about 10ish inches wide and with 6 blocks used it’s at least 60 inches long. Even though it has an open weave with the grannie stitch, it’s plenty warm. The width makes it scrunch up around your neck providing extra warmth.

After the Flea Market

Early Saturday morning I sold some fleece pins for lovely Lydia to wear. She’s eight months old and her mom slides hair clips through a loop on a narrow stretchy headband. In spite of the heat (it was headed to 100° plus again) she was drawn to my fleece pins and picked out these.

Fleece Pins/Hair Clips

I clipped the pins off the back of them and replaced them with hair clips. It will eventually be cold again and these will look darling with  sweaters, coats, fluffy scarves and hats.

Fleece Hair Clips

I love these little primitive cats and one shopper was specifically taken with this one for her daughter.

Chanel Cat

She said the peach plaid paired with the gold-rimmed buttons brought Chanel to mind and that is what she would name the cat. She also suggested designer names for the other primitive cats in the baskets: Levi Cat is recycled jeans with red stitching; Bill Blass is made of fabric from one of my grandpa’s suits; Betty Crocker Cat is a red print from mid-century vintage kitchen curtains; Kathy Ireland Cat came from a litter of upholstery fabric.

During the brainstorming between us we got a flash of inspiration and decided I should make some bridal cats with names related to Kate Middleton’s wedding dress designed by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen. One of my fellow vendors usually has a wedding dress or two, so I traded a few of my flower hair clips for one of her wedding dresses. I can’t wait to make some of these. Cute little kitty veils, maybe a bridal fascinator.

I’ll have a litter of bridal kitties ready by the next flea market and post a tutorial once I figure out the best way to stuff net and lace. I have an idea, but will make sure it works before I share the details.

Fleece iPhone Caddy

My sister-in-law had a special request after she saw some of my fleece work on Christmas.  She needs a caddy for her iPhone. The phone is larger than her previous model and doesn’t fit in the previous crocheted pouch she used. Here’s what I came up with.

iPhone Caddy

The dimensions are about 5 1/2 x 4 inches with a flap about 1 1/2 inches deep. An elastic loop fastens the button to close the bag.  The gray patch pocket is 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 and will hold a few dollars, credit cards or your driver’s license.

iPhone Caddy

It’s a little larger than the actual size of an iPhone, so it’s easy to use even if you have your phone in one of those rubberish protective sleeves. You can also use it with smaller phones of course. My Razr fits in the pocket on the front. You can also use it for an iPod or other MP3 player.

This one has a crocheted fleece strap that’s about 25″ long. It hangs about mid-chest if you wear it around your neck. I can also make it with clips to hang on a belt loop or attach to your purse.

Coming soon, browns, animal prints, pastels… Anybody need a Kindle cover?


Size Two Denim Shorts Purse


I’ve wanted to make a purse like this for sometime but just now got around to it. It really is as easy as I thought it would be. It took a couple of hours from start to finish.

I made this one out of a functional pair of lightweight denim shorts my son wore when he was about two years old. I think I got these at a garage sale.

At the very least they were hand-me-downs.

The belt is also a headband, and the flower is a pin that’s removable so you can use it other places.

Denim Shorts Purse
This cute denim purse is made from a pair of denim shorts, size 2.

The bag is lined with cotton and I included interior pockets.


Denim Purse Lining
Pockets on both sides of the purse are divided to hold a variety of items.

The bright stripe seems to suit. The interior pockets are pleated and sectioned to fit phone, camera, business cards, lipstick, pens, pencils…and other things you hate to lose in the bottom of your bag. The bag closes with a large metal snap.

Denim Shorts PurseNo back pockets on this pair of shorts.

Don’t forget the “belt” is also a wire headband. This comfortable band can be shaped to twist around your head without squeezing your brains out. You can put the pin on the headband, wear it on your shirt, or leave it on the bag.

Denim Shorts Purse
Doncha just love it! It’s small enough for a preteen, but roomy enough for an adult who needs a small bag for a casual event. Perfect to carry to an arts festival, state fair or football game.

Of course it’s one of a kind, but I have more denim shorts and jeans I can use for similar items. Stay tuned!


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