8 Oct 2009

Pinwheel bobby pin tutorial

Pinwheel bobby pin tutorial

My little pinwheel hair clips are based on those lovely pinwheels you played with as a child or maybe you have made them sometime and blown into them to make the sail whizz around.
These little ones don't move but they do look very pretty and are another great way to use up all those little scraps of fabric that any project leaves.
You could make a set of two or three to match any outfit you make for your little one.
Mostly the materials you need are right there in your home already.

Here's what you need:

* some scraps of fabric a little larger than you will need for the pinwheel, about 4.5cmsquare.

* a piece of templastic or cardboard cut into a 4.5cm square ( or you can just draw a square onto the paper side of the interfacing)

* double sided iron on interfacing such as vlisofix

* a pencil

* scissors

* needle and thread

* two hole button, a shirt button is ideal or you can use a fancy button

* bobby pins.

So, cut out your square template and then trace the square onto the paper side of the interfacing.
If you are going to make a whole batch of pinwheel hair pins then it is easier to have a template and trace off as many as you are going to make.

Iron the interfacing onto the wrong side of one of your scraps of fabric.

Cut out the square of fabric and interfacing

Peel of the paper backing and iron the square of fabric onto the other scrap.
I usually press lightly to " tack" the fabric in place then turn the fabric over and give it a good long press on the other side.

Now cut out your double sided fabric square,
cutting about 0.5cm in from the edge of the original square.

This helps to make sure that the edges of your final square are well adhered.

Now mark the centre of the square with a pin.
You can just eye ball it or measure, whatever suits your personality.
You are now going to cut from each corner towards the centre of the square stopping about 1 cm from the centre.

The original pinwheels that I made for the fair have started to fray a little along these diagonal cut edges so you might want to just lightly paint the edges with something like Stop Fray or a similar product.
You could even use some watered down white craft glue or clear nail polish in a pinch or not bother because you just want to get to the end.

Now you need your needle and thread.
Make a big knot in the thread, I use a single thread.

Pass the needle through the centre of the square.

Now you want to put the needle through one corner of each triangle at each corner of the square.
I have marked them with a black spot so that you can visualise it better.

Your needle goes from the blue fabric side through to the red fabric side

and you are collecting the four triangle points into the centre of the square.
Believe me, it's easier to do than to explain

You now have the basic pinwheel shape.
If yours doesn't look like this just slip the needle off the thread and undo your work and try again.
Once you get the hang of it , it is easy peasy.

When you have all the points in the right position pass the needle through to the back of your work.

I like to go in and out from front to back three times to secure the triangle corners in the middle of the pinwheel.
Three is the magic sewing number you know.

Once you feel that the pinwheel shape is secure stitch the button into the centre.
This covers up your stitching and makes everything look properly finished. You can also add an extra element of colour here too.
I used white shirt buttons because I have so many and I was making a couple dozen hair pins - it was just easier.

At this stage you have something pretty that you could use to decorate all sorts of things not just bobby pins.

You are probably also thinking about brooches and hair bands.
They would look cute glued onto a journal cover or a dolly's suitcase.
Go for it.

To make your decorated bobby pin though you just have a couple more things to do.
I stitched the pin in place by stitching through the end of the bobby pin three times ( the magic number)

Then I wound the thread around between the pin wheel and the bobby pin three times the way you do when you are putting a button on and the fabric is thick.
Then I stitched into the back of the pinwheel three times over and over to secure the thread and snipped.

All done except for one extra bit of finessing.
I put a small blob of quick dry craft glue over the stitching so that the pinwheel couldn't slide up and down the bobby pin.

And here it is all finished.

Once you get going they only take five or ten minutes to make and they look so pretty.