Thursday, February 17, 2011

Making the Daphne Book - Part 1

Man, can I just say again how fun this quiet book was to make?! Seriously fun. I guess I don't make things just for fun much anymore... getting into the zone of all the drawing, cutting, tracing, sewing. Figuring out stuff. It was very meditative, relaxing. I worked on this project for over 50 hrs, nearly every day for a month. And every time I got going, it was hard to stop. I needed that. It really got my happy artgirl juices flowing. Plus, who can beat this first birthday present? Nobody, that's who. It's all part of my plan for awesome auntie domination.
I shared pics of The Daphne Book, and now I'd like to share a little about my process. Let's start with the materials... 

Felt or Fabric or Both? After looking at many quiet books around the net, I decided using all fabric was the way to go for me. Certainly, felt is cheaper, easier to work with and could have saved me some headaches. But I just like the look of all fabric, and I wanted to go the old fashioned way. Totally a personal choice. Now, if I had a good stash of fabric or felt or whatever, I would have gone with what I had. What I did was go to the fabric store and buy remnants in every color (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, brown, natural). I ended up with an interesting mix of satins, flat weaves, flannels and nylon. The variety is great for this project, many different textures for baby. Most were solid colored, except for the red gingham and blues. I like the way the prints broke up the solids and added a little more fun.

Fusible Web - I bought a 5-sheet package of this stuff that is sticky on one side, so it sticks to the fabric while you're positioning it for fusing. It's stuck to a paper backing to start with, so tracing and cutting is a breeze. There are so many good products out there for quilters now! I also had a roll of fusible web tape, which was handy for smaller bits.

Fusible Interfacing - I had some scraps in my sewing box and that more than covered what I needed. I really only used it a few times for pockets.

Thin Batting - I went cheap on this too, going with what I had in my stash... a giant piece of polar fleece. Who knows where I got this?! It's maybe first generation polar fleece and very weird stuff. Anyway, I did like that it was not very lofty, plentiful and also free. It gave extra stiffness to removable parts and a little dimension here and there. I also lined all the pages with it. If the batting was too thick, I thought it could be hard to work with or the book too puffy.

Fasteners - Part of the idea of the book is to learn to use different fasteners, or to be able to match things together using some kind of fastener. I used velcro, snaps, zipper, buttons... all of which I had in the sewing box. I wanted to use magnets too, but had a hard time finding some that worked for me. 

Trims - I had a bunch of leftover ribbon from my wedding, and a decent pile of random yarns and trims. You really don't need much.

Thread - I bought a big bargain spool each of black and white thread. I was able to use them for most of the sewing. I used a few other colors from what I had on hand as well.

Other tools - For designing, making and tracing pattern pieces, etc... I used a sketch book, scanner/printer, pencil, ballpoint pen, ruler, paper scissors, fabric scissors, fabric pen.

Okay, on with the process... I didn't take many pics of the making, but I used the same process for all the pages. Let's see if I can turn them into a step-by-step in Part 2

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