Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Flex Frame Update

I was way up early this morning (4 AM) and was working on my 'flex frame' pockets.
The thought hit me ( don't you just love early morning revelations)that if I used a thinner fabric where the frame actually is, it might just open easier.
(You may remember I showed you the two coin purses I had made using the 3.5 inch flex frames, that were  a little hard to open .)  Thinner fabrics are the key. I took a needle felted base, cut it down to size, added a lining to it, then folded the tops down, sewed it together, and pushed the frame in place.
Of coarse it wasn't that easy, the pin that is used to hold the frame in place got stuck about half way in.
Anatomy of a flex frame pin (Pic.A)
assorted flex frame pins and cotter pins (pic.A)
is this: made of brass, it is slightly larger then the base it goes into, and has a crosshatch pattern about mid way through ( I suppose to help grip the edges and hold together better), the thing is; once you start to set the piece, and it's going in you CANNOT back it back out to start over. I pushed on it, I pulled on it, I pushed , and pushed and finally SNAP it went into place. Yahoo!
You can choose to use hardware store cotter pins instead of the brass or zinc that came with them , or if you loose one, just remember to take one with you to get the correct size and that you will have to trim it with bolt or wire cutters. An advantage to using the cotter pin is you have a nice little handle joint at the top, great for wristlets, backpack pulls etc.
I guess I should mention that on this project I did use a 4.5 frame instead of a 3.5 (pic.B)  , on the smaller one I added a wool sleeve onto the pocket, whereas on the larger one the lining made up the frame sleeve.
4.5 and 3.5  pockets with flex frame (pic.B)
Thinking on it, also made me realize that the longer length may have helped on the opening and closing of it too.

See how easy it opened, and Yes, that is metallic thread, pretty huh?
Tricky as it may be I love metallic thread. I didn't use it on this project but at the end of this post I'll show you one I did.
Almost finished, still have to sew the sided, which I will hand sew with  #8 Perle thread.
If your not familiar with Perle thread it is a heavier hand embroidery thread that the strands are wound together so that you do not separate to use. It comes in various thicknesses, I like the #8 use all the time & #10 (which is harder to find) DMC makes a great selection of colors. If you can't find it, craft embroidery thread like for friendship bracelets works well too.

As promised here is a needle felted piece that I used metallic thread on, it was a Madeira Gold variegated.
The piece here on the right shows the metallic thread on a flat surface, you can make out the color and a little sparkle.
This one shows the entire piece , you get the depth but because i used it on a needle felted piece with heavy roving, you loose the thread, with only a glimmer of flash. The top picture and this one are on the same piece. I will often use both regular rayon thread and metallic on my pieces. If you free motion stitch you can really create some interesting designs. The key is to go at a medium speed and not to pull on your fabric, just let it glide under your fingers. With time and practice just about any effect can be created.

One more Flex frame purse finished this afternoon.
(5 PM)
You'll notice it was the same piece I was going to use a sew on kiss frame with, that didn't happen as I couldn't get it to match up and look nice. I salvaged it and made this instead. The lining is a opalescent teal faux satin that changes color when light hits it.
It came out kind of cute. Unlike the previous brown one above, this one was a lot tighter in the sleeve & has a better closure to the frame.

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