Macaron Measuring Tape

I needed a mental break after making the clergy robe.  The macaron measuring tape idea that was floating in my head for a while was just the simple project that I needed.  I cracked open a craft book I had purchased while in France on vacation which had a cross stitch pattern for a macaron measuring tape.  After translating it, it turns out the instructions were pretty sketchy and lacking many details.  So I set off to figure it out myself.

Macaron Measuring Tape

 

Selecting the Measuring Tape

I ruled out measuring tapes that were too expensive, cheaply made or weren’t the circular shape I was looking for.  Beware of cheapy ones, many of them are nylon and don’t have the fiberglass to help prevent stretching.  After a bit of searching I found a German company, Haechstmass, which specialized in measuring tapes.  Sold!  I bought a few a small quantity.

Measuring TapesMaterials

  • 4” x 7” fabric
  • 6” of 3/8” grosgrain ribbon
  • Peel n Stick
  • 5” x 7” batting
  • Round measuring tape
  • Seed beads (optional)

Supplies

Making the Macaron Filling

The filling only took a couple of tries to figure out.  I ended up settling on 3/8” grosgrain ribbon because it was the perfect width without too much effort, unlike the attempts with the fabric.  Grosgrain also comes in a large number of color and prints.

To make the filling:

  • Cut 5 7/8”  of 3/8” wide grosgrain ribbon.  Seal ends with liquid stitch.
  • Cut a strip of Peel n Stick ¼” wide by 5 7/8” long.  Attached the Peel n Stick strip along the middle of back side of ribbon.  Leaving the edges sticky-free allows you to sew into the ribbon a lot easier. I learned this the hard way.
  • Remove Peel n Stick backing and attached to side of measuring tape

Filling Steps

 

Making The Meringue

What gives the macaron’s visible cues is a flat, cylinder-like shape.  Macaron coin purses use a button form to create this shape.  Since I need the meringue to be soft in order to retract the tape measure, I couldn’t use this same technique.

To make the meringue:

  • Cut two 3” circles of meringue fabric
  • Cut six 2” circles of batting
  • Sew gathering stitch at a ¼” seam allowance by machine or by hand.
  • Gather using the measuring tape as a guide.  Pull threads to the inside.

meringue steps

  • Stuff fabric circle with batting.
  • Ladder stitch fabric circle to edge of ribbon. Repeat for other half.

meringue steps 2

Making the Meringue Feets (optional)

Though I like the macaron measuring tape at this stage, it was missing something.  It was also looking hamburger like.  (Note to self:  Future idea.. hamburger measuring tape)  One issues was that the cookie wasn’t the right 2:1 ratio to the filling.  I tried several different attempts to make the meringue part taller but couldn’t make it taller and retain the right shape.  What was also missing was that airy bottom edge of the meringue cookie called the feet.  Adding the beaded meringue feets killed two birds with one stone.

To make the meringue feet:

  • Slow method:  hand sew on Miyuki seed beads along the bottom edge of the meringue/top edge of filling.
  • Fast method:  glue on seed beads using hot glue or Jewel –It glue.  I haven’t tried this myself so test first on scraps before you ruin all your hard work.

Meringue Feet

Feet or No Feet?

So which version do you like, feet or no feet?  I love them both.  They’re so colorful and fun, I can image myself having a nice box full of these in different “flavor” combinations.

Finished macaron

Happy measuring,

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Last Minute Gift Sewing: Flower Scarf

Flower Scarf

Anyone else sewing last minute gifts?  It seems like I only find time to sew gifts is in the middle of the night, when the fabric store is closed and I can barely focus.  So I went rummaging through my stash and my cluttered mind for something easy to make with supplies I have on hand.  I decided on this flower scarf which I had seen in a pattern and in RTW.

 

Supplies

Supplies

Drafting the pattern

Drafting the flower pattern was a little bit of a mystery.  I tried 2 other drafts using math, angles and other confusing things.  My mind just doesn’t work well with numbers late at night.  Drawing it on paper made everything really clear.  To draft the pattern you start with four squares that are 3” by 3”.  Then you draw four 3” circles.  After that you draw two diagonal lines from corner to corner.  Then you draw four more circles along the diagonal.  Lastly you draw 2 more lines from the center to where the outer most point where the circles overlap to make your stitching templates.  See red outline below. Drafting PatternThe 8 circles will be the final size of your flower.  If you want it larger or smaller you adjust the size of the square and circle.  If you like it as I’ve drafted it, you’re in luck.  You can just download my pattern.

Flower Scarf Letter download button

Flower Scarf A5 download button

Cutting the pattern

The pattern is just a circle.  Each flower takes 8 circles.  The pattern takes 10 flowers to make a 48” scarf.  I made 9 flowers because that’s all the fabric I had.  I used what should have been the sleeves of my Victory Pattern Lola dress had I bought enough fabric.  The fabric was just too beautiful to waste and is the perfect fabric for this scarf.  To eek out enough circles, I chalked the circle pattern nesting them like biscuits and cut them using scissors.  I have a circle cutter but the fabric was too soft and didn’t stay in place as I was cutting.

Circles

 Slow sewing the flower method

Step 1:  Place 2 circles wrong sides together and sew together using the edge of stitching template 1 as a guide.

Step 2:  Open up the 2 circles and fold the top flap to the left side.  Place another circle piece underneath, again wrong sides together.  Use stitching guide 2 and sew along the edge of the template.

Step 3:  Repeat step 2 for the rest of the 5 circles for 8 circles total.  You’ll sew circle #1 to circle #8 to complete the flower.

StitchingFinished flower

Speed sewing method

For those who want to sew quicker you can sew like the factories and sew pieces continuously.  By that I mean that you sew one piece after another without taking it out of the machine.  This way you save time and thread.

Step 1: same as Slow Sewing step 1 above.  But instead of taking the piece off the machine, you leave a tiny bit of thread in between and sewing circle #1 to #2 for all ten of the flowers.  Clip the threads tails.

Speed sewing 1

Step 2: same as Slow Sewing step 2.  Again you leave a small piece of thread and sew circle #2 and circle #3 for all ten of the flowers.

Step 3:  repeat sewing circle #3 to #4 x 10, #4 to #5 x 10 etc until you get all 8 circles sewn.  You will need to leave more thread between the sets as the flowers get bigger.

Serious ProductionFinished flowers

Sewing the scarf

The last step is to sew the 10 flowers together to make the scarf.  To do this, place flowers wrong (flat) side together and sew across the outer corner of one of the petals.

Sew flowers together

You can sew these end to end or staggered like I did.

StaggeredAs I’m writing these instructions it seems more complicated than it really is.  You’re cutting a bunch of circles and sewing them together.  It’s pretty mindless as long as you keep the sets of flower pieces organized.  You can make it more complicated by having the flowers in different fabrics or having different fabrics within a flower.  Make it more complicated at your own risk.  I’ll just stick with one fabric.

Now, how do I tie this thing?

Now, how do I tie this thing?

 Happy (holiday) sewing,

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