Thursday, 24 April 2008

Fat Quarter Friday - Toe Separators

The other week, when the sun was shining and it was quite warm I decided, upon getting my sandals out of winter storage, that my toe-nails were not fit for public consumption and needed a severe revamp. Rather than use kitchen towel or loo roll scrunched into a sausage to separate my toes when painting them, I thought it might be quite nice to make a fabric pair. So after some days of musing I came up with these which are much prettier than tissue and much more comfortable than the type you can buy which look a bit like neon foam knuckledusters. I also think that if you put them together with some other girly bits and bobs, they might make a jolly nice present, so I am going to be doing just that!

You can find an easy print PDF file for this tutorial here .

What you need for one pair (a fat quarter will do several pairs) is:

2 pieces of fabric 3 inches x 12 inches
2 pieces of fairly lofty wadding 2 inches x 10 inches
(use what you have - you are aiming for a softish "sausage" about 1cm in diameter)

Iron down a 1cm hem on each side of the strips - don't worry about the ends.

Place your wadding along the centre of the fabric strip, and bring each side together, folding the wadding in half, and pinning securely so that you end up with a softish sausage about 1cm wide.

Sew a seam to hold this sausage in place securely - i used my zipper foot for this. You want an evenly shaped sausage, but dont' worry if the edges aren't tidy.

Now you have a secure sausage, you can choose a nice ornamental satin stitch to finish with. You might want to mark the finished length of each sausage with pins before you sew the next bit. Mine are 11 inches.

The sausage isn't very thick or firm, so your machine foot will be able to rest on it while you sew your nice edging. I used a scalloped edge which I tapered off at a diagonal at each end of the sausage.

When your satin stitched edge is in place, you can cut off the surplus fabric and the toe separators are ready to use!

So to give yourself a good toe polish which will last a month, follow the steps below - trust me, I'm a beautician:

1. First of all, keep all toe nail beauty tools separate from your finger nail tools - particularly nail files. Otherwise you risk spreading fungal diseases.
2. Clean all old nail polish off the nail plate with nail polish remover.
3. Trim the nails by cutting with a nail trimmer (pictured), straight accross. Do not shape them.
4. File the toenails, straight across to remove any snags. You can round off sharp corners but leave them as straight as possible.
5. Push cuticles down gently with an orange stick (this is easier after a bath/foot soak)
6. Buff the nail plate very lightly and gently with a buffer - paying particular attention to the base of the nail plate - this will slough off all that annoying skin which sticks to the nail and give the polish a good key. This and step 8 is the secret to long lasting polish.
7. Now insert your toe separators as in the picture.
8. Go over the nail plate again with nail polish remover to remove surplus dust and grease - when the nail is ready it will squeak - like when you know your hair is clean.
9. Prime the nails with a base coat, follow with 2 coats of your colour, then a top coat. Let each coat dry before applying the next.
10. Put your feet up for at least 15 mins, then wear flip flops or bare feet for as long as possible afterwards in order to ensure a hard finish. I always do mine in the evening before relaxing and before bath and bed time.


Lesley said...

Great idea!!! It's almost time for me to get my feet out and I hate the scrunched up tissue between the toes thing!
I can really see these as cool presents for my teenage nieces :)


kerri said...

This is an awesome idea! I hate to admit when I first read the title of the post, I read Tote Separators.

I love the decorative stitching on the edge.

ok I'm going to get more coffee, need to wake up obviously.

. said...

Thank you both for the separators and the painting instructions - I'm planning to attack my poor feet this weekend and will bear your tips in mind!

Marmadaisy said...

My feet are a disgrace, mainly because I hate feet! Anyway, these are brill I'm going to make me some. They'd be fab in a little pouch with some clippers and polish.

Kathi D said...

What a cute and timely idea!

Tracy said...

That is a very cute idea! Now I know what to do with the those lingering bits of fabric...Great for gifts! :o)

Ursula said...

What a lovely idea - much better than rolled up loo roll, which always breaks when i try to do it.
I shall save this and make a few for my neices stockings

TattingChic said...

Oh my GOSH...those are the CHIC-est toe-separators I've ever seen! Not to mention they are probably very soft and comfy.

Junie Moon said...

This is a wonderful tutorial and so much better than the store kind. I am going to make some of these for the women in my family. What a great treat--thank you so much for sharing this brilliant idea.

Junie Moon said...

I just wanted to add another comment that I did indeed try your fun tutorial and posted about it on my blog today. Thank you again for your generosity in sharing your wonderful ideas.

Ginger said...

Your great sharing this with us all you rock!I needed one of this this week yup making me some thank you so much sewing machine set up now. Hugs Thank you! come see me

Anonymous said...

Brilliant Tutorial! I wasted no time in making some toe separators for my pink piggies! However, I made mine by sewing machine since I married my Aussie husband and moved to Queensland. I don't mind, though. It is relaxing to work with my hands. I made these in two days. Most of the time I was entering the Bloggy Giveaways found here:

I posted about your tutorial, including a photo of my toe separators:

Thanks for the tutorial!


Anonymous said...