Tag Archives: quick embroidery

Felt Butterflies

Hello Dear Readers,

It really has been years since I last posted and I’ve been feeling the blogging itch recently. I am determined to begin my sharing again!

I had been super busy working at my school in Berlin and so have not had the space to share my creations of the last years; there have been so many creations, so I may from time to time introduce a previous project to you.

Today I would like to share a spring/Easter project I completed just yesterday: a felt, embroidered butterfly. I saw something similar in a children’s nature-toys catalog and had to try make one. Miss K also made one herself! (She can now confidently thread her own needle at 4 years old, which makes my hands more useful for my own projects.)

If you would like to make one, I have included instructions and a pattern below. Happy sewing!

IMG_3548

You will need:

– coloured felt sheets

– coloured thread

– a needle

– pattern (printed and cut out)

Felt Butterfly Pattern

Instructions:

1. Once you have cut out the pieces of felt in the colours you have chosen (4 pieces: 1x big wings, 1x small wings, 2x body) place pieces together and baste-stitch the body together.

IMG_3544

Haphazard blue basting-stitch on yellow body-part.

2. Blanket stitch around the body (you may need to do this on each side respectively around the wing-area).

3. Embroider the wings as desired. I used detached chain stitch to make the antennae as well.

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Quick sashiko cloth basket

Every now and then my dear husband comes to me with a very serious problem… there is a hole in the crutch of his jeans. This usually comes with a side comment that he was hoping to wear them the next day. I usually tell him to deposit them into the mending box, from which very few things return, though surprisingly they are often the only things that actually come out. This actually has nothing to do with how much I love him and much more to do with the fact that mending jeans reminds me of sashiko. Needless to say I have been known to eye off said jeans for months until they just get too worn to mend anymore. Poor jeans, poor husband, happy Mrs Winter.

Stitch detail - sashiko on old jeans

Stitch detail – sashiko on old jeans

I was particularly happy to finally get a pair of grey jeans from him, where the inside is much darker than the stone-washed outside. I started stitching the front of one leg many months ago with no real idea of what it might become; then a few days ago I looked at it and it came to me, I wanted to make a cloth basket. I have seen them around made of canvas in neutral, gold and bright colours and I had been thinking how much I’d love to make one.

There are many tips, designs and tutorials online on how to do sashiko from what I can gather, so I’m not covering that here. Below is a tutorial for the basket itself. It is quite large, perfect for a medium sized knitting wool collection or a small bin. The best fabrics to use are stiff and fairly thick. This was so quick to make and I really look forward to making more.

Large cloth basket tutorial

You will need:

pattern pieces

pattern pieces

80cm (30in) x 20cm (7.8 in) of feature fabric – this is the sashiko stitched jeans in my case
80cm (30in) x 12cm (4.7in) of hessian
one hessian circle with a 24cm (9.4in) diameter
one strong cotton (calico/canvas) circle, also 24cm (9.4in) in diameter

Instructions:

1. Finish off all the edges of the hessian rectangle piece. Finish off the edges of the hessian circle by zig-zaging or overlocking (surging) together with the strong cotton circle.

finishing off edges of hessian fabrics - circle detail

Cloth basket tutorial – finishing off edges of hessian fabrics – circle detail

2. Pin the hessian and feature rectangle pieces together at the desired edge and sew together

Sewing together the hessian and feature rectangle pieces

Sewing together the hessian and feature rectangle pieces

3. Fold this out and refold lengthwise, right sides together. Sew together side seam

sewing side seam

sewing side seam

4. Cut excess material from this side seam

Cloth basket tutorial - cutting off excess material from side seam

Cloth basket tutorial – cutting off excess material from side seam

5. Turn right side out and sew the same seam again (making a french seam)

stitching a french seam

stitching a french seam

6. Turn inside out and pin in circle piece to bottom edge.

(If you find the circle is too big, pin down half and hold the basket upright to see how big it should be. Mark this size, cut the new circle, finish this edge and pin this correctly sized circle to the bottom edge.)

Pin circle piece to the bottom edge

Pin circle piece to the bottom edge

7. Sew the circle to the feature piece using zig-zag for extra stiffness

8. Turn right side out and fold the lip down 1/3 and then 1/2 again. All done!

Folded down basket lip - here with a peg to keep lip and bin bag in place

Folded down basket lip – here with a peg to keep lip and bin bag in place

The lip does not stay in place so easily, but I really wanted the option of folding the edge of a bin bag into it so that rubbish doesn’t fall into the actual basket. I’ve used pegs to keep it in place. Did you solve this problem differently?