Saturday, 22 June 2013

Kimono Flower Folded Vintage Scarf Bag

This Kimono Flower origami influenced bag can be made from squares of textile or scarves.  It can be made from squares of any size, from a tiny jewellery pouch up to a lovely gathered handbag for a special occasion
Pin scarves right sides together (if one scarf is larger than the other, trim excess away after stitching) & seam round leaving approx. 15cm on the centre of one straight side unstitched for turning
Trim excess away close to seam allowing slightly wider edges along the gap to be stitched to ensure you have plenty to turn inside for neatness
Turn right sides out, press seams & handstitch opening to close; measure the side of the square as you will need this measurement later
With the design you want on the outside of your bag facing up, fold all four points into
the centre
Now move these points out slightly so that the folds leave a widened X shape, try to make the short sides of the shape to approx the same measurement as the gaps between the diagonal sides
Pin along the four longer outer edges; stitch a seam along these (1cm to 2cm wide depending on the overall size of your squares & the thickness of the cord or ribbon you will use for your ties); neaten threads
Fold each of the 4 centre points back to the seam line & fasten with 2 or 3 small stitches
 Cut two lengths of cord or ribbon, each twice the length of one side of your square

Pin a safety pin to one end of cord; using another safety pin, secure the other end of the cord at a corner; thread through all 4 channels & tie to the other end; repeat for second piece of cord starting at the opposite corner

Draw the threads so that the channels form a circle in the centre; push the outside textile through if necessary and the flower petals will form from the points
Decorate the ends of the cords with beads, fabric beads made from scraps of textile padded with wadding or small flowers


Vintage Style Bikini made from Vintage Scarves

This inspiration for this design is the bras made out of hankies in 30s and 40s needlecraft books
You will need a scarf minimum approx. 70cm square, or this would be great made from two contrasting scarves

You will need approx. 75cm of 2.5cm wide ribbon, plus any extra for trims and bows for the bra bust band;  approx. 2.5m of 6mm wide ribbon for the straps

For the bikini pants, you will need to draft a pattern.  Try Golden Hands magazines from the 1970s or home dressmaking books from the 1930s for a tap pant style.  Alternatively, photocopy a pair of bikini bottoms to draft your pattern.  I used the pattern from a 1950s bikini for these pants.

To make the bra top pattern, cut two triangles from a sheet of A3 paper by folding up one corner to make a square then folding diagonally in half – the straight edges of the pieces should be just under 30cm

Position and pin your pattern pieces on the scarf with the pants on the bias

Cut out pieces and stitch pants as directed in your pattern.  These pants have a small shirred elastic gathered section on each side which gives them a bit of extra "give".

For the bra, fold each triangular piece in half down the centre; make a centre dart which is 5cm high and 2.5cm wide, or gather the centre section to give the cup fullness

Now overlap the front corners by approx. 15cm – pin and adjust this overlap to fit and stitch close to raw edge along overlap to secure

Take the measurement under your bust, divide this by 2 and add 5cm – cut this length in 2.5cm wide ribbon

Fold over the raw ends of the ribbon by approx. 5mm and press gently; press the ribbon in half lengthwise; place the raw edges of the bra pieces along the centre fold and pin the ribbon; cut 2 x 45cm lengths of matching 6mm wide ribbon for the back ties; insert each tie into the end of the ribbon band; stitch close to the ribbon edge, making sure you secure both long edges of ribbon band and that you secure the narrow ribbon ties

Cut two x 65cm lengths of 6mm ribbon for the bra straps

Make a long loop in the shoulder ribbon (to slip over ties at back) approx. 28cm and stitch

Stitch both ribbon straps onto top corner of bra fronts; put side ribbons through the loops & tie in a bow on the back

Please note this bra does not offer much support so is only really suitable for sunbathing!!!


Bow Front Shrug Top from Vintage Scarves

This is a lovely shrug top which can be made from scarves in your vintage stash.  As always, NEVER cut up any valuable or rare scarves, and it is always worth making a test garment from pieces of scrap textile to ensure you get the right fit.
OK, you're sure?  Let's sew!
You will need two large square scarves, both same size give or take a couple of cm, good size approx. 70cm square; one long bias cut scarf for seam bindings (would always recommend testing position of armholes on a couple of pieces of scrap textile cut to the same size as your scarves to avoid making an error when cutting your precious vintage scarves!)

Lay one scarf on top of other, right sides together & pin along edges to secure them together

Stitch a 35cm seam on one side only from the bottom edge – this will join the two scarves & form the centre back seam of the shrug


Make a narrow oval pattern piece from paper (or a template from card) for the armholes

For a UK size 16 to 18, this will be 28cm long x 5cm wide in middle, but you may need to adjust this for smaller or larger sizes

To place the armhole pattern, put the centre back seam so it is on your left hand side: measure into the scarf to the right by 19cm from the top of the centre back seam for the top of the armhole; then angle the armhole piece from this top point so that the bottom is 24cm to the right of the centre seam

If you are using a card template, then draw round your template with tailor's chalk or a disappearing pen & secure both scarves with pins before cutting, as shown below

Pin the two scarves together around the armhole as you will be cutting both scarves together

Cut out armholes

Cut two long straight strips from a long bias scarf each 4cm wide (each at least 60cm long)

Fold the strips lengthwise wrong sides together & press

Starting at the bottom of the armhole, pin the bias trims around the armhole on the right side with raw edges together

Taper ends of strips so that raw edges are enclosed

Stitch around armhole approx. 7mm from raw edge

Trim seam allowances and press bias strip to inside of garment

Now topstitch around armhole approx. 7mm from edge

To wear – slip arms through armholes and tie top two corners in front of you in a large bow

To make a longer tunic top or beach cover up – stitch an extra scarf to the bottom edge of each of the scarves, matching centre seam

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Keep Calm & Carry Yarn 22 June 2013

Now I know my needlecraft projects are not strictly "yarn" based, but I will be participating in this Saturday's event at the National Centre for Craft & Design in Sleaford & showing some of my recycled vintage scarf projects.  My demos will be at 10.30, 12 midday and 1.30.  Hope to see you there!

Full details here National Centre for Craft & Design


Ruched Flouncy Shrug from Vintage Shawl for Prom Princesses Everywhere

I have been busy stitching away my vintage scarf projects for next Saturday's demos at the National Centre for Craft & Design. Amongst the many boxes (yes, hundreds if not thousands of scarves ...) are several pretty vintage floaty shawls and I wondered whether I could rework one into a shrug.

I was so pleased with how this turned out - it was quick, easy & pretty. I thought it might be useful to share with those of you who might be stitching away for prom princesses or bridesmaids this summer - it would be a lovely way to rework one of your own vintage shawls.

The vintage shawl I used measured 68cm x 170cm and was in a light floral chiffon.

I threaded the bobbin with shirring elastic and set the stitch to a medium length. First, I stitched two rows of shirring along each cuff end of the shawl, one 5cm in from end & the next 2cm in from there.

Then I stitched the under arm seams, starting at the second row of cuff shirring and each seam was stitched for 45cm - this gave a pretty ruffled effect to the arms


Finally, along the centre of the back "neckline", I stitched two rows of shirring, one 30cm long which is 5cm in from the edge and the second 26cm long which is a further 2cm in - I figured this might give a small stand up collar effect & was pleased that this worked well.

This garment is versatile and the elastic ruching means it adjusts to fit most sizes.

Obviously this was quite a large shawl and I am going to try making a shrug from a smaller original shawl so will post that soon.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

1930s style baby shoes & Mini-Crinoline Miss!

Just wanted so share a 1930s style embroidery of a mini-crinoline miss I stitched recently, and a little pair of 1930s style baby shoes I made to tone in - you might notice that they match the little vintage doll I re-dressed in an earlier posting. Hope you are all enjoying the sunshine!

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