Burlap goes High Fashion

I knew I wasn’t going crazy when I decided to create a blog dedicated to the wonder, charm and versatility of the Burlap Sack! Here is proof that the Burlap Bag can be chic and fashionable.Look what’s just hit the catwalks this week from D&G as part of their Spring 2013 collection…….

This is amazing, and takes Burlap to a whole new level. If I had the body, I would whip one up for myself. I think this one is more my style…more forgiving!

(The bottom middle one I mean, not bottom right!)
Just shows what a little creativity and an old Burlap Sack can do! If it’s good enough for fashion house Dolce and Gabbana – then it’s good enough for me. I feel inspired – off to the studio!

Sweetest Burlap Ring Cushion

I don’t know why, but lately I seem to noticing the coolest DIY Burlap Projects for Weddings! I wish I had of seen them before I got married, I would have had a Burlap Wedding for sure.

Anyway, browsing out there in the Internet this week I noticed this great little DIY tutorial from Ruffled for this gorgeous Burlap Ring Pillow. Click the link to see the full DIY tutorial.

Isn’t it just the cutest thing?

I would love to hear about any other cute Burlap Wedding Ideas you may have and feature them on this blog. Leave a comment with your ideas. 

Seek and You Shall Find – Sourcing Burlap

Burlap is one of the most affordable sewing fabrics. Burlap can be purchased in most fabric stores by the metre. It usually comes in extra wide rolls and is very affordable. It also comes in a range of colours, where the manufacturer has dyed the natural hessian in to bright and vibrant colours. This is important to keep in mind as not all Burlap sewing and craft projects have to have the natural Burlap colouring. In fact Burlap can be quite striking when the coloured versions are used.

But one of my favourite sources for Burlap is to recycle Burlap Bags. These bags have a lovely worn in quality to them and have the added bonus of making me feel that I am doing my part for the environment. Many manufacturers who purchase food products from primary producers will receive their goods in Burlap Bags. Once the primary produce is removed from the bag the Burlap bags are often discarded as a waste product. If you are interested in sewing or crafting with Burlap I recommend you approach a manufacturer in your local area who receives their primary produce in Burlap Bags, and ask them if you may have some or offer to purchase them off them. More often than not they will be happy for you to take them off their hands as it only costs them money to dispose of them.

I source mine from a local coffee roaster, this provides me with a variety of different markings and stamps on the bag from different parts of the globe which also adds a lovely dimension to my projects. Sometimes I feature the different stamps in the project, other times I just turn the bag inside out for a plain Burlap finish. With the popularity of coffee these days, I think most people will have a coffee roaster within driving distance from their home.

If you can’t manage to source free Burlap bags locally you can also try Ebay. I have often listed excess bags on Ebay and managed to meet many creative and talented people who have bought them to turn into wonderful creations. I will feature some of them in other blog posts. Local trading posts may also have listings for Burlap or Hessian Bags.

Worst case head off to your local fabric store and purchase it by the metre. Whichever way you procure it, you will find that Burlap is an economical material for crafting and sewing. Not to mention it adds such a lovely rustic charm to your finished projects.

Burlap Wedding Bouquet

I just love the versatility of Burlap and I am constantly amazed at the creative uses people find for it. For example Wedding Bells magazine blog recently showed this gorgeous Burlap Wedding Bouquet (to view their blog click on the link). Such a lovely idea. It’s super affordable, original, and best of all you can keep it forever without it wilting or turning brown. Imagine having a bouquet like this that you could hand down from one generation to the next – wish I had of thought of this for my wedding! (Though now with three boys – doubt it would have got used again anyway!)

Burlap flowers are relatively simple to make, it’s just more patience and perseverance than skill! For your first attempts I recommend using Burlap Webbing. It won’t fray and will be the easiest to work with. Simply fold over 0.5cm to start and then tightly wind the webbing around itself to form a flower shape like the white flower shown in the above photo. Be sure to vary the height of the wrapping to give a more natural petal effect. 
Once your flower is the desired size, fold the webbing down on an angle and tuck the end under the flower. If you look closely in the photo you will see where the white flower finishes and they have folded it over and down under the flower. Once you are happy with the placement of the webbing use a needle and thread to sew several stitches through the base of the flower to secure all the layers in place. I find it’s best to use a really long needle for this as the flower base can be quite wide.
The other brown flowers are in the photo are created using burlap fabric, I will cover a ‘How To’ on these shortly.
Start with practising the webbing the flowers and if you are lucky enough to see this post before you get married, I hope you create a heirloom bouquet that  your daughters and grand-daughters can use in the future!