Category Archives: Burlap Sewing

Aqua and Cream Burlap Tote for handmade swap

It’s swap time again and this time my recipient had Aqua and White as her favourite colours. Luckily I had just the perfect printed burlap to make her a gorgeous tote for summer.I was in such a hurry to get it made and sent out, that I completely forgot to take photos along the way. So I will make another one soon and post the tutorial then.Printed burlap is such a great way to add wow to a simple burlap tote. There are so many designs available in printed burlap in the major fabric stores at the moment I would highly recommend experimenting with it to create a perfect summer beach tote!

I hope Jo enjoys her new tote as much as I enjoyed making it!

My Swap Goodies! Ready to go for The Handmade Swap!

It’s been a busy few weeks with the Ekka and getting ready for my first swap in The Handmade Swap. The Handmade Swap is an organised craft swap in Australia where members send each other Handmade Gifts 5 times a year. It’s really cool and lots of fun.So this swap I had to send something to Mary who lives on farm and loves bright colours. So made her all these goodies and sent them off.

I made a document wallet out of Burlap, lined with a printed cotton with little chickens on it – perfect for farm business files! I love this document wallet so I am going to make the pattern available in my online store soon.

I also sent her two heart shaped felt pocket warmers. You just pop them in the microwave 30 seconds and then put them in your pockets to keep you hands warm, perfect for this time of year.

And then finally I made her a modern take on the old crochet tea towels. The hanging crochet tea towels are so practical (especially with a 1 year old in my house who pulls down the tea towel at least 6 times a day!), but I don’t know how to crochet. So this was my fabric interpretation of the crocheted tea towel. I think it turned out quite well, so I will also add the pattern for this soon.

I sent the items off about 2 weeks ago and yesterday received a lovely letter in the mail from Mary telling me how much she loved them all! Now I can’t wait for the next swap!

So with lots of patterns to get ready, it’s back to the studio for me!

Final Ekka Entry! Baby Burlap Doll Travel Cradle

Here is the last of my entries for the Ekka craft competition this year. For the Childrens Toy section I have made a Baby Burlap Doll Travel Cot.

This small bag, opens out and inverts into a stand up doll cradle!

I would like to claim credit for the ingenious design behind this cradle, but I can’t. A friend of mine recently showed me a knitted version that she had been given as a child. It was one of her favourite toys as a child and she had not seen anything like it since.

So I took it upon myself to create a Burlap Version. The great thing about sewing and crafting with Burlap is that you can use it to give your projects real structure and form. If you were to make this out of cotton, it would collapse when turned into the cradle position. But using Burlap, it stands really well.

I hope the judges at the show appreciate the dual functionality of this cradle. The Ekka starts next week, so I’ll let you know how I go.

It is a bit complicated to explain how to make, so I will work on a proper sewing pattern and put it in my pattern store soon.

This cradle got me to thinking about my favourite toys as a child. Most of the really memorable favourites were handmade. The timber crib for my dolls and washing line that my Uncle Dave made me, Maxi and Mini dolls that Uncle Dave’s Mum made me. What were your favourite handmade toys as a child? Have you made them for your kids? Let me know. I think we should restart the handmade toy movement! I’d love to hear about your handmade toys as I think my boys could do with some Handmade love!

Ekka Entry Number 2, Funky Fashion and Wearable Art Chevron Burlap Skirt

Last week I shared with you my first entry in the upcoming Agricultural Show Burlap Christmas Trees. This week I would like to share with you my entry in the Funky Fashion Wearable Art Category. My Chevron Burlap Cocktail Skirt.

I just love this Chevron design Printed Burlap, and thought it had great impact and would make a perfect statement piece. So it seemed the natural choice for the Funky Fashion Wearable Art category.

Last year I made a Burlap Cape with Free Motion embroidery for this category and managed to take out 2nd place. So this year I have my sights set on 1st place, but we’ll see!

I didn’t follow a pattern for the skirt, I just winged it as I went. If you are interested in making something similar I will give you the brief run down on what I did as a starting point.

Basically I measured waist to knee and cut a long strip of Burlap that width. I hemmed the bottom, sewed on two strips of ribbon. I then gathered the top and added two layer of tulle underneath (attached at the waistline) to give the skirt some structure. Then sewed the side seam together.

I then measured around my waist and cut another strip of Burlap that length by about 6 inches wide. I folded this in half long ways, wrong sides together. Stitch the ends together, then folded right side out. I then attached this to the top of the skirt, starting and ending at the side seam. I then inserted a zipper into the side seam from the waistband down about 5cm into the side seam.

I know that is a very rough guide, but that is pretty much all there is to it. If you don’t feel comfortable winging it, then probably best to purchase a pattern. Just make sure you allow for the skirt plus the tulle to give the skirt structure.

It’s not an everyday skirt as I think constant washing would ruin the stiffness of the skirt, but it is a fun special occasion skirt, perhaps for my next cocktail party….

Next week I’ll show you my last entry for the Agricultural Show.

In the meantime, I love to hear about anything you’ve made that would constitute Funky Fashion or Wearable Art! Let me know, I need inspiration for next year!

Australian craft swap

Don’t you just love receiving handmade gifts? I do. That’s why I’m thinking of starting an Australian craft swap. Basically If you join, 5 times a year I will send you the name and address of another member and you make them something fabulous, then post it off to them. At the same time you will receive a beautiful handmade gift in post from someone else! Cool huh?You can bake, sew, photograph, craft, make cards, sculpture whatever you like as long as its handmade.I’m trying to get an idea of whether there is enough interest in Australia, so if this sounds like something you’d like to do simply leave a comment ‘I’m in’ and I will post more details shortly if we get enough interest. Be sure to ask any of your crafty friends and family to.

It will only be open to Australian members to minimise postage costs.

So lets share the handmade love!

Easter Egg Lavender Sachets – An alternate Easter gift

With Easter fast approaching, Burlap comes into it’s own. Burlap is the king of Easter. What could be a better fabric to celebrate Spring, Nature and New Life than Burlap. Not to mention the meaning of Lent and going without, the humble Burlap fabric is the perfect companion.

Easter Egg Burlap Lavender Sachets

Burlap Lavender Sachets are the perfect gift when you don’t want to give chocolate for Easter. These sweet little sachets can be hung in the wardrobe to keep your clothes smelling fresh and bug free all year round – and best of all not a calorie to be seen!

To create your lavender sachets cut two Egg shaped ovals (mines about 12cm high) of Burlap.

Two Egg Ovals

On one of the ovals of Burlap stitch rows of ribbon in complimentary shades and patterns.

Place Burlap Eggs right side together and insert a 15cm length of satin ribbon, folded in half, inside the top of the egg to form the hanger. Pin in place. Stitch around the circumference of the egg leaving a 5cm gap on the side.

Stitch around the circumference leaving an opening

Roll an A4 sheet of paper into a funnel and insert in gap in Burlap, fill egg with Lavender. Stitch opening closed.

Fill with Lavender

Fray the edges back to the stitching line. Your Lavender Easter Egg Sachets are now complete.

So quick, so affordable and so easy! The perfect Easter gift.

Prevent Burlap from Shedding – a Case Study

Here are some tips on how to prevent Burlap from shedding and the print from fading when sewing and crafting with Burlap Sacks.

One of the questions I most frequently get asked is how to wash Burlap and prevent shedding and fading of the print. So I thought I would do a little case study to explain the process.

Firstly, I never wash my Burlap sacks prior to sewing with them. Often they have been cut open and the loose threads will shed and go everywhere. If you are a clean freak, and just can’t possibly stand the thought of ‘dirty Burlap sacks’ in your craft room, then I recommend hand washing only. Put some detergent and warm water in a tub and then dunk each sack into the water. Swish it around and then rinse it under a tap to remove the detergent, and hang it on the line. If you wring it out, be prepared to iron, iron, iron to get it flat again. The great thing about Burlap is the loose weave so even if you don’t wring it out and just hang it on the line it should still dry in a couple of hours.

That said, let’s now assume you take my advice and don’t wash prior to sewing. Move straight on to making up your item and ensuring you secure all loose edges.

So I have taken the example of this cushion cover I made from a Burlap Sack. I sewed it up and then went ahead and washed it.

Before washing

Next step was to heat set the ink. The branding on the sacks is not designed to be permanent, and that is the roulette of sewing with Burlap. Some inks will bind really well to the Burlap and will be there forever, others will wash out. You need to accept this.

However, to give you ink the best chance of surviving the washing process, it is nest to heat set teh ink first. To this I covered the printed area with a sheet of baking paper and then using a hot iron, iron over the top of the baking paper for about 10 seconds on each spot.

Once you have heat set the inks, place the item into an old pillow case and secure the top with a rubber band. Put it in the washing machine on a cold cycle with detergent (no bleach).

When the wash is complete undo the rubber band and pull out your Burlap item. All it to dry flat and then iron it again to get it flat.

I found that my pillow case actual had no shedding. This is because all the raw edges were secured prior to washing. As you can see there are no loose fibres inside the pillow slip when I removed the Burlap.

The inside of the pillow case once I removed mu cushion cover

The ink did fade a bit, but I think that just adds to the worn vintage feel, see the before and after photos below (a bit more iron ing required for the after photo!).

Before
After

So I hope this has helped ‘shed’ (excuse the pun) some more light on the process of washing Burlap!

I would love to hear any tips or experiences you have had washing Burlap.