Tag Archives: Ekka

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!

Entries for the Royal Show

Tis that time of year again in Brisbane when the Ekka comes to town. The Ekka is the Agricultural Show when ‘country comes to the city’. It’s also the most competitive show in the State for Crafters. This year I’ve opted to enter three categories:

  • Funky Fabrics and Wearable Art
  • Christmas Decorations
  • Childrens Toy
And for once, I’m actually somewhat organised.
So I thought I would share with you what I am making. The first is the Christmas decorations. Given many people celebrate ‘Christmas in July’ now is a good time to share with you my Burlap Christmas Trees.
Here’s the final product:
If I were displaying them around the home, I would probably sit them on top of wine or champagne glasses at varying heights, but for now, they are just sitting on the table.
To make, they are really simple. Take a large sheet of cardboard (I used old manilla folders) and roll them around using one corner as the point to form a cone shape.
Sticky tape the cone shape to hold in place, and trim the bottom with scissors so it is level.
Paint the cone with PVA glue. Lay on a corner of Burlap and roll to cover. Overlap the end about 1 cm then trim the burlap. You will need to apply more PVA to the Burlap where it overlaps so it sticks together.
Trim the Burlap at the top and then the bottom leaving a 2cm edge at the bottom. Then apply more PVA glue around the inside bottom edge and fold in the Burlap and glue down.
Once dry, you can then embellish with ribbons, sequins and beads using a hot glue gun to apply them.
As Burlap comes in so many great colours, you can make trees to suit any colour scheme. And the best part is how affordable they are. So if your celebrating Christmas in July, get busy with these Burlap Trees for your centrepiece, or you may like to get an early start on some fresh decorations for this Christmas.
Next week I’ll show you my funky fashion, wearable art entry.

Burlap Shearers Moccasins

The Petting Zoo

I was surprised to learn recently of Burlap being used for shoes. Whilst still at the local country show held in Brisbane – the Ekka, we went to the Petting Zoo for the boys to feed and cuddle the Baby Animals. Upon exiting the petting zoo we ended up at a stage decorated with Burlap sacks, so of course it immediately caught my eye!

Shearing Presentation Stage

We noticed the presentation was about to start so we decided to sit down and rest out feet for a while. The presentation was about wool and the shearing industry. A shearer came on stage and demonstrated how to shear a sheep and prepare the fleece for bailing. The children were quite enthralled with the whole process.

But what I found most interesting was that shearers wear a special type of footwear called a ‘Shearer’s Moccasin’. These are made out of soft leather and help the shearer to slide across the ‘boards’ of the shearing shed floor. In days gone by, shearers would make these themselves out of burlap sacks. They would cut up the wool bales and make them into moccasins so they could move around the shed floor easier. I am constantly surprised the history and versatility of the humble Burlap Sack. So many uses and so little credit!

Explaining the History of Shearers Moccasins

P.S. If any of you happen to have a photo of any old Shearer’s moccasin’s made from Burlap I would love to see it.

Burlap as Wearable Art

The Ekka is on at the moment (our local country comes to the city show in Brisbane, Australia) and so we took the boys down last weekend for a day of fun!First stop was to visit the craft section and see how we fared with our entries this year. My 6 year old son has entered his owl in the under 16 years machine sewing section – unfortunately they only awarded 1st and 2nd, and his entry was the only other one – a bit mean I thought given it’s a kids section. But we told him he obviously came third – which is a great achievement!

His is the small owl in the centre!

My Burlap Owl was pipped at the post in the Toys section for some really lovely and very detailed fabric toys, this was quite a competitive section.

Looks like he kept watch as night of the exhibits!

But my Hessian and Ticking cape won second place in the ‘Wearable Art’ category. Unforutnately the photos don’t do it justice so when I get it back I will photograph it properly to show you. First place went to a very creative handbag made of old vinyl records and ribbons – wearable art indeed!

The Red Cape at the back is made of Red Burlap with a ticking Lining