I hope Jo enjoys her new tote as much as I enjoyed making it!
So here is the tutorial of how I made them:
- Cut two heart shapes out of felt. I used a printed felt for the front and a solid yellow for the back.
2. Place hearts wrong sides together and stitch around the edge leaving a 2 cm opening.
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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!
My grandmother passed away about 2 years ago, and I managed to keep a few of her favourite pieces of clothing. I then re purposed these into a beautiful quilt for my Mother for Mothers Day this year. It was a double whammy gift for her as it was from her daughter as well as her Mother which was really special.
First I sorted all the clothes by colour palate and chose a selection of garments that were in similar tones. I then cut a lot (63 to be exact) of 10 inch squares and some 5 inch squares. I sewed the 5 inch squares into groups of 4 to make 10 inch squares.
I then joined the squares, 7 squares wide and 9 squares long, a total of 63 (10 inch squares) in total. I used a wool batting and a flannel backing and tied the quilt at 4 inch intervals with wool. I then bound the quilt with bias binding.
The quilt is a single bed size, but would also look great as a splash of colour across the bottom of a king size bed.
My Mum was thrilled with the quilt. I think she appreciated the use of her Mums clothes in a very practical way that can serve as a constant reminder of her Mum. My kids loved cuddling up it and agreed it felt like a hug from their Great Grandma which was also really lovely.
So next a close friend or loved one passes away, before you donate all those clothes to charity, consider saving a few pieces to make a beautiful quilt that will honour their memory for years to come. It can make a really personal and sentimental gift for a grieving loved one.
My boys are now 7 and 5 and I thought this year it would be nice for them to celebrate a bit of their heritage with St Patrick’s Day. They are also old enough to start to understand where they come from and the concept of generations past. So I thought why not surprise them this year with a gift from a Leprechaun to get into the St Pats spirit!
I plan on leaving this Pot of Gold on the front steps St Patrick’s Day morning.
It’s super easy. I just cut a length of Burlap long enough to go around a mason jar. I use foam stamps from the dollar store and green acrylic paint to stamp ‘Pot of Gold’ on the burlap. Once dry I used a hot glue gun to stick the ends of the burlap together at the back of the jar.
Then I filled the jar with gold coin chocolates.
For the top I made a Leprechaun Hat from black felt. I cut a circle the same size as the lid of the mason jar. Then I cut a rectangle of felt 10cm x 4cm and rolled it into a tube and hot glued it together. I then glued this tube to a square of felt just larger than the tube and then the other end of the tube onto the large circle. Once dry I trimmed the square to the circumference of the tube.
Then I choose a small gold button I had (appropriately with a clover leaf – unfortunately not four leaf though!) and glued it onto the felt hat. I then glued the hat onto the top of the mason jar.
I think the boys will be thrilled with their gift from the Leprechaun on Sunday! It’s not too late to make one of these for your kids or neighbours.
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.
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!).
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.