Bunting is becoming an obsession… honestly, I’ll make it for anyone. I’ve even started applying letters to the flags to personalise them. Am a total idiot though and don’t have any photos of those to show (Note to self: ALWAYS photograph EVERYTHING).
This post is more about the magpies I made to hold on to the bunting, rather than the bunting itself!
Well, what can I say, this is exactly what it’s says in the title…
Choosing fabrics for their texture and colour and combining them as a unique gift is a sure way to put a smile on my face. There really is nothing nicer than making a bespoke gift for someone…
A lovely light blue/grey linen outer hides a delicately patterned chocolate brown interior. I stitched an inner pocket and added a magnetic closing for a smidgen of security.
I also tried out some ‘doodling’ on the sewing machine by overstitching the felt shape. The style of ‘off setting’ the stroke and the main form is a style we saw a lot of in the ’50′s and I love the looseness this offers an item. It’s a style I really like and something I’m playing around with more with my print.
Any who, I digress. Gift made. Gift given. Gift (very happily) received. Yeay.
So, option #2 is a shopping bag
Since it’s a fairly robust, yet light weight, linen I thought it would work as a fold away shopping bag. To increase it’s durability I stitched double seams – nobody wants their bag to split and to see their shopping cascading down the street…
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not adverse to beige, but in this instance I thought a little splash of colour might be nice so I added a border of a similar weight cotton to the top of the bag.
There’s not much else to say really. It folds away into a neat little pocket-sized bundle and has a loop and button fastening. As ever, I have added a little idoodledo label. These are made by printing onto iron-on heat transfer paper which I iron onto white cotton (since I’m forever the thrifty crafter, these are the edges of old sheets) but I’ve just seen it is possible to buy printable cotton lawn fabric to put through desktop laser printers which sounds much better, as downside to using heat transfers is that there is always a little outline of the transfer paper around your design which can get a slight yellow tinge to it if you apply too much heat. It’s not been a problem for me as I leave quite a big border and sew the edges into the seams of the label. Since the transfer doesn’t just stop midway across the fabric it doesn’t show up. I’m definitely going to try printing straight to fabric next time though…
After finding some beige cotton fabric, in the form of old curtain lining hanging in a charity shop for the bargain price of £3, I set myself the challenge of making as many things as possible from it.
This is the first one… a wrap around knee length skirt
It was made for my best friend. Since she now (inconveniently) lives in Australia I realised a fitted skirt might arrive with her and not be a perfect fit. Hence the wrap around. It’s a clever type of skirt which allows for those deliciously skinny days but adapts well to long lunches out which involve a lot of eating. Yeay.
Not only is it the first item from the CL but it was also my first attempt at printing on fabric. I’ve been toying with the idea for a while and this seemed like the perfect time to try it out. I actually used ordinary printing inks but mixed them with a nifty product which makes inks suitable for fabric (I’d love to add a link here to let you know what I used but we’re in the process of moving and my printing kit is packed… watch this space).
Part of my i doodle do ethos is to keep things simple and when it comes to design and pattern I’m always aiming to use a limited colour palette. I’ll only use one colour in a block design with a black outline. This way the design will have the sense of being a coloured in ‘doodle’.
I love it when printing plates are slightly misaligned too so you’ll nearly always see this in my work. It’s a gentle antidote to the sharp, slick look of a lot of the things we see around us today. It’s a nod to the style of printing from the 1950′s which I love. The simple designs, limited colour palette and the (accidental) off set printing really appeal to me and have been a big influence in my doodling.
I didn’t want to over do the patterning so a few simple stamps here and there were enough to give it a personal touch. A few darts and a simple waist band later and ta-da – a wrap around skirt!
This project started out as a Christmas gift for some of my ‘nearest & dearest’ who now live in Australia.
By December I am totally, and blissfully, lost to the cosiness of the long dark evenings. This makes it difficult for me to re-orientate my brain to choose Christmas gifts for those who live in a warm and distant climate. The home produce option goes right out the window (say goodbye to the sloe gin and chutney) and why, indeed, would they want such winter warmers when they’re likely to spend Christmas Day on a hot and sunny beach…?
So I began to think about summer gifts for them. And what better than the quintessentially British summer garden party for inspiration? With food and beverages out of the picture it meant accessories were the way to go and suddenly ‘bing’ – bunting was in my head.
I decided to be thrifty and went through my wardrobe and any woven cotton clothes I no longer wanted went into a ‘bunting’ pile. Being a bunting novice I wasn’t sure how much fabric I’d need and since I was after a broad spectrum of colours I visited the local charity shops and picked up a couple of extra items. Several evenings of frantic triangle cutting later and I was on to the next step of pinning and stitching to yards and yards of cotton tape. After hours of preparation it all comes together pretty quickly and ta-da – ‘bunting to go’!!
They turned out to be well received gifts. Items of mine that I had cut up were duly recognised and the memories, along with the love involved with hand-making the gift, reminded the Aussie part of my family how much they are loved and how much they are missed.
(Note to all potential bunting makers: a little bit of fabric goes a long way! I ended up making several other bunting garlands from the original stash of fabric!! But hey, doesn’t that make it all the more thrifty?)