Silly Souvenirs

A while ago, I blogged about my visit to the wonderful Britex Fabrics in San Francisco and their store-exclusive ‘souvenir’ fabric that I was at a bit of a loss what to do with.

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The print is huge and I wanted to turn it into something that would preserve as much of the slightly cheesy, but really fun, design as possible. A moment of inspiration came when I was looking at a tutorial on perfecting corners and lavender bags. Maybe lavender bags or sachets are more typically associated with pastel, floral fabrics, but why not make them a little louder and bolder?

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Rather than just stuffing the bag directly, I decided to make the sachet in the style of a little envelope pillow. Here’s a nice tutorial on making envelope pillows/cushion covers but they are really super simple to do. Making this as an envelope meant I didn’t have to overstuff the piece and keep a flat, smooth face on the fabric. It’s also possible to remove and replace the lavender if required, rather than soaking the pillow in oil when the scent has faded.

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When people say ‘projects for less than 20 minutes’ I am usually sceptical. It’s the same as recipes that quote preparation times only achievable if you have a sharp enough glare the vegetables just dice themselves and a dishwasher at hand to combat the inevitable entropy of the cooking process. However, I think this mini-project probably took about that, apart from some slightly obsessive checking for adding the hanger to make sure I was sewing it into the ‘right’ side of the project.

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To try and make the project a bit more practical, I added a hanging tag from the super thick ribbon I also bought at Britex, large enough to loop the project over a door handle. I love the airmail ribbon and the international postage stamp was a perfect addition for a project as a memento from a lovely trip to the other side of the pond.

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For the envelope, I folded back quite a lot of fabric to give more volume to the back and used some white contrasting thread for the seams. I almost wish I’d used this as a chance to take the Bernina’s decorative stitches for a test ride but it might have been a bit much with all the colour and patterns. Trying to work out how to orient the pieces for the back (as I wanted the top part of the envelope to be upside down as I felt that worked best visually with the cuts of fabric I had) was a good brain test but some careful checking meant it all went fine first time.

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As just a finishing touch to the project, I had a pin badge that I’d been given with my order at Britex that just nicely breaks up the front of the piece of me and gives a bit more weight for better hanging, as lavender isn’t that dense. I am a little smug about the corners on this project and the seams turned out nicely too. Sometimes simple can be the most effective and a nice way of going back at looking how much you’ve learnt.

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