Creative articles about sewing

Advent calendar 2015 – the second door

Welcome to the second window of the Bernina Advent calendar, which today contains an exciting wrapping idea that comes from traditional Japan of the 17th and 18th centuries.

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A little bit about the wrapping technique

Furoshiki is a folding technique, in which a square piece of fabric is used to wrap or package an item; not just presents, but also food or clothing can be enclosed in these cloths, which are usually made of silk, or nowadays also cotton or synthetic fibres. It has the obvious advantage of being environmentally friendly, as it does not use paper, which would end up in the bin once unwrapped from the present, and the wrapping itself can be used again; at the table, for example as a tablecloth or napkin, in clothing or for presents.Today I will show you how the wrapping can also be the contents – 100% recycling as it were!

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I found the idea that the wrapping should be part of the present, and not rubbish to be put in the bin or for which there is no further use, very exciting.At the same time, I wondered how you could top the whole thing off with home-made creativity, so that every piece of the wrapping, together with the contents, would make up the actual gift.The solution: a creative sewing kit Materials, wrapping, sewing suggestions and the finished product – all woven together, results in a unique, creative and environmentally friendly gift.

Ideas of what to put inside

For the sake of simplicity, I opted for a practical, easy to sew and yet stylish handbag – but you could of course replace this with any other project of your choice. The following materials are required to make the bag.

  • Fabric for the lining and the outside of the bag, 2x each, measuring 50x35cm. The lining fabric is cut on the fold and is left like that for the time being!
  • Webbing, this is 100% cotton, in any width, 2m long. This can already be cut into 1m long pieces.
  • Decorative items as desired, for example wooden beads, ribbons or decorative edgings, beads, buttons, etc…
  • Sewing instructions. The instructions for this bag can be downloaded as a file for printing from my blog www.theblogbook.eu. But of course you could also create your own.

 

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Now, all the “ingredients” are bundled together, apart from one of the fabrics (I used the pink lining to give the present a lovely neutral look and at the same time save a bit of the excitement for the recipient). You could put it into a box, which makes it a bit easier to wrap, but it is also fine as it is. The fabric used for wrapping has to remain in one piece so that it is large enough to go round everything. Traditionally, Furoshiki cloths are square. If you wish to follow this principle, you can either leave the fabric uncut (in which case it should be noted on the instructions) or you can choose an appropriate sewing project. I have simply used a rectangular fabric for the wrapping and adjusted it a bit ;-). You can also find lots of ideas on how to use this type of cloth on the website of the Japanese Ministry of the Environment.

Tips for other things you can do

Of course, decorative items do no have to end up in the wrapping, but can be used for decoration (such as the sisal string with wooden balls in the photo) and then become part of the sewing project, just like the piece of fabric.

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Some people might want to give a really special fabric, which is not only beautiful for wrapping, but also creates a unique sewing project. For example, what about the following ideas: stamping a design onto a single-coloured fabric; or embroidering or using the sewing machine for free-motion thread painting; or applying an appliqué design (in this case make sure you use the right wrapping technique so that the appliqué design is visible)?

I wish you lots of fun wrapping, packaging, gifting and sewing, and a lovely Advent period,

Carolin

 

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