Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Mother's Day Corsage-ish

With Mom still on a slow dial-up connection, I think it's safe to show you her Mother's Day gift and how I made it. It's a simple little pleated silk corsage-ish pin -- very lightweight and easy to wear, and quick to make.

To begin, I grabbed a habotai silk scarf I had used in a couple of class demos last year. To the best of my memory, this one had been scrunchy-painted with Dye-na-Flow fabric paint, then used to demonstrate stamping with Inkodye. I used about 10 inches of the 8-inch-wide scarf for this project.

Using a bit of steam, I ironed in a series of narrow pleats. No need for measuring or perfection on these.

Next, I hand stitched the pleats together, deliberately skewing the pleats here and there.

With the pleats stitched down, I played with different ways to transform the piece from a long accordion into a corsage-ish.

I've made Mom other silk corsages that are more flower-like, so decided not to do the spiral roll again (this time).

Instead, I liked a Z-fold this time.

A few stitches secured this arrangement. Leaving enough fabric to turn under a raw edge, I cut off the unpleated remainder of the scarf, which went into my Black Hole for another day.

To finish the piece, I used a bar pin back finding, a small piece of Ultrasuede, and a bit of quilter's template plastic for stiffening. (On this piece of plastic you can see some of my mom's writing from when she used it for piecing a quilt. We all recycle in my family!)

After sewing the pin back to Ultrasuede, I stitched a little scrap of Ultrasuede over the bar for a neater finish. A tiny dab of acid-free glue stick helped hold the plastic stiffener to the Ultrasuede while I stitched the backing in place.

All that was left was to try it on to check the balance, wrap it, and get it in the mail. The ironed-in pleats give the piece enough structure that it can be packed (and stored) without worry of smushing.

A gift like this fits my budget, both in terms of time to make (about an hour) and postage to send (at 0.2 ounces, the packaging will weigh much more than the gift). And unlike a fresh flower corsage, this one she can wear again and again.

What are you making for Mother's Day?

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