It’s Playtime!

Last year I treated myself to an embellishing machine for my birthday. For those of you who have never heard or an embellishing machine, it looks like a sewing machine at first glance. However, it doesn’t use thread and has more than one needle and those needles are barbed. The machine is used to make a sort of needle felt.

I first heard of embellishing machines on a creative stitches course that I was attending. We were lucky enough to have the opportunity to use one if we wanted – and I definitely wanted! If you will excuse the pun, I was hooked immediately.

After much changing of my mind I finally decided to buy myself one. I bought it as an expensive grown-up toy rather than as a serious addition to my crafting arsenal.

There is so much fun to be had with an embellisher and it’s even better if you already have lots of scraps, wool tops and other fibres that you can use with it. I do have one or two bits and pieces that are suitable for use. (I may have underestimated how much I have available to use!) the trouble is that Peter is not keen on me spreading my crafting bits around when I am doing anything so I have been reluctant to use the embellisher when he is around.

I had planned to have some play sessions when he was away for a few days but each time he went away something cropped up to stop me. Grrrrr. However, this week, with my neck and arm allowing me to do more with less pain, I decided to play with my embellisher.

I tried a few techniques that I have seen demonstrated and familiarised myself with the machine again. I played with various fibres and fabrics and then dipped my hand into a bag of scraps that I had been given by my friend, Shirley, last October. I have already made a quilted holder for my hands-free magnifier using some of the scraps, but, now I have made a pouch for the accessories and spare needles for my embellisher with some more of that particular stash.

Pouch made from embellished fabric
with scraps from Shirley

The backing fabric is a 100% cotton placemat that I bought from Dunelm Mill as part of a 
set of four for 0.99p a few years ago. I pounded the scraps onto the reverse of the placemat, covering the entire piece. When I had covered the whole placemat with scraps I did not turn it over to pound on the back as I was concerned about the pale threads coming through and spoiling the effect. Instead, I made sure that the scraps were well and truly attached by pounding the whole thing all over on the facing side of the new fabric.

When I was happy that everything was secure, I gauged what size I needed my pouch to be to hold the accessories and spare needles for the embellisher. I folded the fabric to check what size seemed to be right, then cut the fabric. I folded it into a purse shape and then attached a very basic binding around the edges, for a more formal “finished” effect, before creating the seams by using the embellisher to “mesh” the fibres together.

In my haste to complete the pouch, I did not bother to line the pouch. Also, as I have only just finished making it, I have not yet found and attached buttons for the closures. Note to self: Get those buttons attached so that it can be used!


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