Inspired by Fenland Landscape – how to make brooch/pendant from scrap fabric

THE FENS are really beautiful in winter ….. especially on the rare bright frosty days when the sky is a blue dome over your head and reflected in the straight channels of the dykes below. The winter wheat is a carpet of green in the fields and little groups of snow white swans float effortlessly on the clear rippled water. Inspired by these colours I decided to use up some of my fabric scraps to make some brooches and pendants.

Brooch
Brooch

Instructions/materials are set out below:

You will need:Some scraps of fabric in the colours of your choice – these can be of assorted sizes but no more than half an inch by half an inch. Even tiny scraps will add to the overall effect. I have used some tiny scraps of lace in one of the designs but it is up to you.
Some iron on interfacing such as you find in haberdashery shops
Some sequins in flower shapes. www.simplysequins.co.uk  is a good website to buy them from
A few pieces of wool/yarn or mixed fibres. I found mine at simply sequins (as above) but you need something that will give some texture to the whole design
Some metallic thread in a colour that will stand out as the thread is a feature of the design.
Some pieces of calico or other strong stiff cotton
A metal bail – for the pendant – I purchased mine from www.jillybeads.co.uk
Mod Podge glue and Epoxy glue (something strong like Araldite)
Beadalon or Flexrite wire – for the pendant
A clasp and jump ring – for the pendant
Two small metal crimping beads
Brooch bar or pin – for the brooch

Tools: an iron, an ironing blanket or ironing board, some greaseproof paper, needle, scissors, pinking shears, crimping pliers

Picture 1 below is of my scraps box, showing the mixture of fabrics I collect. I keep this handy on my work table and whenever I have anything left over I pop it in.

My scraps box
My scraps box

Method

Take a mixture of scraps in your chosen colours . Here I’ve chosen mostly blue and green. Put the iron on interfacing on to an ironing blanket or ironing board. Place the scraps on the sticky side of the iron on interfacing in an interlocking pattern so as to cover the interfacing and place some greaseproof paper over the top. It can be difficult to work out which side is the sticky one especially under electric light so if in doubt test some fabric on a small piece. Then get a hot iron and press it on to the paper so that the fabric pieces bond to the interfacing. Picture 2 below shows an example of the effect you are trying to create – although the colours are different.

100_1698Cut this ironed piece into inch squares using pinking shears – the shears give the squares a nice edge
Cut pieces of calico the same size as the squares – these will form the backing
Using metallic thread sew scraps of fabric/lace/sequins/yarn on to the squares. This is the fun bit especially the sequins!
Glue the calico backing on to the finished squares.

For the brooch, glue a brooch bar on to the back – I find the epoxy glue best for this.

For the pendant – make a small hole in the centre of the square about 2 mm from the top. Put the bail pin through the hole and press together at the back. If you haven’t used a bail before look on any good bead supply website and you will see from the picture how they work.
Cut a piece of flexible metal coated wire to the desired length and suspend the pendant on the wire using the bail. At one end, thread a crimp on to the wire and pass the wire through the loop attached to the clasp and then again through the crimp pulling the crimp tight against the clasp. Crimp the wire into place. Do the same with the jump ring at the other end. Cut off any excess tail ends. If you haven’t used a crimp or crimping pliers before it’s quite easy. Crimps are little tiny metal tubes and they are threaded over wire, then pressed over it to keep it in place. Crimping pliers have two separate grooves in them. The second groove is used first to press the crimp on to the wire in a half moon shape. Then the pliers are moved and the first groove is used to press the crimp again so that it folds over itself and holds the wire in place. Pictorial instructions on how to use crimping pliers are shown in the March issue of Beads and Beyond magazine.

Alternatively if you don’t want to use crimps and wire a simple knotted cord would do just as well. I often use cord for my pendants!

The result is light and pretty jewellery – the brooch won’t make holes in your clothes like some of the heavier metal brooches do and the pendant is so light to wear that you wouldn’t know you had it on … except when you get admiring remarks from friends of course!

I sincerely hope the instructions I have given are clear, but you have any queries or if there is anything you don’t understand, please don’t hesitate to contact me on henrietta.white1@btinternet.com.

Until next time …

Pendant
Pendant