When I left my workplace, I wanted to give my dear colleagues something handmade as a little thank-you gesture. Taking financial and time constraints into consideration, I decided to make little fabric brooches. The materials are relatively inexpensive, and they don’t take too long to make.
>Cut circles of different sizes from various fabrics. Four to five layers give good results. Being ‘green’, I used recycled clothing that would have been thrown out otherwise (but of course they were washed and clean). Choose a button as the centre.
>With biggest circle at the bottom, gather and layer smaller circles on top, hold in place and stitch down with sewing machine.
>Add the button. It hadn’t been sewn on at this point.
There isn’t a specific gathering or folding technique – it’s quite random. But I think it looks good when you spread the layers out to the side, and make some 3D effect by folding ‘darts’ through them.
>Another brooch to go:
>I made 45 brooches. It is quickest to do it factory-style; cutting all circles first, then do all the layering, then stitching, and so on. Here I did all the coordination of fabric and buttons, so each one was different:
> Then I did all the folding and stitching in one go:
>Then make the back, hand-sewing the brooch pin onto a felt circle.
> And the very boring part of sewing the pin backs to felt, then onto the back of brooches:
> Some finished brooches:
> Finally, package them! I used plastic document sleeves, cut to size then stitched with sewing machine. Fold and cut patterned cardboard and secure with coloured staples. I added personal messages for each of them.
Ah, the joy of mass-producing (NOT).
But it was so worth it to make them for my colleagues and friends!