A few me-made projects with Hungarian embroidery…

me-made-March day 14!

As part of me-made-March, I’ve been trying to finish up some of the UFOs (UnFinished Objects) that have been kicking around my sewing pile for way too long now. On of them was a gift I started for my mum 2 years ago, but made a mistake putting it together and it’s been on my to-do pile ever since. But let me back up a bit, here’s a couple of important things to know about me. First, I’m not afraid to take on new things, even if I’ve never tried them before and haven’t a clue what to do. I like figuring stuff out. Second, I don’t do things in small measures, it’s all out or nothing. And third, my grandparents on my father’s side were Hungarians that immigrated to Canada. My grandmother was an incredible cook, and when she passed away, I inherited her pastry board and roller. It’s pretty amazing, it has tons of tiny knife marks along the edge from making hand-cut noodles.

So when my sister’s fiancé emailed me to say he was planning to re-create the board as a Christmas gift for my sister, and could I send him some pics, I said sure, and I offered to make a large bag to hold the board. My grandmother kept hers in an old cloth flour bag, which I still have to this day. I decided this would be the ideal opportunity to learn a new crafty skill – traditional Hungarian embroidery on black velvety fabric. I played around with embroidery thread and cloth for a bit, did a small flower and a red pepper (very common theme), and set out to design the front of the bag. The pics below are the final result, my first ever embroidery project. Started and finished in 3 weeks, I kid you not. My thumb joint was so sore afterwards it took 7-8 months with lots of daily icing for it to heal completely. Anyhow, she loved it, so it was worth it…

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I never like to make a gift for one family member only, and try to do something personal for everyone. My dad got this, a picture of my grandparents, with the same sort of Hungarian embroidery around the pic. The picture was printed on a iron-on transfer, then ironed into a piece of cloth, that was then stitched onto the black fabric with stitches traditionally used in Hungarian embroidery (see the edges of the pic). I then embroidered on the tiny flowers. Again, my poor thumb.

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And next it was my mum’s turn. I made a small cloth bag, with a Hungarian poppy embroidered on the front. But I messed it up, the backside of the bag was sewn on the wrong way, the nice velvety fabric was facing the inside. Crap, on the to-do pile it went, and here we are today, finally finishing it up. And I messed it up twice, and had to take it apart each time, but we won’t go there. It’s done, yay!

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I used the same technique as the “Orphaned Socks bag“; I sewed up the edges of the bag, leaving a small space next the top on either side for the drawstring.

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I made a matching red insert, same size as the black bag. I then sewed the red insert to the black bag, right sides facing (left pic), and left a section of it unstitched.

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I then pulled the black bag through the hole, and tucked the red insert to the inside. I stitched around the top twice – travelling on either side of the side drawstring holes. I inserted a piece of black bias binding for the drawstring, and voila! Finally done…now the only person I still to make something for is the little sis overseas…

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