It’s a bit of a mouthful, but that’s what it’s called. If you want to make the Scrapiana strawberries (as featured in Mollie Makes magazine), then this is what you’ll need. It should be enough for several, if used judiciously. And you can buy it right now over at my Etsy store!
Now available on Etsy!
The Mollie Makes strawberry-makers are still doing their stuff, I’m delighted to say. Here are a few recent additions to the Flickr group:
Tweed strawberries by Fabric Mountain
Lavender strawberries by Fabric Mountain
Lavender strawberry by Evajeanie
Tower of Strawberries by Judemate
Home-felted strawberries by Pensham
If you get your hands on a copy of issue 2 of the magazine (it’s just now becoming available in the US and in Australia – I think) and are inspired to have a go at the strawberries, do share images of your creations. I’m getting such a buzz out of seeing what everyone’s made. Those tweed ones at the top in particular made my heart skip a beat. Keep ’em coming!
And if you happen to be in Bath and are at a loose end this Wednesday 13th July, I still have a few spaces on my Vintage Strawberry Workshop in Larkhall (discounted for my Facebook page likers).
I’m told that I have many wonderful qualities. However, organising last-minute summer crafting workshops appears not to be one of them. It was a bit of Herculean task, I’m now realising. Let’s just say that the bookings haven’t flooded in as hoped and I’m left with the prospect of being almost alone at two workshops over the next week or so. I’m fine once I have my punters (we just fly along, rattling out strawberries like billy-o) but the bookings element has beaten me, fair and square.
A desperate remedy is required and mine is to slash the price of my New Oriel Hall (Larkhall, Bath) workshops on Saturday 9th and Wednesday 13th July to anyone who has liked my my Facebook page. Just go click ‘like’ and then send me an email (eirlysATscrapianDOTcom) with 50% LIKE workshop discount as the subject line and your name/phone number in the email. Don’t forget to specify which morning session you’d prefer to attend and I’ll get back to you ASAP to confirm. Wow! It’s that simple! Who-da thunk it would be so easy?
You might want to make a daytrip of it, do strawberries in the morning and shop or visit one of the city’s museums (the Roman Baths — shortlisted for this year’s prestigious Art Fund Prize — the Fashion Museum, the American Museum, for example) in the afternoon. The Roman Baths are also open late through July and August (last entry 9pm for 10pm closing) and are quite magical in the fading light.
I will not be doing short-notice workshops again (lesson learned) but will announce some autumn ideas very, very soon to give everyone time to sort out their diaries and make proper plans. Crafting treats really should not be rushed.
PS If you’re in Bath on 24th July, I’m scheduled to be strawberrying at the very luscious The Makery in Walcot (complete with cream tea spectacular!). And I’ll soon be able to reveal an exciting London strawberry gig at the end of the month too: a must for vintage fans.
|‘The Strawberry Emery is nothing new, but it is so very useful and easy of construction, there is no reason why every needleworker should not possess one. Woolen goods represent the fuzzy nature of the strawberry better than silk or …’
– Home Needlework Magazine, Volume 4, 1902.
Tantalizingly, that’s all I can make out of it on Google books, though I’m grateful for that glimpse (who knew that ‘fuzzy’ was such an old word?). As proof of the relatively long history of strawberry emeries, even from the Edwardian vantage point, here’s an earlier reference from 1852 when they were already well established (pick it up from near the bottom of the first column, at ‘Knitted Berries and Fruit’):
From Godey’s Magazine & Lady’s Book, Volume 45, 1852.
And in the same volume was this which I felt compelled to share.
Still my beating heart! How lingerie has changed, even if the content of crafting magazines doesn’t appear to have altered as much as one might have thought! I don’t expect to be seeing sheet music (a staple in Victorian women’s magazines) in Mollie Makes any time soon though. I love that the strawberry emery has such a long history and is now (I hope) enjoying a well-deserved resurgence in popularity. Do you think we can do the same for the saucy little sick-room cap?
And so it begins. People are already getting their teeth into strawberry-making, following my how-to in Mollie Makes.
Claire Leggett's strawberries
Claire lays out her materials
Apryl Lowe's steampunk interpretation, with watch parts and key
Aren’t they delightful? Everyone is making the project their own, which is a really lovely feeling. Feedback is that the instructions are clear and easy to follow, and that the strawberries are fast to make. The only problem is that once you’ve finished one, you want to make another. And another. Do hop over and see what Claire and Apryl have to say about making theirs.
Hardcore strawberry-o-philes can keep track of new berries as they appear over at the strawberry patch, aka the Mollie Makes Strawberries Flickr group pool. If you get round to making one, do upload an image over there. It’ll make my day.
And if you’d like the chance to create some of these in a workshop environment, Scrapiana Vintage Strawberry Classes are coming soon, at least, to a small part of the West Country near me (just Bath and Frome so far, though if you have a craft boutique elsewhere and fancy booking me, do get in touch!). It’s a real bonus to make these in a group, seeing how other people’s berries take shape and nattering while you sew. Workshop numbers are kept small so that you can be properly guided to make a variety of styles, sizes and scales. Look out for a full workshop update here on the blog tomorrow.
I haven’t posted any scraps lately, so here’s a nice one for you.
If you’ve seen this month’s Mollie Makes, you may recognise this fabric.
Fabric fit for a strawberry
It’s a lightweight cotton I used for one of my favourite strawberries. This is an unmarked oddment: there’s no text on the selvedge. I used most of it for a dress I made c.1980. The dress pattern was high Laura Ashley (by McCall’s, I think) with square neckline, buttoned leg-o-mutton sleeves, gathered slightly drop-waisted skirt (ending mid-calf length) and sash, though I wore it loose-fitting without. That dress was the first piece of clothing I remember making and actually enjoying wearing. I was so proud of myself, but what was I thinking? Must have watched too much Little House on the Prairie and Anne of Green Gables. However, it was comfortable, washable, and easy to wear. I think this fabric has finally found its true destiny in strawberries, though. I love the ruby shade of red. If you happen to have any old Sylko cotton reels, it matches D.46 Ruby very well. On the purplish berry end of the red spectrum.
I may still have that Laura Ashley pattern somewhere, though I can’t immediately lay my hands on it [phew!]. Nor do I have any pictures of myself wearing it [phew again]. A quick trawl of the Vintage Patterns Wiki hasn’t located the pattern either, so if you think you know the one I mean — and maybe have it still — I’d love to hear from you!
And now I’m making up Vintage Strawberry Kits, some of which will include pieces of this fabric. I can tell you’re excited…