If you’d like to skip straight to the creative project and learn how to make a sewing-lover’s key ring then scroll down until you see Blue’s paw print below.
This episode is subtitled: ‘The cat’s out of the bag…’
‘But it’s only two weeks away! How will we get everything prepared in time?’
Kim was waving a beautifully elegant wedding invitation at Beryl and panicking. The invitation wasn’t actually addressed to Kim. It was fresh from the box sent to Beryl (at Teacups) from the printers but Kim hadn’t noticed that the package wasn’t addressed to her when she opened it. She was now fully aware that Beryl and Tommy were getting married imminently.
I’d totally understood Beryl’s desire to plan her wedding her way, without the risk of Kim, her daughter-in-law, taking over and turning it into something that suited Kim rather than the bride.
Earlier in the week I’d gone with her to help her choose her outfit. It had obviously been a covert operation since I was the only one aware of the plans.
‘What about something more tailored?’ I said diplomatically when she emerged from the changing room in a pastel pink gathered skirt and matching blazer. The flowery blouse toned very well with it but it had a floppy bow that was almost as big as Beryl. I handed her a fitted dress in plain mid blue crepe that teamed up with a short edge-to-edge jacket.
‘Wow, you look beautiful,’ I said when she appeared in the outfit. And she really did. The style was perfect for her petite frame and she was beaming when she looked at herself in the mirror, despite her tangled hair with its grey roots and an odd assortment of clips to keep it off her face.
‘How about pushing the boat out and booking some time with Colette at the hair and beauty salon?’ I suggested when we were driving home. It seemed more tactful to propose this when my eyes were on the road rather than on Beryl.
‘That’s a good idea,’ she said, ‘I’ll call in and ask her later. She needn’t know it’s for anything special.’
For her flowers Beryl had opted for just a simple posy of white roses and some rose buttonholes. That was great news for us because it meant we could prepare them easily, without it impacting our attendance at the ceremony and the party. Beryl and Tommy’s wedding was definitely shaping up nicely.
My only reservation was the food. She hadn’t been able to find a caterer at such short notice and was determined to make the buffet herself.
‘Once you’ve told Kim about the wedding, she’ll make sure the buffet is made at Teacups,’ I said. ‘You won’t want to be preparing sandwiches on the morning of your wedding.’
Beryl didn’t seem to think it was a problem but that might have been because she desperately didn’t want Kim to organise the food.
‘It’ll be all canapés or that auntie pasta rubbish,’ she said. I could see her point so I secretly carried on looking for someone more akin to Beryl’s style but no luck so far and now Kim had found out about the wedding…
‘It’s all sorted,’ said Beryl in response to Kim’s exclamations about there not being enough time to plan everything, and she scurried away to serve a customer.
‘What does she mean, ‘it’s all sorted’? What does Beryl know about organising a wedding?’
‘Erm… I think you’ll find she’s got it all planned out, I ventured. ‘Well, maybe all except the catering,’ I added.
‘How do you know?’ exclaimed Kim, but moved swiftly on to thinking about the food. ‘We could have canapés before the wedding breakfast…. and then something traditional like roast beef for the main meal…. and then we could really go to town on the buffet at the evening do…
Kim was in full planning mode. ‘And the cake! At this late stage it’ll have to be sponge, but she’s not given me much time to come up with a design…’
‘Kim’, I said calmly. ‘Beryl doesn’t want a wedding cake.’
‘Nonsense!’ she replied. ‘What’s a wedding without a cake?’
‘It’s still a wedding,’ I said under my breath, by which time Kim had darted off to get her notebook and pen.
Ah well, I thought, as I settled down to start making some Christmas presents that evening, at least Beryl managed to keep it under her hat for long enough to make most things ‘fait accompli’ as far as Kim’s concerned. ◊
How to Make a Sewing-Lover’s Key Ring
It’s definitely not too early to start thinking about making Christmas presents. These first three of mine are for my friends in the sewing circle. Each key ring has an assortment of sewing related items on it and I hope they like them!
This vest top was lovely in its day – lots of lovely buttons – but when you start to lose them, it loses it’s charm so I decided to take them all off and reuse them.
I also wanted to use some old thread reels. If you remember, I used up the thread in last week’s post.
I pulled out an assortment of fabric and matching embroidery thread.
I just needed a small piece for each reel (5.5cm x 4.5cm).
I pasted Mod Podge onto the reel and attached the fabric, smoothing it out as I went. I added plenty of Mod Podge on the join and also pasted a layer on top of the fabric to ensure it didn’t fray and to make it more robust. I did this with all three reels.
Then I sorted out the buttons and things I was going to use, placing them in order on my mat. You’ll see that I had a press-stud (separated into two pieces) for the very end, then a few buttons, then the reel, then a few more buttons and finally a jump ring. I used 10 buttons for each key ring, four at the top and six at the bottom. I supplemented my vest top buttons with a few odds ones that toned with each design.
I used 45cm of embroidery thread which is more than you have on the finished item but it’s easier to work with a bit extra while you’re threading your bits and pieces on. By far the best tool to use is a bead needle with a collapsible eye. I use them for all sorts of things so it was well worth the investment.
Now it’s time to start threading your items on. Start with the press-studs and then the buttons for the bottom of the key ring. Thread through one hole only, from the right side (as opposed to the wrong side) of each button. This will ensure the right side is visible in the finished design. Take care not to let them slip off the end of the thread. Add the reel (bottom first).
Now add the buttons for the top, this time thread from the wrong side. You’ll see what I mean…
Then go through the jump ring before going back down through the other hole on each button (and reel). When I’d done my last button I decided to go back through the original hole I’d used on each of the press-stud pieces so it looked more finished at the end. I’d chosen one of the stitching holes so mine will always lie casually off-centre but there’s a good chance you could use the centre hole if you prefer.
Tie a double knot fairly close to the press-stud, cut the end leaving a tail, as long as you like, and add a split ring.
- Be careful not to loose your bits and pieces off the end of your thread.
- If you want to use the centre hole for the press-stud pieces then test it out before you start. Can you get you needle and two strands of thread through it?
- Make sure your jump rings are strong and not easy to pull apart.
- Thread reels
- Old buttons
- Old split rings
Hope to bring you some more gift ideas in the next couple of months. Enjoy your crafting til next week!
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