I have a thing for giving homemade gifts. I think that yes, it is wonderful to give your time and your talent but it’s more than that. It’s about being able to give something that is perfectly customized to the gift recipient. It shows that you know them, their wants and needs and style. It’s a pretty cool thing. My Mum, Sister and I are into birthdays. We like to ferret out the right gifts and create some birthday suspense and surprise. Last year I made my Sister a diary cover/travellers journal/fauxdori which she loves and uses everyday. It doesn’t have to be too fancy or expensive, just a few well thought out gifts. When a birthday is coming up, there is always collusion on presents. And small celebration. This year we girls gathered at Mums for a pyjama party with all the usual hokey, silly celebratory stuff. I love my Sis in her birthday glasses and brandishing her glow in the dark wand!
As my Sisters birthday was approaching, I was thinking about what I could make for her. My Sister has a distinctly bohemian style with strong hippy vibe. She’s renting right now and you’ll know that it is harder to put your stamp on a rental. Her house had the ugliest curtains in the kitchen/dining. The rest of the house has wooden blinds but the back sliding door has the curtains. She bought some charcoal grey curtains and I sewed black pompom trim around them. I never blogged it or took pics but I did have a few making of ones, as you see above. The pompoms gave the currtains a much more deliberate feel and looked so much more cohesive than the 90’s blue curtains that were there. Somehow though, that area was falling flat, in comparison to the rest of the house. So I was thinking that this birthday would have to be home décor project for that area.
I saw this beautiful Mexican poncho fabric at Spotlight and knew I had to use it! So beautifully brightly coloured and with rows of shocking pink pompoms running down the length. Mum suggested a table runner and I knew she was right. My sister’s table measured 1.8m in length, so I bought 2.3m. I knew I wanted it to be wide, so eyeballed the width and used one of the stripes in the fabric as a cutting guide. Once I had the length going, I cut the points. I just measured up the length by an equal amount on both sides and chalked a line to the centre. I did this on both short ends.
This Mexican fabric is both loosely woven and somewhat embroidered, so fraying was bound to be an issue and I know my Sister, she will wash it! I didn’t want any extra bulk, if I could avoid it, because the fabric is thick. I didn’t want to double turn my hems, as I usually would, to avoid the bulk of it. One long side was the selvage but the other long edge and all four short edges were cut. I didn’t have an overlocker (serger) handy, so I used the mock overlock stitch on my machine. It goes backwards and forwards and over the cut edge. Quite mesmerizing really! For that reason, it’s a slow and thread heavy stitch – definitely wind a few bobbins before you start to save time. Once I had ‘overlocked’ the raw edges, I folded the long sides under by 6mm or ¼” and stitched a hem. I left the four short edges of the points as they were (the braid on the trim will cover the overlock and the lack of bulk just makes it look more pro when it’s made).
Now for the black pompom trim! I thought this would ground the whole thing, as my Sisters table is raw looking wood (any pics on the black table are taken on Mums huge 2.3m table) and match in with the curtains. I’ve made lots of projects with pompom (this shrug, this apron, this skirt, last years present to my Sister) and I have always said to use a zipper foot. Yes, a zipper foot helps you to get in there but it doesn’t have much traction against the feed dogs. This time I used a regular foot but moved my needle to the right, until I had the pressor foot out of the way of the pompoms themselves but needle was hitting the braided trim perfectly. I stitched the pompom trim all the way around and hit any cut edges of the trim with fray check (‘coz it will fray like crazy!).
The last step was to sew on a tassel to the points of each short end and voila! A very easy but crazy impactful sew. The fabric does all the talking here and as of posting it’s on sale! But maybe you can’t find fabric like this? Choose something bright, maybe stripey and you can sew on as many pompoms as you like. You don’t have to wait for a pre made pompom fabric! Add pompoms to your hearts content! I love, love, love how cute this turned out! And my Sister nearly popped a vein when she opened it. This table runner really made all the difference to a space that was just blah. In the time it took me to write this post, several people asked her where she got it and one tried to buy it from her! Birthday and decorator success! If you make your own version, I’d love to see xxx