I think it was the weekend of Father’s Day that we saw lots of elderflowers blooming in Grandma and Grandad’s garden. Six year old and Daddy filled a little trug with elderflowers because six year old wanted to make elderflower cordial. I hate the stuff, it sucks. I do not get why everyone loves it so much. Blurgh. Any way, seeing as he’s only six, I obliged and helped him make a drink out of the pretty but stinky flowers.
It was a made up recipe because we didn’t have things like citric acid. I whacked in a tonne of sugar and loads of lemon juice. It was far too sweet but mixed with fizzy water, we got away with it. He made me drink some.
Anyway, playing with these flowers gave me an idea for an elderflower without the stench. I quickly sketched out my idea and got stuck in. I decided to sew a brooch using felt. The last time I did felt sewing was when I made a cherry blossom needle case. It was one of my first blog posts and no one saw it!
Cutting out the little flowers was a fiddly job. I didn’t bother using the templates for those, just cut little circles and snipped petal shapes into them.
I have white felt and off white felt. They are both different sorts of felt. I wanted to use the off white but I think it must be 100% wool because it is mega fluffy and breaks away at the edges very easily. I decided to make two brooches as I wasn’t sure which felt would be the best. In the above picture you can see I have used off white flowers on a white felt backing and vice versa in the other bloom. The extra woolly felt was definitely not good for the small flowers.
The beginnings of this purse is going to be the thing I pin the brooch onto. Originally, I was going to do it applique style and have the flower as the purse’s design feature. It turned out I couldn’t be bothered to do that so I added a little brooch clasp instead and that way I had a brooch or bag decoration!
To make the purse, I chained 34+1 and did enough rows until I was happy with the length before dropping the first stitch of every row for about eight rows (it might have been ten rows!). I then did six (maybe eight?)rows with a 2tgr at the beginning and end of each row. In the last three of those rows I made the button hole. To do this, I missed two stitches in the middle of the row and chained two instead. In the following row I made two single crochets in the space and then did the final row normally. Apologies, probably not the best instructions in the world but I didn’t write them down very clearly. Before fastening off it’s a good idea to go round the edge of the entire piece with single crochet for a neater result.
I used a 4mm hook and double knit yarn.
I sewed on the lining by hand and cut a hole for the button to go through. The button hole (also hand sewn) is messily stitched because I haven’t learned how to do it properly.
I folded the bottom up and crocheted the sides together (whip stitch would be good too). I forgot to go round all edges first with the single crochet, so I botched it, as usual. To rectify my error I attached some yarn to one of the corners and just single crocheted along the flap edge. Seeing as this is a prototype, it’s not bad. You learn as you go, I suppose.
I absolutely prefer the brooch on the right. It is brooch number two. The first one I used darker embroidery thread for the middles of the flowers and it doesn’t work for me. I also went crazy with some dodgy french knots but they don’t work for me either. The flap is curling up so it looks wonky, but it isn’t really.
Yep, the left one is such a newb. Deffo the one on the right for me.
They look lovely together! I’m pleased now. I think, if I was going to get brave and open an Etsy shop, this is the kind of thing I’d want to sell.
So, that is the new thing I made.
Back to crochet this afternoon I reckon. And after a week of feeling rough I have my appetite back just in time for slow roasted pork and veg from the garden. All is good. Hurray!
8 thoughts on “Handmade elderflowers are better than real elderflowers.”
Beautiful work! Just love it and the lining is a lovely surprise, matches perfectly. I love vintage style and I think this would really compliment a vintage style dress for a special occasion.
Thank you! Now I should make a tea dress and I can wear my new brooch on it!
Very pretty! I must disagree with you though because I think I prefer the brooch on the left. I think I just like the flowers hang over the leaves a bit more and are a bit more unevenly spaced.
Interesting…! I just looked and I see what you mean. Now you’ve made me like that one too. Although i still don’t like the dark thread.
Both the purse and the flowers are gorgeous, I think they would do great on Etsy. x
Thanks very much! I hope to get there eventually.
I’ve recently become obsessed with crochet vlogcasts, including yours, and I find you to be wildly inspiring! So thank you for putting yourself out there! and now that I’ve checked out your blog…even more so. I also love making cute little felt thingies along with my crochet!
Thank you so much! That’s lovely to hear.
I really love working with felt but hardly do it at all these days 🙁