Bit by bit, the Blackcabbit crafts its nest of DIY handmade art and illustrates a kingdom of doodle critters to beautify the world she lives in.
If you have read “A Novice’s Attempt on Sashiko” (my previous post), you’d know that Ajisai (紫陽花/Hydrangea) has been on my mind lately, especially during this Tsuyu (梅雨/rainy season). So I decided to make it the seventh Christmas tree decoration, which is part of my pinecone craft series in Japanese style. Of which, I’d share basic techniques of Chirimen Zaiku (ちりめん細工/Crepe Handicrafts) that I am learning from books. Okay, here is how I make the pretty flower cluster and sweet butterfly. Step by step, here we go!
The flowers were deliberately made in different sizes (between 3 to 4.5 cm diameters). (1) I measured and cut them in circular shapes. I did a running stitch about 0.5 cm away from the edge. (2) With the needle and thread intact (don’t cut the thread until the end), I gave it a pull (3) so that it would become this rounded form. (4) I pushed the needle right through the middle, from bottom to top. (5) Then, I added four loops (again at the middle, from bottom to top). (6) I bought these beads from the DAISO, 500 pieces (4mm) for 108 yen! I attached a bead to the flower, ended the thread with a final knot at the bottom and CUT. One flower done!The number of flowers to make really depend on the size of the pinecone. For me, I made a total of 25 pieces!
The flowers could be done so quickly that I was able to make these hair accessories (1 for me and 1 for my baby girl) on the night before I wore my Jinbei with Hydrangea Embroidery.
This is how I made my butterfly. Ideally, I shouldn’t be using red fabric, since the flowers are in shades of red. The reason why I used this leftover Christmas fleece was mainly because the rest of the pinecone gang had some on them. And I felt that it is important to have consistency. Hence, my little butterfly is now camouflaging. (LOL)(1) I cut two squares in two sizes (4 & 5 cm respectively). (2) I folded them in halves, and sewed the edges, but left an opening wide enough to turn it inside out. (3) Once they were turned to the right sides, I tucked in their top edges. (4) I sewed the top and bottom parts together. (5) Using gold threads, I looped a few times around them. I ended the final loop by pushing the needle through the fleece and tied a knot.
My pinecones were baked before I used them for crafts. Here is how I baked my pinecones. I wanted the colors to be blend in with the flowers, and not to stand out too much in this project. So, I used a layer of reddish brown acrylic, to make it look like a little shrub.
This is how I arranged the chirimen flowers, to make it looked like an Ajisai’s flower cluster. Instead of the whole pinecone, I glued only a section (like an oval shape). Then, I placed the butterfly on top.
This was how I made the leaves. (1) I cut out a semi-circle. (2) I folded it into halves, and sewed on one side. (3) Then, I turned it inside out. (4) On the right side, I stitched up the opening, gave it a pull and secured the ends. Then, I made a few more and glued them to the pinecone…