Saturday, October 23, 2010

fairy tale sewing kit

I sent a second present to Candy as part of a separate fairy tale exchange, in which participants were supposed to serve as a Lost and Found service and return an item to their partner that might have belonged to a fairy tale character.

Another favorite fairy tale of mine is The Wild Swans, in which a young princess is tasked with the job of knitting shirts in order to break the spell that has turned  her six brothers into swans. The shirts were made of sharp nettles that cut her hands as she made them, and because she becomes mute as part of the bargain, she cannot defend herself against the charges laid against her by her scheming mother-in-law. This particular story stuck with me because, although it does have a happy ending, it seemed fraught with trials and tribulations, and the poor princess had to sacrifice quite a lot in order to save her brothers and to save herself.

For this swap, I thought it would be interesting to create a little sewing kit that the princess might have used for the finishing work on these shirts. I first created six little swan pins to represent the brothers, using Shrinky Dink film and a vintage swan illustration. I roughly followed this tutorial from Wee Wonderfuls to create the pins, although I used a heating tool on the pins instead of baking them in the oven. This was the first time I'd used shrink film since I was little, and it was great fun and so easy to do!

Next, I cut a pattern free-hand and sewed a wool felt pincushion, incorporating a swan image as well as nettles and leaves around the edges. The pink and pale green felt was hand-dyed, and embroidered with floss. Lastly, I enclosed a pair of golden scissors with a bird on the handle, along with a letter written to the rightful owner from the Lost & Found delivery service.

The best thing about this is that Candy actually does a lot of sewing herself, so the sewing kit was both appropriate for the princess, as well as appropriate for my partner! This was a really fun swap to create, and I'm really glad I had a chance to do it.


  1. that's really lovely! adorable. A fine gift for sure

  2. Oh, how I adored this package! One of the best swaps ever. I was very lucky to have been paired with you! ♥


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