Needle Craft

During most festivals in South India, women gift each other blouse pieces in random materials and colours.

Needle craft

This piece of fabric is almost never put to good use. Once the charm of the festival wears off, it is either discarded or palmed off on another unsuspecting soul!

All you need to do to transform this square bit of fabric is to let your imagination run riot as you embellish it, cut it and stitch it into something new, useful and exciting!
First, bring out all the blouse pieces you’ve collected over the months at weddings, pujas and house-warming ceremonies of friends and relatives. Divide them into neat piles in terms of their material.

The soft 2x2s and cottons can be converted into quilts, while polyesters and silks can be used to make cushion covers. Start pairing them: similar shades could go together or contrasting shades could make a pair.

Bring out your sewing kit with its secret cache of lace, zari, sequins, beads and buttons that you’ve been squirrelling away so that the final product can be embellished accordingly.

If you want, you could stitch dresses for your daughter’s dolls and curtains for her doll’s house. You could even make string bags and dainty purses to store your trinkets, beads and baubles. Best of all, you could make flowers which in turn can be strung into ‘thoranas’.

How to make a flower: 1 (3)

Cut the cloth into perfect circles of varying or uniform radius. Run an even tack with thread and needle along the circumference of the circle. Draw the thread in such a way that the circle transforms into a little bag. Gently pat the side on which the stitch lies till it flattens into a little flower and fasten the stitch into a knot.

Make covers for your electronic goods and other household items and paint them. The blouse bits can be stitched into one large length of fabric and then stitched on the lines of a pillow cover, keeping one side open.

Cut the two-layered, multicoloured cloth into desired sizes and then stitch the open side (on the lines of a pillow cover) leaving a little opening to reverse the bag. Sew the opening and then iron the cover before you paint it.

Plait the cloth according to the instructions given below and make your own fancy mats on which you could place telephones, vases and fruit bowls. Picot the edges of the cloth and cut it into three, equal pieces. Place the three pieces one over another and stitch them firmly at one end.

Plait the three ribbons all the way till the end, stitch the plait by placing the three pieces one over another. Coil the plait in any shape you want and glue it on to a rexine sheet of the same shape. Happy sewing!

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