I am currently stitching the Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui as a stitchalong project. This week, I’ll explain how to assemble the thimble holder that hangs from the bottom point of the heart etui. See the end of this post for all the information you’ll need to join in!
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This is the main part of the thimble holder, which I embroidered earlier. It will have a separate lid, which is lined with a tiny embroidered circle of fabric. So, this is a rather fiddly thing to assemble!
First, cut out the embroidered piece, leaving largish seam allowances (more than 3/8 inch), as I have found that these tiny 3D pieces can use up fabric more than you think, when you come to turning them inside out, etc.
The muslin backing fabric needs to be cut away from the top half of the embroidered piece on the back, to reduce bulk.
Fold the fabric into a tube, right sides together, and stitch carefully along the back seamline. I hand stitched mine.
Then flatten the seams out with your thumbnail, and turn the fabric to the right side. Now, I found that mine had a ‘gap’ with no embroidery. The instructions suggest that the embroidery should almost meet here, and that you only need to stitch a couple of lines and one more forget-me-not flower over the seam, to complete the pattern all the way round. I *almost* re-did the seam smaller, but if I had, the lid would not have fitted, so I think this is a mistake in the pattern. I decided to just have a gap in the embroidery, and never let people see the back!
Make a ring from template plastic, and stick it together with sticky tape.
Turn in the top edge of the fabric, and the lining, and tack the seam allowances down (separately). Do the lining with sewing thread that matches the fabric, as you won’t be able to remove this later. Slide the plastic piece inside the tube so that the top edge of the circle aligns with the foldline.
Fold the lining in and down over the plastic ring, to make a tube with a stiffened bottom edge.
At this point, I decided to make the cord for my thimble holder in a different way from the instructions. Their instructions say to use ONE cord, that has the thimble holder on one end and the round pinwheel on the other end, and you’d eventually join the cord to the bottom tip of the heart etui part way along it. I didn’t like the sound of that, so I made a separate cord for each ‘dangly’. The thimble holder cord is 4 inches long from the neat end to the knot, and I stitched the knot inside the thimble holder at this point in the construction, hiding the knot between the lining and the embroidered fabric (so you don’t see it when you look into the holder later!). Make sure you secure it in place between the lining and fabric, then run a gathering thread round the top edge of the thimble holder fabric, pull it up firmly and secure by going back and forth across the gap, going through the cord as well.
Lastly, thread on a bead cap, cloisonne bead, and a gold bead to the cord, then knot the cord to hold them close to the holder. Stitch through the holes in the bead cap with matching thread to hold it down onto the fabric.
For the lid, cut out the fabric with 3/8 inch seam allowance, and run a gathering thread round the circle. Gather it up, over a plastic circle and a felt circle, for padding. Don’t overdo the padding – this is a very small piece. I found that the templates for the circles were far too large – carefully measure the diameter of the thimble holder at this point, and make your circle template whatever diameter it needs to be to fit. I had to reduce mine by 1/8 inch, which is a lot for such a small piece.
Do the same with the embroidered lid lining piece, which is a tiny circle barely 5/8 inch diameter. Slipstitch the two together, wrong sides facing, with strong sewing cotton.
Work beaded Knotted Pearl Stitch around the edge of the lid itself (not the smaller inner piece).
Start the beaded Knotted Pearl Stitch at the back, near the centre line. When you have gone all the way round, for the last couple of stitches, work through the fabric of the holder itself as well, to create a hinge for the lid. Stitch a green crystal bead on the centre front, and work a buttonhole loop on the edge of the lid to act as a closure.
This is it when it’s finished – about an inch and a half high, and very sweet! Carolyn Pearce’s thimble holders are always very ingenious, and a bit tricky to make, but so cute when they’re done!!!
Next time I’ll assemble the pinwheel….
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The Strawberry Fayre design, plus the complete list of materials, appears in Inspirations magazine number 95. The publishers do sell a full materials pack (not including the mother of pearl ruler though!), but it’s rather expensive, so if you can use your stash, and just fill in with bits and pieces, then so much the better! The magazine is published in Australia – if you live in the UK, as I do, it is cheaper to buy a back copy from Manor House Magazines, and save a lot on the shipping.
EDIT: The materials pack from Inspirations, and the magazine from Manor House in the UK are not available any more as at March 2018 – I don’t know if any more stocks will be available now, unfortunately. The publishers may bring out a digital pattern pack later, which they sometimes do with popular projects from their magazines, but we’ll have to wait and see…..
To read about this project stitchalong from the beginning, start here. The post about which FABRIC to use is here. The post about the THREAD SUBSTITUTIONS that I made, plus WHERE TO BUY the threads and beads, etc., is here.
To look up all the posts in this series in the sidebar, see under the CATEGORIES list, under: Embroidery / Full size (others’ designs) / Strawberry Fayre heart etui, or use the SEARCH BOX at the top of the blog, and search for ‘Strawberry Fayre’ to get a list of all the posts (but it’s in reverse order, sorry!).
I’d be interested to see images of how your project is progressing – please email large, clear, well-focused images to email@example.com Please bear in mind that any images sent may be used in this blog and/or social media such as Facebook or Pinterest.
8 thoughts on “Carolyn Pearce Strawberry Fayre heart etui 38: how to assemble the thimble holder”
That is incredibly fiddly but definitely a very sweet little thimble holder! Beautiful, Janet. 👍🏻
Thanks! It didn’t come out as neatly as I’d have liked, but I was just pleased to get it done, in the end…..
This is a very sweet thimble holder! It looks incredibly fiddly to make up, I think I’d feel all thumbs!
It certainly wasn’t the easiest thing I’ve ever made up!
This was a challenge to make. I did the same and made each item a cord. Matching the back and coming out with one more flower stem also took me some time. In the end I got it finished and it did fit my thimble.
I love seeing how yours turned out and your color choices up close. I am now working on her work box. I started by reading what you did. I started with the bottom of the work box and I am now on the house side with the strawberries.
Glad I’m not the only one who had to make adjustments to this! The work box is a great project too – I think it’s easier to assemble than this heart etui.
oh my word, this is so pretty. I’m not sure I would have the skill or the patience to make one.
Thank you! It’s not actually difficult, but it is very time-consuming! I’ve been making this in my ‘spare’ time for over six months, now.