Carolyn Pearce Home Sweet Home workbox 30: making the tassel, and then the tape measure cover is finished!

The tape measure cover from Carolyn Pearce’s book ‘Home Sweet Home; an embroidered workbox’ is almost finished – I only needed to make the tassel for the actual tape measure now. I got together all the beads that I’d need, to match the scissor keeper that I’d previously made. They included two ‘mirror finish’ green beads, an 8mm cloisonne bead, a 9mm bicone gold bead, three little gold spacer beads and an olive green seed bead for the very end, all from my stash.

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In her book, Carolyn suggests making the tassel using beading wire, but that assumes that you have a tape measure where you can get the plastic bit off the end first. With mine, I couldn’t do that. So I had to incorporate the white plastic bit, which wasn’t ideal, but I came up with a cunning plan.

I threaded the beads onto a length of Anchor stranded cotton first (2 strands), going through all beads once, then going back up the line through all except the seed bead at the end. Then, taking the two ends of Anchor thread, I threaded them in opposite directions though the loop at the end of the tape measure, tied them in a knot at the back, and glued the ends down on the reverse side of the plastic tab. Then I stuck a sequin on each side of the plastic tab, to disguise what I’d done. As I say, it wasn’t ideal, but I’m fairly pleased with how it looks. Here’s the back, before sticking the sequin on:

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This is the front, before sticking the sequin on to hide the green Anchor thread.

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So, now the tape measure cover is complete, and, despite the hiccups, I’m pleased with how it has turned out.

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It’s a good addition to the collection of smalls.

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This is the reverse, showing the little strawberry flower.

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And here’s the sequin, disguising the thread that ties on the tassel.

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Pretty, isn’t it?


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Carolyn Pearce Home Sweet Home workbox 29: assembling the tape measure cover

Now I’m up to the not-very-favourite bit of this project by Carolyn Pearce…..assembly <groan>!! It helps, though, if I cut everything out ready, before I start. So here are all the bits that I’ll need: stitched pieces, acetate for stiffeners, thin wadding, matching fabric for the long joining strip, and the tape measure itself.

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Thin wadding is placed on the reverse side of the stitched piece, and also on one piece of the acetate (I held it down on the acetate with double sided tape, to stop it slipping). I unpicked the blue guide placement stitches first, then worked running stitch with strong quilting thread, a quarter of an inch in from the edge of the fabric, and gathered it up to attach the fabric over the padded acetate.

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Here are both sides completed up to this stage.

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Then the long strip that will go around the tape measure is attached in the same way to the long strip of padded acetate.

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Here is where I hit problems big time. Entirely my own fault! When I re-read Carolyn’s instructions in her book ‘Home Sweet Home; an embroidered workbox’ they were very clear. I just didn’t bother to read them properly  😛 .

What happened was that, somewhere along the line, I took the long piece of acetate that I had cut out to the measurements that Carolyn gives in her book, and temporarily fitted it around the edge of the actual tape measure, to check the fit. When I found that it overlapped by about an inch, I assumed that the measurements in the book were wrong, so I cut the inch off. SPOT THE DELIBERATE MISTAKE!! I hadn’t allowed for the fact that the long strip has to fit THE CIRCUMFERENCE OF THE TWO STITCHED CIRCLES, and not the actual tape measure, which is bound to be smaller!!! How stupid was THAT?!

So, I had patiently started to slip stitch the long strip onto the first circle. When I got most of the way round, I realised that the strip was far too short. So I swore, unpicked it, made another strip to the correct length, and started to stitch it on. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the SECOND long strip that I stitched on….it was the first one again! And I only realised that…you’ve guessed it… as I got most of the way round and it STILL didn’t fit. You can see, in the photo below, that I must be stitching on the strip that was too short, because there are little tufty pieces of thread sticking out of the top edge of the strip, left over from when I’d unpicked it before. Doh! How stupid can you get.

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Anyway, eventually, I got the correct strip stitched on neatly, and it looked like this, with a quarter inch gap to allow the tab of the tape measure to stick out:

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Then I slip stitched the second circle onto the long strip – this time, with no mishaps at all. Half way round, I even remembered to insert the tape measure, too  🙂

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Finally, I stitched a row of Knotted Pearl Stitch over the slip stitches on each side.

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Now there’s just the tassel on the tape itself to do, and it will be finished.


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Carolyn Pearce Home Sweet Home workbox 28: the reverse side of the tape measure cover

The reverse side of the tape measure cover from Carolyn Pearce’s ‘Home Sweet Home: an embroidered workbox’ book features just one single flower – a strawberry flower.

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This is the same motif that was used on the scissor keeper, so I tried to use the same threads as before (although I’ve run out of the dark green Gloriana silk for the leaves, so I’m using a similar shade of dark green Anchor stranded cotton). The flower petals are stitched by outlining each petal shape first with split back stitch. Then satin stitch padding is worked in two layers within the lines (at right angles to each other). The image above shows the first layer completed.

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Then the top layer of long and shirt stitch is worked, using the shade ‘Snow’  by Gloriana. Highlights on each petal are worked in little straight stitches using a pale yellowy green.

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The centre of the flower is lots of little French knots, stitched using one strand of Anchor. Then the leaves are done using the dark green. The flower is about three quarters of an inch across. I think this one has come out neater than the one on the scissor keeper, so I’m more pleased with this one than the other one. Now I just need to assemble the tape measure cover.


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