I have been a fan of Beatrix Potter’s works ever since I can remember, so when I saw a post on Instagram about a swap to commemorate her birthday I knew I had to sign up!
It took me rather a long time to settle on what I was going to make. I knew I wanted to incorporate some cross stitch because I had for my birthday been gifted Veronique Enginger’s beautiful book Fables and Fairy Tales, there was a sweet pattern with some bunnies, although the theme of the pattern was the Tortoise and the Hare the hare did look remarkably like Peter Rabbit it seemed so fitting. My partner had said that one of her favourite characters was Flopsy Bunny, so rather than the blue vest that the hare had in the pattern I gave her a little red cape.
I kept changing my mind as to what this little stitching would become…
So after a lot of thought I decided it would look super sweet as a reverse applique and that it should be a little needlebook.
Except I wanted to make it more special than just a needlebook. I love the fold-up sewing folio pattern in Aneela Hoey’s book Stitched Sewing Organisers but that wouldn’t work as it was the wrong size and would not show off the stitching properly.
It’s wonderful when you have a brain wave, and seeing as I had made 5 of these organisers now I was fairly confident on the method, so I decided to adapt the pattern to fit this little cross stitch.
The inside fabric although not strictly Beatrix Potter definitely had the theme of it! More of the linen for the inside pocket (although) I didn’t think about the extra bulk using this would cause!) and some lovely wool felt to hold pins and needles. The vinyl pocket although small can actually hold a fair bit and would be handy for a small EPP project.
What I enjoyed most about this project was adding the little extra details, such as the embroidery the lace and buttons. I had a fun afternoon of various boxes of haberdashery out and experimenting with different ideas, it was so fun being creative!
The back I really love, this was taken from a vintage panel that has been in the family for many years and I think just gives it the perfect finish. I had originally thought about doing a patchwork back with some of the more modern Peter Rabbit fabrics I own but I think this makes it more unique.
To go with the package I also made a Wee Braw Bag, which is a pattern by Laura Zuckerkuss.
The pocket panel was another fabric that had been in my stash for some years and my mother’s before that. It was actually part of a quilt panel that you cut up add frames and sew together, but I thought it would make the sweetest little pocket panel instead.
Finally I made a little key fob out of some Flopsy bunny fabric, and included some cute washi tape from Cute Things from Japan and a V (for Victoria) Hunka Munka ornament, which I love so much I need to get an M for Mabel!
I always go through the same process of a swap. The initial excitement for signing up and planning on what to make, to absolute stress and fear, that I’ve not made enough, it is not perfect enough or that my partner won’t like it. At this point I vow never to do a swap again! Then somehow I come out the other side and think it wasn’t so bad, I may do another.
Although I did get a bit stressed and worried about this swap, I did really enjoy putting this together, Beatrix Potter was a huge part of my childhood and it was lovely to reminisce about that. It also made me wish I could go back and visit the Lake District, if you’ve not been it is worth a trip it is so beautiful!