Tassels – bag charm tutorial

 Autumn is in the air which fills me with joy 🍂

In celebration, I’m getting my warmer dresses out and even treated myself to new one from Lindy Bop. But the best thing about autumn is… I can wear my woolies again!!! Yeeeey!! Shawls, cardigan and jumpers it’s all coming out to play again!!

However, one Summer accessory I’m refusing to give up just yet is my straw bag. I love her, she’s been my constant companion for the past few months and I’m not shutting her in the wardrobe yet. What I’ve decided to do is to jazz her up a bit and make her autumn ready.

The best way to dress up any bag is with a charm. My first thought was pompoms, but I’ve been slightly obsessed with them and now everything is covered in pompoms. The other easily made decoration is tassels, and they have been everywhere this Summer, from earrings to cushions we have been loving tassels.

My favourite ones are the stacked ones with each tassel being different colour, I’ve seen some in gradient effect, and they are just lush. Of course, I wanted to have a go at making them by self. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the right colours in my stash to create a gradient effect but nice autumnal ones are just great.

They are quite quick and easy to make; all you need is:

  • Your chosen yarns, the yarn with the lovelies colours I had in my stash was Rowan Cotton Glacé, but any yarn will do
  • Piece of cardboard 5cm wide and 7cm high
  • Sharp scissors
  • Charm holder, I used round bag rings by Prym, but any clip that goes around the handle and can fit your tassels will be just perfect, or just use yarn to tie them
  • Tapestry needle
  • Comp (optional)

I didn’t want my tassels to be too long and settles on approx. 7cm, if you would like them taller just cut the piece of cardboard longer in length.

Steps 1 and 2: Wrap yarn around the longer length of rectangle in the centre until nice and slightly full, don’t wrap too much. Cut the yarn.

Steps 3 and 4: Thread tapestry needle with 25cm of yarn and wrap around once and tie to top of tassel snugly. Remove needle, leaving tie to attach to work.

Steps 5 and 6: Ease the tassel gently from the cardboard.

Steps 7 and 8: Cut another 25 cm of yarn and wrap snugly around tassel once, near the top, tie a knot, then wrap once more and tie a knot, using the tapestry needle bury the ends inside the tassel.

Steps 9 and 10: Cut bottom ends of tassel and trim evenly.

Step 11: Make four more tassels in different colours.

Steps 12 and 13: Choose which colour you would like at the bottom and feed the top end of that tassel through the centre of tassel to be above.

Steps 14 and 15: Repeat with the other end, making sure that both ends come through on either side of the tie on the tassel above. Tie both ends in a knot and trim.

Step 16: Repeat steps 12 to 15 with the other tassels, stacking them on top of each other. When you stack your last tassel, do not cut the ends after tying them in a knot, feed them through tapestry needle and bury them inside the tassel. DO NOT cut the ends of top tassel.

Step 17 and 18 (Optional): I like the tassels to be a bit shaggy and worn, to achieve this just comb your tassels with a comp until they look nicely messy, trim any fluff. If you would like your tassels to stay smooth please omit this step.

Steps 19 and 20: Using the ends of the top tassel make few chains and wrap the ends twice around the ring clip, tie in a knot and weave in the ends down the chains and tassel.

Repeat all steps and make two more charms with two tassels each and attach to ring clip at different lengths.

Voilà, your gorgeous charms are ready 🙂

Anna xx

Our handmade wedding


I can’t believe it has been 4 months since our big day! Time really does fly.

We finally have all the pictures and it is wonderful to look back and remember how special the day was. I’m sure that every couple says that their day was perfect, but to us, it really was. It just all fell into place perfectly and those little things that were so important to get right before just didn’t matter at all. Even the weather was perfect, it was raining nonstop before the day, and as our wedding was half inside and half outside it was quite worrying that it was going to pour down, but we had the last lovely day of September, it was warm and sunny, the rain started back again the next day, but of course it didn’t matter then. It was quite odd actually as Autumn really started the next day, it seemed like leaves turned golden yellow overnight.

 

When we were planning our wedding, firstly and most importantly, it had to be low key! Neither of us like ceremonies very much and wanted to avoid the pomp and pageantry of a traditional wedding. For us the main focus was family and friends celebrating our special day in surroundings that meant a great deal to us.  It had to be relaxed, all about getting together and having a great time without all the regimentals of a traditional wedding, not that there’s anything wrong with a traditional wedding, it is just not our style. Secondly, it had to be on a low budget, we refused to spend crazy amounts of money for one day, I know it is a once in a lifetime event, but still. Well…. We almost stuck to the budget, went over it by £1.25, but I think we both can live with that 😊. Thirdly, it had to be handmade or at least as much as possible. I wanted to make as many of the decorations and accessories as it was achievable.

When it comes to the venue there was only one choice, The Cha Café in Cassiobury Park.  It is the most charming café connected to the park, we love spending weekends there with a good breakfast or lunch or just grab a coffee after a long walk. Cassiobury Park is our favourite place, we go walking there quite a lot. It has nature reserve, bird watching hide, elusive muntjacs, canal with barges, a quaint little river, a few gorgeous bridges and lots of history…. What more can you ask for?
The wonderful thing about The Cha is that not only it has a perfectly quaint inside, but a beautiful outside space with wooden benches overlooking the park. We wanted to connect those two so people can choose to mingle and eat inside or outside, therefore a buffet was perfect solution and it was DELICIOUS!! The café has provided the most gorgeous food on the planet. Also, The Cha has a lovely playground area where children were playing happily. We put together small gift packs for the kids and I have the say the animal masks were the biggest winners. 
The handmade aspect started with the invitations. We have created three stamps with The English Stamp Company, one was the main one with our names and date surrounded in laurel wreath. The second one was a very small leaf motive for the inside of the invitations, and the third just a small one with our initials in a laurel wreath. The cards and envelopes were just plain ones purchased in Hobbycraft, the inside we printed ourselves, tied a length of twine and fresh rosemary sprig on the crease and hey presto. I must say that I was a bit worried when I was posting the invitations that they wouldn’t be delivered. The rosemary has a very pungent smell and quite similar to marijuana, I really thought that the postal service will check them all, but luckily, they were all delivered without a problem 😊

I toyed with the idea of knitting my wedding dress but to be honest you want the wedding dress to pull and tuck you in the places that are most important, especially as I’m on the heavy side. Knitted dresses are wonderful but they don’t offer the same support in the waist and everywhere else as a dress with built in supported bodice. Well they could, you can sew in a bodice to the inside of a knitted dress but that seemed like too much hassle for me so I decided to settle for a knitted cardigan instead and a matching tie for Dave.

The yarn I’ve chosen was Cascade Heritage Solids a lovely 4 ply yarn in Moss (5612) colour to go with our nature team. I knitted a top down, cropped cardigan with lace details at the back, above the bottom rib and on sleeves. The cardigan is my own design and unfortunately, I wasn’t taking notes when knitting it, but one day I will sit down and write the pattern. I originally made the sleeves a bit too tight and had to undo them halfway. I finished them at 2am the night before the wedding and I’m so glad I did, I knitted like a woman possessed. 

Dave’s tie I knitted with the yarn held double in moss stitch.

My hair decoration was a flower crocheted with mohair and beads, it is the same flower that is on the cover of my Crocheted Flowers to Wear book, but i didn’t include the leaves as the was just a bit too much. Dave and I both had the bee pin. My one was on the flower, Dave’s on his tie. 

After spending hours looking at dresses and their eye watering prices I’ve chosen the 50’s Audrey style in thick ivory satin with small spots tulle overlay from Honeybutique. They are online boutique only and offer vintage style dresses at great prices. There is a huge risk ordering a dress you never seen and tried on before, luckily, I had my sewing goddess friend Stephie on call in case it needed some adjustments. I’ve ordered swatches and chosen the best quality fabric, you know, you want a cheap dress but you don’t want it to look it. You must measure yourself carefully and send them all the measurements as once the dress is purchased and made you cannot return it. I’ve chosen Audrey as it fits my style perfectly, I love a slash neck and mid-calf length. The skirt was very full so I’ve chosen the non-gathered style, no need for petticoat either. I was overall pretty pleased with my dress, it was the perfect length, the tulle overlay suited the fabric underneath perfectly, the corset part could have been a bit smaller as I had still room to tighten myself in a waist more, but overall, I was very pleased.  Of course, it wasn’t without small disasters. When I received the dress in heist to try it on, I’ve ripped a whole in the tulle. Corseted dresses are not all that easy to try on and take off, instead of waiting for my sister to come over and help I just had to put it on, which wasn’t a problem, the taking off proved a bit of a challenge, I pulled a bit too hard on the waist and the tulle ripped, I can tell you that the blood drained from my body at that moment. Being ever the resourceful person, I have fixed the tear with some invisible thread and you would have never known. 

I had my amazing friends Annette, Suzanne, Stephie helping with decorations by crocheting dollies for the tables. They all look perfectly magical 😊. The patterns were taken from Annette’s vintage pattern books and we used Schachenmayr Catania in Natur (00105) colour. Also, my friends Melinda and Margaret helped with bunting, but unfortunately we couldn’t hang it, as firstly we didn’t have a ladder and secondly when I was joining the bunting I didn’t make it long enough. Thank you ladies for everything, you are all one in a million!! And a big thank you to Lorenzo and Freddie for photography. Not forgetting the lovely Angela for embroidering our initials with a bird that I placed in an embroidery hoop.

Dave and I were putting together the table decorations the day before. We went for simple jam jars, decorated with cotton trimming and twine, filed with flowers, candles, yarn and needles of course. We also had lots of vases with LED candles and foliage dotted around everywhere.

We have used lots of foliage from our garden in most jars and vases, the hoops at the entrance were made from ivy growing around one of our trees, even the men’s boutonnieres were made from flowers from the Sapphire bush by our wall. I have also made my bouquet which had a mixture of brought and garden flowers. I still can’t believe that we only spend £25 on all the flowers, that’s including my bouquet, it was all so lovely and green 😊


There was even the knitters table 🙂

There wouldn’t be a handmade wedding if we didn’t have a handmade cake, well…..partially handmade. Both of us are not great bakers, not even mediocre ones, we really didn’t wanted to risk dry, over or under baked sponges, not to mention soggy bottoms. We have found this great bakery on line, The Nude Cakes, which supply readymade sponges, perfect for decorating. We wanted a naked cake, three tiers were essential for past, present and future and lots of fresh fruit and berries decorating the cake. The flavours were vanilla, chocolate and lemon. We made a vanilla buttercream filling with strawberry jam for the vanilla tier, a chocolate ganache for the chocolate one and a lemon buttercream with lemon and lime marmalade for the lemon sponge. All the tiers were stacked and adorned with fresh berries and cobnuts. Some of the berries weren’t staying put and as we didn’t have any tooth picks, we were really running out of time by then, we used dry spaghetti pasta. It was a bit hilarious as the pasta soften throughout the day, being stuck in a moist cake, but that was at the end of the day and the guests found it quite funny picking out uncooked pasta from cake…. what can I say, necessity is the mother of invention.

The stand was simple slice of wooden log and the cake topper, a pair of charming ceramic foxes ordered from strawberriesandcream on Etsy. If you look closely on the tail of the bride fox you can see little teeth marks, this was Brick the cat having a good go on munching it.  

There wasn’t a space in the café for a band but that didn’t matter as we put together a fantastic playlist, mixing swing, blues and rock. Anything from Squirrel Nut Zippers, Dean Martin to Seasick Steve. With the opening song being of course the cover of White Wedding by The New Morty Show, here’s the song:

 
It was so wonderful to just hang out with our family and friend and enjoying the day to its fullest. I still smile every time I look at my wedding ring and remember that special day, not only for how beautiful it was but mostly because I married the love of my life.

 And when the night fell the candles outside flickered gently and the sparklers were lit.

The perfect end to the perfect day ………..