Today it is stormy and rainy and so we can stay at home to recover from our exiting and exhausting trip to the Legoland yesterday. And a good chance for me to tell you about Spoonflower. Well, I got to know this fabric printing service last year when FruBlomgren offered her wonderful poppy fabric that I have used for a mugrug and the lining of a bag so far. Since then I also receive the blog newsletter regularly which inspired me for a quick project for our holidays.
The title of the articel was temting: „5min DIY – zero waste dish towels“ (seems as this was a German article only, I could not find the corresponding English one). And the shown fabric were enticing also but as I still have more than enough dish towels inherited from my mother-in-law I skipped the idea.
But then the two young ladies that look after my children some times told me about their holiday project. They had bought an old camper and were going to paint it with flower power designs. What a charming project! I would have loved doing that myself during my studying time.
So what could I give to these young ladies to make their experience even more special? Then I rembemered the dishtowel idea. I found a happy camper design for them and a teapot design for ourselves which I ordered. There were so many pretty designs that I would have liked but I kept reminding myself that I still have dozens of unused ones.
Only a week later that postman delivered the fabric. The musselin was still absolutely flat. And as a teatowel does not mind if it shrinks I decided to sew first and wash then.
As I had orderd by the yard I had to cut the fabric first to make four fat quarters from each design. The selvedge was not printed so I cut that off also in order to make the hangers from this piece. The blog articel said it would be sufficient to make a serger seam around the fabric which I did. But I thought that looked unfinished and so decided to make a real seam also.
As I did not have time for all eight dishtowel, so I did two to give to my sitters and two for us. After sewing I washed them in order to have the pretty crinkle effect of the fabric – no ironing needed.
Our two sitters were so happy with their unexpected present and sent me a picture from the camping site where the towels hang drying in the wind.
My towels still await their use. As an inlay in the breadbasket they do look nice, too. And with these individual dish towels we feel a little more at home in our holiday home. They make us smile every time we use them.
So, when I compare my experience with the allurements in the article, then I can say it was actually the first ever sewing project with absolutely no fabric waste! So this promise was met. The article also promised a 5 min project, but I actually did use more time than that as I had to cut the fabric and did the extra seam – I took me half an hour per towel. But even without this extra work it would have taken me at least a quarter of an hour each.
The articel did not say anything about the finances but I would like to mention it here. Of course these teatowels are much more expensive than those that you can buy at any shop (at least in Germany I do not know the prices in the English speaking countries). As I bought the fabric by the yard and not as fat quarters as Spoonflower suggested I could make four fat quarters out of a yard so each towel costs only half the price of fat quarter (but of course I spent more money buying the fabric) – the postage not included. But the fabric is only one part of the costs the other part is the time used. If you consider that the overall cost of a dish towel is twice the fabric worth. So this makes the most expensive dish towel I have ever owned or bought.
Would I do it again? Yes, by all means! I really do like these dishtowels and they make a wonderful individual present – for good friends or for myself. Though I only would gift these to people who themselves are crafters! Why? Only those do know about the worth of the material and the work (and love) it takes making them.
What are your experiences with self-made presents?