Corsages were very popular during the '40s. With the availability of new clothing very much restricted, people had to make the very best of what they had. The women of the era turned to accessories and embellishments to give a tired frock a new lease of life.
Scouring the pages of craft magazines of the time, you will find various patterns for posies and trimmings. As well as the expected knitted, felted and crocheted examples, you can find buttonholes made from all manner of things. From broken zips to bottle corks, pine cones to dried seaweed (yes, really, it was dried before being painted with enamel paint), the women of the time were truly resourceful - they simply had to be - although how many of them actually pinned seaweed to their lapel, I don't know. Eau de poisson and visions of the local cats following you home spring to mind! :o)
I have dabbled (and failed) with the knitted variety, given a good go (with limited success) to the crocheted lovelies but my fail safe and favourite crafty supply to work with is felt. The range of colours, the way it can be snipped and shaped and stitched - I just love it. I try to work in 1940's colours, where possible, no acidic or fluorescent shades here.
So, when the opportunity presented itself for a few hours "me" time, a very precious commodity for anyone home educating little lovelies, I jumped at the chance.
With some forties favourites on the airwaves and cake to keep my company, I set to work. Felt flower making is not a quick process, as I'm sure many of you fellow crafters know. From copying the pattern, drawing it onto the felt, snipping, stitching, stitching and yet more stitching, a single pretty posy can take upwards of 30 minutes.
After a few happy hours, I had 6 bright, pretty posies.
You've probably seen the anemone many times before. This one is the exception to the rule, as far as working from original patterns go, because it's one I designed myself a couple of years ago. I love anemones and wanted to create something small enough to wear on my beret. With over 25 pieces to hand cut and stitch together, it is probably the most time consuming of the lot but it is also the one which has proved to be most popular at '40s events where I sell them for £5.00 each.
My least favourite of the bunch is the tulip. I love tulips and their happy spring shades but I didn't enjoy making the corsage one bit. The pattern comes from a Needlework Illustrated magazine and the instructions said you had to glue the felt together.
I'm not a fan of gluing fabrics, especially not thick felt. I don't think glue gives longevity and so instead I opted to stitch rather than stick. Stitching it, although I was super careful, leaves a very definite mark on the petal and doesn't leave a very tulipy shape. It's a plus size posie as the tulips are life sized but that's fine on my more than ample bosom!
The very autumnal mustard and brown one is from another Needlework Illustrated magazine (I'm a little obsessed with these magazines). I've used the pattern before to make bright red versions with black middles, a bit like a gerbera, and they are relatively easy to make.
Today marks the last day of the school term and the beginning of a much anticipated two weeks with Mr Y, I can't wait.
With Easter celebrations almost upon us, I have two girls waiting to get messy and make the obligatory chocolate nests and I also want to try out a child friendly recipe from my new cookery book. Something chocolatey springs to mind, after all, it is almost Easter.
To those of you celebrating, I hope you have a lovely Easter! Let's hope it's sunny rather than snowy! x