Country Baskets Accessorise Yourself Challenge

As you read this post you may realise that… be prepared for a surprise …there’s no knitting or crochet…!!!!

So why the departure from the norm? Every so often I receive an amazing box of goodies in the post from the crafts retailer Country Baskets as part of a crafting competition open to crafters around the UK. I got involved after sharing my blog on bloggabase.

Along with the goodies comes a challenge:

“we are tasking you with creating a must-have Spring/Summer 2014 wedding accessory. Whether it’s a fascinator, brooh, clutch bag or hat, the choice is totally yours. A blog post that detail’s how you made your unique creation will then be judged alongside those of 20 or so other leading writers/bloggers to put you in with the chance of winning £250 of Country Basket gift vouchers to be used either online or in our stores”

A further proviso was that the finished creation used at least 5 items from the box:

Whats in the box


After a few sketches and brainstorming sessions I decided to make a hair accessory / fascinator. … a real 1st for me!

This design however would also work well as a decoration for the end of a church pew, a wrist corsage or a bridesmaids bouquet….

Step One was to lay out my original design on the floor



Next I pinned it all together onto my polystyrene head model and left it for an hour or so before looking at it again


On reflection I felt  it was a shame to hide the diamanté band I’d placed around the organza bow I had hand stitched.

To create the bow:  Cut a piece of organza off the roll, folded in half and created a back seam, adjust so the seam is at the centre back. Fold the rectangle of organza in half and run a finger along to make a crease. Next step –  work running stitch all the way down the crease using a double thread. Pull the ends of the thread tight at the bottom and knot to create a bow shape.

Using wire cutters cut a strip of diamentes of the correct length plus a bit over to wrap around the centre of the bow. Secure them by popping the ends of the mounting bar through the gap near one of the horizontal supports that run along the back of the strip.

Next I rearranged the components on the floor until I arrived at a layout I was happy with:


But I thought that hid the diamente band too much …..So I unpinned and tried a new layout

I trimmed the flower stems to size with wire cutters and decided to wrap them in a grey/green ribbon, left over from the Christmas Country Baskets Competition,  to hide them. I secured the ribbon with a few stitches in invisible thread to prevent it slipping or unravelling

I then cut 2 lengths of wire from the hanging decoration of pearls and glass hearts and formed them into large loops. I pinned these under the flowers but above the bow so that the glass would catch the light. I also popped the butterflies into the design without wiring to see how they looked and repinned the ensemble to the model head again.

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After a few tweaks I was happy so hand stitched all the components together with invisible thread and mounted them on a comb.

Then I wired in some pink butterflies so they were flitting around the flowers – to do this I placed the butterfly where I wanted it and then wrapped the wire stem they were mounted on around the stem of the flower. To achieve the various positions of the butterflies I then adjusted the angles of the wire to make it look as if they were flitting around the flowers.

The final step was to try the finished piece onto my human model. I chose 2 looks, one inserted into a french pleat at the back of her head and the other on the side as a fascinator.