One of my favorite books as a child was Pippi Longstocking by the Swedish author, Astrid Lindgren. Pippi was a nine-year-old girl who lived on her own with a monkey and a horse, possessed superhuman strength, had wild adventures with two neighboring children—and wore stripy socks!
Expert crafter Clare Youngs has long been influenced by the folk art of cultures from around the world. Here she uses some of her favourite motifs to create 35 gorgeous projects to make. Clare uses traditional imagery as well as a more modern take on classic folk art - with beautiful results. The designs use a range of different embroidery stitches - including seed stitch, French knots, satin stitch and cross stitch - to create striking arrangements. These embroidery patterns are then used to adorn a multitude of items made in a variety of fabrics including a picnic bag, purse, a gingham dress for a little girl, soft toys, pillows and cushions, a table cloth, seat cover, buttons and more. So whether you love the traditional style of Scandinavian needlecraft, with its hearts, flowers and birds, or the intricate patterns and symbols of South American folk art, you are guaranteed to find something beautiful to make for yourself or to give as a gift. Each project comes with clear step-by-step instructions and beautiful illustrations, as well as a useful techniques section at the back, so first-time crafters will have no trouble making any of the projects, while more experienced stitchers will find plenty of inspiration and ideas.© 2014 Clare Youngs / CICO Books · Reproduced with permission. · Folk Art Needlecraft by Clare Youngs is published by Cico Books at £12.99 and is available from www.cicobooks.com
Draw and pin a clog shape to the right side of one piece of solid fabric. Draw around the shape and cut it out. Turn the template over and pin it to the right side of the second piece of fabric and repeat. Use the petal-shaped template to cut out 6 shapes from the scraps of fabric.
Take the fabric for the skirt, and use an air-erasable marker to mark 2 in. (5 cm) in from each side on the long top edge. Using a ruler, draw a line from the bottom right-hand corner to join up with the mark along the right top edge. Repeat on the left-hand side. Cut along these two lines to make a trapezoid shape for the skirt.
Cut out six strips of fabric to fit the length of the petal shapes. Position three petal shapes along the front of the clog, lining up the flat end of the petal with the top edge of the clog. Pin a strip in position in the center of each shape and secure with a line
of machine zigzag.
Cut out a piece of fabric to decorate the heel end of the clog. You could cut a shape, such as a heart, or cut a motif from patterned fabric. Pin in position on the heel and machine zigzag to secure.
Pin the clogs to the rug fabric, placing them approx. 1½ in. (3.5 cm) apart and 3¼ in. (8 cm) up from the bottom edge. Pin the skirt to the top of the rug, centered on the width and ¾ in. (2 cm) down from the top edge. Sew a line of zigzag all around the edge of the skirt to secure it in place.
With an air-erasable marker, draw two lines up from the top of the clog to the base of the skirt to make a leg. Repeat from the other clog.
Cut out pieces of fabric in different-sized rectangles and squares and position them along the leg shapes. You can overlap the pieces and go over the marked lines—you want to achieve a jumbled, haphazard look and a good mix of colors.
When you are happy with the arrangement, pin the pieces in place and machine zigzag all around the edges.
Turn under a double ½-in. (1-cm) hem all around the sides of the rug, pin, and machine stitch. You may find that the fabric is too thick to sew a double hem. If it is, sew a line of zigzag all around the edge, turn under a ¾-in. (2-cm) single hem, and sew a line of stitching ½ in. (1 cm) in on all sides. Press.
I have tried to find the brightest scraps of fabric possible to depict Pippi’s colorful character.