Shwe-shwe bed scarf.

I struggled and struggled with what I wanted to do with this fabric…
Well…since you asked :)

This fabric was sent from South Africa by some dear friends we were so blessed to have as guests for 5 weeks this summer. Having a package arrive from them was an outstanding blessing!
Nevermind the goodies inside.

Amongst other wonderful gifts was this beautiful fabric.


Of course I wanted to do something with it.
But what?
I don’t want it well used (it needs to last and last, when is the next time I will get this again?)
I want it appreciated (it needs to be visible to others)
It is a color that isn’t widely used in my home (how to “blend” it)
It needs to use BOTH sides of the fabric (read on to find out why)

Why is this fabric special?

This fabric is printed exclusively in South Africa and is called Shwe-shwe. In fact, it has a very cool stamp on the back to indicate that it is printed in SA. Something I wanted to incorporate making it doubly tricky to use this fabric. This fabric is called Shwe-shwe and is a traditional fabric used by local tribes in South Africa for traditional dress. It comes very, very stiff and starched. The stiffness is a sign of quality in South Africa. I had to rinse it well to soften it, and this bled alot of indigo in that first wash. Very cool, I think.
to read more go to the website…here.

Okay. So now you see my dilemma. I don’t even want to use it. Just look at it and smile.
But off we go, it deserves to be special.

I decided to cut the panels apart…

Sew 1 right side and 1 back side together to make a rectangle.
Until I had a nice long piece of layered fabric.


I folded it in half to give it the look of a blanket folded on the edge of a bed.


I took a scarf one of my sisters brought back from South Africa and no longer used…


I cut that beautiful, fringed edge off of both sides.
And sewed it to the sides of my folded fabric.


I also had several Sari’s from my trip to South Africa. I only used 2 of the ones I no longer wore.
I thought this was a great way to put them to use. And that beautiful fabric…it needed to be shown off!
I cut the ties off of them. Cut them in half so there was 4 pieces.
I gathered them to create a nice ruffle on the scarf.
And then sewed them together…

And added them to the bottom (non-folded edge) of my fabric.
And used the ties I had cut off previously as trim.

Ta-da! Isn’t it beautiful!
I love that I can show off my beautiful fabric in a way that doesn’t harm it or require lots of washings!


You can see a few sneak peeks of my bedroom redo in these pics.
But the big bru-ha is still coming!

Linking up my projects with these happening places…
-Ginger Snap Crafts- -Imcommonly Yours--Sugar Bee Crafts--Someday Crafts--Let Birdz Fly--Southern Lovely-
-It’s Overflowing- -Handy Man, Crafty Woman--Fireflies & Jellybeans--Thrifty Decorating--The ArtsyGirl Connection-
-The 36th Avenue- 
-The Sasse Life--Freckled Laundry--Centsational Girl-

Make-up bag by guest blogger Allyson

This dear lady is hard at work switching my blog to wordpress. It was scheduled to be up and running today. But, they have hit snags. So glad it’s her and not me :). 
So, it will be a couple more days. Just keep checking back. It’s gonna look soo pretty!
And can I get a Woot Woot for Aimee…
by Aimee

I am so glad to have Allyson here guest posting. This is her first guest post so leave lots of encouraging comments!
If you would like to share a project here on Hating Martha just shoot me an e-mail. All sizes of blogs are welcome. Not a blogger? Send me the picture and info and I will plug it in for you!  Can’t wait to see what you all have! e-mail: [email protected]

First, a huge thank you to Janel for inviting me to post over here at Hating Martha!  I’ll let y’all in on a little secret… I’ve never guest posted before, so this is a huuuge deal for me, and I couldn’t be more excited! I love the whole idea of this blog …“ perfection is overrated, and I think we all just need to cut ourselves a little slack sometimes.  Also, I’m not great at the whole tutorial writing thing so you’ll have to bear with me.

When Janel first emailed me, I spent a few days trying to figure out what I should post about. At first, I had this simple little idea about a headband made out of some left over t-shirts with some flowery embellishment.  I guess that was okay, but it didn’t really grab me, so I started digging through my fabric box and found all new inspiration!
In case you can’t really tell, that is some adorable purple floral (that I previously had made into an applique shirt for my niece) and denim (which I have a ton of).
With no planning, pattern, or idea of what I was doing, I leapt into making a make-up bag. Now, you lucky readers get to relive that journey with me!
You will need
two 6×12 in. rectangles of denim (if you’re smart, I was not, you will leave about 1/4 in. for seam allowances) … for the front and back
two 2×12 in. rectangle of denim (again with seam allowances) … for the top and bottom
two 2×6 in. rectangles of denim (do I have to say it again…) … for the sides
one zipper (mine was 14 in.)
three 2×24 in. strips of whatever fabric you want (mine are the ones pictured above) … to decorate the front
How-to (sort of)
1.  Place your bottom strip of fabric on the (future) front of your bag, “ I made the mistake of starting at the top…possible but not easy.” Gather into pleats and pin all the way across, leaving no excess fabric.  Sew in a straight line across the top.
Shown with pins before stitching
2.  Repeat with the second and third strips, making sure to cover your stitching, except at the top.
3.  This is where it gets a little crazy, also where I mostly quit taking pictures,  sorry!  Take the bottom piece (2×12) and lay it face down, or right side to right side, with your ruffly front piece.  Line it up along the bottom and sew in a straight line making sure to catch all of your ruffles in between so they don’t pull off.
4.  Sew the back piece (6×12) to the bottom piece in the same way you did the front making sure that when the front and back are upright that all of the wrong sides are toward the inside.
5.  With the bag inside out, place one of the side pieces right side to right side with the front, lined up along the edge. Sew in a straight line.
6.  Repeat with the other edge of the same side piece, sewing it to the back piece.  You will have to maneuver very carefully from here on out.  Lots of pinching your fabric so you don’t resew something you’ve already done!
7.  Very carefully sew the bottom edge closed.
8. Repeat 5-7 with the other side piece.  It should look something like this:
Hopefully yours is tidier! but I won’t judge you if it isn’t!
 9. With the bag still inside out, take the last piece of fabric (2×12), and cut it in half lengthwise.  Take one of these pieces and place it right side to right side with the top edge of the bag, and sew along the top.
10.  With your zipper still zipped, line it up (right side to right side) with the edge of the 1×12 piece you just sewed, and sew in a straight line as close to the zipper as you can get.
11. Repeat 9-10 with the remaining strip of fabric and the zipper.
12. I switched to hand-sewing for this part.  Sew along the short edges of your top making sure to connect the top pieces with the sides and getting in as close to the zipper as possible so there aren’t any gaping holes. Also be sure to leave any tails or excess zipper on the inside of the bag (unless you want to get industrious and shorten your zipper)!
  I really hope that this was at least somewhat clear for all of you!  I (obviously) didn’t use a pattern, but I’m sure there is one for something similar.  This could easily be modified to have a liner on the inside, and the outside could be decorated however you want; I’ve just been itching to try ruffles!
Frayed edges? Check. Wildly uneven seams? Check.  Totally visible marking on the inside? Check.  Good enough and entirely useable? Double check.  If you managed to survive this tutorial, I hope you’ll all stop by Cupcakes and Candy Canes and follow along! Thanks again, Janel; I had a ball!


Thanks Allyson! Looking good. Be sure you all stop over and say hi at Allyson’s blog!
See you tomorrow for another edition of Smoke and Mirrors!