Saturday 14 January 2017

Money envelope

Another red and gold come together to create a traditional money envelope, that is given to young children by their parents and grand parents for the Lunar New Year celebration. 

This project was inspired by an innocent visit to the local post office. I needed to pick up a parcel from there and I was entering the office with a heavy head - I was trying to put my thoughts in order, straighten them out. It was a chaos in my head - all these ideas popping out like snowdrops in early spring. Some organizational chart was required. I had the idea of making a money envelope and I knew I wanted it to have something to do with the symbol of 2017 Lunar Year - the rooster. At first, I was thinking that the spelling of the word would seem nice, embroidered on the red batik, with gold embroidery floss. Oh, no!... after checking the right spelling of the symbol, I was discouraged unconditionally - of all twelve of them, the rooster symbol is probably the most complicated. Have you ever tried to wright an hieroglyph? One line made a bit longer than needed or misplaced, changes the meaning of the word. I wouldn't dare, no. I may easily make a full of myself. 

I glanced at the desk in the post office, patiently waiting for the lady to take my parcel out of the storage and check my credentials, and right there, underneath the spotlessly clean glass were these amazingly bright red stamps with the crisp graphic gold image of a rooster, honouring the Lunar New Year! I wanted to dance at that time - it was such a joyful moment! 

The rest was easy. I had the model and it was perfect for my project. In its simplicity, it shapes a perfect rooster head. I have to admit two things: 1. I only saw the stamp with the head at the post office. The one with the proud rooster in its full size I found in the web later at home, after I had already done my envelope. 2. I could not find any information about who the designer of the stamp was, that is why, I can not mention it here in my post.  

But I will take the time to show you the stamp from the past Year of the Rooster.  And I will do that just because I loved it so much:

This stamp was created for 2005 by the designer Hélène L'Heureux. The interesting thing about this stamp are the brush strokes she used while creating this proud bird, tributing the ancient eastern art of paint brushing. 

"As a designer, I try above all to be honest," says Hélène L'Heureux of Montreal's Gottschalk+Ash International. "It would be a fallacy for me to attempt Chinese brushwork - I could not pretend to create something in an art form that takes decades to master. I wanted to create a design that would re-interpret the genre in a personal and playful way."

Back to my bird...

I have another confession to make. To fully follow the eastern traditions, I should have stitched my rooster exactly the way it is on the stamp - facing east, greeting the rising sun... I have no idea why I flipped it - I just felt that looking left, it creates more personal message. 

Envelope finished size: 8 cm x 16 cm

materials needed for the envelope:

I wanted only the face of the envelope to be made with the batik, and the rest to be yarn-dyed cotton fabric, but you could use one whole piece for the face and the same size piece for the lining. This will  make your project so much easier and faster to make. I will put the measurements for that as a second option.

1. one piece of printer paper to design the envelope
2. 10 cm x 18 cm Haori batik, colour red /22 cm x 25 cm for the face
3. 28 cm x 30 cm Haori yarn-dyed fabric /22 cm x 25 cm for the lining
4. Haori 100% polyester thread, colour red and gold (for stitching the rooster)
5. Heavy fusible interfacing
6. embroidery floss 
7. small and big red buttons for the closing
8. hemp cord

make the envelope:

I wanted to make it look like a paper real money envelope. Surely, i could have skipped the sides where the glue goes on the paper envelopes, but it wouldn't be so fun. That is why, the pattern is as if it is a paper envelope.

1. Draw your own envelope design, copy a paper one, or download from the net. I draw my own, trying to stay true to the traditional shape of the money envelope. Make sure you shape it the same way. The size of the envelope is 8 cm x 16 cm. 

Note: Embroider your design prior to sewing.

2. Transfer the pattern onto the fabric used for lining. Cut the transferred image, leaving 1 cm allowance. Repeat for the facing fabric, if you are using one whole piece. If you are following my design, cut the individual pieces needed, and seam them together to assemble one whole piece for the face. Press the seams with an iron and check with already cut piece for the lining if they match perfectly. Trim if needed. Cut the fusible interfacing as big as to cover the sides of the envelope (front and back),  and the closing part with no allowance. Fuse to the lining.

3. Machine stitch all around, leaving a 4 cm opening on the outer side of the back part of the envelope.

4. Turn the envelope right side out through the opening. Press with an iron and slip stitch the opening.

5. Form the shape of the finished envelope, pressing with an iron.

6. Slip stitch the side seam first, placing the 'glue' side inside the back.

7. Slip stitch the bottom 'glue' side on the outside of the back. Prepare the buttons and the cord to finish with the closing.

8. Stitch the big button in middle of the back side of the envelope, just below the closing flap. Using a bigger needle and the hemp cord, attach the small button in the middle of the closing flap. Slip stitch a small piece of red batik on top of the hemp on the inside. 

9. Insert some money and impress your friends and family with a fabric handmade money envelope. This way is not only the money itself you are giving, but a nice souvenir that they will keep forever (and they will never forget what year it was when they received that gift from you ;)). Do you know that the money you put inside has to be new banknotes? New and crisp!!! 

Happy New Lunar Year to all that celebrate! I found so much inspiration in researching that event, I wish I started this earlier, so I could devote more time to it. 

Until soon,
♥  Ivelina

1 comment:

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