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How to construct frogs and closures

poppysquash | Posted in General Sewing Info on

I am in the process of making an all silk queen size duvet cover. Because of its bulk I am making it in three pieces, connected with closures from the middle section. Rather than button holes, (urgh!!) I want to make frogs. Any issues of Threads showing techniques? I want to use imaginative fabric/material. Hand made Chinese ball buttons, from silks used in the duvet; interesting roping, etc. I would welcome any ideas. This is my first foray into making a duvet and frogs! Many thanks.



  1. Elizard | | #1

    you might want to look at this recent post:http://forums.taunton.com/n/mb/message.asp?webtag=tp-gatherings&msg=7620.1&maxT=11
    (number 7620.1), and look at the various books and links.

    1. poppysquash | | #2

      Thank you Elizard,
      This is exactly what I'm looking for on my quest to make wonderful closures. Now if I can get off the links, I might be able to get started!

  2. KimK | | #3

    Threads #58 (May '95--no longer in print) has a nice how-to article with 3 types of closures.  It recommends tracing the pattern on paper and pinning the pattern to foam board.  Then, as you assemble the knot, you pin the cord to the pattern to keep the shape correct.  I used this article a long, long time ago to make some closures and the technique worked fairly well. 


    1. poppysquash | | #4

      Good morning KimK,Thanks for this great tip! This idea of tracing the knot and building atop is my style - until I can fly without training wheels!Poppysquash

      1. KimK | | #5


        Thanks--wish it was my idea to begin with!  A few other hints from the article--weave from the outside in, and you need to stitch the cording down on the underside once you're done and have carefully unpinned it and flipped it over.  I remember this process taking longer than I expected, but I liked the results.  Have fun!


  3. Sunshine | | #6

    If you are lucky enough to have access to the original Vogue Sewing Book, it shows detailed drawings on how to make Chinese Ball buttons and Frogs on p 299.  They suggest using soutache or round braid, or corded tubing.  Check with your local library if you or a sewing buddy don't have it.  I remember trying this technique years ago, and it turned out quite well and wasn't very difficult.  I haven't seen the new, current Vogue book, so I don't know if this is included.  Good luck!

  4. jatman | | #7

    Hi Poppysquash!  I just wanted you to know that I bought the 2 available Suzen Millodot books and have just finished my first successful knot (for a book mark - good thing it wasn't supposed to be a Christmas present, huh?).  I had some trouble with the knot at first and sent the author a message through her website.  She actually answered my e-mail and sent me an alternative version of the knot.  I was really surprised and grateful.  So, I thought I would let you know that not only are the books inspiring and good (just because I didn't get it, doesn't mean everyone won't) but she is also accessible if you are having a problem.

    Let us know how your closures go - maybe even a picture?  I'll post a pic of my book mark in the next couple of days.


    1. poppysquash | | #8

      Dear Jatman2,Thanks so much for your reply. Sometimes I think I'm retardaire because I can't understand something first time out!! I will go online now to order those Millodot books. I'm always up for a good, easily understood book. I will be happy to send a photo of this beauteous bed cover that I am making. I even had the whacky notion that if one wanted to- mind you wanted to is the operative here- you could wear the middle piece of this "bed cover" as a shawl! The closures which would be the shape of the button, would be the decorative edge! I've tried it on the one section done; looks terrific. HA.Again, thanks for the info, and I'll send a photo. I can't wait for the books!Cheers for a Happy New Year, Poppysquash

      1. jatman | | #9

        Hi Poppysquash (I love your name by the way!) - I just looked in my books and realized that there isn't really a frog closure.  Not as I know them anyway.  There are certainly many knots that could be used as buttons but no 'frog closures'.  The knot I've made is really hard and I noticed on one of her other knots she has used a mixture of glue and water to harden it further so it can be done but I don't want you to be disappointed when you get your books.  I think she is working on a third book for 'other' knots but it isn't out yet.  

        I love the idea of using the center of your bedspread as a wrap, too!

        Happy New Year!



        1. poppysquash | | #10

          Thanks. Poppysquash is actually the name of my little "company" that makes scarves and decorative pillows. Of course, the easiest way out of making a queensize bed cover, that would not fit through the sewing machine, was to break it into three strips (of about 34" wide)! And of course, not being very good at button holes, I thought, hmm, how can I get out of this.....so, the frogs and closures came in to mind. I thought too, that if I have trouble with the frogs, I could just make a real cool corded loop and make a real stylish button out of fabric in round shapes that get coated with glue to make real hard... So the buttons become part of the design. So you see, as only sewers and designers know, that if you don't know how to do the real thing in a real jiffy, you invent /or re-invent the wheel! Then I can get good at making frogs....BZoe for Poppysquash.

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