The other day I was sitting around and decided I wanted a flannel throw that was cream colored, with applique flying birds in an awesome print. I drew out the birds I wanted, but without the flannel yet in my possession I had to come up with a plan B to try out my applique skills. So I made a baby blanket
That’s not the best picture– I’m going to take more tomorrow in the day time.
Anyways for the applique there are a variety of methods, two of which I will explain here. If you look at the picture, you can see the bird has an outline about a quarter inch in from the outside of the shape. The elephant does not. The bird is for method 1, the elephant for method 2. For either method you will need:
Needle (either contrasting or matching, depending on your preference)
Workspace that allows you to spread out
Bottle of wine (optional)
Good movie or TV series on Netflix (optional)
Someone to provide backrubs (optional)
1) Draw out your shape to the exact size you want it. Then trace the outline of your shape about 1/4 inch outwards from what you just drew, and then cut out your shape along the exterior line (like the bird!). The interior line is now your stitch line.
2) Trace your shape onto the RIGHT side of your fabric.
3) Trace your shape onto the NON-FUSIBLE side of your fusible interfacing.
4) Cut out both shapes, and pin together with your fabric on top (right side facing down), and interfacing on bottom, fusible side facing up. Don’t get quick with your iron at this step– now is not when we adhere the interfacing!
5) Stitch your fabric and interfacing together, all the way around, along the stitch line you drew earlier. This can be done by machine or by hand, whichever is faster and easier for you. Clip your curves, if necessary.
6) Cut a slit in the interfacing, somewhere near the center of your shape (this will be your turning hole), and turn it out. Finger press, if you want, to help flatten it.
7) Position your shape onto whatever you are applying it to (the sticky side of your interfacing should now be facing down, ready to be attached to your finished product), and iron away according to the instructions on your interfacing.
8) Now that your shape is firmly attached and in place, sew around the edges. Note, if you want your stitching to be visible, an edge stitch is appropriate. If you are looking for an invisible stitch, make sure you use a thread that matches your applique fabric, and use a ladder stitch to sew all the way around. The ladder stitch is especially perfect when you’re working with minky because minky so easily hides thread.
If your applique shape has a lot of curves, kinks, points, sharp corners, etc. this method might be more appropriate.
1) Draw your shape to exact size you want it. Cut it out.
2) Trace your shape onto the FUSIBLE side of your interfacing.
3) Fuse your interfacing to the wrong side of your fabric, and then cut around it, leaving about 1/4 inch of fabric around your interfacing. I’ll call this excess your “overhang”.
4) Clip or notch your fabric as necessary. Don’t skip this step, or your curves will be straight!
5) Pin your shape, interfacing side down, to your base fabric. Be generous with your pins, it helps keep everything in place.
6) User your needle or your finger tip to fold the first section of your clipped overhang under the interfacing. Your crease should be at the edge of your interfacing.
7) Begin your ladder stitching. Every few stitches, use your needle or finger tip to check your overhang. It should be completely folded under, without causing any of the interfaced part to fold as well.
8) Work your way all the way around, removing or adding pins as necessary.
I am officially a small business owner! I registered with my county and state yesterday, and will be making my first appearance at a flea market in October.
I’m pretty proud of myself! This blog has been good for me…especially in developing a plan and a formula to move forward, as an outlet for my ideas, and as a way to track my progress.
More things are going to be coming with this blog, as I produce more projects, start making my own patterns, and come up with more crazy ideas! I can’t wait to have more things to share with you all.
At any rate– this was just an update. Stay tuned for more in the coming weeks. And keep your eye out for a little piggly wiggly that is brewing in my brain!
I just finally set up my Etsy shop (LivingstonCreations)! I’m so excited. I’ve been meaning to do that for a long time, but like all things, life (surfing the internet?) tends to get in the way! This was a step in the right direction!
The lack of planning jobs to apply for out there has me sewing like a mad woman. I’ve been making these adorable little coasters, and also made a wine bottle carrier to match them. The carriers are great to make. A very simple project, that only takes about thirty minutes. They can fit two 750ml bottles, or one 1.5l bottle. I want to make a bunch and give them away as gifts! Especially since I have SO MUCH fabric to do something with, lest it begin to collect dust on my newly organized shelving system.
My workspace is finally complete! It’s still cluttered and I need to locate my wastebasket, because sometime during the painting extravaganza it disappeared, and I’ve been relying on this ugly garbage bag
Well that’s about all for now. Unless you would like to enjoy this bonus picture of my lazy pup!
Been traveling quite a bit, and my room/workspace was being painted so that’s why I haven’t been posting.
Stay tuned for some new projects, more posts, and updates by the end of the week!
I made two receiving blankets and three burp cloths that came out very pretty. They are more “modern” and less “baby” but I prefer that to traditional nursery prints.
For the first set, I used a regular quilting cotton that was soft to the touch and a cream colored dot minky. For the second set, I used brown dot minky and flannel (which resulted in an amazingly soft, touchable, and cuddle friendly blanket).
The flannel/minky combination was easier to work with than the cotton, because flannel naturally tends to “stick” to things, so there was less slipping. All of the things I read on the internet said that minky can be a huge hassle to deal with because of stretching and slipping, but I found with a couple of easy adjustments it was no problem at all:
1) Sew with the minky on the bottom.
2) Pin the fabric together all the way around, every two inches or so. That’s a lot of pins for a decent size blanket, but I had no problems with rippling, and I didn’t need to pleat anything to make up for it.
Some references suggested used a walking foot, which I’m sure would help a lot as well. I was considering doing that but I didn’t and don’t think my products came out any worse for the wear.
I didn’t use a pattern for any of it. At first I was going to make the burp cloths rectangular but when I tried them out over my shoulder they were a little bulky. Below is a pattern I made based on what I ended up with for the finished project. It’s a great size and shape, I think. Feel free to use and share.
To start, I’d like to thank the author of this blog for suggesting a different presser foot to help my topstitching. I played around with the variety of feet that came with my machine, and found one that does indeed help create a much straighter topstitch.
If you look along the top of the strap, you can see some pretty excellent stitching (in my humble opinion). I’m proud of myself. It was an accomplishment– perfect down the length of the strap.
In the past week I finished the wine bottle carrier, and the insulated casserole carrier (could be used for hot or cold dishes). I also finished the bag I was making for my mother and got an order for another bag for a friend.
My family, who have been overwhelmingly supportive of this new hobby and business venture, keep telling me to start a business formally. Part of me is tempted to, to try and push this as a full time gig. It seems silly though, have spent the last 19 years in school getting degree after degree to not use them. But at the same time, this is something that gives me a lot of pleasure. I like the excitement of picking out fabric in the store. The satisfaction of completing a project that someone will use and love. The confidence gained from perfecting a skill.
At any rate, I doubt I could ever earn enough to support myself, but it is nice as some side income. Who wants to make something you love into necessary work, anyway? Who knows what will happen. For now I just like to practice, and see what can I do (always with the help of a six pack of my favorite beer).
Off to add some pages to this blog…
Just wanted to post my current fabric stash, now that I set up my new shelves and got everything organized. I was using one of those plastic things, with drawers, but I exceeded capacity! Got another order for a friend today, and need to finish the bag my mom has me doing. Also really want to get started on my picnic stuff. So much sewing, so little time!