Thursday, July 8, 2010

July 2010 Craft Night - Appliqué and Cut-Away

Hello again! It's been a while since we've had a Craft Night post. This past Tuesday evening was a really fun project that Trina and I had a blast with. We were inspired by Alabama Chanin and her beautiful designs. We set out to try our best at making our own projects using appliques, embroidery, and cut-out techniques.

Supply List:
- 2 t-shirts (or any 2 items of knit fabric - dress, skirt, scarf) (probably solid colored or evenly printed) one needs to fit you well - it will be your finished product; the second shirt can be of any size. You will cut your designs from it.
- sewing needle (get one strong enough to go through a few layers of knit fabric)
- embroidery scissors (any small, sharp scissors will work)
- a stencil or design printed out and then cut out (ie. you will bring your own handmade stencil, for this you will need an exacto-knife - consider pasting it to a piece of poster board before you cut it out to make a stronger stencil you could use again)
-embroidery hoop
-washable fabric marker for tracing your design
-Optional: spray adhesive (if you are appliqueing small pieces - you won't need this for the cut-out version)

We used various material that for the most part we already had at home. I had an old gray t-shirt and a red knit dress from Target and Trina bought some cute baby t-shirts and used scrap fabric she already had.

There are 2 versions of our projects. One is the version Trina did, where you're embroidering on a shape ON TOP of your fabric, to create an applique. The second version is what I did, where you're pinning the secondary fabric to the BACK of your work and embroidering ON TOP of your item of clothing. You then cut away the top fabric, revealing the secondary fabric underneath.

First we'll go over the applique version of the project. For this version, you start by creating your stencils (if making your own). Then, cut out the pieces/shapes you want to applique onto your item of clothing. In Trina's case, she cut out a bird, a couple of paisleys, and a horseshoe. Next, place the shape onto the clothing with a bit of spray adhesive. Then, embroider on top of your shape in whatever manner you think looks best. You can add details like eyes and legs or you can just follow the shape of the object a 1/4" inside the edge. Voila!

Look how cute Trina's pieces came out!! She made 3 within the 2 hours we were together. These are a great, quick, unique baby gift.

Next, we'll discuss the steps of the cutout version of our project. For this, first cutout your stencil, if making your own. Be sure none of the parts of your design are too narrow, since you'll be cutting the fabric away inside your stitching.

Secondly, stencil the design onto the piece of clothing. Then, cut a piece of your secondary fabric (the dark gray in my case) that is big enough to cover your entire design.

Pin this fabric underneath the piece of clothing, making sure the right side of the fabric is facing you and making sure it covers your whole traced-on design. Place your embroidery hoop over the design.

Next, embroider just outside your stencil lines making sure to catch both layers of fabric. You can use a thread that matches your clothing, or use a contrasting thread as I did with the green.

When you have finished embroidering, use sharp, tiny scissors to CAREFULLY cut away the top (red) fabric, just inside your embroidery stitches. You do have to be careful, but this was easier than I thought it would be, and fun!

Repeat these last 5 steps with any other parts of your design to create a really fun piece of clothing that is very unique and special!

Here's a close-up of my starburst design.

And here's the finished dress with the new cut-out and embroidery. I couldn't be happier with this process! It was so rewarding and actually very quick. I have aspirations of making a whole quilt out of knit fabric using this process. We'll see :) For now, I'm happy with my dress.

Thanks so much to Trina for showing up and creating some adorable pieces! I know summer is a busy time for everyone, but I look forward to seeing more crafty ladies at our future craft nights! Miss you guys! Happy July :) xoxo

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