Friday, 3 April 2015

Simply Beautiful Easter Sewing

Are you a beginner sewist and wish that you could do more or just make something really pretty for spring? Or perhaps you are a time poor expert who needs a really quick gift. I think that I have something for both of you!
We sew and craft a lot at Christmas and just about any time of the year so don't let Easter slip by! Trust me, the bunny is coming...

Easter makes are full of pastel prettiness and this week, I have written a pattern for a pretty towel to make over the kitchen in an instant. Who thinks that I am joking? Try it and see, this little towel is practical as well as being just the thing for this time of the year. I have mine on my range and it lights up the whole room.

So what are we doing this time? We will explore raggy edged applique and free motion embroidery (FME) and this little make takes very little to make - both in terms of time and your stash. 

What will you need?
-41cm x 60cm of a pretty fabric
-a large scrap of a second one (bunny fabric)
-a teensy scrap of white for the tail
-45cm x 65cm of something to use as backing (plain white works)
-41cm woven ribbon to co-ordinate with your fabric
-41cm cotton lace to coordinate with the woven ribbon
-41cm small bobble trim to coordinate with the bunny fabric
-dark brown thread
-dark brown perle 5 cotton
-fabric glue stick
-FME needs for your sewing machine
-fray stopper
-your usual sewing needs
Here is the bunny template too. When he is printed off, he is about 26cm high from ear tip to bottom.

So how do we go about it?
Begin by making sure that your main fabric is straight on the edges and the right size. you will notice that the backing fabric is larger. That is done on purpose because fabrics ALWAYS move when they are together and this can be a disaster - much easier to trim the backing after you have sewn it.
Crease the fabric lengthways with your finger to find the centre. TIP: Crease the bunny too when you cut him out and then you only have to match the two creases to know that you are in the centre.

Use the template to cut a bunny shape from your bunny fabric and glue it into place about 8cm up from the bottom of the towel and centre the bunny on the creased line that you made earlier. Cut the tail from white and glue that on too....

Set your machine up for FME; each one is different so if you haven't done it before, consult your manual. Usually, you need a darning foot and to either drop the feed dogs or set the stitch length to zero. I do the latter beacuase I have a very cheap and older machine and the feed dogs stay put. Use the dark brown thread to stitch around the bunny two or three times just in from the edge. Do the tail too. Leave the edges raw (this the raw edge applique bit). It looks fab and it is so easy and quick.

What a difference!! It really jumps out now (pun very much intended)! So why dark brown? Isn't that a bit at odds with the normal easter pastel look? It is, but it works and it stops the over all look of your make becoming too twee and saccharine sweet. It sort of grounds it.

Next comes the lace and the woven ribbon. Cut this the width of the main fabric and attach it under the bunny (about 3cm), lace first. My fabric has distinct lines on it - if yours does too, use these to help you stay straight.

and then ribbon over the top of that. You might consider using a coordinating thread for the ribbon so that it is a little more invisible.

Here is what we have so far....

Iron the towel and then we put the back on. Trim off any daggy bits from the sides and make sure that all of the stray threads are gone from the back too (you will see these through the backing fabric if you don't).

Lay the towel front face down (right sides together) onto the backing and pin it. Sew all the way around the outside leaving a small gap for turning out. Trim the excess backing away and turn out throught the gap and slip stitch the gap closed. We now have a nice, substantial make - nothing like lining to add a bit of extra to your project and it is so easy to do.

Thread a needle with perle cotton now and topstitch (running stitch) around the outside about 1/2 cm in from the edge...

and along the top of the woven ribbon border.

Finally, attach the bobble trim at the bottom of the towel. measure a piece of trim the exact width of your make and treat the ends with fray stopper. I like to hand sew this on to make it really neat but you can do it by machine if you prefer.

That's it! You can make a label for the front too if you like. I have used an easter stamp with mine and some woven ribbon. You can find the link for label making on an older post here. Notice how using brown ink echoes the brown threads used and ties it all together? makes it look a bit vintage too. I have attached the label by machine and then put a cute little button on the top left hand side - the delight is in the details!

And here is the finished article again....

A very happy and safe easter to you all and happy sewing! Thank you so much for stopping by - it means the world to me!

Hugs and kisses
Debbie xxx