So, I have been quiet on the crafty posts of late, because the last few months I have been perfecting 36 french knots, 36 satin stitches, over 11m of hand done lader stitching, a similar amount of running stictch and a bit of machine work for good measure. Creating what you ask? One of the first sewing projects I have ever done, and I dare say it'll remain a favourite for sometime, even though it's not for me to enjoy ;)
Two dear friends are expecting babies in November/ December 2010 and so i set about to find a gift that was handmade and something different. I decided on a large muslin wrap with embeded applique that was shadow stitched by hand. As soon as I started this project, I fell in love with the bunny motive and the fabric, that I ended up adding an appliqued onsie and a glamorous and stylish 'chuck rag' to match. So, everything you see here, I did two of. I may be mad, but these two friends are very special and deserve the effort ;)
Steps to make the Wrap:
1. Cut two muslin pieces to size. You can make it any size you wish ( I opted for a much larger wrap than usual as most babies outgrow a 'newborn' size quite quickly).
2. trim off the salvage.
3. Pin together and using an ordinary bread and butter plate, use your water erasable pen to trace a rounded edge (don't cut off yet, leave untill the bias is sewn on).
4. Choose your applique shapes (I chose bunnies). Trace the shapes you need onto Applique wonder or vliesofix. Then cut out roughly, it doesn't have to be precise.
5. Iron onto the fabric (rough side of the vliesofix to the wrong side of the fabric).
6. Cut out the applique shapes on the line this time.
7. Peel the paper off the back of the shape and iron the fabric (right side up) to the muslin. For my design I placed two bunnies on the centre of each side (see picture) which used 8 bunnies per wrap (and an extra for the onsie).
8. Tack around the border of the WHOLE WRAP with a contrasting colour (i chose red) and make sure to also go around the two bunnies too (very rough running stitch to stop muslin from moving/ shifting during the proper stitching process....painful, but you'll regret it if you don't) .
9. Shadow Stitching: Now get some embroidery thread and running stitch around reach bunny. I used a goldy colour for the body and white for the tail. This is tricky as you need to see the outline of the applique to know where to stitch. To make this easier, I draped the muslin over a clothes horse and put a lamp underneath, made it very easy to spot the line I was sewing on.
10. Using a water or air erasable pen ( I preferred the later for this) draw on the facial features and for the bunny this meant 2 dots for the eyes a triangle shape for the satin stitch and a few dashes for the whiskers.
11. Do french knots for the eyes, a satin stitch for the nose and normal running stitch for the whiskers (of course, your stitches will vary if you choose a different applique motive).
12. This step is hard to describe in writing but i'll try my best. Now, grap 5m of satin bias tape and sew the inside crease along the border of the wrap and go along the rounded edges you marked with your blue water erasable texta. Once all of it is sewn together (you'll have to sew the ends of the tape together before attaching to the wrap too).
13. Then feel free to trim some of the corners of the muslin off.
14. Then using a normal white cotton thread, ladder stitch (so it's invisible and hidden inside the bias tape) the bias tape over the hem to finish it off.
15. Cut and remove the tacking thread.
16. Fold into a laundry bag and wash on a delicate cycle and then lay flat to dry. Iron if needed before wrapping up.
Steps for Onesie:
1. Cut out applique shape (as above) and iron onto the little junpsuit.
2. Hand stitch around the shape using same shapes on the wrap for the border and facial features.
Steps for 'Chuck Rag' (need a better name for this lol)
1. Cut out a rectangle from the fabric you used for the applique on your wrap and onesie. Can be any size as long as it's long enough to put over your shoulder).
2. Cut out same size rectangle from chenille (I chose white).
4. Place right side together and machine stitch around the border leaving a gap on one side to turn inside out.
5. Turn inside out.
6. Machine stitch a little straight line, very close to the edge, along the gap to enclose it (i used my air erasable pen to mark where the gap was and save guessing).
7. Using your pen again, draw a rectangle that is about an inch smaller than the border.
8. Switch to a decorative stitch and follow the line, just to finish it off.
I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial on some little projects that despite the many hours taken to create, were an absolute pleasure to make and a labour of love for two very dear friends of mine.
I am so glad I took the plunge to learn to sew this year, and I have loved learning many new stitches and techniques, especially in my sewing group with many combined years of experience!