Wednesday, August 18, 2010

My Moda Bake Shop debut & an applique pattern to share!

If you've been reading along for a while you may remember this little skirt and my promise to one day share the pattern. Well, that day is here!

I am so excited to share with you my Moda Bake Shop debut! Head over and take a look at my Strip-pieced Pleated Skirt tutorial! The tutorial was so long I decided not to focus on the coordinating t-shirt there, so that's a treat for you right here. :)

If you want to follow along and make a coordinating shirt, you'll need a t-shirt, fabric scraps, paper-backed fusible web, some sort of stabilizer (ideally water soluble), and coordinating thread.

The yellow t-shirt happened to be hanging in the closet - how perfect is that?  I knew I wanted to do an applique of some sort and when I sat down with the skirt and my drawing pad, this is what I came up with. (Scanned and rotated so it looked more balanced.) I wanted to mimic the flowers on a piece of fabric but also didn't want to exactly copy them. I'd planned a simple design, but I think my digiscrap side fought its way through and I ended up with a floral cluster!

I scanned my sketch in not just to show you all, but to create the pattern I used to cut out all the pieces. Here it is after a visit to Photoshop.
The next step is to choose the fabrics for each piece! I used the same Basic Grey Origins Jelly Roll as I did for the skirt, some of the same fabrics, and some other strips I hadn't used yet. I roughly cut out the paper pattern piece, then cut a small piece of fabric I could fit the pattern on, and attached paper backed fusible web to the wrong side of the fabric. Instead of tracing the pattern onto the paper backing I just held the pattern right on top and cut it out right along with the fabric!

After cutting, then place each little applique piece on to the fabric to lay out the final arrangement.

As you can see I didn't end up following my own pattern! Instead of layering the big flower's center I fussy cut it (same for the smaller flowers too). Also with the way I placed the pieces it still seemed a bit unbalanced, so I added in an extra leaf on the right.  Once you are happy with the placement, fuse in place according to the directions on your fusible web.

After fusing, it's time to sew! I've hand embroidered along the edges of fused appliques before, but I wanted something quicker for this project, so I used a 30 weight Sulky machine embroidery thread and a machine buttonhole stitch! Use a stabilizer on the underside to keep your stitches nice and smooth. A water soluble stabilizer would be ideal but I didn't have any and didn't feel like waiting, so I just forged ahead and used another sheet of graph paper. :) Worked nicely for keeping the fabric from getting pulled down into the feeddogs and kept the stitches even, but was a giant pain to remove at the end. Looked neat though!

For a nice clean finish, leave the beginning and ending thread tails an inch or two long, pull to the inside, and then knot and trim them. This will also help prevent the thread from coming undone.

I haven't yet, but I plan to fuse a lightweight knit interfacing inside the shirt to cover up the stitches and give it a softer feel.

Here's the finished shirt!

And if you'd like to use my little applique pattern, you can download it right HERE. Please note, this pattern is for personal use only, not for any commercial use including home-sewing for profit. (It would look really cute on a tote bag or a backpack too I think!)

If you do use it, I'd love to see your final result! Post a comment with a link to your photo or send me an email!


  1. i LOVE the applique! I'm so going to make that for Haley! And you're right! The knit tricot would be perfect for the back of the skirt to cover the stitches. I happen to have a whole bolt. lol! yay!

  2. and by skirt I meant shirt. :)

  3. thank you so much for the skirt tutorial PLUS this unexpected adorable shirt applique how-to. i love it!!

  4. i came over from the moda bake shop and i must say the tutorial is great! thanks for showing us how! :)

  5. LOVE it!!!! Thanks SO much for sharing your patterns! I found you through moda bake shop. I'm your newest follower:)
    Happy Wednesday

  6. I'm linking back my blog to show you my result :) Thank you for such a fun journey!

  7. This is so cute! And thanks for showing us how you created your applique design - I'm working on my first quilt pattern and need some very specific images.