Tag Archives: applique

My Liberty Fix

30 Aug

I was recently disappointed to discovered that one of my trusty tee shirts came out of wash with a split in the yoke seam. The thin decorative fabric meant I wouldn’t have be able to sew it up very neatly.

Sad hole in a favourite Tee Shirt - Nettynot BlogI had thought it’d be a good excuse to do something a little creative maybe sew some buttons on or embroider over it. It’s been sat on my ‘to be fixed’ pile for a few weeks while I pondered about it, then a week or so ago, while reading Very Berry Handmade blog post Vintage Look Liberty Hexies my minds started racing with ideas.

I love a hexie, whether it’s crochet, knitting or patchwork. I’ve been working in small scale recently making some fabric patchwork necklaces – still a work in progress, and still very much enjoying the experimenting stage (hopefully I’ll be writing more about this venture soon too).
Patchwork Necklace - Nettynot BlogAnyway back on topic, my holy top, having decided to add some liberty fabric and create some mini hexagons to cover the hole, I made some small paper pieces and started sorting out exactly what I was going to do.
tiny paper patchwork pieces - nettynot blogLiberty Fabric Choice - Nettynot blogPicking fabric – I do have a fair few Liberty Fabrics in stash and it was tricky to narrow down the selection, then deciding whether to go complimentary or contrasting…eek. The bluey fabrics match very well, however I thought that was too safe, plus as soon as I laid out the ever so slightly neon pinky/red fabric with blue crosses I knew that had to be the one. The pattern also lent it’s self to framing the crosses in the centre of each hexagon.

Patchwork placement - Nettynot blogPlacement – then all I had to do was figure out was the arrangement, I played with a few ideas first before settling on the one I was happy with.

They were a little fiddly to sew together, but I actually quite enjoyed it, I think knowing there were only six to sew made this less of a challenge. I decided that since they were so small, I’d make my life easier by using some bondaweb, secure them to the tee shirt first, (I thought it would also make it stronger and hopefully wouldn’t sag when I wear it).

Finished Liberty Fix - nettynot BlogI then hand stitched around the outside and along the small seams and then as a finishing touch I swapped the old small shell buttons for some blue ones to match the tee shirt fabric and used contrasting pink thread to tie them into the liberty fabric.

I’m rather happy with the result and may well introduce some patchwork finishes to more of my sewing projects.


Amsterdam Applique Cushion

23 Apr

I have always loved the look of the buildings in Amsterdam, I’ve never been myself, but I have seen images of the iconic buildings along the canals. So when my sister and her boyfriend visited Amsterdam last year, I was very pleased they sent me a postcard of the very same iconic streets.  It also sparked an idea, one that stayed brewing in my mind for a while before I got the chance to give it a go.

Amsterdam Postcard - Cushion Inspiration - Nettynot Blog

My idea was to create an appliqué street design based on the wonderful buildings. The perfect opportunity arrived to put my plan into action when my sister and her boyfriend bought a flat earlier this year, so I set about creating a flat warming gift of a handmade cushion. So with the help of the postcard and a quick google image search I drew out a rough street plan.

Drawing of Amsterdam Building for Cushion - Nettynot Blog
I purposely didn’t want to make it too neat, so I started drawing by hand and then neatened up the edges when I started cutting out the templates. Having only moved into their flat a few months ago they haven’t got around to decorating yet so I decided to select colours that should hopefully go with everything, resulting in a combination of greys and cream, with just a splash of colour.

Amsterdam Buildings cut out - Nettynot Blog
Once I cut my templates out, including all the fiddly windows, I decided the order of the buildings. Then I cut pieces of bondaweb for each building (leaving the windows in and making the bondaweb a little bigger than needed). I ironed the bondaweb onto my selected fabrics and then cut them down to size making the edges nice and neat.  I then traced the windows into position and cut them out with a craft knife, it took a little longer than I anticipated, but was worth it.

Lining up Fabric Buildings - Nettynot Blog
I had intended to use some of the cut out windows to fill in the windows of the other houses, swapping the colours around, which I did do for a few of the buildings, however I did find trimming down and filling all the windows a little laborious and fiddly. So I changed tack and added plain fabric to the back of some of the houses instead, which made life much easier.

All windows ready - Nettynot Blog
Having lined everything up with the help of my long patchwork ruler I got everything stuck into place with the iron.

Amsterdam cushion - ironed in place - Nettynot Blog
I sewed around the edge of everything with the solid zig-zag. However having chosen mostly thin cotton fabric, the cream fabric was a little thicker and caused a few problems when it came to sewing over the edges, as I stitched over all the vertical lines bits of the fabric started poking out in between the zig-zag stitches – eeeek! It was too late to change anything so I proceeded  armed with a little frustration and determination and stitched over the cream edges again and in some cases a third time as well. I also decided to remove the cream windows I had planned to add to one of the buildings –  I figured it would tie the background colour into the design more, or as my sister later stated it looked like a derelict building – I can live with that.

Amsterdam buliding detail - Nettynot Blog
In the end all the hard work was worth it, this was my first big appliqué project, I learnt a lot, the finished item is not perfect and there’s a few things I would do differently next time, but I am rather happy with it and the reaction when the gift was opened was great. They instantly recognised it as Amsterdam, which I wasn’t sure they would, given my artistic licence with the building designs.

Amsterdam Cushion in it's new home - Nettynot Blog

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