How to Appliqué with Tricky Fabrics: Part 1

Appliqueing with tricky fabrics: a two-part comprehensive guide to appliqueing with nearly any type of fabric.

Last year I did a string of posts on appliquéing, and I promised some tips for dealing with tricky fabrics. So far I’ve demonstrated all my appliqué techniques with cotton fabrics – a nice robust cotton drill in the background and stable, well-behaved quilting cottons for the appliqué shapes.

But there are times when for example you want to appliqué onto a stretch jersey T-shirt, or when your appliqué design is crying out for a bit of sparkly organza for maximum fairy effect.

I started off writing this post, and it just grew and grew! So I’ve cut it into two parts. This is Part 1, where I talk generally about how to deal with tricky fabrics. In Part 2, I’ll give tips for dealing with specific tricky fabrics.

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How to cut small circles from felt

Cutting small circles can by fiddly - discover my tips for cutting felt eyes.
I was working on an up-coming project and needed to cut out a whole load of felt circles to make eyes. This can get fiddly, so I thought I’d share my favourite method for cutting tiny circles like this. It works for circles around 1/2 inch or less – anything larger and you can use this as a starting point, but you’ll need smooth off the edges more.

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Reindeer candy canes

reindeer-candycane

You’d think I’d have noticed by my age that Christmas always falls on the 25th. But once again, it’s taken me by surprise, so I was looking around for something quick and easy to make to satisfy that festive urge. Last year I made candy cane mice which were very popular. But this year I fancied something a bit different, so I came up with these reindeer candy canes, which are equally easy.

You can hand or machine sew them, and they just use a few scraps of felt. Here’s how to make them.

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Advent Trees: using ribbons and trim

Make these simple tree decorations using rows of ribbon and other trim.

Last year, I made a series of advent tree Christmas decorations, with different ideas for decorating the trees (you can see all the different versions at the end of this post). I thought it was time to update it, and add another variation. This year, it’s time to look at using some of those gorgeous ribbons and trims you’ve got stashed away.

There’s no real technique to learn here – we’re just going to be picking out ribbons and sewing them onto the tree. Since it depends so much on the ribbons you have available, everyone’s tree will look different, so as well as showing you mine, I’ll add a few tips on choosing ribbons to make your own.

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Doll’s mini suitcase tutorial

Make a mini suitcase from laminated cotton for Barbie, or other toys in this quick sewing project.

This mini suitcase is perfect for a Barbie or other toy to pack a few essentials for a trip away!
This is intentionally a quick project – the suitcase in unlined and uses laminated cotton so you don’t need to worry about frayed edges.

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