Monday, October 3, 2011

Reverse Applique Skirt

Hey kids!  It's time to dig that boring, sad, plain skirt out of the back of your closet, and make it into something fabulous for fall!

Today I've done some reverse applique on a skirt - but this very same technique can be used on any article of t-shirt type material.

Unfortunately I didn't think to take photos as I went along, so I'll try to give very detailed info.

What you'll need:
* Article of clothing you'd like to modify, made of cotton jersey or cotton interlock
* Fabric for design, ideally of the very same material as your garment, but different color for accent - I like to use scraps of old t-shirts
* Embroidery floss in an accent color
* Pins
* Scissors
* Large-eyed sewing needle
* Paper and markers or access to computer and printer for designing

Here's what to do:
Step 1: Make sure the fabrics you'll be using are clean.  Run them through the wash, especially if they're brand new, as they could shrink a bit.  You don't want shrinkage after you've completed the applique process, as it could stretch and warp.

Step 2: Decide on your design!  Simple works best - think more "silhouette" than elaborate designs.  For my skirt, I chose a simple leaf shape, in two different sizes.

Step 3: Draw your design with markers and paper, or find a suitable image online to print out.  Cut out your design, leaving a small edge as a place for the pins to land.  Cut out one or many - one strategically placed accent can have just as much impact as several in a group!

Step 4: Pin the paper pattern(s) you just cut out to your accent material.  Cut around the edges, unpin from the paper, and your pieces are ready to go!

Step 5: Turn your garment inside out.  Then, take your accent pieces and arrange them where you'd like them to be, and pin them in place.  Keep in mind that your garment is inside out right now!  If you can't imagine what it'll look like when turned right side out (I never can!) turn it right side out once you have them pinned, and you'll be able to see basically where everything is.

Step 6: Thread your large-eyed needle with your embroidery floss.  I used it whole for my project, as I wanted a distinct accented look, but you can always use fewer strands for a more delicate look.

Step 7: Sew away!  A simple running stitch / sashiko stitch works perfectly for this.  Sew with your garment inside out, so be sure your knots are on the "top" side (which will turn into the inside).  Stitch along the edge of your accent fabric pieces, but not so close to the edge that there is a danger of ripping out.  Make sure your running stitch goes all the way through the accent fabric *and* the garment you're attaching to!

Step 8: Once you have all of your accent pieces stitched on, turn your garment right side out, and take a look at your handiwork!  You should be able to see where all of your embroidery floss stitches are.

Step 9: Cut!  Cut along the edges of where your embroidery floss is, on the inside of the pattern.  Leave a little bit of space so it doesn't rip through if washed or stretched.  I find 1/4" is fine.

(Please ignore the computer workstations, crazy tables and random stuff in the photo... this creation was completed at HackPittsburgh, my home away from home!)

You're all set!  Wear your newly refashioned garment with pride, knowing it has a little bit more flair now!  I tend to hand wash anything I've appliqued after wearing - it's easier on the embroidery floss.

Please let me know if you tackle this project, and I'd love to see how you incorporate it into your outfits!  You can email me at mandy (dot) stultz (at) gmail.

No comments:

Post a Comment