Friday, October 12, 2012

Handmade Christmas: Fabric Letters

Hello!

As I stated in my last post, I am attempting to make all my daughter's Christmas gifts. This will not only be nice from a money perspective, but I like the idea of putting the time into her gifts as well as the environmental aspect....recycling materials and preventing myself from using resources like gas, packaging etc. for buying gifts.


This project is being done using my fabric scraps. The only thing I purchased for this project was fuseable interfacing (2 yards at $1.99 a yard). I used the kind that was fuseable on both sides and was "heavy" adhesive. You wouldn't want to use a heavy adhesive if you were using a sewing machine...it's a good way to gunk up your needle. But, I decided since I knew the letters would shift a ton, I was going to hand sew them.

First of all, I played around with different methods. Since I wanted to prevent the layers from shifting, I decided to use interfacing.

Materials

-2 yards of interfacing
-small sharp fabric scissors, pinking shears and paper scissors
-iron and ironing board
-needle and thread
-water soluble fabric marker
-batting (I had this sitting around, and it worked pretty good. It was the "thermal" batting you use in things like oven mitts etc. I think a batting that was more fabric like and not fluffy would work best. You could also try filling with polyfill, but that seems overly difficult to me)

Directions
(1) First thing I did was cut all the interfacing with paper scissors into approximately 5 inches by 4 inches squares. I didn't worry about it being exact since I didn't mind if the letters slightly varied in size. If you're going to be exact, you'll need to cut 52 since each letter uses 2. I am also doing 0-9 so I had to add an additional 20 squares.

(2) I heated up my iron. I took that square of interfacing and ironed it on to a scrap piece of cotton print material I had sitting around. (follow the directions that come with the interfacing) If you're wanting to do everything in one shot (assembly line style), go ahead and use all your squares and attach them to different pieces of fabric. I did a little here and a little there since I was messing around with the best process.

(3) Using your pinking shears, cut the square out of the fabric. Now pull back the backing for the other side of the interfacing and put sticky side down on the batting. Iron away. I usually cut a bunch out and put a bunch on the batting to iron at once.

(4) Using pinking shears, cut out the squares of fabric.

(5) The "sandwich" I did was two of these squares of fabric with batting facing batting. Once I had them in a sandwich. I would draw out the letter with my water soluble fabric pen. Then using my pinking shears, would cut out the letter. For the inside holes on letters like "A" and "B" I used my small fabric scissors.

(6) Once you have all your letters cut out, you just need to stitch around the outside with your thread. I hid my knots on the inside of the sandwich if possible. I just used white on everything. You could try to hide the stitching by using different colors, but I had pretty colorful prints, so that was more difficult.

This is the "H" prior to being sewn. See the water soluble fabric pen marks? I didn't do a great job sticking to my lines. The "H" on the right is batting side up.


"E" before being sewn while in it's "sandwich". See that some of the batting is sticking out on the left side? In those situations, I kinda just pulled the batting away from the cotton fabric and tucked it into the sandwich. It created a nice puffy look like I had used polyfill.





I tried using embroidery floss at first and it didn't look as neat as the thread, so I switched back to thread. You can see the floss in the grey and thread in the white.




Back of "G"

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