I’ve been talking a lot about Halloween lately. I hope you all don’t mind, that’s where my head is at the moment!
First off, let me tell you this: I do not have an embroidery machine. I’ve thought about it, toyed with it, and in the end decided that I really don’t need one. I don’t, really. It would be fun, but, firmly, no.
Enter the need for Union Jack patches for Gareth’s Halloween costume.
Hum. I checked around online and two things were obvious to me. 1) they’re kind of pricey on top of the cost of the rest of the items for his costume and 2)I could make that. 2) Happens to me all the time.
Just about now, an embroidery machine would be handy. Still, no. Don’t even think about it…
Onward, then! I love making ATCs and my thinking was that the patches are the same basic size and shape.
So I pulled out the stiff, fusible interfacing that I keep for ATCs and…
The Stuff: Blue fabric, stiff/fusible interfacing, white and red threads and a picture for my guide. Not shown, blue thread, scissors, an iron and an hour and a half of time.
First, I cut the blue fabric to size (in this case 2 1/2″ x 3 1/2″), then marked the center of each on the horizontal with a ceramic pencil.
Next, I ironed the blue fabric to the fusible interfacing. The muslin is to keep the other side from sticking to my ironing board. As long as I don’t apply heat to that side, it won’t fuse, but it will get a little warm. Better safe than sticky.
Then, I started stitching! The entire project is done with a zig-zag stitch on my regular home sewing machine. This is a 6 width on my machine and the shortest I could make it.
It wasn’t quite wide enough, so I stitched again on either side of the center line, overlapping each. This was a “figure it out as you go” project.
Repeat for the vertical line.
I switched to white thread and started shadowing the red cross. If I had been very, very clever, I think I would have done all the red stitching first. My tension was a little weird with all the thickness, so I ended up stitching the white lines twice.
White shadowing done! Diagonal lines drawn for the next step.
Not bad, not bad!
The patches were slightly stretched and lumpy from all the thread when I was done, so I pressed them flat, adding muslin to the back while I was at it.
They look much better all trimmed up!
I wanted to give them a finished edge and catch in all the threads that I trimmed, so I used a shiny blue rayon.
All done! Are they perfect? No way! Does my son think they’re awesome? Why yes, yes he does! Am I happy? Yeah, pretty much. It was a fun experiment, but I will say this: about half-way through I realized it would have been much faster to just stencil them. Oops.
Speaking of stencils…
This scary looking critter is the balaclava for one Simon “Ghost” Riley, which you may remember from the very end of this post as part of the Halloween costume for my darling 13-year-old son.
He really is darling, despite his XBox tendencies. He says please, and thank you, and has repeatedly given me hugs for creating this scary persona for him.
While researching this costume, I looked everywhere for a stencil. There was none to be found, so I made my own. Shown above is the 1.0 version, which is the one I used for the balaclava shown. I’ve cleaned it up considerably so I can share it with anyone else looking to make the same thing.
Ghost Balaclava Stencil PDF
This stencil was specifically sized to echo the size of my son’s face, so if you use it for yourself, you might need to scale it up or down a bit.
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And now, on to more quilty endeavors!
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