Sewing, Spoonflower, Tutorials

Embroider Over A Fabric Design

So, I’ve had this fabric swatch from one of my Spoonflower designs sitting on my sewing table for weeks. As soon as I received it, I knew I wanted to embroider it. The black lines were begging for some color!

Below, I’ll show you how to embroider over a fabric design with a simple backstitch. You could embellish any number of fabric designs by stitching along the printed design in this way. Choose parts of a print to highlight or stitch over the whole design like I did. Or you could design something specifically for embroidery and use Spoonflower to print it. (Though I’d recommend using a lighter gray color if you want to do that.)

Embroidered Spoonflower Fabric Design | Radiant Home Studio

Once I started, I couldn’t stop…

I started out with this hand-drawn floral in black and white. This is an 8″ x 8″ test swatch on Kona Cotton fabric. (Another example of a fabric design that could be embellished with embroidery is this pretty floral design by Alexia Abegg for Cotton & Steel.)

I did not have a small enough embroidery hoop for this piece of fabric, so I just stitched along without it. The hoop makes it a little easier, but it’s not necessary if you don’t have one on hand.

Black and White Floral Fabric for Embroidery | Radiant Home Studio

Then I just started tracing over the lines with a basic backstitch.

Embroider Over a Fabric Design | Radiant Home Studio

A little further along in the process…

You can see the path of the needle here. This is how you form a backstitch. Each time you go down next to the end of the last stitch and come up two stitch lengths ahead.

Embroidery Design On Spoonflower Printed Fabric | Radiant Home Studio

Using a backstitch, you can cover all of the black lines without gaps showing through between the stitches. If you want the back to look as nice as the front, check out Mollie’s series of post on keeping your embroidery neat and tidy.

Embroider Over a Fabric Design | Radiant Home Studio

So now I just need to decide how to finish it. It could make a really pretty pocket for a tote bag or I could frame it and use as part of a gallery wall I’m planning.

Embroidered Spoonflower Fabric Design | Radiant Home Studio

Would anyone be interested in a downloadable embroidery pattern using these folk flower designs? I’ve been considering adding embroidery patterns to my shop for several months, but just haven’t managed to fit it in. If there is interest though, I’ll bump it up on the priority list…

Sewing Tips, Tutorials

Sew Flat Piping on a Retro Rucksack

Last week I shared a sporty version of the Retro Rucksack, with flat piping highlighting the chevron piece at the bottom of the bag. Today I’m going to walk you through how to sew flat piping onto the rucksack, or any inside corner seam.

Sew Flat Piping on and Inside Corner | Radiant Home Studio

Sew Flat Piping on an Inside Corner:

For the Retro Rucksack, you’ll need 4 strips of fabric measuring 1 1/4 in. by 8 in.

Sew Flat Piping on a Bag | Radiant Home Studio

Fold each strip in half, wrong sides together, and press.

Sew Flat Piping on a Bag | Radiant Home Studio

On the chevron piece (or the inside corner, if you are making something else), mark your pivot point where the seam allowances meet. On this piece, my seam allowances are 1/4 in. I used chalk to make a dot where the seams will cross.

Mark Pivot Point to Sew Flat Piping | Radiant Home Studio

Snip the fabric from the inside corner in toward the dot, but not quite all the way to it.

Line up one strip of fabric on the chevron piece, right sides together, matching raw edges. Make sure the strip crosses over the pivot point that you’ve marked. Using a 1/4 in. seam allowance, stitch the strip to the chevron piece, stopping at the pivot point.

Sew Flat Piping on an Inside Corner | Radiant Home Studio

Fold the raw edges to the back and press.

Sew and Press Flat Piping | Radiant Home Studio

This is the tricky part. Line up the second strip, right sides together, raw edges matching. Roll the raw edge back so that the second strip crosses the pivot point. Pinch at the pivot point and fold the stitched side so that it is not tugging.

Sew Flat Piping on Inside Corner | Radiant Home Studio

Start stitching at the pivot point along the second strip. Fold back and press the second side.

Sew Flat Piping on Inside Seam | Radiant Home Studio

Repeat for the other end of the chevron. Follow the directions for assembly, topstitching along the main piece to attach it to the body of the bag.

Sporty Retro Rucksack Inspiration | Radiant Home Studio

Tutorials

Fabric Scrap Embroidery {Heart Wall Art}

For the past few weeks, I’ve been experimenting with embroidery using small strips of fabric instead of thread. I saw a beautiful pillow at a home decorating store while I was browsing a few weeks ago that inspired me to try something like this. As usual, my first thought when I saw it was, “Hey, I could make that!”

And as usual, it’s never quite as easy as I think it will be. So now that I have figured out the right technique and few tricks, I wanted to share with you all!

Fabric Scrap Embroidery {Heart Wall Art} | Radiant Home Studio

My first attempt, using french knots, was unsuccessful. I tried dozens of knots, but they just pulled through every time. So I set it aside while we moved and found it again as I was organizing my studio. I knew there had to be a way to make it work, so I looked up some other embroidery knots to try.

I found that a Colonial knot (or “figure 8 knot”) worked perfectly! I have plans to make a larger project, like the pillow that inspired this technique, but for now, I wanted to share this pretty little wall hanging. You could also use the same heart pattern to embellish a pincushion, a small zipper pouch, or even a blouse.

It’s a simple, modern embroidery technique that you can use for home decor, art, or apparel!

Fabric Scrap Embroidery – Heart Wall Art Tutorial:

Materials:

• 1/4 yd. of linen (choose something loosely woven)

• embroidery needle with a large eye

• colored fabric scraps

• chalk or water soluble marker

Instructions:

1) Draw a heart (or any shape you would like) onto your linen fabric. You can use a stencil or just freehand something.

Fabric Scrap Embroidery Tutorial {Heart Wall Art} | Radiant Home Studio

2) Cut several strips of cotton fabric to use as thread (I used a bright cotton batik). They should be 1/4 in. wide or slightly less, cut with the grain or crosswise. Bias strips stretch and break, so avoid cutting on the bias if you can. They do not have to be perfectly straight and fraying is fine (in fact, I think a little messiness is better!). You can use any length. Short pieces are fine if you want to use up scraps. Longer pieces can get tangled more easily, but anything between 6-20 in. should work. The best part is that you can even use the ugly fabric for this. The print won’t show; just the color!

Fabric Scrap Embroidery Tutorial {Heart Wall Art} | Radiant Home Studio

3) Start by outlining the shape with knots and then fill in the middle as densely as you would like.

To make the knot, first, make a hook with the fabric thread. Put your needle under the hook.

Fabric Scrap Embroidery Tutorial {Heart Wall Art} | Radiant Home Studio

Reach under the needle and pull the thread under your needle-holding hand.

Fabric Scrap Embroidery Tutorial {Heart Wall Art} | Radiant Home Studio

Wrap it upward, over the top of the needle and around.

Fabric Scrap Embroidery Tutorial {Heart Wall Art} | Radiant Home Studio

And pull tight…

Fabric Scrap Embroidery Tutorial {Heart Wall Art} | Radiant Home Studio

Stick the needle back down through the hole and pull it through.

Fabric Scrap Embroidery Tutorial {Heart Wall Art} | Radiant Home Studio

You may need to use your free hand to wiggle the knot loops over the eye of the needle. For more help, you can see how to make a colonial knot with embroidery floss in this tutorial.

Fabric Scrap Embroidery Tutorial {Heart Wall Art} | Radiant Home Studio

Fabric Scrap Embroidery Tutorial {Heart Wall Art} | Radiant Home Studio

That’s it! Once you figure out how to make the knot, you can stitch any shapes you like. Try white linen with blue fabric thread for a beachy look or brown linen and cream fabric for a natural look.

Fabric Scrap Embroidery Tutorial {Hear Wall Art} | Radiant Home Studio

I ‘m planning some more projects using this modern embroidery technique…

Fabric Scrap Embroidery {Heart Wall Art} | Radiant Home Studio

What do you want to make with fabric scrap embroidery?

Sewing, Tutorials

Embroidered Leather Zipper Pouch

Have you ever tried to embroider leather? (or faux leather in this case…) I had some faux leather scraps and decided to experiment with a running stitch across the leather to make this little, embroidered leather zipper pouch.

Embroidered Leather Zipper Pouch | Radiant Home Studio

 

There are zipper pouch tutorials all over the web, so I won’t rehash the whole process…I’ll just show you how to add the embroidered leather detail to your favorite zipper pouch tutorial. ( I recommend Anna’s Open Wide Zipper Pouch.)

Make An Embroidered Leather Zipper Pouch:

First, gather your supplies for your bag and choose a pattern. You’ll also need some embroidery floss, chalk, and a straight edge.

Embroidered Leather Pouch Supplies | Radiant Home Studio

Cut some strips of leather (or faux leather) the same width as your bag, and about half the height. Use chalk and a straight edge to mark your embroidery lines. Don’t forget to leave room on the top and bottom for seams! I used 6 lines spaced about 1/2 in. apart.

Use a Chalk line to Embroider on Leather | Radiant Home Studio

Pick some embroidery floss colors and add a simple running stitch along the chalk lines.

Embroider Leather Running Stitch | Radiant Home Studio

Next, line up the leather piece on top of the bag exterior and flip it up, leaving the top edge in the same place and placing right sides together. Stitch along the edge of the leather.

Attach Embroidered Leather | Radiant Home Studio

Flip the leather piece back down and topstitch it to the bag exterior.

Embroidered Leather | Radiant Home Studio

Repeat on the other side of the bag, and then just follow the directions for adding a zipper and sewing the pouch together for whatever pattern you are using!

Embroidered Leather Zipper Pouch | Radiant Home Studio

Do you ever use embroidery in uncommon ways?

Sewing, Tutorials

Skirt Pocket Tutorial: Add Pockets to {Almost} Any Skirt

A few weeks ago I made a “Paris Skirt” with front hip pockets. I took photos along the way, but most of them were blurred. I had planned to sew up another one this week but was short about another 1/4 yd. of fabric for the pockets. So instead, I made illustrated instructions for adding pockets to (almost) any skirt! It’s really very easy once you understand the process.

How to Sew Pockets on Almost Any Skirt | With Free Printable Pattern | Radiant Home Studio

(Some links may be affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission at no cost to you. Thanks!)

I also made a printable pocket pattern in 3 sizes! There’s one for toddlers, one for girls, and one for ladies. Just print out the pages and tape them together, matching the little arrows.

Paris Skirt Pocket Detail | Radiant Home Studio

A simple gathered A-line skirt will work best with these pockets. I used the Paris Skirt Tutorial at Nothing Too Fancy. You could also try Gertie’s Gathered Skirt. Just look for something with a rectangular front and back piece, that is gathered and attached to a waistband.

If you want to add piping, you can make your own or buy some ready-made. Making your own offers more color and pattern options. If you don’t have a piping foot, you can use a zipper foot, or try this neat fusible product that allows you to create piping without any sewing!

Skirt Pocket Pattern and Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

And here’s the skirt pocket tutorial:

(you can pin this whole image!)

Skirt Pocket Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

I have a couple of process pictures, just to help you visualize the construction if you’re one of those people that like to see things in 3D. These are near the end of the process.

Skirt Pocket Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

In this photo, I have already stitched along the pocket curve, turned it right side out, and topstitched. You can see how the pocket piece is folded in half to form the inner part of the pocket and fill in the gap that I cut out in the beginning.

Skirt Pocket Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

Here I have pinned along the sections that need to be basted together. Basting here helps hold everything in place during the rest of the skirt construction.

Skirt Pocket Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

After the pocket pieces are added, you can follow the directions to assemble the rest of your skirt. I gathered along the top edge and stitched it to the waistband.

Skirt Pocket Tutorial and Pattern | Radiant Home Studio

And…the finished skirt!

How to Sew Pockets on Almost Any Skirt | With Free Printable Pattern | Radiant Home Studio

Please let me know if you use this tutorial! I’d love to see your finished skirt pockets!