I had a sewing day with a friend recently and we worked on this fun project. Kids love these bath puppets, and my twins are no exception! The pattern was self-drafted, but below is a picture of the pattern pieces. To get the shape, we basically traced a rough outline of my hand and made it a bit bigger.
That formed the back piece, and the front is made up of a shortened piece for the body and another piece for the face.
I used a bought bath towel for the fabric. The first step was the applique circle and letter. The elements for this came from a couple of different places. The circle is from JL Dizains on Etsy, you will find it here I used the 3 1/2 inch size, but there are 23 sizes in this download so very versatile.
We used a magnetic hoop for this project, my first time using one, and i must say... I'm converted! It's so easy to lay your fabric flat and hold it in place with the magnets, rather than trying to maneuver it into a traditional hoop. This was also my first foray into machine embroidered applique, and it's wonderful!
A brief run down of how it works...
You download your design, in this case the circle. The first stitching is an outline, so you know where to place your fabric you are going to applique on.
Then you lay your fabric over the outline, and stitch again.
Once this is done you cut away the excess fabric, and then hit start on your beautiful satin stitch.
Pretty simple, and oh so clever
You can then overlay elements like I did here with the letter.
Because the towelling is a bit fluffy, we popped a layer of solvy over the top so the little fibres didn't get caught up in the stitching.
I also stitched the satin stitch twice, to ensure complete coverage of the towelling.
Once the circle was done, I tore away the solvy and repeated the process with the letter
The applique mouth was the same technique previously used.
Once this embroidery was complete, it was time to cut out the pieces.
The sewing construction is really simple.
Stitch the head to the front body at the neck (curved top edge)
Then flip open and stitch round the outside, right sides together, leaving the bottom open.
I made some little feet, stitched and bagged them out.
These are then stitched to the front body before the binding is applied.
I cut a bias strip from the pretty Liberty floral used for the applique.
Pressed and pinned in place and stitched with a 3mm straight stitch.
One puppet down! With twins.... I always have to make two!
I had a couple of extra circle appliques from our test phase, figuring out size and colour of threads. They actually worked out pretty well and I couldn't bear to throw them in the bin. Monogrammed matching towels anyone??
I grabbed some plain white bath towels and raided my stash for some pretty broderie lace and ribbon to stitch on.
Some simple straight stitching was all that was required here
This turned out to be a great use for these sample pieces
This project would make a lovely gift for a new baby or just a special little one in your life
I hope you're inspired to get creative with applique!
Julia Mulcair is the owner of Pitt Trading, an Australian online fabric store and the lingerie society, a monthly subscription service for lingerie sewers. She grew up around fabric, and has been sewing for 30 years.
Julia focuses on garment sewing, with a particular love of lingerie making. She shares her makes on Instagram and YouTube and is always working on the next lingerie design!
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