Thursday, 3 November 2011

A Spot of Reverse Applique Love

Today I've attempted something new!

Until last evening, I had never heard of Reverse Applique.  I suppose I must have come across items made this way before, but let's just say they obviously hadn't registered.  Until whilst twittering last night I discovered this little gem tweeted by my twitter chum Helena,  (@microbionoar)  who had posted a Pinterest find.  I perked up a little when I saw this, as it is so my style.  This is a skirt by Gina Sekelsky and I love it!  You can find the original post by clicking on Dreamland: Alabama Love

I can't see myself wearing a skirt quite as quirky as this (believe me, it would do me no favours!), but I have an image of a perfect apron forming in my mind.  Anyways, today I started thinking what I could make.  At the moment my sewing room looks as though it's been hit by a typhoon.  Whilst I was rummaging around trying to reach my fabric stash, I kept having to move a huge vintage wool blanket.  If I picked it up once, I picked it up half a dozen times.  Finally in frustration I dumped it on the floor.....  and then had a "bing" moment.  I've already hacked into the blanket when I needed some lining a while back, and boy - it's a bigun!  This was another of my car-boot finds.... being thrown away as it had a small hole near the centre.  Other than that it was in excellent condition.  Pure new wool, a natural cream colour - and £1.  Yes...  a king size blanket's worth of beautiful soft wool for £1!
The flash has made this look more yellow than it is - the photos below are more true
With a vague notion of making a cushion forming in my head, I hacked out a square (and by hack I mean it.... my cutting table is under so much fabric, I really did have to hack my way in to it) with my rotary cutter.  Then I was left wondering what to put with it.  I tried matching up all sorts of fabric pieces, but nothing seemed to match the cream of the blanket until I put this red polka dot print next to it.  The spots are a natural colour rather than white, and so it went perfectly. Now I just had to decide what to make?

Other than seeing the photo last night and trying to figure it out, I don't have the faintest notion if what I have done is the right method for reverse applique or not..... but I like it.......... it works........ and if I say so myself, it looks pretty darn good.  When the idea formed, I was all set to make something on the machine.  At the time I wanted to begin, my husband was fiddling about with my computer, and I would have to wait 10 minutes.  10 minutes!!!!!  But (stamps foot) I want to start now!

I'm not known for my patience, and there was no way on earth I could hang about huffing for 10 minutes.  Instead I grabbed my sewing bag and needlecase and stomped off into the lounge.  So..... instead of the probable hour this could have taken me, I've spent ....ooh.... yep.... that would be six hours sewing by hand.  Note to self - Don't be so bloody stupid next time!

I considered a bird, a heart, a name - and then plumped for LOVE as I reckoned it would fit into the square just about right.  Also it was easy to draw and cut out.  In retrospect I should have sewn the outlines first, but of course I did it backwards.  Luckily the wool is virtually felted so it was easy to cut and it held it's shape.  I then used sray fix fabric adhesive to hold the wool firmly in place over the polka dots, and then added another layer behind to give it a bit of substance.  Then I started sewing.

Several hours later (until about 15 minutes ago), I was busy blanket stitching around all the letters to hold the background fabric firmly in place.  I cut out the centres of the letters for the O and E from the wool I'd already cut out, and popped them back in to form the letters properly.  Then to finish it nicely I did a simple line of running stitch all the way around.  Whilst I was sewing, I was racking my brains trying to decide what to do next.  As I kept humming to myself "All you Need is Love" that's exactly what I've added, in chain-stitch using one strand of red Perle 12 thread. 

In my head the tune goes "all you need is love, dum de dum de dum" - but could I find that online?  No!  All the lyric sites miss out the dum de dum.  It could have been tum te tum.  I didn't want to get it wrong.  Instead I've plumped for "All you need is Love, love" - and then on the back of the cushion I will embroider - "Love is all you need".

When I complete this project remains to be seen.  I will try to do it tomorrow - you never know?  I might!





  1. awww, nice inspiration... now can you imagine someone with this "all you need is love" version skirt on ... and suddenly starts hearing "dum de dum de dum" from others, ha? that would be magic lol :-D

  2. Wow that's amazing!! I love it!! x

  3. I love it! The polka dots are fab and it's great to put your car-boot finds to a gorgeous use.

  4. It is impossible not to sing along oncde that song gets in your head!!! I love it (and obviously the dotty fabric is a winner with me!)

  5. Great new technique looks like you're on to a winner. Thanks for sharing

  6. Perfection. Having been stitched by hands seems more appropriate some how. Maybe it was a good thing that you were too impatient to wait.

  7. It's lovelier than a Jan Constantine cushion - really gorgeous! x

  8. Hats fantastic! I absolutely love the fabrics you've used and you'd never know it was your first go at reverse appliqué!


Oh - go on! It's so lovely to receive messages, and I really do appreciate it.

I always do my best to reply to messages - both here on the blog and personally (as long as I can see an email address)