When life gives you lemons, put them to use on a pretty top
YOU WILL NEED
An top in need of a spruce
Appliqué fabric (try a mediumweight woven cotton – this is a good project for using up scraps)
Double-sided iron-on transfer adhesive, such as Bondaweb or a washable fabric Gluestick to hold the motif in place before stitching
Sewing machine (you can do this by hand, it’ll just take longer)
1 Choose the areas of the appliqué fabric that you want to add to your top and cut a large rectangle around them. Give the fabric a press to smooth out any wrinkles.
2 Cut the transfer adhesive to the same shape and size as the appliqué fabric and place the shiny side against the wrong side of the fabric (you may need to peel off a backing sheet, check the packet instructions). Hold a hot, dry iron on top for a few seconds to fuse the adhesive to the fabric. Be careful not to get adhesive on your iron or ironing board – it can leave
a mess! You could place a pressing cloth – a piece of lightweight fabric or even a tea towel – between the motif and your iron to avoid the adhesive sticking to it.
3 Cut around the motifs, leaving a little space around the sides for the stitching allowance. It’ll be easier to stitch around the motifs if you cut them out without too many tight curves.
4 Once you’ve decided where you want the motifs to sit on your top, peel off the backing paper and carefully lay them, adhesive side down, onto the right side of the garment fabric, making sure they sit nice and flat with no bubbles. Hold a hot, dry iron on top for a few seconds to fuse them in place.
5 Now you can stitch the motifs in place. Practise on a scrap first. Try a short and wide zigzag stitch, 1mm long by 4–5mm wide. Position the project so most of the zigzag is falling on the appliqué piece, with one side of the zigzag overlapping the edge just a teeny bit. Take your time to carefully navigate the curves and pivot the fabric with the needle down where needed. When you need to wash your appliquéd top, it’s best to do so by hand.
Adapted from Tilly and the Buttons: Stretch! By Tilly Walnes (Quadrille).
Turn to page 111 for more clothing customisation ideas.