I've mentioned here and there that there's something big in the works. Big enough that I'm doing my best to get the details ironed out before I'm ready to share it. But along the way, a smaller project stole my attention for a bit. This is the way my crafty world works. I'm constantly jumping from one idea to the next, and things are reshaped and organic along the way. Especially when I think I've developed a linear plan.
Today's project started with this pin from friend Natasha. After my trip to London and run-ins on every corner with Cath Kidston wares, I've been eagle-eyed for Union Jacks. I loved the color scheme on the pinned dresser and later started my own "Anglophile" board to gather the Union Jack things I dig. I set out to incorporate the fun flag in some designs that you'll see later. Then I decided that in the nearer term I'd like to see it available for clothing and apparel embellishment. I love that the quilting cotton world offers so much color and creativity, but not that it typically gives us few options for scale. Spoonflower changes that. The availablity of Spoonflower is like a crafting/sewing superpower. If you can dream it, you can do it.
I decided that a 5 x 8 size would be perfect. Printed on buttery organic cotton sateen, it's great for both appliques and piecing. For example, on this 3T skirt and shirt.
I chose 5 color options to start. I could keep going and going and going (and going!) on these, but had stop so that I could start somewhere.
And now I'm going crazy slapping them on everything. Because I'm an addict. The uses are endless. As if appliques weren't already so limitless in application, these'll also make adorable buntings and bags and can be pieced and/or quilted for pockets, skirts and dresses and home decor. There's more to come, but this is what I've done so far. Free cutting templates for "love", the numbers 1-3 and the elongated heart are here.
Want to get your hands on some? You'll find them here, in the crafterhours shop. You'll see all of the options there but feel free to e-mail me if you don't see what you're looking for.
So, here's a quick illustration on the making of the 3T skirt above with a finished length of about 8.5". I posted a handy reference yesterday about skirt lengths for girls and this'll be an above the knee length for a 3yo. Since the Union Jacks here are 5" x 8", a 3T skirt only requires 6 of them. Really, you could go up quite a bit in size and the width wouldn't need to change, just the length, which could be accomplished by lengthening either the waistband, the hem band or both, depending on what sort of look you're going for.
The front and the back are identical. So the cuts of fabric required are:
Line up the flags in your order of preference and piece them in two sets of 3
so that when you open it up and press it you've got something like this:
Place your waistband at the top edge of each skirt panel, right sides together. Stitch each with a 1/2 inch seam allowance. Use pinking shears, a zigzag stitch or a serger to finish the seam so that it won't fray. Press open.
Press your hem bands in half lengthwise, wrong sides together.
Pin your hem bands to the bottom edge of each of the center flag panels right sides together. Stitch using a 1/2" seam allowance. Use pinking shears, a zigzag stitch or a serger to finish the seam.
Press the hem band down, top stitching if you like.
Place the two skirt panels right sides together, matching up the seams. Pin. Stitch down each side with a 1/2 " seam allowance. Use pinking shears, a zigzag stitch or a serger to finish the seam. If you like, tack the seam allowance to the hem band with just a few stitches to secure the stitching and keep the seam nice and neat.
Fold the top of the waistband down 1/4" and press.
Then fold down to meet the first waistband seam and press. Pin.
Stitch the folded edge to the bottom waistband seam all
the way around, leaving an inch-and-a-halfish unstitched.
Thread your elastic through the waistband casing you've created via the inch-and-a-halfish
you've left open. Stitch the two ends of the elastic together and let it free to live its new life as a waistband. Stitch the open section of your casing closed, if you like. Or don't.
Beam with pride. Wince slightly as you hand your work over to a jumping 3 yo who's dying to wear what Mama made. And make excuses to get it back for photographs before she smears PB & J on it.
So, after all of that-- are you a fan of pop art Union Jack? (My kids will be wearing these each and every day between July 27 and August 12. Although some cute "Yay, USA" duds are required too.)