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project // dress me embroidered pillow

Dress Me! Pillow


Once I got my hands on the new Dress Me fabric from Dear Stella, I couldn't stop at just one project. In fact, even though I've only made two projects with this print, I have several more I'd like to try in time, because there are just so many possibilities. Nicole found a great way to use it in a big way!

When you look at a big piece of this fabric, you'll see that it kind of runs in columns of animals. Taking my cue from that, I created this pillow that has a strip of stitched sweeties that really pop with the black that surrounds them. To make your own, here's what you need:

Dear Stella Dress Me fabric
Black fabric
Embroidery floss
Cotton batting
12-inch pillow form
Scissors
Needle
Rotary cutter and mat
Pins
Sewing machine

The clothing patterns I used for my embroidered panel are coming soon to the Dear Stella blog!

Dress Me! Pillow

Start by choosing three of the animals in a column that you want on your pillow. Embroider some clothes on them.

Dress Me! Pillow

Cut the embroidered area into a strip that is 4 inches wide by 15 inches tall. Cut a piece of black fabric that is also 4 x 15 inches, and another black piece that is 8 x 15 inches.

Dress Me! Pillow
Dress Me! Pillow

Pin and sew these three strips together so that the embroidery is in the middle. I used 3/8-inch seams.

Do pay attention to which direction your animals seem to be facing. The kitty is looking to the left, so I positioned the embroidered strip on the right. However, if the animals you choose are looking the other way, you may want to shift the center panel to the left side.

Dress Me! Pillow

Cut a 15-inch square of batting and black fabric and make a quilt sandwich so that the batting is between the fabric layers. Pin the layers together.

Dress Me! Pillow
Dress Me! Pillow

Use a white pencil to mark vertical lines for quilting. You'll want lines right on either side of the stitched panel, then more that are evenly spaced on the black areas. Mine are 2 inches apart, but you can change this to suit your taste and patience!

With black embroidery thread or perle cotton, quilt the lines with running stitch. Or, if you'd rather, machine quilt the black areas.

When all of the quilting is finished, square up the pillow front and trim it down to 14 inches square. You could start with it this size, but sometimes the quilting alters the size, and it's better to trim it than wish you had more wiggle room!

Dress Me! Pillow

Cut two pieces of black fabric that are 14 x 10 inches. On each, fold and press one long edge down by 1/2 inch, then fold and press it again. Sew this folded hem. These two pieces will form the envelope back for your pillow cover.

Dress Me! Pillow

Lay your pillow front face up, then place one of the back pieces on top so the raw edges match up with the top and sides of the pillow front, and so that the "right" side of the hem is face down. Place the second back piece on top of this so that the hemmed edge overlaps with the first back piece. Pin around the edges.

Dress Me! Pillow

Sew around all four sides. I like to back stitch on areas where the back pieces are hemmed because these will have the most stress when inserting the pillow form. You don't want anything ripping!

Dress Me! Pillow

Carefully trim the corners, then turn the cover right side out. Slide your pillow form in, and get it all smoothly situated inside.

Dress Me! Pillow

This pillow makes me so happy! Especially that piggy. My sister has always had a fondness for pigs, and when you see one that's throwing confetti in the air, you can't help but smile. Of course, they're all adorable animals!

Dress Me! Pillow
Dress Me! Pillow
Dress Me! Pillow

Be sure to check out the entire Wild fabric line by Wee Gallery for Dear Stella, and if you make anything from the fabrics, share it and tag your photos with #dearstella so we can see!

Dress Me! Pillow

Special thanks to Dear Stella for the fun fabric I've been stitching with!

project // ruffled stitching pouch

Ruffled Stitching Pouch


A couple months ago (has it really been that long?) I shared how to make a super simple stitching pouch to hold your embroidery work. It's the kind of thing that you probably want more than one of, because, let's face it...we all have a bunch of things that we're working on at any given time.

This time around I've made a pouch that has a little ruffle that not only looks cute, but also serves as an extra means of keeping everything safe and sound inside. Oh, and I made it from the CUTEST fabric from Wee Gallery for Dear Stella and added some embroidery embellishment!

Ruffled Stitching Pouch

The outside fabric is called Alphabet and the lining and ruffle are Hearts in blue, from the same line. The Hearts print reminds me of my childhood and makes me so happy!

To make your own ruffled stitching pouch, here's what you need:

2 Fabrics - 1/4 yard each (fat quarters work!)
Fusible interfacing - 19 x 9.5 inches
Embroidery floss
Needle and thread
Scissors
Iron
Sewing Machine
Pins
Rotary cutter and mat (optional)

Ruffled Stitching Pouch

From each of the two fabrics, cut a piece that is 19 x 9.5 inches. From the fabric you're using for the ruffle, cut a piece that is 12 x 2.5. If your fabrics go one way, be sure to pay attention to the direction.

On my fabric, I added some stitching to some of the alphabet letters as well as to a few details. If you're doing this too, keep the stitching in from the edges a bit.

Ruffled Stitching Pouch

Iron the fusible interfacing onto the back of the fabric for the outside of the pouch.

Ruffled Stitching Pouch
Ruffled Stitching Pouch

Fold the ruffle strip in half lengthwise, with right sides together. Sew the two ends together with an 1/8-inch seam allowance. Now, turn the ruffle right side out and press the fold.

Ruffled Stitching Pouch
Ruffled Stitching Pouch

With the needle and thread, stitch a line of running stitch close to the raw edge of the ruffle. Pull the stitches to gather the ruffle until it is just under 8 inches wide. Secure the thread with a good knot so it stays in place.

Ruffled Stitching Pouch

Pin the ruffle onto the center of one of the short ends of the outside piece of fabric. Space the gathers as evenly as you can.

Keep in mind that the end of the fabric you use will be the top of the opening for the pouch. Also, the side of the ruffle that is facing down will be the side that shows, so again, if the fabric is directional, this is important to watch for!

Ruffled Stitching Pouch

Machine baste the ruffle to the outside fabric piece using a 1/8-inch seam allowance.

Ruffled Stitching Pouch

Pin the lining fabric on top of the outside piece, right sides together. Fold the edges of the ruffles in so they don't get caught in the seams.

Ruffled Stitching Pouch

Starting at the short end that is opposite from the ruffle, sew around the pouch, leaving an opening for turning.

I used a 1/4-inch seam allowance, but then I trimmed the seams down to 1/8-inch and clipped the corners to help reduce bulk. The opening for turning, however, is still 1/4-inch.

Ruffled Stitching Pouch

Turn the pouch right side out and poke the corners out with a chopstick or similar object. Fold in the edges of the opening and pin the seam closed as shown.

Ruffled Stitching Pouch

Top stitch the two short ends with a 1/8-inch seam allowance. It looks nice and finished...and it closes the opening!

Ruffled Stitching Pouch

Fold the ruffled end down by about 1-1/2 inches (this isn't to exact!), and fold the bottom end up to meet the edge where the ruffle is coming out. Pin the sides and sew them together with a 1/4-inch seam allowance.

Ruffled Stitching Pouch

Now your stitching pouch is ready to be put to use!

The only thing I would have changed on mine is the fabric direction. The Alphabet print does have these super sweet items in all directions, but it tends to go more one way than the others. In my head, I thought it would be best if the large area of the bag (the back) had things mainly upright. Now that it's finished, I wonder if I should have switched that around. Ah well...I love it no matter which way I turn it!

Ruffled Stitching Pouch

Because the ruffle is not as wide as the pouch, it allows you to very easily slide your work inside, then it pops right back out to cover the opening!

Ruffled Stitching Pouch
Ruffled Stitching Pouch

All of the little details in this fabric have me in love! I'm pretty sure there will be more embroidery projects with this Wee Gallery print in my future!

Ruffled Stitching Pouch
Ruffled Stitching Pouch
Ruffled Stitching Pouch

Happy Stitching! And thanks to Dear Stella for providing such joy-filled fabric!

project // embroidered portrait frame

Embroidered Portrait Frame


I love making projects that use a little bit of embroidery! Sometimes I use something I stitched a while ago, and sometimes I stitch something new, but just incorporating embroidery in some way is wonderful to me.

Today I'm sharing this embroidered portrait in a felt frame. If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter you've probably seen some peeks at this fabric I've been working with, and I'll have more fun to show you all week. The fabric line is called Wild, and it was designed by Wee Gallery for Dear Stella. I've added some stitching (the patterns will be available later this week...keep watching!), and framed it with felt.

To make your own wall hanging (with a fabulous fox or other design inside), here's what you need:

Wool blend felt
Embroidery
Fusible interfacing
Embroidery floss
Ribbon

Frame Template PDF

Embroidered Portrait Frame

From felt, cut out two frame pieces: one solid, and one with the center cut out.

Embroidered Portrait Frame

Use the template to stitch the hearts in the corners of the front frame piece with the center cut out. Since it's just a small amount of embroidery, I used my printed template. It's pretty easy to tear away when you're done stitching.

Embroidered Portrait Frame

Cut an 8-inch piece of ribbon and stitch the two ends onto the solid back piece of the frame as shown.

Embroidered Portrait Frame

Grab your embroidery and trim it down to about 3-3/4 x 5 inches. Of course, you can resize the frame or make your own...just be sure that your embroidery ends up large enough so there is plenty of overlap with the front frame piece.

Embroidered Portrait Frame

To give your wall art some extra stability, iron fusible interfacing (the single-sided kind) to the back of your embroidery.

Embroidered Portrait Frame

Place your embroidery behind the front frame piece and stitch around the opening with running stitch. You may find it helpful to pin it as you work so that it doesn't shift or make your foxy embroidery crooked.

Embroidered Portrait Frame

Layer the back piece of the frame behind the front so that the ribbon ends are hidden inside the layer. Stitch around the outside with running stitch.

Embroidered Portrait Frame
Embroidered Portrait Frame

Now your portrait is ready to hang! Can you just imagine a grouping of these? I think they make great little gifts and would look so fun hanging in a nursery!

Embroidered Portrait Frame
Embroidered Portrait Frame
Embroidered Portrait Frame

Thanks to Dear Stella for the fantastic fabric to fill my frame!