Soft and comfy vests are staple items for little ones to wear. Relatively inexpensive to purchase, plain options can be brought to life with a handful of pretty fabrics and little stitching skill. Here, we show you how to customise a set with a beautiful combination of motifs for boys and girls.
- Fabric: cotton, five colours and
- prints per vest
- Embroidery thread:
- complementary colours
- Vest, age 12 – 18 months
- Fusible interfacing, lightweight
- Vanishing fabric pen
- Fusible webbing
- Suitable for ages 12 – 18
Appliqué a girlie design
Choose the relevant shapes from the template on page 80 and copy them onto fusible webbing. Iron the birdhouse onto striped pink and white fabric; the roof, bottom section and opening onto dark pink; the leaves onto patterned green; the bird onto cream; and the wing and tail onto spotty pink.
Iron an 18cm x 23cm piece of lightweight interfacing to the inside front of a vest, 3cm down from the neckline. Position your cut-out pieces centrally onto the vest, ensuring that the leaves are positioned around the house and checking that they aren’t too far apart. Iron the fabrics into place, once satisfied with the composition.
Reveal the free arm of your sewing machine by taking away the removable section of the base, as you would to change the bobbin. Sew the edges of the birdhouse and roof with cream thread and a wide zig zag stitch. Be careful not to catch any other parts of the vest in the stitches.
Zig zag stitch around the edges of the bird, and use a narrower stitch to work around the leaves, wing, tail and holes of the birdhouse. Use a vanishing fabric pen to add details by drawing on a perch, beak, eye and legs to the motif.
Thread a needle with dark red yarn and backstitch the circle of the perch, before filling with satin stitch. Backstitch the legs and create over stitches at the base of the tail, then tie a French knot for the eye. Lastly, use green thread to backstitch the stems of the leaves.
Stitch a baby boy’s motif
Use the template on page 80 to draw the shapes of the motif onto fusible webbing and cut them out. Iron the birdhouse, wing and tail onto blue and white striped fabric; the roof and birdhouse opening onto dark blue; the leaves onto patterned green; the branches onto dark green; and the bird onto pale green fabric.
Iron a 20cm x 22cm sheet of lightweight interfacing to the inside front of a vest, 4cm down from the neckline. Position all of the pieces centrally onto the front of the vest, ensuring that the branches overlap the bottom of the house and aren’t too far apart. Once happy with the composition, iron the pieces into place.
Pull away the removable section of your machine base, as if you were changing the bobbin. Use a wide zig zag stitch and cream thread to machine sew around the edges of the birdhouse and roof, making sure they overlap slightly.
Machine stitch around all of the branches, except the areas which overlap with the bird. Zig zag around the edges of the bird and use a narrower stitch to work around the leaves, wing, tail and doorway of the birdhouse.
Using a vanishing fabric pen, draw a perch, beak, eye and legs onto the bird motif. Backstitch the circle of the perch with dark blue embroidery thread, and fill with satin stitch. Repeat the stitches for the beak. Create a French knot for the eye and backstitch the legs. To finish, form a couple of over stitches at the base of the tail.