Bias Tape Birds–Vintage Applique

I’m enamored with this pair of birds.

I found them on a pillowcase I bought at an estate sale a few years ago.

Vintage Applique Bias Tape Birds on JanMadeIt 02

It’s just snips of ordinary half-inch bias tape appliqued to the cotton.

Vintage Applique Bias Tape Birds on JanMadeIt 03

A few strategic embroidery stitches complete the illustration.

I had to make a pair of birds for myself.

Jans Appliqued BiasTape Birds on JanMadeIt02

I dug into my box of scrap trim (that sounds like I only have one! Ha!) and found a few pieces of bias tape to use. I couldn’t find a scrap of blue, so instead of a bluebird and a red bird, I made a pair of cardinals. The male on the right, and the less colorful female on the left.

Of course, I can’t leave well enough alone and decided to fold the bias tape in half.

Jans Appliqued BiasTape Birds on JanMadeIt 03

First I tacked down the green for the branch but was not happy the little stitches are still visible. So I found matching embroidery floss and used an embroidered back stitch to stitch down the birds.

Since my birds are much smaller than the originals I wasn’t able to put as many details on their heads, but I think it works.

Jans Appliqued BiasTape Birds on JanMadeIt 01

I can’t decide what to do with them now so they are still living in this little embroidery hoop.  I didn’t trim the green bias tape in case they need a longer branch when I find a permanent home for them.

Vintage Applique Bias Tape Birds on JanMadeIt 01

I just love finding old linens, don’t you?

Any suggestions on what I should do with them now?

Jan

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Fabric Flowers

If you know me in person you know I frequently wear a flower pin on a plain t-shirt. It started a few years ago when I got a brand new bright yellow shirt that fit perfectly and was the perfect shade of yellow.

After I wore if a few times I noticed a tiny pinprick hole near the neckline binding on the left side. Arrgggghh! But I was determined to continue wearing it and I came across a scrap, a very small scrap of vintage yellow fabric with strawberries on it. After I mulled it over awhile I gathered it into a circle, topped it with some red, and found some vintage buttons to layer on the top.
Vintage Fabric Flower on JanMadeIt

Now that I describe the process, I really should take it apart and feature the vintage fabric that inspired me.

But a new hobby was born (like I needed another). Here’s how I used another very small scrap of vintage fabric. I stitched this one into little pleats to form the circle.

Vintage Black and Bright Fabric Flower on JanMadeIt

The fabric had a looser weave, so I added a little blanket stitch to keep it from fraying too much. I don’t think the buttons are vintage, but they were the right size and color.

Since my wardrobe is primarily jeans and a t-shirt, I went a little nuts making these fabric flowers the last few years. This morning I took pictures of just the ones that are handy and ended up with over forty images.

I get lots of comments and questions about how I make them. I’ll just pick up a scrap, and grab a needle and thread and start doing something with it. I’m halfway done by the time I think to take a picture to show how I do it.

I wear them on a pin back, but they can easily be applied to a hair clip, a headband, ponytail holder, a hat… anywhere you want some embellishment.

This one is trimmed with baby rick rack, and centered with a scrap of lace and vintage buttons. Vintage Buttons and Lace on JanMadeIt

I made several with this same black and ivory calico.  Here’s another vintage button and some lace. I think this one went through the wash with the shirt I wore it on. The frayed edges are a little wrinkled.

Calico, vintage button and lace on JanMadeIt

Here I continued with the lace and twisted the black calico and a strip of ivory into this rosette. Looks like I need to clip some stray threads off this one.

Black and Ivory Calico Rosette on JanMadeItI think you get the idea. There are literally dozens more where these came from. I’ll try to share more of them in the coming weeks.

Anyone else out there make flowers?  Mine are all ad lib, but there are some really nice specific patterns and techniques I’d like to try. Let me know what you think.

Jan

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