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Sew an appliqué teatowel with birds, cupcakes and teacups

PR sew applique teatowel, from All Sewn Up

● Plain tea towel, or 16 x 20in (40 x 50cm) of fabric to make your own
● Templates - see page 2
● Fabrics and felts for the design
● Fusible webbing (optional)
● Iron
● Pins, needles, and scissors
● Pinking shears
● Fabric glue (optional)
● Sewing machine with embroidery foot
● Sewing threads to tone with fabrics
● Fading fabric marker

1 If you are making a tea towel, press under a double 1-in (2.5-cm) hem on the long edges and then the short edges. Pin the hems in place. Set the sewing machine to a medium straight stitch and sew each hem. You’re done!

2 There are a million different designs you could sew: for my tea and cake design I’ve used 12 different fabrics, but you can use as many or as few as you like. Enlarge the templates by 200% and cut out all the pieces from fabrics and felts. For the birds you’ll need felt for the bodies and different fabrics for the wings and breasts.

Choose a patterned fabric for the background: I’ve chosen a blue and white check fabric measuring 12 x 16½in (30 x 41cm), and I cut it with pinking shears for a decorative edge and to stop it fraying.

3 Collage the design onto the background fabric; position the birds so that they’re hovering slightly over the cup and cake - so there’s room to sew legs underneath their bodies. If you’ve used fusible webbing, then iron the pieces in place; if not, pin or lightly glue them in place. With the fabric marker, draw the cherry stalk.

4 Take the design to the sewing machine and, using coordinating threads, free-machine embroider the elements. If you’re feeling confident, try out different embroidery stitches to add more interest. Sew around the birds in a few different colours - no need to be neat here, just try to work with a fluid motion. And remember to sew them some legs! Add detail to the bottom of the cupcake and use colored threads to hand-embroider sprinkles on the frosting using straight stitches.

5 Pin the background fabric in position on the tea towel. With the feed dogs up, set the sewing machine to a medium straight stitch and sew around the edges, about ½in (1cm) in from the pinked edges.


This project is from 'All Sewn Up' by Chloe Owens (CICO Books, £14.99), available from all good bookshops. To save £2 and buy 'All Sewn Up' for £12.99, call 01256 302699, and quote GLR7PB.

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