I thought it might be fun to teach you all a bit about this piece, so I have decided to break it down in to steps and show you how it was made. This is really an exercize for me to think about how I work, so that I can teach it better.
So here is step one. Making the paisley. I started with a little piece that I stitched on the sewing machine to use as a base.
As it says under #1 – Stack it. I chose batik fabric for the back, silk dupioni for the front and a little scrap of quilt batting inside. I like using quilt batting or felt as an inside “lining” because it gives you a nice something to stitch in to and then I don’t have to go back and figure out a way to finish the edges – they are all stitched already. So stack up your fabrics. Use scraps that are just a bit bigger than you want your finished piece and leave them as rectangles to start. Be sure to put right sides of the fabric together (both should face inside).
#2 Stitch it. You can trace your shape on the lining fabric with a pencil. This will end up on the inside, so you don’t have to be very neat. Stitch all the way around your shape with a nice small stitch. You can do this by hand too if you want to.
#3. Cut it out. Cut out around your stitching leaving a tiny little seam allowance – 1/8″ or so. If you have a lot of curves, “clip them”, by making little cuts through that seam allowance perpendicular (opposite) to your line of stitching. This helps the curves turn smoothly when you turn it right side out.
#4. Make a slit. Probably the trickiest step. You want to cut a nice 1″ slit through just the backing fabric. Pull the layers apart and make a little clip. You can then use a seam ripper to slice a little slash through that fabric. This is the opening you will use to…
#5 Turn it right side out. Be patient and this will work great. Use a little crochet hook to help push out corners.
#6 Iron it. Use lots of steam and press everything smooth and flat. You won’t be able to iron it later and trust me, it’s worth doing this step.
Now you have a finished paisley or whatever ready for stitching. You can quickly stitch up the slash you used to turn the whole thing right side out. I usually do this later when I am sewing on a pin back or whatnot to the back side.