Looking for a cute design element for an Easter garment? Try a bunny pocket! This tutorial from Wendy Schoen will show you how to create an adorable bunny pocket appliqué. This precious appliqué is attached to the garment using the Madeira appliqué method and the Point de Paris stitch. This type of applique is a terrific way to add texture and interest to almost any fabric base. We hope you enjoy making this sweet bunny for your little one this Easter; it’s the perfect enhancement to any Easter outfit. Below, enjoy Wendy’s instructions for the appliqué and the Point de Paris stitch as featured in the January/February ’04 issue of Sew Beautiful.
Wendy’s notes about this project
Harvey was the name of a movie about an invisible white rabbit starring the incomparable James Stewart. The entire time I was creating this cute baby boy’s outfit, my memory of Harvey was vivid. This precious bunny appliqué is attached to the garment using the Madeira appliqué method and the Point de Paris stitch.
Madeira appliqué, a technique most often associated with a small island off the coast of Portugal, is applied to the base fabric with a Point de Paris stitch, which is a pulled thread stitch. This type of appliqué is a terrific way to add texture and interest to almost any fabric base. Natural fibers work best, but appliqués with blended fibers are acceptable, if not more difficult to work with. The threads used can range from fine hand sewing thread to stranded cotton, which I used for the sample. Because of the pulling, or opening of the stitch, the thread must be sturdy for if not, it will break often. I recommend a #9 Crewel needle for this task.
Although not traditional to the original technique, I suggest machine stay-stitching along the folding lines of the shape to expedite the turning under of the raw edges. The work is basted down carefully, the edges are clipped and turned under, and the raw edges are basted in place. After a light pressing, the appliqué is ready for the Point de Paris stitch.
The Point de Paris stitch can also be done by machine, for those not wanting to invest the effort in excessive handwork. With today’s marvelous computerized machines, the hand worked stitch can be duplicated exceedingly well.
I hope you enjoy making this sweet appliqué for your little lad this Easter. It’s the perfect un-fussy enhancement to any Easter outfit.
Materials (for garment as shown)
- “Walter” pattern from Wendy Schoen
- Blue Silky Poplin (Shirt) (BT*)
- Swiss Birdseye Piqué (Pants) (BT*)
- Swiss Baby Lined Piqué (Appliqué) (BT*)
- Floche Embroidery Cotton
- #415 Grey
- #776 Pink
- #5200 White
- #7 Between needles (embroidery)
- #9 Crewel needles (Point de Paris stitch)
- Basting thread
- White stranded cotton
- 5-inch Embroidery hoop
*BT – Bear Threads (wholesale only) – ask your local shop.
Embroidery stitches used
- Shadow Stitch (inside ears)
- Backstitch (whiskers, nose, mouth, eyes)
- Granito (eyeballs)
- Stem Stitch (hands, chin)
You will be using one strand of floss.
1. Cut a block of baby lined pique large enough to fit into an embroidery hoop.
2. Carefully starch and iron fabric.
3. Transfer outline of bunny applique and embroidery design onto right sides of fabric.
4. Insert fabric into embroidery hoop.
5. Work eyeballs with grey as granitos. Outline eyes in backstitch and add two lashes with straight stitches.
6. Stitch nose in pink with backstitches. Backstitch mouth with gray. Stem stitch chin and paws with white.
7. Shadow stitch inside of ears with pink.
8. Grey whiskers will be stitched after appliqué to shirt is complete.
1. With white cotton thread, machine stay-stitch around folding lines of appliqué (L=1.5).
2. Carefully cut out around figure, just outside stay-stitching, leaving a scant 1/4-inch seam allowance all around. Clip curves and inside points to, not through, stay-stitching.
3. Baste figure to base fabric in position under pocket as shown on pattern. Make sure to leave space around edges for turning seam allowance under (fig. 1) (basting shown in red on figure).
4. Using tip of needle and working over finger, turn raw edges under along stay-stitching. (This method is shown in photographic steps in issue #90 of Sew Beautiful on pages 82 and 83). Baste folds in place as you work (fig. 2) (basting shown in red in figure).
5. Once applique is completely basted down, press lightly.
6. Complete Point de Paris stitch by hand or machine (see instructions below). If using machine, set stitch setting to L=2.5; W=1.5.
7. Remove basting stitches.
8. Backstitch whiskers using one strand of grey floss.
Point de Paris
This stitch is the “pulled” stitch most commonly associated with Madeira appliqué. The stitch is taken into the base fabric beside the folded edge of the appliqué. It is a simple stitch sequence of A to B (backstitch), and A to C, with C being into the applique. Then the stitch begins again, starting the sequence in the last hole of the previous stitch so succeeding holes are lined up head to toe. To open the holes further, the A to B stitch can be repeated. Use a #9 Crewel needle and white, lightweight hand sewing thread or stranded cotton.
1. Anchor your knot inside APPLIQUE fold in the starting position. Insert needle into BASE fabric at point A, directly above your initial stitch. Taking a backstitch, exit at point B, about 1/16 inch long. To open holes further, repeat A-to-B stitch.
2. Insert needle into point A and exit out APPLIQUE at point C, directly below point B. This stitch should just barely catch applique edge and be almost invisible.
3. From point C, bring needle in at position of old point B, and now that position become new point A, beginning sequence again.
Wendy Schoen is an internationally known embroidery and pattern designer, educator, and author whose designs were regularly featured in Sew Beautiful magazine. Through her company, Wendy Schoen Design, Wendy has published five books on the subject of fine embroidery and sewing. She has published over 30 patterns marketed under the name, Petite Poché, of which she is the owner, and countless embroidery designs and kits. Visit her website at wendyschoen.com.
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