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Sew Parisian Postcards

Many days my mind is partly in France as I gear up for our French sewing adventure July 5-12.  Our sewing focus at La Cascade will be fabric embellishment, so I have been testing some projects to fill out the week’s activities.

Postcards in the planning process.

One fun project has been the creation of a series of soft fabric appliques that look like postcards.  On a recent trip to JoAnn’s I found a light weight home decorator fabric with retro scenes of Paris.  It has a mid-century modern vibe.  It also had some companion fabrics that made the project even more fun.

The 3 coordinating fabrics.

By design, the fabrics coordinated with some grey cotton destined to be a Tabula Rasa Jacket in need of embellishment.  I also found some metallic coated linen in my stash.  That linen opened my eyes to the possibility of using it as a background for a series of vintage travel postcards.  I had planned an unlined jacket so this was a very appealing alternative to directly embellishing the jacket.

It was great fun to work on post card size creations. I cut the fabric into small motifs and free motion stitched the motifs to small squares and rectangles of the linen.

Appliques ready to be stitched.

Since it was an experiment, I tried out several different backings for the stitched samples.  Some were fused with interfacing, others stacked on top of batting and wash away stabilizers.  One was even left unsupported.

My Bernina Stitch Regulator (BSR) is always a free motion friend.  I used several colors of rayon Sulky thread to free motion the motifs to their backings.  It was quite addictive, each one was so charming.

Quickly I decided that backing was necessary to support the linen, but the lightest supports were my favorite: Soft Stretch and Envy Silk interfacing and Cotton Classic batting, separated into thin layers. (Watch the Video)

Stitched but not yet pressed.

The appliqued pictures were great, but needed captions and frames to look like official postcards.  Some Pinterest searching revealed classic post card captions.  I used the alphabet feature on my old Bernina 1230 to write the captions in dark grey rayon buttonhole thread passed down to me by a tailor who closed up shop.  My stash of vintage rick-rack was identified as the best framing material.  I handstitched it to the appliques while watching the Superbowl.

Stitching on the Rick Rack.

You will have to stay tuned to see the jacket that will be adorned with these fanciful faux postcards.

Ready to be appliqued.

Try your hand at BSR sewing on Feb. 12 at Danner’s Bernina Shop in Hanover PA.  My Surface Design Fun class, from 10-4 will include raw edge collage anchored with free motion machine stitching or Boro hand stitching.  We will be painting and stenciling on fabric too.  The perfect activities for a winter’s day.

If you want to be immersed in embellishment and France, there are still 2 spaces left for the La Cascade retreat in July.

What fun winter projects are on your sewing table?  Share your ideas here with our #fitforartpatterns community.  Visit our Photo Gallery for inspiring ideas to restyle your #tabularasajacket and #tabularasaknit patterns.

Happy Sewing, RAE


3 thoughts on “Sew Parisian Postcards

  1. Glorious Rae! I so respect your diligence in testing a variety of applications to identify the most suitable for the project. And…your creativity is, as always, awesome. Can’t wait to see the postcard jacket.

    1. Marijo, You are too kind. In a way, it is my job to test and ponder but it is also my fun! It is pretty cute and the reveal will be soon! RAE

  2. They look great!!!

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