The Bothered Owl

Alex and Sarah's crafty corner of cyberspace

How to make a cloth brooch September 29, 2009

Filed under: Tutorials — thebotheredowl @ 6:24 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

New tutorial a-go-go! Do let me know if anything is unclear or badly worded. I am still figuring out how to to do this so any feedback you may have would be appreciated. I want to do this well so it will actually be useful for people.

Right:

Ingredients:

The beauty of these little brooches is they can be whipped up from practically nothing. They’re an ideal scrapbusting project because they don’t take much fabric.

You will need:

  • Some scraps of fabric. You want these large enough to be able to cut a shape of your choice out of. I like to make my brooches with contrasting fabric for the back and the front but you might choose to do both sides in the same fabric.
  • Something to stiffen the brooch and help it keep its shape. I use cotton quilt wadding for this but I understand that fusible interfacing is quite good. You could probably even use cardboard if you wanted. You just want something that you can sandwich between the two layers of outer fabric to give a little stiffness.
  • A pin. You can buy brooch backing pins in most craft shops, but you could get away with using just a safety pin or a nappy pin if you wanted.
  • Scissors, thread, needle and pins. Also tracing or pattern paper and a pen or pencil for drawing your template.

Template

Choose what shape you want your brooch to be. I like flowers but you could do a star or a heart or even a bird, if you wanted.  Sketch it out on your tracing paper and then cut it out:

Cut out your fabric

Lay your template on your fabric, pin and cut around the edges. You will need to cut three pieces, all the same. One front, one back and one middle. Like so:

Back, middle and front all cut out and ready to sew

Back, middle and front all cut out and ready to sew

Notice that the back piece (in brown) is cut out on the reverse of the fabric. This is really important, when you pin the pieces together to sew them, you want the shapes to match. Since you will be sewing this piece with the wrong sides together, you have to cut the back piece out on the reverse to make the shape correct.

Construction

Now you need to pin the pieces together and sew them up.

You want to make a fabric sandwich with your wadding as the filling. And remember, for this project we’re sewing with the right sides facing out – in other words the stitches are going on the outside. Thusly:

The front of the stack

The front of the stack

The back of the stack. Note this is the outside of the fabric.

The back of the stack. Note this is the outside of the fabric.

Next, trim round the edges to make sure there is no overhang of the wadding, otherwise you’ll end up with lumps of wadding sticking out between your binding stitches.

Then decide what stitch you want to use. Whipstitch, cross your hands or simple blanket stitch are all good. And variations on a theme, really.  I used blanket stitch:

Binding the edges with blanket stitch. Decorative and practical.

Binding the edges with blanket stitch. Decorative and practical.

You can kind of get a better view here of how the stitches catch at the edges.

You can kind of get a better view here of how the stitches catch at the edges.

Once it’s stitched all teh way round you have a nice neat flat surface to work your embellishments on:

All finished and ready for whatever embellishments you choose to add.

All finished and ready for whatever embellishments you choose to add.

Guilding the Lily

Now you just need to decide what kinds of embellishment you want to add to your brooch. Do you want a proper brooch pin? Or are you more a safety pin type? Do you want to stitch on beads? Buttons? A bit of ribbon here and there? Sequins? Totally up to you.

Here’s what I did with mine.

First I attached a brooch pin using a piece of scrap cloth left over from cutting out the front. I tucked the rough edges under, laid it over the flat part of the pin and then blind stitched it in place like so:

The brooch backing, bound on with a contrast fabric and blind stitch.

The brooch backing, bound on with a contrast fabric and blind stitch.

I strongly suggest stitching on the pin before you do any work on the front, it’s much easier to maneouver the needle in the fabric that way.

And here it is with a nice stack of buttons stitched onto the front:

Two buttons, one green, one black, stacked one on top of the other and stitched in place.

Two buttons, one green, one black, stacked one on top of the other and stitched in place.

Wear as a brooch or pin it on your hat or a bag. Strut your stuff!

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5 Responses to “How to make a cloth brooch”

  1. chimpsgomoo Says:

    Thank you for this! My 10 year old has been looking for something to sew that wasn’t a yoyo, I think he might enjoy this. Thanks from both of us :)

  2. [...] Alex from The Bothered Owl make jewelery, sew, knit and now they create tutorials too! Enjoy their How to make a Cloth Brooch contest entry! This entry was posted on Sunday, October 4th, 2009 at 8:30 pm and is filed under [...]

  3. Chris Paz Says:

    This is nice! I will make this brooch to embellish my granddaughter’s summer fun clothes this year. Thanks for a great idea.

    • Oh, lovely! What a good idea, I think they’d look lovely on a skirt – I keep meaning to make one like that for myself one of these days. I bet your granddaughter will really love it!


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