Felt cactus applique skirt! (using Simplicity 1659)

Hello fellow sewers!

My boyfriend & I just took a road trip from Northern California to Austin, Texas and along the way we drove thru Arizona. I had never visited Arizona before and was extremely excited to see the saguaro cactus & gorgeous desert landscape! I instantly had the idea to make a cactus skirt for the occasion! I drew inspiration from vintage tourist items, especially the Mexican tourist jackets!

I used Simplicity 1659 (again) as my basic skirt to start out with…

Simplicity 1659

I knew that I wanted to cut the cactus from felt & appliqué them to the skirt using a blanket stitch. Here is my quick sketch of the basic idea…

Before i cut the cactus out of felt, i drew on my skirt with chalk to get a basic idea of the layout.

Next, I drew the shapes of the cactus on my felt with chalk & cut them with a rotary cutter.

Then, I pinned my cactus to the skirt over my chalk layout & began to blanket stitch them to the skirt. This was very time consuming, but also very relaxing.

Finally, I added some details to each cactus by top stitching with my embroidery floss.

 

Here are some finished shots!! I just loved wearing my skirt in Arizona! Some of these photos are taken at the Hotel Congress in Tucson, AZ…if you haven’t been there, i highly recommend it! It is decorated in an art deco southwestern theme & the rooms are as they were in the 1930s..amazing!

 

I can’t wait to use this technique for another project!

-Tina

• Meet the Author • tina vines


im a vintage-loving gal living in berkeley, california who runs a traditional, hand-painted sign shop with her talented boyfriend & loves sewing from vintage patterns! www.vintagelovingal.wordpress.com





38 comments… add one

  • Awesome!

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  • Fabulous!!!

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  • That is awesome! I love it! :D My husband and I traveled through Arizona last year, and I was blown away by how beautiful it was. Very different from the north Georgia mountains where we live!

    Great job with your skirt!

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  • This is adorable and beautiful!

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  • Fantastic! What a fun and interesting skirt! I love the color you chose for the ‘sky’ and the applique is really great.

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  • You absolutely nailed it. Applause!

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  • Super cute, and the shape is so flattering on you.

    I’d love to know how you did your hair; it’s adorable!

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    • Thank you! As for the hair, there are some great tutorial videos on youtube. look for one featuring Miss Amanda Lee, she’s lovely!

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  • Just darling!

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  • That looks wonderful! How creative :)

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  • Love it! What kind of felt did you use and how do you wash it?

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    • Thank you! I used the most basic felt that I could find at JoAnn fabrics. it is easy to work with & comes in lots of great colors. As for washing it, honestly I dont plan on ever washing it. If needed, I will spot clean it. However, I doubt it will ever need a full washing.

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  • I live in Tucson (I’m a native) and I have to say that your skirt fits in perfectly with a 40s or 50s Southwestern aesthetic. If I’d come across the skirt for sale in a shop, I’d probably buy it in an instant. Love it.

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    • Thank you, its great to hear from a true desert native that my skirt fits in! Hooray, mission accomplished!

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  • Awesome! ! Love the colors!

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  • How cute! Would wear this for sure!

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  • I think this might be one of my favorite We Sew Retro posts, ever. I absolutely love this skirt! What a terrific idea!

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    • Thank you so much, thats really sweet!

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  • This is fantastic! How you have worn it really makes the skirt, so appropriate!

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  • That turned out fabulous! Cute, unique, and it looks wonderful on you! Thanks so much for sharing it.

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  • Very cute skirt!

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  • This is the best thing. Congratulations. You win FOREVER.

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    • WOW! that is quite the compliment!! Thank you..i’ll take it!

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  • Wonderful! How inspiring to take the time to do handwork! Fabulous job!

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  • Too damn cool!

    xx Charlotte
    Tuppence Ha’penny Vintage

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  • Great job!

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  • Love the details of how you created this fantastic skirt.
    Thanks so much for taking time for that, and for posting.
    Great job!!!

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  • P.S. Specially love the giant rickrack on waistband!

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  • Oh my gosh!! This is too fabulous!! I love novelty skirts and cacti! You have perfectly married the two!

    xoxo
    -Janey

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    • Thank you so much Janey! I am totally inspired by your Disneyland skirt that I read all about on your blog & defintely had that in my mind when creating this skirt. I just love how yours turned out! :)

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  • So cute! Well done for making such an awesome and fun skirt. I hope you get lots of joy from wearing it xx

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  • Thank you all so much for the wonderful comments! Im really proud of this project & it means a lot to get such great feedback from all of you!!

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  • LOVE! Super cute and the embroidered details make it. Nice work! Now, tell me how you do your hair!

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  • Looks totally awesome! I love the cactus applique.

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  • I just love this. Absolutely perfect for Tucson and the desert.

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  • All I can say is…WOW!!

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  • Any time you can use the word “cacti,” you know it’s a good day! We also visited Arizona last year and agree that it is spectacular. What a darling skirt! This skirt reminds me of a 1940’s or 1950’s vintage novelty skirt. I agree if I saw this in an antiques haunt, I’d totally buy it. I especially love seeing your progress from sketch to finished skirt. Fab!

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    • Thank yoy so much! I agree, you cannot go wrong with cacti!!

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