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Mad Tea Party Skirt, planning part one

Hello hello!

I have An Idea for a circle skirt, which is probably terribly misguided, but I’m going to do it anyway, which is why I am asking the lovely WeSewRetro community for guidance.


Joann Fabrics has the most adorable teapot-print novelty fabric, which I’ve been dying to make a skirt out of.  Unfortunately, the teapots seem too directional and busy to make anything but a dirndl out of, and I’d rather have a circle skirt.  SO, I formulated a plan.  I ironed some Heat n Bond Lite iron-on adhesive to the back of some teapot fabric and cut out about 50 little teapots.  I plan to make a black cotton circle skirt (the patterned one above is just for proof of concept, not the eventual home of the teapots) and applique the teapots to it.  I’m thinking I can do this by ironing all the teapots on for placement and then going around each one with a narrow zig-zag.  Is there anyone with applique-ing experience who has a better idea?

Also, I have a general question… the teapots have three background colors: bright red, medium red, and burgundy.  Should I applique them all with the same color thread, or should I pick up three colors and match the thread with the teapot?

Thanks so much for your help!



About the author: A recent college graduate, Frances is pursuing a career in music (preferably opera) while nursing a strong passion for sparkles, sewing, and all things vintage.

{ 9 comments… add one }
  • Ginny October 17, 2012, 7:54 pm

    Ooh, looks like a lovely idea! I’ve done applique the way you describe a few times and never had any issues. Garments have been worn and machine washed several times and the applique still looks good. Pin them in place first to get an arrangement you like, obviously. And use a pressing cloth when fixing them. Personally, I’d use the same colour thread for them all, in a shade that falls somewhere in the middle of the different red tones so it blends fairly closely with them all.

  • Evie October 17, 2012, 8:25 pm

    I completely agree with Ginny’s advice. Very cute idea!

  • Technicolorcutie October 17, 2012, 8:28 pm

    So cute! Your blog is super cute as well! Added you to my dashboard!

  • Aja October 18, 2012, 12:17 am

    You could always use a ombre, or multi-tonal thread. If you feel like being super detailed, you can hand embroider them after they have been pinned into place. Or you can machine stitch them using a satin stitch.


  • Simoree October 18, 2012, 9:49 am

    I have nothing else to add that hasn’t already been said, other than that is an adorable fabric! I would go with the mid-colour thread, something in the middle of all the shades. I can’t wait to see the finished skirt!

  • MrsC October 18, 2012, 2:37 pm

    Oooh what a lovely idea. Actually I really like them on the dark tonal fabric. A charcoal on black fabric would make a lovely main fabric for them, suits their mottly look.
    A variegated thread would be a great way to zigzag them on. Most ranges have a red on red option.

  • Allison October 18, 2012, 6:07 pm

    I know it’s too late, but I have had nothing but tears and frustration when I tried to zigzag over Heat ‘n’ Bond. Maybe it was because I was trying to create a satin stitch effect, but I went through many needles and swore off HnB forever. I use Wonder Under for my appliqued pot holder needs.

    Good luck to you! The pots are darling!

    • Frances October 18, 2012, 9:23 pm

      I opted for the lighter version of Heat ‘n’ Bond, and it seems pretty flimsy… lighter than my usual interfacing, certainly.

  • Jbsews October 19, 2012, 9:04 pm

    Don’t forget to use a stabilizer on the back side.

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