Tutorial: 'Balloon Girl' embroidery & applique

Balloon Girl

Here is the pattern and a tutorial for the little girl with balloons that was the centrepiece of a patchwork cushion I made recently. I drew her in Adobe Illustrator (as I am not so good at drawing on paper!). Her dress and balloons are appliqued fabric and the rest is hand embroidered using three basic stitches.

Balloon girl final pattern DSC_0010-2 600px


1. Print the pattern (download it as a PDF from here and print it to A4)

2. Trace the pattern onto your fabric. You can refer to my tutorial 'Tracing an embroidery pattern' for this. If you will be using the pattern to make the centre panel of a patchwork item (as I have done here with a cushion) I suggest you make your patchwork first, then trace the pattern and embroider/applique. This will make sure the design is centred in the finished product.

3. HOW TO DO THE APPLIQUE - Cut out the girl's dress and one of the balloons from the paper pattern. For each item (ie dress and 3 balloons), cut a piece of fabric large enough (in a rectangle or square) and a piece of 'Heat'n Bond Lite' the same size as the fabric. Put the fabric down on your ironing board (right side down) then the Heat'n Bond on top with the glue against the fabric and the paper facing up. Press your iron down on the paper backing with even pressure (no steam) for approx 4 seconds until the glue has bonded onto the fabric. Take the paper patterns you cut out and put them on top of the paper backing face down and trace around each. Cut the pieces out along the trace line. Peel off the paper backing, place the dress/balloon on your main fabric, and iron with no steam for approximately 6 seconds with even pressure until your applique has bonded. With black thread sew all the way around each balloon/dress 1mm from the edge.

IMPORTANT NOTE: It is important you use the Lite or 'sewable' version of 'Heat'n Bond' as the regular version will clog up the needle of your sewing machine.

4. Embroider the girl's face, hair, arms, legs, and the balloon strings with back-stitch. The girl's eyes are satin stitch and the bows on her hair and ankles are made with lazy daisies for the loops and backstitch for the two bow ends.

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And there you go! A very easy project and I hope you enjoy making it. Please leave me a comment with any questions.

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