A Year of Dresses: RufflePOP Skirt and Invisible Applique Tee Tutorial

This week I had the privilege once again of sewing with another beautiful collection of fabric from Blend Fabrics.  This time the fabrics are from the Riding Hood collection by Josephine Kimberling for Blend Fabrics.
Blend Fabrics courtesy photo

This fabric is whimsical and fresh!  I love the use of gray mixed with bright red and aqua.  If you'd like to add some to your collection  (you know you do!), it is available at Hawthorne Threads

I chose to make a RufflePOP Skirt with this sweet fabric and I think the styles suit each other beautifully! I also made an invisible applique tee, my favorite method of applique, and I'll show you how to make your own too!

The RufflePOP Skirt pattern includes sizes 2-8 and is a quick, easy, and fun sew.  It is a beginner level sewing pattern that requires no hemming, or closures of any sort.  Just gather the ruffle and sew together!  I love how this skirt design is sweet and ruffled without being twirly.  This skirt pattern is super fun for everyday, every season, and every occasion!  I think I'll whip up a few more for spring and summer.

Sweet Pea is wearing a size 3 today, with the elastic adjusted smaller to fit her waist.  It's a tad longer on her than intended but still falls just at her knees.  A 2 would have bordered on too short. She wore a size 2 in this post and is several inches taller now!

I used my ruffler foot to make quick work of the ruffled edging.  When using a ruffler, I recommend allowing a little extra fabric to be sure your ruffle is long enough.  I cut my strips the height from the pattern by the full bolt width and then trimmed the excess. It worked beautifully!

I haven't given you a proper embellished tee tutorial in a while, but today I will rectify that.  Invisible applique is my favorite applique look, and you won't believe how easy it really is.  When I first received this fabric I knew that I wanted to use Little Red Riding Hood for an applique.  It's just perfect.

Let's get started.  Here's how to make your own invisible applique tee.

  • Cut the desired shapes from your fabric being sure to leave 1/4" or more around the edge for turning.  You can always trim later if necessary. You'll notice later that I decided later in the process to trim Riding Hood so as to not have a white border around her.

  • Now cut freezer paper the size that you want your finished applique pieces and iron the wax side to the back of your fabric. Trim your fabric so that you have a scant 1/4" past the freezer paper.

  • Also clip into any points. You do not need to notch around the curves.

  • Next, we will press the edges under using a strong liquid starch solution.  I make my own by mixing 1 tablespoon of corn starch with 1 cup of warm water.

  • Apply starch to the edge of your fabric on the wrong size.  A kids paint brush works wonderfully here.  Then press, folding the fabric along the edge of your freezer paper. An orange wood stick helps save your fingers!

  • Work the fabric around curves, making small pleats as necessary. Press well. 

Here Riding Hood is half way done

  • After pressing each piece with starch, gently remove the freezer paper and press lightly one more time. If the freezer paper is difficult to remove, your starch solution is too strong.
  • Next place your pieces on your tee as desired.  I secure them with a little Elmer's Washable glue to hold them in place and make sure that the edges all stay turned under.

  • Place stabilizer on the inside of your tee, behind the applique.  I prefer a water soluble stabilizer, but tear away stabilizer also works. Secure the stabilizer with a few pins so it doesn't shift on you.
  • Move to your machine and thread with invisible thread in the needle and polyester thread in the bobbin.  Select a ziz zag stitch and adjust to be very narrow.  I used a width of 1.0 and a stitch length of 2.5. Stitch around each piece with the zig zag just catching the fold of your applique and overlapping the edge. Your stitching will be invisible, but your applique will be secure.

You may be able to see my needle holes in a few spots here.

  • Remove your stabilizer.  I like to trim away the excess before soaking the stabilizer away.

  • Finally, after removing all stabilizer, I adhered fusible knit interfacing to the back of the applique.  This is optional and I don't always do it, but when using invisible thread it prevents any tiny tails from poking skin.
  • Admire your beautiful work!

So, go make some adorable, quick, and easy RufflePOP skirts and try a fun tee to go with one, you'll be glad you did!  I love completing a skirt outfit with a matching tee.

Here's your quick pattern rundown:

  • Pattern includes sizes 2-8
  • Beginner level pattern
  • Sweet a-line shape for the girl who doesn't want to twirl
  • Unique design with a fun pop of color.  Also great in a single fabric!

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