Thursday 1 March 2018

Tutorial: Adding felt appliqué birds to your Grevillea Beret

Today I'm sharing the pattern and instructions for adding some birds to your Grevillea Beret using felt. As you know, I love felt, I love berets, and I love birds on hats, (I really love birds on hats.) so it's about time to combine all three!

You will need:

Your Grevillea Beret pattern and all the usual material and tool requirements for it*
Thin felt (1mm thickness is good, and I prefer 100% wool)
Embroidery floss to match your felt
Appliqué birds pattern, printed out

*Look obviously you could use a different pattern or appliqué onto a beret you already own, but let's not dwell on that idea too long.

Cutting out your birds:

I printed my pattern on to regular paper, cut the pattern pieces out, traced around them with an air-disappearing pen and cut the pieces from the felt. I found this to be OK, but it did require some trimming afterwards to smooth out some bits. I think a better method would be using freezer paper, although I know it's not as easy to find in Australia.

Note: the birds have very narrow sections on the tails that pull apart easily. Handle the pieces very carefully. You may even want to consider cutting them wider at first and trimming just before you sew.

Sewing the birds on:

As you are working through construction of your beret, you want to add the appliqué at the point where your crown is complete, but before you add lining (if you aren't adding a lining you could add an appliqué at any point).

Put your beret crown on a mannequin (or your own head, but that's a bit trickier), folding under the seam allowance. Pin your felt shapes in place and rearrange them until you are happy with the layout.

Sew your felt shapes in place one by one using two strands of embroidery floss. I used a whipstitch, following this video tutorial by Wendi Gratz. Others suggested blanket stitch, so I would recommend looking at both and deciding which you prefer. I liked the simple option and it seems to have worked well.

Note: that advice above about the tails? I was not so good at following it myself. I lost two tail ends, so as I stitched the pieces on I had to do a little bit of extra embroidery to replace them. It looks OK from a distance and it's a good way to recover the situation, but I'd recommend trying to avoid the problem instead!

Once your birds are on, proceed to add the lining and the headband and finish off your beret.

My husband wasn't sure about the black and white, and I think in hindsight I agree, but it does make for good contrast images. I'd like maybe navy with pale grey birds. What colours can you see it in?
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