All Natural

Cynthia Scott

Understand the secrets of sustainable fibers in order to make educated purchasing choices online and at the fabric store. Learn about green textiles while making one or two cute tops in the process.


  • v-neck top or dress pattern, such as Simplicity 3557 (modified)
  • organic muslin fabric according to pattern envelope, plus 1 ⁄2 yard additional fabric for testing and sleeve facings
  • medium- or heavyweight cut-away stabilizer
  • mediumweight tear-away stabilizer lightweight stabilizer (suitable for heirloom stitching)
  • heavy spray starch
  • embroidery, bobbin, monofilament and sewing thread
  • size 100/16 wing needle
  • pattern-tracing paper
  • removable marker
  • appliqué scissors
  • embroidery designs

Under-Bust Band

  • Using embroidery software, resize the chosen design to fit the under-bust band, excluding seam allowances (approximately 2½"). Print and/or photocopy templates to decipher spacing. Combine designs using embroidery software to decrease the number of hoopings.
  • Cut both the fabric and cut-away stabilizer to fit the hoop width (trim the band pattern piece to size after embroidery is complete).
  • Mark the embroidery center. Draw two outer lines approximately 3 ⁄16" beyond each facing edge (the lines should fall outside the seamline). Straight stitch the fabric to the cut-away stabilizer along each outer line.
  • Hoop the fabric and embroider the designs, keeping the embroidery centered within the band stitching lines; rehoop as necessary (A).


A Keep embroidery within band stitching lines.
  • After embroidery is complete, unhoop the fabric. Use appliqué scissors to remove the stabilizer beyond the stitching lines; press.
  • Position the band pattern piece over the embroidered fabric, centering the designs; cut out the band. Press again, and continue constructing the garment according to the pattern guidesheet.

Faced Sleeve Edges

  • Trace the sleeve edge on the fabric using a removable marker.
  • Using embroidery software, resize the chosen design to fit the sleeve facing, excluding seam allowances. Print and/or photocopy templates to decipher spacing. Combine designs using embroidery software to decrease the number of hoopings. Mark the design placements on the fabric.
  • Hoop the fabric and tear-away stabilizer. Embroider the designs, rehooping as necessary. Remove the fabric from the hoop, and then remove the stabilizer. Press from the fabric wrong side.
  • Cut the facing shape from the embroidered fabric, centering the designs and using the original sleeve edge as a guide.Trim the upper edge approximately 1" from the embroidery (B).


B Trim upper edge 1" from embroidery.
  • Position the facing right side over the sleeve edge wrong side, and pin along the sleeve lower edge. Stitch the lower edge; press.Turn the facing to the garment right side.
  • Draw a line indicating how close to position the facing edge from the embroidery. Pin the facing edge to the sleeve right side, and then straight stitch along the marked line using monofilament thread. Carefully trim away the excess facing seam allowance close to stitching line, using appliqué scissors.
  • Select a decorative heirloom stitch on the machine. Insert a wing needle. Place lightweight stabilizer under the stitching line. Using embroidery thread in the needle and bobbin thread in the bobbin, stitch over the previous stitching line (C).
C Stitch over previous stitching line.
  • Select a triple straight stitch with a 3mm length. Using embroidery thread in both the bobbin and needle, topstitch close to garment edge.
  • Remove the stabilizer; press. Continue constructing the garment according to the pattern guidesheet.
  • Trace the neckline pattern pieces onto pattern tracing paper.
  • Print a template of the chosen design, resized to approximately 2" to 3" in height. Arrange the template copies around the neckline until they fit.Tape the copies to the traced pattern pieces, keeping the seam allowances free.
  • Cut out the neckline pattern pieces, and transfer each design cross mark using a removable marker.
  • Hoop mediumweight tear-away stabilizer, and spray with temporary spray adhesive. Position themarked fabric over the sprayed stabilizer in the hoop. Embroider the designs.
  • Remove the stabilizer and all placement lines from the fabric. Press, and then continue constructing the garment following the pattern guidesheet.

Appeared in:

Post a comment
To comment on this article you must be logged in. Not a member?


No comments have been posted. Be the first!


Forgot password?
© F+W All rights reserved.