Tag Archives: sugar skull

Lola loves… sewing a sugar skull cushion

Here’s two things I can’t resist; a cushion and sugar skull design. I really didn’t need another cushion I’ve made so many, but the fun of it took over.

Appliquéd and embroidered sugar skull cushion front

Appliquéd and embroidered sugar skull cushion front

What you will need:
2x large felt squares
Assorted felt scraps for appliqué
Assorted embroidery thread
Needles
Fabric scissors
Tailors chalk
(I also used Sublime Stitching iron-on designs for the appliqué).

What to do:
Cut a number of shapes from your felt scraps. These will be used to decorate the cushion. Traditional designs are flowers, hearts and diamonds. I used Sublime Stitching iron-on designs to give me the flower shapes.

Next, mark out a skull on your large pieces of felt and add a 1 inch seam allowance – but don’t cut it yet!

Lay  your shapes on top and decide how you want to arrange them. You will need to do this for the front and back.

Appliquéd and embroidered sugar skull cushion - back

Appliquéd and embroidered sugar skull cushion – back

Once you have positioned your pieces, take a photo of them so you can remember where they go.

You may wish to use some shapes for the features.  I used roses for the eyes and an upside-down heart for the nose.

It’s also nice to use a variety of stitches. I used back, chain, feather and rope stitch, plus satin stitch to fill in the black on the mouth.

Now it’s time to embroider your small pieces and the skull (not having cut it yet means you can position the felt in an embroidery hoop, which will make it easier to sew.)

You can either embroider the pieces straight on to the skull or embroider them first and stick them on using all-purpose glue. I found the latter best as it means you don’t have to sew round the edges to keep the shape in place. Also, sewing two layers of felt can be slightly stiff!

Once you’ve finished your embroidery and appliqué, place the two pieces with their faces together and sew round leaving a small gap for the stuffing.

Turn right-side out, stuff with padding and  hand sew the hole.


Lola loves… Handprinting scarves

It’s supposed to be summer here in the UK, but April, which traditionally is the rainy month, just will not give way to the sun. So, all those beautiful summer dresses I’d bought at discount rates during the winter and stockpiled for summer are just hanging limp and forlorn in my wardrobe.

Instead, of all things, I’ve found myself wearing a scarf. It’s not what I’d planned for my summer attire  but the fact that it’s adorned with some pretty cool sugar skull images means I still manage a smile when I wear it.

I’d had this scarf for years and liked the colour but always felt it was a little bland so it seemed well suited as a canvas for fellow blogger, Slyvita Handmade’s cool stamp. Slyvita makes a range of hand carved rubber stamps of characters including The White Stripes, The Beatles, killer bunnies and cute pugs. I chose a female sugar skull because I’m particularly fond of them.

What you will need:
An old scarf to print on
Fabric ink (I used black ink by VersaCraft)
A rubber stamp (I used one by Sylvita, you can buy her stamps at Etsy)
A hard surface and plastic bag or cardboard to protect it
An iron

To print the image, I used the same method when stamping my geometric t-shirt and bird tote and I stick by the simple tips I told you about then:

  • Make sure you’re stamping  on to a hard surface as this will make for a better print.
  • Remember to protect the surface from ink that could bleed through. To do this, place a card or a plastic bin liner under the fabric.
  • Practise makes perfect! You might want to do a few trial stamps on a scrap bit of fabric.
  • Let your stamps dry fully and then remember to iron both the front and reverse side of the fabric to fix your ink to seal the ink

Here I am, mid June, still with a jacket and scarf – but also smiling! It’s a shame that the fabric is a little too dark to show off the print but I know I’ll be using the stamp on plenty of other projects (I’m already planning a Halloween party just so I can use it to make some amazing invites and perhaps I can rustle up a sugar skull print summer dress for the beautiful sun we’re owed later!)


Lola loves… a heart-felt brooch

I made this heart-felt brooch (a heart made of felt – get it? I know, ouch!) in no time at all using scraps of old felt… So I then made a sugar skull one too!

What you will need:
Retractable pencil
Felt scraps
Scissors
Embroidery threads
Needle
Stuffing
Brooch clasp

First up, pick your design. I chose these just because I liked them but the options are limitless. A vintage tea cup and saucer? A pug? A record?

Draw your design on to felt using a pencil with a fine point. I find retractable pencils are best for this. You will need two matching sides for the front and back plus any extra bits for detailing the front.

You may wish to use an image from the Internet as a guide or template, or you may want to go freehand.

I used contrasting felt for the details on the sugar skull brooch, some I embroidered, others I simply glued on. For the heart, I embroidered a message into the ribbon and glued that on.

Then it’s simply a matter of sewing the front and back together (I used blanket stitch for this), stuffing with some padding just before you close up, then sewing your brooch clasp to the back.


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