Most nights before I go to sleep I brainstorm sewing ideas. Sometimes it is something for my shop, a holiday coming up, or a new blog I'm working on. When I was trying to come up with ideas for the last dress I created for the Fleet and Flourish blog tour, I knew I wanted to do something fun and unique. For inspiration I was scrolling my phone looking at the pictures I took of Maureen Cracknell's booth at Quilt Market. When I saw this picture below I was reminded of how beautiful and surprising the butterfly detail was in her booth. This had to be incorporated in my dress. (To see Maureen's entire breathtaking booth and a better 'non cell phone' picture of these butterflies go to her blog here.)
The next step was cutting out the butterflies. The first thing I did was search on Pinterest ways to cut fabric with a Cricut. After reading about 10 different articles and a lot of trial and error, this is what worked for me.
*Note: if you do not have a Cricut you can make your own template to cut out your butterflies
1. First don't choose an overly complicated design. I tried cutting out butterflies with antennas and they never cut cleanly so I settled for just a basic design seen below.
2. Next I cut out four 6"x6" pieces of my fabric. (I found when I used bigger pieces it didn't stay put when cutting.)
3. Apply Heat n Bond Ultra Hold (the red package) to the back of each 6"x6" piece of fabric per instructions. Then peel off the backing.
4. Using a fresh (very sticky) cricut mat, I laid my fabric pieces right side up onto the mat.
5. Make sure you cut slow and use the highest pressure. Also replace the old blade with a new one for best results.
**I actually cut out my butterflies in three different sizes. The smallest ones are on the bodice and they get larger as you get to the bottom.
6. Peel the butterflies off the mat and trim any areas that didn't cut perfectly. Set these butterflies aside.
7. Next I cut out more 6x6 pieces of my fabric. This is for the opposite side of your butterflies. I used the same print, but you could definitely use different fabric on the back.
8. To add more stabilization to the butterflies, I added Fusible Interfacing to the back of these 6x6 sheets per instruction on the package.
9. Now take your butterflies and iron them to the 6x6 sheets wrong sides facing. (This means you are ironing the heat n bond to the fusible interfacing).
10. Next you will cut out the butterflies. You now have butterflies with fabric on each side.
11. To help the edges from fraying, I added some fray check all around the edge.
12. For the final step I folded the butterflies in half and ironed them. Now when I sew them to my dress they will have a 3D effect.
Now that your butterflies are complete you can lay them out on your dress in any pattern you would like. Pin them to your dress and bring them over to your sewing machine to stitch down. When attaching them to the dress all I did was sew a line down the middle. Make sure to backstitch at the beginning and end of your line.
Now let's talk washing and care. I had to test it out just to see if it fell apart after I put it in the wash. I used the delicate cycle and dried with low heat. A few of the edges came apart, but I ironed them back together.
I hope you enjoyed the tutorial! I can't wait to see your butterfly dresses popping up on the sewing boards. Be sure to tag me so I can see!