• Shelley Barnett

Sewing in Reverse


Making a Reverse-Applique Skirt


I have been wanting to try reverse-applique for awhile. My inspiration comes from a great book, Improv Sewing, that helped me overcome my fear of making clothing. I picked the reverse-applique skirt from their projects but created my own floral design.

I selected a grey jersey for the body of the skirt and paired it with a lupine flower.


The bloom gradually changes color from light to dark blue in the ombre style.


After deciding on the positioning of the flower, I cut out the inside of the pattern to make a stencil.


Then I traced the lupine onto the right side of the front skirt panel using tailor's chalk.



I pinned the light blue fabric under the top of the flower with the right side of the blue facing the back of the skirt panel.



Using embroidery thread I hand-sewed a running stitch around my pattern. This secured the applique fabric to the underside of the skirt.



After stitching each section I trimmed the extra fabric away to make room for the next shade of blue.


I used gradually darkening shades of purple for the embroidery to highlight the darkening petals.




When the entire flower was outlined, I carefully cut away the interiors of the design to reveal the colors underneath.




The back of the skirt seemed messy so I decided to make it a double layer skirt. I cut out a second set of panels and pinned them to the back of the first.


I pinned the sides of my skirt together, right sides facing in, and stitched through all four layers of fabric.


While the skirt was inside out, I sewed the bottoms of the double panels together using a decorative tricot stitch in a coordinating purple thread.


After ironing the inner side seams flat, I stitched the same decorative stitch over them.




Lastly, I attached the fold over elastic around the waist of the skirt. I stretched the elastic in four inch segments, folding it over the top edge of my double panels, as I stitched.


Voila! My reverse-applique skirt with ombre lupine design.



Bonus Project: Making a Stacked Dot Scarf

I picked a second project from Improv Sewing to go with my new skirt. I made a fun scarf from my remaining fabric.


To begin I folded the grey jersey in half and cut at 7" x 36" piece which would make a 72" scarf. Then I traced and cut out a series of dots in three sizes.


I arranged the dots in varying stacks and pinned them to either end of the front of the scarf.


Each stack has a different color arrangement from the others.


I finished by sewing an X across each stack with a straight stretch stitch in a contrasting purple thread.



Sew Sweet!

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