Because life’s celebrations shouldn’t cost the Earth

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly"

Personalised Butterfly Journal

Last week, whilst at a local carboot sale, I found a lovely butterfly duvet cover made by "Their Nibs", an online company similar to Boden and The White Company et al.  I decided that it would be perfect for a journal that my sister had requested for a friend of hers.

 The linen is from the same pair of upcycled curtains that I have been using for my tea cosies.  Once you get used to the dirt and pushing at a car boot sale you'll never find a more economical way to purchase fabric.

The pink polka dot wings look quite pale in some of the photos, but the picture below provides a better representation of just how bright it really is!

I used the butterfly print as a starting point to chose the rest of the fabric, it was then simply a matter of creating a complimentary applique design.

I drew in the details to be stitched with a 'Frixion' pen as the marks disappear when a warm iron is run over them.  These pens are now widely available in most supermarkets and stationers and they're much cheaper than those sold specifically as quilting pens.


I also use these pens to create a guide when stitching letters as my own handwriting is not all that great.  Just open a font on your computer, place your fabric over the screen and trace directly onto it.

However, when I attempted this method with this project the linen was too thick to see through, so it was back to the tried and tested 'tissue paper' method. 

Trace the font and wording of your choice onto tissue paper, embroider, then tear away the paper.

The back of the cover is decorated with an appliqued butterfly, cut from the duvet, which I then free-motion embroidered in black to really make it 'pop'

The back also features a 'SewforSoul' label!

After I had finished sewing up the cover I remembered that I had intended adding a ribbon border between the two contrasting  fabrics.  So I had to grab my unpicker and have another go!  This one glitch aside it all went pretty smoothly :)


  1. You are very, very talented! I love your work. Have tried a little myself but I guess I need more practice because it does not look anything like yours! How do you get the writing so nice? Are you going quick or slow? And how long have you practised? Maybe a post at some point telling tips and tricks :-)
    Hope you have a wonderful weekend and thanks for sharing your work!

  2. Hi Charlotte, thanks for your kind words! My own writing is not 'nice', so I use a font on my laptop as a guide! I tend to sew quite slowly as I have always tried to be neat. I would really like a more 'sketchy' style but I can't seem to pull it off! Do you have a blog to share? Josie

  3. Hi Josie, I have subscribed to emails when you post so just saw your post with More Tea M'Lords? Its gorgeous!!!! I wish I had a sister who would help me with my presents and they looked so nice and personal. Thank you for answering my questions. Are you sewing with your work attached in hoop? I'm thinking of creating a blog but I have been putting if off. I love sewing, knitting, crocheting and craftsy stuff in general. I really think you are especially talented in designing and I am very glad to follow your creatings,

  4. Hi Charlotte, I don't use a hoop, you can see some photos of a tea cosy being stitched in this post;
    You can still get a 'free motion embroidery' feel to your work even if you don't have the confidence to drop your feed-dogs. I explain this in a little more detail here;
    I only started this blog at the start of the year, you should give it a go, I would read it!

  5. Hi Josie,
    Thanks for replying. I thought I had read all your posts but apparantly i hadn't. I need to figure out a good name for my blog and then go an figure out all the technical stuff. I guess that is holding me back a little.

  6. Let us know when you get a blog up and running - Good luck!

  7. I love this journal cover, what a great fabric find too!

    Thanks for linking up to New to Me too :)

  8. That is just lovely! Inspired use of the fabric:-)

  9. Its so sweet! An inspired use of that fabulous fabric. I really love the little applique cut from the fabric on the back cover - such great attention to detail!

  10. Great buterfly!!!Amazing job! Congrats!