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Video:How to Design a Fabric Collage

with Lea Elleseff

With just a few pieces you can pick up at a used clothing store, you'll be able to cut out an infinite number of options for a fabric collage. Learn how to design a beautiful and unique fabric collage that'll adorn almost anything you choose.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Design a Fabric Collage

Hi, I'm Lea Elleseff for About.com. I'm going to show you how to make an artful fabric collage that can turn a plain tea or sweatshirt into just plain awesome! This sweatshirt for instance used to be straight black, and now it's the talk of the town.

Fabric Collage Supplies

Begin by gathering these materials:
  • fabrics, scraps and larger pieces
  • scissors
  • sewing pins
  • an iron
  • a sewing machine
  • a shirt, in this case a sweatshirt I had lying around

Fabric Collage Design

Creating the design is all about playing around. Look through the fabrics you've gathered and see which colors, patterns and textures might work with one another. Iron the fabrics you plan on using. This will make it easier to work with them and later sew them. Then cut them into shapes, plain and funky, large and small, and so on.

Piece them together in different ways to get ideas. I do this right over the sweatshirt, because it helps me visualize what will work with it. Keeping working at it until you have an arrangement you like. Sometimes, it's nice to have a background, go ahead and try a few.

Pin and Sew the Fabric Collage

Well, this is my design. Here I chose to put traditional pictures with a contemporary background, and to give it a little magic I put houses floating on clouds. Once you have your collage, pin it down along the edges of all exposed fabric. Pin every inch or so, especially at jagged turns. This will prevent the pieces of the collage from moving or folding when you sew.

Make sure not to pin through the back side of your shirt. If you are worried about this you can place a piece of cardboard inside while you're pinning. It's time to make this permanent. Using a sewing machine sew on your design. I like to use a zigzag stitch, because it prevents the exposed edges from fraying. Pick a place and start sewing. Go along slowly and stop to remove pins as you reach them.

When you come to a serious turn in the design, make sure the needle is down though so you don't lose your place, pick up the foot, turn the fabric and drop the foot.

Go on along your merry way sewing all of the exposed edges collage pieces. As you can see I've gone around all of the visible edges. Once you've done use your scissors to snip of any floppy edges. And here's what it looks like.

Now you too can make a unique beautiful fabric collage at home. Thanks for joining, to learn more visit us on About.com.
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