Saturday, September 6, 2014

Moroccan Stenciled Halter with Maxi Skirt.

The summer break is over and our home is finally settling into a new routine. It has been a difficult adjustment for me to change our waking and sleeping schedules to accommodate early rising for school. I got used to my children's daily naps as a chance to sneak in a bit of hand-sewing. 

You may remember seeing this hand-sewn reverse applique top with the asymmetrical hem seen below and blogged here.

When I stenciled that fabric, using the Moroccan stencil by Stencil Ease, I prepared  teal fabric for another garment. This time, I used the stencil to create the opposite effect of a texture filled applique design.

To get this look, I cut the pattern front twice and basted them together. Using white button and craft thread, I then stitched a running stitch along the lines of the painted shapes. I tied the threads off on the underside of the fabric so the the applique shapes are the only feature. When the top layer shapes were stitched, I cut between the spaces leaving a little bit of the unpainted edge visible. When washed, the edges will curl up adding to the texture.
I machine stitched the inside seams and then hand-stitched them down toward the back. For the binding on the armscye, I used a machine applied decorative stitch on 1/2-inch bias binding. I chose to use this method because this area is not a focal point and is faster than hand-sewing. It is more subtle than the hand-stitched binding on the cranberry and slate top above.
I paired this halter with a maxi skirt in the same teal fabric. I made it using a vintage Mccalls 4021 skirt pattern.

Of the two techniques,  reverse applique was faster to stitch. I was able to sew continually along the outside of the shapes and tie them off less frequently. I love both tops and this stencil. I plan to use it again to make a wrap for my many jersey maxi dresses as we transition into fall.

Project Breakdown:

Fabric cutting time: 1 hour
Stencil setup and application time: 2.5 hours.
Fabric Yardage: approx. 5 Yards
Sewing time: Top: 23 hours  Skirt: 2.5 hours
Thread: 2 Spools of White Button and Craft Thread 
One of a kind hand-sewn piece: PRICELESS.

Happy Sewing,


  1. Bravo Bianca! So creative and beautifully executed. You look fantastic.

    1. Thanks so much Nisha! I really like this one.

  2. Just beautiful and you're so right - totally unique.

  3. Beautiful! And what a gorgeous color.

  4. Wow, Bianca, this is just really, really neat! I've never seen or heard of such a cool technique. Your time, and attention to all the little details really looks fantastic. The colors of both tops are really pretty, too.

    1. Thanks so much Becky! I just popped over to your blog and you make such wonderful things :) I love your latest bag!

  5. I love it! What color did you paint it - silver? I just bought the very same color fabric, so youve given me some ideas. And what pattern is the top? You continue to rock, even during the school year!

    1. Thanks :) I used white paint and thread. The pattern is an out of print Simplicity 9930 for the 1970's. Simplicity 6119 is a close modern dress version.