cross stitch

Stitched sleeve

In my forays online for knitting patterns, I’ve often come across designs for beverage sleeves. You know – coffee sleeves, drink jackets, cozies – whatever you want to call those slips you put around drinks that are too hot (or too cold). There are some really cute designs out there for knitted or crocheted sleeves, as well as patterns for making them out of fabric. Well, I have a huge sheet of cross stitch cloth sitting in my craft cupboard and I’ve been wondering for a while if it would be possible to create a cross stitched sleeve.

To start, I hung onto one of the disposable sleeves from my morning mocha. I then opened it up and traced it onto my fabric with markings for where the sleeve had been glued together so I would where it should be sewn together. The next step was marking new lines to create the actual shape that my sleeve would take. Because cross stitch works off a grid, it would be easiest to sew it together if I followed the grid as best as I could. Then came time to sew it up…

As you can see, I didn’t completely finish this first sample. My thread had run out and I couldn’t be bothered to start a new one when enough had been completed to see where changes had to be made. By the way, the simple stitch I used for the edges is called a blanket stitch.

Now that I had a better idea of how it all went together, I planned out a neater pattern for the sleeve. One part of tidying up the design involved the realisation that the join could become a vertical seam rather than a long slanted one. This made it easier to create symmetry and to create.

Once again, I started by drawing my pattern onto the fabric and cutting it out. In an attempt to keep the corners from fraying, I sewed them in first. While this seems to have worked pretty well, I do want to try another method in the future to see if I can eliminate this step. And, as you can see, I became lazy again when my thread came short by just a few stitches. After all, this is just another test sample…

The design on the front wasn’t done until the sleeve itself had been constructed. This made it a little bit fiddly to do, but once I have the pattern and method down to something I’m completely happy with, including figuring out what the backing or inside will be (felt or another layer of cross stitch cloth) then I’ll sew the design on before sewing the sleeve together.

Coffee design

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