Wednesday, May 30, 2012

"L" is for Letters

Sew: fabric letters

The complete how to make fabric letters for personalizing.

I often get asked how I make the fabric letters I use to personalize items, it's fairly simple and you can use any font that has some 'bulk' to it.

I tend to stick with American Typewriter:

 and Ariel Bold:

Steer clear of skinny fonts with thin lines, they don't work so well when trying to cut from the fabric.

Once you find a font you like adjust the size to fit your piece, I typically start with 150-200 point size.

Here's a few examples using Ariel Bold:

And now some examples in American Typewriter font:

And of course you can do shapes as well:

Here's how to make fabric letters (and shapes):

1. Iron lightweight fusible interfacing onto the wrong side of fabric:
(You can also use double sided fusible (Heat-n-Bond) to iron the letter in place but your sewing machine needle does get gunked up with the adhesive while sewing the zigzag stitch.)

2. Print out your letters and have lightbox ready:

3. Place print out right side down on the lightbox:

4. Place fabric, right side down, on top of print out:

5. Trace just outside letter directly onto interfacing:
(Shut off other light sources to see the print out better, especially when working with dark fabrics.)

6. Carefully cut out the letter, cutting away the traced lines:

7. Line up letter onto item:
I use a clear quilting ruler to see that the letter is centered.

8. Pin letter into place:

9. Zig zag stitch around edge:
Set your stitch length short and medium to narrow for the width to get a snug zigzag:

The possibilities are truly endless!


  1. wow that is some patience!! they look wonderful, my zig zag stitches are always pretty wild. lol How do you stay so close to the edge!

  2. I just found your post through pinterest and am so excited! :D You have taken the mystery out of things that I can totally do but never had the time to sit down and figure them out. Thanks so much! I might go crazy and pin a bunch of your posts... :)

  3. You make that look so easy! I thought you were buying fabric letters! My sewing machine is messed up right now, but I can't wait to try this on my own! THANK YOU!