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ATC Swap: Denim and Stitches


I signed up for a swap at the end of June, titled “Denim & ____” Anything fabric immediately sends me to my sewing machine, so I filled in the blank with “stitches” — I chose to adapt a denim flower embellishment I’ve made in the past to fit the ATC (artist trading card) format. 


This swap quickly became a challenge to me, as my July has been consumed by dealing with a family member’s medical needs. To tell the truth, I absolutely forgot about it from July 2 through about the 20th. And those days are probably not accurate, as that whole part of the month is a blur. Things are looking up for said family member, yay! My car rides and errands and vigilant monitoring of care is easing, just so you know. 

And with the easing of my extra family duties came a little burst of creativity. Luckily! It took a few false starts for the creative me to get back in gear. Even putting together the blog post and editing pictures was a bit awkward! Time to get back in practice because I am definitely out of it. Forgive the photo quality in this post, too — not my best either, but I promise to get back in practice with that as well. And maybe get a new camera haha! 


These little denim flowers were always meant to be the focal point of the ATCs, but I did have bigger plans for the rest of the project. But compromises were called for, and I just wrapped a gift of extra ribbon around the bottom of the card, included some extra, colorful buttons to craft with, and completed all 9 of the swap packets with a pen pal letter about the swap and why I chose “stitches” as my theme. 


How I did it: hand-sketched a 5-lobe flower as a pattern, making sure it was sized for the 2.5″ x 3.5″ ATC format. Traced out 9 patterns to stitch through, then used the sewing machine and a straight stitch to sew through the paper onto upcycled denim for each one. Removed the paper, then freehand guided some various zigzag stitches in a deliberately sketchy fashion around the original lines. Trimmed close-close-close to the stitches, about 1/16th” and then scrubbed the edges together to fray them. Trimmed the long distracting frayed threads, glued on some buttons and ta-da! A nice little flower! 



I hope my swap partners enjoy their little Denim & Stitches ATC, simple as they are. I’m planning on making some other similar denim embellishments for… well, that can be just be a surprise :) 

Happy stitching!


  • Sam/daughter/blog-partner - These are SO cute!! You have extra flowers??? Abbi, Ella, and I could certainly use matching headbands!! (Now that she is leaving them in her hair again) ;) –Sam08.09.2015 – 4:31pmReplyCancel

    • admin - I don’t have extra flowers, but I sure have a lot of denim and thread! (No kidding, right? LOL) Although that wasn’t exactly what I had in mind for more, you all would be adorable in matching denim flower headbands! –Gail/mom/blogpartner08.10.2015 – 1:54pmReplyCancel

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