How To: Stitching your Talisman

Energized by all these extra evening sun rays and the way they hint at the warmer days, I’m releasing a new selection of Stitch Wishes!

Curious on where you can place your own? You’ve got your Stitch Wish, you know what intention you wish this talisman to be an anchor for, maybe even chose the garment you’re going to sew it on, but you’re not quite sure how or where?

Honestly, most of them are created because I need their energies in my life, so I’m always playing around with new ways and places to incorporate them into my life.

Here’s a couple of my favorite spots for keeping my intentions close. The traditional back waistband of a pair of jeans, if you’re like me and generally don’t wear belts, is a great option since jeans are an item we interact with regularly.

I also love stitching a talisman to the secretive inner lining of a jacket. It gives it the feeling of being your own private super-power initiator. Below are step-by-step demonstrations with some tips for stitching, since the stitch instructions and ritual suggestions are spelled out inside the talisman card, I’ll leave those out here.

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To start off with your back waistband patch, position on your jeans about halfway between the seam at the center back and the seam at the side, close to the belt loop if you’ve got one. Leave 1/4” extra on the top for folding under (this is known as “seam allowance”). This works best on jeans without a whole lot of stretch in the waistband.

In my case, I love the look of the raw edges on the sides so I’m going to leave those as is. If you’d like, you can turn the edges under about 1/4” for a clean folded edge.

After making sure the fabric is flat and the top edge is parallel to the top edge of the waistband, pin the sides down. Now fold the top edge under until it is flush with the waistband edge. Pin into place, repeat with the bottom edge.

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You should now have all four edges pinned down. If you don’t have straight pins, you can use spare needles, binder clips (on the top edge only), or safety pins to hold down the edges.

I start stitching at the bottom of the waistband. Why? Because if you pull the needle through from the back to the front in the little alleyway right under the seam of the waistband, the knot on the back is less likely to irritate your skin.

You know how itchy labels can be when they are lumpy? We don’t want that, so we hide the knot under the waistband.

I’ve used a running stitch here, but you can use any stitch you’d like really.

(Want to get ideas for more stitch options? I’ve got a couple free e-book downloads available - scroll to the bottom of this page to sign up and get your copies.)

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Remove the pins before stitching each edge, being sure the stitches on the folded edges at top and bottom are close enough to the edge that they catch both layers of the fold, shown here that’s about 1/8” from edge.

The stitches on the edges left raw (in this case, the sides) should be at least 1/4” from the edge.

Once you get back to the first edge, pull your thread to the back, tie off the knot in the area just under the waistband, et voila!

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Next up is the inner lining super secret super power! I’ll be sewing this Divine Creator talisman to this lining of this divine wool kimono jacket.

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I want to keep the edges raw on this one, so I’ll just pin flat onto the lining, making sure I don’t catch the outer fabric of the jacket.

Since this lining is open on the bottom, I can be sure I’m only pinning and stitching to the lining fabric by lifting apart with my hand. If your jacket lining is completely enclosed and you can’t get in between the layers, just lift the fabric up after every pin / before pulling needle through on each stitch to be sure the outer jacket layer isn’t getting caught.

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After pinning, stitch down with whatever stitch you’d like (as you can see, I’m quite partial to the running stitch - I love its handmade look, and it can be done by someone with little to no sewing experience).

If your lining is enclosed and does not allow you to get in between the lining and the jacket, you can hide your knot by starting with the knot on the back of the patch, so the first stitch is only on the patch, then continue sewing through both the lining and patch all the way around.

Be aware of your tension - physically as well as psychologically. Loosen up your shoulders, take a few deep breaths.

Just like we don’t want to be pulled too tightly, you don’t want your stitches to be pulled too tightly either. If it looks like the patch is puckering around the edges and puffing up in the center, its possible you’ve pulled your stitches too tight.

If you used the running stitch, you can remedy this by using the needle tip to pull the stitches just a little looser, slipping it under the stitch and pulling upward. This is best done at the end of each edge, before turning the corner.

if you don’t notice your tension is too tight until you’ve gotten to the end, do the same thing all the way back to the beginning, starting from your most recent stitches and pulling a lot extra at first to account for going all the way around.

To end, tie knot at back. If your lining is closed, you’ll want to go back over that first stitch you made that was only through the patch, then tie your knot under the patch by lifting up the edge as shown in the last image.

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I hope this expands your ideas of how to use your talisman, please feel free to ask any questions, request any clarification, or share your own experiences in the comments!