Sewing My ABCs

I thought I'd show you how I sewed the alphabet for Oliver's first birthday.

You've probably seen a fabric alphabet before. (If you're on Pinterest, I know you've seen this before.)

Nevertheless, here's the behind-the-scenes for the alphabet according to Ashley (and Chez Beeper Bebe, whose tutorial I used).

1. Find a basic font and print it out. Or do what I did: lay your paper over your computer screen, and verryyy lightly, trace the letters. (My printer's low on ink.)

2. Cut the letters out. (I know, rocket science.) Flip the letters over and trace onto fabric. This makes it so you sew the backside of the letter rather than the front.

3. For each letter, make a sandwich. Two pieces of fabric with enough batting in the middle to make them squishy. Make sure you've got at least half an inch extra fabric and batting around the letter to make sewing much easier. You won't have to worry about running off the edge of the fabric.

I lucked out at the store and found this Christmas "snow" for .94 cents so I didn't have to buy expensive batting. Shook off the glitter and I was good to go.

4. Disregard step two and trace the front of the letter (it really doesn't matter-- I covered the pen with my stitches). Pin the fabric + batting together. You'll notice I don't have much extra fabric around the letter. I had to redo this letter because while sewing I accidentally ran off the edge of the fabric, resulting in the batting sticking through the stitches.

 5. Experiment with stitches. I practiced with the letter L since its a simple letter. I tried a straight stitch and zigzag. Straight stitches were easier, but zigzag looked better. Plus, I think zigzag will be more durable over time. Maybe, maybe not. I used a bunch of fabric from my scrap bin, so I had to learn which fabrics frayed and which ones didn't. Unless you're a master seamstress and therefore aren't reading my tutorial because you know what you're doing, I recommend sewing a few experimental letters.

6. Once you've decided on fabrics and stitches, get going. Twenty-six letters takes a while. Turn on music (or watch Burn Notice on Netflix) and sew away. I did the straight letters first until I got comfortable enough to sew curves.

7. Once you've sewed your letters, cut each letter out. I cut about an eighth of an inch from my seam. I tried to sew the letters so that the batting didn't show, but I couldn't make it work. I just did my best to cut nice clean lines so the letters didn't look sloppy. If you look closely, you can see the batting peeking out. No big deal. Add Fray Check around the edges if you like.

8. Stretch out the kink in your neck and back, and you're finished! If I'd had time, I would have sewn a simple drawstring bag to keep the letters in. But considering I cut out the last few letters on the way to the party, a bag didn't happen. Marissa, I'll let you take care of that. ;)

Like I said before, my tutorial obviously isn't comprehensive. If you're looking for a more detailed tutorial, check out Holly's tutorial-- she made her letters magnets. Or Stitching in the Dark's--she sewed a basket to store her letters.

This is a great project for practicing your sewing skills. Seeing as I still have trouble sewing straight lines, I should probably work on a few more alphabets!

P.S. Mom, I think you should know I used part of my Rugrats pillowcase for the S and the V. It was a tough sacrifice to make, but I did it! ;)


  1. Oh wow! Great project that I know took a lot of time and patience. As for the pillowcase, well Tommy, Chuckie, Phil, Lil and Spike will live on at someone else's house now. ;)

  2. 1. RUGRATS PILLOWCASE!? Oh my gosh Ashley. That's........ awesome. haha
    2. When I have kids, I expect these letters. Or since that's going to be far down the line, something even better because you will have perfected, I'm sure, a LOT of things.

  3. Katrina, I appreciate your confidence in me! But when kids come around, we'll definitely be doing some crafting! Speaking of, tomorrow we'll have to make plans for the next craft night!