Monday, 9 April 2018

Teeny Tiny Labels

Today I would like to share with you a behind the scenes process of making cute additions to your projects - fabric labels. There are no strict instructions here, but rather an idea for you to play with and design your own labels using the same methods and tips, but mostly your imagination.

Each creative process is different, sometimes a label comes before I even start working on my project, but more often it is the other away around. After I complete the project, I start with a simple sketch putting my ideas on paper and doodling around until I am happy with the design. Then I play a bit with tiny scraps of fabric and threads. With this particular label I just wanted two small squares of the fabrics I used for the envelope and a couple of words. 

I always use scraps for making labels, I have a small bag full of linen pieces (the leftovers from large projects in various sizes) and a bag of small scraps with already applied fusible web on the back. 

Helpful tip: When applying a fusible web, place a piece of fabric on top of the fusible web and place it between two sheets of backing paper to prevent the fusible sticking to the cover of your ironing board.

Once I was happy with the design, I fused the pieces of cotton to the linen. I wrote the words using a water erasable pen and then I drew the rectangular shape of the label around the design making sure that everything fits perfectly. This is the line we are going to stitch on later on.

Note: you can also mark the placement of all the elements, sew the label first, turn it the right side out and then apply the applique.

Helpful tip: Use a sharp rotary cutter to cut small pieces of fabric instead of  scissors to get a nice edge without fraying.

For the back side of the label I usually use light weight interfacing, cotton interfacing or even organza like this time. Place a piece of interfacing on top of the linen piece and stitch around overlapping the beginning of the seam on the marked line (the line is clearly visible though the interfacing). Once done, trim all the edges and trim the corners, make a small cut in the middle of the interfacing piece making sure not to cut through the linen.

Helpful tip: Set your machine to the shortest stitch, it would keep the edges and the corners of your label neat and reduce the chance of  weakening the seam.

Turn your label the right side out using a point tool. I use a small chopstick to push the corners out and a large needle to pull them out from the outside if needed. Stretch the label to give it an even shape and press with your fingers, you can also press with a warm iron.

For the stitching around the edge I like to use vintage cotton threads or embroidery floss. Use a thin needle and make one stitch at a time so you get nice even stitches. I like to wax the thread (pull it through a tiny piece of beeswax). This helps keep the thread straight and prevents it from knotting. Stitch all the way around using a running stitch.

Now we need to secure the tiny pieces of fabric in place. I decided to use Colonial knots in all four corners. I also waxed the thread for this step.

Helpful tip: Remember that the smaller the piece of fabric you are working with, the thinner the needle you must use.

When it comes to writing words, I write directly on my fabric without any templates. It's a good idea to practice on a piece of paper first until you get the letters of the right size and style.

Helpful tip: You can stick the label to your desk using washi tape. This way it would be easier to get the writing done neatly without the label slipping.

Now let's get to the "writing" with the needle bit. To be honest with you, this is not my favourite part even though it is quite easy. You just have to be patient. I always use a backstitch for writing, but you can experiment with some other suitable stitches. 

Helpful tips:
  • use one or two counts of DMC embroidery thread
  • lightly wax the thread
  • make all the stitches short and of equal size
  • stitch the same letters in the same way (for example for my letter "O" I always make 6 stitches)

Once the label is ready, stitch it on to your project using a fine thread and a thin needle. Gutermann cotton thread #919 works really well. Here I added a tiny prairie point on the side. You can also use a small piece of a ribbon.

As you can see, it is very simple to make your own fabric labels that would help make your project even more special and unique. You just have to let your imagination run a bit wild and keep on stitching. Just be careful! Label making might be quite addictive! :-) If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to comment here or contact me on my IG account @stitchingnotes or send me an email on Happy label making! Larisa xox 


  1. Fabulous tutorial! Thanks :)

  2. And it is so very sweet, thank you. 💟💛

    1. Thank you, Glenis! Thank you for stopping by! xo

  3. Thank you for sharing the tutorial for your sweet, little label. I have lots of scraps and also pieces of linen so I am adding the little label to my to do list.

    1. I am glad you like it, Joan! Happy sewing!

  4. A lovely tutorial, Larisa. Thank you. Perhaps one day I will have enough patience to make one!

    1. It is quite fiddly, Dina, but this is exactly what I enjoy. :-)

  5. What a nice tutorial! I love your wee little label, so sweet!

    1. I am glad you like it, Kathleen! Happy label making!

  6. So cute and sweet - thanks for sharing!

    1. You are very welcome! Thank you for stopping by!