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Sewn fabric invitations with fabric on back and front by Kathy Beymer featured in The Knot Magazine

Here are our sewn fabric wedding invitations that were featured in the The Knot’s 2007-2008 Fall/Winter National Magazine and “Amazing Wedding Cakes” on WeTV. After searching fabric stores, websites and even ebay, the poppy fabric I found inspired everything – these sewn wedding invitations in particular.

We received so many compliments from guests who said they were one of the most unique, creative, intimate wedding invitations they had ever received. Of course they’re our family and closest friends. But I felt really proud about the handmade, personal, organic feeling that I created for me and Shane.

Supplies:

First design the text in Illustrator using my template or your own design. I ordered a plate from Owosso Graphics and my friend John Devylder letterpressed them in his garage. You can also print them on your computer or at Kinko’s. (Note: Buying A6 and A7 flat cards will save you a lot of time because they’re already the right size. However, if you decide to print them on your own computer and your printer can’t handle odd sizes, buy sheets of paper instead of A6, print 2 per page and cut to size.)

Sewn fabric wedding invitations by Kathy Beymer featured in The Knot Magazine

Next, flowers and leaves. Press your fabric flat. Iron on interfacing behind areas of flowers and leaves to stiffen and add weight. Cut out flowers and leaves, making sure to cut slightly *outside* the lines. Remember not every invitation needs to be exactly the same. I cut two different flower and leaf styles and mixed them. For an alternate look you could use decorative paper instead of fabric.

So this is an optional step: I put fabric on the invitation backs. You can see it in the top photo; there are actually two invitations there, one front, one back. I personally liked the detail and repeated the fabric theme in the ring pillow, guest towels, table numbers, wedding cake and escort cards / placecards. Iron craft weight interfacing onto fabric (if using thick fabric you can skip the interfacing). Using your rotary cutter and a metal ruler cut 4.75” x 6.75” squares. Lightly spray mount or glue stick fabric squares on the back of the brown card just to hold it while you sew. Remember all fabric edges are intentionally left raw and unfinished.

Place one A6 cream printed page on top of the A7 flat brown card with fabric back. Sew the cream card onto the brown in 1/8th of an inch from the sides in orange thread; you can either backstitch or tie it off (here’s a time saver: backstitch under where the leaf is going to go).

Next, put one cut flower on the upper right corner and sew around the middle circle in yellow. The flower edges will be raw and loose. Put one cut leaf on the lower left corner flush with the brown edge covering the corner organically, and sew it down near the middle stem. Leaf edges will be raw and loose. You will see the stitching on the back of the invitation; again, this is intentional to add to the texture and handmade feel. Voila!

Sewn fabric wedding invitations by Kathy Beymer featured in The Knot Magazine

Like this theme? Then try our sewn return address envelopes with custom stamps, table numbers, guest towels, ring bearer pillow, place cards, sewn zigzagged programsmenu, reserved signs, whimsical flower garland “altar” and bridesmaid’s handbags.

Don’t feel like making them yourself? Contact me and I’ll help.

COPYRIGHT NOTE: You’re more than welcome to use this project and pattern for your own personal use. Contact me for any commercial use – this includes etsy sellers.

Please post a comment if you use this project – it makes me smile. And you can post your photos to the Merriment “I made it!” flickr photo group.

 
 




36 Responses to “Sewn invitations”


  1. Kathy Beymer Says:

    Courtney, these are amazing. Very cute fabric and RSVPs illustration. I love the envelope liners too. Would you mind if I linked to these on twitter? And if you want to share them with others feel free to post on our “I Made It!” flickr group :: http://www.flickr.com/groups/merrimentdesign/. Enjoy your wedding!

  2. Courtney Says:

    I did these and they are amazing! Thank you soooo much for the ideas. Here’s a link to my photos: https://picasaweb.google.com/110619998100467810167/WeddingInvitations?authkey=Gv1sRgCPDU3fj8-eSGWA

  3. Cherry Says:

    Hi Kathy!

    your invites are indeed one of a kind. .I will surely consider your design to my upcoming wedding! =) I am very happy that I am able to find this!and I am definitely loving it!
    I would like to ask a question about the cards?Will I be able to purchase it on bookstores (of what kind my dear)? and for the wedding details will it be possible to print it on a cross stitch cloth?

    Thankyou and more power! =)

  4. Kathy Beymer Says:

    Yay! Thanks, Christie. I’m behind in comments but you just made my day :)

  5. Christie Says:

    Um, I feel you are amazing and I love your stuff. I’d love you, too, except I haven’t met you, and probably never will, so that’d be creepy. But I have a serious crush on your design skills.

  6. Mandy Says:

    Hello! What beautiful work you do! I have a question about the letterpressing…do you have a special machine that you put the plates in? I would like to use letterpressing for a wide variety of my own needs. (Invitations, table menus, seating cards etc) but this would cost way too much to have someone else do! Any advice you could give me would be wonderful!

    Thanks so much!

  7. Максим Says:

    У меня что-то сегодня с утра Ваш блог был недоступен. У всех все нормально было?

  8. Stacy Says:

    Hi Kathy,

    Thanks so much for this greaty DIY guide! I love it and plan to use this in planning for my upcoming wedding! I downloaded the invitation template and was wondering if it would be possible for you to send the actual file in illustrator (CS3) for easy modification? This would be so helpful! Thanks again for all of the great ideas!

    Stacy

  9. Kathy @ MerrimentDesign.com Says:

    Hi Chelsea, thanks so much for sharing your invitations! I am loving your coasters. What a smart, fun way to carry your fabric theme through to the favors.

  10. Chelsea Says:

    My invitations are complete!! Phew! Now onto some coasters for the favors…

    I put up some pictures… the lighting isn’t that great, but you can view them here:
    http://picasaweb.google.com/ChelseaJoP/WeddingProjects#

  11. Kathy Beymer Says:

    Chelsea, I love love love it! Can’t wait to see your finished invites.

  12. Chelsea Says:

    Kathy –
    You can see a picture of the fabric I chose here:
    http://picasaweb.google.com/ChelseaJoP/WeddingProjects#5332153093636714322

    Let me know if it doesn’t work. :)

  13. Kathy Beymer Says:

    @Chelsea :: Ah, it looks like Paper Source redesigned its website and broke all the old links (boo). I updated the links in my post so try those again. The flat chocolate cards in my invitation design are the PS Collection A7 size (half moon means that they have a cut out circle on them which is not what you want). And yes, Luxe Fino Cream A6 Note Cards is what I letterpressed the text onto. Luxe has a texture to it, so if you like that feel then get what I got. Otherwise you can get a PS Collection option which will be smooth. Hope that helps! Send me a photo of your fabric …I’m so curious what you ended up picking out.

  14. Kathy Beymer Says:

    Hi Brooke, thanks so much for your comment and for sharing your blog post of your Polish sewn wedding invitation! It’s so great to see how you took my invitation idea and made it your own. Hope to see you back again soon :)

  15. Brooke Says:

    Thank you, Kathy! Your invitations are an inspiration and your instructions were perfect! I threw a simple sewn invitation together last night based on your instructions and the (limited) supplies I had on hand, and I love them! Your post was just what I needed to have the confidence to tackle this project. I’m looking forward to borrowing many more ideas from you in the future!

    You can see what I put together here: http://apt345.blogspot.com/2009/04/polish-invitations.html

  16. Chelsea Says:

    Hello again. Well, I’ve found my fabric! I just have a question about the cards. I went to the website you recommended – Paper Source. I found this: Chocolate Half-Moon / Pocket Folder Enclosure Flat Card
    and: Luxe Fino Cream A6 Note Cards

    Is that similar to what you used?

    Thanks!
    Chelsea

  17. Chelsea Says:

    Thanks so much! That’s very helpful. I’m still having trouble finding my perfect fabric. I’ve ordered some swatches of some different ones, but the flowers are too big, the colors aren’t quite right, etc. I’m probably being too picky. But if I’m going to use this fabric over and over, I really want to love it.
    Anyway, thank you for all your help. If I have more questions (which I’m sure I will) once I start the project, I will be sure to ask.

    Chelsea

  18. Colleen Says:

    Hi Kathy!

    Thanks so much for your DIY encouragement a few months ago. I just finished making my own set of sewn invitations and envelopes for my upcoming wedding. They’ve received rave reviews from all of my friends and family, and it’s all thanks to you! If you’d like to take a look, I just posted them on my blog (www.tedandcolleen.blogspot.com). I also posted a link to your website, if that’s okay.

    Thank you again, and thank you for the idea and inspiration!

  19. Kathy Beymer Says:

    Hi Chelsea, I checked with Natalie who used my instructions to make her own invites. For prep, she spent about 50 hours ironing / interfacing / cutting flowers for the front and squares for the back; however, she cut out a lot more flowers in the end than she needed so used the extras on table numbers, signs and such. She said she spent several 7/8 hour days and then many, many blocks of 2-4 hours. “I also am a totally beginner at these things and was super cautious/ careful with all my steps.” Depending on how quickly you sew, you could probably sew 6-12 per hour or hire either myself or someone else to do the sewing for you. Hope that helps!

  20. Kathy Beymer at MerrimentDesign.com Says:

    Hi Chelsea, thanks for writing and I’m glad to hear that you’re going to give DIY a shot! I have a fairly lengthy reply but hope it helps. Give it a read and post any additional questions that you have.

    First thing …are you having 250 guests, or 250 invitations? Depending on how many single people vs. couples and families you’re inviting, and if you’re allowing singles to bring guests you may only need to make up to 125 invites. That said, 125 invites is a lot but if you have the time and pace yourself by doing a little bit every week you can get it done. I’m going to reach out to Natalie to answer this question because she was also a new DIYer who just cut flowers for 135 invitations. And you can always recruit help. One tip: If you buy thick enough fabric you can skip the interfacing step which adds time to the process. Many pretty fabrics are thin-ish, but you may be able to find more of a home decorator fabric and then you can skip the interfacing. Another thing you could do to save time is to skip the fabric on the back of the invites.

    It’s hard to say on the amount of fabric because it depends on how many flowers are in each yard. I’d recommend counting the number of flowers in a 1/2 yard and then multiplying it out by the number of invites you need. Another thing: 4 inches across is a pretty big flower. Natalie had large flowers too, so I concepted a design for her that used half flowers (which good thing, means you have to cut half as many flowers). I’ll be posting the designs and instructions within the month.

    I would recommend against using fabric on the programs. You’ll just be adding so much work because then you really have to do one for each guest, plus very few people save the programs anyway. Check out my program design posted here at MerrimentDesign.com that still went with the feel of the wedding without using fabric. I instead used fabric on the table numbers and placecards …many people kept their placecards and I felt it was worth the effort because it added to the table decor.

    Also, definitely buy the self-healing mat, ruler and round fabric cutting tool that I’ve linked to in this post. It will save you worlds of time. And make the custom stamps …it will add a lot to your envelopes (see my post about envelopes). Good luck and thanks for reading!

  21. Chelsesa Says:

    Hi! I am so very new to DIY things… but I’m getting married, and I want to give it a shot. I want to do something similar to this – and I’ve already found a few fabrics that I like. I will have to cut out the flowers for about 250 invitations (the flowers are 4″ across… is that a good size?). How many yards do you think I should purchase of this fabric? I’m hoping to do invitations, place cards, programs, and maybe add a little trim to some totes for the girls.
    How long did all of this take you?

  22. Vivian Says:

    AMAZING! You’re so creative.

  23. Sarah @TaraJubilee Says:

    Hi Kathy,
    I saw your invites in The Knot magazine last year when I was planning my own wedding. They are really gorgeous and so creative! And, I think it’s awesome that you freely shared all of your how-to (and fonts, and supplies…) with the whole world—really generous of you! ;)
    Sarah

  24. Merriment :: Kathy Beymer Says:

    Hi Colleen,

    A wedding in West Indies?? How amazing! I’d love to hear more about your plans.

    Caribbean themed fabric …hmm. Tell me more. Are you looking for florals?

    In general, I like to look for fabric at Fabric.com, Reprodepot.com, ebay.com and etsy.com (be sure to change the dropdown to supplies). Your search will probably be better if you search for colors or themes, or both, like “red yellow fabric tropical.” If you don’t find what you want, peel back a few search terms.

    Or what about this yellow tropical fabric? It’s part of the Atlantis collection. It could be fun to use this yellow patterned fabric with a plain red fabric or ribbon.

    I also like the orange wave fabric.

    What do you think about this one? It’s not exactly Caribbean but I like the colors and the cheery retro feel.

    Good luck and let me know what you find!

  25. Colleen Says:

    Hi Kathy,

    like some of these other girls, I also saw your invitation on theknot.com. It’s so lovely, and I would love to replicate something similar for my upcoming wedding. I’m getting married in the West Indies, and I’ve been searching for Caribbean themed fabric, in a red and yellow color palette. Do you have any suggestions for fabric shopping? Thanks in advance!

    Colleen

  26. Merriment :: Kathy Beymer Says:

    Hi Megan, thanks for writing! I’m so glad to hear you like the poppy wedding invitation and the ring bearer pillow.

    You’re right, it looks like reprodepot.com no longer has the fabric. I Googled it and found the same pattern in different colors currently listed on ebay in black and white and also in pink. It’s also on the Robert Kaufman website: http://www.robertkaufman.com/

    So it seems like my particular fabric in this color may be hard to find now. Are you interested in the poppy theme or did you like the colors? If you are looking for similar patterns then ebay.com is good for fabric and also etsy.com (change the search to the “supplies” dropdown).

    Or you might like this pattern: http://hartsfabric.stores.yahoo.net/33950.html

    Please let me know if you have other questions. And let me know what you find!

  27. Megan Says:

    Hey Kathy! These are amazing! You have no idea how excited I was to find this blog! I have seen your ring barer pillow on the knot dot com and i tore out your two page spread in the best of knot magazine!! So i looked high and low for your fabric and couldn’t find it anywhere! I just went to that website but it must be unavailable now! I can’t find it! PLEASE HELP!
    you can e-mail me at meg_9589 at hotmail dot com! Thanks!

  28. Merriment :: Kathy Beymer Says:

    Hi Mandy! Yes, I absolutely recommend the rotary cutter, clear ruler and self-healing mat even for heavyweight fabric …it should be able to cut through no problem. You will save buckets of time, believe me. You could even experiment with folding the fabric and cutting through two layers at a time which will cut your job in half. I actually stand up when cutting heavier fabric because it gives you more force on the blade. And you’re probably better off with a heavier fabric than what I used because you can avoid the time-consuming interfacing step. Can’t wait to see the invite!

  29. Mandy Says:

    Hey Kathy,
    Love this idea!! We are into the details of designing our fabric invitations. Will send you the pics when they are finished. It is a bit different design . . . no flowers. We are using a damask pattern instead. And it is more of a heavyweight fabric than I believe you used. A “light-weight canvas” and weighs 10 oz. per yard if that helps. I was wondering what you would recommend cutting 6.75 x 6.75 inch squares with? Do you think the rotary cutter you mentioned above could handle it?

  30. Merriment :: Kathy Beymer Says:

    Hi Sarah, thanks for reading and also for the kick in the pants! The template is now posted. I included a layer in outlines so you can see what the text should look like. You’ll need the fonts for it to display properly. I’d love to feature your creation and link to your site so let me know when you have your prototype ready :)

  31. Sarah Says:

    Hi Kathy! I am *patiently* awaiting the invitation font template you mentioned above that you were going to supply. I am in the middle of cutting flowers and want to get my invitations printed as soon as I think I have enough flowers to start assembling them. Do you know how much longer it may be before you supply that in Adobe? I LOVE the fonts you used and would like to use them if that’s okay! Thanks again for your inspiration! =)

  32. Merriment :: Kathy Beymer Says:

    Hooray! I would love to post it. I used Copperplate as the body copy. The other font is called Spoleto on my machine, but I’ve seen Spoleto online and it’s not the same. If you tell me what you would like it to say in that font, I’ll type it, create outlines and send you the Illustrator file so you can fiddle with it on your own.

  33. Ashley Menger Says:

    !!! You’ve inspired me to make my own invitation. Thank you! I’ll see how it goes over the next month. If it comes to fruition i will send it to you. Although it is quite possible that I break down in a pile of fabric and letterpress blocks with invitations sewn to my clothes instead. Also can you tell me what fonts you used on your invitations?


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