Butterfly Attractor Hat

A Sulky Cut-Away Soft n' Sheer and
Super Solvy Stabilizer Project
By: Jeanie Sexton

Project Overview

This straw hat was created as a lark to take the stress out of yard work. Why not attract Butterflies and Hummingbirds to enjoy the time away from the sewing machine.

Any motif which has a dense fill-in stitch with no background fabric showing can be used. The Butterfly was created on the Pfaff Creative™ 7570. Selection #5 from the Animals Collection I. The butterfly is enlarged.

For machines which do not have an embroidery unit, similar Butterflies and Flowers can still be stitched free motion. Construction will be the same technique.

Notes from Jeanie:

While creating "Thread-Art" designs, I enjoyed using Sulky products. There are no surprises, because they never fail to perform to my expectations. Sulky 30 wt. Rayons are available in such a variety of colors. This makes it easy to match my hand-dyed silk ribbons when combining machine decorative stitches with my machine embroidered silk ribbons.

I am insisting that my students use the Sulky Invisible Polyester Thread while embroidering silk ribbons by machine becasue it is soft enough to gently gather the ribbons without cutting into them. Lightweight Sulky Polyester Bobbin Thread is strong enough to secure the Sulky Invisible Polyester Thread, yet has no build-up on the reverse side.

About the Artist

Jeanie Sexton
from Kuttawa, Kentucky "Thread Art by Jeanie"

Jeanie's garments and quilts have been shown in over 35 juried fashion and fiber-art shows and exhibits. She has designed ensembles for American Quilter's Society and Fairfield Fashion Shows. Jeanie won first place in the 1995 Sulky Vest Challenge and Second place in the Wearable Category of the 1996 Sulky Challenge.

In 1996, she won first place from nearly 6,000 entries in the Wonderful Wearables Category of the Aleene's Crafter of the Year contest. Jeanie has published eleven "Unique Technique" machine art instructional patterns and a book, Silk Ribbons by Machine, published by the American Quilter's Society. She also hosts three-day retreats in her Thread Art by Jeanie studio in the woods near the lake in Kuttawa.

"Sulky permanent Cut-Away Soft 'n Sheer is a wonderful foundation for free-motion embroidery and computerized stitching because it is strong enough to hold the built-up threads, yet pliable enough to be an excellent base. It can be used alone so there will be a more delicate, finished motif.

Super Solvy is wonderful for making a small piece of ribbon, lace or doily large enough to be placed in the machine embroidery hoop for embellishment. It is super strong and can be stretched taut in the hoop without tearing."

-- Jeanie


Hat Band
  • A Straw Hat
  • Sulky Super Solvy™ Stabilizer
  • 10" wide and 8" longer than ribbon
  • Sulky White Bobbin Thread
  • Sulky Clear Invisible Polyester Thread
  • 2/3 yard 2-1/2" wide Grosgrain Ribbon
  • Bright 7 mm Silk ribbons
  • Sewing thread the color of Grosgrain Ribbon
  • Zig-Zag Sewing Machine
  • Machine Needle Size 70/10 for Silk Ribbon Embroidery
  • 8 or 10" German Hardwood Machine Embroidery Hoop

  • Sulky Cut-Away Soft 'n Sheer Permanent Stabilizer
  • enough to hoop 4 times
  • Sulky Super Solvy™ Stabilizer
  • 3 pieces about 2" larger than Butterfly
  • Sulky White Bobbin Thread
  • Sulky 30 wt. Rayon Thread to match Silk Ribbons
  • Sewing Thread to match outline color of butterfly
  • Sewing Machine Needle Size 90/14
  • Low Loft Batting - size of Butterfly
  • 8" of Heavy Braid
  • Oval Shaped Jewel and Pin-Back
  • Water Soluble Pen
  • Bent Serger Tweezers

Instructions for Hat Band

  1. To determine the size of grosgrain ribbon to cut, measure the hat crown and add about 4 extra inches. Mark motif for Silk Ribbon Embroidery on grosgrain ribbon, beginning in center and ending about an inch from end of hat measurement.
  2. Center ribbon on a strip of Super Solvy that is large enough to fit into your hoop; baste edges (Sulky KK 2000 works great with no pinning). Hoop Super Solvy so that it is taut by gently pulling the edges with the ends of the ribbon while gently smoothing the wrinkles out of the Super Solvy. Stitch the vines and leaves first so you can place the hoop on a vine when repositioning it.
  3. Stitch the silk ribbons onto grosgrain ribbon using instructions for simple daisies in "Silk Ribbons by Machine" by Jeanie Sexton; or use machine instructions by Gina Butler in the two Sulky Books -- Patchwork Concepts 900B-9 and Embroidery Concepts 900B-10; or stitch them by hand.
  4. After embroidery is completed, pull out basting stitches (not necessary if you used KK 2000) and trim Super Solvy close to the stitches. Sponge off remaining Super Solvy and the water soluble markings from the reverse side. Fluff up petals with tip of tweezers. Allow to dry. Press grosgrain ribbon from the top side, being careful not to iron on the embroidery. Any Super Solvy remaining in the ribbons will stiffen them slightly. This is neat for crafts, however, if you want the ribbon band to be soft, completely soak them in water. Using matching sewing thread, topstitch the edges of the ribbon band to the hat with a 3.0 mm straight stitch, turning in the ends at center back and butting them up against each other. Zig-zag the ends together using a 2.0 mm stitch width.

Stitch the Butterfly

  1. Hoop a piece of Sulky Cut-Away Soft 'n Sheer. Set up machine so that stitch colors of your butterfly can be repeated if the stitches are not dense enough. To stitch the butterfly use the appropriate colors of Sulky 30 wt. Thread on top with Sulky Bobbin Thread in the bobbin. If there is no dense stitching to outline the butterfly, leave in hoop, return machine to normal straight stitch sewing mode and outline a couple of times with a 2.0 mm stitch length. Remove from hoop and press from wrong side on a terry towel. 
  2. Place butterfly right side down on another piece of Sulky Cut-Away Soft 'n Sheer and pin baste. Using sewing machine to match outline color of butterfly and and a 1.5 mm stitch length, straight stitch very close around edge and across the base of the antennae which will not be used on this 3-D project. Repeat stitching a couple of times. Turn project over and repeat on top of stitches with a 1.0 mm stitch length. Trim away the Soft 'n Sheer leaving 1/4" allowance. Clip curves. Cut a slit in the middle for turning.
  3. Turn right side out, being careful not to punch a hole in the Soft 'n Sheer. Pin, or use KK 2000 to spray glue edges under so the stabilizer does not show. Lay right side up on a piece of Super Solvy that is slightly larger than the butterfly. Use the outline color of Sulky 30 wt. Thread in the needle and bobbin to satin stitch around the edge with a 2.0 mm width and 0.5 mm length, stitching off the edge onto the Super Solvy. Gently pull away the Super Solvy without pulling out stitches, or sponge the edges only.

Make a second, identical Butterfly

  1. Cut a piece of batting the shape of butterfly, but about 1/2" smaller. Place butterflies wrong sides together, with batting inside. Pin baste. Slip an inch of the center of heavy antennae braid inside between butterflies. Underneath the butterflies, place two layers of Super Solvy about 2" larger than butterfly. To encase previous stitching, put the outline color of Sulky 30 wt. Thread in the needle and bobbin, and use a 2.5 mm width zig-zag to satin stitch around the edges, stitching off the edge onto the Super Solvy. Gently tear away the Super Solvy. Dampen the edge to remove any whiskers.
  2. Stitch a jewel in center of top butterfly and pin-back to backside. Stiffen antennae to form curved shape by wrapping them in Super Solvy, dampening them, and allowing them to dry. Cut ends to size. (This can be done before or after stitching them)