Vintage Images Patchwork Bag – Free sewing patterns


Fabric: various prints, 50cm of each; cotton, white, scraps; plain for liningLaser copies of vintage magazine pages, printed as a mirror imageAdhesive, Berol Marvin MediumLaser printer with photocopier

Making the transfers

Press white cotton fabric and trim into pieces 3cm larger than your chosen pictures. Ensure the magazine pages have been printed or photocopied using toner as inkjet images will not work. Any pictures with text need to be printed out as a mirror image to appear the right way round on the fabric.

Place the print face up on a clean surface and liberally paste with Marvin Medium. Ensure the coating is 1mm thick while still remaining even. Lay the fabric piece on top and pat down onto the paper with your hands.

Lay a second piece of plain paper on top and press down firmly. Use a wallpaper seam roller or rolling pin to ensure a firm bond without air bubbles. Peel away the plain paper and leave the print and fabric to dry flat for a few minutes.

Use a cool iron to press the layers, completely drying the glue. When the sheets are dry, place them fabric side down, on a work surface and dampen the paper with a sponge and a little water.

Allow the liquid to soak into the paper so the image can be faintly seen. Begin at the centre of the print and rub the wet substance with a fingertip, it will start to ball up and come away, revealing the toner image affixed to the layer of glue. Avoid rubbing the illustration too much in one place as the glue will begin to peel and spoil the transfer.

Continue lightly scouring the top layer of paper before applying a little more water and rubbing the surface again. Blot the image and place under a clean tea towel. Press with a cool iron to dry the fabric and transfer.

Check the quality of the print. Once dry you will be able to see any areas of paper that are still obscuring the image and rub these away. Give the entire image a gentle buff with fine sandpaper to remove the final trace of paper. The transfer is flexible enough to be stitched and has the appearance of oilcloth.

Use your transfers as focal panels in patchwork projects. Surround each print with a border of printed cotton scraps and piece together to make a larger block such as the one on our bag. Topstitch all the seams to add extra design detail and back with a single piece of printed fabric. Turn into a stylish cushion or add long handles and a plain lining for a trendy tote.