How to Sew: Pirate Maps

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I started thinking about Christmas for our nephews long before the holiday season started. It’s so fun to think about what to make for them when they’re as small as they are, and I try to think of something that they’ll use their imagination with. For some reason this year I was drawn to pirates, and in particular, pirate maps. I got an idea in my head that I didn’t want to lose, so I quickly drew it on a few index cards.

I thought about not sharing these a first. I think it’s because I’m not always fond of sharing my creative process, and even though this is a tiny project, it’s still mine, and it’s messy. I do like to see how other people get their ideas from paper to fabric though, so I figured it’s probably my turn.

The end results weren’t far off from the sketches.

I decided to make one map that was a desert, with pyramids, a scroll, and treasure of course! I embroidered details such as the gold coins and shore line by hand, and used an iron-on fusible to affix the small fabric pieces like the palm leaves down before sewing them on with my machine.

I think the mountain one is my favorite because I love the little whales.

I tried to give them each a little something extra to look for besides the treasure, those things being the scroll and the book. To add very tiny details, I used permanent fabric markers and drew things such as the waves, whale’s eyes, and tree details.

I used a Kona cotton as the background for the map, and a heavy duck cloth as the backing fabric. I sewed a folded over ribbon into one side of the each of the maps so that they could be tied up and carried around in true pirate fashion. And what’s a pirate going to do without gold coins for bartering?

Sewing up drawstring bags is easy, and I already had the satin and string on hand. Now I have to wrap up the swords (which were purchased), and finish up a final detail…. eyepatches!

  • I thought you were going to make Jimmy a thong with that red satin?? 😉 Those maps are great! I think my favorite elements are the mountains and the little treasure chests! So cute.

  • caitlin low

    You are seriously way to creative. I am sad we’re moving I had been imagining nights of sewing lessons. Maybe I’ll just come up here often!!