Needlepoint Save the Date: Exploit Your Dog

About a year ago, I saw this bandana, made by my friend Caitlin, featured on I knew I wanted to make something like it, but I'm not so great with cross-stitching. And I love the look of appliqued fabric with stitching around it. 

Also, I didn't want to wait to see it around cute little Jammer's neck until our wedding day. 

The solution? Make a needlepoint version for the save the date. 

So I started. 

Using regular ol' Microsoft Word, I picked a font that I liked and printed out our initials and the date the size that I wanted for the bandana. 

I pulled out a bunch of scrap fabric and chose some prints that I thought went together for the letters. 

Using tracing paper and a pen, I traced the outline of the letters onto my chosen fabrics. 

After cutting them out, I cut out some light-weight fusible interfacing in the same letter shapes and ironed it onto the fabric according to the instructions. 

I placed the letters onto my fabric, using a straight edge to arrange them, and then ironed them onto the plain fabric I was using for the bandana. 

From there, it was time to put the fabric in an embroider hoop, pick a coordinating-color embroidery thread, and begin doing a blanket stitch all the way around each letter. 

I included some pictures of the blanket stitch process, but if you need a great tutorial, I'd check here

Once I had completed blanket stitching all the way around all the letters, I was ready to move on to the date. 

I measured the letters on my fabric and the numbers on my original print-out to find the exact center of each. 

Once I'd lined it up, I traced the numbers onto my fabric.

And then used a basic back stitch for them and sewed a couple buttons in between the numbers. 

The final step was to cut out the fabric into the bandana shape. I used another of Jammer's bandanas as a template. 

And there it was. 

Originally I planned to take a picture just of Jammer with the little needlepoint bandana around his neck, but those pictures just weren't doing it for me. 

He looked so somber that I felt like we were inviting people to our funeral instead of a wedding. 

We decided that we had to get us in the picture somehow. 

This was our first try, but in order to get our hands in the picture the way we wanted, the letters on the bandana were too small. 

But luckily we landed on our final version, with Jammer looking like a stern butler but us looking joyful in the background: