Aviator and Retro Sunglasses Applique

Hi sewing friends,

Thanks for visiting my blog!  I’m following up with a couple of eye compresses which were not finished for a previous post. Well, they’re done, and look so darn cute!! I don’t think these will be gifted to anyone since I am officially addicted to the relaxing benefits of the warm compress, and love the cute eyeglass applique.

Just to recap, I made the first compress following directions in Stitch magazine exactly. It was hard to stop with one, therefore two more were sewn up. However, I changed one applique image to a pair of retro, pointy, “cat’s eye” sunglasses, and the other to aviators!

Here’s how it was done. The design and instructions for the compress are available in Stitch magazine’s Spring 2013 issue, and I respect their copyright. Here, I’ll briefly show you how I did the retro eyeglass applique and the aviators. Feel free to let me know if I can clarify anything.

The applique patterns are hand drawn. For the lens you need only one pattern piece which you will cut out twice, even though I’m showing you two pieces below. One half of the retro frames outline was drawn by hand, folding the paper and cutting out on the fold. Open the fold and you’ve got a full pattern.

Finsihed compresses

The patterns were traced onto poster board. Retro glasses were given a lens shape inside (below). Then the lens portions were removed to leave a frame (above). For the aviators, the lens shape is the only pattern piece. You can use a real pair to trace an outline and then adjust the size, if required.




  • Here is what you’ll need for the aviator lens applique only: Lens pattern, blue/gold organza (I used a ribbon with wire removed since it was the perfect color for this project), black organza scrap, thin gold cord, gold metallic thread, fabric adhesive spray. I found all of this in my sewing stash. I assure you I’m not a hoarder…..
  • Cut 2 aviator lens from black organza and blue/gold organza – each.
  • With fabric adhesive, bond a black and a blue lens piece. Make another lens the same way, but mirror the shape.
  • Apply the lens pieces to the fabric front piece of the eye compress with fabric adhesive or lightweight Steam-A-Seam, or similar product. If you know of a better way to applique the lenses, please comment below.


  • Couch the gold cord around the lens using metallic thread and a zig-zag stitch, continuing in an arc above the lens, as well as a connecting “bridge” (which rests on the nose). Make sure that one side of the zig-zag catches the edge of the organza. Repeat the zig-zag once more on the entire gold cord.
  • Proceed to complete the eye compress per instructions in the magazine! Or, use this on any other project.



What you’ll need: Pattern for frame and lens (draw it yourself), scrap of red organza, scrap of cotton print for the frame, matching thread, lightweight fusible such as Stitch Witchery or any other brand. In the picture below you’ll see the serger threads.  I roll-hemmed around the compress with a decorative woolly nylon instead of applying piping. Am a little out of practice with the roll hem, as you will see in the complete project picture below. I still love this compress…IMG_1025

  • Apply fusible to the cotton scrap completely. Cut out the frame shape,
  • Cut out two lens from organza
  • Apply the organza pieces on top of the embroidered eyelashes on the front piece of compress with a very light spray of fabric adhesive. I repeat, very light….
  • Peel off paper backing from the fusible on the cotton frames, and fuse in place on top of the read lenses.
  • Satin stitch around the outside and inside edges of the frames.


  • Finish eye compress as in magazine instructions! I chose to serge around the edges. You can choose to not use a piping or a serged edge, and just sew it up right sides together and turn it inside out.

I absolutely love these compresses for their functionality in relaxing my eyes, and looking cute. One day, I will create a PDF pattern for these appliques which you will be able to download. Putting it on my to-do list right now.

How about the aviators on a towel for a Fathers Day gift? Or any other gift? Do give it a try. I would love to hear your comments!

Thank you for reading!


2 thoughts on “Aviator and Retro Sunglasses Applique

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