Little Crosses: Appliques for use on Church Vestments and Pastoral Stoles

Today, January 2nd, is a special day. There is a birthday in the Ecclesiastical Sewing family and a wedding anniversary. Although I will not say how old she is, Carrie will have some candles to blow out tonight. Travis & Ashley are going to have a nice dinner on one of the lakes this evening and maybe go swimming at the pool.

It has been a little hectic here at the sewing headquarters. Travis and Ashley moved back home and are now trying to learn about some of the physical parts of Ecclesiastical Sewing. One of these parts is to train Ashley in the art of clergy stole making. Ashley has been sewing since she was 7 years old (she is now 23). But never has she had the chance to dabble with church vestments.

Here is one of the projects the young adults did: Cross Appliques.

Ecclesiastical Sewing sells small iron on cross appliques.  There are a variety of colors and sizes. These little crosses can be used on the neckline of a stole; they can be used to decorate the front of a stole; or they could be used on chalice veils, burses, or other church vestments. Ecclesiastical Sewing will have finished stoles for sale in the upcoming days, as soon as the holiday mania settles down. As we complete the stoles for our soon to be released line of ready-made vestments, there are some finishing details to be completed.

The line of stoles have orphrey trim that will be sewn on the stole fronts. Since the trim on the stoles was being sewn on, Ashley did not put crosses on the fronts of stoles yet.

So where did these iron on crosses go? On the neck line of several finished stoles.

Purple Lent and Advent stole in Silk Upioni
Purple Silk Dupioni Stole from Ecclesiastical Sewing

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1Zerwas, Ashley. Cross on Neckline. December 24th, 2016. Personal Collection, Ecclesiastical Sewing, Baxter, Minnesota.

Adding small crosses to clergy stole necklines:

For those of you interested in using these little appliques on vestments, here are the simple steps to attaching them onto completed vestment projects.

First, we preheat the iron; our iron takes maybe a minute tops to reach the heat.

Then we measure & center the cross on the neck seam of the stole.

Purple Advent and Lent Stoles
How to make clergy stoles: trim details of cross at back neckline

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Crosses on priest stole neckline
Adding small cross detail to neckline: measuring to ensure cross is centered

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Small cross details for pastor or priest stoles
Selecting the correct size and color of cross for purple Lent and Advent Stole

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2Zerwas, Ashley. Measuring #1. December 24th, 2016. Personal Collection, Ecclesiastical Sewing, Baxter, Minnesota.

3Zerwas, Ashley. Measuring #2. December 24th, 2016. Personal Collection, Ecclesiastical Sewing, Baxter, Minnesota.

4Zerwas, Ashley. Choosing a Cross. December 24th, 2016. Personal Collection, Ecclesiastical Sewing, Baxter, Minnesota.


Third, we set the hot iron down straight onto the cross. This is where precision is key; we do not want the cross to shift and become un-centered after we carefully measured.

Clergy stole making: Pressing cross in place on neckline
How to press cross in place when finishing stole neckline

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5Zerwas, Ashley. Iron Pressed. December 24th, 2016. Personal Collection, Ecclesiastical Sewing, Baxter, Minnesota.


Let the iron sit for 15 seconds, lift iron, allow cross to cool slightly. Then place iron back on, repeat process for a total of three times.

Pruple Advent and Lent stole with cross at neckline
Checking cross is secure

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Securely attached cross at back necline of clergy stole
Cross is firmly attached at neckline of clergy stole

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6Zerwas, Ashley. Cross Cooling. December 24th, 2016. Personal Collection, Ecclesiastical Sewing, Baxter, Minnesota.

7Zerwas, Ashley. Checking Cross. December 24th, 2016. Personal Collection, Ecclesiastical Sewing, Baxter, Minnesota.


The nice thing about these crosses is that they will  stay with just the ironing; the adhesive is that good. Carrie, however, since she is a perfectionist, said that our standard of quality is such that even after we iron them on, we go over the crosses with hand stitching (or machine stitching, depending on the progress of the finished stole). This added measure may seem time consuming, but taking time to do extra steps is what makes a garment (or vestment) truly a masterpiece. So Carrie hand stitched, while Ashley machine sewed necklines on stoles, interfacing, and lining.

Ecclesiastical Sewing is excited to share  more of our line of completed stoles in a few days. Keeping checking for more information and tips on liturgical vestment sewing. And thank you for using Ecclesiastical Sewing as your ecclesiastical source.

God Bless & Happy New Year!

~Nihil Sine Deo~

Be sure to visit our online store front Ecclesiastical Sewing where you may shop for Liturgical Fabrics, altar linen fabrics, church vestment making patterns, liturgical machine embroidery designschurch vestment trims and notions and so much more. You may also find us on  Ecclesiastical Sewing  on Facebook , Twitter, and Pinterest. Sing up for our mailing list  at the bottom of the page on our online store front and receive a free copy of our Small Linens Booklet as our way of saying thank you for following along.

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