Made By Mrs M

Stitched Cityscape Tutorial

Architecture, Craft, Paper, Sewing, Textiles, Travel, TutorialsKate Marsden


Hello!  Recently I was lucky to visit New York for the first time. An amazing city which has left me with even more creative ideas than normal! One of these was to make a piece of stitched art based on the Manhattan skyline which works perfectly with Made by Mrs M's range of fabrics.

Today I’m going to show you how to make this picture based on the architecture of this iconic island.  Although these instructions make up into an A4 sized picture, the design could easily be adapted to make a larger motif for a cushion or repeated to make a lampshade. Please do share your projects with me using #pollydextrous.


The project is intended to be machine stitched but can easily be adapted to be hand sewn or glued if you prefer.


1. Cut the tissue paper to just less than half height of the card. (10cm on A4). Leave a 1cm overhang on the bottom edge as the paper will move a little.

2. Glue lightly along the top edge to hold in place during sewing.

3. Stitch a straight line along the top.

4. Sew using wavy lines to represent water. Work from top to bottom, smoothing the paper out as you work.  Add more lines, working upwards this time. 

5. Pull threads through to the back of the work and fix using double sided tape.  Trim long ends. 

6. The picture has three layers – background; mid ground and foreground. Cut out the background buildings (templates a-d) in fabric, placing the pieces to suggest windows. 

7. Draw a faint line 1cm above the top of the 'water'.

8. Arrange the pieces along the line, using the diagram as a guide and tack in place.

9. Stitch around the edge of each piece using the diagram to add additional details, shown as dashed lines on the template. Finish as for water stitching.

10. Cut out the middle ground (templates e-i).

11. Repeat as for background, but align with water.

12. Cut out foreground, this time place slightly overlapping water, stitch in same way.

Brooklyn Bridge

13.  Stitch two horizontal lines from furthest building on right hand side up to edge of paper.  Lines should be approx 4mm apart.

14.  Measure 15 mm from start of bridge deck and stitch two parallel vertical lines, approx 30 mm high.  

15. Repeat at 40 mm from first tower. 

16. Stitch diagonal lines from the top of each tower to the deck.

17. Switch to a medium zigzag stitch and sew between the two horizontal lines.


18. Still with a zigzag stitch, change to the widest stitch setting, but fairly short stitch length.

19. Stitch along base of the island, over-lapping with water to resemble trees.


20. Lightly sketch two different sized boat outlines.

21. Using a short straight stitch sew over pencil lines and continue line behind to suggest the wake.  

22. Tape down and trim any loose thread ends . Trim any paper/fabric overlaps.

23. Stand back and admire your finished work!

24. Share your creation with #Pollydextrous

Your templates... Click here to download