Friday, 12 July 2013

Easy applique

I have been doing a little appliqué lately... and thought it would be handy to put an easy tutorial together in case you are thinking of making some cute crafty thing that involves appliqué... so what will you need?

  • An item into which to appliqué your this case I am use a 100% baby body. But you can appliqué into almost any fabric item!
  • Your design - In the picture I am using my free bird patter (find it here), later on I will be using my modern whale pattern that soon will be released in the shop as well.
  • A piece of fabric big as your design.
  • Lightweight interfacing... and I mean light, feather, almost invisible! It really does make the difference... if you can't afford designer fabrics, don't overreach! but please buy good quality interfacing, especially if you will need to wash the item often.
  • You will also need an iron and ironing board.
Step 1: You will start by cutting your fabric and interfacing to the same size (or as much as possible similar).

Step 2: Place your fabric right side down on a piece of scrap fabric (or especial cloth you use for appliqué). This is important, you do not want the ironing board or iron to get glue on - believe me I've been there! Place the interfacing on top of the fabric, shiny side on the fabric (you should have the paper side facing to you). And cover with the cloth. Then proceed to iron with a very hot iron and lots of steam on both sides.

Step 3: Now it is time to transfer the pattern to the paper side of the fabric. If you think it will be too thick to trace now then transfer the pattern before ironing the interfacing to the fabric... but be careful to use a pen that won't smudge over the ironing process. Cut your design out with sharp scissors (to avoid fraying).

Step 4: Play around with your design and dream of how beautiful it will look :)

Step 5: Once you know where your design will be placed peel off the paper from the fabric... check that the glue stays stuck to the fabric (if not you may want to iron it a bit more). The fabric should look shiny in the back.

Step 6: Place the design on its desired position. To make sure it does not move around when ironing it over, I first iron the item in which I am sticking the design. This is so it is warm and the design lightly adheres to it. Then iron well with hot iron and lots of steam until you think it is not going to go anywhere!

And voilà, you have appliquéd... now appliqué needs to be secured with some form of stitching on it... You can probably do without but it will look more finished if you do.

If the item is going to be worn by kids (or babies as in this case) and washed lots, I generally prefer to machine stitch around it (using some stretchy stitch) in a very short stitch and very slowly going over all the edges.

But the loveliest form is to hand embroider on it as I did on my bird houses (pattern available here), like this...

or this...

or even this...

Enjoy your stitching!


I'd love to hear from you, please leave your comments below.


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