Tuesday, 30 April 2013

GUEST POST: Tips for Easy Appliqué

Today's author is Bridget Sandorford. She is a freelance food and culinary writer, where recently she’s been researching baker pastry chef jobs. In her spare time, she enjoys biking, painting and working on her first cookbook.

Tips for Easy Appliqué

Appliqué is a great way to dress up t-shirts, onesies, and other pieces of clothing. You can personalize them or add a little bit of flair. It's also a great way to cover up stains or to patch over holes. Of course, appliqué is also a great way to make beautiful and unique quilts.

There are many ways to appliqué, and this blog has already covered one of the most popular methods, which involves fusible webbing. Here are a couple of other tips to create easy appliqué so you can personalize your clothes or make your own onesies for wedding gifts:

Fabric Glue
Appliqué simply requires that you attach one piece of fabric to another, and one of the easiest ways to do that is to use fabric glue. Fabric glue is flexible enough so that when it dries, the fabric is still supple, not hard. You can dot fabric glue around the edges of your piece, and attach it to the surface. You don't need a lot -- just a small edging to hold it in place while you sew it down. You can use a blanket stitch or use your machine to do an overcast or zigzag stitch.

Sturdy fabrics like felt or microfiber do best with this technique. If you are using a fabric that will fray, treat it will fray check first and allow it to dry before you glue it and sew it.

Freezer Paper
Freezer paper is a great option that works in much the same way as fusible webbing. You simply draw your pattern onto your freezer paper and then iron it onto your fabric with the shiny side down. Cut out your fabric, leaving a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Then either spray starch onto the hem line or dab it on with a paintbrush. Fold over the edge and iron it back all the way around the hem.

When the fabric is dried and the hemline is ironed back, you can remove the freezer paper. It will peel off quite easily and your hemline should stay intact. Then just sew your appliqué in place as usual. You can pin it down or add a bit of fabric glue to hold it in place.

This method is best for thinner fabrics that are prone to fraying and need tidier edges in order to maintain their shape. It would not work for thicker fabrics like felt or wool.

Sewing Two Pieces Together
Getting a good appliqué is largely about preserving the hemlines. You can do this easily by sewing together two pieces of fabric to create a closed edge. You would cut two pieces of fabric for each shape and then sew them together face to face. Complete the edge all the way around, and then make a slit in the middle of one of the pieces. Use that opening to turn the pieces out to the right side, and then iron the seams flat. You'll have a nice shape that you can then sew in place on your fabric.

There's more than one way to appliqué. Use the technique that is easiest for you and that best accommodates the fabric you are using and the kind of shape you are trying to create.

What techniques do you use to create appliqué? Share your tips in the comments!


Mel@Mellywood's Mansion said...

great tips but I love the pac man shirts super cute!

Mrs. Lucky said...

The pac-man shirts make me smile. I totally agree with you Mel, they are definitely very cute! Thanks for leaving your comment here by the way.

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