Thursday, June 10, 2010

How I Applique

Fabric is still scattered all over the dining room table, and shorts and dresses are still spilling forth. My kids adore customized clothes, and applique is a favorite technique for dressing up plain shirts and skirts. There are many techniques, but I thought I would share what works for me. It's fast, easy, and holds up great in the wash (because really, who hand washes anyway?)

I usually draw my own designs or adapt coloring book images (there are millions of sites on the internet, just google the name of the image with "coloring page"). I then trace my image on Heatbond, (or similar iron on fabric bond), and cut it out with a margin around the edges. This ensures that the bond will extend all the way to the edges of the fabric when you cut it out.

Iron the image to the wrong side of your fabric, following the directions for your particular brand. Once it is cool, cut out your image following the outline lines. Remove the paper.

For small trims such as ribbon, I like to use spray baste. It's like a very light spray glue, but it will not gunk up your machine. Just spray the back and stick on to your fabric.

Iron the applique onto your piece of clothing. Here I'm using a t-shirt.
Sew around the edges. You could use a variety of stitches for this - satin, straight, or what I usually use, a small zigzag. If you use a straight stitch the edges may fray, but that's usually the intended result. I like a zigzag because it's secure, fast, and seems to blend into the applique so you don't notice the stitching as much as a satin stitch.
Sometimes I add stitching inside the applique to add details. For this, I use a water soluble fabric marker to draw in details, and then stitch along those markings. Once you are done stitching, spray the marker lines with water to make them disappear.

That's it! It took me about 20 minutes to do the shirt from start to finish, and that includes searching for the ribbon. It's a great way to dress up those $2.50 t-shirts from Michaels. Max thought the Devo bowl hat added the finishing touch. I'd have to agree.

1 comment:

  1. That's awesome! I'm going to have to try that out sometime! Thank you for sharing :)

    The shirt is very cute!

    And yes, I have to agree with you and Max ;)