How To Prepare a Patch for Applique

Appliques are cute additions to children’s garments. They add contrast and focal interest to a plain dress. Appliques can also cover holes and tears and are a better alternative to darning. You can use different fabrics and designs for your applique. You can use printed fabrics with interesting designs or copy the character patterns printed on fabrics. You can also look for some interesting clip art and print it out. Cut out the design and trace it on the fabric that will be used of the applique. Whether you want to attach the applique by hand or use a sewing machine, here are some tips on how to prepare a patch for applique.

  1. If the background fabric can be seen through the applique design, trace the design on to the background material with the help of a light box or you can hold the background material against the window while you trace the design. If you are sure that the design lines will be covered by the applique, you can use tailor’s chalk. You can use dotted lines to minimize the chalk coming in contact with the background fabric.
  2. If the background material is a bit dark, you can use a bit of carbon paper to trace the outline of the applique. The lines will eventually wash off and since the fabric is dark, the outline will be barely noticed.
  3. Make templates of every item of your applique design. Include overlaps in your templates. You can use freezer paper for your templates or use clear plastic to trace the actual design. Iron the freezer paper templates to the right side of your applique fabric and carefully trace the outlines, including any markings that are included in the design. Use a marker than can be easily washed off. Carefully remove the freezer paper templates.
  4. There should be at least a one-fourth inch seam allowance around every piece of the applique parts. Mark the allowance on the applique material and cut each part. Finger crease the seam allowance around the applique parts scoring around curves.
  5. Assemble the pieces together over the design outline you have made on the background fabric taking note of the overlaps and pin the parts in place. Try to position the applique parts aligned to the background outline. For the more experienced sewer you can already start sewing from here.
  6. For the novice, you can baste the two fabrics together before making the final sewing. Fold the seam under and use a whipping stitch to sew the applique in place, making sure that that the background fabric is stitched together with the applique fabric. You can also use your sewing machine if you are comfortable with using it for small pieces. Whichever method you choose to use try to keep the lines as straight as possible.
  7. Experienced sewer may find that using fusible webbing will make their work easier. You can use fusible webbing between the parts to be sewn together and iron them in place. Allow to the fabric to cool before you fuse other parts. Use a moderately hot iron fuse the webbing. Finish the applique with a straight stitch or a zigzag stitch if your sewing machine is capable of doing it.
  8. For layered appliqués, start sewing the bottom layer first and progressive upwards. For additional texture, consider inserting a thin later of fiberfill between the background fabric and the applique fabric.

Start an applique collection. Cut out interesting designs and patterns from magazines and children’s coloring books. You can photocopy or scan images and reduce its size.


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