Basic Applique Tutorial…

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Hi There.
Welcome to another “Share it Saturday” post where I will endeavour to share my knowledge on something sewing/quilting related with you every week…

A few people have requested a tutorial on how to do appliqué recently so I thought I’d share what I know. There are a variety of different types of applique, but I only usually ever use one type, so that’s what I’ll show you today.

These are the super basic instructions (that I hesitate even to call a tutorial) and I haven’t made anything fancy. But once you know the fundamentals of using vliesofix then you can use this technique to make any shape you want.
So here goes… Here is how to make an appliqué…

Supplies needed:
  **  Vliesofix (will talk more about this in a second)
  **  Pen/pencil
  **  Sharp paper scissors
  **  Shape template/picture/words to trace
  **  Fabric scraps or thing to fuse for the appliqué
  **  Fabric/t-shirt or whatever to appliqué your fabric onto.

All about Vliesofix:

Vliesofix is a type of fusible paper that is used for applique. I think in other countries it is called “bondaweb” and there are probably many different types/brands of the same thing. But “downunder” in Australia and New Zealand and by the look of the website in Europe, this is the product we tend to use.

It is a two way fusible paper. When you purchase it one side is smooth like paper (the side you draw/write on) and the other side is kind of bumpy (the side you stick to the back of your fabric).

I get mine from Spotlight and usually in my experience they keep it at the counter so it’s something you have to ask for at the quilt fabric cutting counter.
You can also buy it in little packets in the notions section sometimes, but I usually purchase it by the metre off the little roll they keep at the counter.

You can applique without using the product. But in my experience the results aren’t great. It stabilised the fabric and makes it much much easier to sew with better results. As well as it causes the fabric to fray less over time.
It’s around $10-15 NZ per metre I think, but to be honest I can’t remember because I haven’t bought any in ages. I tend to by a few metres at a time and always keep some on hand in my stash.

And just so you know, Spotlight is having 20% off Vliesofix and other fusibles this weekend. So if you are in NZ or Australia and don’t have any, today is a great time to buy it.
You are welcome 😉

So here’s how to use it to appliqué…

Step 1: Making your shape.

Take your fabric you wish to applique on and cut it roughly down to the size you want it. But leave a little room around the edge to trim it down after you’ve fused the fabric to your vliesofix.
(in other words don’t trim it down to your final shape yet).

Take a piece of your vliesofix and draw whatever shape you would like to use for your applique onto the smooth paper side.
Important note: Your shape will come out the reverse of how you draw it. Which is inconsequential if you are drawing a shape like a square etc, but if you are drawing letters to form a word you will need to trace them in mirror image.
It’s easy – if you have printed your letters onto paper, just flip the paper over to the reverse side, hold it up to a window (assuming it’s daytime) with your vliesofix over the top and trace the letter in reverse.

This is where I start to think I should have chosen a different shape other than a square to show you properly… sorry.

That’s the bumpy side I have facing up here… but you want to draw on the smooth side.

It is a very good idea to make your vliesofix shape a touch smaller than your fabric. Because trust me you don’t want that sticky goo on either your iron OR your ironing board.

Now we want to fuse the bumpy side of the vliesofix to the wrong side of our fabric with a very hot dry iron… (don’t use steam or it won’t work properly).
“Press” the fabric rather than “iron” back and forwards. Because you don’t want to accidentally move everything out of place OR stretch it.

Yes I lived dangerously and made mine the same size – this is a do as I say not as I do tutorial 😉 haha…

Once you’ve pressed them together leave them to cool for a little while.
The next part won’t usually work very well if the pieces are still warm.

Once they have cooled, if you have left a bit extra around your shapes, trim them down to your final size…

Carefully start to peel the paper layer away from one corner, until you have completely removed the paper layer.

You should now notice that the paper has left behind the bumpy adhesive layer on your fabric.
If it hasn’t, then put the paper back and go and press again for longer this time.

Place your applique shape onto your fabric or t-shirt in it’s desired position.
Press with your iron to stick it down.

Step 2: Sewing your shape down…

You have a few options here depending on what finish you would like your applique to have…

Either you could use a straight stitch and sew about 1/8th the inch around the entire edge of your appliqué. This looks quite nice at first, but after a few washed the edges fray up to be raw edges. Hence the name “raw edge appliqué.”

Or

If you want a slightly neater look you can do a tight blanket or zig zag stitch around the outside edge.
This way doesn’t change it’s look much after you’ve washed the item and is my preferred method for t-shirts, quilts or anything with regular washing involved.
So in this case I use a zigzag stitch with a 0.6 stitch length which is very close together.

Every machine’s stitch length is a bit different I think, so just play about for a bit until you get the look you are happy with.

Then zigzag around the entire outside of your shape…

A little tip: when you get to the corners (if they are square) make sure you have your needle on the outside edge when you stop, keep your needle down, lift the presser foot up and spin your fabric 90 degrees, then keep sewing again.
That will keep your corners nice and neat.

Congratulations you have made an appliqué!!
Easy huh.
It’s just all about the vliesofix really. Nothing else to it.

***

Here are a few other examples of ones I’ve done in the past.

Raw edge appliqué on a pouch…

Several layers of appliqué on a t-shirt…

Appliqué onto a quilt…

PS just a little tip for storing Vliesofix… Keep it rolled up nicely and try not to fold or crush it. It doesn’t like that and won’t work as well.

Hope you enjoy doing some fun applique.
As always if you use my tutorial I’d love to see your finished project 🙂

10 COMMENTS

  1. Ah, fusible applique is a wondrous thing!! I use a similar product, Steam-A-Seam2. I’ve also used “Wonder Under”. They’re all similar.
    I just love that bird on a teacup over polka dots fabric! It worked up into a very cute outfit. 😀

  2. Gorgeous appliqué bird and tea cup polka dot combo and a great tutorial which is so easy to follow. You are very talented.

    Looking at this sewing makes me wish for the days of our girls again as little girlies in skirts . They are mums now themselves. Time stands still for no man 🙂 Instead I enjoy the grandies and sometimes write a bit for my own enjoyment in my blog.

    All the very best Flutter Kath from over here in Sydney
    Alexa-asimplelife

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