Friday, 29 April 2011

ABCs of Sewing: A is for Applique

Applique is a wonderful, wonderful thing. For a year I resisted it because I thought it sounded complicated and scary when in truth, it is easy as pie and can look great. There are lots of different ways you can applique, but for me, this method is the best.

(This is my first attempt at applique, done on a baby's quilt)

You will need: 

- Fabric scraps
Bondaweb, or a similar product, which acts can be ironed on and glues the two pieces of fabric together
- A sewing machine with a zig-zag stitch
- A pattern, which can be drawn, cut out, or printed off sites like Free Applique (ignore the cheesy look - of the site - there's a lot on there!)
- Scissors
- An iron

Now cast your mind back to your early school years. This is basically just cutting out and glueing. Cut out the shapes you want from the fabric you want. Cut matching pieces of Bondaweb. Piece and layer them together as desired and arrange where you want them to go. Now, just iron them down (follow the instructions on your bondaweb or bondaweb substitute!).

You can finish here, but to make it look good and last, you now want to sew around the edges of your applique. Set your sewing machine to a zig-zag stitch and make your stitches quite small and tight, as though you were sewing a button hole. Stitch around the applique: individual pieces, the whole thing, whatever you like.

And now, you really are finished! It takes no time at all and looks brilliant. Try adding a name to a child's shirt, an embellishment to a plain coloured t-shirt, or a flower to a cotton shopping bag. The possibilities are endless, and the more you sew the larger your bag of applique-worthy scraps!

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