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How To Translate Your Designs Into Appliqué

Photo by Thomas Kinto on Unsplash

Appliqué can be tremendous fun when you get it right. Adding additional pieces of material to existing fabrics helps with design and makes them more attractive. 

And the best bit? Anyone can do it with the right tools. 

That’s why we’ve made this guide. It walks you through the step-by-step process for transforming designs into appliqué works of art. 

Step 1: Choose Your Materials

The first step is to choose your materials and design. You’ll need to decide on a shape or form for your applique and what you want to make it from. 

Ideally, you should choose fabrics that complement your appliqué design. Everything should work together while providing additional visual interest and enhancements where necessary. 

Step 2: Prepare Your Template

The next step is to prepare your template. You need a design you’ll cut around when making your appliqué pieces. 

You can create a template on the computer or by hand. It’s up to you.

Step 3: Use Your Fusible Web

After you’ve created your templates, you can use a fusible web on your design template to trace the individual pieces onto the paper side. 

The best way to do this is to cut around the pieces with some duckbill appliqué scissors and then leave a small quantity of excess material around each. You can then iron the fusible web to the opposing side of the fabric. 

Step 4: Cut Out The Fabric

Once you’ve done that, you are ready to cut out the traced shape from the appliqué fabric. Make sure you cut accurately so that the piece has the same shape as the template. 

Step 5: Stitch The Appliqué

Once you’ve done that, you’re ready to start stitching the appliqué. Start by placing each piece in its intended position on the main or underlying fabric. Keep moving and adjusting them until you are happy with the position. 

After that, grab your iron and activate the fusible web on the other side of the fabric with heat. The heating process will cause it to bond with the underlying material. 

When it is in place, you can then stitch it into position using whatever color thread or technique you want. Many people use a whipstitch or blanket stitch when sewing by hand. However, if you have a sewing machine, you can also use a straight or zigzag stitch. 

This part is probably the most fun and gives you many opportunities to experiment. Once everything is how you want it, you are free to display your appliqué work!

Practical Advice

Generally, you should practice on odd bits of material first to get the technique right. Like any other craft, appliqué can take some time to learn and get right. 

Try experimenting with various thread lengths and widths to achieve the look you want. Be mindful of colors and how stitching patterns can affect the final design of your pieces. In some cases, you might want to use contrasting threads to highlight your pieces and make them more attractive. You can also use fabric marking tools to outline where your appliqués should go. 

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