Once you have mastered sewing simple projects, a great way to take them one step further is to personalize them with appliqués. Or perhaps you haven’t quite mastered sewing yet, adding appliqués is also a great way to hide some of your imperfections! Orrrr maybe you have something you just want to jazz up. This is a great way to give it a fresh makeover. Regardless, learning how to appliqué is a great way to add that little extra personalization to any project and a good opportunity to use some of those fancy stitches on your machines that you haven’t tried yet. Below is a tutorial written by Leslie Rutland at The Seasoned Homemaker that teaches you some of the different ways to appliqué.
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For several years I taught a class on Sewing Machine Applique at Sew Much More in Austin. In three hours I touched on the basics of sewing machine applique. In the class we did samplers of straight stitch applique, zigzag applique, fussy cut applique, reverse applique, and decorative stitch applique.
The class covered all of the basics and was meant to inspire students to go home and create their own unique appliqué projects. And many did!
Step 1 – Straight Stitch Applique
This is about as easy as it gets and adds so much to any project. Once washed, it will fray around the edges and have an even better look.
Step 2 – Lettering and Zigzag Stitch Applique
When I teach applique, I always teach students how to applique lettering and then stitch around the letters with a zigzag stitch.
Step 3 – Fussy Cut Applique
Fussy Cut Applique is one of those sewing things where the possibilities are endless. It begins with a design on the fabric, but there is so much more you can do. For my sampler all I did was stitch around the outside of the design with invisible thread.
Another possibility would’ve been to satin stitch in matching colors all of the design. Dark pink around the dark pink out edges, light pink, orange, etc. That would need to be an entire class on satin stitch applique.
Step 4 – Decorative Stitch Applique
Time to pull out those decorative stitches on your machine and play with them. See how the decorative stitching makes the design really pop out. I’ve used a variety of stitches here. The key is to play with it until you love it.
Step 5 – Reverse Applique
Reverse Applique is one of my favorites. I think it can change a kid’s t-shirt from plain to WOW! And, it can cover a hole or two in a favorite garment.
Here’s a quick look at the process. First, you need two layers of fabric. Use a heat soluble or water soluble fabric pen to trace out your design.
Next, straight stitch around the design.
Carefully cut inside the stitching.
That’s all there is to it.