Traditional Applique..with a little help


Welcome to Tuesday’s Tips from SewVeryEasy, my name is Laura. And do you like to hand- or machine-appliqué, but you don’t like the work to get to the hand-appliqué part? I have a quick tip for you which will speed up the process. To start with you’re going to need some water-soluble stabilizer. What it is, is it looks like paper that you’re going to be able to stitch on, but when it gets into the water it actually disintegrates, so you have no paper in behind. Trace whatever it is that you want to appliqué on the paper. Cut out the shape, leaving some seam allowance. With the fabric right-side up you’re going to be able to put the stabilizer right on top of the fabric with whatever shape you’ve already cut out. You’re going to be able to stitch right along that line. Cut out the shape, leaving ¼” or ⅛” seam allowance. Then you need to put a hole in your paper, so separate the fabric from the paper and just cut a notch, or you can even cut a little hole. Turn this right-side out. Because it’s like a paper, it’s not going to turn the same as fabric, but with a little bit of persistence, you will be able to get that turned and it will give you that nice shape. Press it. The next would be sewing the appliqué onto the main fabric piece. You can machine-stitch it or you can hand- stitch it. I’m going to do a machine stitch all the way around. The shape has been stitched down. Now with traditional appliqué, you cut the back fabric out so that you don’t have all the extra layers. We’re going to do the same. Pull the two pieces of fabric apart from each other and you will be able to get your scissors into the back fabric. I like to use a little snip for this. Make sure you’re not catching the front fabric. Then just cut out the back fabric. You can at the same time take out some of the fabric on the back. I’m going to take out some on one side and leave the other to show you the difference. The next thing we’re going to need is water. You’re going to take your piece and put it right in the water. Did you see how that stabilizer is just dissolving? You don’t even need to wring it out. Just let it dissolve on its own. When the stabilizer is dissolved, just take the appliqué piece and put it on a nice fluffy towel and let it dry. Don’t press it while it’s wet. Pressing while it is wet will stretch all of this out of shape. Wet fibers are soft and they can stretch very easily, so just let this air dry. Once it’s dried you’re going to be able to press it. Now you have the appliqué piece onto the background fabric and you have no additional bulk because it has all been removed. Now it’s very much like the traditional appliqué. So for your next appliqué project, give the water-soluble stabilizer a try. It might just save you some time. Thank you for joining me today on Tuesday’s Tips. Feel free to subscribe and, as always, come on back. Let’s see what we’re sewing next time
on the sewing room. Bye for now!

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