I'm back with another little something for you today. I was working on one of the patterns for my new holiday embroidery pattern set and decided to use some fabric appliqués. Then I thought, why not share the ins and outs of that process here with you? So, it's a 2 for 1 deal today - a sneak peek at the new pattern set AND a fun tutorial.
The first thing you need to do is decide what shapes you want to use for your fabric appliqué. I decided to make each of the ornaments in fabric for this example.
Next you will need some fusible webbing material. Two popular options are Wonder Under and Heat n' Bond. I have used both with good results - just be sure to follow the directions included with them. Both have a smoother, paper surface side and a more textured, glue surface side. The fusible webbing is semi-transparent so it's easy to place it over a pattern and trace the shape you want. It's important to trace the shape in reverse! After you have traced your shape iron the webbing material onto the back of the fabric you are going to use.
The paper layer will still be on the back of your shape at this point but you can see that the glue layer is bonded onto the fabric. Next you will need to position your appliqués where you want them to be on your base fabric. I always peel off the backing paper first so I don't need to pick them back up again once they are in place.
For this pattern I chose a semi-transparent iron-on stabilizer as my transfer method. Therefore, I have to match up my pattern with my fabric appliqués. This can be a little fiddly but with patience it does work.
Once everything is placed properly it can be ironed to set your appliqués permanently. The next step is the fun part - adding the embroidery! Once that is complete the stabilizer can be removed.
You don't have to add stitching around the outside of your appliqué but I like the finished look that it gives. And while the instructions that come along with the fusible webbing always say that the finished item is machine washable, I have never had the nerve to do it - I am kind of wimpy that way. I have, however, washed one or two things by hand and I'm happy to report that they stayed put.
There are other methods for bonding fabrics together such as sprays and glues. You can also find tutorials for sewing fabric appliqués on by hand or by machine which gives beautiful results as well. Whatever method you chose, have fun with it and enjoy the process!