Thursday, September 20, 2012

a how-to for you

septemberhouse applique embroidery tutorial
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. 
applique tutorial septemberhouse
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.
applique tutorial so september
After that is done and the fabric has cooled a bit you can cut out your shape(s)
applique embroidery tutorial
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.
applique embroidery tutorial septemberhouse
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.
septemberhouse applique tutorial
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!


Ann said...

This is very pretty! I like that you went with the background colour (white) around the fabric. It looks finished, but it blends. (And the retro ornaments are very cute!)

Kay said...

This is stunning, and I love idiot proof tutorials because if I can understand it anyone can!

Hattie Hen said...

They are beautiful! So very inspiring as usual. Thanks for sharing Corinne, you make such lovely things.

Melissa Crowe said...

A. These ornaments are stunning.
B. I want to be you when I grow up.

CBH said...

Thank you so much for this post. I want to let you know that I posted a link to your blog in Creative Busy Bee Craft Inspirations, under the Page 1 post on Sep. 21, 2012. Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

Do you ever have issues with the edges of the appliqued fabric coming up?

I've tried applique + embroidery several times and I'll be darned if the edges of the applique don't start coming up. Very frustrating.


Corinne said...

Thanks for all the lovely comments everyone they are appreciated so much! :)

Glenda I guess most of my items that had appliques ended up on wall or on Christmas trees and I haven't had trouble with those. I did, however, make a small zipper pouch that had fabric applique on it and after a few months of being jostled around my purse it did start to pull off. I haven't been brave enough to try it again for a project like that. When I do though I will probably switch to a blanket stitch around the edge. This will be easy for me as the blanket stitch is one of my very favorites! :)

Glenda said...

I actually had problems with the edges lifting before I ever got the projects out of the embroidery hoop! Maybe I should try a different adhesive next go 'round =).

Corinne said...

Glenda one thing that I found makes a big difference is the fabric (100% cotton seems to work the best for me) and if it has been pre-washed. I also gravitate toward Wonder Under and I use the heavy duty stuff so maybe that makes a difference too? I'm not sure but I thought it would be worth a mention. :)

DanaK ~ WaterPenny said...

I use tons of fusible applique - Wonder Under is my choice - and find that it wears very well in the wash as long as the edges are stitched down. I do generally machine sew my edges and maybe if you were going to wash it a lot, I would machine stitch down the edges and then embroider on top of that.

I actually have an experiment where I have tried a bunch of techniques on a piece of fabric which I toss into the wash every time I do laundry so I can see how they all wear over time.

Emily said...

I love this pattern! :) I realize this post is several years old, but I was wondering if this pattern is still available to purchase? I didn't see it on your Etsy shop. :/ Thank you!