Thursday, February 11, 2010

Appliqué How-To: A Tutorial

Well, now that I have started offering a few appliqué patterns on this blog, I think it's high time that I offered you a lesson on how to actually DO the appliqués so you can get busy putting these cute patterns to work.

I have been graciously invited to be a guest blogger, participating in Celebrate the BOY hosted by Rae from Made by RAE and Dana from MADE. They both have gobs of wonderful patterns and crafts for boys on their sites for the month of February so please visit these sites (and get ready to bookmark the heck out of them).



1. Puddle Jumping Designs Retro Race Car Instructions
2. Marker for tracing
3. Double-stick fusible web
4. Scissors
5. Fabric scraps (you really don't need much!)
6. T-shirt (I made mine based on Dana's tutorial. Check it out here). Or any fabric surface you'd like to appliqué.

Notice there isn't any sewing machine in this picture? That's right! When you use the double-sided fusible web, there really isn't a need for a sewing machine. So if any of you were a bit worried that you'd never be able to do this project, never fear! You just need to reach back to the basic skills you learned in grade school: tracing and cutting. Oh, and there's also ironing, but I don't think that was part of the curriculum. Anyway, this is EASY.

First, cut out all of the pattern pieces from the second page of the pattern design. Some pieces may be small so it's up to you if you want to cut them out or freehand them later. I include them so that people who enjoy doing intricate work can do so, but embroidery, freehand or leaving it blank is just fine.

Next get out one sheet of your fusible web. I like to use the Steam-A-Seam 2 Double Stick Fusible Web. The fabric doesn't fray, it bonds instantly with heat and washes well.

Notice that one side of the fusible web covering comes away easier than the other side:

This is the side you do NOT want to trace your pattern on. Flip it over and arrange the pattern pieces on the fusible web paper. Make sure you place the pattern pieces FACE DOWN on the fusible web. This will ensure that your pattern will turn out pointing in the right direction (I have done this the wrong way too many times to count. Urg.).

Cut out all of the pattern pieces leaving at least 1/8" to 1/4" of space around each shape. This is very important! I can't stress this enough. Leave room around each shape. Trust me.

Place each pattern shape on the WRONG SIDE of the fabric. This way, the right side of your fabric will be facing outwards and not bonded with the fusible web. Press down pretty hard to be sure the web is sticking to the fabric and won't move when you're ready for cutting.

If you'll notice, I did not use the wrong side of the orange fabric. I ended up having to re-do these. That happens! At least the pattern pieces are so small that I have plenty of fabric left.

Now you can cut out your pattern pieces. Be careful not to move the traced paper too much as you cut, so your fabric piece can be as accurate as possible.

Once all of your pieces are cut out, you are ready to layer your pieces on your t-shirt. Just refer to your pattern instruction to see how each layer will work. This is how they will look:

First Layer
Put the car body in position.

Second Layer
Tuck the three wheels in under the car.

Third Layer
Add with wheel detail, windows and grille.

Fourth Layer
Final touches! The racing stripe, license plate and headlights finish up your piece.

Once you are satisfied that your fabric pieces are exactly where you want them, follow the instructions for your fusible web to adhere them to your shirt. I set my iron on the cotton setting with no steam. Press for a few minutes and let it cool completely.

You're done! This should make some boy (or girl) very happy. Be sure to click on the SHOP button or Free Pattern button on the sidebar at the left for more appliqué patterns.

As always...


AutumnBrooke said...

Oh that's so cute! I'm totally addicted to steam a seam. lol It makes projects so easy but so cute! said...

This is darling! I just clicked over from Made By Rae and I love your design! I would love to link to it if you didn't mind.

twanda said...

So cute! I love it. You did a great job in the tutorial and love the design of your pattern. Is Steam a Seam better than Ultra Heat and Bond?

Lodmell House said...

I found you through Made by Rae. I am a mother of four, three girls and one boy. The poor guy doesn't seem to get as much made by mom because patterns are hard to find.
So, I am so excited to find you! I have also been wanting to learn how to applique! I am so excited!!!

Suzanne said...

I just came over from Made by Rae too. This is such a cute applique!
Nice blog too..I love the ideas you have for your kids room!

the mama monster said...

yep stopping by through made by rae also. i love appliques, i make alot of them for my boys. i have to agree with you on the steam a seam, nothing else even comes close! thank you for this cute,cool car design! off to explore the blog more!

Tao Of Craft said...

Thanks for sharing this tutorial! It is the BEST applique tutorial that I have seen...I can not wait to get started! I will be linking this to my blog!

craftyNHmom said...

In the past I've had bad luck with washing Heat N Bond Ultra appliques I've made, it was so discouraging to see them fall off after a few washings. ...I'm going to try your method with steam-a-seam! Thanks for the info!! Very nice blog too!

Priscila said...

seriously! Love this will have to try it!!!

When you get a chance I would love it if you would pop in and say hello! I have 2 giveaways going on right now and a new one every Sunday. Be sure to follow me (if you would like) so you dont miss out!! :)

Megan @ Megity's Handmade said...

Coming by through the Mama Monster. She sent this link my way. This is such a cute tutorial. I'm off to explore your blog for a bit now.

Jackamo said...

Good tutorial, Jen! Hooray for all the traffic you're getting from other blogs!! So proud of you :)

Suzanna said...

I too came from Made by Rae. I love this! I cannot wait to try it out soon! I have a dd, 2 1/2 years old, and she is VERY girly but also loves cars and cute bugs and any animal...I see so much I can do with this!! Thanks!

(My personal blog is private, but here's my new business blog: if you feel like having a look see.)

Andrea @ said...

So cute!! I love all the detail! Great work. Thanks so much for sharing!

Andrea said...

Fantastic! Thanks for sharing your craftiness :)

Amanda said...

I featured this today on Today's Top 20!