I have finally found a system that works for appliques. Unfortunately, it takes a lot of time and patience.
Please note that this isn’t the be-all-to-end-all. This is a solution that’s worked for me. Also, this has only been tested on COTTON. It will probably not work as well for satin, but I still need to test that.
I didn’t take pictures of the entire process, so I will try and explain as best as I can.
- Fabric [duh]
- Stitch Witchery
- Fray Check
- Test fabric
- Appropriate thread colors
1) Cut your design to scale out of the necessary fabric. Arrange and edit the design as necessary. Make sure that you’ve placed it against the piece you’re applying it to so you know it looks right!
2) Once you’re satisfied with your design, put Fray Check on the edges. Let dry completely.
3) Cut strips of Stitch Witchery to go underneath each element of the desgin. Larger pieces require more strips.
4) Heat up the iron to cotton setting and start ironing the pieces for the applique together with Stitch Witchery. DO NOT IRON IT ONTO THE FABRIC IT WILL GO ON. For example, in my Hanami flowers, I first ironed the black stigmas. Then, I placed the gold center.
5) Iron the applique to the fabric using Stitch Witchery.
6) While the fabric is cooling, take the test fabric and set your sewing machine to a zigzag stitch. Play around with the stitch length and width until you find one that works for your costume. On my flowers, I used a 2.5 stitch length and a 0.5 stitch width [I think. I may have gotten those numbers backwards].
7) Thread the machine for the color of the applique and sew the edges. When going around curves, move slowly. You may have to stop to raise the presser foot to orient the fabric better.
8) Sew each edge of the applique pieces in their respective thread colors.
9) Gloat at how beautiful it looks. 😀
- If you have extra Stitch Witchery showing up [like in my pictures], iron the piece until it melts into the fabric.
- You might want to consider using tear away interfacing underneath to add stability, especially with difficult-to-work-with fabrics such as sheers and satins.
- I’ve been told that using an embroidery hoop to tighten the fabric will help a lot. Who knew? I don’t embroider so I wouldn’t have known that.