Applique Crafting Basics with Darlene Cahill
A stain, a run, a rip, a tear… don’t ditch it if it’s something you love to wear! Everyone is fascinated by applique! Applique is not just decoration, in addition to making a design, pattern or picture it can be a stabilizing patch, add strength to a threadworn area or weight to a lighter item. Borrowed from the French, applique by definition is a “smaller thing that has been applied”. Applique’s common technique is to add small pieces to the top of fabric. What originally began as a sensible way to patch and conceal rips has grown into an art form. Today, applique can be seen on quilts from around the world in addition to customizing garments and accessories.
You can cut out small pieces by hand or with a personal digital cutting machine. You can use your machine’s built-in stitch patterns or free motion your own designs to secure the pieces in place. Applique can cover stains, lavishly decorate or simply express your point of view. There are many techniques of applique for many skill levels. Whatever your rendition, it can be interesting, colorful and uniquely yours! Let’s start with the basics of fusible applique.
Heat N’Bond , Stitch Wichery (sold in sheets or by the yard)
Fabric to make appliques; can be cotton, denim, satin, felt, lace, organza—practically anything can be cut and applied!
Heat activate fusible applique
3) Peel off the paper and place the applique with adhesive side down onto the foundation piece.
4) Using your iron, gently press in place–don’t move the iron back and forth. You could scrunch your applique pieces. Now you’re ready to stitch them into place.
5) This is when I usually press a heat activated interfacing to the back of the project . You can also use freezer paper, iron-on tear-away stabilizer…. your choice. You’ll get better results if you stabilize.
6) Now topstitch each applique. You may use a decorative stitch, satin stitch or even free-motion to add a decorative element while keeping the applique in place. Satin stitch was used on the blue strips to break up the paisley background. A 2mm pin-stitch was used on the outside yellow petals. The red flower was added on with the star stitch to give a feathery quality to the edges. The centerpiece is accented by two rows of crescent stitches. Then a raveled strip wound and stitched down in the center for stamens. Now go give it a try!
Serger or Sewing Machine?
Imagine trying to cook dinner without a stock pot…. or hanging a picture on the wall without a hammer….or working in the garden without a spade. You can struggle through and figure out a way in each of those circumstances but having the right tool certainly makes the going easier and the results more professional! Just as a well equipped kitchen has cookware, silicone bakeware and utensils, a well equipped sewing area has a sewing machine, serger and steam/dry iron. This blouse front is an obvious example of how you’ll use all these tools in a single piece of apparel. The silk crepe rolled hem ruffle was done with the three thread serger setting using wooly nylon in the upper looper, then off to the sewing machine to gather the strip using the gathering foot. The heirloom trim stitched onto the batiste with an edge joining foot and hemstitching option , the auto-sized buttonholes with a one-step buttonholer, the tucks with a 1/4″ foot…. then back to the construction of each worked piece using the serger–this time 4-thread overlocking for the inside seams. It’s also important to press after each process to build the next step on a firm, even and stable foundation. Integrate the use of all your tools and your results will speak for themselves!
When you first open your Futura Program, there’s a window that has dozens of friendly user tips. In an effort to ‘hurry up and start embroidering’ it’s tempting to close that screen without going through the list but every now and then it’s a good idea to review these bits of info. You may see something that you didn’t notice before.
Here’s a quick review of 12 tips in random order:
1) Save all designs before sewing
2) You can get detailed HELP by clicking the function and typing F1 on the keyboard
3) Make different folders to organize your embroidery designs
4) It’s not necessary to close a design before opening another
5) Use the “Stitch Processor” to change the size of a stock design
6) A Minimum of 1mmm between stitches makes for a smooth stitching design
7) If you increase the size of a design, check for a max of 8mm in stitch width to prevent unraveling
8) You can choose “Select Design to Move” to quickly move an entire design
9) You can delete a block(s) or design in 2 steps: 1)click it 2) hit delete
10) Using a neutral screen color is easy on the eyes
11) You can change the size of a design by millimeters, inches or percentage
12)When a stitch is long, the fabric will pull more…..to be continued……
When to Watch
For more tips and tricks for sewing check out our show schedule:
October 27th Singer Today’s Special
12 am, 1 am, 8 am, 12 pm, 3 pm, 7 pm, & 11 pm
See you on-air!
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