Applique is actually considered a beautiful fabric decorating method. In this technique, fabric pieces are layered over the fabric in order to create beautiful designs.
The pieces are smoothly stitched to the background fabric with multiple decorative stitches like satin stitches, zig-zag, or buttonhole stitches.
And, most importantly, you can do applique work by hand and as well as by machine.
Nowadays, the emergence of high-end Embroidery machines and digitized applique designs have just made applique quite easy for those who possess these machines.
Whereas, for those who do not have them, several simple methods are there that can be used to do this beautiful work.
The satin stitch or zigzag on a sewing machine is commonly used to bind the edge while attaching the appliqué pieces at the same time.
Machine appliqué can be done quite easily and quickly.
This provides ease in making it a better choice for large appliquéd areas. Now it’s time to learn how to applique with a sewing machine.
Materials required to applique with a sewing machine
A regular cotton sewing thread is usually used to do machine applique.
Sometimes it is also better to use some glitter and shine. Plus, for the needle thread, you can even choose a similar colour as the applique pieces rather than the background piece.
Pins and Needles
For sewing machine applique, light to medium weight fabric is best suitable with an 11 sharp needle that is commonly used.
Whereas, for heavyweight fabrics like denim, 14 -16 sharp machine needles would be better.
You also need some pins to keep the applique pieces in place. Plus, you can baste stitch as well.
Fray check and Press cloth
Fray check is not as important as other things therefore it is considered an optional tool.
You can make use of it to stop the fraying edges of applique pieces only if you find any after you complete the applique.
On the other hand, a press cloth or also called a special applique pressing sheet to save your iron from all those web marks.
The press cloth also prevents the shine marks on the fabric.
Due to different types of interfacing, applique can vary, soluble, iron-on, adhesive, tear away, mesh stabilizers, or cutaway.
Interfacing is used to give the background fabric some stability when the stitching is done.
The tear-away stabilizer is preferred. It is also used under the applique pieces, lightweight iron-on fusible and result in a neat and crisp look to the finished work.
Plus, the Seam ripper is very important to have with you while practicing how to applique with a sewing machine,
For all your mistakes. With that, Iron is also among the must-have supplies. As a steam iron is needed to adhere to the fusible web or interfacing.
Learn how to applique with a sewing machine in 5 steps
Cut out a motif
The motif, in case, if repeated, should start with a template. it can be done from a download, online source, print, and cut out copyright-free art.
Usually, an existing template will have enough information regarding how much is required to resize it.
Now, just put the wrong side of your template on the right side of the appliqué fabric, and then trace with a disappearing ink fabric pen.
Position the applique piece.
In this step, you need to position the appliqué template or piece on the background fabric.
It would be better to make use of a disappearing-ink fabric pen to outline the design.
For a large motif or several pieces in a pattern, you can also use a tracing wheel or transfer paper to transfer the template design.
Pin the pieces
Baste or pin the appliqué piece to the background fabric. So, While pinning, try to keep the head of the pin to a safe distance from the edge of the motif in order to prevent catching it in the seam.
In case you are appliquéing numerous pieces, don’t rush, just secure and sew one piece before moving on to another.
This will result in cutting down on handling, which might fray the fabric edges.
Stitch them in place.
Using a machine set to satin stitch or zigzag stitch, smoothly sew around the perimeter of the motif.
It is recommended to use a short satin stitch or zigzag for smaller pieces, but for larger ones, use longer stitch lengths.
In order to finish, you need to tuck the thread tail back under the stitches by using a hand with a needle.
Clean and trim any loose threads with pointed scissors. Keep repeating with the remaining appliqué pieces.
Now the last, but most important step, Now the last, but most important step, where reverse applique is actually a different take on applique.
It provides ease by creating a cutwork look by simply attaching the applique to the back of the background fabric.
After you are done with the applique stitching, the background fabric is cut away and reveals the applique piece underneath.