g Text Version
Beauty & Self
Books & Music
Food & Wine
Health & Fitness
Hobbies & Crafts
Home & Garden
News & Politics
Religion & Spirituality
Travel & Culture
TV & Movies

Bored? Games!
Take a Quiz
Rate My Photo

Natural Living
Folklore and Mythology
Distance Learning

All times in EST

Full Schedule
g Sewing Site

BellaOnline's Sewing Editor


Applique for Embellishment

Applique is a design influence that can be hand sewn - where the edges of the applied shape or design is carefully folded under a scant amount and nearly invisible small regular stitches are used to tack down the piece (needle-turn applique), or edges are machine sewn to the fabric backing using a narrow zig zag top stitch (raw-edge applique), satin stitch or any of a selection of a machine’s built-in decorative stitches. Applique designs can even be glued or fused onto a fabric backing first then the edges are hand sewn or machine sewn usually to ensure they remain in place.

Applique is known as a textile craft with a timeless origin, spanning all cultures, perhaps as a decorative means to patch up holes in clothing to extend the life of the garment, later as an astonishing art form that decorated not just bedcoverings but mobile palaces and the walls and clothing of royals. Applique work has even been used to tell a story of a historical event. Some designs have survived millennia carved into ancient stone.

Basic Applique Techniques

Freezer paper template – Trace desired shape onto the dull side of the freezer paper, then place onto fabric piece, iron in place with the shiny side down, cut out leaving a scant 1/4 inch seam allowance, peel off freezer paper and proceed with pinning shape onto larger fabric backing, using a turn-needle approach to turning or folding under the edge of the shape by using the needle to push the seam allowance under the shape then taking a small stitch into the turned edge letting the thread travel within the fold to exit the fold and take a very small stitch into the backing fabric, continuing around using this method. An alternative is to trim the shape to a scant 1/8 inch and use a machine zig zag stitch on the edges, or satin stitch or decorative machine stitch to enclose the edges.

Fusible interfacing method – trace applique shape onto the interfacing, cut out shape leaving a scant 1/4 inch seam outside the tracing, place adhesive side down on right side of shape, stitch on the traced line, cut out on the outside ¼ inch seam edge, cut small slit into the center of the interfacing, then pull fabric through the slit, smooth edges neatly and iron onto the fabric baking. Use a decorative machine stitch to encase the edges or hand stitch using very small nearly invisible stitches. Alternatively use a matching or clear thread to tack down the applique edges if a nearly invisible stitch is desired.

Raw edge applique – uses a double fusible interfacing where the template shape is cut out exactly with no seam allowance, fused to the wrong side of the fabric piece, shape is cut out and fused to the larger fabric backing. A zig zag, blanket stitch or other decorative stitch is used on the shapes' edges to tack them securely.

There are many other hand and machine applique techniques that can be found online with useful video tutorials to follow. This ornamental needlework technique of applying a small fabric shape onto a larger fabric backing to produce creative design elements is a fascinating and artistic craft.

Applique as viewed on Pinterest

Sew happy, sew inspired.

Add Applique+for+Embellishment to Twitter Add Applique+for+Embellishment to Facebook Add Applique+for+Embellishment to MySpace Add Applique+for+Embellishment to Digg Applique+for+Embellishment Add Applique+for+Embellishment to Yahoo My Web Add Applique+for+Embellishment to Google Bookmarks Add Applique+for+Embellishment to Stumbleupon Add Applique+for+Embellishment to Reddit

RSS | Related Articles | Editor's Picks Articles | Top Ten Articles | Previous Features | Site Map

For FREE email updates, subscribe to the Sewing Newsletter

Past Issues

Printer Friendly
tell friend
Tell a Friend
Email Editor

Content copyright © 2018 by Cheryl Ellex. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Cheryl Ellex. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Cheryl Ellex for details.


g features
Stitching by Hand

T-Shirt Upcycle or Recycle

Colorful Picnic Accessories

Archives | Site Map


Past Issues

Note: BellaOnline uses cookies to help provide a consistent user experience. Our advertisers may use cookies to help customize ads. Please contact us with any question about our cookie use.

Summertime Foods
Corn on the Cob
Burgers on the Grill
Apple Pie


| About BellaOnline | Privacy Policy | Advertising | Become an Editor |
Website copyright © 2018 Minerva WebWorks LLC. All rights reserved.

BellaOnline Editor