Sunday, 2 May 2010

@ cushion - the appliqué process part II

With the appliqué shape all ready, it was time to stitch it to the background fabric.  I first placed it on the marked-out outline of the shape, and put a few stitches in around the edge to keep it in place:

With a simpler shape this may not be necessary, but with this one I felt it would make my life easier!  The stitches are in black sewing cotton, and are permanent, not tacking stitches.  Here it is held in place:

I could then work my way round the shape and stitch it into place, without needing to worry that it would shift.

I always bring the needle up through the background fabric, and down through the appliqué, leaving about 0.5cm (about quarter of an inch) between stitches.

I've seen instructions elsewhere saying to do it the other way round, so I suppose it just comes down to personal preference.  I've always found the positioning of the shape easiest to control in this manner, anyway.

Here, I've stitched all the way round the inside of the loop and around the 'a', with the outside of the loop still to go:

This didn't take too long to do, followed by stitching down the oval in the centre of the 'a', so that all the shape was attached.

All the tacking stitches can now come out.  If you recall, I started and finished the tacking on the front of the shape, to make this easier.  I usually pull the stitches out with the eye end of a needle, taking care not to catch any of the stitches holding the appliqué piece.

It looks much better with them out!

But not good enough, though.  No matter how hard I try, there are always a few wobbles around the edge; these can be neatened up by stitching a line of chain stitch around the edge.  In this case I'm using black stranded cotton to match the appliqué itself, but depending on the design, a contrasting or even a metallic thread could look good.

The chain stitch can fill in little hollows and go straight across little bumps, to even out the edge and make the final piece look much neater:

Much better!

The fabric is now off the frame and is currently damp stretching; I'll do the & cushion next, and then make them both up at the same time.


  1. I found your blog through Craft Gossip and I'm so glad that I did. I love read blogs of really talented stitchers.

  2. Great! Can I realise something like that on a T-Shirt?
    thank you

  3. Marie-Andree: yes, but you'll need to make sure that you use fabrics that will wash. That includes the shape to be covered with the appliqué fabric: I've used felt, but you'd probably be better off with a washable non-iron-on interfacing such as Vilene instead. Good luck!