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Tips & Techniques > marking and sewing appliques before cutting them out

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Posted by: Janie Viers
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Posted on: 6/12/05 9:08 PM
Review Rating: Very Helpful by 4 people   
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I you have ever tried to cut out and sew a tiny item you know that preserving the shape and not messing up the stitching line is nerve racking! I draw the stitching line onto the wrong side of the fabric... but do not cut out! I put the fabric backing on and pin. I then proceed to sew completely around the shape with a very small stitch leaving NO opening for turning. This is perfect for shaped pockets and appliques. You then trim the fabric, make a tiny slit in the back, turn right side out and fingerpess or steam and, voila, instant applique or pocket.

I have make little 3 inch worry dolls like this and covered up the whip stitch opening with clothes. I have made rather intricate shaped pockets doing this, also. You make the turning slit near the bottm of the pocket and whip stitch shut.

You can use an organdy fabric if you are making appliques. Simply draw the shape (as complicated as you wish or as small as you need) on the fabric wrong side and the put the right side of the fabric together with the organdy, or interfacing, or back fabric and sew all the way around. If you use iron on interfacing for a backing, be sure to put the glue side against the feed dogs, Once slit and turned, carefully fingerpress and then when you do a final press the glue from the interfacing will adhere to the applique fabric.

I have done some really neat stuff this way, including the "gorilla" chest on DGS's monkey suit. I used a piece of felt to interfact and self fabric for front and back. After turning I was able to stitch the "muscles" and then sew it to the money suit. No raw edges to turn, no little seam allowances to cut, no tiny corners to turn.

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Jayme girl said...
great tip thanks
6/14/05 4:38 PM
Nickle said...
Very good tip. I have used the iron on interfacing and it works well. Thanks for the reminder.
6/14/05 6:26 AM
MaryLynn in Long Beach said...
I've also been known to use water soluble stabilizer for a backing. Good tip!
6/13/05 7:41 PM
Mirza said...
Great Idea! Makes the idea of doing an applique less stressful and more of a possibility. Also, like the idea for pockets. May have to try this one real soon.
6/13/05 7:25 AM
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