Monday, February 28, 2011

Applique' Tutorial

     Today was "re-entry" day for me - that is what John and I call it when life goes back to normal after being so out of step for a while.  It mostly went really well until neither girl really napped, so we had a dinner melt down that led to an early bedtime.  I have heard it said that these are the Longest Days and the Shortest Years, and that really resonates.  My days are filled with caring for my little friends which takes a lot of energy, but as I even look back at the last two months, I cannot believe that March is here tomorrow.
     I will share one little funny before the tutorial.  This morning, I watched Lily run towards the living room with a wash cloth in hand saying, "I'm going to clean the kitty."  Makes me giggle all over again as I write that.  There was a lot of scampering and no kitty that had a willing spirit to be cleaned by Lily.  Moving on.

     You may or may not have ever heard of or done applique'.  It is one of my favorite things, and I use it all the time.  I did a tutorial on this for the moms' Bible study that I attend, and I thought I would share it again on the blog.  I made a baby gift for a friend this weekend who is expecting baby Nathan, and here's what she got.


I got the onesie for $3.99, and the fabric was about $1 (I got 1/8 of a yard, which is the smallest amount you can get at Hobby Lobby.) So, it is a fun, personalized gift for around $5 and 30-45 minutes.  You can use this on clothes, bags, towels - anything fabric.  And since there are so many fun fabrics out there, your possibilities are endless!  Here's the scoop.

Something I figured out sort of recently is that I like the way it looks when I use a font for lettering instead of just drawing something.  So I usually type out whatever name or initial that I am using and change the font till I get something that I like.  In this case, I used Copperplate Gothic, at size 350.  To save on printer ink, I make it an outline.


After I print it out, I cut it out.  (pay no attention to those other letters for a different project . . .)


I set the letter on the fabric to be able to cut the fabric the size that it will need to be.


Then I cut the Steam a Seam to about the size of the fabric.  I love this stuff.


I try to cut the Steam a Seam to be a little smaller than the fabric so none of it sticks to the iron.


Iron the fabric onto the Steam a Seam.  (or Wonder Under, or any other fusible webbing that will accomplish the same thing.)


Then I trace the letter (or shape) backwards onto the backside of the fabric that has the paper on it.


Cut out your letter, and peel the paper away from the fabric.


Position the letter where you want it to be and iron it on.  30 seconds or so on high heat usually does the trick.  Most fusible webbings come with clear instructions on how to best use them.


You could be done there, and it would stay on for quite a while, even through washing and drying.  I like to go a step further, because I like the way it looks, and it makes it more durable.  I sew around the edge about 1/8 of an inch inside the fabric.  This doesn't take long with something simple like a letter and gives it a little extra something.


And that gives you a custom gift or something fun for you or your little one.  Applique' has so many applications and ways to use it creatively.  You can layer with shapes, textures, pattern and color.  Now you are ready to cut and iron on to your heart's content.  I have used this extensively to personalize stuff for my girls, and you can even see another example of it in the girls' shirts here on my blog.