Make sure your applique stands out with these top tips
Applique designs come in many shapes and forms, adding a touch of personality to craft makes and dress-making projects. Once you’ve mastered the basics of how to applique on makes like cushion covers, it’s time to get a little more daring and experimental with your applique designs. We’ve got some great ideas to share with you to add a unique twist to future crafts.
1. Lettered applique designs
The best way to add a personal touch is to embellish your craft projects with an initial. Choose your favourite font type on the computer and print out the required font size. Trace the text onto a piece of fusible web and iron to the back of your fabric. Following the trace lines, cut out the letter. Peel away the backing, iron onto your make and stitch in place.
2. Contrasting thread
When stitching your applique in place, take some time to consider using a complementary or contrasting thread to your fabric. Using a different colour will help your motif to really stand out with a bright outline. Think about the stitching itself too, play around with the width of your zigzag stitch to get an interesting effect.
3. Monochrome colour way
Another way of helping the applique to stand out is to stick to monochrome colours. If you’re appliqueing a design onto a patterned or multi-coloured fabric, stick to plain black or white motifs so that the colours aren’t shouting over each other.
4. Tessellated shapes
Transform plain backing fabric by creating patterns with your applique. Choose tessellated shapes, like simple triangles in different colours, and then arrange them across your project in a repeated pattern. It will create a geometric style print to really make your applique designs pop.
5. Reverse applique
This is a very unusual type of applique and guaranteed to add dimension and interest to your applique designs. Simply put, the reverse applique means cutting a shape into your project’s material to reveal the applique fabric underneath. Cut away the top layer of fabric, snip and notch into the edge and fold underneath to create a hem. Pin and tack the under layer of material to the hem and hand sew in place.
6. Woven applique designs
For a different texture and look, weave strips of fabric together and use these as the under layer of fabric for the reverse applique technique. Choose similar colours for a tonal composition or bright primaries for a tartan effect.