Not Your Basic Applique Technique

A-A-Appliques! I have a deep love for appliques of all sizes, types, and shapes.  This is one my favorites, and my new favorite way to apply them.  I found this one a while ago, but it came in off white, but I really wanted it to be more solid white.  So, I soaked it in bleach water for about 10 minutes and then sent it through a quick wash cycle.  I noticed after I washed it was a little softer- which I do like.  I’m not sure if it shrunk any, but just like fabric shrinkage is always a possibility.  I am going to measure my next one before and after I wash it, just to see 😉

I like to size things up first.  I do this by lining up my applique with the pattern I am using and the space where I plan to apply it.  Just to be sure I won’t have any surprises on the fit when I go to sew it up.

Cut out your pattern pieces

  • I have cut the front and back to a “cropped” length, just as the pattern calls for.
  • *Not from the pattern*  Cut a lining front and back.  This will be the exact same shape as the pattern, just cut it 2.5″ long on the side seam.
  • Optional lace- I made 2 layers of lace, one is 1″ longer than the other.  I cut them 2X the pattern width.
    *You will see later in my finished pictures, I don’t have the lace on my top. I had to cut it out, because I accidentally  cut too much off when I was adjusting the fit of the top. 🙁

Adjusting the back to fit the applique

Remember when I measured the applique on the pattern piece?  I marked a few important places the applique will sit on the back.  Now you are going to line up the applique with those marks and decide how open you want the back to be.  Mark the new shape of your back pieces and cut away the extra fabric.   I have my lining on top of my main back piece.

Let’s get sewing!

  • Sew your side seams on both your lining and your main top.
  • Slide the lining inside the main top, with right sides together.
  • Sew along the neckline, armholes, and back.
  • Leave the shoulders open!
  • Flip it right side out, and press or pin all seams flat.
  • Hem the bottom of your top.

Applying the applique

  • Mark the center of the back.
  • Line up the applique in the center and pin it in place.
  • I just lots of pins!  You don’t want this thing to move.
  • When you sew it on, only sew it to the main top, not the lining.
  • You will use a zig-zag and sew it in as many areas as you can.  I follow the thickest areas of the applique.
  • Line up the shoulder straps with the ends of the applique, over lapping them 1/2″.
  • Sew with a zig-zag.

*Optional Lace*

  • Sew or serge the side seams of the lace together.
  • If you are using your serger, you will need to finish the side seam.  Here is how I do it:
    • Leave a long tail at the end of your side seams.
    • Take the tail and flip if over on top of the serged seam.
    • Serge right back over it.  This will lock the stitches in.
  • Now take your lace layers and quarter them.
  • Quarter your lining.
  • Match up the lace and lining at the quarter marks.
  • Sew together stretching the lining to fit the lace.
  • You can gather the lace too, I just like short cuts!
  • You don’t need to hem or finish the bottom of the lace.

As much as I loved the lace, this is still one my favorite tops!

Like my lace shorties?  Here is my DIY Lace shorties tutorial.

Need more help?
Join me in my Facebook group.

Like my fabric?
My panel is from  Riki Prints Custom Knit Fabric

More tutorials:
Basic tips for sewing with knits
Quick & Easy three step hems
DIY Boot toppers

Additional Applique tutorials:
How to Sew an Applique
How to Sew an Applique 2.0

Comment and let me know how you like my tutorial.  If you use my tutorial or sewing tips and share them, please link back to me or use the hashtags  #LittleRagamuffinTutorial #LittleRagamuffinTip


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