Starting out in the crafty business of making children’s boutique items, I wasn’t exactly sure of this “appliqué” thing. My mom always threw the word around and I just heard it here and there, but I was never actually sure of its meaning until I recognized this IS my business and I’ve got to figure it out! In fact, I was quite intimidated by appliqué until someone showed me how to do it. That’s when I realized that I had to make them! I still had so many questions! But come to find out, appliqué is amazing!
Let’s start with the basics. My simple explanation of an appliqué is that it’s fabric cut into a specific shape that has an outline sewn around it with an embroidery stitch.
In my world, it all starts on the computer with a design, before being uploaded to my machine to be sewn onto a shirt, blanket, onesie(sic), etc. As you can see below, the designs are simple and you can see the shape and outlines of the designs.
With my computer software, I can use the 3 designs above and merge them together to make the overall layout of the design.
After merging the designs, the file is uploaded to my machine where I stitch out each step of the designs.
The machine will stitch:
- A simple outline showing me where to lay my fabric
- Then stitch down the fabric
- Then I’ll cut out the shapes
- Then finish it up with an embroidery outline stitch
It is time consuming, but the finsihed product just can’t be beat! In this case, the “Barbie” and the “6” are both appliqués. Yes, they both consist of fabric and embroidery stitches. However, the appliqué, as a whole, is the fabric and the outline embroidery stitch. The name “Parker” is embroidery only. In the completed picture above, I added a few rhinestones to jazz things up a bit. So as you can see, the sky is the limit when it comes to appliqué!
There are millions of appliqué designs out there and we’ve seen only two to make this shirt and barely scratched the surface. One of the most common questions customers ask is, “Do you make any Barbie shirts?” Ninety nine percent of the time, I answer yes to any design questions because I can usually find a design to purchase- even if I don’t already have one. You can personalize almost anything and you can also embroider and appliqué almost anything. Happy shopping with your new appliqué and embroidery knowledge! I hope this has made it a bit easier!
Contributing Author By-line:
This post is contributed by Lacey Davis, owner of Lacey Kaye Creations. She welcomes your comments and inquiries at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also view more of her work at www.laceykayecreations.blogspot.com, or find her on Facebook LKC on Facebook.