Choosing fabric for your Applique
The sky is truly the limit when choosing fabrics for appliqué. The only fabrics to avoid are those that tend to ravel badly, such as satin faced brocade.* One of the joys of appliqué is that many different choices are available, often within the same piece of printed fabric. Small portions of very large printed fabric work great for little appliqués. Layering sheer fabrics over other material will achieve interesting results. Give a plain cotton fabric a bit of glimmer by laying a piece of sparkle tulle or organza over it. Bold colors will be softened with a layer of chiffon or silk organza.
Thrift stores are great places to find unusual and unique fabrics for appliqué. Garments made from silk and other fine fibers are readily available at rock bottom prices. It doesn’t matter if the garment is un-wearable, the wrong size or just plain ugly! (Not to mention that it’s wonderfully therapeutic to whack up a garment with scissors on purpose!)
Fine leather, vinyl, plastic (such as flannel backed table cloths) fabric paper, wide ribbons and woven trims all make great appliqué fabrics. Don’t forget to check out your linen closet, your closet or even your husband’s closet for inspiration. If you can’t use it, can’t or won’t wear it and it is too good to throw away, give it a new life in an appliqué!
Tip: Fabrics that tend to fray* may still be used with a little special handling. Lay a piece of sheer fabric (such as silk organza or fine tulle) over the fabric when placing the appliqué fabric into position. The overlay fabric will help prevent delicate fibers from fraying later.
Back light colored fabrics with interfacing or white fabric when appliquéing on dark backgrounds. Fuse both layers together with fusible webbing then apply another layer of fusing to be used while ironing the appliqué to the background. This step is also helpful when placing a light colored appliqué over a darker colored appliqué.
The right scissors make appliqué trimming a snap. Use small, very sharp scissors with curved blades.
A Bit of Stitch
www.tools-gadgets.com Embroidery Nips (trimming scissors)
www.nancynotions.com Mini Iron & Totally Stable stabilizer
www.sprayandfix.com 505 Spray and Fix Temporary Spray Adhesive