Friday, December 4, 2009

DIY Mom Does Christmas Applique

Aren't these Christmas appliques cute? Today, I'm going to post directions and free patterns for these super-easy embellishments.

If you're like me, you're probably into everything Christmas right now--decorating, baking, shopping, Christmas cards, and more.

Despite some bouts of sickness, our family is plugging away at our holiday to-dos... The decorations are up, the Christmas cards are done, and we are going to cut down our live tree tomorrow. Next on the agenda: holiday cookies!

Something I enjoy doing this time of year is making matching holiday outfits for my girls. Last year, I made some fantastic holiday twirl skirts from You Can Make this (Bella twirl skirt pattern).

I'm not a pro seamstress, though, so it took me hours. This year, looking to scale back, I decided to do some really easy, no-sew applique. All you need is a package of fusible web (this is the "glue" that holds everything together when you activate the bonding process with heat), some fabric scraps, and fabric paint to finish the raw edges. You'll also need to get your iron and ironing board out. This project definitely meets my criteria of being inexpensive, quick, and easy. And, best of all, everyone seems to think I'm some kind of crafty goddess :)

You can easily find your supplies at most craft and/or fabric stores.

In my area, I like to go to Joann Fabrics. For convenience sake, here are links to the products I buy from Joann's--fusible web, fabric paint, and fat quarters (quilters' terms for smaller sized squares of fabric, which is often cheaper than buying by the yard, particularly if you're only appliquing a pair of jeans or two). You'll also want to choose your applique base. In my case, I chose jeans and a plain white tee, which I layered under a solid red top.

1. Once, you gather your supplies, start by clicking on the preview images below to download my very simple patterns here, or sketch your own.

Place the patterns under a sheet of fusible web and trace them, making sure you are tracing on the side of the fusible web sheet that has the adhesive layer attached to it. You can hold the sheet up to a window if you have a hard time seeing the pattern through the sheet of fusible web.

2. Roughly cut around each pattern piece that you traced onto the fusible web.

3. Take the backing of the fusible web off and place the roughly cut out pattern piece on the BACK of your fabric. Iron on high for about 5 seconds to fuse the adhesive to your fabric.

4. Cut your piece out neatly and now you're ready to pull off the last piece of paper and your pattern piece should be sticky on the back.

5. Place the pattern piece on your tee or jeans in its final "resting place" and iron on high for 10 seconds to permanently set it.

6. Repeat with each pattern piece until you have all pieces ironed in place. Let cool.

7. Use different colors of fabric paint to outline/finish off all edges of applique. Make sure you are generous with the amount of fabric paint used--it will dry into a thinner line. You want the paint edging to totally cover the fabric edges with no gaps. You can always go back after the paint dries and add more paint if needed. Of course, those sewing queens who can do a decent satin stitch should feel free to machine stitch around their appliques! :)

Now, wasn't that easy?

I typically advise folks to machine wash items with fabric paint cool and dry cool, but the fabric paint is amazingly resilient to wear and washing. The only really big no-no is to NEVER IRON ON THE PAINT! It will melt. Another tip is that if you find the paint is wearing thin or you missed an area, you can always go back and add more paint.

Happy appliquing! Please feel free to post with any questions or to show off your creations.

Learn fun and easy gift-giving ideas you can make!

You can also go to You Can Make This for more detailed applique e-books and fantastic applique patterns for all seasons.

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