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Beginners Applique Tutorial - Easter Bunny

With Easter on its way here in New Zealand and Autumn I was musing a cute way to show off scraps of floral fabrics I have been hoarding in my stash. I thought back to Applique's I did many years ago for my son to embellish simple striped long sleeved tops. Appliques are really easy once you work out how to do them. You don't need much to get started. Scraps of fabric and some Applique Interfacing which effectively 'glues' your fabrics together. I wanted to share the fun of this technique with you all and maybe inspire you to make a few cute sweaters or tops for the kids too. You absolutely don't have to put these on tops, they look great as little knee covers on leggings, trackpants and to repair the odd stain or rip on clothing. So without more being said lets get onto this simple tutorial.

What you will need:

  • Heat and Bond (Applique Interfacing) - I get mine from Spotlight in NZ. You can find it here.

  • Scraps of fabric for the applique (I used Cotton Spandex scraps mostly because they don't fray so you can get away with a simple straight stitch to sew them on)

  • A precut top front (its easier to sew when its just a flat piece cut out rather than a premade top)

  • Pencil/Pen for tracing your design onto the Heat and Bond

  • A basic Design for your Applique (I will add more simple templates further down the page in case you don't want to use a bunny)

  • A Standard Sewing Machine (with a clear foot like a button foot so you can see what you are doing)

  • Suitable contrast thread for the sewing machine

  • an Iron (you'll need this to apply your applique before sewing around it)

How to do a Basic Applique:

Print out or draw a basic shape for your applique (more templates will be at the end of this tutorial for you to choose from in case you want to do something other than a bunny). Just draw it on a piece of paper. I chose to draw a simple Bunny Shape for mine by folding a piece of paper in half and drawing half a bunny shape then cutting it out and drawing around it with a felt pen to define the edges better for tracing. For this beginning tutorial I recommend only doing a single layer applique and keeping it simple.

Cut a piece of Heat and Bond big enough to place over your template for tracing. Weight your Heat and Bond and Template so it doesn't shift when tracing. Trace your design onto the paper backing side of the Heat and Bond.

Grab your scrap of Cotton Knit Fabric and turn it wrong side facing you. Place your Heat n Bond Template onto the fabric wrong side, paper side up (not the interfacing side). Place Baking Paper over them both and iron by pressing down for about 15-20 seconds. You can move the iron about but be careful not to buckle or stretch your fabric when doing this.

Give your Applique a chance to cool then cut it out following the lines you have sketched on the backing paper.

Grab the front of your precut top and peel the paper backing off your Applique.

Place your applique right side up on the front of your top positioning it about 5-6cm down from the neckline and generally centered. Iron in place, if needed cover with the baking paper to protect your iron from any of the interfacing.

Allow to cool and head over to your sewing machine to sew on your Applique.

Using a standard straight stitch with a contrasting thread start stitching around your applique. Take it slow and lift the foot with the needle still in the fabric to pivot the foot around curves and points.

I recommend starting on a larger straighter edge and back stitching a few stitches at the beginning and end. Just go steady and easy moving the applique and fabric as you go without pulling or tugging on it. Just allow the foot and needle to 'trace' around the applique shape and stitch.

Try not to go to close to the edge, you want it a few mm away from the edge but within the applique shape. (see picture).

Continue to sew your top as usual and you will have your cute wee applique top completed before you know it.

Here are a few sample templates to use for your appliques. Just right click and save the picture to your computer and print out to the size you are wanting it to be. I would suggest putting them on your top front first to see if you are happy with the sizing and shape. Have fun with it and please share your makes with us. Either tag us on Instagram or Facebook. #picklefishNZ

Pig Silhouette
Pig Silhouette

Cat Silhouette

Bunny Silhouette

Squirrel Silhouette

Basic Dinosaur Silhouettes

Thanks for following one more of my tutorials :-)


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