Thursday, July 24, 2014

Important tips for making applique bag

You may have bought a lot of Japanese patchwork books and intend to try making the bags just like them.  But when facing the appliques, you give up!  I am sure a lot of you may have such experience.  Well, not too worry, here is some of my tips for making applique on a piece of quilt or for my bag.  Applique is never a quick job, it is a slow work with passion.  So take it slow and absorb every way to stitch, once you learn the technique, you can really stitch your works beautifully and pretty fast :) 

Always make sure your background fabric is larger than the original pattern, normally I will have larger space by an inch or more.  This is because when one is sewing the applique, depends on the person's stitching works (especially beginners), sometimes they may pull it harder or they may use larger stitch to sew, in the end, this may cause the entire piece of work to shrink and become smaller than the original pattern.  When making your own bags, it is important to prevent this from happening because all the measure measurement is fixed and you really need to stick with the measurement, you will end up having a bag that is either mis-shape or smaller.  So leaving extra background fabric will leave you extra space to do possible correction.

Photo below :  I normally leave an inch or more for my background fabric.

Always number your applique 
Take your time to look at the pattern and number them to create sequence for your to stitch (some books may not number the applique).  Start layer-by-layer, the farthest layer should be the one to start first.  This prevents you from making mistakes.  

Number your applique from the farthest layer.  

after stitching my first layer (furthest), I will continue on my second layer of my applique.  With this method, you can slowly come to a beautiful applique works, with less mistakes.

When facing smaller applique that you can't sew ? 
You can try using the felt to help you in your works, I would suggest you to use machine to sew in this case.  This surely reduces a lot of difficulty in stitching.

 Choosing the sewing thread that has the same color to your applique
This is applicable to machine or hand stitch applique.  Your works will become very neat for sure ^v^.

Cut out fabric needs to be larger than the pattern

For hand stitch applique, after cutting out the pattern, you will need to draw it onto the fabric, always make sure your fabric is larger than your pattern when you cut it out.  Here is a guideline for you

You are excuse to miss out applique that is less significant
This is really true. Sometimes a simple tiny thing that is not significant in your project, you can actually omit it.  Or you can always find other solutions to replace that particular applique.  For example a flower applique with complicated petals to sew, you can actually replace with beautiful buttons or small fabric flowers or felt ^v^  (lazy way to make beautiful project)

Do a final check
See if you have missed out anything important.

Practice make perfect
The more you practice, the more you get to know more about applique (you may even find more ways to sew applique).  You will also be so surprised that applique can be so much fun that makes you so addicted to.  Also, when you have complete even a very simple project, you will be amazed by your hand works, the end result will be so unique and full of your own character.

The above are my ways to making applique quilt or bags.  I hope the solutions help you a lot in your future applique works.  So why don't you start a very simple project soon ?   Good luck!

Enjoy !!  ^v^


pratima said...

It was fun and interesting to read your process. Thank you for sharing :)

Story Quilt said...

Hi, Pratima. No problem at all. I hope this helps in your applique works too. This is what I gained from my failed experience :p