How To Applique On Sewing Machine


Sewing and applique are two popular activities that can help create beautiful clothing and home décor. Applique is a decorative technique that adds flair and personality to fabric or clothing and can be a great way to personalize a project. To applique on a sewing machine, the right techniques and materials should be used. With the right knowledge and practice, applique can be achieved with ease. This article will explore the process of applique on a sewing machine, the materials needed, and the methods that can be used to produce even and neat stitched appliques.

Types of Fabric

When appliqueing on a sewing machine, the type of fabric used is extremely important. The fabric needs to be strong and thick enough to create a firm and permanent applique. Natural-blend fabric is recommended, such as cotton or wool, as these fabrics typically hold together better. A wide variety of weaving or quilting methods can be used for applique, including embroidery and patchwork. The most important thing is to make sure the fabric is suitable for the particular applique project.


The supplies needed for applique on a sewing machine are fairly simple. For starters, thread should be chosen that is thick enough to handle the weight and texture of the fabric. A heavy-duty needle is also recommended, as it can make the process easier and will help create a stronger and more secure applique. In addition, scissors and a template are needed to create the design and to carefully trim the applique piece.


The process of applique on a sewing machine consists of a few simple steps. First, the fabric must be layered. Place the applique piece on top of the fabric and make sure the edges of the applique piece align with the edges of the fabric. Then, stitch around the piece using a zig-zag stitch. This stitch will help create an even and strong outline of the applique. Once the applique is stitched, it can be gently ripped off the machine, or a scissor can be used to cut around the edges. Finally, the edges of the applique must be trimmed and the applique can be ironed into place.

Adding Detail

In order to add more detail to an applique, a few extra steps should be taken. Firstly, use a sewing machine to stitch any lettering, images, or other designs onto the applique piece. Use a variety of stitches such as satin, backstitch, and running stitch to add a stitched texture to the applique. Additionally, bias tape can be used to add a delightful finishing touch.


The last step in the applique process is finishing. This step can involve adding a border around the applique to give it a more polished look. Using different color threads, a decorative topstitch can be created around the applique. Additionally, hemming can be used to give the applique a neat and finished look.


When creating an applique, the design is key. Before beginning the applique process, make sure to have a clear and detailed design plan. Some of the details to consider are the shape, color, size, and type of fabric to be used. It’s also important to make sure the applique piece is wide enough to be able to fit any additional embellishments. Additionally, the applique should be cut out with precise edges in order to create a precise and neat result.


Safety is also important when appliqueing on a sewing machine. It’s important to check that the machine is in good condition and properly working before use. Additionally, ensure that the fabric and thread used for appliqueing is suitable for the sewing machine and that the settings are adjusted correctly. Make sure there are no loose threads on the fabric, and always wear a pair of safety glasses when working with the machine.


When appliqueing on a sewing machine, the fabric must be carefully layered. Firstly, place the applique piece on top of the fabric with the edges aligned. The edges of the applique and the edges of the fabric should be towards each other. Then, use a basting stitch to hold the two pieces together. This stitched line will act as a guideline for sewing the applique onto the fabric. After making sure the fabric and applique pieces are properly layered, start stitching.


The type of thread used to stitch the applique onto the fabric is also important. It is recommended to use a high-quality thread, as it is stronger and will be more durable in the long run. Additionally, the thread should be chosen based on the type of fabric being used. Cotton thread is best suited for cotton fabric while polyester thread is suitable for synthetic fabrics.


The stitching process for applique on a sewing machine is fairly straightforward and simple. Start by stitching around the edges of the applique using a basic zig-zag stitch. This stitch will provide an even and neat outline for the applique. Depending on the type of fabric being used, the stitch settings can be adjusted for different textures and weights. Different sewing machine brands may have different stitch settings, so refer to the user manual for the best results.


The use of a stabilizer or interfacing can help make the applique process much easier. This stabilizing material is placed on the backside of the fabric and helps to provide more stable and secure stitching. There are several different types of stabilizers, so find the one that is best suited for the applique project. Once the stabilizer is in place, begin stitching the applique with a basic zig-zag stitch.

Backing Material

Adding a backing material can also help with appliqueing on a sewing machine. An iron-on backing material is applied to the backside of the fabric and helps keep the applique in place while stitching. Many different types of backing materials are available, such as fusible webbing and tear-away backing. Each type of backing material has its own advantages and disadvantages, so choose the one that is right for the particular project.

Attaching Applique

After the applique has been stitched and trimmed, the next step is to attach the applique to the fabric. Depending on the type of fabric being used and the type of applique, there are a few options. For heavier fabrics, a zig-zag stitch can be used to secure the applique. Alternatively, an iron-on adhesive can be used for lighter fabrics. This adhesive can be applied to the back of the applique and heat-sealed onto the fabric.

Bias Tape

Bias tape is a great option for adding a decorative finishing touch to an applique. Stitching bias tape around the edges of an applique creates a neat and polished look. It’s best to use bias tape that is a similar color to the fabric, as this will help blend the applique into the fabric. Additionally, use a coordinating thread for the stitching to make sure the edges look neat.


The last step in the applique process is to iron the applique into place. This step is essential in order to ensure that the applique is securely attached to the fabric. Use a pressing cloth to cover the applique while pressing. Additionally, make sure the temperature setting is suitable for the fabric being used. After ironing, check that the applique is neat and evenly adhered to the fabric.


Adding embellishments to an applique is a great way to make it stand out. Embellishments such as buttons, beads, ribbons, and sequins can add flair and personality to an applique. Additionally, these embellishments can be sewn on by hand or with a sewing machine. Use a scissor or an awl to make small holes in the fabric before threading the embellishments. Sew the embellishments onto the applique following the desired pattern or design.

Hand Stitching

Finally, a hand stitch can be used to add extra detail to an applique. There are several different types of hand stitches that can be used for applique, such as the whip stitch and the running stitch. These hand stitches can help create unique details for an applique and add a special touch to the project. Additionally, hand stitching the applique can help make the process easier and gives a more personal touch to the final result.

Geoffrey Kirby is an experienced author and sewist who has been creating sewn projects for over 20 years. He has a passion for teaching beginners and inspiring more advanced sewists both online and through his writings. Outside of writing about sewing, Geoffrey loves to explore new techniques and styles of sewing that incorporate upcycling fabric remnants into sweet items with personality.

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