Bodice Neckline Applique

This is how I add an applique to the neckline of a bodice.

I used to use sticky back stabilizer exclusively, because I could not stand when the embroidery shifted and the Celtic knots did not line up. About a year ago, though, I got over myself mainly because the number of thread breaks and the slow stitch speed had finally driven me nuts. Now, I hoop my stabilizer and use temporary adhesive spray.

Since I float all of my fabrics, when it is important I first stitch out a placement cross onto the stabilizer. This same cross has been drawn in chalk on the back of my fabric. I then lightly spray the temporary adhesive onto the stabilizer.

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After I line up the cross on the back of the fabric with the stitched lines on the stabilizer, I run a basting box around the area to be embroidered. Then, an outline of the applique area is stitched. (I have digitized all of these lines into my embroidery file.)

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Next, I spray the stabilized applique fabric with the temporary adhesive so it will not shift on the base fabric…

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…and then lay it over the applique area, making sure to check that the area is covered.

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Now, I run double lines to tack down the fabric.

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Here’s a closer look at the double lines. Why double? I have found that the two lines keep the fabric from fraying (even if the outside line gets clipped here and there) and then pulling away from underneath the covering satin stitch line. Because there are 2 lines, I can trim as close as possible so I can avoid any fuzzies showing.

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Trimmed.

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Finished and ready to be cut out.

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Sometimes, when both fabrics are thick, I might lay the applique first, and then after tackdown of the “base” fabric, trim the larger piece of fabric away from the area, but I always worry that the 2 fabrics might pull apart. I tend to do the above as often as possible.

Sequin Appliques

(Bitch alert: On the ID voy boards, someone used the word “sequence” when they meant “sequins”…makes me want to take my red pen and mark up my computer screen!)

I could have sworn I did a post about sequin appliques years ago, but maybe not.  And sequins are back…I cannot tell you how happy I am not to be making dresses anymore.  I know, there are worse things than sequins (tissue lame, acetate, lycra, silk velvet, brussel sprouts…), but satin stitching over the edges of sequin appliques was always an activity that left me twitching because it was NEVER as smooth as satin stitching over flat fabric…no matter what I did, and I did it all.  It was a lesson in artistic humility…do your best and then stop looking at it!

Susan taught me to use the same solvy topper that we use when embroidering on velvet.

This works in 2 ways: first, it keeps loose sequins from flying off wildly and blinding you or getting into your machine works or ending up in your dinner casserole (ask me about that sometime); and second it can help smooth out the edges of the applique where you have cut the sequins…notice I used the word “help.”  Cut sequins have a mind of their own and never lay flat so your satin stitching looks like it has been done by a toddler even if you have digitized it all perfectly!!

So,  is it possible to have great looking sequin appliques?  Yes, with a little extra work.

I use two separate running stitch lines for the applique tackdown which helps keep the perforated sequins flat. Then, when cutting the applique after tackdown, I take the time to remove loose or especially sharp sequins around the edge. In my more OCD moments, I have totally removed all sequins from the edges, but this is time consuming and really not cost effective.

If satin stitching by hand, go over the edge twice.  I suppose you could digitize the design to go over the edge twice, but I have found that most home machines can get stuck with the extra bulk and/or put holes in the fabric because the stitching is more dense. My commercial machine can handle the bulk, but I do not care for height of the resulting satin stitch.

If the design is digitized and the computerized machine is doing all the work, I have found the edges look best when I use a tearaway on TOP of the applique after trimming.  Since the tearaway is stiffer, it is harder for the sequins to move and poke up, especially if there are two running stitch lines for the tackdown. This does of course run the risk of leaving you with some fuzz when you rip off the tearaway, but that is easily removed and wears away rather quickly.

I used the tearaway on top of this cute little patch:

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(I always think these ID dresses and patches are so delicate, but I actually found this test patch a few months later after it had accidentally gone through the washer and dryer, and it looked perfect!  It was a quiet, proud moment for me and my patch…)

I did use the solvy on the sequins on this sleeve, but this is one that I sat and removed every last loose sequin…it served to calm my mind at the time since all the fabric on this dress was so delicate and expensive.

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I used tearaway on these appliques.  I also had extra help keeping the edges smooth because there is another copper fabric covering the edges…you can see it in between the copper satin stitching.

 

There was a long post about satin stitching in general here: SATIN STITCHING AND APPLIQUES

Happy sewing!