PDP Exclusives by Rebecca

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Brooke Van Gory Applique Tutorial

Hey everyone Brooke here! You all are asking me about sharing some of my sewing knowledge with you. Well not only will I help you out by posting about a bunch of resources I have, but I am going to do a bunch of tutorials, as well. This is my first, for the process I use to do applique. I also plan on doing tutorials on how to make a pillowcase, kid's pants, and curtains. If there is anything SPECIFIC you would love to see or know how to make, please feel free to ask over on the Facebook page, or e-mail us at modernrosies@gmail.com.

Now, on with the GOOD stuff. For this project you will need the following:
UnderWonder fusable interfacing
sewing machine threaded with color you would like to be seen (or not seen) on the finished applique
template for shape (there are a ton on this site)
item to be appliqued on (in this case tee shirts, but you can so pants, skirts, towels, whatever)
fabric to MAKE the applique on (fleece and flannel do not fray as much, if you are worried about that..)

For this project I decided to make some cute toddler tees with skull ties on the front. I did not have a tie pattern that I really liked, so I actually just made my own.

First step is to draw your pattern directly on the paper backing of the under wonder then cut it out. Place the Under Wonder on your fabric that you wish to be in the shape of your applique. The paper side should be facing UP, and the rough part should be touching the WRONG side of the fabric (the side that the pattern is NOT on) At this point, make sure your pattern will be facing the correct direction. I did 2 of these ties with the skulls upside down, and had to go back and re-do them. *DOH!* What can I say, this is what I get for doing this at 4am.
Lay your cotton fabric on a heat-safe surface with the under wonder on top, and press with your iron on cotton setting. MAKE SURE you iron for a good amount of time (I am sure there are instructions on the package, I never have read them..) After you are sure the interfacing has bonded to the cotton, grab your scissors, and cut on the line of the shape you have made.

Essentially at this point, you have created an iron-on patch. The only difference between this patch, and those you can buy at a store, is that yours is in a cool print, a cool shape, and therefore more awesome then the retail ones. Also? You will have to tear off the paper backing, do so carefully. If you find the fusible webbing is not bonded firmly to the cotton, and this point, you can lay the paper back on the cotton, and re-iron it. Please be careful to not get the fusible gunk on your iron, it is crazy hard to get off your finished product.
Next step is to place your patch on what you want to affix it to. So I tossed those bad boys on the tee shirts. Grab an old pillowcase or towel, and iron the shape on your tee shirt. Again, make sure it is fused completely.
My final step is to sew around the whole shape. In this case, I used a straight stitch, with a colored thread. I like my stitching to contrast, but you can use a thread that matches your cotton, if you are going for a more subtle look. I also have been known to use a buttonhole stitch for an embroidery type of look, or a decorative stitch. Using a straight stitch, though, allows the edges to fray after a time, with washing. I think it looks cool and funky.

Now, step back, and admire your sewing prowess! This is so simple, you can even have older kids help you. My 11 year old appliques totes for his teachers last year, and has also done funky patches on a few pairs of pants!

Brooke is the owner and designer of Brooke Van Gory Designs, creating custom diaper bags, and handbags. She resides in Chicago with her two boys, and hubby.


  1. Awesome!!!! I'm loving today's posts!!!

  2. This is awesome!! This is going to be PERFECT for my four nephews for Christmas :D

  3. Excellent! I love the ease of this project and the raw edges look cool after a washing or two!

  4. It looks absolutely awesome, and not that horribly hard to do... that's a sign of a great teacher! ;)

  5. Applique is like number 3 in my list of fave things ever to do with a sewing machine.

    1 is sew my fingers together.
    2 is make store bought clothes FIT PROPERLY!