How to Appliqué

How to Applique

This week’s tutorial is in two parts, first, we will learn to Appliqué – then we will make a Tote Bag – and if you would like you can appliqué a detail onto your Tote Bag!

With applique the possibilities are endless, you really are only limited by your imagination. Appliqué is a great way to personalize a sewing project, in the past I have appliqued pajamas, Christmas stockings, pencil cases, pillowcases, and the list goes on.

You can use any stitch you would like, the stitches most commonly use are straight stitch, zig-zag stitch, satin stitch (tight zig-zag), and some like to use blanket stitch. Which stitch you use is a personal preference and what you like the look of most.

I recommend using 100% quilting cotton for appliqué, especially if you want to wash the item. Felt is also great for appliqué, however, only use felt on projects that don’t need to be washed, such as a Christmas stocking.


You can find out more about which tools I recommend over here.

Please watch my video for full instructions on How to Appliqué.


Press your fabric.

With your appliqué design in mind, trace it onto the paper side of your double-sided adhesive. If it is hard to see, it may help to tape the design onto a window during daylight and then trace it.


Remember that some designs need to be mirrored, such as letters. You can test this by holding your design up to a mirror and seeing if it is correct, or the wrong way around. If it is the wrong way around it needs to be mirrored.

Roughly cut out your design with regular scissors.

Take the fabric you would like to have as your appliqué, place it the wrong side up, (if it is a directional pattern, make sure it is facing the right way up).

Place your cut-out design with the adhesive side facing down onto your fabric.

Iron, using the Double Sided Adhesive manufacturers recommendations, usually a few seconds, medium heat, no steam.

Cut out your design carefully using regular scissors.

Peel off the backing paper.

Place the fabric you want the appliqué on, right side up, think about where you want to position your applique.

Place your cut-out applique right side up where you want it positioned.


Carefully sew around the edges with your desired stitch. Go slowly making sure your needle is down every time you need to turn or adjust.


Now let’s make a Tote Bag over here.

If you would like the full supplies list for my eight-week course, as well as weekly emails with all the information you need each week please sign up for my emails over here.

Thanks so much for joining me! Please leave a comment and let me know how you go, or if you have any questions.

Stacey x

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