Here is my applique tutorial. Please let me know if you need more detail so I can add it. This isn’t my favorite outfit I’ve made, but the photos will show the process I went through. These little pants I made last summer for Sienna and they still fit….just a little shorter, but cuter as capris. She grew out of the top I made for her so I bought this $4 tank from Target to add applique to.
First, I took some of the extra fabric I kept from the pants and cut a piece of Wonder-Under adhesive web just slightly smaller. Wonder-Under is made by Pellon and is a paperbacked adhesive web that turns any fabric into a fusible fabric. I placed the rough side of the Wonder-Under against the wrong side of the fabric and pressed for 8 seconds with a dry, hot iron to fuse the web to the fabric.
Once the fabric was cool I took my tiny detail scissors and cut out several butterflies from the fabric. I used one of the butterflies as a template on another small piece of fabric that I had ironed Wonder-Under onto (left over from the ruffle of the pants). I cut that butterfly silhouette out as well. Note that the paper-backing is still on.
After cutting out several butterfly shapes, I gently peeled of the paper backing from the Wonder-Under and placed the shapes web side down on the tank. I cut small pieces of ribbon (longer than needed) for antennae and stuck them down underneath the butterflies.
For the final fusing, I covered each butterfly with a damp press cloth. With the iron at wool setting, I pressed firmly for 10-15 seconds and repeated this lifting and overlapping the iron until all the fabric pieces were fused. After removing the press cloth, I ironed the fabric to remove the excess moisture.
Next, I used my sewing machine to stitch an outline around each butterfly. This adds some detail and also makes certain they stay put. The stitching also secured the antennae in place. Tip: when you are finished sewing take the ends of the thread from the starting point and the finish point and tie them together into knots before trimming the excess thread. This keeps your stitching from unraveling.
Next, I trimmed the butterfly antennae to the desired length and used a little bit of stitching glue on the ends to keep them from fraying.
On the odd butterfly I added some hand-stitched detail around the edges with green DMC thread.
I also stitched a body and antennae for this butterfly and added some buttons on its wings.
I always use a small piece of lightweight fusible interfacing (by Pellon) on the inside of the shirt to keep the hand-stitched detail in place. It protects the detail and also keeps the thread from itching the person wearing it. I drew a small outline about 1/2″ all the way around the stitching onto the fusible interfacing as a guide before cutting it into the shape I needed. Then I placed the coated side of the interfacing on the wrong side of the fabric and covered with a damp press cloth. With the iron at medium steam I fused the interfacing to the inside of the shirt holding the iron down firmly for 10-15 seconds.
Here are the finished butterflies on the tank top.
I even added one to the bottom back.