On sewing appliques

6 Jan

My oh my, it has been awhile.  So little sewing and so much other stuff to do.  Well,  here is a post grabbed from Pattern Review to keep us going until I get it together to show the finished coach-gown.

Most of the RTW gowns I have seen had the appliques hand sewn with long stitches. The gown in my avatar had to be done while on the dress form, where others have been ok just to lie the gown flat. It depends partially on the shape of the applique, where it sits on the body and the thickness of the applique.

I think what I did was pin the piece on the gown while on the form and if it laid flat easily, I sewed it off the form and if it needed a lot of coaxing and fiddling to get it in place, i did it on the dress form. These and these were really thick and hard to pin and the dress form was a huge help.

If you are placing the applique over a gap, you probably do want a scrap of illusion or other light stretch fabric under it, both for comfort and to help it retain its shape otherwise, you won’t need the extra fabric.

I use what I suppose you could call a running tack stitch – just long, running stitches (maybe 1/2″ or a cm. at most) with a short back stitch or two every few stitches to anchor it in place. You need some moveability, but not so much the whole thing can shift. Then, if possible, go around the outside edge with a whip stitch. I say if possible, because there are some spots on the blue dress where the pearls would simply not lie flat. If I sewed it down, the whole thing would buckle, so a few spots are just tacked down as best I could.

Do give your dress a once over after every comp to replace lost bits and bobs. The appliques are often quite rough and on a hard backing, so it is possible for them to saw through the stitching. Also, do be conscious of where you will make body contact with your partner and make sure those spots are extra secure. A friend tacked a piece on quite loosely and ended up entwined with the studs on her partner’s shirt!

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