Monday, April 8, 2013

How to Applique a baby bib: two ways

How to Applique TutorialWhen I decided to make a personalized baby bib for my new nephew Henry, I wanted to try something different.

I had never done an applique and thought it would be a fun new technique to try.

I "just knew" I had all the right materials to get started.

{Bubble deflates.}
What I had was Fusible Interfacing.
What I needed was Fusible Web.

HOWEVER, NEVER FEAR!  It turns out there are actually 2 ways to do applique. Hallelujah! I don't have to go back to the store!

APPLIQUE METHOD 1: Iron-on with Fusible Adhesive or Web

The most traditional method of applique seems to be the iron-on method. I'm sure you've seen it a million times. A cute little applique, ironed down flat, with zig zag stitches around it to secure it in place. This method produces an applique with a stiffer feel than method 2. Here are a couple tutorials if this is your preferred method: How To Applique; & Applique Tutorial.

APPLIQUE METHOD 2: Applique using Fusible Interfacing

It turns out, I prefer this method for applique because it produces a softer feel than the regular iron-on applique.

Embroider baby name on bib using machine toolBefore I began with the applique, I added his name to the sailboat using my sewing machine's embroidery tool. I attached cut-away stabilizer to the back of the fabric to give it some stability, selected the letters, and let my machine do the rest.

And now it's just for him. Oh sweet Henry-boy!

On with the applique...
Fusible Interfacing has two sides, a smooth side and a dotted side (glue dots).

applique tutorial using fusible interfacingAs seen (left - top right photo), after tracing your shape on the smooth side of the interfacing, lay the dotted side facing the right side of your fabric and stitch directly on your line.

Cut away excess fabric and interfacing around your shape.

Next, cut a small slit in the interfacing so you can turn it right-side out. Be sure not to cut through your fabric. 

Once right side out, your shape will be ready to iron-on to your project.

Lay your applique pieces in place and iron them down using a damp cloth (follow the instructions on the fusible interfacing package).

Appliques with fusible interfacing are softer than iron-on appliquesIn this image all my applique pieces have been ironed in place. Unlike Method 1, the applique fabric is not actually glued to anything. It is held in place from the backing, which has been glued down to the bib.


To secure the edges, zig zag stitch all the way around each piece. Test your machine and decide on which length and width you prefer. The zig zag should just catch the outer edge.

Finish applique with close zig zag stitches

The applique didn't turn out perfectly, it was my first time and all, but I didn't think Henry would mind. I attached the dark blue sail boat bib (a.k.a. the S.S. Henry) to a soft creamy terrycloth.

Sewn applique baby bib with flannel front and terry cloth back

I added a piece of matching light blue and white striped seer sucker fabric, with navy ribbon, to a heavy cloth diaper for a coordinating burp cloth.

My sister-in-law said how much she loved it and that it was just Henry's style. 
Hugs and Kisses to Henry xo

Applique baby bib with matching seer sucker burp cloth

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  1. i love your bibs soooo much! they are my favorites! b/c of the terry cloth on the back and they are nice and thick so the spit up or milk that drips doesnt soak his clothes. AND ITS THE CUTEST bib i've ever seen. love it so much! it's always the first bib i use when they come out of wash. :-) You are the sweetest Auntie!! :-) i'll have to take a pic of henry wearing it one of these days. i use to be so on top of pictures.... sigh....

  2. Thanks for the additional tip. I was planning to do some applique, and by golly I think I have fusible interface too. FYI, I found your link on the Sew Many Ways linkup.

    1. Glad I'm not the only one doing applique with fusible interfacing! :) Luckily it works like a charm! Thanks for your comment.


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