Applique with HTV (vinyl)

I promised you a tutorial and here it is!

Before we get started, head over to our site and download this free goldfish design so you can work right along with us.


First, I like to “plan ahead”.  Pick your colors.  Match your threads.


Let the first tackdown stitch.


Cut your vinyl to the approximate size of your applique outline.


Peel off the top layer of the HTV vinyl BEFORE tacking the vinyl to your shirt.  Failure to do so will prevent the HTV from being able to bond to the shirt.


I like to use just a light spritz of sticky spray to make sure my vinyl stays in place.  Make sure you use one that doesn’t leave a residue.  You do not need heat n bond lite with HTV.


Smooth the vinyl over the applique area.


Tack down your vinyl.


It tends to appear a little bubbly… but you can “fix” that when you iron over the HTV.


Carefully cut around the tack down stitch.  You scissors should glide right along.


Now, you are ready to iron over your HTV and bond it to your shirt.


Here, I used a small craft iron and a flour sack towel to protect the vinyl from the iron.  Sometimes craft irons don’t get hot enough to adhere the vinyl, so if you can, use your normal iron with the steam setting off.


Hold the iron for about 15-30 seconds on each area.  I like to iron outwards so any bubbles will be pushed to the tack down stitches and eventually covered by the satin.


While the vinyl is still warm, I like to smooth over the applique with my hands, again pushing out towards the tack down.  Be careful not to do this while the vinyl is still hot to prevent burning yourself.


Touch up as needed.


Zig Zag tack down.


Now, you are ready to start on the fin.  Repeat the same process.


Cut the size HTV needed.


On this printed vinyl, you will remove the layer under the vinyl unlike the top layer you removed on the solid.  I like to roll the edges with my fingers to separate the layers.  It can be tricky.  Again, failure to do so will prevent the HTV from being able to bond to the shirt.


Spray lightly with sticky spray.  (again I am using 505 spray)


Smooth the vinyl over the applique area.


Tack down.




Prepare to iron using the same method.


Iron and smooth as before pushing outward.  Use good pressure when ironing HTV.


Now it’s time for the last Zig Zag tack down and then the satin.


Many people are afraid of the needle making holes in the HTV.  As you can see here, that wasn’t an issue.  Make sure to use a good quality HTV.

photo-dec-31-4-03-40-pmphoto-dec-31-4-04-27-pmStitch the eye.


And, you’re finished!  We added a name using our Finnick Tripp font.  I love the combination of the vinyl and fabric… satin and Zig Zag.  This shirt has dimension and style!  I did use heat n bond lite on the applique letters.



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