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.

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

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Let the first tackdown stitch.

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

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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.

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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.

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Smooth the vinyl over the applique area.

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Tack down your vinyl.

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

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Touch up as needed.

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Zig Zag tack down.

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

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Cut the size HTV needed.

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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.

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

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Smooth the vinyl over the applique area.

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Tack down.

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Cut.

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Prepare to iron using the same method.

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

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

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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.

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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.

 

“Handstitched-ish” VS Raggy

I have been working on a series of hand stitched looking designs.  When that is the desired effect, it needs to be made clear exactly what type of hand stitched effect is wanted.  As simple as a 3 step design can have, variety is possible!!  Do you want an “I traced this with a sewing machine for a retro type clean look” or do I want a “vintage look with a rugged edge”…. The choice is yours!

Again, this particular design is only 3 steps!  So super simple and so super classic!

First things first, you can get this design here:

http://appliquealley.com/applique/animals/handstitchedish-crow/

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To get the “cleaner” handstitched look, MAKE SURE you use heat n bond lite.  That’s it.  Simple, Iron it, and DONE.  It’ll look like you spent so much longer tracing a pattern with your handy dandy sewing machine… but, I have done the hard work for you!

I like to leave a small perimeter around the stitches.  To me, it gives a more hand sewn look.

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Prefer the raggy look?  That’s easy too!  I chose 2 fabrics that were contrasting in color.  This is when I use the fabric that has been sitting around forever… you won’t see the pattern on the bottom, just the color so use what you haven’t been able to get rid of!

I also layer a piece of fleece, flannel, or felt on the very bottom.  It makes the design more secure and makes the raggy edges pop up better.

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Since, you won’t be using Heat N Bond lite, I suggest starching and ironing your fabrics well first.

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I cut the top two layers of fabric first and then cut the bottom fabric (felt in this tutorial) last.  I try to cut it slightly closer to the stitch than the top fabrics.  Be sure to leave a good perimeter for the fabrics to fray or “raggy” well.

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Sometimes, I will make small snips in the fabric to help the fraying process.  You can skip this.  I will also toss it in the dryer if needed.

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If you want to skip the dryer, rough up the edges with your scissors OR your fingernail.

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See how cute!  I love the orange and green for FALL!

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One simple design… two fabulous results.

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Pray for Nice, France


I cannot express the feelings in my heart tonight. Our platforms are small compared to some, but we must use them! We must band together and “fight” on our knees. I have listed this free design in hopes of encouraging you and anyone who sees it to PRAY!  

http://appliquealley.com/free-designs/pray-for-nice-france/

Ephesians 6:12-13New International Version (NIV)12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. #prayfornice #prayforfrance #pray

What’s up with that Zig Zag

If you’ve ever stitched any of our Applique designs, you know that we have a:

1.placement 

2.single run tackdown

3.seperate zig zag tackdown 

Yall either love it or hate it but here’s why you should totally consider feeling some good vibes with it.  Let me explain. 

Here we have our new diamond Applique.  Fabric is heat n bonded (light) and tacked down. 

  
Hold up… I’ll give you a moment to breathe in these pretty colors!  Ahhhh…. 

Ok, back to business.  

It looks pretty cute and hand sewn just like this, am I right?  However, a single run stitch is not the most secure.  

Let’s add the zig zag.

  
Stitch stitch stitch.

And here we go.  Our diamond is secure. 

   
Almost looks like we’ve got a superman situation on our hands doesn’t it?  But, no, it’s a girly blingy diamond.  

 
Now, here’s why we love this extra step.

1. You can totally leave this design as it is.  The zig zag is secure and the fabric is bonded to the shirt.  It looks completely hand done like you did it with a sewing machine.  Adds a little variety, don’t ya think?

2. We control the density of our zig zag stitch.  Therefore, it’s slightly tighter than the automatic underlay our software sets.  Secure is good!

3. Our zig zag stitch is also slightly thinner than our final satin stitch.  This gives you a second chance to trim any fabric that might be hanging out that you certainly don’t want showing outside your satin.

4. If for some reason, you need to rip a stitch out (if the fabric got creased or wrinkled) … We all know it’s SO much easier to rip out a zig zag stitch than the pick out a satin stitch.

So, there you go.  This is our science behind our extra zig zag stitch!

Show it some love, why don’t you. ❤️ 

Here’s the final product with the satin stitch finished.

  
  

How to Fold a Shirt 

In business, it’s important to showcase your product(s) in the best way possible to keep your customers coming back, and to ensure they know they are getting quality from their purchase.  
Before I begin this tutorial, let me first say that using a good iron and heat n bond light will GREATLY increase your success with this method.
One of my sweet testers shared this with me and now, I’m sharing it with you. I’m not a professional folder or photographer, but I’m learning! 
Ok, let’s get to it.
First, grab a quality blank with a cute Applique. 😉 I can help you find both!  

  

Press over the shirt to smooth out any wrinkles. Flip it over.

  
Lay a sheet of regularly typing paper right under where the neckline falls. You can most likely see/ feel it through the back.  

  Fold the neckline down and the bottom up.   

 You will not start with the sleeves due to the fact they will make your shirt look bumpy and lumpy.  

Now, fold the sides over, while slightly pressing the paper about 2 inches to create a good crease that will hold your shirt in place.   

 Fold the bottom up again. This will vary depending on the size of your design and on the size of your shirt.  

  
Flip it over to check if needed. The paper should hold your shirt in place.
  
Create a good crease.
FINISHED!

Now, you have a clean looking product with no distractions to photograph or pack up and send! Vinyl backdrops are also GREAT for showcasing.  

  
This is NOT the way… Even though The item looks ok… The other way is MUCH more crisp and professional. 

   Hope this helps!  

    

Cut out that middle! 

Today, I’m going to make a quick blog post to discuss overlapping fabrics.  There are few things quite as frustrating as spending an hour stitching an Applique design only to hold it up to the light and see the overlapping fabrics are showing through.  “Too late!”, those tight stitches seem to scream! 

Well, today, I’m going to show you how to beat them at their own little game.  When stitching, tack downs give you a border not only to cut AROUND but also, to cut OUT!  See the pictures below to see what I mean.  You’ll thank me later if you’re not already doing this trick. 

  
I love this bold red gingham!  However, it’s going to show through almost anything you put over it.  Therefore, after the tack down for the windows stitch, I’m going to take my double curved Applique scissors and cut the inside out. Using heat n bond light will greatly increase your success with this tactic.  

Now, this red will not show through my blue polka dot windows!  No more muddy fabrics.

  
Using this tip will keep your appliqués clean and crisp.  

  

Hope this helps!