Saturday, September 7, 2013

Pencil Applique Tutorial

Remember this?

The Bubblegum Swing Dress that I made as part of the sewalong, featuring an adorable alphabet print fabric and handmade pencil applique.   I promised a tutorial on that applique, and I'm keeping that promise!

I usually make my appliques using my Cricut machine, but I didn't have a cartridge that had a pencil on it.  I'm terrible at drawing, so that was out of the question.  I set off in search of an acceptable image on the world wide web.  This was the one I settled on.

I had originally planned on taping a piece of Wonder Under to the screen and tracing it that way, but then I remembered someone sharing a trick of printing out patterns directly onto freezer paper, and thought I'd see if I could do the same with the Wonder Under.

First cut a piece of the Wonder Under (I prefer Heat n' Bond brand, but others should work the same) to the same size as a piece of printer paper.

Getting ready to trace

The Wonder Under curled back up, but it didn't interfere with anything, just place it in the printer so the image will print on the paper backed side, not the adhesive side.  Scale your image to your desired size, and print.

I failed to take a picture of this part, but cut out an additional piece of wonder under a little bit bigger than your image to be the backing for the applique. 

Then cut the individual parts of the image out. 

 Apply the wonder under pieces to the wrong side of it's corresponding fabric, including a piece of fabric for the backing.

The large tan piece is the backing, then each of the individual pieces.  Trim the excess fabric around each piece (except the backing piece).

More failure to take pictures, although I could have sworn I did, but I can't locate any. 

After each piece is trimmed, apply them one at a time to the backing, recreating your desired image.  Once all pieces are applied, trim the excess fabric of the backing along the outline of your image.  Your applique is now ready to to put onto your item!  Just iron it down, and then stitch along each piece using either a satin stitch or a zig zag, then also along the outline.  

Admire your finished product!

Much less painful than trying to freehand a design,  and less labor intensive than trying to trace right from the computer screen.  I hope you try it, let me know how it works for you!


  1. So clever!! I should do this more often, not only create clothes but put such unique details into them. It's the small things that really make it stand out. I always read your blog, it's super nice!!

    Oh, and do get ready to go absolutely crazy on the princess dress!!