Sheer appliques are embroidered patches made on a sheer fabric. Sheer fabric with embroidery (machine or hand embroidery) on top can be cut out, and this can be appliqued on fabric for a beautiful look. The best thing about this work is that when the sheer applique is finished, it will feel as if the embroidery is done on the base fabric.
Here are the easy ways to do it.
Sheer fabrics like organdy, organza or net are usually used for this kind of applique
- To make the applique, cut out a piece of sheer fabric that is 2 inches bigger all around than the design you are going to embroider.
- If the applique is big it is better to cut and separate it in to smaller pieces. It will be more forgiving this way.
- Use a soldering iron to melt the thin netting around the embroidery all the way close to the design.
- Pin the applilque to your base. Pin it all over. Or baste stitch.
- Stitch the applique with a rayon or polyester thread – I would hand sew with very small (the smallest of all) stitches.
Advantages of sheer applique
One advantage of using a sheer applique is that the work on the sheer fabric will stand out as if the work is done on the base fabric itself – especially if you manage to sew it with invisible stitches.
Sometimes you may have a nicely embroidered net or organza fabric, and you wish to add this to another fabric. You can then cut out the embroidered part with some extra allowance all around or without (for fabrics that do not fray like net) and attach it to the base fabric using hand embroidery stitches or machine embroidery.
Sometimes you are compelled to embroider on the sheer fabric; this is the case when you have loosely woven base fabric.
When you are embroidering with a sewing machine or embroidery machine on a lot of loose-weave fabrics, there can be puckering which is really frustrating. But embroidering on tightly woven sheer fabrics like organza is a way out of this problem. You can then attach the embroidered organza to the base fabric using applique stitches.
Stitch the sheer applique to the base fabric.
It is better if you have a base fabric which is the same color as the net and embroidery. If the fabric and the applique contrasts, it will look more glaring. So, if you have a choice, select the same color for both.
Starch or interface the base fabric
The base fabric will have to be interfaced or starched before appliqueing on top of it. You can dip the fabric in some diluted liquid starch, and then when it is a little damp, iron it flat. After this, you can applique on the fabric. This will give the fabric a little stability and you can easily applique.
Baste stitch the applique on the base fabric. You can use small applique stitches to attach the sheer applique on the fabric. Or use your sewing machine stitches…
Usually, a tight zig-zag stitch is made around the design – it is better if you can sew close to the design. A 4mm stitch can be used.
After the stitching is done, cut off the extra fabric which lies outside the stitches.