Needle Turn Applique : The easy invisible way to applique

Learn to do Needle turn appliqué,a hand sewing technique used in quilting and fabric crafts to attach fabric shapes to a background fabric while hiding the stitches for a clean and seamless appearance.
Updated on:

A needle turn applique technique is a very easy and simple hand sewing method of attaching an applique (simple cut out of fabric) on a foundation fabric. Just cut the design pieces, use your hand sewing needle to stitch the design to the foundation fabric. Nothing complicated.

The technique is so named because you will be using the tip of your needle to turn the edges of the cut pieces to the inside so that they are not visible.

needle turn applique

The turning of the edges inside with the needle ensure that the edges do not fray and the whole work looks unattractive because of the unkempt edges; And to top it, the stitching is invisible. 

When to use the needle turn applique method 

It is best used when you do not have much overlapping pieces. And also if you do not have a lot of area to applique. Hand sewing applique can be tedious if there are lots of applique pieces to attach. (I hope hand applique lovers do not read this – they may consider it blasphemy) I prefer appliqueing with a sewing machine for large designs. But if you have time on your hands, nothing more beautiful than needle turned applique.

How to do the Needle turn applique technique

Decide on your applique design first. Decide where each piece will go. Map it all out.

Step 1. Cut the designs with extra 1/4 inches all around. Mark the fold line with a removable marker – chalk is fine, you can also use washable fabric marking pens.

Cut design from fabric with turn under allowance

Step 2. Clip the extra seam allowance every 1/2 inches or so. Make the distance 1/4 inches apart if there is a curve. If you need smooth turning you will need to be generous with the clipping.

clip the seam allowance

Pin the design in place in the middle, if the design is big.

Step 3. Start the applique stitching – tiny slip stitches are used here.

Insert the needle into the fabric and applique piece from behind, just along the edge.

turn the edges to the inside and stitch

Come up.

Step 4. Now insert the needle along the applique edge, on the fabric. Take a 1/8 inch stitch (2 or 3 threads of the fabric), down. Come up. Refer picture below. Come up.

make tiny stitches along the edge of the applique while turning the fabric edge

Step 5. Now insert the needle through the fold in the applique piece.

make slip stitches

Come out 1/8 inch from where you got into the fold.(or 2-3 threads)

As you go along stitching, you will be turning under the seam allowance with the tip of the needle.

Step 6. Repeat the above steps ; ie. Take a tiny stitch on the fabric and then on the applique fabric fold. 

tiny stitch on the fabric

Finish the applique stitches in this way.

finish the applique stitches

Related posts : 12 Different ways to applique with a sewing machine; How to do hand applique ; Applique letter -tutorial ; How to do broderie perse applique – floral applique.

Did you like this post?

Click on the stars to rate it!

Average rating 5 / 5. 2

Subscribe to get weekly notifications of posts in your email

Author: Sarina Tariq

Hi, I love sewing, fabric, fashion, embroidery, doing easy DIY projects and then writing about them. Hope you have fun learning from sewguide as much as I do. If you find any mistakes here, please point it out in the comments.

1 thought on “Needle Turn Applique : The easy invisible way to applique”

Your opinion is important here. Leave a comment