Iron-on applique is a sewing technique I use a lot. It’s an easy, versatile way to add an extra little touch to just about any sewing project. I thought I would take a minute to do a quick step-by-step tutorial for iron-on applique.
First, you will need to purchase some iron-on adhesive. I keep yards of this stuff around at all times. It’s very reasonably priced. I like HeatnBond brand the best. In fact I wouldn’t waste my money on any other brand (Pellon in particular is very difficult to work with).
When you open up your iron-on adhesive you will notice that it has two sides.
A smooth side that feels like parchment paper and a bumpy side that is slightly shiny. The bumpy, shiny side is the side that has the adhesive on it. Whatever you do DO NOT let you iron touch the adhesive side!
Turn your iron on to the “wool” setting. Place the fabric on the ironing board with the right side down. Place the piece of iron-on adhesive on the fabric with the bumpy (or adhesive) side down. You want to make sure that you are ironing on the smooth paper side. I want to be clear about this step, you are melting the adhesive into the wrong side of the fabric with the paper side up.
Slowly glide the iron over the paper. Make sure to run the iron all the way out to the edge of the adhesive paper. It should only take about 30 seconds to melt the adhesive into the fabric.
Place the applique onto the clothing, being sure to position it exactly were you want it to go. Once it’s ironed there’s no making adjustments. Once again you want to slowly glide the iron over the fabric applique being sure to get the edges.
When your fabric applique is secure, move to your sewing machine and carefully stitch around the edge. The iron-on adhesive will keep the fabric from fraying when it’s washed. The stitching is to make the applique a little more secure and to add a finished look.
Now that you’ve got the applique basics down the sky is the limit! You can use it on so many different projects. It’s just my personal taste but I find that the simpler the applique the better it looks. A little bit of embellishment goes a long way.
Have fun, don’t go crazy (unless you like crazy. the by all means applique everything in sight), and if you have any other questions please feel free to send a message.