Applique involves stitching one layer of fabric to another in a decorative manner. Here I have used hand-dyed fabrics and threads to apply a colourful flower to a neutral background for maximum colour contrast, then added some decorative stitching around the shape and padded centre.
When using cotton fabric we can either turn the edges under and hemstitch around the shape, or use an overstitch or blanket stitch around the edges to prevent fraying. Alternatively, we can use a non-fraying fabric such as jersey or felt.
Reverse applique involves stitching one fabric onto another, then cutting away some of the top fabric to reveal the fabric underneath. This can work nicely with patterned fabrics. This is an example I made using Alabama Chanin’s technique of stencilling a pattern onto jersey fabric, stitching around the edges of the pattern, then cutting away. She makes whole garments which then feel very comfy to wear in the stretch fabric.
In India this technique is used extensively to form intricate patterns such as this one below, and often using white fabric on white for window panels which creates a beautiful shadowy effect.
In an evening or half day workshop stitch and embellish a gorgeous, colourful flower or a jersey neckerchief using applique techniques. Make your flower, or shape of your choice, into a needlecase, a small picture or sew it onto the pocket of a shirt/skirt/dress or jacket. You’ll be able to choose from a selection of colourful fabrics and threads, sequins and beads, which are a joy to use. Cost: £25.00 including materials
If you would like to go further with your applique, take a full-day course and experiment with both techniques using a variety of fabrics including some of my handmade felt, embellish your work with stitch and beads. Cost: £55.00 including materials..