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Free Download: Letter Appliques

as seen on Simplicity® pattern 1785

 

 

 

Appliqued Letters
Add a personalized touch to any garment with these fun and easy letter appliques. We give you the basic directions to apply, but feel free to use your favorite Simplicity® trims to add some glitz, glam and whimsy.

To download the appliques:


The appliques contained in a single .pdf format file – you will need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader in order to download them. Many new computers come with it already installed, but if you don't it's available for free at Adobe.com.

Each letter is contained on its own 8 ½" x 11" page – the entire file includes the entire alphabet, A to Z, so the total file is 26 pages long. If you don't need all 26 letters, follow these steps to get just the ones you want to use:
  1. Download and open the Letter Appliques file
  2. Using your arrow keys, scroll up or down until you find the letter you want.
  3. Double-click on the letter to highlight the page you want to print.
  4. Click on the print icon at the bottom of your screen.
  5. When the print settings window opens, choose the Print Range option named "Current Page".
  6. Hit OK – this will print only the letter you have highlighted.
NOTE: each applique measures 5 ¼" high; applique widths range from 1 ¼" (the letter "I") to 7" (the letter "W"). Applique widths will fluctuate depending on the letter.

Cutting the Appliques:

  1. Use the downloaded printout as your applique pattern. Hold it so that the printed letter is facing you.
  2. Place the pattern on the RIGHT side of you applique fabric. If you place it on the wrong side the letter will be backwards when it is cut out.
  3. Pin the pattern in place, being careful to pin around any openings within the letter to ensure straight, even cuts.
  4. Use a pair of sharp, pointed scissors to cut out letters. The points will get into the corners and angles of the letters for clean, crisp lines.
  5. Repeat steps 1-4 for each letter you will be using.

General Directions for Applying Appliques:


There are two methods for applying appliques – fusing and sewing.

FUSING - requires paper-backed fusing web, which is available in most fabric and craft stores. Fusing web consists of a paper base with a thin layer of glue attached to the entire surface. This glue melts when heated, fusing fabrics together. When the glue cools the fabrics are securely bonded.
  1. Place your applique pattern on the GLUE side of the paper-backed fusing web.
  2. Pin in place and cut out in same manner as you did with the applique fabric.
  3. Place the GLUE side of the fusing web on the WRONG side of the applique, matching all of the cut edges.
  4. Follow manufacturer's directions and use a hot iron to fuse the web to the WRONG side of the applique. Press from the paper side first, and then allow to cool.
  5. Turn the applique over, apply a pressing cloth and press from the fabric side to ensure a complete bond. TIP: the pressing cloth will prevent any glue from getting onto your iron sole plate, in case there is any that peeks out from behind the fabric.
  6. After the applique has cooled completely, peel off the paper, revealing the glue on the WRONG side of the applique.
  7. Place the applique as desired on your garment. Cover with a pressing cloth and press to the garment, being sure to press all of the edges. Allow to cool.
  8. Turn the garment inside out and press again, from the WRONG side.
  9. Once the applique has cooled completely, you are ready for the finishing touches!
SEWING – this method of applying an applique is extremely secure. To prevent any distortion of the applique when sewing, it's best to reinforce it with fusible interfacing.
  1. Place your applique pattern on the GLUE side of the fusible interfacing.
  2. Pin in place and cut out in same manner as you did with the applique fabric.
  3. Place the GLUE side of the interfacing on the WRONG side of the applique, matching all of the cut edges.
  4. Follow manufacturer's directions and use a hot iron to fuse the interfacing to the WRONG side of the applique. Press from the paper side first, and then allow to cool.
  5. Turn the applique over, apply a pressing cloth and press from the fabric side to ensure a complete bond. TIP: the pressing cloth will prevent any glue from getting onto your iron sole plate, in case there is any that peeks out from behind the fabric.
  6. Place the applique as desired on your garment. Pin securely in place – you may even want to hand-baste along all of the edges to be extra sure the applique doesn't shift when machine sewing.
  7. Use a regular straight stitch on your sewing machine to stitch the applique to the garment; stitch as close as possible to the cut edge of the applique.
  8. Once you have stitched along all applique edges, remove the pins or basting and get ready for the finishing touches!

Finishing:


There are several ways you can finish the edges of your applique – feel free to experiment to find the method that works best for you.
  1. Zig Zag Stitching – set your machine to a wide zig zag stitch, shortening the stitch length as desired. This may take some experimenting on a scrap of fabric to get the width and density that you like. Once you have your machine set, zig zag all edges of your applique – use a matching color thread, or try a contrasting color just for fun.
  2. Fabric Paint – use a fabric paint pen or tube with a fine tip to paint over the cut edges of your applique, sealing them. Always test on a scrap of fabric before working on your actual garment, to get the paint flow just right. TIP: slip a piece of heavy paper or cardboard inside your garment to ensure that paint doesn't bleed through to the back of your garment. Try glitter, puff or even glow-in-the-dark fabric paint.
  3. Trim – use a flexible braid, single strand sequin trim or flexible lace to cover the cut edges of your applique. Machine stitch, hand sew or use fabric glue to attach, whichever works best for you.
  4. Embellish – once your applique edges have been finished, have fun and add even more embellishments: small purchased appliques, rhinestones or beads. Get extra artistic and use fabric paint and a brush or sponge to apply extra paint decoration and/or texture to your applique.
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