Today we have another guest post from Karen to share with you! This one is part two all about adding applique to your bag making projects! Over to you Karen:


As I said in an earlier post I love adding applique decorations to my creations, like this butterfly on Christine’s ‘Emma‘ bag, and just in case you have never tried it I will show you how I do mine.


I use the same basic method for all my applique work.  I find it gives a better finish if the fabric I am applying the design to is interfaced with Vilene G700/Pellon SF101/WovenFuse, which Christine uses on a lot of her patterns.


1. Source and sketch out the design you want to use (ie a cockerel or butterfly).  I find inspiration in my books, Google (especially Colouring Pages) or from a model like my teddy!

Teddy Collage

2. Draw the outline of the base shape and then detail the component parts (which can be in different fabrics or drawn on with stitches).

3. Trace the whole design onto tracing paper with a black felt tip.  This is used to reverse the design, trace the parts and then to position them.  Reverse the design by simply turning over the tracing (this is not necessary if the image is the same both ways, like the Butterfly).  


4. Place the Bondaweb (Wonderunder) over the reversed design and trace the entire/base shape, then the other pieces, well spaced.  If I expect to use it more than once I cut them out in card as templates, and keep them in a labelled ziploc bag.

5. Cut the Bondaweb out round the pieces with at least a half an inch allowance round each of the shapes.  Label the pieces so you know what they are and what order to add them, as it is not always so obvious later!

6. Choose and press your fabrics and decide which colour threads you will be using for the zig-zag stitching i.e.

  • use one co-ordinating colour for all the pieces or
  • use a colour to match each piece, or
  • use a contrasting colour

7.  Fuse the Bondaweb to the wrong of your fabric, then cut out the shapes with sharp scissors. Remove the backing paper (I use a studio knife to get between the backing paper and fabric) from the base piece.  Do not remove them all at once, you will need the labels!

8.  Place the original tracing of the design in position and slide the first piece into position underneath with tweezers.  Remove the tracing and fuse the applique on when you are happy with it’s position.


9.  Zig-zag machine stitch the base shape in place.  On my Janome I use a stitch length of 0.9 and a width of 2.0.  I vary the width as necessary if it is a narrow piece or comes to a point.  It pays to experiment on a scrap first!

10.  Repeat for each component part, fusing then stitching each piece until your design is complete.

Shibori butterfly

So that’s how I do it, I hope it encourages you to try!


Thank you so much Karen. I feel inspired to add some applique to my bags! You can read more of Karen’s posts over at Sew What’s New HERE and visit Karen on Instagram – @auntystitches You can find the Emma Pattern HERE!

Happy Sewing! 🙂


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