9 Tips for Machine Applique

Machine Applique by Bustle & Sew

1 Make sure your needle is nice and sharp as you’ll be asking it to go through a lot of layers.

2 Use a medium weight background fabric without a hoop, or if you’re using a lighter weight hoop up in reverse before stitching so that it doesn’t pucker.

3 Drop your feed dogs (if you’re unsure how to do this then refer to your machine’s user manual) and fit an embroidery foot. This isn’t essential but is good for safety reasons if nothing else!

4 You may need to reduce your top tension a little, it’s worth practising on some scrap fabric first.

5 Use a pale coloured thread in the bobbin and darker in the needle – this gives a less solid stitched line.

Machine Applique by Bustle & Sew

6 Be sure to drop your presser foot – although the embroidery foot doesn’t hold the fabric firm it’s important to drop it to get the needle tension correct.

7 To begin, pull your thread up to the top, sew a couple of stitches on top of each other and then cut the threads to prevent tangling or overstitching the tail end (again almost impossible to get out if the needle splits the thread).

8 If you’ve overlapped shapes then you’ll only need to stitch one edge.

9 Machine stitching is also great for decorating your shapes – draw the lines on first with temporary marker pen and then stitch over them.

We really hope you’ve found our tips useful – if you’ve got any we’ve missed please leave a comment, we’d love to hear from you!

9 Tips for Applique by Bustle & Sew


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