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How to Applique Easy Instructions for Baby Clothes

It is very easy to learn how to applique to embellish baby clothes! Simply choose some printed fabric with images you like (quilt weight cotton works well) and you are half way there already. You'll also need fusible web (I use Heat n Bond Lite), an iron, scissors and either a needle & thread for hand stitching the edges or a sewing machine.

Follow the manufacturer's instructions for your fusible web and iron it on the back side of your printed fabric, behind the image you want to use. Once cool, cut out the shape you want to applique.

how to applique

Next, peel off the paper backing of your Heat N Bond.

applique instructions

Position onto your baby onesie, or other article of baby clothing and then iron it on. Again, follow the instructions for the particular fusible web you are using, taking care not to overheat. Your cut out shape should now be firmly attached to your shirt. When you are first learning how to applique you may be tempted to stop here and start another one. However, you still need to stitch around the edges if you want an applique that will last. With all the fusible webs I've tried, after a few washes it will start to peel up on the edges, so edge stitching is necessary.

applique baby onesie

Applique works well on onesies, hoodies, pants, hats, blankets, etc. Pretty much anything you can iron. I chose a plain black hoodie to embellish with some retro looking fabric.

applique iron on

If using a sewing machine, a zig zag stitch around the edge works perfectly. The fusible web makes the applique lay flat, making it a breeze to sew. No bunching or pins needed! If you are hand stitching, a simple straight stitch around the edges will keep the applique sturdily in place, but other stitches can be used for a more finished or decorative look. Try using embroidery floss in contrasting colors around your applique for a unique look.

applique fabric

All in all, a very easy way to embellish baby clothes! Some More Tips: the smaller area you cut out the harder it will be to machine stitch, circles and small curves are particularly difficult. On the other hand, a larger area will take much longer to hand stitch, so keep this in mind when deciding on your finishing technique. Simple square or rectangle patches of fabric also look very nice and are the easiest shape to machine stitch, since it is just four straight lines.

finished applique shirt

Often the most fun part is picking out the fabrics in the first place! Some fantastic retro, hip and unique fabrics can be found at and also check out for unique and adorable Japanese fabrics that are perfect for baby clothing. Of course don't rule out finding an old shirt or pillowcase from a thrift store or your own closet!

Enjoy learning how to applique!

Go to the Make Baby Clothes Section for more project ideas!

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