In my last post (click here for a link) I shared the Amelia Top that I made my girls for our Disney trip. I knew that I wanted to put a Mickey appliqué on it. I also decided that since it is such an easy shape that it would be a good time to try using a satin (zigzag) stitch. In the past, I have just used a straight stitch with my appliqués and just let the edges of the fabric fray a bit. I’ll admit it, I was a bit scared of the satin stitch. Guess what, it’s not so bad! :)
Here is what I did.
I did a Google search for Mickey Mouse appliqué shapes. I traced the shape onto the smooth side of some Wonder Under. (With most appliqués you would want to trace a mirror image of your shape but with the Mickey it obviously doesn’t matter because it is symmetrical.)
Next iron Wonder Under onto the fabric. The fabric should be wrong side up and the Wonder Under should be bumpy side down. Just follow the ironing suggestions that come with the Wonder Under.
Cut out the shape along the lines that you traced.
Now I’m missing a picture here. The next step would be to peel the paper backing off of the under side of the appliqué image and iron the appliqué to the front side of your shirt. In this case, I applied the appliqué to the front shirt pattern piece before I made the shirt just in case I messed it up. That would be a real bummer to make the whole top and then ruin it with the appliqué. If you are planning to use a store bought t-shirt just go for it. A helpful tip is to apply your appliqué with the shirt inside out. Click here to see a picture of this in my Christmas appliqué tutorial.
I have also never bothered to use stabilizer with my appliqués because it really isn’t needed with a simple straight stitch. There were so many different types of stabilizer at Joann’s that I decided to ask the nice ladies behind the cutting counter which one I wanted. One said, “Oh honey don’t waist your money on stabilizer I just use a coffee filter.” The other chimed in, “I use Freezer Paper.” Ah my old friend Freezer Paper! How could I have not thought of you myself? Some of you may know about my love of Freezer Paper. If not click here for my post about it’s many wonderful uses. So I ironed the freezer paper shiny side down onto the back of my shirt piece right were the appliqué is on the front side of the shirt. This just serves to give a little extra bulk so that your fabric doesn’t gather and shift will you stitch the appliqué on.
I wanted my zigzag stitch to be really close together like the look of embroidery. For my machine that meant setting it to a length of 0.3 and a width of 5.0. Just play around with it on some scrap fabric until you get the look that you want. You want to make sure that the stitch is wide enough that as the needle zigzags it comes down on your appliqué piece and then off your appliqué piece on the next move. Does that make sense?
Now just take it slow and satin (zigzag) stitch around the Mickey shape. At the corner on either side of the ears, you will want to lower your needle and pivot the fabric. Once you get back to were you started change your stitch to a straight stitch and sew forward and then backward a couple of stitches to secure.
Flip the shirt piece over to the wrong side and rip off the freezer paper surrounding the Mickey shape and inside it. Any tiny bits and piece remaining within the satin stitch will come out in the wash.
Sew up your top/dress and viola! I hope that this tutorial was helpful. Please leave a comment or e-mail me if you have any questions.