If you are new to appliques of any kind, whether sewing by hand or machine, the inside of the garment will have stitching exposed. When machine embroidering, a stabilizer is used, but not all appliques require a stabilizer. There are all sorts of ways to approach appliques, and I've come across many sites, tutorials, and sewing magazines that say you MUST do things exactly as they describe. As soon as I see the word "must" or similar, I wonder, "Really? I think I've just been offered a challenge!" and so I set off to see if I can find another way to complete the project.
So I have done a lot of playing around with appliques. There are two ways I've found I like best when applying an applique to a clothing item, which I will talk about later. And both ways leave the inside stitching exposed. This I didn't care for because I was always afraid of unraveling and it didn't have a professional look. Many children's ready to wear clothing that has some sort of applique embellishment has an inside interfacing covering that stitching.
Enter Pellon Sheer-Knit fusible! Love, love, love this stuff! It is super easy to use, and gives that professional finished touch. It is very light weight and the right side of this fusible is very smooth on the skin, making it the perfect interfacing for this application. I buy it off the bolt, and it's not very expensive. (I believe it is around $4/yard at my local Joann, and a little over $2 a yard with their weekly 40% off coupon!) There are also precut pieces available at some stores, but I think pricing by the bolt is better. Another name for this type of interfacing is Tricot interfacing.
Instructions come with this, but I found that I needed to have a very damp cloth and apply my very hot iron for quite some time (like 30 seconds or more, depending on how damp the cloth is).
The picture also gives a very quick instruction, but basically just do this:
-Cut your fusible to cover the inside of the garment's applique stitches with a bit of an allowance past the stitches.
-Place the ROUGH side down. The SMOOTH side should be facing up.
-Using a damp cloth over the interfacing (I use a washcloth) and a warm to hot iron, press down and use a gliding motion to cover the entire interfacing. The instructions state to press on the right side of the fabric, but I press directly to the damp cloth. I found this to be more effective, but it may be just because of the thicker fabrics I use.
-Allow to cool for a minute and check to make sure that your interfacing is completely fused. I do this by rubbing my fingers lightly across the edges. If they begin to lift, I repress.
And that is all! If you haven't used this, give it a try. I'd love to know what others use on their appliques.