Saturday, 1 December 2012

Kangaroo applique

Kangaroo templates

These instructions are designed for beginners. The applique will be the mirror image of the template - so if you want you kangaroo to face right - you need to trace the kangaroo that faces left.

You will need
 A4 piece of 2 sided iron on  applique film. (This looks like a very fine fibrous web with paper on one side.)
Fabric and threads.

Printing the template

1. Click the picture and copy it.
2. Paste the picture in to a document file. eg WORD
3. Turn the paper orientation in the document file to landscape.
4. Minimize the margins.
5. Now you can alter the size of the images - by changing the size of the picture on the page.
6. Print

I have been using the templates so that 2 kangaroos fill an A4 page. These kangaroos are 6 1/4" long and 4 1/4" high (approx) 

Making the applique

On a firm surface lay down your printout and add the fusible web, on top, with the paper side up.
Trace the kangaroos onto the web paper.

DO NOT cut out yet

Iron the web to the wrong side of the fabric you are using for the kangaroo.

Cut around the shapes well outside the lines. Clip into the corners. Now carefully cut out the kangaroo.

Peel off paper.

Turn the kangaroo over and place onto the backing fabric.  Check position .

 (To protect your iron - cover the applique with a piece of baking paper - while ironing). Iron the kangaroo onto the fabric. Remove the baking paper. (save for next time)

Test sample

Please don't skip this.  I still to this regularly.
Iron a small piece of the off cuts from the applique onto some scrap fabric.
Use this to check the tension, and stitch size before starting on the good piece.

Sewing the applique

The applique needs some stitching around it to ensure that it stays in place. There are many methods for doing this - here I will show 2 machine methods. In these examples I am using a highly contrasting thread - to make the photography easier. You may prefer to match you thread to the applique fabric under normal circumstances.

1. Blanket stitch. This stitch gives a strong edge and is available on most machines. It is less prone to cause unwanted gathering than the Satin stitch option.

2. Satin Stitch. This also gives a strong edge and as it a basically a zigzag - it is even more common than blanket stitch.


1. On the test sample try some different widths and lengths of stitch. The width is how far the stitching goes onto the applique. The length is how far the stitches are apart. On my machine: the blanket stitch need to have the length reduced; where as the zigzag needs to be both narrower and have the length reduced.

2. Check the tension. If the top thread is loopy underneath tighten the top thread. If the bottom thread is coming through to the top loosen the top thread.

3. When appliqueing all the way around a shape I do not reverse to secure the thread at the beginning as it is secured by being stitched over at the end.

4. To go around the gentle curves sew slowly and steer the fabric. To go around a point  stop with the needle in the backing fabric only, lift foot, turn, put foot down again and continue.
 To go around a concave shape (eg top of leg) stop with the needle in the applique, lift foot, turn, put foot down again and continue.

5. When you get to where you began either do a few stitches on the spot OR reverse for a few stitches.

Finished kangaroos

Satin stitch

Blanket stitch