Sewing applique is the common noun for all the fancy work you love to add to your fabric. From beading to embroidery, apart from being a further attempt to add more sazz to your outfit, applique stitching can also be a very clever mending trick. You can easily cover up a burn mark or tear with embroidery separates to resemble the original design. Remember those lace frills your mother would add to the hem of your dress when you grow taller? Now you know that sewing appliques are the ultimate go-to for any clothing purpose.

Suitable applique stitching for your new sewing project

Because sewing appliques come in different forms, not all of them can be attached to all fabrics. Let’s have a look at some popular appliques.

1. Buttons


The most popular of them all, buttons have been around for ages. Apart from serving as fasteners on shirts and bottoms, carefully arranged buttons add colour to simple dresses. Like beads, they can also be arranged to create different patterns, objects, or shapes and are one of the most essential pieces for the perfect sewing kit.

2. Lace trims

Lace Trims
Lace Trims

If you don’t like to sew print fabrics without some addition, you’ll be familiar with lace trims. Lace trims are tasteful, delicate lace pieces applied on other fabrics at the hems and sleeves. Collar lace trims used to be the thing in the 90s but thankfully, not anymore. Know more about lace trims in this fabric expose on lace.

3. Embroidery

The beauty of embroidery is, anything can be embroidered upon. You can embroider directly on your fabric or attach separate embroidery pieces to spots like the breast pocket (for shirts), sleeves, and collar. Embroidery is painstaking needlework, but rewarding in the end. Embroidery appliques give your outfit an haute look. Check out this post on embroidery designs and patterns you can use.

4. Paper flowers

Paper Flowers
Paper Flowers

Cord laces with paper flowers have become popular, and truly, who can deny how beautiful they always are? Scantily placed or fully arranged, paper flowers add a delicateness to especially plain fabrics. You could never go wrong with a few on a lace piece.

5. Beads and Sequins

Beads and sequins
Beads and sequins

In applique stitching, beads and sequins are to add shine to fabrics, and you’ll most probably find them on lace. However, while sequins are outright unapologetic, beads can be subtle, depending on the type and how they’re applied. Stone beads have a way of adding flair and weight to an otherwise ordinary fabric, while glass beads silently dazzle. Either way, there’s a lot of space for creativity.

Now that you know some popular sewing appliques, how do you decide on the perfect one for your fabric? There are two things to always look out for:

• Colour

The era of colour-blocking is long past, so when choosing sewing appliques, make sure colours match and not clash. If you don’t know how, take a piece of the fabric with you to the market to try with applique pieces so as to see which fit best. Also, seek the advice of the seller. Most times they are retired tailors with a lot of experience to share.

• Texture

Opposites attract is applicable here. Because the aim is to make a statement, coarse-textured appliques would be perfect for fabrics of the direct opposite texture. And sometimes, the same textured fabric and sewing applique would both clash in the current chic trend of bold colours and cuts. Style is inexhaustible.

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If you liked this post on applique stitching for fabrics, you’ll love this one on how to mix different fabrics. Read more here.