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Attaching Appliques

Learn How to Attach a Crocheted Applique to a Craft Project

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Crocheted Hat With Attached Flower Applique

Crocheted Hat With Attached Flower Applique

Photo © Amy Solovay; click here for the free hat pattern; or click here for the flower applique.

If you've never attached a crocheted applique to a craft project, you might have questions about how to do it.

  • Should you use yarn, or thread to do the stitching?
  • What kind of needle do you use?
  • What color do you use?
  • Do you sew on the wrong side, or the right side?

The truth is, there is no single "correct" or "incorrect" way of approaching the task of attaching a crocheted applique onto a craft project. Usually, there are several different approaches you could take for any given project. Let's explore some possibilities.

Materials:

You can use either yarn or thread to attach your applique. In general, I recommend using the same type of yarn or thread you used to crochet either the applique, or the item you will attach it to. When using yarn, a large tapestry needle is usually a good choice for stitching.

If you used two or more different yarns, you'll have to make a decision about which one to use for the stitching.

If you're attaching a crocheted applique to a sewn item like a purse, you might want to use sewing thread to attach the applique.

Sewing an Applique Onto a Scarf:

If you're attaching an applique onto a scarf or other reversible item, your stitches will be visible from both sides of the work. You'll have to stitch carefully, and you'll have to decide which color yarn or thread to use when you stitch.

One solution is to choose a sewing thread that matches your scarf, and to sew tiny stitches through the back of the applique, without bringing your needle all the way through the applique. This way, the stitches are not visible on the applique itself. I used this technique when attaching the two layers of my beaded crochet snowflake together; I wanted the snowflake to be reversible, so I didn't want the stitches to be visible from either side.

Another solution is to use the same color yarn as the scarf, and to stitch around the applique using a decorative stitch such as the blanket stitch. This works well with appliques that aren't too detailed -- basic shapes such as leaves or circles.

Removable Appliques:

Do you want your applique to be removable? Let's say for example you're going to attach a crocheted flower to a crocheted hat. Perhaps you might like to occasionally change your flowers; or perhaps you decorated the flower with something that isn't washable, and you'd like to be able to remove the flower before you wash the hat. If this is the case, you might like to attach your flowers using a method that isn't permanent.

I've experimented a bit with this. In the past, I've used small strips of Velcro to attach my flowers; I've also used safety pins. Neither of these are the most elegant of solutions, but they do work. An even better solution is to buy a package of snaps, and to attach as many snaps as needed around the edge of your applique.

Which Side Do You Sew From?

I usually prefer to sew from the right side, so I can see what the work looks like as I am stitching. If the item is reversible, I flip it over and look at the back frequently. This is what I recommend doing, but this way of doing it isn't set in stone. If you think of a way that would work better for you, then do it your way.

Use Your Loose Ends

I recommend taking a look at Sandi Marshall's pumpkin applique pattern to learn another neat trick. Sandi explains how you can use your loose end for stitching the applique onto the finished item.

Free Video About Crocheted Appliques

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