The indigo corset kit and indigo factory dress kit with new leaves appliqué.


At The School of Making, we use the term appliqué for a variety of techniques used in combination with organic cotton jersey. For some designs, we construct our garments or projects first and apply appliqué and other embellishments afterwards. 

Find instructions for applying appliqué before construction of the garment or project here.

APPLIQUÉ INSTRUCTIONS | After Garment Construction


Cotton jersey fabric for top layer
Cotton jersey fabric for appliqué pieces
Permanent marker or textile spray paint
Spray bottle or airbrush gun, depending on stencil-transfer method
Embroidery scissors
Button Craft thread

1. Choose a Completed Garment or Project for Appliqué

This can be completed on a garment from The School of Making or any garment of your choice.

2. Stencil Pattern on Appliqué Fabric

Stencil a pattern on the back side of your appliqué fabric to be used as a guide for cutting out the fabric. Stenciled pattern will not be visible after sewing.

3. Cut Out Appliqué Pieces and Pin to Project

Cut out one stenciled shape at a time, 1⁄16″ around the outside of the stenciled edge. Once you cut out the shape, flip it over, right side up, and pin it where desired on your completed garment.  Repeat for your entire stenciled design by cutting one piece at a time and pinning it into place.

4. Stitch Appliqué Pieces to Project

With pins in place, stitch the appliqué securely in place, and attach the appliqué’s raw cut edges using the stitch of your choice. See information below about choosing a stitching method.


Appliqué can be applied to the completed garment using two variations:

STITCHING APPLIQUE | Stitching on Top vs. Stitching Over the Edge

Note: Refer to The Geometry of Hand-Sewing for instructions on 120+ stitches and variations using our revolutionary method of employing a basic understanding of geometry and Stitching Cards to perfect even the most complicated stitches.

The Geometry of Hand-Sewing by Natalie Chanin, with instructions for applique.
The Geometry of Hand Sewing, pages 110-111.

Variation: Appliqué with Embroidery Stitch On Top

The same piece of cut appliqué fabric can be added to any project using a stitch that remains on the top of the cut appliqué piece. The Taupe and Black stripes in the fabric swatch above are applied with a Herringbone Stitch. This fabric also incorporates Couching applied with a Whipstitch.

See appliqué on top of a stripe with a Cretan Stitch in the photo below.

The Geometry of Hand-Sewing by Natalie Chanin, with instructions for the cretan stitch.
The Geometry of Hand Sewing, pages 82-83.

Variation: Appliqué with Embroidery Stitch Over Edge

Appliqué can be added to any project or garment using a stitch that goes over the edge of the cut appliqué piece as it enters the base. The photo below shows the appliqué stitched over the edge of the Tony stencil pattern.

Fabric swatch in ballet and navy with Tony design.

#memade #supportartisancraft


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Click to read 2 comments
  1. Tina

    I love these last two posts. They feel like free tutorials which I am grateful for. I miss more journal entries from you and look forward to each of them as I have for many years now.