How to Add Appliqué to An A-line Skirt


(This skirt was especially made for the delightful Belinda over at Mums Take Five as a very belated birthday present)


I’ve had this idea floating about in my head, and my sewing room, for a good few months now and I’m so pleased to finally show you the results.  I’ve drafted this as a tutorial to guide you along the process of adding appliqué to any base object – it might be a skirt, t-shirt, onesie, apron pocket, anything at all – the process is the same.  I actually drafted and sewed this skirt using a set of measurements but that’s a whole other story for another post.


To start, you’ll need your base piece of clothing, some fusible webbing, fabric scraps, a design to copy or other shape inspiration and your normal sewing supplies.

Appliqué webbing is the iron-on glue that we’ll melt onto the back of the fabric scraps to create our design.  It feels like paper on one side and has a slightly rougher texture the other.  It is also known by other names such as Vlisofix or Heat’n’Bond.  In Australia, I’ve found it’s easiest to ask for it at the cutting counter in your local supply shop and they’ll cut you some from a larger roll.

I really wanted to do a city scene along the bottom of a skirt.  I looked on Pinterest for various images and eventually found this gorgeous print of New York by Etsy seller Laura Amiss.


I wanted to keep a similar scale of the buildings in relation to each other so I measured my printout
and then multiplied by 3 to give me good coverage across the bottom of the skirt.

I drew rectangles onto the paper side of my fusible webbing using a lead pencil and cut them out roughly.



Iron them (rough side down) onto the wrong side of your fabric scraps.


Roughly cut out your shapes and make sure you’re happy with how things look so far.
(That white line is chalk pencil to help me keep my design straight and centred on the front of the skirt)


Now for the top buildings.  I also measured these and multiplied by 3 to keep the proportions and balance of the design.

Make more rectangles of fusible webbing and iron onto more fabric scraps using a dry iron.  Cut out roughly.


Place your design pieces on your base and see how they work together.  Re-do any elements that don’t work.


Cut out your elements along the pencil line.


Carefully peel off the backing paper, leaving the glue layer melted onto the back of your fabric scrap.

Forgot to take a photo of this step but take your base and your scraps over to your ironing board to place and then press the design
in their final positions.  Lift the iron up and down rather than pushing it along to prevent the design elements moving.


Set your sewing machine to a medium zigzag (I used length=2, width=2) and stitch around all the raw edges of each shape.
This will both fix them permanently to the base fabric and also prevent fraying when washing the skirt.




Add other details with stitching and other fabric scraps.  I used navy to make some windows and arches to the buildings.


Ta Dah!  The finished design.

This cityscape was straightforward but there were lots of elements to build up in the end (boom boom).  Go for it if you’d like to try something similar but I would suggest starting with something a little simpler as a first go.  Search Pinterest or Google Images for great appliqué designs.  Narrow your search to line drawings and look for pictures that use clear shapes as it’s bones (even without my windows, you could tell this was a cityscape).  Try to avoid curves until you’ve built some experience.  If you want to try, stop with your needle in your work every few stitches and make tiny little adjustments as you sew around the curved edges.

I invite you to email me with any questions or ask to join the Hunting for Ladybugs Helpdesk Facebook group.

Now got and pretty up a plain skirt and get those legs out for Spring!


Linking up with Hope from Nanny Shecando as part of the Step Into Spring series.

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