How to Use an Applique Press Sheet
Since all of my applique designs are done using the fusible method, I thought a post on how to use an applique press sheet might be helpful. If you like to applique by machine using this method you already know how valuable an applique press sheet can be. I will admit that as I am sewing and working in my sewing studio it usually looks as if a tornado has passed through! However, I can usually lay my hands on my applique press sheet at any time. It is a tool I can’t live without so I always put it where I can find it.
The main advantage of this wonderful product is that it has sort of a “teflon” finish to it that allows you to press all the pieces of your applique design together as one unit, let it cool, and then peel it off and place it in the proper position on your background fabric. If you have ever fused a design down, one piece at a time, on your backgound fabric you may have run into issues of it not being centered or in the specific place you wanted, or maybe it wasn’t straight and was leaning one way or another!
Hopefully these instructions will help you to understand the process and make your life easier.
First of all you will need an applique design…
Trace your design onto fusible web, my particular favorite is Heat ‘n Bond Lite.
Be sure to leave approximately 1/2 inch between each pattern piece. Number each piece accordingly just inside the drawn line of each piece. It may also be helpful to write the fabric color on each piece along the inside edge.
Roughly cut your fusible web pieces apart, leaving about 1/4 inch outside the drawn line.
I like to trim out the center fusible area on large pieces so that there isn’t a build up of fusible which can make your design too stiff. To do this, simply cut the center from your fusible web, leaving approximately 1/4 inch from the inside drawn line. (This is why you label your number and fabric color close to the inside drawn line so that it won’t be cut away during this trimming process.) Be very careful with larger pattern pieces so that you don’t distort your design when you begin to iron this “strippy” piece down.
Lay each piece on the WRONG side of the appropriate fabric and fuse. Be sure to check the iron settings for your particular fusible web as they sometimes vary.
Cut each of your pieces out on the drawn line.
Although my patterns are reversed for you to trace your design onto fusible web, you do need to flip your pattern sheet over and use a light box or sunny window to trace your design on the back of the pattern sheet for the next step. This will ensure that your design will look the way it should when you are ready to fuse it to your fabric and you can place this under your applique press sheet as a guide for fusing.
Lay your applique press sheet on your ironing board and place the pattern sheet underneath so that your drawn design can be seen through the press sheet.
Remove the paper backing from your pieces and begin layering your design by placing the piece that is the farthest away from the top down first, lightly press in place.
Continue to add pieces , making sure that no gaps are showing.
When all the pieces have been fused in place, let your design cool and then peel it from your press sheet.
Now lightly press your background fabric down the center both horizontally and vertically.
This will give you lines to center your design. When you are happy with the placement, fuse in place.
My favorite applique press sheet is by Bear Thread Designs. It is sturdy and has served me well for several years.
I hope you find this little demo useful and begin your own love of fusible applique!