Sometimes embroidering directly onto a garment is impractical, impossible or simply ineffective. Creating your own embroidered patches is a straightforward alternative for these situations. You can directly sew your design into organza fabric instead of a finished garment. These can then be cut out into patches and sewn onto just about anything. They’re simple to create and surprisingly beautiful, with results quite much like their traditionally embroidered counterparts. And with this technique of embroidery, you can precisely position without opening seams, embroidering over lumpy seam allowances or worrying about exact placement when hooping.
What you will need – Besides general machine embroidery supplies (top quality backing, embroidery design, thread, embroidery needles), you’ll need polyester organza to serve as a base to stitch on. One additional item will allow you to make perfect appliques: a heat tool. This may be a wood-burning tool, a stencil cutter or even a multi-purpose tool (available at most craft stores).
The heat tools have different tips, and you’ll probably realize that the one using a very sharp point is easiest to handle. This tool will disappear excess organza round the outside of the embroidery, leaving the outlines intact and providing a soft and pliable applique you can affix to just about everything. Keep a very damp sponge in your work area while melting the organza to clean up the tip in the tool and take off any melted organza that might otherwise stain the embroidery thread
Designs – Nearly every design can become a patch. Once you evaluate a design, look for open areas or any parts of straight stitching that may be troublesome. Resist the obvious thought to remove tile organza round the straight stitching. Straight stitching isn’t stable enough to withstand wear and tear, as well as the organza will eventually work its way out from under tile stitches. It’s also advisable to leave the organza within the open work areas.
Organza is very stable and stands up well to your heavy stitch count design. Dark colors will show through with light colored thread, so select a neutral color organza that can work well with most designs. Leave the organza in the open parts of tile design to incorporate dimension and stability.
Although an excellent base fabric for embroidered patches, organza still must be stabilized. Use either water-soluble backing or a professional-quality, tear-away backing. Make an effort to match the backing towards the garment fabric and so the design will blend in to the background. Usually one layer will suffice, but if the stitch count warrants a heavier backing, use multiple layers. It can still give a soft, pliable applique. Hoop the backing and organza together in a hoop large enough to support the embroidered design.
Note: Slippery organza is going to be much easier to hoop should you first adhere it for the backing with a temporary spray adhesive.
Once the design is stitched on the organza, remove it from the hoop, and gently remove excess backing from tile back. Remove all backing before melting the organza. The backing will leave a gummy residue on the heat tool and can mar the embroidery. Use tweezers to get rid of any backing caught in small areas. Although it’s generally not advised to clip the tlrreads on tile back of any design, clip any that may show on the front. Leave some thread tails that can be tucked behind the applique as soon as you attach it towards the garment. Make use of the heat tool to get rid of excess organza from round the side of your design. This is actually the exact same technique used qawntn professionally manufactured custom embroidered patches.
Run the tool approximately 1/8″ away from the design edges. Don’t get too close, as polyester embroidery threads will melt using this heat source. Rayon embroidery thread can better withstand the warmth of the tool. After the organza is melted, the applique boasts stable edges and secure outlines.
Attaching the patches you’ve created – Always use a thread color which fits the style outline. Then machine stitch appliques in position utilizing a narrow zigzag. Or hand-sew to secure using small overcast stitches.
On sleeves or pant legs, the circumference will be the deciding factor for the way an applique is attached. For example, on the featured garment, too-narrow sleeves prohibited machine-applied appliques. When attaching multiple appliques on one garment, use the same technique throughout for the best overall look. Once all of the appliques are in place, attach any desired trims and buttons.