• Fashion DIY: easy no sew appliqué project

    learn how I easily applied extensive floral applique to a fashion shirt without sewing a stitch
    Would it surprise you to learn I haven't undertaken a single creative project in months? When I lose my mojo, I really lose my mojo! Quite fortunately, I recently rekindled my interest in all things crafty and spent time embellishing this lovely Suzanne Betro piece I bought because I loved the ruffle and sleeves. After living with the shirty wrappy piece for a few months I decided the back was just a little plain for me (I called it the Great Wall of Starry) and thought it needed a little bohemian 'pop'.
    Here's a couple of before pics of the shirt.
    the original Suzanne Betro shirt viewed from the front, it has a lovely drapethe original back of the shirt, a terrific canvas for the floral applique I would use in this project
    I've completed several appliqué projects over the years using iron on, or stitch on appliqué and embroidery, and I usually rely on some fabric glue as well, but I discovered that this shirt was not friends with the needle and thread so I decided to use exclusively fabric glue for this project and that makes it a really easy, no sew project anyone could take on.
    For this project I used blue floral appliqués I had in my treasure basket (I had bought a lot of different elements on eBay, Etsy, and other places over the years) and fabric glue (I love Helmar brand) a couple of pins for securing the appliqué until I have glued the centre of the largest rose, and I needed a flannel or damp cloth to wipe up any mess and keep the glue nozzle clean. My glue bottle has been used a lot so the level of glue was less than a third of the bottle so I stood the bottle upended in a glass jar when it wasn't in my hands so I didn't have to keep waiting for the glue to come out the nozzle. 
    To keep the shirt from sticking to surfaces I used a silicon placemat under the fabric, but I also made sure now and then to shift the shirt. To keep the fabric taut and flat I used a couple of hand held weights to stop it from moving or bunching up.
    this image shows the appliqués placed on the back of the shirt, and the weights I used to hold the edges of the shirt away from my work space
    I placed both appliqué pieces on the back of the shirt and played with the spacing until I liked it, then I pinned the largest rose on the left appliqué so I would glue it in the correct place. I didn't bother pinning the rest as this shirt really doesn't like having holes put in it! I took the other appliqué away so that I could just work painstakingly on one piece.
    The fabric glue dries fast, so I worked on small sections at a time. I started with the centre of the largest rose and worked outwards. I tapped the surfaces of the appliqué repeatedly but not overly firmly (no point squeezing glue through onto the surface under the shirt) that was all that was required to make the appliqué adhere to the fabric evenly. 
    It was easy to work on small sections at a time, making sure the fabric was taut but not overstretched, and the placement of the appliqué was pleasing. If I had any tricky bits like some of the stems, I used a tiny dot of glue and tapping or I used a toothpick to get glue in where I needed it, again, tapping the surface after.
    The fabric glue is quite obedient - it doesn't really drip on your garment but if you get a little out of the edges you can blot it straight away with a clean section of your damp flannel or cloth. 
    When the first appliqué was entirely glued, and I knew it wasn't sticking to the silicon craft mat, I fetched the second appliqué and played with it again until I had it in a beautiful position on the back of the shirt, making sure it was well spaced. I chose not to do a mirror image or symmetrical position of the appliqué.
    Again, I started with the centre of the largest rose, and worked in small sections outwards, upwards, and until all sections of the appliqué were secured. I left the shirt overnight before beginning the sleeves because the shirt would have to be manhandled quite a lot during the next processes.
    I wanted to wrap the appliqués around the sleeves, so the next day, I slipped the shirt on, and held the rose where I could see it in the front of my sleeve and had someone pin it for me. 
    in order to wrap the appliqués around the sleeves I used a soda bottle inside the sleeve
    I worked on one sleeve one day, the other sleeve the next day, and I used a soda bottle with kitchen paper (greaseproof paper) taped around the bottle which was inserted in the sleeve. I had to really make sure not to glue the shirt to the bottle, so every now and then I made sure I could lift the fabric off the bottle. The bottle replicated my arm quite well, and I was able to judge how the appliqué was spanning the sleeve.
    Overall I'd say this project was easy, the fabric was more challenging than working with denim which the majority of my past projects have involved but it required more patience than skill and I think anyone could achieve this type of project without any sewing. On denim I usually use a few stitches here and there, this time I just made sure that even the edges were all securely glued down, a couple of places needed an extra dot of glue but these touch ups were very satisfying.
    And here are my proud "after" photos...
    a view of the completed back, showing the floral appliqués
    showing off the sleeve and side view of the appliqué
    the sleeves! here I am modelling the finished shirt
    I have my mojo back, and I'm undertaking a sewing course online so I can finally progress with my sewing and design skills, yay! Plus there will be some new earring designs coming soon, I promise!
    What have you been doing during these strange days of "isolation"? 
  • Comments on this post (2 comments)

    • Starzyia says...

      Thanks Chrissy, I’m glad you enjoyed the article, I hope inspiration takes you to amazing places, it can be so much fun.

      September 08, 2020

    • Chrissy says...

      Thank you for a fantastic guide to something new, Starry! I haven’t thought of doing a non-sew appliqué … but you have convinced me it’s possible! You shirt looked just gorgeous in your post-workshop photographs … so now I am definitely inspired … thank you!!
      🌹 🌹 🌹

      September 08, 2020

  • Leave a comment