Five Steps: Master Multilayer Applique

Learn how to create a fashion-forward multilayer appliqué design that incorporates lettering and an image.

  1. Integrate cutting and sewing into one seamless process with a laser bridge machine.This design was created on a laser bridge machine, but it could also be done on a single-head embroidery laser. How you digitize the design will depend on which machine you buy and which system you use. There are two types of systems. In one type, the digitizing software and laser-cutting software allow you to digitize the design, and it automatically distinguishes between stitching and cutting. The other type of system requires you to digitize the design and import it into a laser-cutting program, which determines the cut lines.
  3. Consider how each layer will affect the garment’s stability. The white background layer has to be first as the other layers are sewn on top. However, because the blue and the tan layers don’t overlap, you have the option of which to sew first. Because the blue streams stretch across a wider portion of the sweatshirt, it’s better to sew this layer down first. You always want to sew down the appliqué first and the lettering second. This minimizes distortion and puckering that can occur when doing lettering.
  5. Measure fabric size. Your fabric pieces need to be large enough to cover the cut design area, but not so big that there will be too much waste. In general, aim to have about an extra inch of fabric around the cut design’s outer edge. This gives enough to allow for a margin of error without sacrificing more than is needed.
  7. Choose the right fabric. One of the greatest advantages of using an embroidery laser is that there’s no longer a requirement for material to have some stiffness, as is needed for traditional appliqué. In laser embroidery, once the fabric swatch is laid in the hoop, it’s not moved again until it’s sewn down and the excess is pulled away. Some options growing in popularity for laser embroidery are fleece, jersey and synthetic felt.