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How to Use Cotton Appliqués Instead of Felt, A Doll And Softie Making Tutorial

Posted on September 02, 2011
Want to create a different look for your Dolls and Softies? Why not try cotton appliqués instead of felt ones.

“But Sarah, cotton frays!!!” I hear you cry … this is true, but there are a number of ways around this.

Here are my Top 3 Methods. Best of all, they are fast and really easy!
My Pocket Princess Sewing Pattern has a Cotton Hair Applique Tutorial included in it!



1) Add a Seam Allowance.

Take your felt pattern piece and add a ¼ seam allowance around it. You might have to modify the pattern piece to make it easier to hem, but once you have hemmed it, simply use it as you would your felt.

or - you can add a muslin backing - thus cut 2 hair pattern pieces out including the added seam allowance - 1 from your cute cotton, 1 muslin - pin together right sides facing each other - sew around and turn :) Use as you would felt :) 

My Ribbon Tag Owl by Courtney of SquishyBee  (USA)

2) Use Fusible Interfacing.

I love the stuff! It’s quick and easy and allows you to use intricate shapes, such as tails, and noses plus it stops all fraying edges in its tracks! There are many types out on the market, just follow the manufactures instructions … but here’s a tutorial for you all :)



a) Cut out your tail in both fabric and fusible interfacing/webbing and iron the fabric and Fusible interfacing together (following the manufactures instructions.) You can also opt to fuse your fabric and the interfacing together prior to cutting out your tail.



b) Cut around the tail with your pinking shears.



c) Peal off the paper backing and postion it onto your back body piece, approximately an inch from the bottom and sew 1/8 of an inch from the edge all the way around.



d) Pull each of the thread ends through to the back and tie off in a knot. And your done.

If you don’t use your pinking shears around your tail, be sure to sew it in place using a tight zigzag stitch (or satin stitch) to stop fraying.

My Horse Zebra Pattern by Lorilee (AU) She used cotton for her horse's nostrils instead of felt!

DollsAndDaydreams Pattern handmade by oh sew bonny
My Mermaid Pattern by Oh Sew Bonnie: Look how lovely her hair is!
Cocomia used fusible webbing for her Ballerina's hair!

3) Fray Check.

Always test the fray check on a piece of fabric first to make sure it will not stain. Cut out your appliqués piece and go around the edge with your fray check, set it aside until it is dry and then sew. You can use a decorative stitch around the edges, a tight zig-zag or just sew around 1/8 from the edge.

Read more in my Fray Check Tutorial Here.

Have you tried any of these methods?  Do send me your photos or add them to my Facebook page :)

Danika's (Australia) Little Sister Dolly has the prettiest polka dot hair!

My Owl Pattern by Mariane (AU) She used a cotton tie for her cute owl!

DollsAndDaydreams Pattern handmade by sadia france
Sadia (France) used the same fabric for the top of her Lambs woolly head as her tummy!


 Happy Sewing from Sarah
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