Thursday, July 9, 2009

Butterfly Butts

Those who have heard me rant about the inappropriateness of words and slogans on the butts of girls' pants might find the following evening shot incongruous:
The butterfly, however, turns out to be the perfect shape for reinforcing the backs of pants--look how the wings add extra strength to the often-abraded seat and upper thigh area, and the butterfly's body covers a seam that can commonly split through stress.

And also? The girls came in the study while I was ironing upholstery fabric to vinyl records (don't ask) and wanted stuff ironed to their stuff, too.

That being said, I'm still not in love with fusible webbing. If these pants weren't already on their death beds (I stuck a few more appliques and reverse appliques over the worst of the stains and holes on the fronts of the pants as well, just leaving the, you know, less worse alone), I probably wouldn't try the experiment, because I'm not positive that, over time, the appliques will be able to handle the stress of living on the butts of two very active little girls.

I do, however, recommend fusible webbing for projects that won't get a lot of wear, such as home dec stuff or the fronts of T-shirts, or projects with fiddly little designs, such as my butterfly, or even projects where you can't make your machine sewing accessible, such as a child's shirt sleeve. And here's how to do it (it's really easy):

1. Read the directions on your package of no-sew heat bond adhesive. I use , and Chasing Cheerios, who does a lot of fusible applique, uses Steam a Seam. If you're using a very thick fabric you may have to extend your ironing time by a few seconds, so the directions are something to think about ahead of time.

2. Lay your fabric face-down on your ironing surface, iron it so that it's wrinkle-free, and let it cool.

3. Lay your adhesive paper-side up, so that the adhesive side is facing the wrong side of your fabric.

4. Following the directions on the adhesive package, bond the adhesive to the fabric, bonding an area just bigger than your stencil or pattern (if I'm using a paper pattern, I'll sometimes lay it on top of the paper while I'm ironing so that I bond only the correct area.

5. Cut the bonded fabric away from the rest of the roll of adhesive.

6. Lay your stencil or pattern on top of the paper backing to the adhesive and trace your applique directly onto the paper.

7. Cut out your applique, using nail or thread scissors for those fiddly little corners.

8. Lay your item of clothing or whatever out on your ironing surface, iron the area to be appliqued, and let it cool.

9. Peel the paper off of your applique and place it on your material exactly where you want it to be.

10. Following the directions on the package, bond the applique to the material. If you go under the correct amount of ironing time your applique won't bond, but you can try again after it's cool. If you go over the correct amount of ironing time, however, the adhesive can melt into your applique fabric and then it won't bond at all.

To applique onto non-fabric, which is trickier, check out my post at Crafting a Green World.

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