Tuesday, January 27, 2015

How to Applique Tiny Things: SOCKS!

Some items you simple cannot hoop! Take, for instance, a cute pair of baby socks. I am going to use our Star Studded applique alphabet set and a cute pair of pink baby socks for my project. So how in the world does one go about monogramming or appliqueing such an impossible item? Keep reading.

First we need to start with the right stabilizer. I chose an adhesive back stabilizer. This type of stabilizer comes on a roll. I am using the 5x7 hoop so I cut a piece to fit my hoop and peeled off the backing. This can be kind of tedious to peel away when its curly. It very well might be the hardest part of the whole project!

Next we need to stitch the first die line of the star. This is to show us where the machine will be stitching so that we know where to put our garment or item. Because I am using a sticky stabilizer, the foot seems to stick briefly with each pass making a clicking noise lol.

Now we want to place the baby sock over the die line. When doing socks, obviously the cuff will be turned down. The orientation of placement can be DISorienting as you mentally work out how to position the item in the hoop so that it's not upside down! TIP: Hold the baby sock as if it were on the baby with the cuff turned down. Now take a pearl ball straight pin and put it on the baby sock with the pearl ball facing up and the pin facing down. When you turn the cuff up, this will help you see where this tiny applique needs to be placed because you put a straight pin in the sock where the applique would be. Stick the sock to the stabilizer OVER the die line. I used more stick pins to pin the rest of the tiny sock out of the way of the passing needle and foot. I just pin the sock to the stabilizer backing to secure it. This should hold nicely.

At this point you can back up your machine and restitch that first die line. But ya know, I'm lazy!  I trust that my placement of the sock will suffice. Now we need to prep that applique fabric!  I am choosing to use some of that sequin sparkly fabric you often see in the fabric department at Hobby Lobby. This stuff is ULTRA sheer (except for the sequins) and STRETCHY! I need to make this fabric more stable for sewing with, so I am going to use my adhesive stabilizer to back my fabric.

Now we need to place the prepped fabric over the sock for TACK DOWN!  Run the tack down stitches. Afterward, you will trim next to the tack down line to remove excess fabric.

And now we will do the third color step and let the machine stitch the satin stitches to finish the raw edge of our fabric.

Notice that there is SOME pulling due to the fact that this cute little pink sock is really stretchy. I can live with :)  Finally we will stitch out the monogram letter that goes in the center of the star applique. This applique is a REALLY small one so, of course, the letter is going to be even smaller and some detail can be lost due to its diminished size.

Now its time to remove the sock from the hoop and perform the same steps on the opposite sock. Remember most people have one left foot and one right foot so be sure to make a left and a right :) Here is my finished project! Turned out really adorable for a new baby!

I hope this project give you the courage to tackle some unexplored territory and broaden your skills. There will be some times when this type of project will fall in your lap. Although I chose to do a set of socks, you could use this technique to do some other items like sleeve cuffs, baby beanie hats, pants legs, and pockets. Until next time!


Lou Ann said...

Great tutorial! Very informative for a beginner like me.

Anonymous said...

Just found your blog and this is awesome!!! My in laws gave my oldest daughter an embroidery machine recently and I have been " begging" her to make me some personalized baby beanies for our newest addition coming in May but she keeps saying they are TOO SMALL. Can't wait to show her your blog! What a wonderful sight you have here. It totally made my day! I think this should be really helpful. Thanks again! My in laws live 1,000 miles away so she can't get much help from them on how to use her machine.

Sonja Kuvik said...

Thank you for a great tutorial! So cute!