Sewing: Hand Applique On Onesie {Pattern & Tutorial}

Garden Bug Applique on Onesie

Garden Bug Applique on Onesie

Picture 2 of 3 (Click arrow for more pictures)


Spent a few hours working late at night in my sewing room to come out with a few appliques designs on onesies (or onsies?) for my 7 month-old godson, just in time for him to pack and take home after a long holiday with his mom here. These garden bug applique patterns were built from some simple symmetrical shapes of ovals and circles. With some fabric scraps, fusible web, and embroidery flosses etc on hand, you should be able to finish them in an hour or 2.
 
Get the tutorial of doing these “patch-on” garden bug appliques and also the how-to for the quick way after this jump:
 
I wanted to come out with a hand applique tutorial ever since I made the applique pajamas for my son…. 2 years ago. What? Already 2 years!!!! My once cuddly little baby, the crawling and walking toddler suddenly turns into an energetic young little boy that never stop running and climbing whose trying to show his mom (me!) a few heart-attack-trigger & hair-raising stunts. Sometimes, I really miss those days where he could sleeps up to 12 hours at night plus 2 – 3 long naps at daytime, what a peaceful day with no shouting, no screaming, no yelling, no fighting…. sigh! See, I really missed those days!
 
There are a few ways of doing hand applique, either by traditional needle turn sewing (edge heming) or modern fuse/stick on then embroidery the edges, all it means is to attach patches of fabrics onto a garment surface to form the embellished pattern you want. The time needed to complete an applique depends on how complicated the pattern is. Running out of time or too lazy to prepare patch by patch? there is also a quick way to do applique by using ready prints on fabric (as shown in the last 2 pictures below). Besides the normal patch-on applique, you can do applique in the reverse way, click here to go to the reverse applique tutorial.
 

Difficulty level: Easy

Material:
1. Onesie or romper or any garment you would like to have the applique on.
2. Fabric scraps
3. Fusible web or heat ‘n bond
4. Pencil
5. Embroidery floss & needle
6. Erasable fabric marker
7. Fray check (optional, use with sewing machine’s option)

Tools:
1. Sewing machine (optional)
2. Iron
3. Scissor
4. Small embroidery hoop, I used 4″ dia. size.

Garden Bug Applique PatternDownload the garden bug applique pattern (consist of Bumble Bee, Lady Bug & Caterpillar) in pdf format. {It will either open in new tab or open a small window asking you to save it as file. The default folder normally is under “/downloads”}
The pattern is in letter size paper, don’t scale the printing if you want the exact size like the one I made.
{If you can’t download the pdf pattern, probably you don’t have acrobat reader, download the latest version for free, here.}

Bumble Bee Applique MaterialTrace the applique pattern on the paper backing of the fusible web. You don’t have to mirror these patterns since they are in symmetrical shapes.
Choose your scraps for colors and sizes that suit the pattern.
(Now, you know why I seldom throw small little scraps away after each sewing projects and keep them all in my fabric scrap container when I did my craft room organization & storage ;) They are indeed are my treasured trashes.)

Garden Bug Applique Fusible IronSet iron to medium heat. Place the traced fusible web with rough side (adhesive) down onto the wrong side of the scrap.
Glide the warm iron on them to melt the adhesive of the fusible web and thus bond it to the fabric scrap.
Check the bonding after it’s cool and make sure the adhesion is good.

Garden Bug Applique SewIf you use sewing machine for the satin stitch, do this step now. If you hand embroidery the satin stitch, you can do this step later during the embroidery stage.
Set your sewing machine to the widest zigzag stitch (about 3/16″, 5mm wide) and near to zero stitch length (normally use for buttonhole). Try on your other scrappy fabric to test it out before the actual work.
Satin stitch 3 rows of black stripes on the bumble bee body, extend slightly out from the pattern’s outline.
Drop 1 – 2 drops of fray check on the satin stitch that intersect with the pattern’s outline. Leave it aside to let them absorb and dry for a few minutes.

Garden Bug Applique Pattern CutCut the patterns out from the fabric, preferably using a pair of small sharp tip scissors since the pattern is small.
Onesie Applique Iron FusePeel off the fusible web paper backing. Position the pattern on the onesie. Iron with warm iron to bond the pattern on. Again, check the bonding after it is cool.
Onesie Applique Bumble Bee PatternRepeat the cutting and ironing for the bumble bee body after the fray check is almost dry. If the thread ends start to ravel after the cutting, add a few more drops of fray check on them.
Onesie Applique Embroidery HoopUnscrew the embroidery hoop to its maximum, and put it on to the onesie. Don’t pull and try to straighten the onesie inside the hoop, this will stretch the knit of the onesie and thus cause the bonding to break and pattern to go off position.
Onesie Applique EmbroideryMark with fabric marker and embroidery the pattern as shown in the pdf pattern sheet.
If you use hand to embroidery the satin stitch instead of sewing machine, please do it now.

Onesie Applique Lady BugLady bug has a satin stitch on its body too. If sew by sewing machine, either slowly decrease or increase the zig-zag width as you work your way from one end to another. Again, use fray check to stop the ends from raveling.
Onesie Applique CaterpillarCaterpillar design is slightly wider than 4″. If you use 4″ embroidery hoop, you will need to do the embroidery by sections.
Onesie Applique AlphabetBesides the garden bug designs, you can personalize the onesie with letter or symbols.
I did it with double running stitch about 3/16″ apart.

Onesie Applique TortoiseA quick way of doing an applique is by cutting out the outline of the prints from fabrics. Then, embroidery the outline of each part to disguise it like the real applique.
Onesie Applique PuppyAnother quick way, see how the stem stitch on the ear give an impression that it is from another fabric stick on the puppy’s head.
By the way, the word “adorable” comes with the onesie and please don’t ask me how to do it ;)

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20 comments... read them below or add one

  1. hi, love them so much.. so cute. will definitely try to make these set for my baby.
    i wonder what type of stitch do u use on the little cicrle for the catterpillar legs?

  2. Hi,

    Love all the crafts you made. love this one as well. by the way,may i know where can i buy the Fusible web ? Thank you and keep up the good work. :)

  3. Thank you for reply….. :)
    I live in kl…
    Is it possible if we left out the fusible web ?

    • Yes, you can do without the fusible web, just secure the position with pins when sewing. Fusible web is indeed making the job easier especially on knitted / stretchy fabric.

  4. Maravilloso tutorial como siempre.
    Los appliques son lindos!!!
    Muchas gracias.
    Besos

    Spanish to English translation (by Google):
    Wonderful tutorial as always.
    The appliques are cute!
    Thank you very much.
    Besos

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  6. Thank you so very much for this adorable creation and excellent tutorial. I’ve been searching all morning for a simple bumble bee pattern and this is perfect! ~karen

  7. These are adorable! Have they held up to use? I tried doing some small applique on a wallet (you can see it here http://pixipanda.deviantart.com/#/d2vj7cr) about a year ago, and the fabric on one side of the rhino’s head has come loose from the stitches. :( Do you know how I can keep this from happening on future projects? I’d like to try making some gifts like these onesies for my little niece, but I’m afraid my applique will come off again.

    • Mine still bond tight to the onesie even after machine wash. Even the pajamas I did for my son still in good condition. I am not sure why but it is should be related the type of heat-n-bond fusible web, the applique fabric and the stitches on the edges.
      Hope this help.

  8. Oh wow, I’m so trying these for the next baby gift!

  9. I went looking for onesie applique ideas and came across this post. Thanks so much for sharing your pattern and ideas! These are adorable! I’m planning to make some baby gifts and I love giving them these little handmade touches. I haven’t done any embroidery in a long time, but this looks simple enough for me to handle! :)

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  12. Great tutorial! I was wondering how this was done and your tutorial is very detailed! Thanks for sharing. I have one question, is there anything that goes through the inside of the shirt so that the stitching doesn’t show?
    Thanks again!

  13. I love, love, love your site, blog, and detailed tutorials!!! Thank you for sharing your brilliant ideas! What size embroidery needles do you use/recommend?

  14. May i know where i cn find other paterns for applique.. Btw where is the shop in penang u r telling about..?? Im in penang too

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