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How Do I Choose the Best Applique for Kids?

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  • Written By: Anna B. Smith
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 15 September 2016
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To choose the best applique for kids, teachers should begin by showing their students how to sewn a simple design by hand onto a piece of fabric. Hand applique exposes young learners to the basic principles of hand stitching, and is often easier to master than machine applique. By choosing a simple design, children are able to follow curves and straight edges around the whole of the pattern, without becoming frustrated by difficult points and edges. This type of instruction should be supervised by an adult initially.

Applique is the process of adding a fabric design to the top of a sewing project. This design may be affixed to a wide variety of sewing projects, including quilts, pillows, clothing, and bags. Traditional applique involves sewing the fabric design onto the project by hand in such a way as to hide the stitches once the thread has been pulled tight. Machine applique stitches along the edge of the design using a sewing machine, and allows the thread to remain visible on top of the project.

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The easiest type of applique for kids who are learning this technique for the first time is hand applique. Experienced seamstresses may prefer to design their own project for the children they are teaching, while beginner sewers may benefit from purchasing an introductory applique book. The selected design that will be sewn to the top of the project should be relatively simple, featuring gentle curves without complicated edges or corners. An apple makes an excellent design for learning purposes for those attempting applique for the first time.

To increase the interest of the child in the overall project, teachers may find it beneficial to have the children applique the design onto an item they will use. Pillows and pencil bags are two types of sewing projects that can be completed by children on a sewing machine with adult supervision in a short amount of time and be taken home for use.

Selecting hand applique for kids teaches them some of the fundamental skills of sewing. They learn to thread a needle and tie off their thread so that it stays embedded in the project. They learn to make small stitches that blend into the fabric. They also learn how to match thread to their fabric, so that the two blend together. Every step of the project should be completed with adult guidance, though the children can be allowed to sew the fabric themselves.

Once a child has finished several projects of hand applique for kids, she may move on to machine applique. This process can be completed more quickly than hand sewing, though some skill is required to thread the machine and maneuver the needle around the top design. Most machine appliques also require that the design be initially ironed onto the fabric using a fusible web before stitching begins. This step should typically completed by an adult only, depending on the child's age.

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