Adventures in Applique

So here's the thing. I really don't care about sports. I happen to live in Wisconsin, so it's all green and gold all the time. When I meet people they say, "Oh, you must be a Packer fan," and that's a hard no. If I had to choose a team, it would be the Bears, for better or worse. I'm from the Chicago area, it's what I grew up on. Am I a Cubs fan? I really don't care. However, you bet I stayed up late and watched the last game of the World Series in 2016 and was on the edge of my seat hoping they'd pull it off. Not because I care personally, but I was aware of the historical significance of it. Good for them. 

Anyhoo, I saw a pattern (Simplicity 8521) for these jerseys and thought I could make my own, for my own team. Which is not a team at all.

This was my first attempt at doing anything with applique. Turns out it takes a lot of time to do - from cutting things out to actually attaching them to whatever you're making. Expressed as an equation, Applique = Time x Thread

Also on the things I learned is the satin stitch. This is what gives the applique a nice clean finish and ensures the applique items don't fray. I had to watch a video to understand the proper way to turn corners, and I think I got it down. I was fortunate to have a satin stitch presser foot on hand, which made things easier. 

The v-neck on this really gave me a hard time, and I can't even explain why. I couldn't get the center to sit right at the point of the V. It took four attempts, but I finally got it. 

I took the time to do extra topstitching on all the seams to make it look more finished.


For some reason, the pattern's directions implied that the applique should be done after the jersey is completely sewn together. This didn't make sense to me. Why not do the applique when it's still apart and make it easier to place everything and sew it on? So, I defied the directions and did the applique before sewing the whole thing together, which, in my opinion, made things a lot easier. 

So here's my jersey for Holy Hardcore Handmade. Rah rah go team whatever. I didn't get the number placement on the front correct - they are too low. I might pull them off and try again. Or, I might not.


The pattern came with child sizes too. It just so happens that there are two small people (my niece and nephew) arriving this week for Thanksgiving, and I decided to make them jerseys as well. 


When I make things for other people, I generally do a test first (one for me). I then apply lessons learned to the subsequent items, in this case, I used Sulky thread for the satin stitching on the child versions, which is that shiny silky looking stuff, and I think it adds a nice touch.


I also got better at the applique thing as I went. I also decided that a glue stick is better than pins for this because it doesn't cause the fabric to pinch as much when placing the letters. On my jersey, I basted the lettering on, and I think that's why it got more puckered. I threw caution to the wind and didn't baste the lettering on the small ones because the glue actually seemed to stick, and I think that produced better results.

Lastly, I actually looked at pictures of jerseys to figure out the placement for the lettering and numbers, and I think these look better.

These are almost done, I'm also applying some lessons learned and not hemming the bottom or sleeves until the small people are here in the flesh so I can have them put them on and I can get it just right.