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Techniques: How to make a Cutwork Applique Vest


The Wildly Wonderful Wearables Way...

During quilt and sewing shows we have a 45-second demonstartion of just how simple our cutwork-applique vests are to make. Since we can't see each for a one-on-one demonstration, we thought this just might be the next best thing.

You may download a PDF of these more detailed instructions here. These front shapes are only representations of the techniques - your vest shape and actual appliques will be determined by the themed pattern you're making.


Same Technique

All of our cutwork applique vests are made the same way. Everything is fused into place, then satin stitched down. You may add decorative stitching, beads, trims, or other personalized touches to truly customize your vest.

Step One

  1. Lay your lining fabric out and trace the outline of both fronts and back of the cutwork vest pattern.
  2. Cut the three pieces apart along the traced pattern pieces.
Step One  Lay your lining fabric out and trace the outline of both fronts and back of the cutwork vest pattern.   Cut the three pieces apart along the traced pattern pieces.

Step TwoStep Two  Fuse your lining fabric to fusible batting (fusible batting side up - be sure to use an applique pressing sheet or other protection for your iron to prevent the fusible from sticking to it).  Add aproximately 1" to the traced outline of the vest fronts and back. We noted this with a dashed line.  This extra will be used to help you hold your vest pieces as you sew them, and it gives the sewing machine needle an edge. This prevents the fabric and batting from being drawn into the feed dogs.

  1. Fuse your lining fabric to fusible batting (fusible batting side up - be sure to use an applique pressing sheet or other protection for your iron to prevent the fusible from sticking to it).
  2. Add aproximately 1" to the traced outline of the vest fronts and back. We noted this with a dashed line.
  3. This extra will be used to help you hold your vest pieces as you sew them, and it gives the sewing machine needle an edge. This prevents the fabric and batting from being drawn into the feed dogs.

Step Three

  1. Trim your side seams only to the traced pattern line.
  2. Sew the front and back together (lining sides together) at the side seam using a 1/2" seam.
  3. Turn over so the batting side is up.

Step Four

  1. Trim the extra batting from the side seams so the seam lay flat.
  2. We will be working with the BATTING SIDE UP for the rest of the vest construction.
  3. The diagram at the right shows the vest fronts sewn to the back at the side, the seams pressed flat, batting side up with the extra 1" traced around the pattern.
Step Four  Trim the extra batting from the side seams so the seam lay flat.  We will be working with the BATTING SIDE UP for the rest of the vest construction.  The diagram at the right shows the vest fronts sewn to the back at the side, the seams pressed flat, batting side up with the extra 1" traced around the pattern.

Step Five

  1. Line up the underarm bands, and any other of the outside bands along the traced pattern line. (Be sure to have removed any paper backing from your pieces)
  2. Line up the front and back yokes along the traced pattern lines.
  3. Fuse these pieces securely down.
Step Five  Line up the underarm bands, and any other of the outside bands along the traced pattern line. (Be sure to have removed any paper backing from your pieces)  Line up the front and back yokes along the traced pattern lines.  Fuse these pieces securely down.

Step Six

  1. Start to layout your individual applique pieces (paper backing removed) on the vest.
  2. You may follow the pattern diagram or use your own personal, layout design.
Step Six  Start to layout your individual applique pieces (paper backing removed) on the vest.  You may follow the pattern diagram or use your own personal, layout design.

Step Seven

  1. Continue with the applique pieces until the entire vest is covered.
  2. Remember to overlap the applique pieces and cover the side seams for stability.
  3. Fuse all the appliques down.
Step Seven  Continue with the applique pieces until the entire vest is covered.  Remember to overlap the applique pieces and cover the side seams for stability.  Fuse all the appliques down.

Step Eight

  1. Use a dense satin stitch to sew down all the yokes and bands.
  2. Use the same satin stitch (in your choice of widths) to sew down all the applique pieces.
  3. When everything is sewn down, use a seam sealant along only the thread that touches any batting.
Step Eight  Use a dense satin stitch to sew down all the yokes and bands.  Use the same satin stitch (in your choice of widths) to sew down all the applique pieces.  When everything is sewn down, use a seam sealant along only the thread that touches any batting.

Step Nine

  1. When the seam sealant is dry, use a fine tipped scissor (I use applique scissors) and cut away any visible batting from between the applique pieces and the outside edge. (See the diagram Step Eight)
  2. If you'd like to do any decorative stitches, beading, or other embellishments do it now, while the vest is laying flat.
  3. The last thing you will do it match the shoulder seams, front to back, slightly overlap them, and satin stitch together.
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