i had some trouble deciding what gift to make a friend for her recent baby shower. a minky baby blanket? a kimono?
nah... i had already made those for other people. i wanted to try something new. like applique onesies. i'm sure you've seen them. they are all over the place, and for good reason. a plain onesie is nothing much to look at, but slap on an applique car, bird, airplane, giraffe, or puppy, and you suddenly have yourself one adorable baby outfit.
if you search google, there are endless hits for "applique onesie tutorial". still, i had trouble finding exactly what i was looking for. i wanted my applique to "pop" off the onesie. a year or two ago, i had purchased some onesies that had a raised applique, and i wanted to replicate the process. the secret appeared to be a felt backing.
unfortunately, the felt i had (from the bolt, not the craft felt you buy in small sheets), claimed to not be machine washable. i was disappointed, and at first resigned myself to doing a normal applique. but after some thought, i decided to try it anyway with some old scrap knit.
i used steam-a-seam 2 sheets, because there is a lining on both sides, so i could draw the image on before cutting. the instructions are simple: 1. draw the design on in reverse on paper liner. 2. remove liner and press onto the wrong side of your fabric 3. cut shape. 4. peel 2nd backing, stick on to the product, and iron (to fuse).
however, instead of fusing the applique on the product, i stuck the applique onto a piece of felt instead, trimmed around, and ironed it to fuse. then i sewed the applique onto the scrap of knit. i threw the test in with the laundry, and ran a normal wash and dry cycle. no damage!
i made her two onesies. one with her future baby's initial (using alexander henry's bangle dot fabric), and one with a bird (random fat quarter from joanne's).