How to add dimension with applique

Bonjour! It's me again, Lo, from Seams Sew Lo! Almost two years ago, I made my Baby Girl a 3D Butterfly dress, you may see it here. Then I mader her a Ellie and Mac Unisex raglan with a another 3D Butterfly, here. She has since outgrown her gorgeous butterfly dress, so I decided to create her a new one and share with you on how you may make your own 3D Butterfly dress. Here is how to make your own!

First thing you need is an excellent free standing lace (fsl) embroidery design. I purchased the fsl butterfly embroidery in this tutorial from artapli on Etsy. Once you have it downloaded to your machine, the next thing you need is water soluble stabilizer. The quality of the stabilizer truly matters with free standing lace. I prefer to use Vilene Water Soluble Stabilizer. I cut two pieces slightly larger than your hoop of the water soluble stabilizer and double them up inside the hoop. I always double up my stabilizer for my free standing lace projects.

Once you have the stabilizer in the hoop, place it on the machine. Then, download the free standing lace butterfly embroidery design onto your embroidery machine. I use the Brother SE400, which has now been updated to the Brother SE600. This machine has been a workhorse for me. Stitch out the butterfly wings only; I used the 9 cm size.

For the turquoise and gold fsl butterflies, I used metallic embroidery thread. If not prepped properly, metallic thread can break very easily. However, I made several butterflies, with the metallic thread only breaking once. Please feel free to reference my tutorial how to make embroidering with metallic thread easier. Metallic thread is so pretty and Baby Girl and I love our sparkly butterflies.

When your fsl butterfly is all stitched out, take the butterfly over to the sink. (If you are not adding the fsl butterfly to anything, stitch out the body before washing off the stabilizer.) Let the water from the faucet warm up a little bit, then place the butterfly under the warm running water. The warm water will help the water soluble stabilize to dissolve faster.

Then, lay the free standing lace butterfly upside on a paper towel to dry. I prefer placing the butterfly upside down to dry to help retain the shape of the the butterfly wings. Repeat steps with other butterflies. I usually create all of my butterflies first.

When your butterflies, have completely dry, lay them out on the skirt fabric in the desired formation.

You may mark each butterfly location with a disappearing ink pen.

Then, add some Sulky Sticky Tear Away Stabilizer to your hoop. Place the hoop back on the embroidery machine.

Lay the fabric onto the hoop. Be VERY careful that no extra fabric slides underneath the hoop. This did happen to me once while creating this dress, as Baby Girl really wanted to play with her Mom while she was working. Luckily, I caught it fairly quickly. Although, I did have to cut a hole in the skirt. Fortunately, I was able to hide the hole in the hem line. So, please double check for any fabric, underneath the hoop. Then stitch out the placement line of the butterfly body.

Line the fsl butterfly wings up with the body placement line.

Then stitch out the fsl lace butterfly body. Pull the fabric away from the sticky stabilizer and Voila! You are done! Repeat with other butterflies. If your little one is sensitive to the embroidery designs, iron on some Sulky Tender Touch Stabilizer.

Now you have a beautiful 3D Free Standing Lace Butterfly Dress!

The Ellie and Mac School is cool dress was perfect for this 3D Butterfly Project. I wanted to add a mesh overlay, as I did in Baby Girl's DIY Fancy Nancy Costume. However, Baby Girl, wanted me to add the butterflies directly to the butterfly fabric. I love how she is coming up with her own design ideas.

The butterfly fabric is from Joann Fabric, from the doodles collection. You may find it here. Since the fabric is an interlock knit, I used some super soft mint double brushed polyester from Knitpop for the neckband. Now, go and make your own and do not forget to share your designs in the Ellie and Mac Facebook Group!

About the the author: Lo creates fun and unique fashion for her family over on the Seams Sew Lo Blog. She also hosts a Sewing Deals Calendar to find all of your favorite Sewing Deals. Follow Seams Sew Lo on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter. Have you downloaded the new Seams Sew Lo Sewing App yet??? It is available on Apple and Android! Find and Rate all of your favorite indie sewing pattern designers and fabric companies. Plus, find all of their latest sewing deals!

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