I’ve said before how intrigued I am by appliqué and learning more about it.  I’m also the first to admit that I’m a newbie to the embroidery world, even though I’ve been sewing for about 20 years — I’m excited to continue learning and sharing these projects with you.

When I would see applique projects in the past, I would just get confused:

  • How is the fabric placed in the perfect spot? 
  • How is the fabric cut so perfectly?
  • Is this real life?

Okay, not really the last question, but I was intrigued by the process!  I had only done applique in the past that I either tacked down by hand or manually with a machine.  Well, for those of you applique newbies like myself, I’m here to tell you that I have answers to both of those questions.  If you’ve been doing applique for the last 20 years and already know to get the fabric in the right spot, I’m about to show you how easily you can have the fabric already cut for your projects as well!

So let’s begin by tackling a simple applique design with the Brother PE770.  


The machine makes it easy to follow as it walks through each step of the applique process.  The answer to my first question — the placement of the fabric? — is simple.  The first pass is a single outline so I know exactly where to place my fabric.  After my fabric is in place, it’ll tack down the material in an identical pass, as shown below.  


After the fabric is tacked down, you’ll take a small pair of scissors to cut as close to the seam as possible.  There are special scissors you can buy that I’m sure make this process easier, but if this was always how I had to tackle applique, I think this project would have been my first….and last.


When you are done trimming away the excess fabric, you are left with something like the photo above.  Yours will probably look better than mine does!  


Pop your hoop back into your machine and start pass 3 — this will be the satin stitch around the perimeter of the shape.  You’ll continue these steps for any additional pieces of fabric in the applique pattern.  

  1. Single outline for placement. 
  2. Single outline to take down fabric.
  3. Trim away the excess fabric. 
  4. Satin stitch to complete. 

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All in all, a pretty painless process right?  I would agree, except the perfectionist in me hates how difficult it is to trim around that outline seam.  


It looks great from far away! But up close…


There are so many little pieces of fabric sticking out where I wasn’t able to trim close enough to be covered by the satin stitch.  

How can we skip that step?  Let me tell you. 

The ScanNCut in conjunction with the BES Embroidery Lettering 3 software allows you to make a cut file from any applique pattern.  

Watch in the video below as I demonstrate how to either print the shapes to scan into your ScanNCut or download the .SVG file to convert in canvas.  


After you’ve created the cut file for your applique, we’ll prep our fabric by ironing the iron-on adhesive to the wrong side.  You can watch how I cut fabric for applique here. 

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Now that your applique pieces are ready to go, we can applique quickly, without needing to cut and trim away excess fabric. 


Because our fabric is already cut-to-size, we can skip the “tack down” stitch we did before.  On the PE-770 Machine, press the Adjust button and move ahead through the steps, skipping the second single pass made to tack down the fabric.  


I also found that it was easier to skip ahead to all of the outline stitches first, so I knew exactly where to place my fabric.  You don’t need to worry about pieces overlapping because they are cut to size.   


Using a small iron, tack down the pieces in place — do not remove your fabric from the hoop!  You need your applique pattern to be in the exact same place for the satin stitches and the completely of the design. 


Now that the fabric is in place, you can navigate back to the satin stitches needed for the design.  


The perfectionist in me?  Love how crisp and clean the edges are.  No small frays or excess fabric peeking through the stitching!


On Monday, we’ll be taking what we’ve learned about applique and the ScanNCut Machine, and I’ll be sharing how I made these invitations and envelopes — free downloads will be included as well.  Stay tuned!



This post was done in collaboration with Brother.  All ideas, patterns and opinions are my own.  




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