Burpcloth Applique Tutorial

My class on Applique and Embellishment is now one week away.  On top of that, I am going to teach sewing to two teens beginning Thursday.   In the midst of all of the samples and class projects, I have still managed to eek out another easy tutorial.  This one is on how to applique a burp cloth.  These make great baby gifts AND they use up some of your scraps.  Best of all, they make a lovely personalized gift for a newborn!


Let’s begin with supplies:

1 Pre-fold Diaper
Fabric Scraps
Steam a Seam 2
Sewing Machine
Purchase a package of Pre-fold diapers.  I like the ones that Target sells.  The thicker ones are great for this project, but the less expensive, thinner pre-folds will work, too.
Choose a great font. If you need to get a font for this project, search free font sites such as www.dafont.com and www.urbanfonts.com.   For this project I went to www.urbanfonts.com and searched under  “Outline.”  I chose (don’t laugh) the font, “Snott.”  I wanted my lettering to be a little wonky.  Whatever you choose, be sure that it will work for an appliqué.
Open your word processing program and type in the name you are going to appliqué.  You will need to increase the font size considerably.  Most pre-fold diapers have a thick middle section that is approximately 4” tall.  This is where you will be putting your name appliqué.  The font size will depend upon the name length.
Print out your letting.  Depending on the font you choose, you may only be able to get one to two letters per sheet of paper.  Trim around the outline.

Choose your fabric.  For this project, anything goes.  I like to lay it out first to see how the colors will look.


There are two ways you can outline your letters:
    A.  Apply Steam A Seam 2 to the back of your fabric(s).  Now, trace your fully trimmed
          letters BACKWARDS onto the paper-backed side of the fusible webbing.   Trim the



    B.  Trace the lettering BACKWARDS directly onto the paper side of the fusible
          webbing.  Then iron the webbing onto the back of your fabric. This method is
          more economical and will use less of the Steam A Seam 2 or other fusible
          webbing.  You may need to outline the lettering on the backside with a Sharpie.


Place your letters in the thicker middle section of the pre-fold diaper.  Press with a hot iron until they are fused.

Choose a contrasting thread for the top stitching and use white thread in the bobbin.  This way, you don’t have to add a strip of fabric to the back to hide the stitching.  Zigzag around the outside of each letter.  Don’t forget to stitch around the inside openings!

That’s all there is to it!


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  1. says

    This is a terrific website – thank you! I lead a sewing crafting ladies group on Saturday afternoons here in The Villages, FL, a lovely retirement community. Thanks again!

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