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“Golden Owl” Applique Tutorial

Golden Owl Applique Pattern



Here’s a super-simple appliqué pattern that is quick, easy, and adorable!  This little owl could be made up in lots of different fabric combinations, but I thought it would be really fun for autumn through Thanksgiving if I made it all in shades of gold, brown, and orange.  And it goes perfectly with the Autumn Patches jeans which you can make with the eBook patterns available in my Etsy shop, mamas*little*treasures.

 Basic Supplies for the Golden Owl Applique T-Top

One t-top, short or long sleeve

(I used Old Navy and found that the knit is stable and easy to work on)

Scraps of fabric in any color combination you like

Matching or coordinating thread

Fusible interfacing

Fusible web

Sharp scissors

Buttons for eyes

           Whenever I do an appliqué, I always begin by pressing the t-top very carefully to smooth out any wrinkles or creases.  This is a very important step, and it is important to press throughout the appliqué process.


          Lay your t-top face up and press the entire front where you will place your appliqué design.


  Turn the top inside out, and on the INSIDE of the front of the top, press a piece of fusible interfacing.  This piece of interfacing should cover the entire inside front, from the neckline to the bottom, and from side to side.  Much of this will be trimmed away, but it is important that you do not accidentally try to appliqué stitch on the knit fabric without the interfacing for stability.


 Now it’s time to get the appliqué pieces ready!  First, print out the enclosed patterns, and cut out the paper pieces.  Choose several different fabric scraps that are various sizes.  Press fusible interfacing to the back of your fabric scraps.  This provides stability for your appliqué pieces when you are stitching them on to the top.

 Place the pattern pieces on your fabric scraps, choosing colors or designs that you think would look good together.  Remember, this is your artwork, so whatever you like is RIGHT!  But you might try something that you think will look good, and then decide you really don’t care for it after you see all the pieces together.  So, it is OK to play around with different combinations until you get it just the way you want it.


 Cut out all of the appliqué pieces and arrange them on the front of the top to be sure that they all will fit and have the interfacing completely covering the design space on the inside.  Arrange and rearrange the pieces until you have a design that you like.  Be sure to consider whether or not the top will be worn tucked in or worn outside of a pair of pants or a skirt.  You will want the design up high enough that it will not “disappear” if it gets tucked in!

 When you have all of the pieces arranged the way you want them, start with the piece that needs to be underneath all the other pieces and work your way to the top of the design.  So, for our owl project, the first piece you will appliqué to the top is the branch.  Cut a small piece of fusible web to fit beneath the branch piece and press in place.

 Using a wide, close zig-zag stitch (satin stitch or appliqué stitch), begin stitching on one LONG straight side of the branch.  The setting on my machine for appliqué is a zig-zag stitch that is 3.6 width (on a scale of 0 – 5) and length of .30 (on a scale of 0 – 5).  This gives me a stitch that is wide enough to catch in all of the raw edges of my appliqué patch and attach it securely to the top, and it is “tight” enough (stitches close together) to provide a decorative edge and cover all of the raw edges and loose threads.

 You will want to begin stitching on one of the long, straight sides of the piece (whenever possible) so that when you stitch all around the appliqué piece and return to the beginning of your stitching, you can line up the ending stitches with the beginning stitches for a smooth connection.


 Stitch all the way around each appliqué piece, returning to the beginning stitches and line them up as closely as possible.  Finish off this stitching by taking two or three straight stitches back and forth across the satin stitching to tie it off securely.


 When you have completed stitching all around the branch appliqué, press thoroughly before pressing on the next pieces.  The best way to determine placement for the next piece(s) is to lay out all of the basic appliqué pieces again.  This way you can see how much room you have above and below each piece.


 The next pieces to stitch on will be the owl’s feet.  Place them on top of the branch, making sure the body appliqué will completely cover the tops of the owl’s legs.  Press the feet pieces in place using small pieces of fusible web to hold them in place while you stitch them down.  Carefully stitch each foot in place with the satin stitch, beginning and ending your stitching as closely as possible where they overlap, taking two or three straight stitches back and forth over the satin stitches to tie it off securely.


Again, press carefully before beginning your next appliqué piece.


The next piece that you will appliqué in place is the body of the owl.  Using fusible web, press the body piece in place.  Carefully stitch all around the body appliqué using the satin stitch, beginning and ending your stitching as closely as possible where they overlap, and securing your stitching with two or three straight stitches.


 Continue adding appliqué pieces in the same manner, continuing to arrange them in place before stitching to be sure they all fit into your design space.  The next piece will be the owl’s tummy.  Press in place with fusible web, stitch all around, ending and securing your stitching the same way that you did with all the other appliqué pieces.

Press thoroughly in between each application of the appliqué pieces to prevent any accidental wrinkles or creases to get “stuck” in your stitching.


 After you have stitched on the owl’s tummy, then it is time to stitch the head appliqué in place, and then the beak should be stitched in place.


The final appliqué pieces to be stitched in place are the leaves.  Place these pieces wherever you want them, press them down with fusible web, and stitch around each one with the satin stitch.  When stitching on the leaves, it works best to begin at the point of the leaf, where the “stem” would be.  That way, when you get all the way around to the point again, stop stitching with your needle in the DOWN position.  Lift the presser foot and pivot the top so that you can then stitch up the middle of each leaf to make the “vein” of the leaf.  Be sure to end your stitching by taking two or three straight stitches back and forth across the satin stitching to tie it off securely.


 When you have all of the appliqué pieces stitched in place, press the entire design thoroughly.  Choose buttons for the owl’s eyes and stitch in place by hand.


 Turn the top inside out and VERY CAREFULLY lift away the excess interfacing from the stitching.  Using sharp scissors, carefully trim away all of the excess interfacing.  BE VERY CAREFUL not to cut so close to the stitching that you accidentally snip a little hole in your top.  That can be very discouraging after you’ve done so much work to make this cute little top!

(But should it happen, there are ways to repair it so that all is not lost.  Email me for guidance should this happen.)


When all of the excess interfacing has been removed, press the top again on the inside.  Turn right side out, and there you have your adorable little Golden Owl! 

 The Golden Owl Appliqued T-Top is perfect with the Autumn Patches Jeans and Skirt.  Another fun and easy pattern eBook available from YouCanMakeThis.com or from my Etsy shop at mamas*little*treasures.

 Copyright 2007 by Nina Newton aka mamas*little*treasures.  All text and images contained herein are owned by and are copyright 2007 mamas*little*treasures.  None of the contents of this pattern eBook may be reproduced or republished.  This pattern is for the express and sole use of the customer for personal or home use, and may be used to create garments for the customer to sell on his or her own.


2 pings

  1. Seymour

    Ideal piece of writing, I am viewing back usually to look around for improvements.

  2. NYOA

    This is so crafty and amazing! This looks like something you could buy at the store for big bucks! Nice! Pinning and stumbling! Not Your Ordinary Agent
    Not Your Ordinary Recipes
    Clean Gal

  3. Jessica

    Uh…can you say TALENTED?!? This seriously turned out amazing! I’m SO impressed.

    Thank you SO much for joining Totally Tutorial Tuesdays. I’m SO glad you shared this with us.


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