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13 Oct 2010 - 00:0042838
Appliqué - Stopping Edges From Fraying
You guys have probably had a question like this before, but I've had a look around and either I've missed it or there isn't one.

For my Yun-seong costume, I'll be making two fish... appliqué... thingies for either leg of my trousers (pic below - the fish is in the foreground saying 'hey thar~'. I'm terrified of ruining my trousers by sewing them on (the pair that are pictured in the costume overview are a second attempt) and realising that they're beginning to fray.

The fish are also a second attempt, like my trousers. First time around, I tried zigzagging around the edges of the fabric but it came out a bit... eew.

I've heard that using interfacing is supposed to help - I'd try pinking shears but I don't really want the edge you get by using them. I also heard that clear nail varnish should work out, too, but I'm more than a little bit stuck as to what to choose.

Oh, and the fabric is a Polycotton blend, 65%/35%~


13 Oct 2010 - 01:3342840
My best recommendation would be to use Heat 'n' Bond Lite. I used it on the applique pieces on my Ginrei and Zafina - it's good for preventing fraying and it's really easy to use. I recommend the "Lite" version because it's easier to sew through and won't mess up the drape of your fabric so much.

There used to be a really good tutorial online that showed the basics of using Heat 'n' Bond Lite for applique, but I can't seem to find it now for some reason. This is fairly similar though.

Cara bell', cara mia bella, mia bambina, o ciel!
13 Oct 2010 - 15:3342859
Wow, you cosplayed Zafina? That's awesome!
I'll go take a look. Thanks a bunch!

13 Oct 2010 - 16:2042860
I did a little bit of applique work for my SC IV Kilik costume (there are some pictures of the applique work here)

I found the easist way was to use bondaweb prior to the applique work since it holds the design in place and stops the fabric fraying. It will make the main fabric a little stiffer, but my silk still had a good drape.

First I drew out the design on paper and cut out the basic shapes. Next, iron a piece of bondaweb on to the back of a piece of fabric that is slightly bigger than the paper template and cut it out like you would a pattern.

Once this is done, the bondaweb has a backing that you peel off and it can then be ironed on to the main fabric. I would recommend making sure all your templates match up before ironing on the first one. I found it easier to cut some of the bottom pieces slightly larger so the top pieces could be layered over the top.

Once it's ironed on then mark out your design again in chalk and then applique following the lines.

One useful tip, have a practice piece to try out the appliquing before you do it on the real thing so you get used to turning corners etc.

On other parts of the costume were there was no applique but the fabric was fraying, I simply used watered down PVA glue (50:50) and a thin paint brush to go over the inside edges of the fabric. That worked fine.

Somehow it's reassuring knowing I'm not the only one pretending to be normal

Last edited by theKillingDoll (13 Oct 2010 - 16:27)
13 Oct 2010 - 19:3342874
Wow - that's one AWESOME Kilik costume.
Say, are you coming to MCM Midlands Expo in February? It'd be nice to get a group together .

Thanks so much for the advice - sounds like interfacing and the like works just fine. PVA is also something I'm pretty familiar with and would trust.

14 Oct 2010 - 08:5042889
One thing to point out, the bondaweb and heat 'n' bond, which sillabub mentioned, are not quite the same as interfacing.

While there is iron-on interfacing, all the ones I have used are just one sided. The bondaweb, however, has a peel away backing to make both sides iron-on. This allows you to iron it on the back of the applique piece, peel away the backing and then iron again on to the trousers, in your case.

Try it out first on a test piece and see how you get on.

Somehow it's reassuring knowing I'm not the only one pretending to be normal

Last edited by theKillingDoll (14 Oct 2010 - 08:55)
14 Oct 2010 - 11:5842895
Yes, I've tried to do applique with fusible interfacing before and it didn't work at all - the fabric still frayed, and it frayed badly.

I've also found Heat 'n' Bond to work rather better than Bondaweb, but that may be down to my fabric choice (I was using it with satin).

Cara bell', cara mia bella, mia bambina, o ciel!
14 Oct 2010 - 16:4842905
Oooh, I see. I thought it was the same kind of thing.
Thanks a lot for your help, guys. Are you sure it won't mess the trousers up and such? I mean the fish are pretty big.

14 Oct 2010 - 20:4342918
Unless you're planning to remove the fish afterwards and wear the trousers as normal trousers, no, it shouldn't do. The only problem you might run into is if you have your iron turned up too high when you're attaching the bondaweb/Heat 'n' Bond to your fabric (or allow the iron to be in contact with the fabric for too long). Just use an appropriate setting for your fabric and work steadily, you'll be fine.

Cara bell', cara mia bella, mia bambina, o ciel!
15 Oct 2010 - 09:5542941
Quote Sillabub:
I've also found Heat 'n' Bond to work rather better than Bondaweb, but that may be down to my fabric choice (I was using it with satin).

I haven't used heat 'n' bond myself, Kilik was my first attempt at applique so I just used the first thing I had.

I'm interested to find out why you prefer heat 'n' bond over bondaweb, does it handle differently?

Somehow it's reassuring knowing I'm not the only one pretending to be normal
15 Oct 2010 - 10:4942949
There's not much difference fundamentally - Heat 'n' Bond is a little thicker than Bondaweb, even the Lite version, but they work in exactly the same way - double-sided fusible sheet with backing paper, attach using an iron, etc.

My main issue with Bondaweb was that, as I said, I used it with satin and after a little while the fabric started to lift off the Bondaweb. I haven't used it since because the costumes I've used Heat 'n' Bond on have been made using crepe-backed satin, and Heat 'n' Bond hasn't failed me yet on satin. But I don't know what it's like on cotton/polycotton etc.

Cara bell', cara mia bella, mia bambina, o ciel!
15 Oct 2010 - 11:1342953
This might sound tacky, but I can vouch for it from experience, Copydex.
You can use it as a contact adhesive, a single side glue on when still liquid, or an edge treatment. As always, try it out on something disposable to test.

15 Oct 2010 - 12:2842956
Hmm. So it's not too good on satin? How about taffeta? The green parts of my trousers are taffeta while the red part is satin. Is it better if I sew them on in that case?

15 Oct 2010 - 15:0642971
My own experience with Bondaweb would lead me to avoid using it with satin; no idea what it's like with taffeta though. Heat 'n' Bond has always worked just fine with satin though.

The main thing I would be concerned about with taffeta is how well it handles being ironed - I have no experience with using it so I can't help too much there. I'd recommend that you take a smallish piece of the fabric and try running a heated iron over it to see what it does - if it crinkles or you get any resistance when you try to move the iron, it's probably not a good idea to iron over it. Unfortunately, that does mean that you can't use anything fusible with it.

What fabric are you using for the fish? If that's okay for ironing then you could just use the Bondaweb/Heat 'n' Bond on those, and then stitch them directly onto the trousers.

Cara bell', cara mia bella, mia bambina, o ciel!
15 Oct 2010 - 15:3542974
I'm using a polycotton mix (65%/35%)~
I think the taffeta is fine to iron... I think. Either it was that fabric I ironed recently or the temporary sash I have which is a totally different material... Can't remember which. We'll see! xD

Oh, also; while we're here (this saves me from making another thread - this is my second one in like... a week), can I have opinions on the bikini top I've made so far? I tried running about the house with it on today, and even with the pads in, my chest... well... almost falls out. The top is also taffeta, like my trousers, so it has no elasticity which makes it awkward.

I was thinking about pulling the middle-front parts in using ribbon and just tying it super tight at the back...


...Making another top, probably in a boobtube-style using the same taffeta fabric I did for my trousers with elastic around the top and bottom.

Or is there another way of doing it? xD


Last edited by PandaaPaws (15 Oct 2010 - 16:45)
24 Oct 2010 - 22:3543567
Ohh, apologies for the double post but I needed you guys to see I was going to ask something else (saves starting a third thread, hehe).

I've started making the belt for the costume. It's going okay-ish so far, but since I started adding the little bits-and-pieces to the arrow, it's begun to look a bit strange. Can't take any new pictures, unfortunately. My camera just conked out and I can't find the charger. So here's a wee diagram;


Does anyone have any advice on applying ribbon to the edges of fabric so that you don't end up with a bunch of lines and gaps?

Just in case you're wondering - it's not perfectly neat because the arrows have to fold over and around the buckle, so I flipped the ribbon that time. Basically on either side, half of it is neat and half of it is a bucket of fail.


Last edited by PandaaPaws (24 Oct 2010 - 22:36)
26 Oct 2010 - 21:5143709
If you're trying to edge the belt with ribbon, I would advice using bias binding rather than ribbon. It is better designed to curve and go around edges and corners than ribbon is.

Somehow it's reassuring knowing I'm not the only one pretending to be normal
27 Oct 2010 - 11:1943731
Ah, too late.
Well to be honest the belt wasn't too hard to make - if ever I decide to remake it (and I probably will), I'll keep that in mind.

13 Nov 2010 - 15:5444883
Here's a bit of an update for you guys; I did it!

Thanks a lot for all of your help. Fingers crossed it will help other people, too. It looks great, but I might go over the white a bit XD.

THANKS SO MUCH! And also for the bias binding idea! You guys are too cool ~


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