mini applique tutorial with Heat N Bond Lite

applique tutorial

AJ, Judy and I are going to China for vacation and while we’re there we’re going to be dorks and dress up in hanfu-esque outfits. AJ is doing Greensnake and Judy is doing something purple, and as usual, I’m doing something pink. 🙂 Mine is partially inspired by Yang Guifei.

I thought I’d take a few photos while I’m working.
This first part is how I’m making the bodice. I really wanted to try something with an applique look that I saw on several designs. (Examples 1 and 2.) In the book Beijing Opera Costumes (which isn’t really what we’re doing but it’s interesting…) they have this really pretty closeup of one. I was itching to get started so I didn’t do their bias-trim edge or embroidery. (I’m not sure, but it looks like the blue bias trim is applied to the white embroidered piece and then THAT is applied to the pink body fabric, because the blue edge is raised in some areas, and several other bodices were the same.

Instead I did a applied trim on top and some brocade. I am going to embroider some other parts of my outfit though. The shape at the end of the collar is apparently called ruyi tou arabaseque (sacred fungus). WOO. So that’s what I drew on mine.

I basically cut out my bodice piece, then I cut out two accent-fabric pieces (one of each color) shorter than the base bodice piece. I cut out some Heat N Bond Lite, applied it to the two smaller pieces and I drew out the design I wanted on the Heat N Bond paper and then cut around it.
Then I ironed them all together…
and then ironed that to my bodice piece
sewed all the bodice piece together and then applied trim (YAY SPARKLES)
The only trick to using Heat N Bond Lite (especially in two layers like I’m doing) is that it’s not really that “lite” and makes for a rather stiff fabric when you’re done, but in this case, for the bodice, that’s totally fine with me. You can also just pin stuff on and stitch around it instead.

And here is my finished costume, photo taken in the Summer Palace in China!

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