Needle turn applique refers to a hand sewing technique. Your pattern is first drawn on top of a piece of fabric. The appliqué pattern is placed on the background fabric. As you sew around the design, the seam allowance is cut and turned under using your needle.
Needle turn applique is a type of hand applique where the needle is used to turn under the seam allowance. This is a great skill to learn as almost all applique patterns can be attached using this method.
Watch the videos below to learn about using the needle to turn under your seam allowances while appliqueing by hand.
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TRANSCRIPT: Needle Turn Applique – Encyclopedia
Needle turn applique is a technique used to apply one piece of fabric to another. You use your needle to turn your seam allowance as you applique. So, in this piece, I am appliqueing, these vines or leaves and I’m going to take my needle and here’s my seam allowance, the line that I’m working on is right here. I’m going to take my needle and I’m going to turn that fabric to the seam and then I’m going to stitch. I’m going to work my way around, turning my fabric with my needle as I stitch.
So, how do you do this? Well you’re going to start off with your background fabric, which is this. And I’m going to make a red heart. So I need to put my pattern on the red fabric and then I need to take safety pins. And the reason why I’m using safety pins to pin is because it makes it less of a hazard where I’m going to catch my needle and thread on the pin so I pin to the back, I pin the four corners like that and then I am ready to applique. What I’m going to do is I’m going to keep this red heart in the middle and I’m going to be cutting away the rest of this fabric. And so I’m going to show you one that I’ve already started. So my background fabric is this pink. I’ve pinned this black and white fabric with this picture of Elvis in the middle and I’ve already started sewing some of this. I’m using a light thread so you can kind of see where I’m appliqueing And I need to cut into this, now I don’t cut very far, I just cut a little bit of the ways, and now I’m ready to take my needle. I’m going to take my needle and I’m going to turn the fabric, the seam allowance, under and then I’m going to begin stitching, appliqueing my piece. And my next stitch is going to come up right along side of that and I’m going to go down. I would work my way around that way, let’s go down again and let’s see. Let me try it. Let’s say I just picked this up, I’m going to need to turn this with my needle and I hold it down with my thumb, and that’s what I’m going to be stitching. When I get up to here, I’ll pick up my scissors and I’ll cut a little but further and I’ll work my way all away around the heart until it’s finished.