Where to begin, where to begin? Large patches, motifs and appliqués can be tough to get centered and put on.

I hope you enjoy my easy tips to help you get a large appliqué centered and placed on any already made garment.

Fold garment in half matching the shoulder seams and side seams to find your center front or back, depending on which side your appliqué will be placed on.


If you have fabric that is press-able make a nice pressing line using your iron. If you can’t press your fabric you can use sewing pins or a sewing marker, chalk to make that line visible.

Do the same with your appliqué.

My pressing line did not work with appliqué. I marked mine with pins to better see the center.

Place motif center line on the garment fold line on a very flat surface. Pin like crazy!


As always with sewing there are many ways to do everything. You can baste the entire piece on and leave it. If fabric is delicate the motif can be machine baste on and then hand stitched down. Last, if you are wanting to remove the under fabric, is a tight little zig zag stitch will keep your fabric from fraying out.

Tips for removing basting stitches. Use a contrasting thread and pull the stitches out from the inside of the garment. For this kind of project I do this for two reasons. One is not to damage the lace and another is once you have the inside stitches ripped the thread at the top pulls off in one piece. This makes less little threads to pick and it’s easier to see stitches outside.

If you have too many flowers you can always cut them off and sew them down really well so they don’t fray out.

Behind the scenes~

After sewing the appliqué onto the dress I decided I didn’t like it. I thought it would be better suited on a more delicate fabric that has a soft color, so I ripped it off.

Thank you for reading,

Tracy McElfresh

Dream it! Sew it!


Tracy McElfresh
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