Iron On Appliqué Fail

I was really hoping I could give you some really great post on how “even though you don’t sew, you can make a cute baby shirt” but that isn’t going to happen.

Iron-on appliqué sheets, various types of iron-on stabilizers and iron-on clothing patches are all over fabric and craft stores. I’ve had varying degrees of success with each. The cheap iron-on patches by Dritz are rock-solid. Sure, you’re melting plastic with your iron and making some crazy, stiff, oddly-colored patch, but it works, if you don’t mind feeling a little extra 1970.

Iron-on stabilizers and things like Dritz stitch-witchery for lazy seam repair, while I love, I know do not last more than a wash or two. That’s fine, that’s all I really expect out of them. I often buy the remnants of thin stabilizer in the bins at Joann’s when I see them. I have yet to do any bag or purse projects, so I haven’t really gotten into any of the heavy stabilizers. I mostly buy the stitch-witcher and the light-weight stuff.

So, when I picked up this magical package, I really thought I’d have fun, quick, easy Christmas presents AND a recommendation for all the new moms I know that don’t sew.

 

Steam-A-Seam
Steam-A-Seam

It says, right there: “Press only once for permanent bond!” Do you see that? There are five 9×12″ sheets for about $6 on Amazon. It’s “Perfect for Appliqué!” Sigh.

Well, I’m not letting these cute pictures go to waste. I cut out my templates and fabric first.

z for zoe
z for zoe

Then, removed the wax paper on the first side of the stabilizer. I arranged the objects to be adhered so that I got quite a few on one sheet.

Stencil Top Side
Stencil Top Side

They advertize that it’s stick for temporary bond – and, yes, it is a little tacky. It’s not as tacky as, say, spray baste or scotch tape, but it has a little stick to it. I cut out my shapes from the stabilizer.

Stencils Cut Out 1
Stencils Cut Out 1

You can see after taking off the 2nd side of wax paper, it’s a plastic stabilizer.

Stencil Cut Out 2
Stencil Cut Out 2

I placed the stencils on the onesies and pressed for the 10 seconds the instructions said to press for – even a bit more on the StarWars appliqué as I did it later. I overlapped, I followed the instructions….and, DAMN, they are cute:

Stencils Ironed On Onesies
Stencils Ironed On Onesies

So, the next day, I put Z for Zoe on, well, Zoe, and before I even left for work in the morning, her Z was peeling off.

Craft Fail
Craft Fail

The Z was some left over minky, and I gave the benefit of the doubt (although it was peeling of the cotton onesie) and put the heart version on her a few days later since it was a simple quilting cotton. It was starting to peel up from the edges by lunch.

I may not understand the meaning of “permanent” or maybe I got a funky batch, but Steam-A-Seam will not be recommended or used by me again. If I’m going to have to sew over a stabilizer anyway, I’m going to use a much lighter weight (and less expensive) version.

 UPDATE: January 9, 2013 – as of now, the cotton heart and StarWars patch are still on after multiple wash and wears. It appears that just the edge started peeling up and I don’t know if the heat of the dryer “set” them better or what, but they’re still going strong, albeit stiff feeling. The “Z” got stitched down. There was no saving it. So perhaps the lesson is don’t use it with synthetics?

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