3D Applique

3D Applique



Add bold color and dimension to your embroidery with 3D applique. It's the perfect accessory to dress up clothing, home decor, tote bags, and much more.

The 3D applique designs featured in this project contain multiple files that are stitched and layered outside the hoop, so you can arrange the pieces how you'd like.

Read below for free project instructions!



Supplies Needed:

**Small pieces of organza (for
   the petals)

**Small piece of felt (for the
   flower center)

**Heavy-weight water-soluble
   stabilizer (we prefer Sulky
   Ultra Solvy)

**Temporary spray adhesive

**Paper towels

**Needle and thread for some
   hand sewing

**Spray starch - optional (we
   used a pump spray instead of

Designs used:
3D Magnolia - XL

This design is also available in other sizes:
3D Magnolia - Large, Medium, Small

Project Variations:
There are two variations of the 3D applique designs: designs that stitch outside of the hoop, like the ones used in this project, and designs that stitch entirely in the hoop. 3D applique designs that stitch entirely in the hoop can be found by clicking here. Also, free project instructions for stitching 3D applique designs in the hoop, can be found

Project Tips:
Sheer organza 3D flowers and butterflies add magnificent color and dimension to any project. Here are a couple fun suggestions of how you can use these designs:

  • Add a safety pin to the back of the designs and pin them on tote bags, shirts, and flip flops.

  • Use a needle and thread to hand-sew the designs on to pillows, placemats, curtains, and more.

We'd love to see how you added 3D applique embroidery to your projects! Email pictures of your completed work to stitch@emblibrary.com.

The 3D applique designs come with 12 to 14 total files: some files are named with an "X" followed by 4 numbers and a letter - these are the design files. The other files are named the same but end with "_DL" - these are the dieline files. 

To create templates for cutting the fabric, print the dieline files at full size using embroidery software.


If you do not have embroidery software, you can sew the dieline files directly onto paper. Hoop a piece of paper and attach the hoop to the machine. Load the first dieline file (the file that ends with "_DL") and sew the dieline onto the paper. Rehoop another piece of paper and sew the second dieline.

Repeat this process for each dieline file.


To prepare the fabric for the petals of the flowers, spray the back of the paper template with a bit of temporary adhesive and smooth the template on the organza fabric. Then, cut out the shape.

Repeat this process for each dieline shape. We chose felt for the smallest piece, which is the center of the flower.

Now that the fabric pieces are ready, it is time to embroider the design. Hoop a piece of heavy-weight water-soluble stabilizer (we prefer Sulky Ultra Solvy).

Since both sides of the design will be visible, we are winding bobbins with the same color as the top thread (for this design, we are using two different colors). Change the bobbin to match the top thread as you sew.


Attach the hoop to the machine, load the first design, which is the outer petal (the file that starts with "X" followed by 4 numbers, and ends with an "a") and begin embroidering the design. The first thing that will sew is the dieline.


After the dieline has sewn, spray the fabric piece (the largest piece) with temporary adhesive.


Remove the hoop from the machine -- do not unhoop the stabilizer, and place the fabric piece right inside the dieline. Also, trim off any loose stitches on the back of the embroidery.


Attach the hoop back on the machine, and continue embroidering the design. A zig-zag tack down will sew next. These stitches hold the fabric in place. Continue with the design -- a satin stitch border will sew next, which finishes the piece.


Unhoop the stabilizer and carefully trim around the design.


Repeat the hooping and embroidering process for each piece.


When all the pieces have sewn, soak them in warm water for at least 10 to 15 minutes or until the stabilizer has dissolved away.


Blot the pieces with paper towels to remove the excess moisture and allow them to air dry.


When the pieces are dry, arrange them on top of one another starting with the largest piece. We rotated each piece, which allows the petals to overlap on the edges creating a three dimensional effect.


Using needle and thread, stitch the layers together by hand sewing a few stitches around the inner edge of the satin stitch of the smallest center piece. You can also stitch on stylish button to hold the layers in place.


To give the design more dimension and shape, spray the design with starch, soaking it through.


Pinch the layers together to meet in the center and allow it to air dry. Or, if you do not want to add starch, simply allow the design to dry.

Your 3D project is complete!


Add some festive flair to your holiday stitching with 3D Christmas applique designs. Choose from a poinsettia, star, and snowflake!

These designs make great additions to holiday pillows, stockings, gift tags, and more!



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