3D Ruffled Flowers and Leaves


3D Ruffled Flowers and Leaves
A Sulky Tear-Easy and Solvy Water Soluble
Stabilizer Applique & Embellishment Tip

Project Overview

Mary Mulari shows you how to give a new look to a ready-made jacket with 3-D applique. Modeled above by Patti Lee.

"With the help of two kinds of Sulky stabilizers, it's easy to create unusual appliqued flowers and leaves to attach to a jacket. This example of non-traditional applique adds a touch of style to any plain jacket or other garment. I chose a tone-on-tone color presentation, selecting a variety of blue fabrics that match or nearly match the jacket. From the skirt that matches the jacket, I cut off one of the inside pocets to get enough for a matching flower and leaf. The other fabric selections are taffeta, polished cotton, and a piece of leftover ribbing cut from a ready-to-wear sweatshirt."

--- Mary

About the Artist

Mary Mulari - Author, Designer and Educator

Mary's interest in sewing began in 4-H Club and developed through college and several years of teaching junior high school English. A lifelong Minnesota resident, Mary now travels extensively to present creative sewing seminars. She continues to enjoy teaching to other sewing enthusiasts across the country: the world's best students, in her opinion. She has become well known for her unique applique additions to garments, ranging from sweatshirts to silks, clever gift ideas, and her inspirational and entertaining seminars. Mary has written ten sewing books and contributes to the "Sewing Update Newsletter". In addition, she has developed patterns for McCalls, tests products for the sewing industry, and appears frequently as a guest on "Sewing with Nancy" and other television sewing programs.


  • Sulky Tear-Easy Stabilizer
  • Sulky Solvy Stabilizer
  • Sulky Rayon Threads
    30 weight to coordinate with your fabric choice
    40 weight to match 30 weight colors
  • Sulky Iron-On Transfer Pen
  • Zig-Zag Sewing Machine
  • Machine Needle 14/90
  • 1 Yard 3/8" Wide Clear Elastic
  • Buttons for the Center of each Flower
  • Straight Pins or Applique Pins
  • 1/4 Yard Lightweight Tricot Fusible Interfacing
  • 4-1/2" Squares of Fabric for Flowers and Leaves


  1. With a Sulky Iron-On Transfer Pen, trace the patterns for the flower and leaf onto plain paper.
  2. Fuse lightweight tricot interfacing to the wrong sides of the squares of applique fabric
  3. On the jacket featured, there are five flowers and three leaves. Decide how many of each you will make for your project, then, using a dry iron at a temperature suitable for the fabric, transfer the two designs that many times onto the interfaced sides of the fabrics, and cut out the shapes.
  4. Cut pieces of both Solvy and Tear-Easy Stabilizers slightly larger than the flower and leaf shapes. This combination of stabilizers produces a firm stitching base which, after sewing, can be easily removed, leaving a clean edge on the appliques.
  5. Pin the flowers and leaves right side up on top of the Solvy and Tear-Easy pieces. Keep the pin heads in the center of the shapes to avoid obstructions while sewing, or use shorter applique pins to hold the fabric to the stabilizers.
  6. Thread the machine with Sulky 30 wt. Rayon Thread, and fill a bobbin in a 40 wt. thread color to match the Sulky top thread. Select an applique stitch. For the leaves on the jacket, Mary used a standard satin stitch, but she chose an alternate stitch for the flowers. Check your machine to see the choices for a variety stitch around the edges of the designs.
  7. Before stitching around the flowers and leaves, you may want to practice the stitching on fabric and stabilizer scraps, and alter the stitch width and length. Then sew around the edges of each flower and leaf. Draw the threads to the underside of the shapes.
  8. Now, remove the stabilizers carefully so you don't distort the applique stitches or the shapes. First tear or cut away the layers inside the flower and leaf shapes. Then remove the Tear-Easy layer from around the edges of the designs. Remove the Solvy layer from around the edges last. You may wish to wet the edges to remove the last bits of Solvy.
  9. To gather the flowers and leaves, cut 2" long pieces of clear elastic, two pieces for each flower and one piece for each leaf. Thread top and bobbin with the Sulky 40 wt. (from #6 above) and turn each flower over to sew on the wrong side with a narrow zig-zag stitch on the lines shown on the pattern pieces to secure the elastic strips, stretching the elastic as you sew. Sew a second piece of elastic on the second line shown on the pattern, across the first row of elastic. Suddenly, you have flower shapes that are more interesting than the simple flat shapes!
  10. To gather the leaves, begin sewing the elastic at the short, straight end of the leaf and stretch and sew the elastic down to about 2/3 the length of each leaf.
  11. The design shapes are all set to be stitched to the garment you've chosen to decorate. The best way to plan their arrangement is to try on the garment and pin on the shapes while you are looking in the mirror. Use the featured jacket arrangement as an inspiration for your design layout.
  12. On the underside of the garment, beneath the area of the design arrangement, pin a large piece of Tear-Easy Stabilizer to prepare for sewing the designs in place.
  13. Use the Sulky 40 wt. thread and a narrow zig-zag stitch to sew the shapes to the jacket. Stitch over the zig-zag seams that attached the elastic to the wrong side of the flowers and leaves. Remove the pins and then the stabilizer on the wrong side of the garment.
  14. For an additional accent, sew buttons to the center of each flowr. Mary covered buttons, using the taffeta fabric for all five buttons.
  15. Don't forget to add your signature tag to the garment. Mary used a rubber stamp with her name and fabric paint to sign her name to her jacket. The same decorative stitch used for the flower edges was also used to trim the tag.
  16. Now it's time to wear and enjoy the dimensional applique display you've created on your jacket. Consider this design project for other clothing too, or a coordinating hat.

For the patterns we are providing them as downloads from the browser below. You may this image and then print the pattern that appears or you may save the image to your local hard drive.

The patterns are scaled to fit on an 8-1/2" X 11" piece of paper, though they might have to be rotated. If you wish to use a larger size, you can scale them up appropriately in your print dialog box or print them out as provided and enlarge them by some other means (copy machine, projector, local blueprint shop etc). 

If you wish to save to your hard drive proceed as follows: 

PC users - right click on each image and select "save this image as..." in the pop up menu. 

Mac users - control click to bring up the popoup menu and then select "save this image as...".