How to add an Applique Patch to a Denim Shirt

April 26, 2017By Anna AldmonAppliqué, Embroidery, Tutorial 14 Comments Opinion by Paid Consultant

There is a wonderful feature on THE Dream Machine to create a “Patch” from either an Appliqué design or Thread only embroidery design. The great thing about this “Patch” function is that the back of the design is hidden once the patch is attached. On this shirt, you can see the Satin cover stitch around the outside of the butterfly that secures the Patch to the Shirt. Looking at the inside of the shirt, you only see the Satin Cover Stitch. Such a nice finish on both sides!

Machine Used:

I have been curious how the “Appliqué Patch” function worked on my Dream Machine and Quattro Embroidery Machines. I had a quick class at my local Brother dealer, however, I wanted to come up with a way to use this function with my appliqué designs. Once I started to play with the feature, I realized this is a great way to add an appliqué design with more than one appliqué fabric and have the back look great!

Basically, you can take any embroidery design, apply the Appliqué Patch function, which will add 3 steps to the end of the design. These three steps are 1) Appliqué Material; 2) Appliqué Position; 3) Appliqué.

  • The Appliqué Material is an outline stitch around the finished design and will be the “line” that is used to trim the design for the Patch.
  • The Appliqué Position is the stitch that is used on the item that you want to sew the patch onto. It is the outline of where to place the trimmed patch.
  • The Appliqué step is the Satin stitch that secures the design to the item.

The following provides a step by step of how to create your own appliqué patch.

To start, I selected an appliqué butterfly design and a suede background fabric. It is best to select a heavier fabric for the patch background fabric. Load the design on the embroidery machine and attach hoop with appropriate stabilizer.

From the Edit menu, select the “Shield” icon. You will notice that your design on the screen now has a satin stitch around it. It uses the couture of the design to determine the outer edge of the Patch. The distance between the design and outer edge can be adjusted.

Stitch out the design. The last 3 steps were added when the “Shield” icon was selected.

Stitch out the Appliqué Material step to get an outline around the patch.

Remove the design from the hoop and trim the design on the “Appliqué Material” stitch. Keep the design on your embroidery machine. Do not turn off your machine.

Turn over the trimmed patch and apply a spray adhesive. This will help keep the appliqué within the “Appliqué Position” step.

Hoop the item that you are going to attached the patch to. I floated a tear away stabilizer underneath the Denim shirt. Stitch out the “Appliqué Position” step.

Place the Appliqué Patch on top of the “Appliqué Position” stitches. Finger press in place.

Stitch the “Appliqué” stitch to secure the Appliqué Patch. This will first do a zigzag underlay stitch, then stitch the satin stitch.

The Appliqué Patch is now attached to the Denim Shirt. Remove the hoop, remove the tear away stabilizer and you are all done!

  • The Butterfly Appliqué is part of the “Autumn Nuthatch” Block of the Month design by Anna’s Awesome Appliqué Designs and Brother International Corporation makes no representations or warranties regarding such products.


  • Wow, I did not know that I could do that. Thanks so much for all your work and willingness to help all us home sewers to be more creative and learn some of the many wonderful features of our machines.

    • Thank you Elaine for the comment. We take great pride and enjoyment in sharing our sewing, embroidering and quilting passions with our readers, hoping to help you learn about the features and treats that the Brother Machines offer.
      Please be sure to pop the words Dream Machine into the search bar found on the upper right of this post, and a list of all post mentioning this machine will populate. There is so much to learn!
      Come visit us again here at Stitching Sewcial, and Happy Sewing!!

    • Hi Elaine
      I love to learn new things and this was one on my to do list. I love my Brother Dream Machine and will be learning more about “My Design Center”. I am always impressed at the ease of using the embroidery machine and the quality of the stitch outs. The more we learn/know the more fun we have!

  • Enjoyed reading your post Anna! All of your appliqué patterns are beautiful! The appliqué function has been, and will always be one of my all time favorite Brother features. You are proving that it has many creative applications! And who doesn’t love dressing up denim!!!

    • Hi Cathy
      When selecting the “patch” feature by clicking on the Shield icon after you load your design, it automatically adds the required steps to the end of the design, including the where to stitch the outline. So, no scanning needed!
      Those steps are 1) Appliqué Material; 2) Appliqué Position; 3) Appliqué.
      1) After the outline stitch is completed, keep the embroidery machine on and the design loaded. Remove the hoop and trim the design using the outline stitch as a guide.
      2) Prepare a new hoop with the item that you want to attach the “patch”. Attach the hoop and stitch out the outline stitch to know where to place the patch.
      3) I used a spray starch to finger press my trimmed patch within the outline stitches. Then returned the hoop to the embroidery unit to complete the Satin Stitch.


  • Thank you! It’s great to get tutorials here because some dealers just don’t offer classes on specific functions and have projects to practice. i really appreciate this!

    • Hello Elizabeth,

      Thank you for your comment. There are so many really great features on these machines, that I would imagine it’s difficult for dealers to offer classes on them all. It’s far easier for us to build up a great library of projects for our users to skill build with, and we are ever happy to do so! Are there any other features that you wish you knew more about? Be sure to either pop “THE Dream Machine” or the feature you are looking for in the Search box, located in the upper right hand side of this page, and all of the blog posts that we have mentioning these will populate for you to enjoy. Don’t see the feature you want to learn more about listed? Leave a comment and we’ll add it to the list for a future blog post!

      Happy Sewing!

    • Hi Elizabeth
      Thank you for your encouraging words. There is so much that the Brother Embroidery Machine can do, and I enjoy checking out how those features can be used with my applique designs.

  • Hi Anna,

    What if we have a design we have already stitched out and want to turn it into a patch? Can the embroidery be scanned and then made into a patch?

    Thanks for all your videos,

  • Hi Anna,

    What if we have a design we’ve already stitched out and want to turn it into an applique? Can the item be scanned and then press the applique button? I have a design I just did on my machine, but I didn’t select the applique feature first. Can I go back?


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