Monday, August 5, 2013

Top Stitching Photo Tutorial and Goggle Guy Applique Pattern

Goggle Guy Applique

I do a lot of appliques for different things & I often get asked how I sew them onto my projects without them showing in the back.

Well, because it is a pretty commonly asked question, I thought I would go ahead & do a photo tutorial for you all & explain the process.

I will also be adding the pattern for the Goggle Eyes Applique at the end of the tutorial for you here, so stay tuned to the end of the post. ;)

Okay, so the really cool thing about Crochet is that the way the stitches are done there are 2 parts to the stitch where it actually makes sort of like a hollow tube & you can easily work between them if you know the technique.

When I was little & my grandma was teaching me to sew & crochet she would always tell me to "make it look pretty". So she showed me how you could stitch things to your piece without it showing through the back & making it look ugly. This technique is called "Top Stitching" & you can use it for anything you sew onto a Crocheted piece. You can also do the top stitching or top weaving method for embroidering details onto your piece without it showing through the back. (I did that for the mouth in this particular piece. I will cover that particular technique in another post at a later date.)

Anyway, let me explain how Top Stitching is done. I will post the photos here & walk you through the process.
For this tutorial, I just used a closed weave pattern basic 6x6" square to sew the appliques onto.

Whenever you do top stitching with your appliques I find it is best to leave a long yarn tail when you fasten off with whatever color you were working with so that your yarn matches the applique on the front & you do not see a different color around the pieces.

In this case you have 4 parts to the applique & 2 different colors of yarn that need to be matched.

I left about a 24" yarn tail for the grey where I had to go all the way around the eyes & about a 12" for the black where I would be stitching around the strap part.

Place your appliques on your piece where you want them. You can pin them to your piece from the back to hold them in place because you will be working from the front when top stitching your appliques onto your project.

After you get your appliques placed where you would like them on your piece, then attach your yarn tail to your tapestry needle. You will be stitching from the front of your piece & going around the appliques. You will only be working through the top portion of the stitch so that your needle does not poke through the back side of your piece.

Separating the loops of your crochet stitches with the needle (try not to split the yarn when you do this) insert your needle into the top part of the stitch of the project you will be sewing to & then back into the applique from the back of the applique to the front.
You will be working in a whip stitching method in whatever shape your piece is.

You will continue the same process as above all the way around your piece until all of your pieces are connected to the final project.

Keep working with the color that matches the part of your applique until you get to the part where the color changes.

Weave your yarn tail behind the piece of the applique up to the point where you would change back to that color.

When you get to your second color that you need to stitch on, remove your needle from the first yarn tail & attach it to the second one.

Repeat the process of catching the top loops of the stitch & the applique until you finish with the secondary color.

Weave in the second color behind your applique when you are finished working with it & have stitched around the portion of your applique done in that color. Cut the excess yarn from that color & discard.
Reattach the needle to your first color again & continue stitching around the rest of your applique until you get the whole piece attached. Weave in your yarn tail under the applique without going through the back side & cut the excess yarn closely to your applique & discard excess yarn.

While you are stitching be sure to double check your work from behind to make sure none of the other colors have come through the back side of your project & are not showing through.

As you can see in this photo the yarn tails are still attached to my project & I have sewn around one part of the applique & none of the yarn is showing through on the back of the piece.

If you correctly do the top stitching you should have the same results where the back of the project is clean of other colors.

Here is the square with both Goggle eyes & straps attached before adding any further details.

Here is the back of the full square once both the pieces of the appliques have been attached with the Top Stitching & the embroidered mouth detail I did at the bottom. as you can see the square has no other colors on the back side of it.

And just so no one thinks I just took a photo of the back of the square before I stitched anything on, here is the same square with both parts of the appliques stitched on & folded in half. You can see a little bit of the second strap peeking through the back of the squares stitches if you look on the right of the photo. It's really sewed on there I promise! :)

Once again here is the finished project with all of the details stitched on for the mouth & the appliques.

Top stitching is a great technique for finishing your projects with appliques & it makes your finished project look nice & neat! No ugly backs of your projects if you can do the top stitching method & keep it nice & pretty!

I hope you've enjoyed & find this photo tutorial useful for all your applique projects!

Now as I promised... Here is the pattern for the Goggle Guy Appliques shown above! Enjoy & God Bless!

Thank you for stopping by The Perfect Knot Crochet & More!

Michelle K
The Perfect Knot

Goggle Guy Applique & Photo Tutorial

Beginner level pattern written in US Crochet Terms.

Materials Needed:

Size 4.0mm or other Crochet Hook

Worsted Weight Size 4 Yarn in colors Black, Brown, White & Grey (I used Caron Simply Soft in my example)

Tapestry Needle


Stitch Legend:

Mgc Rng – Magic Ring

Ch – Chain

SC – Single Crochet

Sl St – Slip Stitch

DC – Double Crochet

St – Stitch

Sts – Stitches

* – Repeat instructions from *

EYES – Make 2

Round 1: Begin with black yarn & a Mgc Rng, 6 SC into ring, pull yarn tail to close & Sl St to 1st SC to join, Ch 1 & Fasten Off (6 SC)

Round 2: Attach brown yarn into any St with a Sl St, Ch 1 & 2 SC in same St, *2 SC in next St, Repeat around & Sl St to 1st SC to join, Ch 1 & Fasten Off (12 SC)

Round 3: Attach white yarn with a Sl St into any St, Ch 3 (counts as 1st DC), 2 DC into the next St, *1 DC into the next St, 2 DC into the next St, Repeat around & Sl St to top of beginning Ch 3 to join, Ch 1 & Fasten Off (18 DC)

Round 4: Attach grey yarn with a Sl St into any St, Ch 1 & SC into same St, 1 SC into each St around, Sl St to 1st SC to join, Ch 1 & Fasten Off leaving a long tail to sew.
Weave in your all ends except the 2 long grey yarn tails for sewing using the tapestry needle.

STRAPS – Can be made longer if you are using something other than a square for your appliques. Just repeat Row 2 until you reach your desired length for your project.

With your grey yarn tails centered at the bottom of your eye work the Straps as follows:

Right Strap –

Row 1: Count 4 Stitches up the right side from the grey yarn tail & attach black yarn with a Sl St & work up the side of the eye working away from the yarn tail towards the top, Ch 1 & 1 SC into same St, 1 SC into next 2 Sts (3 SC)

Rows 2- 4: Ch 1 & Turn, 1 SC into next 3 Sts (3 SC)
At the end of Row 4, Ch 1 & Fasten Off leaving a longer tail for sewing on the black pieces of the goggles to your piece.

Left Strap –
Row 1: Count 6 Stitches up the left side of the eye from the grey yarn tail & attach black yarn with a Sl St & work Down the side back towards the yarn tail, Ch 1 & 1 SC into same St, 1 SC into next 2 Sts (3 SC)

Rows 2- 4: Ch 1 & Turn, 1 SC into next 3 Sts (3 SC)
At the end of Row 4, Ch 1 & Fasten Off leaving a longer tail for sewing on the black pieces of the goggles to your piece.

Attach your pieces to your project using the top stitching method, weave in all your ends & cut excess yarn.
Embroider your mouth using a top stitching weaving method so your pieces don’t show on the back of your project.

© Copyright Michelle R. Kovach/The Perfect Knot 2013. All rights reserved. This is my original pattern. Do Not Copy, Modify, Reproduce, Sell or Claim as your own. You may sell items made from this pattern, but please Do NOT claim it as your own unique design. Please refer back to me as the original designer for any items you may sell.


  1. so cute! I have a large family and it would be so much fun to make a squares with each of them on it!

  2. Thank you Brenda! Enjoy the pattern. ;)

    All the best,

    Michelle K

  3. Thank you so much! Im making a Mickey Mouse blanket for my nephew and I have to add appliqu├ęs to each square. I was worried about the back looking awful but now I don't need to worry about that anymore. Thanks for sharing your technique, you are a life saver!

    1. You're very welcome! I'm glad you found the tutorial helpful. Enjoy!


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