To start my appliqué the first thing I do is make a template of the shape using heat resistant Mylar or Templar. I trace the pattern onto the Templar using a fine point Sharpie [see photo 1 below - click any photo for a larger view]. After the shape is traced I cut the template out [photo 2, below]. At this point I check the template for smoothness. I usually just run my finger over the edge until I find any bumps [photo 3, below]. These bumps can be filed off with a finger nail file.
Once you have your templates made it is time to use them to make your fabric shapes. Use a washable fabric marker to trace around your template onto your appliqué fabric [photo 4]. Cut ¼” outside this traced line. Placing the template on the wrong side of the applique shape, I use my stencil brush to apply starch to the seam allowance [photo 5]. Then I use the stencil brush to start turning the seam toward the template [photo 6].
From here I use a dry iron on medium heat to press the seam allowance to the back of the template [photo 7]. I continue doing this until the entire seam allowance is turned under. For shapes that have points I also starch and press the point to the back [photo 8]. When I am finished I remove the template and use it to make more shapes if needed.