Who’s feeling crafty?! I’ve shown you all a few of the applique t-shirts that I’ve made for Maxwell and some (ok, two) of you were interested in how I made them. So, when I made a shirt for him last weekend and took pictures of the process. Hope you guys find it helpful!
What you’ll need:
T-shirt – Any kind without a pocket. My favorites are from Old Navy but you can find good ones at Target too.
Fabric – You won’t need much at all for most designs. 1/4 of a yard will be more than enough.
Double Stick Fusible Web – I’ve always used the Steam-A-Seam brand:
Scissors – Good quality applique scissors are really nice to have but any scissors will do.
Pencil, Iron, and Needle & Thread (if you want to stitch around the edges at the end).
Your design – you can hand draw this or find something online to print out/trace. There are tons of great applique patterns you can buy on Etsy too.
This is the design I decided to go with this time:
Alright, let’s BLAST OFF with this applique! 🙂
Step 1: Trace your design. On the Steam-A-Seam, there is one side that is tightly adhered to the sheet and one side that comes off pretty easily. You want to trace your design with a pencil onto the side that is tightly adhered.
* I have found it easier to trace the design if it is originally drawn in black Sharpie.
* If you are using letters or want your design to point a certain way, make sure to reverse your design so that the letter/design is facing the right way when on the shirt.
* You must trace each part of the design individually. For example, in the rocket-ship, there are 5 different parts to trace:
(I had not yet traced the circle). I want each of these parts to be in a different fabric so I needed them to be separate so I can layer them on the shirt.
Step 2: Iron the design onto the fabric. Cut around each design so they are separate and cut pieces of fabric to fit each shape.
Peel off the side that is easily removable (and does not have your design traced on it) and iron that onto the BACK SIDE of your fabric. I usually heat my fabric up with the iron first and then carefully place the design on. Then just move your iron over the design for a few seconds and, voila!, it’s attached!
Step 3: Cut out your design/fabric. After all the shapes are ironed on, carefully cut each shape out. You will be cutting through both the webbing and the fabric. This is where those good scissors come in handy!
Step 4: Iron the design onto your shirt! At this point, you will want to lay your design out on the shirt to get a feel for the layering of the shape as well as placement on the shirt. If it really needs to be centered, you can get a fabric marker and make a little dot in the center of your shirt…but I usually just eyeball it. Once you have an idea of what you want it to look like, iron each piece on. Peel off the webbing on the back side of your fabric (a fingernail is helpful here!)…
Then carefully place it on your shirt, sticky side down. Once you’ve got it where you want it, iron over it for a few seconds and – again – voila! it’s attached! Repeat this step for each layer of your design. In the end, you’ll end up with something like this:
A finished and super-cute (if I do say so myself!) shirt!
Step 5: Stitch around the design. To make the shirt look more “finished” I like to stitch around the edge of the design using either matching or contrasting thread. I just hand stitch. If I ever take the time to re-learn how to use my sewing machine then I think it would look even better to zig-zag around the edges. But, hand stitching works just fine for now!
Completed project all stitched up!
Final and Most Important Step: Snap a photo of your model wearing your awesome creation!
Here are some of the other shirts I’ve made…
So far they’ve held up pretty well. I usually wash them inside out, lay them flat to dry and then use a warm iron on them.
Let me know if you have any questions! Now, go get crafty! 🙂