Thursday, February 4, 2010

Tutorial- Birthday Tshirt with Fabric Applique

I thought I'd share how to add a fabric applique to a tshirt. I've used this technique for years to add a little color to tshirts to go with handmade PJ pants given as gifts. This is a simple technique and works well for large simple shapes. I have done letters and numbers also but they are more difficult so I suggest starting with simple shapes, like squares and circles.

You'll need...

t-shirt or other item to be appliqued
a piece of fabric for your applique, size will depend on applique desired
fusi-knit a piece equal to your applique fabric
matching thread
sewing machine needle for knits; ball point if you're sewing on a t shirt
iron and sewing machine

to add a number or letter detail you'll need...

a scrap of tshirt knit the size you want the letter or number to be
a piece of Heat n Bond equal to the size of your scrap (available at your local fabric store.)
thread to match
iron and sewing machine

Soon to be 3-year old helper is optional

So lets start with the fusi-knit. This is a lightwieght 100% polyester tricot knit interfacing. You can find this at your local fabric store, it comes in black and white.

Your applique fabric can be what ever you like. I have had the best luck with woven broadcloth fabrics; your run of the mill calico prints are great.
You can create your shape freeehand, copy a shape from a book or print something from your computer.

1- Create your shape. Cut it out of your fabric and fusi-knit.

2- Sew these two pieces together, right sides together. That would be the right side of your fabric and the fusible side of the fusi knit facing each other.

Sew all the way around. Do Not leave an opening.

3- Trim any curves, clip corners or trim seams as needed. Be sure to leave an  adequate seam allowance.

4- Seperate the fusi knit form the fabric.

and clip the fusi knit

Cut an X shaped opening in the fusi knit. Don't make it to large and stay away from the seams. 

5- Use the hole to turn the applique rightside out. Smooth out all corners and edges.

6- This is your applique.


Notice that all edges are safely, securely and neatly hidden in between the two layers.

7- You are now ready to place your applique on your tshirt and fuse it down.
Use pins sparingly as they can scratch your iron.

8- Now topstitch your applique to your shirt.

You're done or you can add a number or letter detail to personalize the shirt.

9. Create your number or letter pattern on a piece of paper. If you follow these direction you do not need any seam allowance, so cut it the size you want it to be on the shirt.
10. To add the number or letter. You'll need to fuse a piece of Heat n Bond to the wrong side of your tshirt knit scrap.
 11. Pin your pattern to the right side of the tshirt knit scrap that has Heat n Bond on the wrong side and cut it out. Be careful and exact these edges will be visible.
12. Now just peel off the paper from the Heat n Bond, place it on your shirt and press according to the manufacturers directions.
13. Since you are using a knit for the letter or number it wont fray with washing. I do suggest to topstitch around the letter or number. I go about a 1/4 inch in from the edge all the way around; if your letter or number is fairly small you could just do one stitch down the center.

Thanks for reading my first tutorial I hope you have fun making all kinds of appliqued tshirts. Please leave any questions in the comments and I'll answer them as soon as I can.

Happy Sewing!

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