Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Terrific Tuesdays- Applique Shirts with Ginger + George



Hello hello! I’m Kirsty and I’m so pleased to be sharing a fun family project here today.
These simple appliqué t-shirts can be made for children of any age, using either a new, inexpensive tee or an older one in need of a quick makeover. The details are made from scraps of fabric and felt in colours of your choice, and the very basic stitches make it a perfect project for beginners. Older children should be able to give it a go with minimum supervision (and maybe have fun adding their own extra details) while younger ones will need a little more help, but will hopefully learn some great new skills.
The idea can also be adapted to work on other items, e.g. jeans, jackets, bags, hats, cushions, etc.. and if you have something in your own wardrobe that needs a fun update, there’s no reason you can’t join in with the stitching, too.
Applique tshirts - both
YOU WILL NEED:
A t-shirt
Scraps of fabric and/or felt
Fusible webbing (e.g. BondaWeb, Heat’n’Bond, WonderUnder)
Iron and ironing board
Pencil
Scissors
Needle
Embroidery thread
Erasable fabric pen (optional)
Buttons (for flower appliqué only)

STEP-BY-STEP | Pirate t-shirt
1. Print out the pirate templates (skull, bones and eyepatch) and then trace onto the paper side of fusible webbing. Roughly cut out each piece of webbing, leaving a small border outside your drawn outlines.
2. Iron the three pieces onto the reverse of your chosen fabrics. I used a different print for each one, but you might prefer to have matching skull and crossbones with just the eyepatch in a contrasting print or colour.
3. Cut out the three pieces, snipping through fabric and webbing, and this time following the drawn outlines precisely. (Don't worry if 'precise' is tricky for little hands - neatness isn't the primary objective here, and the templates are pretty forgiving).
4. Peel the paper backing off each shape and position on your t-shirt. Once you're happy with the way they look, carefully iron to fix in place.
5. Take a length of embroidery thread in a shade to match the skull fabric, and separate it so you're only stitching with 2 or 3 of the six strands (this makes it much easier for beginners to handle and also gives a smoother, flatter finish). Knot the end and start sewing simple running stitches around the outside edge of the skull. They can be as neat or as messy as you like (or can manage!). If you run out of thread, secure the end at the back of your work, and carry on stitching with a new piece.
6. Sew around the outside of the eye socket, the nose, the crossed bones and the curved part of the eye patch in the same way.
7. Using pencil (which will wash out later) or an erasable fabric marker, draw a line diagonally across the head to mark a 'strap' for the eye patch. Draw a curved line at the bottom of the skull to mark the mouth.
8. Sew along the strap line, using backstitch. (I used the full six strands of thread for this to create a slightly thicker line, but it would work just as well with 2 or 3 if you find that easier).
9. Sew along the mouth line, again using backstitch. Add some big single stitches going across the mouth line at random intervals.
10. Run the iron over your finished applique one more time, and it's then ready to wear.
Applique pirate - close

Applique tshirt - pirate
STEP-BY-STEP | Flower t-shirt
1. Print out the flower templates (petals, centres and leaves) and then trace onto the paper side of fusible webbing. Roughly cut out each piece of webbing, leaving a small border outside your drawn outlines.
2. Iron the pieces onto the reverse of your chosen fabrics. I made two totally different flowers, but you might prefer to go for a matching pair.
3. Cut out all pieces, snipping through fabric and webbing, and this time following the drawn outlines precisely. (Don't worry if 'precise' is tricky for little hands - neatness isn't the primary objective here, and the templates are pretty forgiving).
4. Peel the paper backing off the petal and centre pieces and position on your t-shirt (set the leaves aside for now). Once you're happy with the way they look, carefully iron to fix in place.
5. Take a length of embroidery thread in a contrasting colour, and separate it so you're only stitching with 2 or 3 of the six strands (this makes it much easier for beginners to handle and also gives a smoother, flatter finish). Knot the end and start sewing simple running stitches across the flower petals and in towards the centre. The stitches can be as neat or as messy as you like (or can manage!). If you run out of thread, secure the end at the back of your work, and carry on stitching with a new piece.
6. When you've stitched across all of the petals, sew a button in the centre of each flower.
7. Using pencil (which will wash out later) or an erasable fabric marker, draw a a straight line beneath each flower as a stem.
8. Sew along each stem, using backstitch. (I used four strands of thread for this to create a slightly thicker line, but it would work just as well with 2 or 3, as before).
9.  Peel the paper backing off the leaf pieces you cut out earlier and position them along the stem. You can add as many or as few leaves as you like. Iron into place, and then sew along the centre of each one, using running stitch again.
10. Iron your finished applique one more time, and it's ready to wear.
Applique tshirt - flowers
Applique flowers - closer


✻ You're a parent, so you know how this goes, but please obviously ensure children are supervised and very careful when using sharp scissors, needles and most especially a hot iron. If in any doubt, you might prefer to do the cutting out and ironing stages yourself, leaving them to do everything in between.
A NOTE ON FUSIBLE WEBBING
If you haven't used this before, it's well worth investigating (and - be warned - is also a little addictive once you see what it can do!). Available from craft shops or haberdashery stores under various brand names, including BondaWeb, WonderUnder and Heat'n'Bond, it's essentially a dry adhesive used to fix pieces of fabric together. The webbing itself is super-fine and only becomes sticky once you apply heat via an iron. It's temporarily attached to thin, transparent paper onto which you can draw or trace. To use,  you simply iron over the paper to fix the webbing to a piece of fabric, cut out your chosen shape and then peel off the paper before ironing the shape onto your fabric background.
  Mac - skull tshirt
TIPS
:: Appliqué is the perfect way to cover up stains or marks on clothing which no amount of washing will get rid of (marker-pen, bleach, etc..), and can also be used to disguise small holes or rips.
:: Don’t forget, girls can be pirates, too! Choose pretty floral patterns and softer colours to give the skull and crossbones template a more feminine look and try stitching a ribbon bow to the top of the skull as a cute finishing touch. Similarly, fabric and stitching projects aren't just for girls - basic sewing skills are useful for boys too, and a fun pirate-themed project like this could be just the thing to change their mind about what is often perceived as a girls-only activity.
:: If you're not an especially confident stitcher yourself, or need to refresh your skills, you can find a step-by-step guide to the basics over at one of my favourite blogs, Wild Olive. The post on starting/strands and this one on running/backstitch will probably be the most useful, and the guide also includes alternative instructions for left-handers.
:: The templates and ideas here are really just a starting point. You can apply the same basic principles to all sorts of different pictures and shapes. Start by sketching out your idea, trying to keep details relatively simple, and then break it down into component parts. Trace each one onto the fusible webbing, and apply as described above. If you’re not confident about drawing your own designs, search online for suitable clip-art images or find simple, traceable pictures in your child's favourite colouring book.
Alt tshirts
I hope you might decide to have a go at creating your own Terrific Tuesday T-shirt, and would love to see how it turns out if you do. You can find me over at my blog, Ginger+George, along with plenty more projects and tutorials.
Thanks for reading today - I've loved being here - and thanks so much for having me, Dianna!
x

5 comments:

  1. I am going to make some with my kiddos.

    ReplyDelete
  2. These are too cute!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love the girly outfit! I want to make this for my daughter!

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  4. These are so cute. I especially like the pirate skull and crossbones. I want that for me. :-) Sandra

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  5. Hi I Really Like your great tutorials!!!

    I Link to you on my Blog,

    http://paneamoreecreativita.it/blog/2011/07/raccolta-di-progetti-di-cucito-creativo-per-lestate

    Thanks for sharing :-)

    ReplyDelete

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