DIY Appliqued Love Tee

Monday, September 19, 2011
One of my most popular Finley and Oliver tees was my little love tee. I'm making a love one piece for a friend's baby and thought I'd document the process and turn it into a tutorial. 


With a little practice and patience, making this little one piece (or tee or tank, etc.) is super easy. It makes a precious gift or cute little piece of clothing for your kiddos. If this is your first time appliqueing, this project will take you about an hour.

You'll need the following:

blank t-shirt, one piece, or tank
felt or fabric piece for the applique (I prefer to use eco-fi felt by Kunin - it holds up great in the wash)
 embroidery floss
scissors (small scissors with a pointy tip work best)
fusible webbing (I prefer to use heat 'n bond)
 template for the applique (download here)


(The template is backwards because the image will be reversed once you've put your applique together. This is important to remember any time you are appliqueing numbers and letters - not so much when you're appliqueing other things.)

Since I use Heat n Bond, my instructions will follow Heat n Bond's instructions. If you are using a different fusible web, simply change out my instructions with the instructions on the package. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact me and I can help you.

The first thing you'll want to do is take your love template and place it under a sheet of your fusible webbing. Take your pencil and trace love on to the webbing so it looks something like this:


Next you'll want to iron your "love" webbing onto your felt or fabric. For Heat n Bond, set it on the "wool" setting (NO STEAM). Iron the design onto the felt or fabric for about 3 or so seconds so it looks like this:


Carefully cut the applique out. This applique is a bit detailed so having small, pointy tip scissors will come in handy here.


Take the applique and peel off the wax paper layer from the back.


Place the applique exactly where you want it on the t-shirt with the glossy/fusible webbing side face down. Iron the applique on to the t-shirt pressing for about 10 seconds. Again be sure to use the wool setting with no steam. Check to be sure that the applique is firmly adhered to the shirt.

Now that your love is attached to the t-shirt, you're ready to start the applique process. You can do this with a machine or by hand. I'm a hand stitcher  - I find it very relaxing and therapeutic. To stitch by hand, cut about 3-4 feet of your embroidery thread. Your skein of thread will have six strands. Separate two of the strands from the piece you've cut and thread them through your needle.

For this t-shirt, I use a straight stitch. It's a basic stitch and great for a beginner. You basically bring the needle up through the t-shirt and back down making straight little stitches about a 2 cm in from the edge of your applique. 



A great video tutorial for the straight stitch is available here. The nice thing about sewing coordinating thread (floss) on felt or fabric is that it's hard to see so it's very forgiving if you're a beginning stitcher. If you're an experienced hand stitcher, it is fun to experiment with contrasting threads and different stitches.


Once you've finished stitching, you are done! Super easy, right?? Sky is the limit now! You can take these same principles and try out different fonts, words, animals, etc.





If you give this a shot, I'd love to see the results! Please take a picture and email me at finleyandoliver@gmail.com. And again, if any of you get stuck, please don't hesitate to email me for help.

25 comments:

Annie said...

This is so cute! I'm definitely going to make a love t-shirt for my coming sea monkey!

Grace said...

Congratulations to you, Annie! I'd love to see how it turns out. Best of luck. :)

ninalismomtographers365project said...

It does look simple Grace...even for someone like me that is clueless. Might give it a go for ittle miss ;)

Grace said...

Ninali, you've got to try it! It's so cute and would darling on Miss E. If you get stuck, let me know. xo

Anonymous said...

what font is that?
thanks

Grace said...

I believe it's wrexham.

Anonymous said...

How does the felt hold up with washing?

Grace said...

Anonymous, I use eco-fi felt by Kunin (available at Joann's). I have literally used this felt for thousands of tees and it holds up like a dream in the wash (machine wash cold/tumble dry low). When making clothes for kiddos, this is the ideal felt.

Динара said...

оригинально...

Grace said...

спасибо :)

slwiers said...

Does this felt come in the squares or on the bolt? I love to applique but i've never tried felt and i'm dying to try it!! Love your "love"! Thanks

slwiers said...

Also wondering if you have to prewash the felt (does it bleed and/or shrink)? Thansk!

Grace said...

It comes in squares (I think they are about $0.30 each) and on the bolt. For this project, a square would make 2 or 3 appliques. If you purchase the eco-fi felt by Kunin, you don't need to prewash it - it does not bleed or shrink. I swear by the stuff! Let me know how it turns out. :)

slweirs said...

Grace-thanks sooo much!! Dropping the kids off to school and heading to Joanns!

Grace said...

You are so welcome! You have to let me know how it turns out. :)

Kelli @ RTSM said...

These are adorable! I love appliqueing with felt. I love that the edges don't fray and it doesn't have to be perfect! I have had trouble hand-stitching my boys' shirts before, but now that I see you only use 2 strands of the thread I think that may help me out!

sb said...

These are so cute!! I'm attempting one this weekend for my little girl for Valentine's Day. So many options I dont know what color!! I would like to choose. I say one in every color possible. I think instead of using embroidery thread I will use yarn. I'll send ya a pick! Thanks for the tutorial.

Grace said...

Kelli, I love felt too! The texture and little bit of dimension it adds is the best. 2 strands of thread has always worked well for me. If I really want the thread to "pop" I use more.

sb, I would love to see how it turns out. I've done this little tee in a ton of different color combos and they are all so fun. Using yarn in a contrasting color will be adorable. Send a picture! :)

shelleymoana said...

Thanks so much for sharing this project. I made two for my girlfriend who is due in Sept and she was just thrilled. Not bad for someone who is a little challenged!!

Grace said...

You are so welcome, Shelley! I'm glad your friend loved them. You did an amazing job (thanks for sending along the photo).

Anonymous said...

♥ I'd love to know which brand of onesie you used for Love tee. It looks like a higher quality brand. Would you mind sharing? I'm attempting one of these for my niece due in 3 months! ♥

thank you!
Karin

Grace said...

@Karin, I use American Apparel blanks for my appliques. They are pricier but the quality is fabulous. Let me know if you have any other questions. Congratulations on your soon to be niece! :)

Anonymous said...

♥ thank you so very much for your quick response ~ you are one classy lady ♥

Anonymous said...

What font do you use??

Grace said...

@anonymous, I believe it's wrexham (or something very similar - it's been a while).

Post a Comment