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)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. And again, if any of you get stuck, please don't hesitate to email me for help.