A few readers asked me where I got Oliver's t-shirt that he's wearing in the photos from my valentine's banner tutorial. When I explained that it was a tee I designed back when I was still selling children's clothes, they asked for a tutorial. So... here you go!
(For those of you who are cursing me for perpetuating the never ending mustache craze, you can easily swap out the mustache for a heart or something else - heck, you can even put a bird on it.)
Like my other applique tutorials, this one is pretty easy - it follows all the same steps as the others.
- Blank one piece, t-shirt, tank, etc. (pre-washed for shrinkage)
- Sheet of felt in the color(s) of your choice - for kids' projects, I strongly recommend eco-fi felt by Kunin. It's made from recycled bottles and holds up really well in the wash.
- Heat n Bond or other fusible webbing
- Scissors (small pointy ones are best - I use these)
- Embroidery floss and needle
- Template - download here
(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.)
Print out your template and place it underneath your fusible webbing. Trace the design onto your fusible webbing.
Next you'll want to iron your mustache 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 out your letters and mustache.
Take your appliques and peel off the wax paper layer from the back. Place the pieces exactly where you want them on the t-shirt with the glossy/fusible webbing side face down. Iron the appliques on to the t-shirt pressing for about 10 seconds. I like to use a scrap piece of fabric over the applique when I press it just to be safe. Again be sure to use the wool setting with no steam. Check to be sure that the appliques are 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. If I have the time, I prefer to stitch by hand - it adds a cool element to the applique. 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 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 the stitching, you are done!
You've made a fun little piece that is easy to care for - machine wash cold inside out/tumble dry low.
As always, if you get stuck or have any questions, comment here or message me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy stitching!