Monday, February 8, 2010

How The Shirts are Made

The first thing you will need to do is pick a simple design. Coloring books make excellent sources for fun and simple ideas. That is where I found this moose. I thought it was pretty cute.

Next you will want to get everything together that you will need. It doesn't take much. You will need felt, sharp scissors, pins, a needle, a framing circle, several colors of thread and a shirt or Onesie to put it on.

Then simply pin your drawing to the felt and cut out the pieces. Start with the biggest pieces and work your way down. Don't worry about cutting perfectly at first. You can trim any choppy edges when you are done. Felt is very forgiving.

Cut out your other pieces.

Here are all the pieces of the moose. Do any trimming you need before you sew it together.

Then put all the pieces together and make sure they look right. You can always add something to it later, or take something off if you decide you don't like it.

To start the thread, I go through the felt one time. Then I tie three knots in it. I am not sure if that is really the right way to start a thread, but it works for me. I double my thread as well to make it a little stronger and more visible.

Next you just sew it all together. Take your time and sew along the edge. Don't worry if they aren't completely straight. I like putting mine on a background for many reasons. First, it really makes them look nice. Second, when you sew a design directly to a shirt, the fabric of the shirt makes the thread get weaker every time you pass it through so you have to change the thread a lot for it not to come apart later. Last, I can make many patches and sew them on a shirt another time.

To finish your thread, just made a pass through another stitch on the back. I am not sure how to word it better than that, but if you have troubles, there are many video tutorials on You-Tube. I have learned many many tricks that way.

Now your applique is done! Yay!

It's time to use the framing circle to put the applique on a shirt. Make sure that it is centered and straight, then pin it down. I decided not to put this one on a Onesie after all since I thought it would make a really cute shirt for Sophia.

Decide what color you want to use to sew it on the shirt. I had some pink embroidery floss that I thought would look nice. Floss is good to use since its only about 40 cents a color.

They come five strands thick so you will want to separate them. I use two at a time.

It's done! And it turned out great!

Last, put it on your little one and be proud of what you made! This one took about four hours start to finish. It was totally worth it!


  1. I love the moose...and the color combination!

  2. Great Tutorial! I feel the same way about making cakes.... it is amazing to start with flour and sugar and end up with something come creative!
    Great job.

    I have a friend that wants some for her twin boy and girl.

  3. It's just so fun! I would LOVE to make some for the twins! Is it the ones you made the diaper bags for a long time ago?

  4. your model does a great job showing the happiness in the clothes. if i were on project runway we would be fighting for her as our model.

  5. How well does the felt wash? They are too cute! I love your ideas using the felt on shirts.

  6. Thank you! The felt washes fine. You just need to turn them inside out and throw them in with the rest of the wash. I think if they needed any other special instructions it would be a waste of time. There is already enough to worry about having little ones than special washing their clothes!

  7. Thanks so much for the tutorial! I love your blog and all the cute things you make. :) My new years resolution is to branch out and try to be more crafty. I love doing this kind of stuff... I just need to make the time for it to happen. My mom is going to teach my sisters and I how to quilt... we start tomorrow! Super excited! You don't use a sewing machine at all for the shirts? I don't own one yet.

    Thanks again!

  8. You are so welcome! I didn't think anybody really looked at my blog anymore so I am pretty honored. Thanks! Have fun learning to quilt with your mom. That is really special and I know she is going to be thrilled to teach her girls. :) I am not as steady on my sewing machine to actually sew anything other than a straight line so I do all the shirts by hand. Someday I hope to get better on the machine!