Thursday, March 22, 2012

Flower Applique Shirt Tutorial

This whole thing started off with these adorable jeans from Gap. I own two pairs for my daughter and needed something cute to go with them. My inspiration for the large applique was from mini Boden- I love their style- simple & cute. They regularly put a large applique off to the side of a shirt or dress like THIS and it so nicely adds to the garment without it becoming the center of attention. I added more stitching than they do but that was only in attempt to have the shirt more closely match that on the jeans.

Before I show you how to applique, let me show off a few pics of my daughter in the shirt:

She's been watching me work on this for a bit and was super excited when I told her that she could finally wear it! And if you're wondering about the last picture- yes, she is part monkey!

OK- so appliqueing can be super easy! Let me show you how:

Start by creating the design. I am not an artist so I try to find something the right size to help me. In this case it was a hamburger piece from a Melissa & Doug build-a-sandwich set. It took me moving the circles a few times and erasing the old before I got it how I wanted it but this was
the final shape. It's not perfectly in shape but that's OK-  it gives it a little character!

Next, place your pattern on the smooth, paper side of the wonder under. Then cut the shape out of the wonder under paper.

**If you are doing a doing a design that needs to be a certain direction, make sure that it is backwards when you trace it on the wonder under!

Place the rough side of the wonder under down on your applique fabric and iron, following the instructions on the wonder under which says to iron each section for 10 seconds. If you do not use the applique right away, I find that the paper peels off easier if you run the iron over it again just to warm it up.

This is the backside of the appliques. You can see here that I left a small margin of fabric around the wonder under- since this is knit and it won't fray, I wanted to have a tiny loose edge to give it more dimension.

Simply peel off the paper from the wonder under, place fabric side up on your project (so wonder under side down) and iron in place. Just to point out the obvious- in this case, iron down the white flower first and then the pink circle.

 This is a good place to mention that this is NOT the steps that you would take if using cotton to applique- you would trace the shape onto the wonder under, cut a larger square with the shape in the middle, iron it onto your fabric and THEN cut out the shape and proceed to iron it onto your project.

So here's the shirt with the flower ironed on. Honestly, if you wanted to stop here you could- it's stuck down for good!

I decided to go on and embellish some though:

This is what you use to do the embroidery. It is a special "thread" called floss. The most commonly found at craft stores is a brand called DMC. It is the same "thread" that is used for cross stitch (which I used to LOVE doing- still do actually but now I don't have that much time.) You can pull the strand apart into six pieces- for this project I used three at a time- so three "threads" in one needle.

From here on out it is just your own create expression on what you want to sew for decoration. It can be a super simple project if you just do the running stitch around the outside of each shape. Actually, I almost stopped there but again, I wanted to make the shirt match the jeans a little more so I did more in the middle.

That's it! Pretty simple, huh? Just think- you don't even have to know how to sew to be able to applique on clothing! You can use this same technique spice up canvas shopping bags, baby onsies, decorative pillows and on and on. From here on out, the sky's the limit!

Happy Appliqueing!

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