Wednesday, September 7, 2011

My New Hobby: Appliques

I have had my beautiful brand new Brother CS-6000i sewing machine for nearly 7 months now, and, I must confess, I just used it for the first time this week!  I know next to nothing about sewing, and my intimidation with running the machine has been my excuse for not getting started.  But with two little girls, I am bound and determined to learn how to sew because I desperately want to make them cute little matching dresses and costumes to play in.

While surfing the internet this weekend looking for an easy first-time sewing project, I found this simple tutorial for making T-shirt appliques.  {Basically, appliqueing is cutting out a piece of fabric and bonding it to another piece of fabric (t-shirt, onesie, bag, bib, etc.), then sewing around the fabric's edges to keep it in place.} It looked so easy, I thought, rather naively, "Hey, I can do this!" My friend's little boy is having a birthday party this weekend, and I decided to make him a couple of Toy Story tees since that is his favorite movie.  It was an ambitious endeavor for a sewing newbie, but I was determined.

Before tackling the birthday boy's shirts, I did have common sense enough to try a few practice runs on some old onesies.  I'm so glad I did, too!  Check out my first attempt.  Looks okay, right?

Well, look from the back!   Dummy me sewed straight through to the back of the onesie!  My husband actually came in while I was sewing and made the comment that he thought I was sewing all the way through the material.  He was right.  Oops! 

So, I tried again.  This time I made a rectangle.  {I can only sew box shapes right now.  Maybe later, I will graduate to curves. :)}  But not too shabby.  I mean, I'm not setting up an Etsy shop or anything, but I'd let my baby girl wear it.  And the stitching isn't so bad either. Not perfect, no, but decent.  Remember, I am a novice!

So, I decided to take off the training wheels and get out the Toy Story fabric and the t-shirts I found on clearance at Target {Shh! Don't tell my friend!}  I also went back to Joann's to buy a rotary cutter because I could not cut a straight line to save my life.  Here is the outcome:

Now in no way would I consider the shirts anything to write home about except that I MADE THEM ALL BY MYSELF!  I can take pride in knowing I didn't just buy a Toy Story t-shirt at Target; I made one!  If you know me, then you may know I am neither crafty nor creative, so to do t-shirt appliqueing is a really big deal!

My next project is to make monogrammed t-shirts for my little girls.  I will let you know how that goes.

Blessings to you...
Have you ever tried appliqueing?  What is your favorite thing to make?
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  1. Keri- the shirts turned our great! Love them. The most I have attempted is iron-ons... I am sewing impaired unfortunately.

  2. Great job! I also have a Brother sitting on the table ~ bought it in April & haven't yet tried it. Thank you for motivating & inspiring me!!! :)

  3. Thanks! I am totally learning as I go. I actually considered just finding iron-ons but thought it was time to break out the sewing machine.

    Best of luck, Sneakers of Faith. Just do it: that's my advice. Once you do you won't stop sewing! It's addictive. :)

  4. I applique towel bibs. A hint (not so helpful now that you're done though) - take the piece of material you are appliqueing on and put Heat N Bond or Wonder Under on the back. Then iron the applique to the shirt/onesie/whatever. You've essentially just put an iron-on on the shirt, but you can go around and applique it and it won't move/slide/bunch up and you don't need pins. It takes extra time but it is much easier to sew. Hope I explained that clearly enough!

  5. Amanda, I didn't mention it in the post, but I did use a Heat n Bond. Of course, I did that completely wrong the first time, too, and my husband "showed me the way." I don't think I could have sewed the fabric on--what with my lack of skills--without it! Bibs! What a great baby shower gift idea! Thanks for sharing.

  6. Very cute! And GOOD FOR YOU for breaking out the sewing machine!! That's really awesome. :D You're way ahead of me, girlfriend. ;)

  7. What fun! I've always wanted to do appliques for shirts, but the ones I've tried are the iron-on transfers and they just don't look all that cute. But your shirts look way cute!

  8. This inspires me to break out my sewing machine! I did a few easy projects long ago, but with an experienced lady to hold my hand. I've been too intimidated to try it on my own. But this may be a great project for me to try. Thanks!

  9. Those shirts are great, I think they are something to write home about and gift! I don't sew, wonder how it would look just glued on, haha. Way to go!

  10. That's adorable!! You did such a great job...I'm with Sarah, I've done the iron on ones, but they never look as cute.

  11. Thanks, guys! You are really too kind. I know your biggest critic is always yourself, so I appreciate your encouraging compliments. :)