Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Stylish T-Shirts in 15 minutes (plus free applique patterns!)

With the first heat wave, I realized that the time has come again. You know, when you realize (yet again) that kids grow fast. Really fast. Every season we need to change their whole wardrobe, and with three kids now, it's not becoming any easier (or cheaper). So we headed to the store to find out (again!) that prices in Israel today are just crazy. A simple printed t-shirt goes for the equivalent of 13.5 US$, kind of crazy, don't you think?
So we decided that in order to be able to buy clothed for the three of them and still have money to buy food for next week, we're going to have to compromise. So we got plain t-shirts that were on sale - five shirts for 100 Shekels (that's around 27 US$).
But plain t-shirts are just that. Plain. Which I think is a bit boring. So I decided to upcycle them. Fifteen minutes work on each shirt got us the perfect shirts for the kids, and we still had some money left to buy pizza...

How?
That's how:

You'll need 
Shirt (dah!)
Fabric scraps
Heat'n Bond Lite
Iron
Sewing Machine


Applique Tutorial (plus free applique patterns) @ The Crafeteria


Draw or download an applique pattern. Feel free to use this file, that I prepared, with a few patterns that can upgrade any shirt. Scroll down to see some examples.

Cut your pattern, pin to a piece of Heat 'n Bond and to the fabric scrap.
Applique Tutorial (plus free applique patterns) @ The Crafeteria
Before cutting it...
Applique Tutorial (plus free applique patterns) @ The Crafeteria
And after...

We're done with the pattern. I recommend saving it in a sheet protector, so that you can easily use it again when needed.
Now place the piece of fabric on the Heat 'n Bond and then place on the shirt, where you want the applique to be.
Hold your iron down, without moving it, for a few seconds. Make sure it's all sealed.

Applique Tutorial (plus free applique patterns) @ The Crafeteria


Now let's sew. Why? Because you don't want to end up with a shirt looking like this -
Applique Tutorial (plus free applique patterns) @ The Crafeteria

This is what happened to me last time, when I made a few shirts and just forgot to sew this one... After the first washing, it came out like this...

So we sew.
Set your machine to zigzag stitch, you want the stitch lenght to be very short, almost like the lenght for buttonholes. Try first on a scrap, to make sure you like the result. When you're ready, just sew, slowly and carefully, especially on curves.
I like to sew using threads in bold colors, because I feel it makes the applique really stand out, but it's up to you, of course, and you can choose to use threads the same color as the shirt or applique.

Applique Tutorial (plus free applique patterns) @ The Crafeteria

That's it!
It was 15 minutes, no?

Applique Tutorial (plus free applique patterns) @ The Crafeteria

Here are some other shirt I made. You can find the patterns for all of them (and a few more) in this file.

Applique Tutorial (plus free applique patterns) @ The Crafeteria

Applique Tutorial (plus free applique patterns) @ The Crafeteria

Applique Tutorial (plus free applique patterns) @ The Crafeteria

Applique Tutorial (plus free applique patterns) @ The Crafeteria




These items from Amazon will help you get started:




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44 comments:

  1. Wow, these are super cute and so creative! I'm following you back thru Bloglovin!

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  2. Thanks!
    I'm also a follower of your blog :)

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  3. Adorable! I am loving that cute Birdie shirt!!!

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  4. You are so talented!! Lovin the hearts!

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  5. These are really cute. I love the birdie. Your kids must love these.


    In a side story, my husband did some iron-ons on t-shirts for my son's band "the Homies". He ironed right on my table and ruined the finish! Can you believe that? Ugggh!!

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    1. Thanks, they do :)

      He ironed on a table??? Did you manage to fix it?

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  6. So creative! I'm loving the hearts too.

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  7. I love that you make this look easy! I'm not fooled though. Perhaps I can just forward this link to my friend who actually knows how to sew and then give her my plain shirts and some material.....

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    1. LOL. I swear to god it's easy. If you ever used a sewing machine, you can do it!

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  8. You did a great job and now each child will feel a little more special. I love the little bird. So cute

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  9. I love the guitar. I went through a phase where I bought my son shirts decked out in guitars and surfboards.

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    1. Thanks, I also love guitar shirts for boys

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  10. All of these t-shirts are cute! I love the bird!

    Cynthia at http://FeedingBig.com

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  11. Great idea! You are very creative! I love the shirt with the hearts it is my favorite. Great job on this!

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  12. I love...love this project. I have tons of scrap fabric lying around. I can use them over the T-shirts.

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    1. Thanks! Yes, it's a great way to get rid of scrap fabric :)

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  13. Love, love, love this! This is a great way to use fabric scraps. The t-shirts are stylish, and they don't break the budget. Thanks for sharing!

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  14. I wish I was as crafty!! :) Nice creations!

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  15. You make this look so easy! And the T-shirts look so stylish! Especially love the one with the hearts :-)

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  16. So obsessed with the bird design shirt! That would look great on a pillow. Great tutorial!

    artpoliticslife.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks Nicole! A pillow is a great idea, I might steal it :)

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  17. Great tutorial! Love the bird!

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  18. I love the shirt with the hearts! Super cute!

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  19. I love this idea! Super cute!

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  20. What a great tutorial and project. There are so many different possibilities for this. I am gonna do this with my 12 year old daughter. She would LOVE to design her own shirt. Thanks for sharing
    Terri of Two Pink Peas www.twopinkpeas.com www.facebook.com/twopinkpeas www.Pinterest.com/twopinkpeas www.Twitter.com/mytwopinkpeas

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    1. Thanks :) It can be a great project for kids. Would love you to share your daughter design when she's done. You can pin it to our Pinterest group board - http://pinterest.com/thecrafeteria/feature-me-group-board/.
      Thanks for stopping by!

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  21. Cute t shirts! Thanks for the tutorial. Thank you so much for linking up! Hope to see more from you.

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  22. This is so great! My girls would love it if I'd do this for them!
    Gina
    http://ginascraftcorner.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks Gina :) I visited your blog, very cute! Loved the iPad sleeve!

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  23. CUTE! I've been trying to applique with my sewing machine. I think I might be slowly getting the hang of it, maybe. LOL. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks Aleks, I'm sure you're doing just fine :) Please share your appliques when you're done!

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