knit applique

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Cute cow shirts

orange tee shirt with hand drawn cartoon cow appliquethe girl in red shirt with cow appliqueThe boy got this very nice orange long sleeve tee shirt for Christmas. He did not want to wear it because it didn’t have an animal on it. So I asked him what animal he wanted on it and we went google image searching for cows. It turned out that he wanted a cute cartoon style cow. So after looking at several, I ended up drawing this cutesy (not my choice) cow for his approval. He also requested that I make one for the sister. I hunted up one of his old tee shirts to use for her. I used my lightbox to transfer the cow design to fusible web backed white cotton knit. I then colored the images with the boy’s help using my Tsukineko fabric inks. The boy’s cow has orange nose and inner ears and girl’s cow has pink nose and ears.

I attached them to the tee shirts with a straight stitch and then finished the edge with a simple zigzag stitch. Simple, ha ha! For whatever reason, the stabilizer method I had used previously to sew on a knit applique did not work well at all. So that would be why there are no close-ups of the cow! And that would also be why it took more than a week to finish these. But they look cute on, especially with braided pigtails. :)

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Hey! I’m almost caught up, we’re in January now. I got this cute bug fabric last year as a credit for something else. I really didn’t have a plan for it but I finally figured out how to use a bit of it as an applique. I took two old tee shirts, one of mine and one of my husband’s. Using the tee shirt pattern I created for the boy I cut the pieces to make a two-tone shirt, mostly because the light blue shirt was not big enough to make a complete shirt. But I needed the light blue background for the appliques to look right. I fused the bug fabric appliques to the shirt but ended up sealing the edges with clear nail polish and whipstitching by hand because I forgot to sew the appliques before finishing the shirt. I made a ton of mistakes putting this shirt together, mostly because I didn’t bother to make separate pattern pieces for the color blocking. But it fits, it looks fine, and the boy likes it. And it’s survived several trips through the wash so I think it will last the season. At the rate the boy is growing, he won’t be wearing it past the next few months whatever the weather.

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I made my own pattern for this boy’s long sleeve tee shirt based on several tee shirts from my son’s closet. I used heavy olive double knit cotton out of my stash. I layered a stripe of light blue helicopter print cotton knit across the chest. I also made a small pocket for the left sleeve which is embellished with an orange snap. The boy was quite pleased, as was I.
I’ve had my serger about a year I think and I’m really getting to know how to use it. I’ve never had any luck using a regular machine for stretch fabrics. I was initially concerned about how much I would use it but I’ve found it to be essential for working with knits and a great time saver for sewing non-stretch fabrics as well.

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Living in Maine, moose are a common theme. I hadn’t realized it but apparently the boy has always had a moose shirt, or at least as long as he can remember. So when he outgrew the one he had been wearing he requested a new one. As I had recently made the whale shirt, he knew that I could make him a moose shirt. EEK! He highly prefers to wear tee-shirts so I pulled out a barely worn plain ringer tee and went off to the fabric store to find the right variegated brown to match. That was pretty tough. Even tougher was cutting out that fusible web backed moose and applying it to the shirt. I vaguely knew that I ought to be using some sort of stabilizer to applique on a knit fabric but I didn’t have any so I just decided to tough it out. It looks pretty good as long as you don’t get too close! The boy likes it, and that’s what matters.

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